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Old 06-10-2008, 10:28 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,396
Default Re: Is getting signed to a Major really worth it anymore?

Originally Posted by mrchattr View Post
A lot of signed artists are going independent with great success. Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are two examples of bands who released their own music, for free or "pay what you will," and are making a lot of money off the tours, etc.
Don't forget, those bands wouldn't be where they are in the first place were it not for the promotion and exposure that their record deals provided.

Also, a lot of artists are leaving their labels for corporate deals...I don't know if you consider this "going independent," but acts such as The Eagles, Madonna, and Journey have signed partnership agreements with companies like Wal Mart and LiveNation..
There are a handful - not a lot - who have broken away from the labels, after much success and being at the top of their game. Their actions cannot be applied to a small artist attempting to gain exposure and record sales without the benefit of a label behind them.

Re: examples of bands making it big without a label...
There are definite examples...the "problem" is that when they made it big, they got signed, and thus you can argue that they still needed the labels. The ultimate example is Metallica, who (and I'm not a Metallica fan, so correct me if I'm wrong) basically had a national following before getting signed. Tila Tequila got famous because of MySpace, and has sold music on iTunes, and now has her own TV show. Drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts is trying to make it as a solo artist without a label right now, using his already established fan base and MySpace to sell his new album directly to his fans. Ingrid Michaelson is also now a famous musician with a national following who got there through MySpace, without a label. Even though they are not famous in the US yet, The Ting Tings started to get famous after recording only three songs...they posted two of them to their MySpace, and UK radio stations started playing them. The band's THIRD GIG, which was a house party at their own house, was attended by many of the UK's top labels, and they were signed by the end of it...but again, they were already famous.
With the exception of Metallica, I wouldn't say that any of the other names are big... actually I've only heard of Jeff Watts, and only within the drum community. That's not to say the other artists aren't doing well, but that's also subjective. As I mentioned before, they may be happy with 100% of $50,000 and their artistic freedom, as opposed to 10% of a $million and knowing that their label is taking the rest. Nevermind that they might actually have more exposure and money in their pocket that way.

And re Metallica, they were around long before there was an internet to help promote them, and they had a record deal (I don't know if it was an indie label, but they definitely had distribution.)

But don't get me wrong. You can have your label guys call me, and I'll sign on the dotted line right now! Seriously, Bermuda...I dare you to! ;-)
It's like I said, despite all the talk about the 'advantages' of being independent, artists really do want a deal. :)


Last edited by bermuda; 06-10-2008 at 10:39 PM.
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