#1
so our band has been playing around our area for 6 months or so. probably 40-50 shows now at least. we have a decent following, we (think we) write good music, have a hour and a half set we have nailed down almost perfect, and after every show are swarmed with people telling us how much they enjoyed us, or have a great different sound than the normal local music. other bands love us, and love playing with us. we usually can pull $100-$150 a night, and have packed many of venues. i hope that didnt sound arrogant but ive been in this towns music scene for 5 years now and have only seen a very few select bands get the same treatment. we try to keep grounded, and are really in love with our music and playing it.

our problem is we're not the most organized bunch. i do 90% of the legwork, love doing it but theres more that still needs to be done. we all have the heart, but between work, practice, and playing shows(we've played 4, 5th tonight in the past 9 days) we dont have the time or energy to keep on top of the things that need to be done.

my question to the bands that have managers, when did you realize that you needed one? what would their role exactly entail? we're dead set on "trying" to take us to the next level. we're in the begining steps of recording a first album, and arnt giving up on this anytime soon as every moment we arnt rehearsing old songs or playing shows it seems we're writing new ones. we just had our first "practice" that bairly involved playing, and was more about where we are as a band, and what needs to be done.

help..please
#2
Off topic but... How the hell did you get so many shows? I'm envious we can only play shows every month because of the lame pay to play system we have in our city because of all the bad bands someone has to make a profit off them.
Referring to Victor Wooten
Quote by Nutter_101
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That's all I heard in that entire interview.

My Band:
http://www.myspace.com/closedfortonight
Last edited by AmpleSteak at Jan 14, 2009,
#3
Have you checked into the musician's union? I don't know much about it but I believe they arrange gigs too. Careful about a signing onto a manager though! Many young musicians/bands end up working dfor the manager instead of the other way around. YOu might do some research into standard contracts first and then look into finding a professional service vs going with some shady character who makes tons of promises.
Moving on.....
#4
I think the hardest part is trying to find the right person for the job; somebody who preferably is going to do it for the love of it at the beginning until things take off and has the right attitude towards your band. As far as timings concerd wait till you find that person. Dont get some useless person just because you deem its time to get a manager.
#5
Band managers are the key, I think, to big time success. It's best to ask other bands who manages them or maybe even an uncle, aunt, adult family friend (not a parent or brother or someone in your immediate family) who has business experience.
DALAI LAMA OF ZEPPELINISM

Quote by Kartman

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#7
Don't get a manager, get an agent instead.
Most of the work in running a band is in getting the gigs, which is what an agent does, and then takes a cut or percentage of the profits. The more he makes for himself, the more he makes for you. Tell a prospective agent how much you want to take home after a gig and he will do his best to get you that plus his own percentage.
Now, with someone else sorting all your gigs out, that leaves you free to concentrate on all the other little bits and pieces that a manager would normaly do (and charge you for doing) like arranging promotional items like t-shirts, or arranging recording sessions or interviews or other forms of publicity.
#8
My old band had a "manager", it didn't work out so well. He would tell us what to do the whole time, he thought he was pretty much a member of the band(like the guy from the Metallica documentary). He got us crap gigs and made us crap t-shirts and cds. We didn't ask him to do either of them. It was embarassing.

We couldn't get rid of him either because he was the drummers dad, so if we got rid of him we wouldn't have had a drummer anymore. We would get crap from the singer for getting gigs because it was supposed to be the "managers" job. But he never did it right. The only thing he could do was arrange practices, but we could have done that ourselves, it was a big mistake even getting him.

So my advice, don't get one unless you think you REALLY need one. In the end they WILL try to control you whether you like it or not. I realise my story is a pretty bad one but beware anyway, there will always be people that will try and **** you over. I second Slacker, get an agent if you have to.
#9
thanks for the replies, i guess an agent is closer to what we're looking for. this "person" would have 0 input on our musical creativity. and probably not even schedual practices as we still, after 6 or 7 months of being together, practice all the time and love doing it every moment of it. basically yes, we need someone to do the show finding, organizing press packages, helping break down/watch gear after shows so we can mingle and network, taking our merchandise ideas and turning them into products, and finding the best deals etc.


this would be preferably be a friend, or someone we know and trust very well. they would come on at first for free, and would have to work to make us more money than we are now in order to get a cut. we would want to bring them into the band "family". not hire them to be a worker. if we dont "grow" from them, and they do the work i currently do, thats not enough. this would be laid out ahead of time, and not give them false assumptions. their job would be to make us more money, then they get paid. not get paid for trying.


