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Hijacked credits!
Old 5th November 2002
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Angry Hijacked credits!

Hi Jules, everyone.

I have been going through some serious crap of late and was wondering if any of you have alsohad the pleasure of paddling in poo?

I spent the best part of three months producing, tracking then mixing a US signed band (major label). Poured my soul and creativity into it.

The goal of the pop/rock project was to build the album using room ambience, real amps, loops built from organic sources etc.

The last album (I tracked) did really well in the US/UK/RSA/OZ. This one has been released for about two weeks and is getting great reviews.

Here is the problem.......

I was never given the credits to sign off on. The artist had his brother(graphic artist) get the album design commision from the record company. Anyway........I hounded the band (away on tour) for the credits. No luck. I eventually recieved them the day before release.

lo and behold I see the artist has placed his name in front of mine as Producer!

Also, he has taken credit for all keys, loops etc which is bollocks as I did about 80% of that lot. I was given no credit at all.

Besides going through boughts of anger, depression, disbelief (the artist happened to be a friend of mine) I am now faced with trying to sort this lot out.

The album has the potential to do well etc. etc.

Anybody able to offer some thoughts or practical advice?

Lawyers? Sicilian????

Please..............

L



Old 5th November 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Ah... The "Well we (the band) actually did most of the production. We pretty much told him/her what we wanted, didn't we? Se WE'RE the producers!"? The oldest line in the book...

I'd take it on the chin my friend. Although totally unfair, I'm sure that just about everybody here has had it happen at least once (if not more) in their career and believe me, our condolences go out to you.

But I think that if you have a good relationship with the band, going to lawyer could pretty much destroy your chances of working with them again. And going to the label will have little or no effect on the outcome (unless your Bob Clearmountain or Timbaland). Maybe if you ask nicely the label will make the changes to the next print run but I'm afraid that's the most you can expect.

This isn't to say that you should just go sit in a corner. Make your grievances known to the manager, the label, your girlfriend and even the artist (but be careful to not damage his FRAGILE EGO ) but try to do it calmly and professionally. You don't want to trash what sounds like a really good working relationship with all these people just before a potentially great selling record takes off.

There's always the next one, right?

And then there's the chance that the artist REALLY thinks that he's the producer, tries to produce the next album and calls you up two years later begging for help... Any one say Smashing Pumpkins?

Revenge is sweet.

R.
Old 5th November 2002
  #3
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I hear you man, I hear you. I've been there and it's not fun.

Unfortunately, it's called paying your dues. It's also a lesson learned the hard why.

Egos can get in the way, when it comes to credits. There's a good way and a bad way to go about this matter, I'm afraid...

Being real laid back about your problem, will rule with a band like this. Play your cards right and win big. Look at the bigger picture, before you deside to attack them in any way. Keep it chilly, chill.

Many new bands don't get the big picture. They end up bagging the people that helped them the most.

Next time around, if you're still uptight about getting the proper credit, consider adding a "ghost producer, engineer and/or musician" clause to your contract. If they don't give you the proper credit, they owe you "X" amount of money and/or points on the record, etc. You can also spell out your terms and credit needs right upfront. At the start of the production venture, not the day before the release. Keep it clean and professional. This way, no one is in the dark about it.

Yeah, I read your post, I know they blow you off. So what, screw it. You're better then that sh*t.

Keep one thing in mind, you (at least) got a credit. It's not the honest and complete picture, but it's better then nothing. Right? Be thankful (just a little!) that you didn't get bag 100% and received no credit at all. That would have sucked big time.

What about your record deal? Is that intact? I'd be more concerned about that if I was you... You got a whole career in front of you for all the "killer" credits and stuff.

Remember, next time consider a "ghost" musician fee for the non-credited performances you do and get your production credits in writing, upfront. This way, they look good, you look good and everyone wins.

I remember producing a band and had to O/D the bass tracks for this guy, 'cause he couldn't cut it. It was our secret, not even the band knew. I kept that secret until the band broke up. What ever it takes. That's how you got to look at it when you're the producer.

