Editor, the Gauntlet,
Myke Atkinson’s article points out an important thing to remember if you want to get signed to a record contract: A band is like a business. Myke goes on to tell you to sign a prenuptial agreement with your bandmates, to avoid trouble when your band breaks up in two years. His advice isn’t really bad, I just think that it is of a limited view.
Considering your band as a business is good, as is paying attention to money. But it’s not that important until you have money to worry about. If your guitar player is really worried about his share of $250 split five ways, it’s probably good he’s leaving the band.
A business with a good accountant is headed in a good direction. But a band who hits the streets, meets industry people and spends time and resources investing in R & D (practice, song writing and playing) will go further than a band whose only agenda is a good business plan and a glossy bio.
Like any industry, the music industry is as much about who you know as it is about what you do. Here’s a hint: Club bookers don’t read the prettiest bio, they read the bios of the bands they’ve met and of the folks they know and trust. Making a tight demo is easy. Revealing yourself to be an enthusiastic, entertaining showman or showwoman is not.
There is a difference between professionals and hobbyists. There is also a difference between professional bands that exist to move units for multinational labels, and bands that do what they love with people they like. For the latter, payment is like sugary sweet whipped cream that lovingly sits on your shoulders and pours itself down your throat like the bourbon you know you’ll spend it on.
Don’t sacrifice the beautifully pure early days of your music career thinking about the worst part of the industry–money. Spend your time worrying about how heavy you rock out and how true your sound is and how people will really move when you hit your stride. Worry about glory and the money will follow; if you worry about money you’re an accountant and not a rock star.