My Musical Hero Is Taking Advantage of Me

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,
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

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How to Kick a Drunk Out of Your 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,

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


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Should Your Band Reunite If Fans Demand It?

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, 

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

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This Is Why No One Cares About Your 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.

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.

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

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,
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?

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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

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,

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

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,
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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