Need your opinion! Indie Label offer message to my band. Look over the message please

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Evil7, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. ZeroS1gnol

    ZeroS1gnol SS.org Regular

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    hmm

    I've heard small labels do it like this more often lately. Not so strange if you think about the music industry suffering under downloads.

    Apart from other points, I would certainly take this in consideration:
    -Do not ever give them rights over your merch and artwork designs
    -Same goes for your songs
    -Let them do the distribution for a negotiable percentage of the income
    -Be lenient towards recording costs, if the above is gained, you will make that money back yourself
    -You don't need a record label to find a booker.

    If I were you, I would 'shop' for a label. Smaller labels offering interest could be a sign of them starting up and being a bit oppertunist. I mean if they ask you, they probably see means to exploit the fact non-signed bands would probably do anything to get signed (not, you, this thread being the proof). Oh by the way, that doesn't mean you'll have to avoid small labels

    I'd say just try and set your own contract rules and go look for a record label that fits your bill specifically music-wise. Afterward you negotiate with them.
     
  2. Evil7

    Evil7 LowCrushingMetal

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    The "rep" also mentioned the Artwork would be "licensed" just so they can Promote with it......

    This part sounded fishy as well.. This would prevent us from using a logo ect down the road... Pay for design work then not be able to use it once the label is out of the picture.... The "rep" said its just for business / promotion purposes and they would never say we couldnt use art or logos down the road.. He only asks that we dont re use album art on another album.. BUt in my mind .. he can say what he wants.. the contracts says.. The label will own the license to the art work.
     
  3. ZeroS1gnol

    ZeroS1gnol SS.org Regular

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    Well, you'll also have to think about this: if you want to do a shirt with album art on it...you do not want them to own it.

    I know some guys who got screwed over by their old label selling shirts with their name on it after they quit on the label. Now that's just wrong.

    Perhaps it's hard bargaining, but for me a deal would be best like when you let them pay and give a percentage of the revenue in return. The idea is the revenues are going to be a lot bigger than the investment.
     
  4. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    As stated earlier, the terms of the contract seem to be such that the indie label is protecting themselves as a "stepping stone" to larger labels.

    It makes me wonder, though: in a day in age where people can record at home, have CDs produced, and upload tracks to be sold on iTunes, it seems that indie labels are probably threatened more than major labels. The whole "DIY w/a little help" arrangement in the past was probably more effective when that "little help" had more cash value to it (recording, pressing, distro) but the expenses are so much lower now.

    Here, the label offers a discount on recording and offers to do some legwork in exchange to the rights to your album for probably the remainder of your natural life. If you really think you have what it takes to make a name for yourself, sell a lot of music, and be profitable, it probably works out better to pay more out-of-pocket now.
     
  5. Evil7

    Evil7 LowCrushingMetal

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    We have only been a band for 6 months and have not even tried to do this on our own yet.
    I think anyone can DIY with the advise in this video... The end of the video has the advise on how to gain a large fan base and sell your music yourself online. I think im leaning towards not signing this contract. We have only been a band for 6 months and have not even tried to do this on our own yet.
     
  6. ZeroS1gnol

    ZeroS1gnol SS.org Regular

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    Well...you mention the band only exists for 6 months and I got to say, signing a contract in that phase sounds a bit premature to begin with.

    What is the situation with your band right now? Do you have an actual fanbase already? Do you perform often? Do you have quality recordings? Normally those are prerequisites for getting a deal. I can't imagine a "healthy" label signing a band that does not fulfill those requirements. Then again...I'm not aware of your specific situation.

    I strongly recommend trying to build up the above before trying to get a deal and believe me, it will require effort and lots and lots of time. But you probably know that already.

    Oh, and in case I missed it, I'd love to hear some of your music. Myspace link?
     
  7. Evil7

    Evil7 LowCrushingMetal

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    Link - www.myspace.com/spineextraction

    We dont have a large fan base yet and are just starting to hit the larger venues in our state.

    Our recordings are decent but not professional..

    I think this label just see's that in our short time togather we are getting good attention and pretty much sees that we are only going to get better as this project matures. We have also been asked to do an interview with a popular metal webzine out of the london area.. I dont think we are on a huge level out of the gate, and I think we need time to grow and mature.

    Its flattering, but i think we should hold out for a better deal and try to get our music more professionaly recorded and push it on itunes and amazon ourself do our own promoting for a while to see what we can do. We havent even made presskits to shop around to labels.
     
  8. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko www.markmichell.com

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    Oh, well I misunderstood. Technically that isn't THAT bad, but after reading the part about you only being around for 6 months and not trying the DIY approach yet, I'd definitely do that for a year or two first, then you can get a much bigger/more established label. Plus the DIY part is pretty fun and rewarding.
     
  9. Antenna

    Antenna Oh God Damnit!

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    Evil7 Dude if you cats want to record and don't want to deal with some fishy ass sounding label I may be able to help yall with some quality recording in some way. I'm not too too far away from yall. Either way that shit sounds like they'll have their hands in you guys back pockets. I'd be more than happy to help a ss.org member and fellow carolinian. PM me up if you want.
     
