#1
I wanted to get others perspectives on how they handle the business side of their band. Stuff like booking shows, maintaining facebook, website etc, scheduling practices, scheduling recording time, doing pr and marketing, looking for new opportunities for the band. Here's the situation with my band. Me and my friend started jamming about 5 years ago and decided we would like to get a band going. Throughout those 5 years we went through a number of bass players, and a few singers, but were never able to get the whole package together long enough to really be productive or play a show. During this time we sort of shared duties on decision making, there was really no leader in the band. So after all this time we are left with me and my friend, and another friend playing bass around December. It is at this time that I finally decide I need to take the lead on these non musical matters. I find us a singer, set up the audition, and it goes well and he joins. So now we finally have a complete band. I finally get us to focus more and write some songs, during those past 5 years we had written 2 original songs, we now have 7. We finally do some recording, I went to classes to learn how to record, and I bought all the gear we need to record. I recorded and mixed our songs, and created our facebook and soundcloud and put the songs up there. I got us our first gig, and was able to get several others and develop relationships with promoters for future gigs. I am the one who posts updates on our facebook page. Did I mention we've been practicing at a place I provided for the last 5 years.

I'm not trying to sound like I'm the only one that matters but bottom line is I get stuff done. The other guys in the band I have to beg to help me with anything, and usually they don't give much effort. As for the music it is still of course made as a band and I have just as much say as everyone else. The problem is now my guitarist wants to "help" with these managerial decisions. I made another post about the band website, which is a disaster. He has terrible ideas and is talking to people and making decisions that are not good for the band. He also often jumps the gun on a lot of stuff because he gets too excited, such as telling everyone we have a show booked when its not confirmed yet.

We are having a band meeting this week where I want to lay everything out. From all the experiences in other bands I have been in, it is best when there is one clear cut person who handles the band management. If he starts making decisions and I start making decisions then we're gonna end up with a big mess. I really don't want to have to pull out the "this is my band" line but realistically it is my band. If it wasn't for me it would just be me and the guitarist playing cover songs in our living room.
#3
Be careful, you may have symptoms of early onset Portnoy Syndrome. Symptoms include being slightly anal about your band, not trusting your bandmates with duties, being one of the main contributers. If left untreated Portnoy Syndrome can turn nasty, with effects such as shitting and eating your bandmates and songs...literally, alienating yourself from your band and your fanbase and being a self centred douche.

While there may not be a cure at the minute, you are going the right road for treatment...talk to your bandmates tell them how you feel and dont quite when things dont go your way.
#4
just be honest. i had this same convo with my band. i play in a cover band so we have slightly less expenses in terms of pr/recording (although we still record a demo).

we split all the costs (practice at studio, banners, making of the coolest tip jar ever, business cards, recording demo, etc)

i own my pa that we need to play venues (i charge each member an extremely fair share for rental for the night, $15/person). generally it would be about $30/person if we rented from a local music shop

i also take a commission based on shows booked, this system has worked very well:
there is a total of 35% to be made extra for the person who finds the contact, books the show etc.
- 10% of total profit 1st show (you make $500 as a band, you get $50, then split up $450 amongst everyone)
- 10% second show
- 15% third show
- 4th show and moving forward all equal

this enhances the person to continue booking good venues that pay well, more commisison!!!

thats about it. we did pretty good last year and made as a band in the 5 figures. now that is a cover band where you can actually make decent money by playing other peoples songs. original band is a lot harder.

one thing i have realized is that democracy in a band only works for a couple things, there has to be a LEADER though, that is you, be a dictator. i usually refer to myself as the hitler of the band but it is me that books all the shows, i essentially am putting money into their pockets. i yell at them when i need to and i butter their balls when they need that support too. you have to be rico suave and manipulate them to do what YOU want. pretty much every great band has 1 major driving force. dont have too much of an ego and just tell them what you expect.

goood luck
Gibson 58 VOS, Gibson Rich Robinson ES-335, Fender Strat, Fender RoadWorn 50's Tele, Gibson LP Jr Special

Marshall JTM45, Fender BJR NOS
Last edited by thejester at Mar 26, 2012,
#5
Quote by Powersurge213
Be careful, you may have symptoms of early onset Portnoy Syndrome. Symptoms include being slightly anal about your band, not trusting your bandmates with duties, being one of the main contributers. If left untreated Portnoy Syndrome can turn nasty, with effects such as shitting and eating your bandmates and songs...literally, alienating yourself from your band and your fanbase and being a self centred douche.

