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A good music lawyer Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 23rd December 2010
  #31
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BB Bill's Avatar
 

Just to echo what the others have said: $500 for a music lawyer to advise you on a contract is cheap - if he's good.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #32
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JCRockit's Avatar
 

at least if the donut shop tanks the losses are tastier
Old 24th December 2010
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
How the hell have you spent $50000 AUD? On recording, Several of my bands did it for around $7500 we went into a studio having practiced the songs for months and spent a week recording it I did the vox in 2 days and it cost us £320 a day or around $500 for recording and the rest was mixing and mastering from a guy with 20 years experience.. (I thought that was expensive lool)

Even bands I listen to like Scar Symmetry, Solution .45 and many others that are massive international metal bands don't spend a quarter of that.

In flames and soilwork now spend that sort of money and I can't really tell the difference from when they used to to spend less than 10k???

Did you buy your own recording studio? Even at that you must have some good equipment..

Thanks for the response

We were signed to a label which put in $30,000 to hire a famous canadian metal guitarist/producer to come to Australia and work with the band. Everything was recorded except vocals, only 3 songs had vocals recorded and some songs had guitar leads. The plan was the producer was going to manage as he had the connections with all the biggest metal labels, and back in Canada he started mixing the 3 songs for a press kit/demo ( we also needed pro shot live footage ) and edited a song down to 3:30 to be radio friendly.

A band member died, and we lost momentum. Our label dropped us but lets us keep the recordings they paid for until we sign a deal, then we have to get them their investment back ( so we need a deal of at least $30,000 to even actually get a deal )

We sent our singer over to Canada to finish vocals and he was going to return with all finished vocals and finished mixes. This was supposed to be about $15,000 and we got it down to about $10,000 not including flights and our singer stayed at the producer's house to save money. We weren't happy with the result ( most songs had been edited so much they weren't our songs anymore ) and recorded guitar overdubs and vocals again using my gear in a studio we had free access to ( our deceased band member had a small sound proof room which we could use for a little while )

We send the songs to the great Neil Kernon. He mixes without editing song structures and it sounds brilliant. He is doing us a big deal but it costs alot for an album and we were still clinging to the hope of a press kit/demo at this point so only doing one song at a time as we are broke. We virtually mix the enitre album and our singer quits. Neil's advice, along with the original producer and our old label is "you need the recorded vocalist to be in the band or nobody will sign you" so now we are sending more recordings of a new singer to Neil Kernon but he is doing this for free because he is a ledgend! We need more photo shoots, live pro shot footage...............and that's how we spent $50,000. Only $20,000 is really ours, but we need to pay back the original label if we use the recordings they paid for. Plus the playing of one member can't be rerecorded.


Sorry I can't just tell you the band name or the producer's name, Neil Kernon is the only name that comes across in a good light in this story, so I'll leave everyone else a secret.
Old 24th December 2010
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knox View Post
You are looking at this wrong . . . you will kick yerself in the ass IF your band does well and you did not have a good attorney look after you in the beginning. THAT is what you are not seeing. I was with the management company that broke AC DC in the states. It happens! And you could be the next . . . I would want a good contract in place IF it does. Don't shoot yerself in the bum before you even get started. You may say NOW you don't care if you make money . . . but what if the band hits big and you are on the road touring for a year and a half . . . and you signed a bad contract, not making any money . . . . you are watching some fat cat behind a desk getting rich

That's a very good point, thanks for the response
Old 24th December 2010
  #35
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MonoBrow's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Ark View Post
A big thanks to everyone for the responses.

I think the one thing that may be getting overlooked is the fact that my band is an Australian metal band, and other than ACDC I don't think there has ever been a big Aussie metal band with worldwide success. Some may have a name amongst under ground metal fans, but these bands don't make any real money. I know many of these bands personally.

I'm happy to not earn a cent, I know that going in, I just want to live this silly dream of mine and be a rock star on tour, see Europe from a tour bus, meet some of my heros.

Ongoing fees of $500 just isn't suitable when the reality is virtually no band in Australian metal history has earnt real money. These bands are all doing it for the love, it's just how it is where I come from.

Most metal success stories are bands who work their way up over the years, we aren't a trendy hardcore band that gets the girls, we are a prog/metal band that wins the respect of every muso in the room when we play.

I understand where you are all coming from. But with the donut shop bit, a donut shop would definitely turn more profit than any Aussie metal band except ACDC. I'd love to have some successful Aussie bands pointed out to me, are there any? in over 30 years of metal is there a good example?

I know I sound negative, but I'm pretty sure that is truth. I suspect many other countries would have similar situations redarding less mainstream genres.
Ok.With this attitude you can honestly just forget about it.Seems harsh?Well it is.
Pay the 500! Do yourself a favour and forget about this Australien metal-rock band never famous stigmata!!!Why are you giving up before you start?YOU Show em!
I seriously dont get you.You want to play but you dont want to do it for the money but play for free and then complain that the fees are expensive?
Get to it and F+++ the details!
Old 24th December 2010
  #36
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

If you are still choking on the taste of paying a lawyer $500, maybe this will help:

Think about how much money you have spent on recording so far. Think about how much you are being asked to spend on the lawyer.

Now consider the rules of supply and demand.

There are a lot of studios out there hunting for work. You can record very cheaply these days in some very, very nice facilities. Why? Because there are more good studios than the current demand for such. Supply exceeds demand. This inevitably leads to price reduction, due to competition for scarce business.

There aren't that many great music business lawyers. They charge what the market will bear. No price reductions will occur until the supply exceeds demand. It hasn't happened (yet).

