Saturday, May 1, 2010

An interesting read for musicians/bands...

"Does Your Band Have What it Takes?"

By David Lowry

So many times I have a meeting with bands after a call from one individual in the band that is carrying the load. While this can work and has happened in the past with certain groups, it is certainly an attempt at swimming up stream for the band and not fair to the individual doing all the work. Unless the band is at a point in their career where they can afford a team of management, PR, Booking, legal, graphic design, web design and photography, they need to be able to handle the bulk of this on their own, with the exception of legal of course.

A band is team of individuals that hopefully are all on the same page as to what the bands vision and goals are. It is up to each individual to carry his or her own weight and not pile all the responsibility upon one person. There is usually one person who is the "leader" but hopefully the band works on an equal basis unless ownership dictates otherwise. Each person needs to have defined roles and responsibilities and do their best to live up to them. If any individual is not pulling their weight they are slowing the band down or putting them at a stand still in the career path the band has chosen. This is not fair to the band.

I recommend that the band have a meeting or two on just business and have everyone pick the jobs they can do best or have time for. Not everyone may be able to put in the same amount of time or money, but that isn't the point. It's about taking some of the responsibility and sharing it so it isn't overwhelming one person and falling through the cracks. Things that need to be done are booking, social media, growing the fan base, email campaigns, business plans, marketing plans, tour management, press releases, endorsements etc… There are so many things that need to happen for a band to have maximum impact and everyone needs to help out and do their share. If the band is not able to handle a certain portion such as writing a marketing plan, then they should seek out professional help with this particular item to help them get to the next level.

Band agreements are a great way to get everyone on the same page, explain the expectations, pay structure, touring expectations, per diem, royalties, band ownership and so on. It should be drawn up by a lawyer and signed by everyone. If any member of the band can't sign it or is unwilling, they are probably not the right person for the band. Everyone needs to be willing to put in as much as they can both time and money wise. It should not be the responsibility of just one person unless it's just their name on the band.

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