How do you ask about a bands financial situation without sounding nosey or like a chump?

Shild

Member
While I was at an audition yesterday the leader of the band told me the practice space is 275 a month and being that it's a trio, i've got to come up with 91.66 a month if I want to be in the band... The band is established enough that they've already done a lot of Live Shows so I said "I don't want to sound like someone with unrealistic expectations, but how much do you guys make when you do shows?" He said "Not much." he didn't seem to want to say how little, but he said the band sells cd's and they get about $15 a week from doing that, but it all goes into a paypal account with about $1200 right now so that they can record the next album... That makes it sound like I have no hope of recovering any of my 91.66 a month.

What do you guys have to say about asking about things like that without sounding too nosey or like a chump who thinks anyone who has an album out makes tons of money? Asking him about that made me feel like I was asking someone how much money they make at work, generally a bad move....
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Is it just me or does 275 per month sound a tad excessive??
Sounds like this band will cost you money rather then make any.
Is it the best or only rehearsal space available?
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Is it just me or does 275 per month sound a tad excessive??
Sounds like this band will cost you money rather then make any.
Is it the best or only rehearsal space available?
if it is a monthly lock out that is cheap

but money the band makes should pay for it

should not be out of pocket if at all possible

a band I was in for nearly a decade had multiple lock outs in those years and we only had to go into pocket for rent a few times

either money from gigs, merch sales or our management paid for the space ....I think the label covered it while we were out on the road
 

toddmc

Gold Member
if it is a monthly lock out that is cheap
Holy crap- had no idea how expensive these spaces can be.
I seem to remember paying 5 or 10 bucks per rehearsal (from each member of 4 piece band) for about 2 hours playing time.
If you're constantly practising though and the room is at your disposal 24/7 I guess that makes it worth it...
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Is it just me or does 275 per month sound a tad excessive??
Sounds like this band will cost you money rather then make any.
Is it the best or only rehearsal space available?
275 per month is well under what we pay for our space, and we share it with two other bands (who pay just as much). Rehersal spaces are expensive.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
It's quite simple. You ask, make your financial position clear and work out if it's tenable.

Case in point. I've just joined a band with big ambitions. The rehearsal space we're using is around £50 for four hours - it's very good. When I first got the phone call from the lead singer, I made it clear and plain that I could not afford to pay for the rehearsal space due to my personal situation. I was honest and upfront straight away and said that I understood if there were any misgivings about the situation. I also made my apologies at our first rehearsal but I was assured that it's not an issue.

Financial situations are very often the cause of a lot of friction in bands and it's always prudent to discuss finances as early and as honestly as possible to avoid any resentment or underlying issue. Just ask. The worst that can happen is that you can't do it.
 

Shild

Member
Is it just me or does 275 per month sound a tad excessive??
Sounds like this band will cost you money rather then make any.
Is it the best or only rehearsal space available?
No, 275 a month for a practice space is cheap! I like this space too, it is an industrial mill next to the railroad, it literally has 3 locks on each door (never seen that before). It's very small though, maybe 10x10 feet but I'd rather figure out how to make a small space work rather than pay that extra money... 300-500 is probably more what they normally cost but are usually bigger....

I have actually seen a bigger space for 200 but it was a dormant factory just opened up for that purpose that I don't think even currently had electricity. Guess the only thing for a guitarist or bassist to do is drag a car battery and power inverter up the stairs to power his amp...
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Jesus....

We pay £30 per week with a £5 per week storage charge but only on weeks when we don't rehearse (rare)

Rooms are reasonable size

275 a month sounds a lot to me...the kind of money which I wouldn't be able to afford on a monthly basis...

Sheesh
 

Shild

Member
Jesus....

We pay £30 per week with a £5 per week storage charge but only on weeks when we don't rehearse (rare)

Rooms are reasonable size

275 a month sounds a lot to me...the kind of money which I wouldn't be able to afford on a monthly basis...

Sheesh
Lets see, 30 + 5 is 35 a week. 35x4 is 140 a month.. Then I multiply 140 by about 1.6 for the currency exchange. I get $224 if I use 1.6, How big is the room you're getting? And what is the storage charge? You mean you have to take it out of storage and set up every time you practice? I think that might cancel out the $51 bucks you save...
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Keep in mind = $90 x 12 = close to $1000 a year to be in this band. It should be more about investing time rather than money. But you have avery legitimate question that they should give you an honest answer to.
 

