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Need some important advice.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ParadigmBass, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. I'm have a bit of an issue that I could use some TB advice on.

    I'm 19, work as a manager at Pizza Hut, live on my own and make enough money to have about $250 extra each month after bills. I don't have as much money in the bank as I should. I've been in my band "Intersecting Horizons" for over 2 years and we are a lot more serious about what we do than people think. I am very dedicated to this band. We have album recording dates set up for early January with a cost of around 2 grand a piece (3 members in the band.) We feel that we need an album out as soon as we can get one, and we have one ready. We all want this to be our career more than anything.

    Our guitarist/vocalist/leader of the band works two jobs, lives at home and is hellbent on getting this album out. He writes most of the material and makes most of the decisions of the band. I told him that I don't think I can get him 2000 bucks in 3 months; so he told me that I don't care about the band and that i'm not willing to work hard enough to make it happen. He threatened to kick me out of the band if I dont move back in with my parents and pick up another job and make the money.

    The bottom line is this:
    1. Do you all think that we should take the risk with all this money to try and make this our career? Should we even make this album now? Please check out our music on the link in my signature and tell me what you think.

    2. Is the guitarist/leader of our band crazy? Or just extremely motivated and passionate at what he does?
  2. It would be a disadvantage to him if he were to kick you out, so I wouldn't worry so much about that.

    If you are dead set about your music and think that it can sell then I'd do whatever I can to get the album out, but is 6000 really gonna be worth it?

    Sorry I'm not much help
  3. Yeah, I mean I'm not worried about him kicking me out if he wants it so bad, but I dont want to be threatened all the time and thought of as a weak link in the band.

    I know that record companies pay for the cost of albums if you're signed, but I have no comparison of what is a good cost of making an album if you're independent and doing this all solo. I don't know if 6,000 is going to be worth it, and thats part of the issue. The studio seems very nice and professional and they said that everything is basically in our hands (since we're not signed). It still seems like a lot anyways.

    This is the studio: http://www.myspace.com/spiderstudiosohio
  4. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    Band members come and go. No one has to be a jerk in this situation but you have to do what's going to make you happy. IF you somehow did get the money together in time your guitarist will pull something like this again in the future. If All band members cant be repectful, reasonable and honestly care about each other's well being, the band won't last long anyway.
    I say do what you can but don't change your entire life to please 1 band member......Is he willing to make changes for you? Just enjoy playing and giging and be a good team player. Who knows, if he kicks you out maybe another member or 2 will want to stick with you instead of him.
  5. low-endz


    Dec 18, 2007
    Miami, FL.
    I would not worry about it. It seems like the lead sinqer went ahead with the $6k investment without really thinking it through with the rest of the band.
    Its going to be hard for him to replace you with a new bassist who's willing to put down $2000 for songs he/she had no input in, evenso the new basssist would need time to add thier own version of your basslines.
    No worries man, just try to have a civil band meeting to resolve this $$$$ issue.
  6. ByF


    May 19, 2009
    I think it's a risky business decision to spend that much of your own money (which you don't even have) on the chance that it will pay off. A band is a business; if it doesn't have money to invest, the band needs to earn the money or borrow it. What is your business arrangement? You give him $2k, and you get what? 1/3 of the writing credit, the profits on sales, what? What if you record with this guy and then he decides he wants another bass player to tour with him? Do you get your money back? You're not in a good financial situation to be giving away that much money without some agreement as to what you get for the money.

    Tell the guy that when he can book enough gigs to net $6k, you'll be ready to go into the studio. Set up a band bank account, and put the gig money into it. Use the gigs to perfect the songs, so you're not learning them in the studio.

    If THE BAND is going to pay that much money to record, THE BAND should earn that much money to pay for it first. Or the band should sign a contract and borrow the money as a business.

    Just my opinion.

