Recording situation, do I get the guys to sign anything

spides666

Senior Member
Long story short, band I used to be in, I quit myself, felt I was too old for them etc...anyhow they have carried on and well looks like their signing to Warner Bros, which is cool for them, i don't mind

anyhow I played on the original EP which maybe used in a future release. Now the band have asked me if I'll record some new songs for them as their new drummer can't play to a click, which I can do in my sleep and will probably one take the new songs

Now do I trust these guys as I want credit for me recording these songs, I was going to video me playing in the Studio etc.........or get them to sign something to credit me on the release?
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I find it strange you think they would screw you over, if that's the case though... Go ahead and draw up a small agreement letter stating any price they're paying (also state if it's free). Paid or not, this document should state that you're to get album credit.

You don't have to call it a "contract" or get a lawyer involved, but a small agreement letter would hold up in court if you decide to take it that far. You also need to ask yourself if you'd really go to court and sue them over this. If the answer is no, then why bother with paperwork?
 

kettles

Gold Member
You definitely need to have a written agreement with them. And If you're going to have ANY kind of creative input then you should have an agreement regarding royalties too. If they are signed to a label then this shouldn't be a hard thing to sort out.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
You want to be clear if you're getting paid as a session drummer, or royalties for appearing on the album, if there is any pay at all.

I'd assume the label would prefer you be a session drummer, although that is assuming the band has any cash to pay you. If you sign for royalties, keep in mind you'll be signing for a tiny percentage, and most likely will never see much, unless the album ends up selling millions.

But at minimum, make sure you do get your name someone where in the credits. But given most kids download albums, they don't see the credits anyway.

On a side note, Warner Brother's still signs bands? LOL...
I had a friend who signed to a huge deal with WB in the 90's. The lable spend hundreds of thousands on a name producer, top studio, two videos, put the CD in stores, and then a few weeks after it was released, the label decided to not fund any marketing, the videos were never seen, and the CD went straight to the 99 cent bin. Ouch.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You want to be clear if you're getting paid as a session drummer, or royalties for appearing on the album, if there is any pay at all.

I'd assume the label would prefer you be a session drummer, although that is assuming the band has any cash to pay you. If you sign for royalties, keep in mind you'll be signing for a tiny percentage, and most likely will never see much, unless the album ends up selling millions.

But at minimum, make sure you do get your name someone where in the credits. But given most kids download albums, they don't see the credits anyway.

On a side note, Warner Brother's still signs bands? LOL...
I had a friend who signed to a huge deal with WB in the 90's. The lable spend hundreds of thousands on a name producer, top studio, two videos, put the CD in stores, and then a few weeks after it was released, the label decided to not fund any marketing, the videos were never seen, and the CD went straight to the 99 cent bin. Ouch.
This happened to a friend of mine too. They went through the whole process of getting signed, then the label dumped money into them and then nothing. I later found out through an attorney friend that this happens all the time because the labels use it as a tax write-off. If they dole out $200,000 on 'artist development', then that's $200,000 they don't have to pay taxes on. It's apparently a game that was big not so long ago (and may still be used today if labels are indeed still signing bands). But this activity doesn't surprise me given the amount of bands out there that will do anything to chase their rockstar dreams.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
This happened to a friend of mine too. They went through the whole process of getting signed, then the label dumped money into them and then nothing. I later found out through an attorney friend that this happens all the time because the labels use it as a tax write-off. If they dole out $200,000 on 'artist development', then that's $200,000 they don't have to pay taxes on. It's apparently a game that was big not so long ago (and may still be used today if labels are indeed still signing bands). But this activity doesn't surprise me given the amount of bands out there that will do anything to chase their rockstar dreams.
True, that does happen. Labels used (and may still) sign more bands than they plan on promoting. Partially to see who sticks, and partially just because of the tax write off of who doesn't stick. But usually the "write off" bands usually don't even get to the full CD release stage. The write off bands get printed up in plain white labels and shelved.

In my buddies case, the president of WB got fired, and the band got lost in the shuffle on internal politics.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The write off bands get printed up in plain white labels and shelved.
That's exactly what happened! They kept wondering what happened, and we had a falling out when I told them I thought they sounded an awful lot like Prince and the Revolution ;)
 
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