[thechat] 21st century rock star

Kevin Stevens kjs at ratking.co.uk
Tue Aug 13 03:56:01 CDT 2002

> >From what I've read, I have a feeling that the music industry will
> probably take him for a ride for all he's worth.
> (I'm thinking of this article specifically:
> http://dir.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/index.html)

I remember reading this article a while ago and I think her math is
definitely wrong. She makes it sound like no-one in a band ever makes any
money, which is blatently untrue. Courtney claims that she never receives a
cent of Kurts royalties, all that money goes to their daughter, and she
hardly seems poverty stricken.
Also it is forgetting the fringe benefits like fame, free drugs, wild sex,
and getting to travel the world playing to crowds of adoring fans. I think
the thing to do is to keep as much away from the record company as possible.
The most important move is to recruit a good lawyer, not one who works for
the label. Also, don't sign a publishing deal (which, if your friend writes
their own tunes will probably earn them more than a record contract anyway)
with the label. A record company is in a worse position if they have a large
publishing house constantly on their backs about release dates. Sure, all
the promotion costs money, but a large label is in a much better position to
get your songs heard by the right people than you could ever hope to do
yourself, not to mention a support tour with one of their more established
This isn't to say that the DIY ethic won't work, there are hundreds of
artists doing it their own way and doing very nicely out of it, but it is a
lot of hard work. Signing to a label means having a team of people doing
their jobs on your behalf so you can concentrate on making music and having
a good time :) If you sell yourself 100% to them then you are going to get
screwed, so here are a few things I've learned from my own experience and
from others

1. Get a good manager, one who believes in your talent as much as you do.
This is the most important decision you will make.
2. Get a good lawyer, not connected to the label in any way, one that will
explain the contract to you in a way that you can understand.
3. Keep an eye on your money, have your own accountant check your accounts
so that you know precisley how much money is coming in and going out.
4. Videos do NOT have to cost $1 million! If you think somebodys work will
complement your own, see if you can collaborate, be it CD artwork, videos,
web sites etc.
5. Take your mates with you, I know several bands who employ friends as road


Kevin Stevens
kjs at ratking.co.uk

More information about the thechat mailing list