and to as how we got so many shows, we played every open mic we could find for a while. we networked with every band who gave us the time of day to talk. we would open for bands all the time and try like hell to out play them. the venue would usually ask us that night or get in touch with us the next day about setting up our own show. we always try to bring a crowd, and get people to have their "going downtown parties" at the bar we'd play at. we practiced practiced practiced(4-5 days a week at first when we only had 5 or 6 songs, just plkaying and playing them over and over) and got our music very tight so when we play live we know it, not kinda stumbling through it nervously hoping to get it right. we now have 12 or 13 songs finished with a handful on the back burner. we dont have to think about playing. then we got lucky and people liked what we did. bands love us, they love playing with us. we guilted our friends into showing up to EVERY show, gave them crap when they didnt. we made sure we brought a crowd with us, that way the bars thinks we have a bigger following than we did at the time.
Last edited by chris024 at Jan 15, 2009,
#10
That 'to-do' list sounds more like management territory to me. I manage our band, and I find that getting gigs is really only a small piece of the job. Okay... a medium-sized piece. I find the rest of it more overwhelming sometimes:
-keeping track of money
-keeping track of contacts and following up on communications
-web updates and web promotion
-show promotion
-making up fliers, posters, etc,
-arranging media exposure

It sounds like you might be in a similar boat. We're hobbyists, so we just do what we can with what we have, and I'm fairly up on the whole management thing, so I don't mind doing it.

That said... don't get a family person or a friend. Someone who really has no clue as to how it all works will end badly. Go with someone who does it for a living. Sure, they probably have a whole whack of other bands they are managing, but their contacts are often all ears when that manager phones. His/her name brings with it instant credibility. That manager can also get you on shows with some of those other bands.... and if it a good manager, there are probably some very good bands that you could get hooked up with.

There's a saying that a band manager is only as good as his Rolodex. This rings very, very true. If you find that you can present yourself to a manager like that and get their interest in working with you, then you are ready for a manager. Otherwise, they'll come back with a "call me when you...." In that case, (and if they don't get that far, press them to give you some direction on what they will need before they work with you), do what they say, and then follow up.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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#11
i guess you could say i manage the band now too.. i dont know, you made me think about trying to do this on our own for a little while longer then get a manager. good advice though, i never really thought about how a established manager would have connections, we kinda feed off other bands and use them as connections to get a "in" at a place, then once the place hears us, we usually always can book a show on our own after that.
#12
Quote by chris024
i guess you could say i manage the band now too.. i dont know, you made me think about trying to do this on our own for a little while longer then get a manager. good advice though, i never really thought about how a established manager would have connections, we kinda feed off other bands and use them as connections to get a "in" at a place, then once the place hears us, we usually always can book a show on our own after that.


Yea, that's the way we did it too, we played with much bigger bands than ourselves and we became friends with them (still are, going to see their show tomorrow actually, the lead guitarist from my old band set up a gig for them). Although we didn't have much of a fanbase we played to their fans and they seemed to really like us. So we got asked to play with them again, got asked to appear on the radio etc etc.

I think when your at the local band, level making little if any money, you don't need a manager.
#13
Quote by axemanchris
That 'to-do' list sounds more like management territory to me. I manage our band, and I find that getting gigs is really only a small piece of the job. Okay... a medium-sized piece. I find the rest of it more overwhelming sometimes:
-keeping track of money
-keeping track of contacts and following up on communications
-web updates and web promotion
-show promotion
-making up fliers, posters, etc,
-arranging media exposure.


You need to delegate mate.

Quote by axemanchris

It sounds like you might be in a similar boat. We're hobbyists, so we just do what we can with what we have, and I'm fairly up on the whole management thing, so I don't mind doing it.


This is the main point I feel. For you to be able to justify getting a full time manager, it really needs to be quite a bit more than a hobbyist band with far too much work for one person in the band to deal with and plenty of money coming in that needs handling.
Quote by axemanchris

That said... don't get a family person or a friend. Someone who really has no clue as to how it all works will end badly. Go with someone who does it for a living. Sure, they probably have a whole whack of other bands they are managing, but their contacts are often all ears when that manager phones. His/her name brings with it instant credibility. That manager can also get you on shows with some of those other bands.... and if it a good manager, there are probably some very good bands that you could get hooked up with.
There's a saying that a band manager is only as good as his Rolodex. This rings very, very true. If you find that you can present yourself to a manager like that and get their interest in working with you, then you are ready for a manager. Otherwise, they'll come back with a "call me when you...." In that case, (and if they don't get that far, press them to give you some direction on what they will need before they work with you), do what they say, and then follow up.

CT



Agreed, if you're gonna have a manager, then it might as well be someone who knows what they are doing and has the contacts to be very useful indeed to you
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Jan 16, 2009,