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Band Management situation/overstepping

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Shimmi, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    So I decided to take a break from playing to be more behind the scenes.

    I found a great band, and started with the lead member I offered to book gigs, promote, manage, create art, and use my equipment/soundcheck for 30%

    Well a friend started stepping in and offered to contribute equipment. He had a better mixer as well as clearer microphones. He tlked to me about getting compenated and wanted a cut.

    Lead player and I decided to split my earnings and do 20% me 20% sound guy. He didnt like that I made 20%, I told him that he had equipment but my equipment was more essential to play on

    So he(lets call him brad) invests in new PAs(weren't necessary) as well as new mics. Now he wants 30%.

    We talk about it and he agrees to get $60 per gig. I'm fine with this as now I dont have to do sound or setup and I can use more time to promote and get word out as well as work on merchandising.

    So I make 15% off the top and he makes $60 flat.

    Now he's trying to book the gigs, play band manager, and host band meetings. Brad is a good guy, but he's also very money orientated and has been stepping on toes.

    Just recently he responded to someone asking about a gig and didnt give my number but his. (My number is on the band business cards)

    He is great at sound, but these recent gigs hes been MIA more and more often. multiple times during the last show I had to step in and fix feedback as well as remix levels.

    We had a meeting after the show and apparently everyones happy about pay, with the exception of me getting 15%. Only one band member said this and I think Brad had a conversation with her to make her feel that way.

    So we're going to discuss pay again and I'm worried that I will end up shaged.

    Im going to wait for this band meeting, but really I feel Brad should stay on sound and out of the band. a few members agree(some more than others) that hes over stepping his territory

    I have a guy that just got a new job and within 3 months he'll have a 75% discount on a rental center that rents out PAs band equipment and lighting. I'm thinking of pitching it to the band that we negotiate with Brad cut his rate to $40 and if he doesnt like it just use my equipment and purchase new mics, or rent equipment.

    I have put blood sweat and tears into this band, and have been doing a DAMN decent job of promoting. When we started we had crowds of 10-20 people, now we average 50-80 and this is just bar gigs in a town of 6,000 now we're getting bigger gigs in bigger cities and it seems brad, and the lady member of the band doesnt realize how much goes into planning a show and creating a professional image.

    Sorry for long post I just wanted to get it all on the table

    Any thoughts or advice appreciated.
  2. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I'll bet there is no written agreement here. You need one.
    Write your original verbal agreement, get Brad to either sign it and stay within bound, or hit the highway.
    The agreement needs to specify who supplies what, who does what, who does not do what, and the money splits.
    If you don't, Brad will eventually fire you.
  3. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    I was considering the same thing. It just sucks because we had the original agreement, then the band stepped in, then brad. But after this I'm not going to renegotiate I'll get it in writing.

    Right now I feel the push is for me to take 10% but also upping my take on the merch (60% on all sales excluding CDs)
  4. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Good, just get everyone in the band to sign on. If they don't, they walk. I know it is repulsive to musicians to have to have a written agreement. There was a thread about this recently and I was surprised at how many people thought having to sign a written agreement is offensive. But, a band is a small business and can't really be successful without it.
    I am going to sub this thread. I am interested in how it turns out.
    Stand your ground.
  5. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    Does anyone have any insight on pay for sound techs?

    Right now we have 3 core members, and a washboard player but she rarely makes gigs so until she commits im not considering her a core member.

    Then theres brad and me.

    Currently we charge $300 + 10% of till and comped drinks.

