How to handle this situation

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Hi guys, bit of advice required here.


So a band I joined in august full time (upgraded from well used dep status) pay is low but there are plenty of gigs which was great at the time.


Now!! turns out that on some gigs I have been paid sometimes £30 or £40 less than others for no real reason. Pissed off to say the least.

My original plan was to stick it out till the end of the year and I was swithering as to whether I should stay but now i am definately leaving at the end of the year.

Got 8 more gigs so cant just jump ship now as that is nice xmas money.

My dilemma is how to quit??

Obviously discussing pay in this band has been a no no and if i say to the guy incharge that the reason is I am being paid less than others (on top f other reasons) means I drop the other guys in it. I don't want them to lose the work and land them in it.

So should I be honest and lay my cards on the table - professionally of course or should I lie and say I want to follow other things or I've joined another band or something./

Cheers group.


D
 

STXBob

Gold Member
Let me preface my comments with the confession that I don't make my living with my instrument. ;-)

I think you're on the ethical high ground, and should have a frank discussion with your bandmates. If you're a full member of the band - not a sub/dep or someone otherwise brought in on the odd gig - you deserve the same pay rate as all the other members. If you want to stay with the group you should address it in a professional manner, and make it plain that your continuance with the group is dependent on how they handle the situation. If they can't or won't address the issue professionally, or (worse) if they get their pants in a wad because you brought it up, you're best off walking now. You can't trust people like that. I know the extra income will help coming into the holidays, but trust is key in any relationship, especially in a professional music ensemble.

To be clear, I don't think a passivve-aggressive approach is worthwhile. Yes, word will get out that you stood up for yourself, but in my experience that only enhances your reputation as a professional among those with whom you actually want to play.

Make sense?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Dave I fear leaving is being a little hasty. You'd be jumping ship without offering them the opportunity to keep you on board.

I am assuming you want to keep this gig as long as you get equal pay. If so...

One opinion: Whatever you say, say it very matter of fact-like. Business like, devoid of any emotion. They deserve a chance to give you what you want before you leave them. You have to walk a very precise balance to preserve the respect they have for you, and so they don't lose face.

Seeing it from their POV first is key. Don't talk. Ask. Lead them to your desired outcome, equal dough. Without even bringing money up (important) ask them what their plans are for you. Ask them if they are happy with you. Or if there is anything they are unhappy about. You have to put them in control to get your desired outcome. Don't pre load their answers by asking if you are an equal member or not. It's not about YOU it's about THEM. You have to feel them out. You want to find out if you are just temporary in their minds or if they want you all the time. If you are temporary, with unequal pay, you said you're gone. Cool. If it comes down to that then you should stick to your guns and wish them well. If they want you full time.... then you know you have a shot to get equal pay.

But you have to disarm them and act like they are the boss, if you want any shot at all of appealing to their sense of fairness. You have to charm their pants off and be totally unselfish. It's not about YOU it's about THEM. Or the Band. Not you. You have to make it appealing for them to give you equal pay somehow.

I've been reading Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People" What I wrote is lifted straight from those pages. Don't be put off by the title. The book is an absolute goldmine of common sense information dealing with the inter-personal relationships.
Give them the control and the respect. Very powerful tool. If you try and plead your own case in any way, you're sunk. Assuming that is, you want to stay if the money is equal.

I'd say try and finesse your way into equal pay before leaving.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
A couple of points.

1. You mention there is a guy in charge, so that would imply its his band, not an equal shares thing?

2. There is an old saying "You dont get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate",and its true.

If no1 is fact ask the guy for a raise, you dont even need to mention that you know you are not getting the same as the others. Just tell him you are struggling to manage on what you get. Shy kids get nowt.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Thanks guys,

There are a multitude of reasons why I want to leave (and the other members do)

1 - the money situation - the cost of hiring the band is £1400. The 3 other members of the band (not including the guy in charge) get £120 each.

LIke i said there are loads of gigs so it does balance it out but when he/the band are pocketing £1050 every gig then there is a massive gulf between what he earns and we earn.