While there may not be a cure at the minute, you are going the right road for treatment...talk to your bandmates tell them how you feel and dont quite when things dont go your way.

Umm pretty sure Dream Theater were pretty successful with Portnoy steering the ship. And trust me I don't have any John Petrucci's or John Myungs in my band.
#6
Quote by thejester
just be honest. i had this same convo with my band. i play in a cover band so we have slightly less expenses in terms of pr/recording (although we still record a demo).

we split all the costs (practice at studio, banners, making of the coolest tip jar ever, business cards, recording demo, etc)

i own my pa that we need to play venues (i charge each member an extremely fair share for rental for the night, $15/person). generally it would be about $30/person if we rented from a local music shop

i also take a commission based on shows booked, this system has worked very well:
there is a total of 35% to be made extra for the person who finds the contact, books the show etc.
- 10% of total profit 1st show (you make $500 as a band, you get $50, then split up $450 amongst everyone)
- 10% second show
- 15% third show
- 4th show and moving forward all equal

this enhances the person to continue booking good venues that pay well, more commisison!!!

thats about it. we did pretty good last year and made as a band in the 5 figures. now that is a cover band where you can actually make decent money by playing other peoples songs. original band is a lot easier.

one thing i have realized is that democracy in a band only works for a couple things, there has to be a LEADER though, that is you, be a dictator. i usually refer to myself as the hitler of the band but it is me that books all the shows, i essentially am putting money into their pockets. i yell at them when i need to and i butter their balls when they need that support too. you have to be rico suave and manipulate them to do what YOU want. pretty much every great band has 1 major driving force. dont have too much of an ego and just tell them what you expect.

goood luck

Thanks for the insight. You sound even more dictator like than me. I don't have a problem with the singer using my PA, or the bass player using my bass and amp, nor would I expect a larger cut if we got paid at a show. I'm simply trying to tell them to let me handle this stuff for the good of the band, all they have to do is sit back and worry about the music.
#7
tna,
im not thaatttt bad. honestly though you do have to have them involved or else they will not feel like the band. you have to have that hand and you have to listen to ideas. i do all of that. everyone has their duties. teach them then how to do things the way you want, ok?

plus my band is a business, we are in it strictly to make money and have some fun doing it. so it is different with pa rental/gear rental etc.

but dont alienate them. just tell them, "hey guys real quick, i just want to say this once, but until a show is absolutely confirmed, dont spread the word. once it is good to go i need all of your help with promoting. I am really goood with facebook, guitarist you handle email marketing and flyers, drummer dont do anything you are a drummer, singer you go spread the word at bars the week prior, etc"

everyone needs a role seriously or they WILL HATE YOU
Gibson 58 VOS, Gibson Rich Robinson ES-335, Fender Strat, Fender RoadWorn 50's Tele, Gibson LP Jr Special

Marshall JTM45, Fender BJR NOS
#8
Quote by thejester
tna,
im not thaatttt bad. honestly though you do have to have them involved or else they will not feel like the band. you have to have that hand and you have to listen to ideas. i do all of that. everyone has their duties. teach them then how to do things the way you want, ok?

plus my band is a business, we are in it strictly to make money and have some fun doing it. so it is different with pa rental/gear rental etc.

but dont alienate them. just tell them, "hey guys real quick, i just want to say this once, but until a show is absolutely confirmed, dont spread the word. once it is good to go i need all of your help with promoting. I am really goood with facebook, guitarist you handle email marketing and flyers, drummer dont do anything you are a drummer, singer you go spread the word at bars the week prior, etc"

everyone needs a role seriously or they WILL HATE YOU

I'm the drummer I do ask them to help spread the word about the band, they all have access to our facebook page and I encourage them to post on it. I'm not good at bringing the crowd to the gigs, I rely on them for this for the most part. I have asked the guitarist to find us a place to buy shirts and merch from and he doesn't do it. I have given them responsibilities and they do a pretty bad job for the most part. I don't even care if they handle all the promotion stuff, but as far as being the contact for gigs and recording, it needs to go through one person, and I am the best at those things.
#9
Quote by TNA
I finally get us to focus more and write some songs, during those past 5 years we had written 2 original songs, we now have 7.


And when you're 30 you'll have enough songs for a full album.

