Want a record deal? Think again...

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by TonyFlyingSquirrel, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Josh Lawson and MorbidTravis like this.
  2. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    Knowing some people that seem more than eager to jump into the trench that Albini describes, the real tragedy is that for people getting into that situation, their naivete is equal only to their belief that- even knowing all that crap- it will most certainly never happen to them that way... oh yes, they'll be far too successful to be screwed-over.
     
  3. eleven59

    eleven59 None shall pass. Contributor

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    That's why I'd be going with a small, non-major label, or no label at all.

    I'm in a bit of an advantage as I've taken classes in music business and know the inner workings of a record contract/label. As a result, none of that was news to me.

    The best bet these days is to pay for your own recording (or do it yourself if you're skilled enough) and sign a distribution deal, if anything.
     
  4. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    That's my plan on both counts... small label or no label. Record myself, sell myself. Tours ehhh don't have time anyways.
     
  5. Xtremevillan

    Xtremevillan im leaving ss.org Contributor

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    If I do sign it may be with Willowtip...

    LOL IM SO FAR AWAY
     
  6. thedownside

    thedownside SS.org Regular

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    our band is going the same route. we're recording ourselves (well i'm stuck doing the recording), having a local studio mix and master it. then we'll sell it ourselves. small label assistance would be appreciated but thats about it. and yeah, i can't see us touring for more than a weekend at a time :D
     
  7. shadowlife

    shadowlife Contributor

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    So very, very true...
     
  8. Rick

    Rick ALL HAIL DJOD Forum MVP

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    Ouch.

    That was pretty eye opening.
     
  9. eleven59

    eleven59 None shall pass. Contributor

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    On the plus side, there's some really badass larger "indie" labels around Toronto area that apparently are pretty fair, and I wouldn't sign anything that would include screwing us around, and would result in getting on some amazing tours with some amazing bands.

    One can dream...:lol:
     
  10. Josh Lawson

    Josh Lawson Banned

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    That is truly chilling. Living the "high life" of a "rock star" is sure an expensive ride!!
     
  11. Ancestor

    Ancestor Contributor

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    Honestly, this was written some time ago. I think a lot of rules have changed. Anyone who is an obviously outstanding player has a much better chance of recognition than ever before.

    Hopefully, people will start to do their own business and keep all the money for themselves. Vai had a great interview to that effect.

    And besides, I would STILL do it! Ha! :/
     
  12. jacksonplayer

    jacksonplayer The Fusion Guy! Contributor

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    Yeah, I recall first seeing this article almost a decade ago. The big labels are taking fewer chances and signing fewer artists than they used to. Pretty much, the big labels are now only relevant if you are a generic teen pop artist, hip-hop diva, or one of those blow-dried fake country singers coming out of Nashville these days. Or if you have some kind of TV tie-in.

    The problem facing artists who self-release or do distribution deals is that they don't get any of the promo that the big labels do. Also, royalty advances are a form of indentured servitude, in a way, but they can also keep an artist going in the early days. Otherwise, it's strictly what you can do out of your own pocket. Since record sales are way down across the board and clubs are closing left and right (in the USA, at least), I think we're headed back to the really old days when being a musician was, by definition, a marginal, low-paying profession. The glory days of the big rock tours were probably nothing more than a blip on the radar, in the longer picture.
     
  13. Josh Lawson

    Josh Lawson Banned

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    Probably not such a bad thing, imo.
     
  14. jacksonplayer

    jacksonplayer The Fusion Guy! Contributor

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    I don't know. I'm old enough to remember the pre-MTV glory days of arena rock, and it was pretty amazing that even the mid-level bands that came through town could play to 10,000+ people. So much great music (and a lot of crap, too) got played before so many people--it was really an entire subculture that has largely disappeared, IMHO. Clubs are undoubtedly better places than sports arenas to see bands, but there was a lot of good stuff going on in the heyday of the arena tours and the LP. Music simply does not play that kind of cultural role anymore--it's a disposable product now, just a bunch of background noise for most people.

    On the other hand, it's a lot easier to get your own music out there for the handful of people who are interested.
     
  15. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass Deathly Chuuni

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    I've read that before. Terrible, but true.

    I agree that music isn't as important to the masses anymore, which doesn't help.
     
  16. Zepp88

    Zepp88 Arktanian Diplomat Contributor

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    I agree with you completely man, I'm too young to have even seen the "club" scenes in the 80's and 90's, I was just around to watch the many clubs and venues in my area close down and with it the scene is a shadow of what it once was.
     
  17. abyssalservant

    abyssalservant Ascaris

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    TOURS ARE LIFE
    I'd have to lose a lot more money on tour than I did even on my first tour to even THINK about regretting it. Up there with the best experiences of my life, filth and lack of money all the same.
     
  18. jacksonplayer

    jacksonplayer The Fusion Guy! Contributor

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    When I was growing up, kids largely defined themselves by the music they listened to. Regular kids--not musicians, not music junkies--went to concerts all the time, and it was a regular part of the social scene. Clubs have always played more to adults because of the minimum drinking age, but arena shows were for everybody. People *obsessed* over albums--reading all the liner notes, studying the covers etc.

    The amount of money that level of business generated allowed the music industry to hand out big money to bands, albeit on terrible terms. That's all gone now, and it was already starting to disappear when Albini wrote this article, though it wasn't as apparent then. MTV is really what started the whole process. It initially jumpstarted a lot of business in the '80s, but it had the side effect of making music more of a 'passive' experience like watching a sitcom. It killed a lot of the concert business overnight. And I believe the concert experience is where the 'soul' of music is.

    BTW, I hate to sound like an old man with all the "back in my day" stuff, but it helps to understand that the decline of the music business is a long-term thing and not solely related to downloads or video games.
     
  19. thedownside

    thedownside SS.org Regular

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    this is true, to there scale. but there are allot of options for a good artist to successfully market themselves without the big labels. especially with the options available on the net, you can cheaply/easily exposuse your music to allot of different people. while an artist that before might have gotten LARGE scale marketing hype from a label will not be able to get that kinda hype on there own, smaller bands that would never get the big push from a label now have allot of tools at there disposal to market themselves.
     
  20. jacksonplayer

    jacksonplayer The Fusion Guy! Contributor

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    That's very true. The problem is that there is no other form of promo that adequately replaces radio, which is the exclusive preserve of the major labels. With radio, you get to "push" music at new audiences, whereas most new forms of promo require the public to effectively search you out. Because of that, the potential return is not nearly as high, even though the resulting audience you can get is highly motivated.

    Pop music has broken up into a zillion small niches, none of which seem to have a large enough audience to provide a comfortable living for the artists, even without all of music industry bullshit. I don't know how all this will shake out, ultimately. It may be that the recordings become more of a 'bonus' than the primary item for sale. But how an artist makes a living like that (apart from already established artists), I have no idea.
     

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