explain to me, i don't know much about labels or recording.

can a band sign to a label overseas? we're a band out of the states, and there's barely any labels here for our kind of music genre.

Back story; In the late 70's I joined in a band that had signed a contract with a fairly well known label. I joined the band after they had signed the deal and recorded an albums worth a material. The label had supported the band with a modest advance and put them in the studio to record 12 songs with an in-house producer.  While the band waited for word on a release the label requested that the band hit the road to get tighter. The label also suggested replacing the rhythm guitar player because the albums producer and him fought often during the recording sessions. That's where I came into the picture. To wrap it up the band spent four months on the road traveling across the US, went broke and upon our return to New York was told the company had decided not release the album. Still, on my side, it was a great experience but these situations won't happen again in today's market.

 The way it is today "labels" in the traditional sense are gone. Record companies use to have A&R people who actively looked for talented artists to bring on board, support, mold and guide to success (hopefully). They often had their own in house studios and producers but today record companies act more as distribution companies. Bands very often come to labels with completed and mastered projects and all they have to do now is sit back and wait for what they perceive as the next thing to cross their desks. In a sense we (as in the public) all killed it with file sharing and uploading everyone's material to the internet so it can be accessed for free. The cash/profits from one major act allowed record companies to back other less well know acts, promote new unknown acts, offer advance money and develop the talent. Now that is all in the hands of independent managers and producers who give the public only safe, bankable acts that either already have a solid history or create one from scratch in the image that they imagine will be profitable. For these reasons we get the boy bands, the cute auto tuned women and the one album bands that play only imitations of what is already popular. 

The days of submitting semi-pro demos to a record company are history. If any band or artist has any hope of making a dent they have to raise the capitol to pay for a good pro studio and hire a producer with experience and  track record who can open the doors to a label. It's not all bad news but it is tougher than ever.

As I said, just my opinion.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 10, 2017,
As suggested before, everything is way more competitive than it ever has been.  Profit margins are smaller, which means nobody - record labels, talent buyers, programming directors - takes a chance, and instead chooses to play it safe.  Taking a chance would mean the potential for your boss to register a loss on their books, which means you're fired.  

Now, more than ever, it is more and more true that you no longer look for a record label to sign you as much as you do everything right on your own and the labels will find you.  

If they can't - or don't - then you're not doing it right.  

How do they find you?   You have a buzz going.  You are touring and your live shows are well-attended and have a reputation as being outstanding.  You can count on an audience, whether you're playing in Dallas, Boston, or Seattle.  You have your recordings for sale on iTunes and your stuff is on Spotify and YouTube and you are getting clicks and sales into the tens of thousands.   You are proving to yourself and the world that your band not only has potential, it has actual bona fide commercial value.  People are buying it already.  Not just a few dozen CD's to you local fan base, but by the thousands and even tens of thousands.

You don't think that's possible?  Get out of the way for the people who do.  Back in the late 80's, the Barenaked Ladies sold cassette tape versions of their album - all packaged and dubbed themselves - at shows and at local record stores and stuff.  It went gold.  The labels couldn't help notice and literally fought each other for a tasty piece of that pie.  

Lisa Loeb wrote and recorded a song that got placed on a movie sountrack (1994's Reality Bites).  The song went to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.  Again, the labels fell all over themselves trying to sign her.  

Walk Off the Earth recorded a cover of an Australian band called Gotye.  "Somebody that I used to Know."  The made a really creative video for it, and did a *fantastic* cover of the song while they were at it.  They released the video in January of 2012.  By the 13th of January, the video was already viral, getting over 16 million views.  By the end of the month, they were on the Ellen Degeneres show.  By February, they were signed to Columbia.  

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

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
For better or worse what has happened is the record industry has reverted back to what it was in the 50's. Artists in the 50's early 60's didn't actually make much money from their recordings (if any) and most didn't expect to. In those days artists hoped to have a few hits (or at least one) as a form of promotion to bring in a bigger audience, raise their performance fees and make more money from live appearances.  Hit records were seen as the vehicle to get asses in the seats. In the later 60's things started to change as the market for rock changed and album and singles sales increased massively. Now there was a strong revenue stream for the labels. They had bidding wars and offered big advances, promotion and tour support for artists and royalties were a major source of income for bands and artists. Concert tickets were kept low and reasonable because the revenue was not supporting the act as much as the royalties from their products and bands did tours to support and hopefully increase the sales of their albums. Royalties supported the acts. 

Today with the state of the recording industry largely due to file sharing and so much being free on the internet it's back to the 50's and new artists can't get advances, tour support or any other help from the labels who act more as distribution centers to build their careers. It's back to hitting the road and making money doing shows, selling merchandise and promoting yourself. Chris is right. It's all about creating a buzz for your band by just getting out there and establishing a following. You need to have some product available on ITunes, Spotify, YouTube etc. that actually gets noticed by the public. Do that and someone will want to produce your product and  manage your band. The bottom line is that you have to start by establish yourself first. You almost need to show the industry that you don't need them before they want you.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 13, 2017,
Now you have to get viral and you would hopefully be noticed. Look up John LaJoie, he is a comedian and writes a few dirty little tunes, got picked up with a booking agent, landed on TV, did a comedy club tour, etc. It is all because he went viral. Is he on par with a real musician? I'd say "NO", but this is the talent we are getting nowadays.
If you have a healthy following locally, someone might offer you a deal and pick your band up. You'd need to be doing 500-2000 crowds by yourself or your own management team to even be noticed on that level. Everything else, is pretty much a waste of time.