So, please blow off the anger and depression and believe that friends are not perfect, especially when it comes to credits and egos.

Look there's nothing to sort out. The record is released. Let it go and get it right on the next one. This can be a great lesson learned.

Perhaps you can negotiate a reprint, when they sell the first batch of albums...

Just keep it very cool and you will win. And I mean that!

I hope this helped.
Old 5th November 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 

I dig being the "behind the scenes" guy. The pisser for me is when my work does well (grammy nom, tec award, platinum, etc), if your name isn't printed on the record, most of the record labels have no idea you worked on it. (which is odd because their accounting department have to write a check out to SOMEONE)
Old 5th November 2002
  #5
Credits feature in every production agreement I have with acts.

"All paid advertizing / media" is harder to get - (nice to be on the posters!) but CAN be enforsed

But a credit can be 'assured' in your future.

ho hum!

grudge

Onwards & upwards
Old 5th November 2002
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Hey,

Thanks so much for your advice. Much appreciated.

I had all this ironed out on the P.O. The amazing thing is that some people will completely ignore a contract. That is why the whole thing was such a suprise. Had no idea the changes had been made.

I move on as you suggest and will push for a change on the next pressing. We will see.

The trick will be to see if my royalty magically gets reduced! The one upside to all this is that I now have a serious management company in the US handle all the shortform docs and look out for my interests. This thing finally made me sit up.It is hard when you are on one continent and the deal is on another.

Been doin this for the last 7 yrs and this is a first big rip for me! Read all the books, thought I was covered and still got drilled!
I have a friend who just finished work on a major project (9 years in the making) and found he was not credited properly. Freaked out. Compared to him life for me is wonderful!

Thanks again.

Nik
Old 16th November 2002
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Jack the Bear's Avatar
 

I think it's a nice gesture to have the acknowledgment on the albums you work on. The public (except for the real trainspotters) don't give a **** and if the industry people involved know of your direct involvment, then that counts for anything as it's those A&R guys who have some pull.

Given the choice I would rather be in the eye or face of the decision makers than the consumer.

Nonetheless I feel for you Nik.

Revenge should not be a motivating factor.
The great ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tse once said "If you walk down the path of revenge, make sure you carry 2 coffins".

Getting your name spelt incorrectly????now THAT'S a different story!!

Cheers,

Tony Mantz.
Old 16th November 2002
  #8
Moderator emeritus
 

So about three of you have mentioned your production contracts - would anyone be willing to post the text of one (or even e-mail or snail mail a copy my way)?
Old 16th November 2002
  #9
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Dave,

It can be as simple as a "Letter of Agreement", spelling out all the necessary issues...

I'll try to look foir one of mine for you...
Old 17th November 2002
  #10
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
Dave,

It can be as simple as a "Letter of Agreement", spelling out all the necessary issues...

I'll try to look foir one of mine for you...
Thanks, Steve!
Old 18th November 2002
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Hey Steve,

Good words! Moving on and hoping that all the other agreements with this project will be honored. We will see.

I am in your part of the world in April. First time to Australia. Really looking forward to it!


Dave, I am in Nashville mid December. Should be able to sort some of the stuff out then. Great town!

Thanks guys!

Nik
Old 15th December 2002
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
I spent the best part of three months producing, tracking then mixing a US signed band (major label). Poured my soul and creativity into it.
Some here have said thats the music BIZ, take it on the chin. Learn from the experience. Learn what?... to be screwed! You have been screwed according to your claim.Now Learn how to be unsrewed.

NO, dont take it on the chin

This is a big problem with guys like you I'm afraid.

Instead of saying "I worked with this band" Name Them Right Here And Now

Do they have a website? If so post on there and claim your rights as the producer (if you did actually produce the album). I wll post along side you. Perhaps some of your friends in here would do the same. I'm not even your friend and I would do it. As long as you are being truthfull. You must prove your claim mind you. Did you really engineer, produce the whole thing. ?? what is your definition of a producer? Did you enhance the material? Very important definition. Deciding which mic's to use is not producing. Thats engineering. Still you havent even got credit for that.