Obviously we have other musician friends in bands and we know how much they earn.
Charging the same or less they all take home at least £170 sometimes up to £300

That £50 difference x 8 gigs a month is the difference between renting and buying a house...

I am totally cool with a band member being the leader and the 'band' taking money for running costs etc. That's totally cool and I would expect that as wedding bands can be expensive things to run.


2 - the leader isn't a great musician to start. He is ok but not amazing.


3 - because of 2 - I can't put up with his abusive attitude towards other members of the band. One gig he fired our bass player because he accused him of taking drugs. He hadn't and had just finished an 8 hour shift on a building site and was tired.

He is abusive to his wife/son/roadie who sometimes come on gigs to help with set up.


4 - he smells!


5 - all of these before i found out that I was paid less than everyone else....despite being in the band longer than the guitar player!



All of these add up to me keeping my mouth shut, having my dep hat on and just taking my money and also my decision to stick it out to the end of the year and re-evaluate.



The band has been running 10 years and he has been through many, many musicians. The most common reason for them being relived of their duties are that they brought up the money situation and asked about a raise.

He then goes all defensive and say he will see but oh the band needs a new desk....or a new van....or google just put up their pay per click so sorry i can't give a raise.

OORRR.....he goes aggressive and threatening.


I will have a chat with him (probably over the phone) after new year and talk things through. He may be so desperate to keep me that he gives me my raise but I doubt it.

He has a reputation for fobbing people off and will soon run out of musicians to work with.

D
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
I would ask to his face what the reason is for paying you less. No excuse for that.
Totally would and that would be my first choice. my dilemma is that if I do that, that shows that the other band members have told me and in a FB message he said 'don't tell dave'

That then puts their position in the band in jeaprody and leaves them at risk of losing the gigs and money

Ya dig?

s
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
In light of all the other circumstances, if you get this guy to give you a raise....it sounds like it would be totally out of character for him from what you described. I would give him some notice so he can cover his gigs.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Dave .... the answer is simple

Honesty

you will never have a regret when you rest upon honesty
+1 ^ THis.No need to be anything but this.Think about what you want to say,and don't bring any emotion into it.Make believe this is a small business.Be succinct and logical..

The only questions I have is,do you do original material,and are you the only one ..not writing that material.Secondly,does the band of any individuals,own the PA or lighting ,van or any other gear ect.that warrants extra pay for extra contribution?

If not,then you should be making equal pay,hands down.

Steve B
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
In light of all the other circumstances, if you get this guy to give you a raise....it sounds like it would be totally out of character for him from what you described. I would give him some notice so he can cover his gigs.
There are no gigs in january so a month is enough time and also I'll say I'll cover any till you find someone.

Dave
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
+1 ^ THis.No need to be anything but this.Think about what you want to say,and don't bring any emotion into it.Make believe this is a small business.Be succinct and logical..

The only questions I have is,do you do original material,and are you the only one ..not writing that material.Secondly,does the band of any individuals,own the PA or lighting ,van or any other gear ect.that warrants extra pay for extra contribution?

If not,then you should be making equal pay,hands down.

Steve B

It's all covers - wedding band.

The 'guy' owns all the pa etc but not drums or anything. Also he does take extra - evidently - don't think providing PA warrants taking 8 times as much as everyone else.

D
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I know its not fair but.......If its the guys band and you are a hired gun, he can pay what he wants If he is running it as a business. If its not enough and you cant agree a rise, you can walk. Its that easy.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's not truly a band. A band implies equality. This is a business and you are a contractor. He's making a buttload of money off you guys. I'm wondering how long the higher paid contractors have been with him full time, and if they started out at a lower pay initially.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
It's not truly a band. A band implies equality. This is a business and you are a contractor. He's making a buttload of money off you guys. I'm wondering how long the higher paid contractors have been with him full time, and if they started out at a lower pay initially.
The guitarist has been with him a year less than me and the bass player has been with him a while.

I would understand if there was a loyalty bonus and a sliding scale that's cool. And I know bands that operate like that.

It's not every gig btw. Its only some and that makes it even more untoward.

