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#1
Hey Pit. Sorry if there is a section where this would be more appropriate but as the title says i've been in a band about 3 months and we have 3 small labels looking at us, all waiting to hear a new demo from us. We are a Christian groove metal band (i'm the bass player). So basically my question is...what can i expect to change if we do get picked up by a label?

What would a small independent label do for us? I know a lot of things would depend on whatever gets negotiated with who we sign with, but what are some general things that the label should do? Financial backing? Studio time? Help with paying for merch? I know it isn't a big deal to get signed to a small label but i see it as one step closer to actually having some success as a musician. Anyone have any experiences they could share about getting picked up by a label?

Also, is there we need to be careful about when we negotiate the signing so we won't get screwed?

Thanks for any advice/tips/experiences shared! if there is a more appropriate section for this i apologize. I didn't really see anywhere that it would really fit better.
#4
as a "christian groove metal" band (whatever in god's name that is) , don't get your hopes up.
#6
Basically, Ive been in a band that was signed for a while but then the label went bankrupt (probably from signing people like us.) and my adise to you is... keep the image that is you. Its easier to be you than to be what the label wants. Dont let the label push you around, remember, you are making them money so they want to keep you. Secondly, make sure they dont act for a large persentage of your earnings. We got screwed over with that. They asked for a crapload so when it came time to get a paycheck, I wouldve done better being a sound tech.

So to su this up:

be yourself.
be defined.
dont let them play you.
The Overflow+READ=zombies.

"if the individual has the right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny." -Benjamin R Tucker
#7
"why yes, i play christian music.... please hoes, one at a time!"

its true man, hairy people and people who play christian groove metal get ALL the bitches
#8
Haha i kinda expected some of the answers but thanks for the serious reply hiwaychild1. Can't really do anything about the women...i'm engaged :/
#10
"I don't record material that dudn't sell, Mr.Cash...and Gospel like that...dudn't sell"

I'm sorry don't mean to trash your genre but good luck. Consult with other bands on their label?
#11
Just wanna throw out a few Christian bands that have been successful...
August Burns Red
The Devil Wears Prada
Skillet
Red
Pillar

Once i started looking into it there are actually quite a few bands like us that have done pretty well. Also it's not like we just play "Christian" shows. I understand why everyone bashes it though. No big deal. I'll hit up some of the bands on the labels and talk to them.
#12
Christian GROOVE Metal
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#14
Indie labels aren't likely to screw you. They're after as much business as you are. Major labels are already rolling in it so they don't give a shit.
As for money..jobs. As many as you can physically work, and expect to be working while touring as you go.
Advertise for yourself, don't wait to get picked up for gigs or whatever...go find them yourself. Push your name out there, don't just stick it up and hope someone notices.
Studio time...get as much done as you can in as little time as you can. Speaks for itself, but so many young bands just expect to be able to go in and rip it in one take. It'll take you a few, but get it in logical steps. Record demos of tracks for your drummer to play over, and probably get the bassist to record at the same time. Then put guitars down, then vocals. Sit in with the mixing.
#16
So as a Christian Groove Metal band, do you just steal other Groove Metal songs and just put in stuff like love of God, Christ, and Jesus everywhere?
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#17
It's not going to change much, if not things will probably get worse. The label will likely give you guys money to record or whatever, but they'll want that money back, and most likely at the worst time possible.

I would wait it out as long as possible. At this point, a label wants to sign you because they see you as a quick profit. Anything they give you will be to their benefit, so you'll end up getting screwed over a lot of ways. Keep rejecting any offers until the label is literally begging you guys to sign, and giving you pretty much all control over what is in the contract. At that point, make sure you have a lawyer look over it for any loopholes that could screw you over, and if it looks good, then sign.
NOPE
#18
Quote by Horsedick.MPEG
So as a Christian Groove Metal band, do you just steal other Groove Metal songs and just put in stuff like love of God, Christ, and Jesus everywhere?

Cowboys from Heaven, amirite?
#19
I was stood with my band outside the studios last friday and the guy that lives upstairs came out for a doob or whatever he was smoking and he was talking a load of crap. But it turns out he's a session musician and he's toured all over Europe with a load of bands.

His biggest point was that you have to market all of your stuff, have a good facebook page etc up. He said you can't expect labels to pay for everything for you, they'll give you some guidance, but you still have to put a lot of work in yourself. They'll help you get your tracks out there and possibly sit in on production, but they won't even look at you guys if you're not putting the work in yourself.

