How Do I Stop My Bandmates From Hooking Up?

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.


Dear Fan,
I think the bassist and singer in my band might be "dating" behind our backs. I've run into them late at night at bars, drunk and flirting with each other and making excuses about how they ended up there. I'm against extra curricular activities that might disrupt our band since we are cutting an album and gigging a ton. Do I have a right to tell them to knock it off? It's the hooking up part that seems like it could end poorly, should I wait it out to see if turns serious? We have put years of hard work into the band already, the bassist is a new addition to the line-up. I don't want anything to screw up our chances of a career.
Corey

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Is It Ridiculous to Believe My Guitar-Driven Band Could Become HUGE?

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I am a fantastic and versatile songwriter, an accomplished guitarist, and the best male vocalist I know. I'm not bashful enough to downplay the fact that I've worked, focused, and sacrificed my ass off to be able to say that. So it would probably come as no surprise to you when I say that yea, I want to be THE MAN. I want to play festivals. I want to cut pro-sounding albums and tour. I want to play talk shows, SNL, and the motherfucking Superbowl. Not because I think I deserve it, or because I think I'm currently ready, but because I know that I at least have the tools and work habit to get great at it.

However, the steps in order to attain said goals (while never having been easy) seem almost impossible now. Is aiming for such heights even possible at all in this day and age? Particularly for music that mostly guitar-driven?

--The Rave

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Choosing Between Your Band and a Bigger Opportunity

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan Landers,

I'm a musician living in Mexico City. I have a band and we have been playing together for almost three years. We have spent a year and a half making an album and we are finally finishing. We spent all of our money, energy and soul on that album. I think the result is pretty awesome and I'm sure something good is going to happen when the album is out. But.... recently I've been admitted to one of the best conservatories in the US, which would mean I would have to leave behind all we've worked for and go to live to Boston. Obviously this was a big shock for my bandmates, who have even said it's useless to try to move on with the band if I go to another country. On the other hand, I don't see a big future for the kind of music we do in Mexico. I'd like to think we can continue to play together during the summer and winter vacations, but my bandmates don't think that would work. I go to music school here in Mexico City, so I would still have a degree if I stayed. And if I go to Boston my parents could only pay for the first year and then we would have to see what we would do for me to be able to stay. We have big dreams for that band, but I just don't want to look back to this moment when I'm older and regret the decision I made. 

I hope you can help me, 
Ana


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Is Playing Festivals a Waste of Time For Unknown Bands?

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Fan,
We're a nobody Canadian band. Does it still make sense these days to play a showcase with hundreds of other nobodies at a behemoth festival like SXSW or CMJ? It seems to us that unless you're buzzing going in it's just a waste of money (especially if you have to drive from Halifax to Texas). But say we do it anyway (and many do): What is the best way to maximize your time there? Is a festival the best or worst time to approach a booker/promoter/label rep/music supervisor?
Showcase Suckers

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Staying Popular, Unsolicited Friend Opinions, and Freeloading Bands

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
As someone who has been working in music since before the great music industry fall of 2008, I have seen folks, including myself, in some pretty desperate times trying to figure out how to keep making a living/spend money wisely. Bands who once could afford a manager, booking agent, licensing, PR, etc, now can only afford one, and try to push the boundaries of their hired help to do as many of those as they can. Part of me wants to help in this way -- sure, I'll help you book a show or two. Sure, I'll help you find a photographer. I care about your band and want it to succeed. However, when do you say no without
offending anyone that you're trying to help, considering they're paying you for completely different services?
Sincerely,
The Publicist

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How to Get Beyond Being a Local Band

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan Landers:
We've been a band putting out music for just over two years now and have played a few well-received local gigs, but we're struggling with finding a way to take our band to the next level. We've all come to the conclusion that without some kind of representation -- manager, booking, etc -- our band's career will probably stagnate at the "lets play a show for 150 people in our hometown" level. Any advice you have on trying to land a connected and dedicated manager or a booking guy that can actually book us some shows?

Thanks!
Not Famous

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Getting Post-Tour Stench Out of the Band Van

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,

The new band I joined just got back from a quick tour to SXSW and since we got back home the van reeks like hangover sweat and stinky feet. This is my first tour with these guys but it's my van that's our tour vehicle and I can't deal. What do I do? Can I make a rule that everyone has to keep their shoes on?

Sammy

See also: Who Owns the Social Media Profile of a Band?

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Who Owns the Social Media Profile of a Band?

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

See also: These Bands Took Fan Landers' Advice: Did It Work?

Dear Fan,
My previous band broke up over the defection of a member, and a clash of personal moral/ethics. It's been nine months, and we've decided to move on as a duo under a new band name without him. It gives us a chance to explore ideas that felt out of place in our former group or that were resisted by the now-departed member.

As the member of the former group that dealt with all of the social media and press directly I feel that our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) should be able to be used by us to promote our new project. But the former member thinks these accounts should be closed and or not used any longer.

Who owns the social media profile of a band? Is it kosher to use the accounts to promote our continuing project? Should they just be left dormant, which seems like a lot of wasted effort?

M.

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Helping a Fading '90s Star That Won't Help Himself

Categories: Fan Landers

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan, 
I am not in a band, but I work in music as a manager/assistant. My goal is to eventually be a full-time manager (without a day job to supplement my income). I get paid a monthly fee rather than a percentage of what my artists make; some months I have more work, some less--although it seems that the busy months far outweigh the non-busy ones. 

It has been particularly frustrating with one of my artists lately. His band hit it big in the '90s, and he hasn't been able to match that success since. He's kind of at a cross-roads in his life, but at the same time he doesn't like to adapt to the changing industry. We'll have meetings and split to do lists, and he never finishes his part of the list. To top it off, he's broke and hasn't had the money to pay me for the work I've put in for the last three months. I don't think he's lazy, he just has so many projects going on and he doesn't like doing detail work (stuff I can't do)--and he has no money management skills.

I know that managing an artist is like babysitting, but I also work with other musicians that work very hard and I don't run into this with them. My question is, how do I motivate him? Should I cut my losses and move on?

-Adventures in Babysitting


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Our Guitarist Plays Atrocious Gear! What Do We Do?

Categories: Fan Landers

fanlandersheaderrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I'm in a band where one of our guitar players is an self-styled luthier. He's built his own guitars for a while but his latest creation is now his defacto guitar for the band's show and it's ugly as shit. Like, it's obtrusive and an eyesore and looks like the retarded, junkyard cousin of one of Prince's guitars. After every show, it's all people comment on. It sounds fine. It has a lot of sentimental value to him, but it looks like it belongs in an goth industrial band and doesn't fit with our band's style. What do I do?
Jamie

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