I see this happen all the time:
Step 1: Artist writes music.
Step 2: Artist needs band.
Step 3: Artist calls the best and most in-demand players he/she knows, because that will make the music sound best.
Step 4: Artist gets band confirmed… then finds it impossible to schedule rehearsals.
Step 5: Artist feels pressure or uneasiness because he/she isn’t confident their music is worth the time and energy of the band members.
Step 6: Artist spends a few months rehearsing with band. There are only a few rehearsals where all band members can make it.
Step 7: After all the stress, pressure, and hassle of coordinating rehearsals, the band is ready to gig. So they start gigging, and often need to find subs because one of the band members is already-booked.
Step 8: Artist realizes, after six months (or longer), that this isn’t the right lineup of people for this band.
Step 9: Back to Step 2.
This is not a good system.
When choosing band members, the most important factors should be:
1. Shared vision, purpose, and sound for group
2. Chemistry outside of rehearsal room, recording studio, etc. (could you comfortably grab a beer with these people?)
3. Project is the same priority level for everyone (that doesn’t mean it has to be a top priority. If everyone is in this for fun, that’s fine, but don’t be scared to admit it.)
Skill level is obviously important, but, if you’re serious about your music, being a good player is implied. If someone is just plain terrible, they won’t be in this conversation to begin with.
You need to ask yourself: “Who am I creating this music for?”
The answer to that question should determine who you want to be creating something with.