Need advice about labels

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DeeDeeEntwistle, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. A while back we signed with a small indie label. A little over a year ago we finished our debut album and have been playing around selling them and what not.

    We have been offered deals with "bigger" indie punk rock labels since then but passed on them out of respect to our label owner and friend. We have been working our asses off to get songs ready for a new album but cannot get the owner to let us start even on the pre-production for the new album.

    I understand he has a life too, and is very busy but when it comes down to it, even if its a small one it IS a business none the less and nothing is getting done sitting around doing nothing.

    my question is basically, what should we do? I've got 2 more band members constantly wanting me to see about recording when I know I can't because I can't get our producer to take initiative. I don't want to be blunt and seem to be a prick to him though because like I said he is busy and is our friend..

    Should we take up one of the bigger labels (who i know for a fact wanna record us now, and get us opening for big name bands) or stay and wait?

    And either way, how should I got about it?

    thanks in advance for any answers.
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'm confused. You said you signed with this small label. What does the contract say about termination? The terms of the contract dictate whether and when you can bail and go with another label, else you are in breach of contract.

    You talk of a producer and the owner of the label. Who's the problem with?
  3. sorry, there is no longer a contract that binds us to the first label.

    The contract was only for 1 album, the album is done... we can leave whenever.

    and the producer owns the label(same guy)

    sorry for the confusion.
  4. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    If he's doing nothing, then nothing's doing. You can't leave nothing. It doesn't make any sense to "stay with" this guy: he's not producing anything!
  5. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    It sounds like a "sorry but we have to move on" situation. It is so hard to get a band together, let alone a band that records albums. I mean, you have to work hard to make your band grow, you can just sit and wait because your friend is busy. If he is an adult he will understand it.
  6. He's not doing anything for you and you're not under any contract? Go ahead and record. Don't be a doormat for your "friend" or anyone else.
  7. Yes, inactive label, no contract, feel free to go somewhere else. This time find a label that is active, if possible over multiple years.
  8. Thank you for all of your post's.

    I just dont wanna be a dick cause he has done alot for us. but i'm getting what your all saying, we need to move on and he's not really helping right now

    thanks for the advice.
  9. Best to tell him straight what the problem is. He would understand, if not then it's a danger staying with his label, anyway.
  10. on one hand, as you said it's business. That means look out for #1. The label looks out for the label, the band looks out for the band. Being nice usually doesn't get you far, it gets you stepped on.

    On the other hand, diplomatically explaining to the guy what you feel the problem is, and discussing how to resolve it, is also a good route. If he gets all pissy, then you don't need him. If he cordially responds that he'll try harder, great. If he cordially responds he's doing all he can, then he'll understand if you look elsewhere.
  11. yes, I definitely think a big talk is in order.

    I guess stepping up into a bigger label is supposed to be what we're aiming for anyway right?

    thank you.
  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    The issue is as others stated above. Business is business. Friendship is friendship. If you plan on mixing the two, you need to be sure that hard business decisions don't affect the friendship, but that needs to be understood on both sides. Otherwise, don't mix the two else its a recipe for disaster.

    To be successful in business, you can't treat it as you would a friendship.

    To be successful in friendship, you can't treat it like a business.

    So, the the question is . . . are your band endevours a business?
  13. yea, I feel we gotta think of it as a business at least partly. I think every band is somewhat eventually business oriented.

    a lot to ponder for sure....
  14. you're not legally bound to your friend's label anymore. he's not jumping on the opportunity to snatch you again... so you're free! You have the full-house here.

    If a band is signed to a small label (even a friend) and they convince the label to let them sign with a major... the indie won't give; they'll sell you to the major (ie $50K)... which you have to make back in sales in the end anyway.