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If you were offered a major deal tomorrow, and considering the current state of the music industry, would you sign?
only possible answer !
unless you're the arcade fire or an otherwise established artist, in which case you can really bargain, then there are certain restrictions/preconceptions you can expect from a major label, right?
so if you were offered a 150-200 grand advance (about the norm) 1 album, 5 options, woodya?
negotiating from a position of indie success is really the best way to go. a contract like sonic youth's would be triple-A++++ ace.
what's that like?
yes, as long as it allowed me to record the album I want to make.
I almost don't care about how it does, or making lots of money, I just want to make a classic album, and its proving difficult with rubber bands for violins and party blowers for trumpets
on a major though, can you? or do you just make the one album you want and disappear with the advance?
got to remember, though, is that they could reject the album without even releasing it, and then you'd be looking at £££ to get the rights to it back.
what i really mean is, do you think the advantages of a decent indie outweigh the cash and clout of a major?
as with everything, it all depends on what you want to get out of it.
i'd certainly be hesitant to sign with a major over someone like, say, rough trade or merge or barsuk or something, as (especially in the last ten years) the gap between what a major can do over any (larger) indie has narrowed considerably.
i suppose, in the long term, you're better off with a larger indie though, as they're more likely to give you room to change your sound and whatnot.
for small run releases, but if you're putting out an album that way i think you're shooting yourself in the foot, but that's more down to cost/time/effort ratios. it just strikes me as a waste to spend time and money putting out an album if only 500 people are going to hear it.
aren't heard by more than 500 people...
and i think it's a waste considering how much effort it can be to actually make one.
but isn't it better than at least a few people have an album to remember the band ?
i'd say... no.
not as a CD customer...
DIY in your spare time is all fine, but the stumbling block is when you need to go full time but aren't making the money to support yourself. it's basically cashflow. and that's when a major can step in and provide the solution. but for a pound of flesh.
i'm curious as to whether a defiantly indie place like DiS thinks it's worth that pound of flesh...
and working a day job and doing it part time just isn't feasible, and living in povety is miserable.
i actually don't blame any band for giving up their pound of flesh.
..very much dependent on the amount of freedom and control I would be allowed.
One or two of em I would'nt touch with a bargepole right now, even there subdiduaries.
And anyone who says they wouldn't is a liar.
and an idiot!
is that unless you are getting lot of hype from the media it`s less likely that an unsigned band will get a deal from a major. Majors will buy out small indie labels frist and let them deal with unsigned bands majors don`t know how to deal with small project because they don`t know how to. Indie labels are not all bad some of my friends are signed to an indie label and are doing quite well they have been on the front cover of NME and artrocker got national airplay and have done gigs with alot of estbalished bands.
so I think it`s what the band/artist does with the label rather than who there signed to
Beats working in an office I bet.
it could seriously cut into your DiS time, whereas working in an office positively encourages DiS usage.
get a laptop and a wi fi conetion
Now where do i sign?
iwould have thought, would provide more oppurtunity to play bigger venues, not necessarily arenas but places like the astoria. also it could provide the oppurtunity to play in other countries rather than being confined to the same circuit of venues for five years. it does seem that there are alot of great british bands such as jetplane landing, yourcodenameis:milo, amusement parks on fire to name but a few, who are going unrecognised.
were on a major, and were dumped by it.
Take the money and run. Use the advance to build your own studio. Don't take it too seriously. Ignore everything the record company tries to foist on you and impose your will at every opportunity. When it all implodes, go and make some real music instead.
you on and make you pay back the advance.
bit of a pisser really.
and whether they actually get your music, surely.
..and your contract had run, signing back to a major label or setting up your own one is probably wise, because smaller labels would be sunk by the weight of the band, to think nautically .
Personally i would never sign to a major label because of the involvements in the arms trade, the fact that they run bands for the sake of money, and media monopolisation just plain sucks.
Yes! of course. As if working part-time at Jack-in-the-Box and using a recording of your dog barking in lieu of a proper studio's special effects-shit would uphold your indie-cred, keeping it "real". Ha! Gimme the groupies, a mixing board, a suite at the Waldorf, Brian Eno producing, an NME cover, and an evening slot at the Reading Festival...and if EMI absolutely insists on a glossy intro on the single we'll say Pete Townsend was unavailable and we had to settle for the dude with the funny haircut who's actually in the band which will help bring the album in on budget in any event. Compromise with the A&R bloke by offering to let Annie Lennox sing back-up on the band's My Way cover.
Truth is, jesting aside, that major label support probably ...neh, probably...almost certainly affects the final outcome in a positive way when we're talking about a young band with very limited studio experience. For a band to record a quality album in their living room as the Wrens did with Meadowlands, say, is the exception rather than the rule, methinks.
