Is it fair for a replacement player to pay past debts of band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by troy mcclure, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Central Florida
    I am in a cover band, we recorded a demo and video and spent more than we originally had in the band kitty. The singer fronted the $$$ ( he really caused the overage as he spent 3x as much time cutting vocals as we did music but anyway). Our drummer gets a job offer and has to relocate.
    The band pays back $50 a gig to the front man on higher paying gigs ( gigs that are more than $100 a man). The new drummer doesn't feel he should pay towards this expense.

    Our point is the demo/video is our promotional vehicle and has gotten us all our new work in the past 3 months. We have $350 left to pay, certainly not high finance. It costs a mere $12.50 a gig/ per player.

    Are we being unreasonable?
  2. PostApocalypso


    May 21, 2010
    The Canada
    $12.50 isn't worth an argument. It would be awfully stupid to have to audition new drummers for $12.50. It would be awfully stupid to give up $100/gig for $12.50.

    You've explained your stand, if he doesn't buy in, drop it. It's $4 a man, not worth the trouble. But I'd start looking for a new drummer now, if this guy gets too uptight over $12.50, I don't honestly think it will work out, especially if the rest of the band gets worked up for $4.

    In any group that has to share financially, you can't get worked up over nickles and dimes.
  3. bassguppy


    Jan 8, 2003
    Unreasonable?? Not really but I never would have asked in the first place. it's not a big sum of money, and the drummer could feel it's not "his" drumming so why should he donate to it although he does get a benefit from getting gigs.

    As for the singer taking longer to cut his vocal tracks that's just the way it goes sometimes. It's not easy being a vocalist in a studio. playing live is much more forgiving and you can get away with slight imperfections.
  4. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    This should have been discussed during auditions. And guys its not a total of 12.50, its 12.50 x 7 equals about $90. If I was the drummer I would feel a bit blindsided and wondered what else you didn't mention in the audition process.
  5. mid_life_crisis


    Jul 8, 2010
    If a demo disk is putting money in someone's pocket, they should pay their share of its cost.
  6. Sonicfrog


    Jan 4, 2008
    Fresno, CA
    If the cost was incurred before the new drummer joined the band, I would personally not expect him to have to pay. Those costs are not his responsibility. It's like meeting a new girl, becoming romantically involved, and then the girl suddenly demands that you pay half of her car payment. If the drummer is a good fit with the band, I recommend the original players find a way to absorb the cost and apologize for being jerks about the money.
  7. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    So the drummer is kinda benefiting from this, no?
  8. +1 Should have been handled during the audition. I'm not sure how you think it's fair to hire someone and then later say oh BTW I know you didn't have any input, nor were you involved in any way, but you owe the band money...
  9. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    Nothing wrong with him paying it, if he knew that was what he was walking into. Seriously, if you didn't tell him anything when he joined you shouldn't expect much.
  10. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    +1, again.
    As he was not there when the deal was originally made, unless he agreed to be part of this repayment deal when he was hired, he has NO legal responsibility whatsoever, no matter if he benefits or not.
  11. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    Doesn't matter. If he did not agree, or was not even asked to participate in this repayment when he was hired, he doesn't have to do squat.
  12. Jive.. he wasn't on it or involved with it.

    Financing stuff as a band is not brilliant.
  13. I can see both sides, actually, he is benefitting from the gigs derived from the demo. On the other hand, you guys should have mentioned that up front, instead of blindsiding him after he's joined.

    My first instinct was he is right to tell you guys to pound sand, but the fact is he IS benefitting from the work derived as a result of that.

    I would see if he's interested in a compromise, maybe pay half what you guys are. Really, the whole thing comes to $90? If the rest of you guys split that, its not going to be much if you guys eat it between 3-4 other guys, whatever you have in the band.

    If he's a good drummer, no sense losing him over it. Especially since replacing him with someone who DOES think they ought to pay you back for the studio work he's not part of is going to be an awfully difficult process. I'll bet 90% of the drummers out there would refuse also, so might as well keep the best drummer who won't pay, which is the one you have now...

  14. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Yes, the demo gets you gigs. But ... the drummer signed on to a working band ... the gigs were part of the package he was offered and accepted, and the payout for the demo was not. I'd drop it if you want to keep him.
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Since the recording is a promotional tool and the drummer benefits, seems to me that he should contribute something.

    However, expecting him to pay and telling him after he's joined the group is what I call "after the fact B.S.". Makes him out to be the "bad guy" when he had nothing to do with the original situation. Not a good move to pull on the new guy.

    I'd drop it. Cover it among the other guys and move on.

    I suggest you guys not pull crap like that anymore. If it was me, I'd be pretty close to walking out the door or most likely, out the door. That's an amateur business move. $12.50/gig. Sheesh. Cover it yourself and be quiet.
  16. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Actually, it's the old drummer that owes the money. He's the one that agreed to this deal and just b/c he didn't stick around for the 'benefit' shouldn't matter. The new drummer has no obligation to pay this. Sure, he's getting the 'benefit' of the promotion tool (if it really is the reason the band is getting gigs) but the band is getting the 'benefit' of having a drummer to fulfill those gigs where the original drummer has bailed.

    If the promo video and demo had been completely paid for before this drummer joined the band, would you expect him to reimburse the original drummer b/c he is no longer getting the 'benefit'? I don't think so.
  17. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    The new guy didn't get any input on that demo. I'd say no.
  18. JulienJeff


    Mar 1, 2009
    we just took a new second guitarist in the band. he joined after we recorded our demo. We feel unreasonable to ask him to pay for it. But he said he will help promoting and send out demos (and he proposes to pay his share of shipping costs)...
    That seems a reasonable approach.
  19. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Central Florida
    I see both sides of the argument that why I ask for some opinions. Live and learn, it was something that probably should have been explained during audition but honestly none of us thought about it. My others bands have always been pay as you go and
    in the future, I will probably go with this or ... the bandleader pays all expenses and treats the bandmates like employees but not sure that would work on a low budget scale.
  20. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    It's not the amount of money, it's the principle. It is not right to incur a debt and then expect someone not involved in creating the debt to pay.

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