    I recently considered upping it to $500, we got a big enough following, and we also have guest musicians to play during breaks so all night there is live music. I dont advertise the guest musicians, most times it just kinda happens but now I'm thinking of getting everyone organized as to when they play so its more professional rather than our friends have karaoke. I feel a lot of venues would take advantage of getting 4 bands for $500 But I dont want to let brad know this until he's agreed on PAPER to what he expects
  6. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    That is all over the board (pun intented). Sometimes they get a flat rate, others they get the same a band member gets.
    In your situation, I would suggest he get a band member split.
    There are so many different ways to split the money, it is hard to say what is the best way. A lot has to do with how the expenses are paid.
    They way I was used to growing up, and I learned this from my dad who was a gigging musician, was BL counts as 2, each member counts as 1, so with you, Brad, and 3 cores, that is 6. So you would divined the money by 6. For a $300 gig, that is $50. You get 100, everyone else gets 50. But, you pay expenses. Expenses are ads, fliers, web page costs, or whatever is necessary to operate the "business" of the band. That does not include equipment costs. Each member is responsible for providing their own equipment. The Sound and Lights is different. But, what I do is require each member to provide their own mic, stand, and monitor. The rest of the common equipment is negotiable. I play with 2 bands. One is a 4 piece and I have a sound system that I provide. In the other, a trio, the BL has the powered board and speakers. We each provide our own mic and stand. I happen to own 2 monitors, so I provide those.
    I have also been in a band where the cost of the common equipment was split evenly and each member paid a per gig amount to pay for the equipment purchases until it is paid off. After that, items that have to be repaired or replaced are split by the band. Another way is to have a set amount set aside for equipment purchases and maintenance.
    So, without many specific suggestions, I hope these ideas help.
    MattZilla, sketch and Shimmi like this.
  7. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    The Funkapotamus likes this.
  8. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    Thank-you, that is very insightful. I am not BL though just a manager. I looked it up and most make between 10-15%

    All my other bands we all had our own equipment or saved up and split all other costs, so this is different to say the least.

    In this one I provided most all musical equipment. Brad provides new mixer and PA although he still uses my stands and XLRs and one of my PA's as a monitor so its not like he covered EVERYTHING on the sound side, but a good deal of equipment.

    Also the bass player uses my bass guitar because his bass is ugly as sin and doesn't fit the look. I'm paying marketing expenses out of pocket, and all the artwork is my designs (Anyone need some sick art?) Also atm we use everyones cars to get to gigs, but I recently got a VAN we're going to be using to cut down on vehicles. Also most the time my place is used for practice space which has plenty of sound power.

    So to put things in perspective the band provided very little aside from their own instruments (Bass player also plays his guitar but still uses my bass for songs that need it)

    I dont really want to cut brad out I just want my pay guaranteed and dont want to put more in that I get. Currently postponed a banner I'm working on because if I get screwed on pay I'm not going to be excited about putting 8-14 hours into an art design and paying to have it made only to get stiffed.

    Also I am working with sticker/tee designs etc etc
  9. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Before agreeing to giving this guy one penny more, negotiate all terms and conditions up front - and get it in writing. PM me if you want specifics.
    pcake, The Funkapotamus and Shimmi like this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    My guess is the rest of the band doesn't give a rat's @#[email protected] - they are happy that other people are doing the dirty work, and they get to play and get paid. But if you can get any of them on your side, it will help. Him going behind you when your name is on the business cards not only looks bad, but is bad faith IMO.

    But yeah, you need to formalize everything. Good luck.
  11. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006
    If I was putting in the kind of work and equipment this takes and arguing over dollar amounts like that, I think I'd shoot myself in the head.
    gln1955, CTW68, Joedog and 5 others like this.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Which is exactly why the rest of the band probably doesn't care about the dispute.
    gln1955, The Funkapotamus and Robroy like this.
  13. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    Yeah... I'm almost there.

    We are getting pretty well known though, and in my experience gaining MUCH more momentum than any band I was ever involved with. What makes this more special is everyone seems to know we're onto something bigger than the average bear so everyone knows their worth and emotions are high.

    To be fair my entire setup I bought years ago before I even met the band so its not like I made any special arrangements I just wanted to utilize equipment I already had so figured I would try to get some bands to sign on for a manager/promoter.

    Yeah I wanted to message him second I saw the message, but I wasnt sure if he had talked to this person prior or if he was taking initiative to respond to a random message, I mean he knows id see it.
    That's what I thought, which is why I was shocked to see our fiddle player thought my "15%" was steep. But the rest of band talked to her and explained that everyone was spending money EXCEPT the band so since then she apologized for offending me and making me feel unappreciated but I feel brad had something to do with her original attitude.

    The Bass player is 100% on my side, he's been in project with me in the past, he knows my skills and sees my value more than anyone else.