He said to check the contract, and sort out all your credits. He was going on about PRS and some other type of credit. He was also saying about giving each of your tracks writing credits and performing credits. He said the main thing to do is cover yourself for any law suits etc. It can be quite a complicated business, and that's ultimately what it is... business.

He also went on about the fact that everyone will be speaking German by the end of the month, but I'm not sure what that was about.
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Last edited by maiden_man_666 at Nov 24, 2011,
#21
Quote by shecter guy
. We are a Christian groove metal band (i'm the bass player).


What is this?
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#22
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#23
Quote by JohnnyGenzale
What is this?

Groovy god music, man

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Flood

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Ha ha love you to dude ;-)

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#24
Quote by shredibanez24
Groovy god music, man




Well it has God in it. It must be good.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#25
haha no, we don't just put God and Jesus in existing songs. They shot down that idea :P

The band has been around about 4 years but they've gone through a few line up changes so they've started over a few times. I know a few things about the what goes on during a signing process (took several music industry courses in college) so i know what to generally look for. I've also had several people tell me the same thing about having it looked at by a lawyer.

I call it groove metal simply for lack of a better term. We try to avoid writing heavy material for the sake of being heavy. I mainly came here to ask because i've been in a few bands before but most never made it past a couple party gigs that didn't pay. We've been doing our own advertising, trying to reach out to other similar bands and find people to play shows with. Our singer has been at this for awhile so it's not like we're sitting around waiting for a big break. Again, thank you for the few serious comments on here.
#26
Quote by shecter guy
haha no, we don't just put God and Jesus in existing songs. They shot down that idea :P

The band has been around about 4 years but they've gone through a few line up changes so they've started over a few times. I know a few things about the what goes on during a signing process (took several music industry courses in college) so i know what to generally look for. I've also had several people tell me the same thing about having it looked at by a lawyer.

I call it groove metal simply for lack of a better term. We try to avoid writing heavy material for the sake of being heavy. I mainly came here to ask because i've been in a few bands before but most never made it past a couple party gigs that didn't pay. We've been doing our own advertising, trying to reach out to other similar bands and find people to play shows with. Our singer has been at this for awhile so it's not like we're sitting around waiting for a big break. Again, thank you for the few serious comments on here.


Is Jesus your frontman? If so, he's always been a bully but I think he'll be mad if you kick him to be honest.

sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#28
Quote by shecter guy
haha no, we don't just put God and Jesus in existing songs. They shot down that idea :P

The band has been around about 4 years but they've gone through a few line up changes so they've started over a few times. I know a few things about the what goes on during a signing process (took several music industry courses in college) so i know what to generally look for. I've also had several people tell me the same thing about having it looked at by a lawyer.

I call it groove metal simply for lack of a better term. We try to avoid writing heavy material for the sake of being heavy. I mainly came here to ask because i've been in a few bands before but most never made it past a couple party gigs that didn't pay. We've been doing our own advertising, trying to reach out to other similar bands and find people to play shows with. Our singer has been at this for awhile so it's not like we're sitting around waiting for a big break. Again, thank you for the few serious comments on here.

I would just continue what you're already doing to promote yourselves in addition to this deal you might be getting. That way if it doesn't work out with the label, you can always fall back on what you cats have been doing for yourselves all along, and obviously it seems to be working out. Just play it safe and make sure you understand everything the label plans to do. Good luck with everything though man
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#29
OHHHHHH COME ON!

Under the lights where we stand tall
Nobody touches us at all
Come down, set out, spread love within, without

Well we're gonna give what's yours to have
Spread the word throughout the land
They say good guys wear robes
We're tagged and can't turn back

YOU SEE US COMIN' AND YOU ALL TOGETHER RUN FOR COVER

We're taking over this town
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#30
Quote by Holy Katana
Cowboys from Heaven, amirite?

When I hovered over the thread and saw "Christian Groove Metal band" I came in here just to post that. You have no idea how much I love you right now man.
#31
I appreciate the serious answers, and even the joke ones. Pretty sure Jesus would be a Les Paul guy though :P So basically this
-Don't expect anything to be handed to us
-Read everything twice and still have it checked by a lawyer
-Don't expect instant success or to get rich
-Cover our butts so we can't be sued
-Keep trying to make connections
-Negotiate to get the best possible deal
-Don't suck

I think that kinda covers it? haha If anyone has any experiences from working out the whole process of getting signed, feel free. Always happy to learn from someone that has been in the same position as me before.
#32
Quote by shecter guy
We are a Christian groove metal band (i'm the bass player).


and you're getting signed? there's no justice in the world.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#33
where can i hear some of this christian groove metal? edit: woo same join month/year!

