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Rant- need advice too.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ebladeboi123, Aug 8, 2007.


  1. ebladeboi123

    ebladeboi123

    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Okay so, last night I was pretty mad, and I'm still pretty pissed tonight, so i thought I'd TB it up... Anywhere some backround info real quick.

    My band (young yes- composed of all 17 year olds) has been doing much better playing alot of shows, talking to so good people, talking about recording, player better shows you know. Doing alot of little things presumably right...

    Okay and just to convice you guys that we're not a typical HS band (we're decent kinda...) www.myspace.com/eclyptic we've got an every other week downtown in flats right on the river. We've got a buncha other gigs. Anyway rant time...


    So- basically we won a BOB competition (we do no condone competition in music btw) but we like prizes, especially recording time. So we won right- we win 20 hours recording. But the guy who threw the show was a local rec. label owner. He talked about thinking we could really sky rocket and he'd love to have us. We were so stoked- so we had him make up a contract and what have you. We have the contract on the line currently and lots of cold feet. Its a pretty decent deal. No song credits to him- its a 90-10 split his way till he breaks even then its 80-20 changing favor every 400 albums. He would put up any recording expenses and dist. expenses. Not bad 'eh? But its 3 years... A long long time for a buncha HS'ers.

    Fast forward a bit- I talk to singer (derik) at starbucks, he goes we shouldn't sign. I'm like okay- why not? He decides that he can do bigger an better things, and doesn't see us being together in three years. I don't think he realized that pissed me off big time. I've put the most work into this band, as most if not all bookings are done via me. All promotion- me. I have to make the demo's to give away. I have to give away the demos. I'm usually there first, and if I don't have work in the morning I'm there last. And on top of this, I consider myself a pretty decent player- allways listening to what he wants me to add to his songs, and really listening (or trying to)- yet still having an indepedent voice. I'm just mad he can't see us being together for three years, and thinks he's above this. Which is odd, since its about half of the music he's written.

    My question is what do I do from here. If he doesn't see us going anywhere why do I put anymore time and effort into this. No reason for me to network for hours or scower for shows, when in a year were caput. And some goes for recording- why should I go to long hours at a studio to play my tracks (usually 1 or 2 takes tops) and wait for everyone else, when I could be studying or working- or practicing (swimming or bass). Doesn't seem worth my time. I'm just curious where I should go from here. Right now my plan of attack is to talk to him and see why he's better than us. Ask if he's going on to better things to just move on (past me atleast) and be successful. He's a really great friend to me most of the time, and we've pretty much grown up together. It's my first and only band, and it's just sad to see it crumble (and it may be my best too which is sad to think its downhill from 17)

    If you guys read this- wow thanks,
    Danny
     
  2. xlows

    xlows

    Oct 21, 2006
    Minnesota
    I feel you (or as we like to say, I smell what you been steppin' in). Sometimes the best thing to do is to see what every member of the band thinks on an individual basis. If they all agree with your point of view, you can gang up on the guy who doesn't. That can be really uncomfortable, though, so I'd say weigh all of your options before jumping into anything. Derik for sure needs to hear what you think about all of this straight from you though.
     
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Because, once you do go kaput, *you* will have done all the networking. Everybody will know you personally. The singer will just be "the singer with that band". With your next band, you will already have those connections and things will be easier.
     
  4. This indeed.
    When I was in HS I was in several different bands (bassists were harder to come by then all o' them cool kids whot play guitar ;) . Just myself, another fellow my age, and a kid a year younger than us who played bass in the school jazz band ) so I had a bit of experience with all sorts of personalities.
    From what you've said, it sounds like Derek might have an ego going on. That's fine if you and your band mates can get him channelled in the right direction, but the biggest thing I've seen cause trouble for bands was people's egos.
    I played with a LOT of VERY talented kids in HS, and would you like to know how many really went on to be big on the local scene? Zero, none. I guess what I'm saying is that at your age and stage in life (at least from my experience), things can go by fast and priorities can change even faster.
    Maybe he's right, in a small sense; there's only one guy from HS that I still regularly jam with, but that's because we were fast friends before ever being in a band together (heck, we were friends before ever picking up an instrument).
    I dunno, maybe you could compromise with him and see if you could get this record label guy to cut you some slack on the contract duration, say, have him cut it down to a year and a half and see where you all stand at that time. maybe that would be enough to get derek on board, eh?
    Good luck with all of this. I really envy you, being in the stage of life you're at right now, cause it can be really exciting if you make it (which it sounds like you're doing a good job of so far).
    Just don't forget that life goes on after HS. Some kids have trouble seeing that (I know I did when I was that age). It sounds like you've made some great contacts and networks. Those are going to outlive your band if it does eventually break, so don't neglect those.
    Sorry for the ramble. It's 3 AM and I'm stuck in my office dealing with a minor employee crisis after only two hours of sleep. ugh.:spit:
    Again, good luck and keep up the good work.;)
     