    Banjo lead/vocals also wants me happy and I know he appreciates me too but I'm not 100% sure. He is way impressed with my past bands and marketing setup(old bands had posters tees and cds plus professional recordings) but still Hes known Brad for 10 years but they dont really see eye to eye on much because brads a spoiled rich kid and he grew up on the streets pretty much. But regardless I know they are friends so not sure how much on my side he is. I let him crash at my place while he was without a home and introduced him to the concept of plugging in and convinced him to play shows and have given him as much support as I could.

    Everyone is very happy with the artwork, get compliments everywhere and shows have almost always had solid turnouts.

    However I can never tell with bands, especially ones that have never put their own money into their music so it seems atleast the fiddle player may be taking it for granted.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If it were me, and in fact you have made that much of a difference, and the band wants to step up to the next level, that is what I would concentrate on. The rest of them are probably saying "holy @#[email protected] I have TWO guys who are willing to do all the tough work?" They are probably drooling.
    Shimmi likes this.
  15. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    Haha thanks, yeah if I were in their shoes I'd be the same way.
    although I didnt get paid for last 2 gigs when I asked I was told it was "being held" until we all agreed on rates.

    The bass player thinks sound guy is asking too much/generally doesn't like him. Fiddle player just seems to think they aren't making enough, and from her understanding all I do is "flyers and fb" but Talked to her since and she changed her tune after costs got explained.

    Last person is washboard player and I know she doesnt care at all.

    But yeah total is 7 people including washboard player when she makes the gigs so thats a lot to get divided up. Which is why I understand the fiddle players frustration.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    That's a big part of your problem - 7 is a lot of mouths to feed. If I were BL, and my goal was to start making money, my first act would be to cut the band down. Without sounding too snobbish, you give a full share to the washboard player ... really? Who do you NEED, and who is the fat?
  17. TripleDouble

    TripleDouble Guest

    Aug 5, 2008
    Get it in writing, whatever "it" ends up being where everyone is happy, and don't sell yourself short on the work you're doing. I've never been in a small or even regional band that had 2 staff members that were into the work...you are a valuable thing. It's just time for you all to sit in a room and get this squared away so you can get back to taking over the world.
    Shimmi likes this.
  18. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    So, to start, I've only been a band manager a couple of times, didn't make much money or have much success, and not at all since 2001 or 2002.

    The sound guy makes $60 but doesn't provide all the equipment? And you already have some gear? In my town you can rent an OK PA for $60 with a couple of SM58 for the entire weekend and $100 for the whole kit from subs to monitors to whatever else. $125 will get a guy with a (full) rig and lights, including setup and teardown, who will also actually stay at the board during performances. Heck, $75 would get you a used 58 outright, so $300 would get the mics straight anyhow.

    I don't know if I would be OK paying a sound guy anything more with all the baggage stated. His upgrades to his rig are his business and I can't see why he should get paid more - he's not doing any more work. I also certainly wouldn't be OK with the bookings, or meetings, or management. If someone other than you gets a hit, then they pass the info along with "OK, our manager handles all of that, so let me give him your number." I got 10% without supplying anything but gigs and flyers in the early 2000's, so I personally wouldn't come off the 15% and wouldn't come off the merch either - the last "manager" I talked with for a rock group got 15% and half of the profit from the merch, but he supplied all of the merch and 80-90% of gigs (some of which were pay to play).

    I agree with the written agreement including some kind of statements like "any and all additional work, goods, or services will be provided at the discretion of xxx and WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION" and "xxx will attend the sound equipment starting 15 minutes before the band's scheduled performance time and throughout all performances. Failure to attend sound equipment will reduce payment amount by $1/min."
    Shimmi likes this.
  19. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    As the joke goes, an oral agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on. Get everything in writing. When there is no money coming in, no one cares; when money starts coming in, everyone gets a bad memory.
  20. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    haha I never said washboard player gets a full share, for the record she can also play guitar and sing. That's another thing about this band is everyone sings, and can play multiple instruments, I finally talked them into utilizing bass for every song because duh (he used to just be a rhythm guitar player but I pushed to have him on bass full time). 2 people write the songs, rest is all over the board. But in the time it would take most bands to establish credit we did in a matter of months, play an average of 4 shows a month plus they have 30+ song setlist and only take 2 breaks.
    Solid INSIGHT! I was wondering about sound tech work as well. Did that also include setups?
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