I personally find the Trail of Dead - 'woe is me! in this cutthroat music biz, its phoney MTV hype' - sort of rhetoric comical if not outright offensive. Ah, let's see: shoving shit on a farm or dealing with the frustrations of being a minor celebrity rock star? Hmm...let me think about that...for a half-frickin millisecond!!
Of course, I'm only guessing, but it seems obvious to me that the benefits of a major label far outweigh its negatives. Which is why the biggest names in music are invariably signed to with a major with or without complaints.
"Hmm...traveling by Lear jet or a VW bus? Eno at Montreux or a Radio Shack 4-track?"
I suspect in most cases signing to a major enhances the band's success in the short-term but there's potentially a longer career staying on an indie.
The problem I'd have is that I tend to like to change direction regularly with my songs and try new things and a major label would probably want me to narrow that down in order to aim for a particular market.
the yes. Making enough money to survive is obviously the key issue and you can't live a life (in most cases) in releasing records yourself. You have to look at this realistically, it's sad but if you want to make a living out of music (in most cases) you need a major label.
that what this whole thread really asks is why you would want to join a band or not. the response seems to be either 'it would stifle me' or 'i want a learjet'. Some good arguments have been made for majors and production value, which i can see. I also think that there is a mental health and morality issue at stake. if you sign to a major, you agree to be a product as much as the music, which cant have good consequences for your state of mind. just look at the cocky bands that abound now to see the effects of this. in my opinion.
and out of contract signing to a major can be posative espally when your wanting to export your music to other countrys small indie labels can only do so much for you Iso would sign but only when I have allready been sucessfull with an indie label and wanted to start looking outside of the uk
For the record, the reason I play in a band...er, ok, with a mate or two/three from time to time, is because it's a hellalotta fun. Admittedly, I've no serious aspirations in the biz, but my point is I love music which includes making music.
I wished to stress that whenever this debate comes up the majors are villified head to toe and that's simply naive and unfair. The fact is with major label support a four piece band of basically novice 17 year olds might get the wisdom of an experienced producer or the addition of a piano from a session musician to the arrangement because a major can make that sort of thing happen while an indie label might have a tough time getting decent artwork for the band's album cover.
Whenever art and economics collide there is going to be conflict and this is not exclusively a music industry issue. A publisher might very well tell Sidney Sheldon he should seriously consider adding a sex scene to chapter 12 the same way the Dandy Warhol's label told them their record was shit and they weren't going to spend their hard earned money promoting it till they got it right. Who's right in that case? Obviously we sympathize with the artist but to say the label hasn't the moral right to put in their two cents after they paid for all the expenses is madness.
Now, you may wish to blame the whole damn system but there too I'd beg to remind you that the capitalist system has given art an economic backing millions and billions of ducats greater than previous historical eras.
I think what I'd like to end with is this. Making money is a good thing. Can it be corruptive? Can it lead to an artist becoming intellectually lazy ie a sellout? Yeah, of course. But ultimately a band puts their name on the album and at that point they own it, good or bad.
..who you know and love are funded by majors. there is little diffrence. it's all about marketing.
...there are still very small indie labels about, but not ones you hear about much...
I fucking laugh at the fact that NME put covermount CDs about 1965 records and transgressive in the mag and said all this shite about "independent spirit" , how these are the new 'indie' labels making waves..
my arse. Sony-BMG gives 1965 their money and Warners gives transgressive its money.
In fact, Warners paid transgressive a load of cash to release the Shins album, so that it would have that oh so important indie cred
As you say bottom, it's all about the marketing, and what the public perceives to be 'cool'
they would soon notice that i wasn't very good at playing music
leave a major to join an indie?
Anyways, I've always been suspricious of major labels. They have pros and I can understand why people would want to join. Would I or my band sign to a major. I don't know. If it was up to me, I'd be cautious, but there are 9 other people in my band (yes really there are actually that many) and even for trios & quartets, there can be arguements about what each member wants to do. I also have admiration for band like 65daysofstatic, The Pipettes, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai etc for having huge followings and releasing records on respected indie labels.
Hope that made some sense. Apologies if it didn't
you forgot it in people was licensed to universal (or something) over here tho.
Cause=Time was released on Mercury. Not sure if that was a full release or just a publishing deal though
i think it was just a one-off licensing deal though.
t'case says it's (c) arts & crafts, under license to mercury.
for about 5 years and a major offered you a deal tomorrow, you would fucking take it!
...youd probably not be very good.
Why not? If someone's going to pay for you to do that.
If you ended up losing it all then just get another job and pay back what you need to.