Don't be offended, but it sure sounds to me like you have overpaid for recording services, but now you want to underpay for legal services as a way to save some money. I think that is the wrong way to go. If you have overpaid for something in the past, well, consider it a lesson learned and move on. Make better decisions in the future. Going cheap on the lawyer is a bad idea.
Old 24th December 2010
  #37
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Ark View Post

We have already had a revision of the contract which halves the money the management company earns, and we have shown it to a few guys who have signed similar contracts and everyone thinks now the management gets a smaller cut that we have secured a good deal.
A good music lawyer-jackie-743411.jpg
Old 25th December 2010
  #38
Gear Maniac
 

I thought I should give this thread some closure.....

We have decided to pass on this lawyer strictly due to the cost involved. We can't afford it as an ongoing thing. A one off payment sure, but not ongoing.

Before one of us passed away this was never going to cost us a cent, now $20,000 down we can't justify more money.

But thank you for the responses, I actually learnt what I needed to know.
a) we were getting a decent offer from the lawyer in the 1st place
but more importantly
b) those budgets of Scar Symetry and Soilwork indicate to me what the industry is like or even was like in better times, no way we are getting a deal that pays off our old label and leaves anything worth fighting over for the band and lawyer. Best we can hope for is doing some kick ass tours.
Old 25th December 2010
  #39
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dcwave's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluxpod View Post
Ok.With this attitude you can honestly just forget about it.Seems harsh?Well it is.
Pay the 500! Do yourself a favour and forget about this Australien metal-rock band never famous stigmata!!!Why are you giving up before you start?YOU Show em!
I seriously dont get you.You want to play but you dont want to do it for the money but play for free and then complain that the fees are expensive?
Get to it and F+++ the details!

I agree with this poster!
Quit now! You don't have the stomach for it. You think it's hard in Aus? Try it in L.A. where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting the next big metal show!

Cut your losses and get a job teaching music or something.

A band is a business. Run it like one and it will pay dividends. Run it like a hobby and it costs you money and as you have discovered, lots of money!
Old 26th December 2010
  #40
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcwave View Post
I agree with this poster!
Quit now! You don't have the stomach for it. You think it's hard in Aus? Try it in L.A. where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting the next big metal show!

Cut your losses and get a job teaching music or something.

A band is a business. Run it like one and it will pay dividends. Run it like a hobby and it costs you money and as you have discovered, lots of money!
lol
That's what I already do. Tripled my income moving from music retail to tuition.
I charge more than the studio owners who sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into their "businesses" while my "hobby" costs NOTHING to run and earns me more money than the businessmen.

Plus why cut my losses? We can still tour like we planned. The album is essentially done why just stop?

You "businessman" seem to have lost touch with the artists or something. I'm glad I don't think like you guys, I don't think I'd have any fun.

Flame on
Old 29th December 2010
  #41
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
A local band that just got signed to a mid-major and which typifies most bands seeking a deal hired a lawyer to help guide them thru the negotiations with the label. His RETAINER was $5,000 -- I thought even THAT amount was fairly cheap. But he was effective: they got a better deal than the label was initially offering them. So, if they "make" it, the $5,000 will be money well spent

I differ a bit from the majority opinion in this thread: $500 to REVIEW a contract seems about right. He's not negotiating it, he's juts looking it over to make see if it's kosher, as well as to inform you of what's in between the lines. In mean, for example a bankruptcy -- which requires a LOT more work than just reading over a contract, costs usually in the $500-$,1,000 range, so to me the $500 sounds pretty normal
Old 29th December 2010
  #42
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narcoman's Avatar
 

A lawyer to broker a major record deal will cost you anything from £2000 to £5000 UK plus 5-10% of the deal value. Anything more than that is overcharging. It's much more bloated in the USA.... unreasonably so.

$500 is a little cheap - but this is to check the contract and not do any changing work. It's about right.


Second point : get the "label" (or whatever you wanna refer to them as) to pay for the lawyer. Normal in the UK. Not a lawyer FOR them, you understand, but your lawyer paid for by them.
Old 29th December 2010
  #43
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

Quote:
get the "label" (or whatever you wanna refer to them as) to pay for the lawyer. Normal in the UK. Not a lawyer FOR them, you understand, but your lawyer paid for by them.
Well, just remember the old saying: He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Most lawyers understand their ethical responsibility is to the client and not to the person (or company) paying the bill. However, it has been known to happen that a lawyer will skew things in favor of the person (or company) that can feed work to the lawyer in the future. It is wrong when it happens, but the point is that it does happen. Given the general nature of the music business (i.e., trusting anyone is risky), I would take precautions against being represented by a lawyer who might be tempted to, at least in part, look out for the folks who can help the lawyer in the future, when the lawyer ought to only be looking out for you.

A way to handle this: if you get the label to pay for the lawyer, make sure it is a lawyer that you have picked out, not someone that the label has picked out.
Old 29th December 2010
  #44
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narcoman's Avatar
 

re : piper tune etc..

true enough - but the criminal liability for a biased contract in legal situations would prevent just about any lawyer from entertaining such features! Added to that - the only thing the "label" would see is the invoice....... part of the deal points is very often "label pays fees".
Old 29th December 2010
  #45
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
re : piper tune etc..

true enough - but the criminal liability for a biased contract in legal situations would prevent just about any lawyer from entertaining such features! Added to that - the only thing the "label" would see is the invoice....... part of the deal points is very often "label pays fees".
I can't comment on what happens in the UK, and I applaud the bar of that country if it keeps its members honest in a more effective way than ours does here in the USA. All I know is that the temptation to put one's thumb on the scale, in a subtle way, in favor of the people who can feed you future work, is very real. Most lawyers resist that temptation. Some do not. It really does happen.

If I were hiring a lawyer to represent me in negotiating or formalizing a business deal with a label, I would never use a lawyer that has an ongoing financial arrangement with the label whereby the lawyer depends on the label for future income. That's asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
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