Mgmt and "Record" deals for small time acts?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by grisezd, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    I've just gotten back in to playing out after a long break. Suddenly I'm finding cover bands in my area are signed to "managers", "talent agents", and "record companies" that I've never heard of. These acts are local, small, often in search of bandmates, and of a wide variety of levels of talent. I'm not seeing that these managers are doing much for the bands in terms of bookings or assistance with keeping a band together. Some seem to be "grooming" bands for the "big time". I don't know the financial deals behind these, but I'm sure the band is laying out cash in some way.

    Is this a growing trend? Is it the new vanity press? How can I cash in on it? (kidding, maybe)
  2. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    My home town had a "manager" who was hooked up with some of the more pompous kids who were descent musicians but had no Idea that music was a business. She basically handled getting the band paid, and booking shows for a 20% cut. I did the same thing for my band for the good of my band and barely did any work for it. typically if your small town, small time, you don't need a manager.
  3. Financial vampires feeding on the gullible and desperately hopeful...

    You can get in on it yourself easily enough.

    Register an important sounding name. Mega-Stardom-Unlimited-We-Discovered-The-Beatles-You-Will-Be-Rich Music Co. or similar. Put an ad in the local music press, offering to put bands' tracks on a sampler CD that will be sent out to "important people and companies in the music industry" for 50 bucks. Or whatever price you think the market will bear.

    Make sure you state something like all tracks will be carefully appraised to see if they're good enough, and that only successful candidates will be contacted for inclusion. Of course, any band that can cough up the bucks will qualify to be included. If you're lucky, some of the more gullible/desperate acts might even offer you a bribe to ensure selection.

    They send you their mastered track, you get 20 tracks from 20 bands and spend a few nights burning CD's at home on your computer, send 'em out to various people whose details you can get from industry publications, and their receptionist throws 'em in the trash with all the other unsolicited demo CD's as soon as they arrive.

    If you're clever, you make sure that at no time do you categorically state how many you will send out. This is where the phrase "up to" comes in handy. As in "The number varies all the time as personnel in the big companies change; it could sent out to up to 10,000 people". Obviously "up to" also includes the number zero...

    If they want a copy of the CD, throw around words like "confidentiality", "unreleased material by other bands", etc.

    You've legally done what you promised to do. Congratulations; you're now a freelance talent scout!


    20 x 50 bucks = $1000


    Your initial ad
    A spindle of blank CD's
    Your time in burning copies (depending on how many you promise to send out)

  4. BassAlchemy


    Nov 2, 2011
    I wish my band had a manager or a sponsor. We are currently tackling that step caise we really need one. We have been getting offers to play and tour but the reality is right now we can't pay for a plane ticket to go to the US. :-(
  5. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    a manager will only go for you if they are certain they'd make money.

    that goes for everyone.

    if your band doesnt make money ... or has audiences that really do not have much disposable income, be suspicious of anyone wanting to "manage" you
  6. BassAlchemy


    Nov 2, 2011
    Actually we did not even think about that kind of stuff until recently. Its strange really, because of the internet and the ability it gives the unsigned groups to release music things happen and music spreads. Its crazy the kind of things that happen and the places your music travels. I always read people saying that people in the music industry and labels don't check or read the online stuff. I can tell you that if they find something that in their opinion is worthy.. They contact you. Same as event/concert/tour organizers. But having a manager or someone in charge of it is crucial. That is the step im dealing with.
  7. Man, if only I didn't have a conscience. :)
  8. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Basically. The OP mentioned cover bands, which is just weird to me that cover groups are looking for management or representation, but I know it happens. In one of the areas my band is trying to book, there is one guy who runs booking for all the major clubs. If you want to play, you have to go through this guy, and he gets a cut of any show he books for you. He's got a list of bands that regularly play (including his own) and he gets a kickback from each one. Sounds great right? We've tried booking with him, but usually we get tossed a weeknight gig last minute. Sucks because it's a market we'd do well in, but he makes things easy for the clubs so they allow it to continue.
  9. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Start your own club with Hookers and BlackJack!
  10. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    You don't need a manager until running the business side becomes more than you can handle and still contribute creatively. If you don't know how to run your business, then by golly, learn. There are an unprecedented number of tools and services for every need -- TuneCore, Topspin Media, Root Music. And don't forget to register with your PRO and SoundExchange so you can license. While you're at it, file a DBA so you can collect both your mechanical and publishing.

    If you have no idea what any of that meant, you don't need a manager--you need to invest time in learning. Know this stuff so that when you do get a manager, they don't screw you.

    And the cut for booking should be 10 percent. You only get 20-25 if you were brian Epstein and found some kids in Liverpool.
  11. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    I've invested quite a bit of time in learning and I seriously have no idea what you mean. Would you mind explaining?

  12. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Then lie about it. ;)
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