Of course they can, so please read carfully as I'd like to kick around some specifics. I feel like I'm stuck in a conundrum, and need to hear the experience of others. I love playing original music, had a few good runs with bands that did some exciting things, and still have the desire to earn my keep as a musician, play great shows, and play original music. Over the past 5 or 6 years however I've started a pattern that I've been repeating, and feel I'm about to do it again. I get involved with something that seems happening, put a year or more of hard work and sacrifice into it, then the band starts asking for more than I can responsibly contribute, and I'm left with the option of either doing what the band wants, or letting them find someone who can and will. After I worked my ass off to help bring them to the point they're at. That usually means tours where we'll be lucky to cover expenses, me taking off unreasonable amounts of time from my dayjob, or them wanting me to contribute money that I'll probably never get back. My dayjob is really flexible, but I have bills that need to be paid. So many details I'd like to add, but I'm trying to keep this short. Here's the bottom line: I have an opportunity to play in a start up group with some guys who are just a small step below the big leagues. They've all toured in different bands supporting major acts, and have done well for themselves. The music is top notch, and all the pieces are pretty much in place, but it's going to take a pretty big investment (time and possibly money) to get it off the ground. If it were my music, I'd have no problem giving it everything I've got, as at least there's a chance (albiet slim) that the investment might one day pay off. Even if not, when it's my music I feel differently about it. As "just a band member" however, I know where my investment can land me. A year of recording, giving up lots of days (and pay) at my other job, rehearsals, and then eventually, "Guys, we've got a tour coming up. We'll just about break even, but it will push us to the next level, and the gigs will be awesome...". Then what? They're not looking for a hired gun, by the way. Been working on my own project but that has it's own list of difficulties. Mostly dealing with flaky musicians. I also enjoy being a sideman as opposed to leader.... So what to do? I'd like to play with these guys, but don't want to repeat my past. Are there any kinds of contracts or agreements that can be drawn up that would seem reasonable and people would be willing to sign? I'll make an investment if we're all in on the copyrights and publishing whether we wrote the songs or not? Is it possible to do this, when one has other responsibilities? Or am I at the point where I have to just accept that either I'm hired to play, or it ain't happening? Great gigs like that are few and far between, and they don't usually materialize unless you're out there in the game (as I'd like to be with this band). Playing music is all I've ever wanted to do with my life. And only thing I really feel I do excellently. Apologies for the rambling, hope I get some responses as I'd really like to dive a little deeper into this and hopefully unearth some answers. Feeling frustrated and fearful of moving forward.