  7. they loan you the money which then comes out of your royalties,as many threads have stated......but there are bills to pay and realities that a guy living at home does not have..........i would just tell him firmly and in front of all the guys "i am just as much part of this project as you,but i have bills to pay........keep it up and you won't have to fire me".......
  8. Musky


    Nov 5, 2005
    $6000 for an album is a lot of cash to stump up, plus more if you're thinking about a physical release.

    I think you've got to step back as a band and consider why you want to release an album at this stage. Is it going to further your career or just leave a large hole in your bank balance? With all due respect, from your various band pages it doesn't look like you've got the fans to justify the investment at the moment - it's worth bearing in mind that some three quarters of titles available for download are never bought by anybody. I noticed some references to an EP you've recorded but didn't spot anywhere selling it.

    There's much better promotional activity you could be do right now that will cost you very little, and even drafting in professionals to work on some areas could cost you much less than $6k. Then you might be in a position to recoup that kind of outlay on a recording.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Let me tell you what my gut response would be: The bandleader is asking you to take a large financial risk, with no guarantees, and only a nebulous idea of how it would benefit you. One of the biggest risks for a small business (such as I operate) is inventory. If something happens to my business, my inventory suddenly becomes worthless, and so I consider it to be an at-risk investment.

    I estimate it would take ~ 200 gigs to break even on this project, based on selling ~ 5 units per gig. This means real gigs, and not multi-band bills where you play for an hour in front of your friends. There are not enough potential fans in your locale to buy your entire inventory of albums, so you won't see the revenue until you hit the road.

    Meanwhile, the risk is that the band breaks up, in which case you are left with boxes of albums under your bed, with no band to sell them. The value would be slightly higher for whoever "owns" the band, because they could continue to sell the albums even after a change of personnel. And you're 19, so guess how likely it is that the band will break up.

    The good thing is that you are getting an early experience with an aspect of the music business, which is that there are lots of people out there telling you that you just need to spend $$$ in order to boost your career, at no risk to themselves. The studio gets all of its money up-front, so their risk is zero. The bandleader gets the pleasure of recording in a professional studio at your expense.

    I would counter-propose this: Offer to play bass for the recording, and license the bandleader to make 1000 copies. You retain joint ownership of the copyrights on all of the tunes, and pay nothing. The bandleader can collect 100% of the profit on selling the albums. If he runs out of copies, the whole deal gets re-negotiated. You retain the right to use the recording to promote yourself as a bassist. All of this is agreed upon in writing.

    This might sound like a sweet deal for the bandleader, but really he is unlikely to recover his investment. In all my years of bass playing, I have never regretted turning down any opportunity to invest in a band project. At age 19, I would focus more on building your own abilities and reputation as a bassist, rather than putting too much stock into a band. Your best chance of advancing your own career is by making yourself the best and most versatile bassist that you can be, and then simply joining an established band.
  10. Good advice. I did exactly this. Guess what? Nothing came of it, the band broke up, and the leader has boxes of CD's under his bed. Unfortunately there is a 99% probability that this is what will happen with your band.
  11. I'm 100% with this. A successful band requires MUCH MORE than musicianship and material. It is a business, and money foolishly invested is money wasted.

    What's the plan to recover the $6k investment? If it's selling CDs, you must also recover the cost of duplicating and packaging the CDs. So now it's more like $7000.

    What's the -realistic- plan for selling the CDs? For some bands, that might be selling 1-10 CDs per show. It will be a LONG, LONG, LONG road back to $7000 if that's the plan.

    In order to move more CDs (and protect your investment) you should step up the promotion - buy ad space for your gigs, buy fliers, get the CD reviewed in the press. Now you're up to $8,000, but in a better position.

    (I'm pointing all of this out so that when you hear, "Dudes, it's just $6k. We can sell 500 CDs for $12 and break even!" you will immediately see the red flags. This is dreaming, not business planning.)

    I wish you wisdom and the best of luck. Personally, I would never invest money in a business without a business plan. If they threaten to kick you out because you won't invest in a mis-managed business, that's just another reason why you should keep your money.