Go around telling everyone who will care to listen. This will not damage your career. Thats the fear. If the band are huge (which I doubt) then yes it could very well in the short term .............Everyone likes to take a side. Many will respect a determned individual who is not prepared to take this kind of crap. Thats the type of producer I would hire.

If the album is re-presssed then you still have a chance to get the artwork changed and credit due. Production Credits=$$

Name Them And Shame Them

At the very least they will think twice before screwing with anyone again.

Or you can do this

Old 15th December 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Robinhood?

Name them and shame them? What a stupid idea. (Sorry for sounding harsh, but that really is a stupid idea to me)

I understand the need for justice in these situations but there's definitely a more professionally savvy way of going about making your feelings known.

The point was that what's done is done and no amount of foot stamping is going to change what's happened, unless of course you have the clout to make people listen.

This early in a persons career (ie. on the eve of a persons potential big break) is not the time to come across as a child.

Another point I've just noticed about Nik's original post was that the Artist is only really guilty of putting his name IN FRONT of the producers in the credits. Well and not actually mentioning the other work done on the album which SUCKS, but still, at least his name is on there.

And as Bear said, at least they didn't spell Nik's name wrong. Or did they? grudge

This wasn't about rolling over. It was about learning. Learning about how to not over-react and learning how to make things different in the future. Sounds to me like Nik's done the right thing. Made his problems known and moved on.

Let's just hope he's on the repress. If not, oh well, he probably won't notice cos he'll be busy with another band, right?

Onward and upward...

R.
Old 15th December 2002
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Name them and shame them? What a stupid idea. (Sorry for sounding harsh, but that really is a stupid idea to me)
Your not sounding harsh at all I can take it. I respectfully disgaree that it is not a stupid idea if the original posters claims are accurate. My hunch is that they are not entirely so.

Quote:
I understand the need for justice in these situations but there's definitely a more professionally savvy way of going about making your feelings known.
And instead of doing something real regarding this claimed injustice posting here is a savvy? Not so sure about that?. No offence to you or this forum inteneted of course. The fact is are his claims entirely accuarte?

Quote:
This early in a persons career (ie. on the eve of a persons potential big break) is not the time to come across as a child.
Lets say he DID have some sort of written agreement, He would now be talking to his lawyer wouldnt he?. Would that be considered childish. His lawyer would be demanding due credit. But then again he has been CREDITED so where is the problem. why the bouts of depression and so on.

Quote:
Another point I've just noticed about Nik's original post was that the Artist is only really guilty of putting his name IN FRONT of the producers in the credits. Well and not actually mentioning the other work done on the album which SUCKS, but still, at least his name is on there.
EXACTLY, I noticed that as well. Read between the lines of my post. I queried if he 'Really did produce the band'. For all we know he has been given full due credit for the work he has done. Maybe he is pissed that he hasnt been credited for every single loop he chose, or every little nuance of detailed programming. Who does get that. I was playing devils advocate a little.

He said

QUOTE]lo and behold I see the artist has placed his name in front of mine as Producer![/QUOTE]

Thi original poster could quite simply be pissed because his name wasnt first. I have seen musicians nearly come to blows in the studio over stuff like that. That is 'Childish'. This could quite simply be another of those situations.


He may have learned something else today? Everyone in here was saying to him we feel for your bro and so on. No one even questioned what he had done. The fact that he has been credited as a co producer it seems was of no interest to anyone. His friend has taken the credit for he programming. Our poster said he done 80% of the programming. But what does that mean in his book. Is he saying he wrote the songs, or programmed the samplers and drum machines. That is part and parcel of being an engineer, never mind a producer.

My post was simply intended for some to look at the thread from a different angle. Although veiled and sneaky yes, But to provoke a reaction from the orignial poster mostly.

