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Author Topic: Money  (Read 1470 times)


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« on: June 28, 2004, 01:13:51 PM »

From my March 2004 Harder Beat column:

I run a forum on the Internet and somebody wrote this as a suggestion for a column:


More specifically, what kinds of things are smart moves for the band, money wise? Not record deal type issues, but things like:

Would it be wise to get the bandmates together, and actually form a company, etc? One bank account for all monies to be put in that we take from gigs, or split the profits from the gigs, and everyone just does what they want?

There's certainly several scenarios that could happen, and probably different ways that would be most efficient, depending on the goals of the band, or gear needs, etc.

But, might there be some taboos to stay away from? Or some approaches that are consistantly reliable across the board?"

So, that's what my column is gonna be about this month: "Money - who gets what, and what comes out of it?

Of course, you hafta realize that different band members have different needs, but there are some guidelines that make some sense.  If everybody in the band works at a day job, it makes things a lot easier.  The band money goes into a "collective kitty" or checking account and all band expenses come out of that account.  

After expenses, the band splits what's left.  The band can decide whether or not they want to keep a collective reserve available for emergencies. That's all the easy part, just common sense, but what happens when things get a little more complicated?

Suppose one of the members of the band is just making his living from the band income, or one of the band members is about to leave, and you're planning and saving for a recording session, or figuring out his share of the P.A. the band bought collectively?  That's where it gets, sticky, ugly, and often, just plain mean.  How do you sort things out when it's not so clear cut?

First of all the band, like a corporation, is a separate entity from the individual members of the "current" group.  The band, just like a person, has its own rights, property, value, and responsibilities.  Individual band members may come and go, get fired or replaced, but as long as the band name is the same, club owners and fans have a right to expect the same high quality performance and entertainment from that band name.  

So the band name, and the image it envokes, has a value, which is made up of some of the band member's personalities, but in general, it's a collective image.

The "band" (or one member of the band) should own the PA.  It can be left to a vote as to whether departing band members should get any money back from their contribution to the PA system; it was a cost of doing business as a band, so the band should keep it, and the departing member doesn't get reimbursed for his share of the cost.  

Same thing with the money paid into making CDs; the band member can get his/her share of all the CDs made, but not the money he/she put in for the making of the CDs.  If they're on the album and they leave, they're liable for the expenses in creating and promoting the album, and they're entitled to a share of the profits from the sale of that album.

If there's a savings account for a recording session that hasn't happened yet, the departing member should be entitled to get his/her share back, since he/she won't be on the album.  He/she is NOT entitled to money back from deposits made for sessions IF he/she didn't let the band know they were planning on leaving the band prior to the band making the deposits.  

If it's a "dirty split", the band may decide to hold back some of the money due to cover "replacement costs" in replacing that member, but that can get into some sticky legal areas as to what's reasonable.
Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
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