    Instead of having a conversation about "who needs to put in $2000," try having a conversation about "what is the complete business plan to make this CD happen?" Get a budget on paper for duplication, packaging, some plan in place to promote it, etc., etc. Then you'll have an idea how much it will REALLY cost, and you'll have a roadmap to making it successful.
  12. ^ This.

    NO ONE is going to threaten me, and tell me where to live, and how to spend MY money, in order to finance HIS dream.
  13. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    First off, congrats on being able to live by yourself at 19. I think that alone is an amazing accomplishment that most kids these days couldn`t handle.

    Second, don`t try to let the guitarist force the band to get the record out. It might in a sense be "his band", but it`s a MUTUAL financial risk. Since you guys have no input on the music or direction of the band apparently, why isn`t he paying to produce the album all by himself? If he`s willing to kick you out over something that stupid then yes, he is #$%#ing crazy. If the state of the band is this rocky before you`ve even released the thing, I would say you`re taking a big chance.

    Third, $6,000?! I know a few bands in the Memphis/Nashville region who`ve recorded some very good sounding full-length CD`s for(give or take) 2. This included recording, engineering, mastering, and printing. May I suggest you guys shop around for other possible places to record. Also, go in knowing all the songs 100% perfectly. Studio time is NOT time to work stuff out.

    My suggestion, talk to the drummer and see where he stands. If he feels the same then talk to the guitarist and tell him that you guys are dedicated, but that there needs to be some serious planning going on before anything happens. $2,000 is a lot of money for guys your age and I think you`re getting screwed on that deal by the guys who said they`ll record you. If you both do this, the guitarist WILL have to change his mind since he can`t fire both of you.
  14. WARNING; DANGER William Robinson. I went to your bands my-space, and Mr. Tyree is already advertising the forthcoming album. Heck he has already named it. Out early 2010

    Talk about putting the cart before the horse... You ain't even recorded it yet, and he is acting like it is in post production.
  15. Thanks for the advice everybody, I think I've realized that it's more delusion with him than passion.

    I'll talk to him about an alternative plan. It'd probably be smarter to go professionally record an EP of our best material for much cheaper to try and get us signed through that. Or if he wants it his way, he's paying for the majority and taking most of the risk, not me.
  16. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    Theres no need for an unsigned band to pay that much anymore for recording. Just record yourself.
  17. We did record ourself. "Challenged" and "Suspending a Memory" (and some others that aren't on the myspace) were self recorded and were nowhere near our expectations for quality. We've recorded with two studios and prefer it that way.

    Plus we have no idea what makes a high quality self recording. :meh:
  18. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Lots of great advise ...please follow it! My nephew fell into a trap like this several years ago and broke his @ss to come up with funds for his decent punk bands breakout CD. Even thou the band had some small backing the budget was way to big for a local band and they bought merch, T-shirts,stickers etc to promote..allot of money. The CD was good but what kid has the money to buy so they sat on boxes of them. Not long after this the band broke up and it was all for not and all the money was a waste.

    Take a small to decent recording budget. Work with it and find a studio who will work with it. Put out the best album you can. Thisway to can recover expenses quicker. My band is all working men (professional fields) and we had a budget for our EP and did small runs. We will spend more this time with the next CD but gig money is saved and pays for 75% of the costs. If you want to do this without going into your pockets get out and gig and raise the money. Be careful of falling into this trap.
  19. That's a big expenditure given the state of the economy. CD's are not exactly cutting edge technology and download cards are much cheaper. You're absolutely right that the singer is more delusional than dedicated. Don't take his threats...if bullying him works for him once, he will keep using that tactic. He expects you guys to finance his delusions and you're flat out nuts if you buy into it.
  20. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    The conversation should have ended at moving back in with your parents. Seriously, someone telling you where you should live is just over the boundary.

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