  5. ebladeboi123

    ebladeboi123

    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Thanks guys, I know that there is more than just HS. Obviously college haha- but a big part of college is deciding what state to go in, if this band is still going I'm willing to go in. I'm sure no one knows of it- but if I get into Oberlin (ohio my current state) I would probably be the happiest man alive (great school even better music school as well) so that wouldn't be a problem. After that though my number 2 is in wisconsin (lawrence) and then in Indiana. So who knows I talked ot derik to today he seemed like he never thought he said anything. And he said the only reason he couldn't see us playing together was our drummers inablility to practice on his own time and show up on time. Kinda shady, but now I have to see if I can get him to want to sign. I think he finally understands that theres a buy out and as soon as we break even we can walk free of charge, with an album done...

    Good idea about shaving it down to 1.5-2 years too. Thanks for your insights. I'll keep networking and throwing my time into this then I guess...

    Dan
     
  6. i wouldnt do it.
     
  7. BWB

    BWB

    Aug 30, 2000
    Knoxville TN
    Note this advice also carries later on for club gigging too. If you were the guy getting gigs for the band at bars/clubs, when you move on to the "next" band, you're still the guy and it's going to make getting the next gig only that much easier -- been there.
     
  8. hunta

    hunta

    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    There's 2 different angles here. 1) Is this a good deal? 2) Should your band take it?

    On the first count, what do you know about record contracts? If you don't know much about them, you need to get a music lawyer or a lawyer familiar with contractual terms related to music to read it. If you don't, you have no idea what you're getting into here.

    You say that "no song credits to him", but does that mean your band retains full legal ownership of the material? You can have your band names on the song credits all you want, and he can still own the rights to the songs. Don't trust his word on it, get a lawyer.

    He is paying for recording expenses and distribution. Is that recoupable? Distribution through who? Are we talking national distribution? International? Local record stores? Maybe it sounds stupid but you need to know.

    There are a lot of other considerations with a record contract as well, and they are all worded in tricky ways using terms that you may think you know but probably don't. You said that he thinks you guys could sky rocket, what that says to me is one of two things. 1) Either he thinks you suck and he wants to screw you with a bad deal where you'll end up owing him money. or 2) He thinks you're awesome and have a lot of potential, and wants to screw you with a bad deal where he stands to make all the profits and you get next to nil (or end up owing him money). (or 3, he genuinely is a good dude and wants to help you out!!! I wouldn't hold my breath on this one)

    You can never be too careful with these things. Record contracts are deliberately worded to make it look like all your dreams are gonna come true, when really you will owe 2 limbs and your first born child to the company. It can be a great opportunity, or the worst decision you've ever made in your life. Once you're absolutely sure of what you're agreeing to, THEN you can decide if your band should take it.

    Record contracts are rarely a situation where the company is going to front all the costs for everything, and if the album doesn't sell then you're free to go with no debt. There are always strings attached.

    Good luck! :)
     
  9. ebladeboi123

    ebladeboi123

    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Thanks hunta for concern. While I have had no music lawyer look at it I've had my mother (went to wharton business school and is very familiar with business law). My moms boyfriend (went to Yale and ended up with a minor of some sort that somehow is related to law) and they seem to think its good.

    It's in big bold letters "We do not own any song, you own all your songs and everything in side them" I could find the exact words and tell you. His dist. is local and nothing huge. But nothing huge is better than nothing. And thats 1000 dollars or so we don't have to spend on duping cd's. The deal seems fair, and I don't see a buncha bands doing much better than 90 10 and then 20 80 switching every 400. I've talked to bands on his label. They seem to think he's a good dude. They've been with him for about 8 months now, and really think he's done a great job, one album in process one live album done. Check them out at www.myspace.com/winslowsoul really groov'n stuff.

    I've resumed gig duties I took a few days off haha. I just sent out emails to a buncha new clubs (I email first then call) and I'll call the existing contacts I have tomorow about october-november and decemember.

    Thanks guys,
    Danny


    And hunta- it says no where that we're respnosible for his debt. If in 3 years hes in the hole 3000 he's still in the hole. Sucks for him. We specifically went over it verbally and it is in the contract. The buy out is in place such that if we break up or feel theres a better deal we can indeed walk out. And if he's made a profit on us, we can walk at any time.
     

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