  10. slumcitysounds

    slumcitysounds Shred till your dead

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    IDK dude it def sounds like they're trying to make money, which obviously anyone in the music industry is, but I know first hand that if a label is really into you and wants to get you out there then they will foot the bill. I have a small independent label myself and never ask a band for money unless I don't see them being in it for the long haul. Anyway man , good luck with your endeavors and let me know if you guys are ever playing in the NY area.
     
  11. Evil7

    Evil7 LowCrushingMetal

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    How in line are the percentages and terms?
    The 25% off digital sales for 50years?
    The 5% off career sales?
    The license to sell / distribute the music / art for 50 years?

    Honestly, it sounds rather fucked up to me, but this is the first record contract I have ever looked over.
     
  12. DrunkyMunky

    DrunkyMunky Korn plzkthkxbai

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    It looks like the label is trading a lot of potential money for a little help now. If you grow they will make tons of money, specialy when you move to another label, if you don't go anywhere they still get some money from recording. I think I would go DIY with help from friends and their friends and maybe some fans will even help promote the band.

    And 6 months is nothing. You may go through some changes, you may even break up... do more stuff together, it can be fun and a good team exercise.
     
  13. Axel

    Axel SS.org Regular

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    Buying the book Everything you need to know about the music business (or something like that) will answer most of your questions.

    That's why you would write new and better songs for the bigger label ;)
     
  14. Razzy

    Razzy [10]

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    +1

    Would you really want to recycle old songs with a new label, for a new album? That's not that big of a deal to me, and really it's pretty standard.
     
  15. Inazone

    Inazone SS.org Regular

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    That whole "50 years" business seems really odd to me. My band's old label want rights to the songs on our album for 10 years, but we negotiated it down to five.

    As far as the percentages go, check out how much you'd pay in fees or royalty cuts by going with services like CD Baby or TuneCore. The label is going to have to pay those fees just like you would, so the issue is whether or not their cut of your digital sales would actually be higher than if you just paid the fees yourself.

    Was that cost of recording at their studio an estimate, or a flat project rate that they charge all their bands? I don't think you're going to get decent results anywhere for less than the half-rate they told you, and the full amount (incl. their 50%) would still come in on the low end of what most studios will end up costing for a full-length album. If they include mastering, that can amount to hundreds of dollars beyond the tracking and mixing.

    After the actual recording and mixing process, the biggest cost for most bands is CD replication, and while it's cheaper per CD to press a lot (1000+) that's only a good price if you can realistically sell 1000 CDs; 300 or 500 or whatever will cost more per unit, but the total investment up-front will be less. The label, on the other hand, might be willing to pay for 1000 CDs shared between them and the band, because they'll (hopefully) have access to more retail avenues than a band would alone, meaning it's more realistic for them to sell a lot of CDs.

    Discuss it with your bandmates and decide if any of those contract terms are deal-breakers. If so, try negotiating. If the label says no, you're not out anything, and you have all the time in the world to improve your position.
     
  16. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    That's surrendering some major rights. They can easily lay claim to the recording, but not the actual song (as long as you retain your copyright) -- That's why older bands will often re-record certain songs for "Best of" albums or the second "1st" album.

    This reads like they're requiring you to transfer the copyright to them. I wouldn't grumble regarding a clause that's in effect until they've recouped their costs, but 50 years seems way to long, especially with out any "due performance" escape clause. That to me is the greatest problem, there's no specific mention of each party's responsibilities, and how either party can terminate the agreement if the other doesn't live up to their side of the bargain.

    I'd request the actual contract you're expected to sign and review it with an attorney.

    Ray
     
  17. Evil7

    Evil7 LowCrushingMetal

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    We would have to pay all of our physical cd production, and i see no evidence they physicaly distrubuted any cd's to be sold. Even a band that says they are still waiting on their personal cds to be pressed ect.

    This label is a new label that seemed rather unprofessional choosing to have a meeting at a mexican resturant to go over a serious contract. Why not a studio?
    THe guy that talked with us looked like a thugish yo homeboy G that just got off the basketball court saying "word" often. Wearing basketball shorts and a long ass shirt. You can see shitty low quality tattoos.

    I dont see much of a chance to get any larger than we could ourselfs localy with a lot of hard work. So pay them to pay other people to to do what we can pay othe people to do for our selfs? lol You are still paying for it.. I sort of dont believe shit they say after they lied to us by saying "WE PAY HALF OF RECORDING" .. Then I learn they suck our itunes and other digital sales profits 100 percent untill they are recouped the other half" They lied to get us to meet them at a busy resturant asked for our info to have a contract written up with our names included to sign on the spot if we wish. It sounds / feels way to sketchy with Information at hand. The more I talk about it and research DIY... Why pay someone to take a cut for life unless its a Serious international Label / Marketing machine?

    The guy has offered to record us for the same recording price. No contract.
     

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