And Mikel - i know he can pay what ever he wants but to pay differently on no reason other than he feels like it is unacceptable.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
And Mikel - i know he can pay what ever he wants but to pay differently on no reason other than he feels like it is unacceptable.
Just for a bit of perspective, it's illegal in the US for an owner to discourage their employees from discussing their salaries and wages with each other. Of course this is a contractor/vendor relationship, but the roles are similar.

There's a local wedding/corporate group, whose leadership takes exactly one band member wage for each gig -- no more and no less. Everyone knows exactly who is making how much for every gig. The owner/leadership take is usually about 15% of the total fee to the client, depending on the size of the band. (Granted, there are no company vehicles, or even company offices. Light and sound rigs are hired locally.)

Your scenario, where the band leader takes 50% of the pay, is ridiculous. No wonder he's constantly replacing musicians. You deserve to know what the band is being paid (to see the check with your own eyes), and to make 15-20% of that amount.

Larry has it right on the money w.r.t. the conversation you'll need to have. Being able to walk away from this gig and not burn the bridge will speak volumes to those who would hire you in the future.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
Dave I fear leaving is being a little hasty. You'd be jumping ship without offering them the opportunity to keep you on board.

I am assuming you want to keep this gig as long as you get equal pay. If so...

One opinion: Whatever you say, say it very matter of fact-like. Business like, devoid of any emotion. They deserve a chance to give you what you want before you leave them. You have to walk a very precise balance to preserve the respect they have for you, and so they don't lose face.

Seeing it from their POV first is key. Don't talk. Ask. Lead them to your desired outcome, equal dough. Without even bringing money up (important) ask them what their plans are for you. Ask them if they are happy with you. Or if there is anything they are unhappy about. You have to put them in control to get your desired outcome. Don't pre load their answers by asking if you are an equal member or not. It's not about YOU it's about THEM. You have to feel them out. You want to find out if you are just temporary in their minds or if they want you all the time. If you are temporary, with unequal pay, you said you're gone. Cool. If it comes down to that then you should stick to your guns and wish them well. If they want you full time.... then you know you have a shot to get equal pay.

But you have to disarm them and act like they are the boss, if you want any shot at all of appealing to their sense of fairness. You have to charm their pants off and be totally unselfish. It's not about YOU it's about THEM. Or the Band. Not you. You have to make it appealing for them to give you equal pay somehow.

I've been reading Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People" What I wrote is lifted straight from those pages. Don't be put off by the title. The book is an absolute goldmine of common sense information dealing with the inter-personal relationships.
Give them the control and the respect. Very powerful tool. If you try and plead your own case in any way, you're sunk. Assuming that is, you want to stay if the money is equal.

I'd say try and finesse your way into equal pay before leaving.
This is good stuff! I'm getting that book (which did indeed put me off with its title - my mistake).
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
He's paying you ls because you'll accept less. If you want to get paid more then tell him "this is what I expect as a minimum".

This is a lazy person who is set in their ways. He'll probably replace you for a month then call you back because you're the only person who will put up with his shit.

"You'll only be treated as poorly as you allow yourself to be treated..."

I've worked with a hundred of these types. Set your boundaries and stick to them. Don't let this guy walk on you.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
This is good stuff! I'm getting that book (which did indeed put me off with its title - my mistake).
Classic book indeed, but remember this- any "self help" book written after about 1920 was "Personality-based", and everything prior to that was "Character based". Always maintain an anchor on your character; character is the "steak", personality is the "sizzle". Bring some of both but in the end, make the steak be the focus.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Given that you are a covers band....

Before you walk, if it's your intention to walk anyway, why not talk to the other musicians and ask if THEY want to form a band of equals with you.

Then basically all resign...

Re-start the band sans-knobhead

And name it exactly the same and market yourselves as that band.

There'll be no copyright issue because, being a covers band, no disrespect but you'll be called something absolutely ridiculous like crem-broule or some such

:)

And you get style points if the arsehole has a nervous breakdown with the end result being that you buy all the PA gear for a pittance in his own firesale auction
 
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