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So you want that big record deal? Sounds good sounds great but is it. There's a lot of factors to consider.
We will start with my own experiences. I got an offer to record with Sony about two years ago. Yes I was patting myself on the back very hard. So they sent me this contract that was forever long, Contained words and meanings that will just give you a heart attack! Example: they say "we will own your likeness through out the universe". That's a big space people. This means if you take a picture they get paid so if they give you one album and they release it; They can profit from your photo forever or likeness. This means you don't own you!
So on to music if you haven't ran away yet. So they will say Joe X I'm going to give you a three album deal. I'm going to give you ten thousand for album one 15 for album two 24 album three. Plus a allowance for touring photo shoots airtime interviews, Hotels resturants you have to eat! But in really small print it says the artist has to recoup all this money spent on him plus a percent of what he earns. Remember the total deal was for 500k. You already are way over that.
Plus it say's after the artist release's his album there will be a review of what's happened at that time they can drop you. But through any of this you can't drop them for another label.
Still here, Okay here's there scariest part now say you release a really good album, But they just released another band sound's like you and are the same market. They look at this picture and say which band is going to get bigger. So they pick band A. They will honor your contract record all three of your albums. Then never release them. Let them collect dust in the basement.
You say no way… NO no friend they're not going to let you tap into NickleBacks Market and take away from a sure steak dinner. They have to protect their product and by signing you to a dummy deal they have achieved just that.
More great artists have missed they're calling due to this fact alone. Oh by the way you still have to pay for that marketing that never seen the sight of day and the music videos also. Remember no one ever seen any of this.
Also the biggest medium for music in the world today is myspace. That's free a little work and elbow greese you can achieve a great following there. Plus sell your music! Keep in mind everything I have written about is called a standard industry contract. Also the demo they had of mine was a terrible live recording. Oh yeah one last thing your album also has to meet their expectation's. So even if it's perfect to you they can say nope it's crap start again. Oh your still paying. Kleenex isn't free at Sony you dig!
So if you have a house and something nice you have earned. Be carefull with these people they don't care about your children's future nor your's they just want a quick penny if there's a potential for that. When you talk to a record company that's all they're saying to you is potential. I have one thing saved me. I'm a my way or highway guy. So I do music out of love nothing more or less I will do it for free I'm not concerned with a paycheck for it. So you understand where I was at in the negotiation's If your a money driven person better walk the line be really careful. Think of the big labels as Transformers – nothing meets the eye!!!
Right after I told Sony to go fly a kite put nicely of course. I got a gig offer to tour last summer for Budweiser, Then Pabst blue ribbon. Sitting on my rear at home with no label support or fan support. Take that to the bank people…..
A.H. Martin PaleHorse Records
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