Is It OK to Ask to Get Paid for a Benefit Gig?

Categories: Fan Landers

fanlanders_headerrrrr.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,
My band is pretty popular here in the Pacific Northwest and so we get asked to do benefits at least once a month if not more. Shows are not our entire livelihood as a band, but the bulk of it, aside from merch and some CD sales/Bandcamp revenue. We are politically-minded and community-oriented people but our ability to play for free is limited. How kosher is it to ask for a small guarantee? We are usually a headliner or a support headliner for touring bands. Some of the things we get asked to play are not very well put together and so the success of the event rests on our fans showing up and rocking out.
Sincerely,
A Seattle Band


More »

Help Us Negotiate With the Record Label

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 Landers,

For the last few months my band has been doing fairly well. We had a successful tour with some press here and there and we've release some albums and tapes that have sold fairly well. About six months ago when we received an email from the head of a very legitimate label saying how much she liked our material. We met with her and we discussed our band and basically danced around the issue at hand. It seemed like she wanted to sign us but nothing was presented and we didn't want to seem presumptuous--we still keep in touch and she has come to our shows. Recently she emailed me saying how she liked some of our new songs. What's the deal here? Why is she keeping in contact here and there and offering no contract or anything? Is she trying to develop a relationship and then present a deal? Or is she looking for us to write a record and present it to her first? Very confused, not sure if I should be hopeful or not. I don't want to make the wrong move! Help!

S

More »

Until You're Headlining Sold Out Club Tours, This Is What Life in a Band Is Like

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,
We just returned from our two month tour. We survived, we don't hate each other, though the tour was not profitable we did not lose too much money. It was a very humbling tour because nothing really turned out the way we thought it would. I lost quite a bit of money just from feeding myself, and paying bills while away. In the next year we want to focus on writing our next record, but because we have a booking agent who is constantly scouting tours for us we still live under the impression that any month we might get a support tour that we can't turn down.

I'm torn because I just landed an interview for a corporate music position, and it is the kind of job that would be extremely difficult to leave on tour with. At what point do I stop postponing my own personal, professional development for my band? I'm also not the only band member making sacrifices. None of us like our day jobs and we all barely make ends meet, but we also unanimously want to record another record and keep this project going. Do up-and-coming bands take a break from touring, or does that kill momentum? We have already done two national tours behind our first record.

xo,
Alexa

More »

My Musical Hero Is Taking Advantage of Me

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,
A few months ago I recorded some songs that I did not expect anyone to listen to. Except they did. And my local scene seemed to think I did a pretty good job, so I started playing out a lot locally. Eventually, I landed an opening gig for an older artist that is one of my biggest influences. Which led to opening a whole tour for him. Yay! But...that led to him assigning me booking and PR duties because the aforementioned artist is "self managed."

This has all been a really awesome experience since I'm a total rookie (and this artist has become a really great friend and mentor), but the work load is getting out of control and I'm not getting paid! It started as a few small favors, so we never talked money, but it never stopped. Now it looks like I'm expected to do this for a while. How do I keep this opportunity and friendship without getting taken advantage of because I'm a fangirl? I really love this musician as an artist and a friend, but I barely have a grasp on how to book my own shows and do my own PR, let alone run someone else's. I'm overwhelmed! Help!
Ms. Manager

See also: How to Kick a Drunk Out of Your Band

More »

How to Kick a Drunk Out of Your Band

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,

Is there a way to kick someone out of your band gently? After a few months with a new synth player we are all getting tired of his flaky behavior, being late to practice, and him being too drunk to load out. He's a nice guy but we need to find someone else who is as committed and responsible as the rest of the band. I don't want him to think we are judging him or make him feel bad.

The Singing Drummer

See also: Either She's Your Girlfriend or Your Roadie, Not Both


More »

Should Your Band Reunite If Fans Demand It?

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, 

My band [redacted] recently got back together for a short set at a special show.  Long story short we had a wonderful time and sounded better than we remembered. The audiences reaction was very overwhelming--many people came up to each band member and requested/demanded more shows. It had been a few years since our last show, and we had never officially broken up.  Do we owe it to the people to keep rocking or can we slip gracefully into an early retirement?

Sincerely,
Possibly Princess Leia

More »

This Is Why No One Cares About Your Band

Categories: Fan Landers

fanlanders_header.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.

Hello Fan
,
My band has had no luck with press or blog sites. The link I send them is an unpublished page, so the only people with access are people I send the link to. I can track how many plays I get and I don't get any. So they aren't even making it far enough to dislike us.

This is our second record and it came out in 2013. I have also been sending our new video, filmed in a beautiful turn-of-the-century Baptist church. The song is about a closet lesbian I dated who was sad and unhappy, hiding who she really was from her Baptist preacher father and very conservative family. I don't include that part of the story in my emails -- should I?
Y.S.

More »

Can a New Band Legally Use an Old Band's Name?

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,
My label released two records by a band that has broken up. I just discovered on Facebook some kid who seems to be a singer-songwriter and is performing under the same name. Just as a heads up I thought I would message this kid [REDACTED], who seems to think it's OK because the type of music he plays is different, and he wants to know if I am coming at him "legally." I don't really have much legally vested interest and I'm pretty sure I care more than the former band does at this point, but it would affect my label in some minor way and dilute any sort of name recognition the band built up. Do I have any legal standing in this, or am I cyber-bullying a stubborn kid?
George

See also: Should I Stay in the Closet For the Sake of My Rap Career?

More »

How Do I Stop My Bandmates From Hooking Up?

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 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

More »

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

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 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

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...