281-330-8004, that's my cell phone number, hit me up on the low
Last edited by moscaespañol at Nov 24, 2011,
#34
You can look us up on facebook, but i highly suggest you wait until we get out current demo up that we are working on. There are a few rough demos up from the old band but the quality is....bad. Guitars sound like he was using a cheap multi-effects pedal for his distortion. We also have a new singer now. Our new stuff should be higher quality.

Haha go us! ^^
#35
Dude, small labels are just as capable as big labels of screwing you. Moreover, you are likely to have more trouble getting a correct accounting of royalties from a small label for three reasons:

1. Distributors often put off paying the minor indies in order to pay the major indies first. In other words, the big dogs always get paid first and even then some of them have to wait for their money. Also, distributors go out of business all the time, which means that they end up in bankruptcy court, which also means that if you end up with anything at all it will be pennies on the dollar.

2. Indie labels are not attractive lawsuit targets unless they have had a lot of success (think Sub Pop) and you may have trouble getting an entertainment lawyer to take your case for that reason if you think your label has defrauded you.

3. The economy sucks. Your label could go belly up literally at any time, which means you end up in the bankruptcy chain and you will get only pennies on the dollar for albums you sold if you get anything at all.

4. Yes, you have a "label," but if they don't have an advertising/tour promotion budget for you signing with them and won't contractually commit to spending a minimum amount on you it isn't worth it. Not only that, but what will happen if you get picked up by a major is that the indie is going to want not just an upfront fee from the major (which may be recoupable against your royalties, btw, depending on your contract), but points on either the record currently in the supply chain, the next one or all of them.

Things to look out for: cross-collateralization: this basically forces artists into the musical equivalent of sharecropping. This ensures that you will have to sell perhaps as many as 250,000 albums before you see penny one. You do not want cross-collateralization in your contract, especially with an indie label.

When money gets involved people get weird. Since you guys are a Christian band, the indie people will probably spout a lot of crap about Christian brotherhood and doing the work of the lord, which is just fancy hustler's words for they will screw you to the end of the earth. Christian businesspeople always sell out their supposed values for money. Always have, always will. And so will members of any other religious sect.

Do not sign a 360 deal. That is, giving your label part of your merch sales. If your label wants this and is adamant about it, walk away because they are intent on screwing you.

Also, demand ownership of all of your publishing and the rights to the masters after a short period of time (five years, say). Also, demand that if the label goes out of business you get full ownership of all masters and publishing. DO NOT GIVE UP ANY OF YOUR PUBLISHING!

One other thing: too many musicians just are not educated about the business and too many are also just generally lazy. They want the label to be their mom and dad. As a result, the label uses this to give you a right anal raping.

Try to work out a partnership deal with the label whereby you get paid half of the wholesale price for each unit sold PERIOD. For example, a $10 retail price album is usually wholesaled for about $6 to the stores. So you want $3 of that. Absent an indie having a large advertising budget that they will spend on me, I wouldn't sign with them otherwise unless they are willing to enter into a partnership deal like the one I outlined with no cross-collateralization. You tell them you expect them to invest in you and if they're not willing to take the risk then you guys aren't interested.

Remember that verbal promises are WORTHLESS. Get all promises in writing. If they won't put it in writing the promise should be considered bullsh*t.

Finally, get a good entertainment law attorney. His retainer will seem like a lot in the beginning, but it will likely be one of the best investments you can make if you're hellbent into entering into a contract with a label.
#37
What makes you a Christian groove metal band? Are all of your songs about Christ? Or just the majority? You have a small target audience. Christians that like groove metal. My first idea is to stop writing songs about Christ. My second idea is to make sure your metal has groove, if bootsy Collins can have sex to it then you know its groovy. Lastly my third idea is to think of a stage act that makes you more original than all the other Christian groove metal bands. Ie on stage have Jesus being crucified and have like a gwar thing goin on.
#38
You should be a Gnostic groove metal band instead.

Although I guess that would be sorta like a heavier version of Tool without the proggy parts.
#39
Who are your main christian groove metal influences? Or are you pioneers of the sub-subgenre?
#40
I recently discovered that this band is Christian. Please be better.


OT: Expect very little on the part of the label, but you will have better luck securing endorsement deals if you can put a label on your application.
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