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Band Manager as Band Member?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Bulldog23, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Bulldog23


    Jul 4, 2012
    Our manager has been the main investor in our band. She paid for our indy recording, has paid for most touring expenses, etc. She is not a performing member of the band (lead singers mom.)

    Any money from paid gigs has primarily gone to her to help repay towards the debt. Her plan is that any money made from merch, CD sales, songwriting, etc, should go to her. She wants to have an agreement drawn up to make us all equal members of the band.

    I appreciate that she believes in the band and has invested personally, and she should be compensated over time if the band is successful. However I have a real problem with her having artistic input, wanting a portion of any songwriting (her son is a very good songwriter) which would included any songs that I have written.

    Does anyone else have this type of arrangement?
  2. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay

  3. Captain Grunge

    Captain Grunge

    May 12, 2012
    No and you should not either. Come up with a certain percentage to throw at her. I'm sure she does a lot for the band but if you give managers to much power they will drain you dry and start to get lazy. I have been through this my self. Give her maybe 10-15% of sales. The rest should be just band fund, notice the word "Band" in there?
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    First I would insist that she keep accurate books of the band's financials, so her expenditures can be compared against income. The way it sounds, she gets all the money, even if her costs have been repaid. As for being a member of the band, I'd say no. It sounds like she also wants to be your producer. What is her musical experience? Does she have any qualifications to have artistic input? A lot of young performers have been screwed by a parent of one of the members (ask the Beach Boys).

    If you decide to let her have her way, you should definitely have an attorney (not hers) review the proposed contract. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING until your own attorney has reviewed the paperwork. See bold type. See it again.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    No, that is foolish, tell the singers mom to let her kid grow up, she sounds a little over-bearing.

    A manager should never be treated as a band member because the first person to get fired when you start making it, is the manager, if you ever got signed you think they want to sign 5 people to a 4 man band?

    She should be compensated for her investment, she certainly shouldn't be funding your dream, but in no way would I make her an official member of the band. I wouldn't even entertain the idea.

    You should sit down as a band and clearly dictate song writing royalties, whether you get to that road or not, it is nice to know the plan in case you do, it will avoid issues in the long run.

    Why would she think she would get song writing credits if all she did was squeeze out the singer? Does she write the songs with her son?
  6. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    How old are you guys? And be honest.

    IMHO, you should not sign that contract. She's your singer's mother. Her investing in the band was (I'm assuming) completely on her own terms. Unless you guys agreed upfront to repay her then you really aren't responsible to do anything in return for her.
  7. All legalities aside, you should have never let her dictate anything other than booking. Honestly, how much do you need a manager at this point? My recommendation is to learn the tricks of the trade (all of your band mates too), and manage yourselves.

    What you've got is classic case of Bob Rock... This can only end in St. Anger...
  8. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    This is important to know before lending you advice, as it will change the expected dynamics of the mother/son relationship and in turn change how best to handle the situation.

    Bottom line, if you're not comfortable with her having an equal stake in the band, then you shouldn't let her have an equal stake in the band. Beyond that, your age and the relationship with the parent involved is going to determine how best to handle breaking it to her.
  9. Bulldog23


    Jul 4, 2012
  10. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    In that case it's time for mom to start letting go a little. It's great that she has made an investment in you guys and absolutely you should try to pay back that investment to the best of your ability. If she is actually managing(ie. booking gigs, scheduling studio time, handling advertising, etc...) then make her an agreement for a managing rate(going rate right now is 15% off the top if I'm not mistaken). If she is just fronting money, and not doing the leg work then she's an investor, not a manager, and you should just pay her back her money with a reasonable interest rate on top(10% is better than she'll get in the stock market right now...).

    Writing credit and group band decisions is not the realm of the manager, and her being someones mom doesn't change that. If you value her input, tell her so, but make it clear that she is not a member of the band.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Honestly, at that age it should be you guys who are in charge of making things happen, booking gigs, creating ideas for your merch, and all that other fun stuff. Not to be an internet psychologist, but it seems like your singer's mom is either a) trying to make herself still useful in her son's life by managing his band, or b) trying to inch her way into your band because she can see herself making some easy money on some young guys who don't know any better (I'm thinking this since she wants a contract promising her equal share plus all merch sales).

    I'm in a band that consists of guys who are all 22 years old, and we all handle every single aspect of our band without any sort of outside help. To be honest, I've learned a lot about business, networking, and management from being a leader in my band. I think you guys should look at this band as an opportunity to get real world business experience, and having his mom around won't let you do this.
  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
  13. In my experience, these types of band management arrangements create alot of tension, disfunction, and mistrust. Of course you should pay back any money that has been invested in the band. Do not take anymore money from his Mom unless it is nothing more than a straight up loan. I've found that usually anytime a parent, girlfriend, wife, etc. gets involved in band desicions.......it's the kiss of death.
  14. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    This sounds like a mix of two parts bad with another part bad.

  15. throughthefire


    Oct 1, 2010
    See an attorney before you sign anything!

    My view would be that this woman has loaned the company money. She deserves to get that back, with interest (say, 10% APR - see an accountant for how much to pay).

    All financial records belong to the band, with every member having full visibility.

    Payback should be from all income sources until the loan has been paid off. Once the loans are paid off, she is entitled to nothing.

    If she makes a booking for the band, she's acting as the booking manager, and should get 10-15% of the booking fee. The rest should be split between the band members.

    If she wants to be a manager, she should get 10% of all your earnings - but should NOT get her money on the loans repaid - that should be accepted as her investment in the band.

    She did not write any songs, so she gets no royalties. If her son wants to give her a proportion of his royalties, that's up to him. So if you both write a song, it would be 50/50. If she gets a cut, it would be (say) 50/25/25 - you still get your 50%. If you write a song without anyone else, she gets exactly 0%, and you get 100%.

    Keep a tight hold on *your* song-writing royalties! Never give them away to anyone!

    This all reminds me of the 1950's, when all the great musicians knew nothing about business. They all died poor, and their managers made millions. Knowledge is power!

    Final thought. If your band is doing well enough that the above is a real financial issue, then you don't need her anyway....
  16. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Mmhm. And keep in mind that if his mom were to become a 'member' that they would ALWAYS be on each others side on any issue. You'd be asking for trouble to allow her an equal share in the band. Personally, I think you guys should drop her altogether and get a third, unbiased party to help manage/book you guys.
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Is she hot?
  18. Haha, I thought that would have come out way before post 17:D
  19. Bulldog23


    Jul 4, 2012
    Excellent advice. Thank You.
  20. Bulldog23


    Jul 4, 2012
    This has already been the case. Because the other members mostly don't want to deal with decisions, they typically agree with the mom & son.

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