We must not forget the artist is a friend. Thats always dangerous territory in my book. Why would one be so depressed, angered and so on if he has been credited???????. Could it quite simply be a case of a friendship gone sour?
Old 17th December 2002
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Hey,

I think I should jump in here if I may?

First off.....thanks so much for the concern/interest shown. Much appreciated.

I am in L.A at the moment and have managed to sort all the credit issues out. The bands management have acknowledged fault. The record company are in the process of reprint at this time.

Unfortunately there are a few 100 000 units floating around with incorect credits.

For the record..........

The record was produced by me as well as tracked , mixed etc. I am well aware of roles in the studio. Been producing for 12 years bla bla bla...

The mistake I made was being too lax and trusting with the proofs etc. I now have a company that handles all that.

I had everything in writing from the start but this does not stop companies placing artists names in places they should not be for political gain.


Try takeing on a major label in court..........not fun. Expensive and lethal. Even if you are right.


It is great to have a forum like this and it certainly was a help to receive news to "calm down". This was very wise advice even at the time when all I wanted to do was chew bricks etc.

The keys/ loops story was easy to prove and they backed down very fast when confronted with proof. I built and played parts made from organic ellements. No commercial loops here.

The problem of friendship was not an issue until dispute. At that point I never had the chance to speak personaly to the "offender"but was instantly told to "talk to my lawyer/manager". Maybe friendship was one sided....who knows?

Lesson learned.........

Try to have all legal docs. handled by a third party which keeps the business ellements out of comfortable, clicking, happening sessions. Everything finishes with a great vibe and it stays that way.

The project is doing great, like the last one. Nice to see.

And.yes my name is spelt Nik. Swedish (Niklas).

Thanks again everyone. Very much.

Nik
Old 17th December 2002
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
A few 100,000? As in 300,000?

Phew, ROCK ON BRO!!!!

Glad to hear everythings worked out.

Oh and while your in LA, can you have a burrito for me? (God I miss real Mexican food...)

R.
Old 17th December 2002
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Yup!

Aahhh Mexican food! I will certainly have one for you. I myself am partial to the quasadilla (spelling?) with jallapino.grggt

Keep well,

Nik
Old 17th December 2002
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
It's actually 'quesadilla with jalapenoes' but who the **** cares? (I had to check the spelling myself! )

My mouth is watering already!

Question: When is a veggie burrito NOT a veggie burrito?

Answer: When they feel like they NEED to put carrots in it to make it "vegetarian".

In Europe (Denmark, funnily enough, excluded) they still haven't figured out that you don't need anything other than REFRIED BEANS in a burrito!

I could just imagine a Mexican version of Pulp Fiction:
"And man, you know what they put in vegetarian burritos in Europe?"
"No man, what?"
"Corn and Carrots!"
"No way man, that's ****ed up!"
"I **** you not, Vato. I **** you not..."

Bon appetit!

R.
Old 18th December 2002
  #19
Gear Head
 

Hmmm. That was a quick fix. rollz
Old 18th December 2002
  #20
Gear Nut
 

No, not really.

Lots of phone calls, a few meetings, getting on a plane etc...two months or so.

A pain in the ass.

It is not really a fix either as the "damage" has been done. Good to salvage something though.

It also helps when you have the tracks and data.




Old 20th December 2002
  #21
lnd
Gear Head
 

Nik please tell us which CD it is - I would like to check out your work...Hope it takes off!!!
Maybe I can buy one of those limited edition incorrect producer credits version....lol
Old 20th December 2002
  #22
Gear Nut
 

I will do this once I SEE the new units on the shelves etc. Sorry, just trying to be wise and I appologize for seeming like a CIA agent! The release in UK is Jan 25.

It would be great to have your thoughts etc.

Speak soon,

Nik



Anyone on this forum based in Nashville?

I will be in town 6-9 Jan. Would be cool to meet.
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