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Any TBer in a band with a label....help me!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by A Rock, Aug 29, 2001.


  1. A Rock

    A Rock

    Mar 18, 2001
    New Haven, CT
    hi....i just recorded a couple songs.
    with this demo im goin to send it to radio stations and submit them for cd compilations.

    but what i really want to do is try to get a record deal.

    How did you get a record deal and what are your experience with them?
     
  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    I don't know about labels but you might try "Free Form Radio, WNTI" out of Hacketstown. They do much local stuff and would probably get you some play if it's a quality job.

    Another guy to look into is www.philstahl.com . He's a local music magnate out here in east PA.
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have been in bands that got record deals, but there have been loads of articles on this subject in music magazines etc. The consensus over here in the UK seems to be that A&R people and record companies in general don't listen to demo tapes and radio shows only want CDs. My current band made a CD for this pupose. From what I have read in articles, the record companies are looking for ready-made bands with an image that sets them apart - they will go to see a band if they have a good live reputation and are getting a big following but otherwise forget it!

    If you don't fit into any of the above, then the best option is to do it all yourself and I know a guy locally who has a big studio and will do the lot - record, press and make up albums CDs etc.

    One band I was in, in the 80s went by another route. They got a publishing deal first and made demos. The publishing company had links with EMI (quite a big record company in the UK) and they picked up one of the songs and decided they wanted the band.

    So we signed for EMI, but after giving us an advance which was completely blown on the first single, they lost interest and wouldn't put anything towards publicising the single - we got on TV shows, but there was no push and the single languished in the lower reaches.

    We got no money, but were still tied to EMI for two years. No money for recording anything else or to start up a tour, but we weren't allowed to do anything, by the terms of the contract !! Real bummer and ever since I have avoided record companies and gone the "independent" trail.
     
  4. How do you get a record deal? You have to know someone.

    As far as experience, I did 2 albums with a band on a record label. The experience was underwhelming. The label was mainly interested in how they could profit from us via distribution deals. It's a business for the label, and their only concern in making money. And unless you're going to make a LOT of it for them, they're not going to care about you.

    Getting a record deal these days means anything but fame and fortune. 9 times out of 10 it will mean getting screwed by money hungry businessmen and dealing with lawyers.

    Bruce was right on the money about major labels looking for marketable acts. They don't want your material, they want your image. If the image is cool enough to them they may even want you to play the style/material THEY dictate.

    Bruce's suggestion to stay away from labels and do it yourself is one to consider heavily.
     
  5. A Rock

    A Rock

    Mar 18, 2001
    New Haven, CT
    isnt it true that they help pay for recording?
    The main purpose why we want to be in a label is to record for free.
     
  6. they'll put up the money for recording, yes, and then usually recoup it out of your royalties.
    (your advance will usually get recouped out of your royalties too)

    so you won't earn anything until it's been paid off- so recording in the Bahamas may not be the best option for your first album.

    If I'm ever offered a deal I'd want a non-exclusive contract so I could work with other people too.....*wishful thinking*
     
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    You'd do yourself a BIG favor and get a copy of one of the many Music Business books on the market. It's one hell of an eye-opener...and better to find out from a book than to get the grease-n-bendover from some AR liar.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No, no - if you get a contract, they give you an advance and then you pay for everything out of that advance - the engineer's drinks, lunch for the producer - everything! It's a subtle difference but very important. So when the advance runs out - that's it! Nothing else happens, unless you pay for it yourself - as I said, in one band this just meant us sitting around doing nothing for 2 years, as they had spent our advance, wouldn't give us anymore, but by the terms of the contact wouldn't let us doing anything that they didn't sanction.

    As mchildree says - you really need to find out as much as possible in advance or you are going to be at a serious disadvantage. If you have something to bargain with, like a big live following or a unique image then you might have something to bargain with, but usually all the "bargaining chips" are on the record companies side and don't doubt that they will know this.

    Anybody who goes into this sort of thing with anything like a naive attitude is just asking to be ripped off!!

    All record companies exist to make money, not give it away!! :rolleyes:

    Nothing in life is "free", there's no such thing as a free lunch etc.