Shild

Member
Keep in mind = $90 x 12 = close to $1000 a year to be in this band. It should be more about investing time rather than money. But you have avery legitimate question that they should give you an honest answer to.
Yeah, I'm getting $1080 when I calculate it.... It's money I wouldn't be happy about seeing go. I should have asked the guy "Do lots of hot chicks go to your show?". If the answer is yes I think it's worth it myself...
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I was wondering how you rehearse in a 10' x 10' space, which is as big as a very small bedroom. Then I remembered you said it is just a trio.
 

Shild

Member
It's quite simple. You ask, make your financial position clear and work out if it's tenable.

Case in point. I've just joined a band with big ambitions. The rehearsal space we're using is around £50 for four hours - it's very good. When I first got the phone call from the lead singer, I made it clear and plain that I could not afford to pay for the rehearsal space due to my personal situation. I was honest and upfront straight away and said that I understood if there were any misgivings about the situation. I also made my apologies at our first rehearsal but I was assured that it's not an issue.

Financial situations are very often the cause of a lot of friction in bands and it's always prudent to discuss finances as early and as honestly as possible to avoid any resentment or underlying issue. Just ask. The worst that can happen is that you can't do it.
Can you tell me more about this? I'm now just learning about places that charge on an hourly basis like that then have storage fee's. I've never seen that before. I guess it's common where you live but rare here in the USA.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
In my case, it's simply a recording studio that rents out the live rooms on an ad-hoc, booked basis. We use studio gear, mostly - their microphones, PA, amps and some of their kit (I use the bass drum and toms). There are also engineers around to ask for additional equipment such as monitoring headphones and the like. We don't use the studio for storage and cart our own gear instead. We have access to the full PA in the room but I'm the designated 'engineer' (I have expertise).

As a result, we only have to pay for the actual time we have booked and we're in the fortunate position of two of our band members (the lead songwriters) being willing to hold the cost. Considering the location (North London, easily accessible on the Underground network) and the equipment available, the cost is quite reasonable, although obviously more expensive the more you use it.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
There is nothing "nosey" or "chump-like" when asking about pay in a band. Of course, you don't want to come across as having an "it's all about money" attitude, but then again, they were pretty up-front about the rehearsal space costs. Financial issues are a major source of friction in a band, and it's best to be open about those matters.

It sounds to me like the priorities in the band are backwards. The band fund should pay for the ongoing band expenses, like rehearsal spaces. When one-time expenses come up, like recording an album, hopefully the band fund can cover it, but if not, then it's not unreasonable for "the band" to take a loan from its members, to be paid back by the first fruits of the album sales.

The most important thing is that you know, 100%, what you're buying into when joining the band, and that you're okay with the expenses and earnings you will be dealing with. If not, it will just eat away at you more and more the longer you're with the group. No surprises, no regrets. Good luck!
 

Daisy

Senior Member
Asking him about that made me feel like I was asking someone how much money they make at work....
It's not about what he makes, but what you'd make. OK, it's not all about the money, but it's a factor. You shouldn't have had to ask.

I'd be more than a little concerned dealing with someone who told me to the precise cent what I'd have to contribute, but couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me about the band's income.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I feel this would be okay as long as I really liked the music, and every member was both paying, and got paid a fair share. If it's all even, I wouldn't mind helping for a space.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
The books should be open to all members of the band, like any business. You should be able to know what the band made, what its expenses were and what it paid out to musicians. The band is really a business entity with bills to pay, including paying the musicians, rental space, transportation and promotional expenses.

If you're just going to give them the $91 a month, that sounds screwy and a bad way to set up a business.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Maybe it's just me, but I can't see paying money to "rehearse" (probably more like jam and fool around) with folks who can't make any money from playing. Maybe if you see some amazing talent on the cusp of breaking big, but halfway decent players poking around the fringes of the music biz with dreams of making an album are a dime a dozen. Lots of small studio owners and CD duplication houses make their living off these folks who don't go anywhere.

Sounds like they should put together an alternate ego thing, a band with a different name that plays money making music so that they can fund their dreams. Maybe learning enough music that people want to pay to hear will bleed though into their own "original" stuff in some beneficial way that results in making money "doing their own thing".

When you reach out to 1st call folks for a sub or casual, usually the first thing they ask is "how much?". Right up there with "who else is on the gig?". Nothing wrong with getting clear on the financial aspects of something. It's part of being a pro not to sell yourself short.
 
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