Ok, this is the same band that's inviting friends/girlfriends to practice yeah? Who spend a lot of time just "hanging out"? You said if it wasn't for you it would just be you and the guitarist just playing covers in the loungeroom, but now you have a bunch of people who are doing nothing. I say end the pain, go find musicians who actually want to be in a band rather than prolonging this one.

But back on topic, everyone is allowed to have input into a band, but it should go through contact people. In some occasions gigs get offered to a certain member of the group, and they organise it to some degree, but there's protocols in place - you are offered, you check availability with the rest of the band and you confirm - that may need to be discussed.

And I also agree that a band needs a leader, and in some situations does fine with two leaders. Sometimes there's separate leaders - one for organising what goes down in practices and another one who "sells" the band to venues, organises gigs etc.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
Quote by AlanHB
And when you're 30 you'll have enough songs for a full album.

Ok, this is the same band that's inviting friends/girlfriends to practice yeah? Who spend a lot of time just "hanging out"? You said if it wasn't for you it would just be you and the guitarist just playing covers in the loungeroom, but now you have a bunch of people who are doing nothing. I say end the pain, go find musicians who actually want to be in a band rather than prolonging this one.

But back on topic, everyone is allowed to have input into a band, but it should go through contact people. In some occasions gigs get offered to a certain member of the group, and they organise it to some degree, but there's protocols in place - you are offered, you check availability with the rest of the band and you confirm - that may need to be discussed.

And I also agree that a band needs a leader, and in some situations does fine with two leaders. Sometimes there's separate leaders - one for organising what goes down in practices and another one who "sells" the band to venues, organises gigs etc.

Ha yes I shouldn't be bragging about our number of songs, but my point being that we've written much more in the few months I've been the leader.

Yes we are the same band that's inviting girlfriends to practice. I really like our band, I like everyone in the band, I like our music, and I think we are good enough to have potential. But we'll never realize that potential unless someone takes the initiative to do things that will help the band.
#11
Quote by TNA
Ha yes I shouldn't be bragging about our number of songs, but my point being that we've written much more in the few months I've been the leader.

Yes we are the same band that's inviting girlfriends to practice. I really like our band, I like everyone in the band, I like our music, and I think we are good enough to have potential. But we'll never realize that potential unless someone takes the initiative to do things that will help the band.


Well good luck then, but it sounds like just a bunch of jam buddies rather than an actual band. Report back here in another month and see if anything has changed.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
In my band I'm the lead guitarist. I handle quite a bit- I'm the chief songwriter, I manage the FB page, work on booking shows, designed posters, network with other bands, etc. The other guys help with arranging and writing music as well as promoting and getting friends to come to shows.

Because of that I guess I'm the "leader" of the band. I do my best to let everyone have a part and make it a democracy- everyone's got access to the band's accounts on various websites though they never feel the need to make posts since I do that. Though when it's pressure time I tell them I'm gonna be a dictator and get real bossy. We have an understanding that when I do that, it's for a good reason
#13
This is sort of a side note and I didn't want to start another thread but I was wondering what you all thought of promo cards? The other guys in my band want to create these cards which would be about half the size of a sheet of paper. On it would have our name, website, and a QR code they could scan that would link them to our website. Personally I think they are pretty stupid and a waste of time and money. I try and put myself in the fans shoes. I'm definitely not gonna be holding on to some paper the band gave me all night, I don't have the scanner thing on my phone, chances are I'm gonna look at that card for 5 seconds and then throw it out. But maybe that's just me? I think maybe if the card was smaller, even business card size, something I could stuff in my pocket I would maybe pull it out after I got home and see it while emptying my pockets, since I'm already home I could easily jump on my computer and check out the website. So thoughts? Have you guys tried these cards? I've seen several other bands handing them out, but again I usually threw them out almost immediately after receiving it.
#14
From a fans perspective: If I actually was interested in doing further research on the band after the gig, I wouldn't need that card.
#16
Quote by TNA
This is sort of a side note and I didn't want to start another thread but I was wondering what you all thought of promo cards?...


I'm with you, I call it a business card though

I use them in one of my cover bands, it's handy. Name, short description, facebook link on the front, contact details on the back.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
I doubt that many people will actually look us up on Facebook when we pass them out but we still print out a bunch of small flyers (4 to a page), cut them out, and leave them at music venues and shops. Put a picture on it that would lead people to take it, your email, Facebook, website, and other contact info.