when good bands go bad…
When you first get together and you join or form a band that really “clicks” –
it is the best feeling in the world.
But this is also the best time to sort out what happens if things go wrong..
This also applies to duos trios and songwriting partnerships !
I wrote on this subject last year – but I keep having conversations with people who are really struggling with their band mates pulling in different directions.
I recently talked to music lawyer Elliot Chalmers about this
His advice is to get a legal document drawn up -My view is that will only really come into play when you get to court..
and hopefully we can all avoid that .
Have a meeting and find out what everyone hopes or wants from the project.
it may be that you don’t want the same things – AT ALL….
And what seems like a sensible opportunity for one person could be the worst slimeball sell out for another !
For instance –
one of your tunes gets picked for a Macdonalds advert the singer is picking out the colour for their beemer- the vegetarian rhythm section is not having it..
you spend two hours a week talking about how great the European tours going to be – the guitarist wife is giving birth in 3 weeks – and he has a lovely safe job in Debenhams…
We all assume that everyone has the same dreams and drive as us, but it may be that your drummer just want to rehearse once a fortnight and do the odd gig –
no problem but if you are busy getting bookings for a bunch of festivals make sure that you have a reserve drummer lined up or a plan B.
See if you can get some general agreements in place.
Hopefully everything will be brilliant – forever…
and you will get famous, rich and grow old disgracefully together.
But a band is a lot of work
so 5 reasons for a band agreement
1..So how do you split all the work up?
or if one person does everything do they get paid more?
Have more control??
who books rehearsals/gigs?
who does the social media?
who pays for what?
who gets paid when a gig /release makes money?
2.. Who keeps the name if you split up?- or one person leaves
3..Who gets the writing credits on the songs?
If you make money on the songs how is it divided?
what happens to the songs if the band splits?
4. How does someone leave the band ?
How does someone get fired from the band?
What happens if one member goes solo
or joins another band at the same time as being in your band.?
5. Are there any real deal breakers for one member?
like is one member late for every rehearsal and gig?
is one member always drunk or stoned on stage?
or never changes their underwear…..
In an ideal world this would transfer onto a piece of paper that everyone agrees and signs.
Despite what Elliot says it doesnt have to be in “legal talk” just setting it ut in black and white and get it witnessed by a neutral person
But even if you sit down and have this conversation while you all still love each other it could save the band later down the road