FIVE THINGS MUSICIANS NEED TO UNDERSTAND TO “SUCCEED”
A couple of weeks ago, Vince wrote this really great article called “The 16 Cardinal Rules for Running a Metal Record Label in 2011,” which a lot of readers, including music biz analyst extraordinaire Bob Lefsetz, (understandably) seemed to enjoy. And I don’t believe that Chris Dick intended his latest post for The Deciblog, “5 Things Musicians Need To Understand To ‘Succeed’,” to be a companion piece, but it sort of is, and, even if it isn’t, well, it’s a great read that anyone who is in a band or aspires to be in a band should check out.
Here’s a sample:
5. MANAGERS: Self-managing a band is a load of work. Arch Enemy does it, actually. But unless you have a few A-types who actually know how things work, it’s probably a good idea to get a manager. Again, someone you can trust. Someone with a sterling reputation. Someone who manages other bands in good standing. Someone who is willing to be transparent in all business dealings. If your manager isn’t willing to line item everything—e.g., costs, revenue streams, where your money is coming from and where it’s going—for you, explain things to you like you’re in second grade math class, chances are the person in control of your business (yes, music is a business where moneymaking is concerned) may not have the best intentions for you or your band. Remember, everyone is looking to get a cut of whatever money you earn. Know who handles your money, how it’s handled (spent, saved, etc.), and how this person plans to invest in your future. It’s probably not a good idea to let your manager blow $10,000 on limited edition edible underwear with your logo on the crotch. Also, if you end up not liking the person who’s fronting your business and decide later to terminate him/her based on performance, lack of clarity, drive, smelly feet, whatever, understand your network (and networking is EVERYTHING!) may’ve just gone out the door too. All that said, managers are good for one thing. Letting you make music without a lot of hassle. And, let’s face it, your music (and your publishing) is what matters.
And it only gets better from there. Dick covers three-sixty deal, publishing, legal shit, and, oh yeah, the music itself. Definitely make sure you read the rest over at The Deciblog.