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Author Topic: Production or 'Spec' Deals?  (Read 8115 times)

Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2005, 08:28:13 am »

Dreary thing is that it seems the legal affairs departments at big labels seem to think it is part of their job to crush 'the little guy' like a bug.

Best thing you can do IMHO is to have the band on your side...  they are the ONLY ones that can send a message to the big guys to 'play nice' with you...

The "new management company" that scooped up the rising talent  (short sightedly) may want a big hitter 'he does everyone' type producer to record the band next so they probably don't give a rats ass about what you get out of any deal...

Of course bands 'memories' can become, er... 'vague' about all the help you gave em in the early days when the glare from the afternoon sun on the 50 platinum records in the record co boardroom hits them in the eyes...

When negotiations are on a knife edge, good relations with the band can make ALL the difference... Lawyers know this and often ask at crucial stages, "how's the relationship between you and the band".. They KNOW that a band tight with someone isn't going to dig their A&R mook if he blatantly shafts someone close to them.. naturally being a nasty business - chums DO get shafted / pushed asside...

Plus if you get on well with the band, they can come back as clients after a year or so of the major label A&R circus - to record thier OWN records with you!   Cool





j.hall

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2005, 09:35:35 am »

personally i think your (kevin "the viking") biggest assest is that you personally have relationships at certain labels.  that lowers the risk with any spec deal you choose to take on.

you aren't waiting for the band to make contacts, or for you to get some on the phone.  you can finish the record, make a few calls, and get the record in front of people that you already know, and you already know what they like and don't like.

doesn't mean they'll buy it.  but you have reduced your risk quite a bit, IMO.

networking is something you just can't do enough of.

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NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2005, 10:21:56 am »

Curve Dominant wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 19:03

And here's ANOTHER thing that pisses me off:

The Strokes even got MENTIONED as an example here.

Those clowns should have GOTTEN DOWN ON THEIR KNEES and BEGGED for Jules' guidance, not to mention ANY competent producer.

They were signed as a product of a HUGE bidding war. The publicity spent on that band was IMMENSE. JC's daddy is John Casablancas, the head of the world's biggest modelling agency, and daddy made sure there were NO negative reviews of his baby boy's band, because his clients were their biggest advertisers. You couldn't go ANYWHERE without seeing the Strokes peering out at you from a magazine cover.

That band had more money and more publicity spent on them than arguably any new band in the history of rock & roll. And what did all that get them?

Two bombs, the second even worse than the first. Two big hairy bollocks, dropped so hard they went through the basement floor. (Which tells you the same thing several major label CEO's told me in NYC a couple of years ago: "We cannot make people buy music; they have to WANT to buy it.")

Let's not derail this thread by using ultra-rich folks' vanity projects as examples, please.


Yeah Jules, shame on you for bringing up The Strokes.

I'm kidding of course.

Curve, we're welcome to discuss any band we want to here. Your ranting is much more of a derailment in my opinion.

And what's with all this "STFU and walk, you got game or you don't" talk?

Sounds like a deleted scene from White Men Can't Jump.

Take it down a notch there scrapple breath.
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el duderino

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #78 on: August 24, 2005, 10:40:57 am »

Curve Dominant wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 22:03

And here's ANOTHER thing that pisses me off:

The Strokes even got MENTIONED as an example here.

Those clowns should have GOTTEN DOWN ON THEIR KNEES and BEGGED for Jules' guidance, not to mention ANY competent producer.

They were signed as a product of a HUGE bidding war. The publicity spent on that band was IMMENSE. JC's daddy is John Casablancas, the head of the world's biggest modelling agency, and daddy made sure there were NO negative reviews of his baby boy's band, because his clients were their biggest advertisers. You couldn't go ANYWHERE without seeing the Strokes peering out at you from a magazine cover.

That band had more money and more publicity spent on them than arguably any new band in the history of rock & roll. And what did all that get them?

Two bombs, the second even worse than the first. Two big hairy bollocks, dropped so hard they went through the basement floor. (Which tells you the same thing several major label CEO's told me in NYC a couple of years ago: "We cannot make people buy music; they have to WANT to buy it.")



true true, im interested to hear what David Khan has done with them on the upcoming album.

now back to your regularly scheduled thread.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #79 on: August 24, 2005, 10:41:37 am »

Jules, having a one point override if they don't use you as a producer is standard operating procedure in virtually all spec deals I've ever seen.  In fact, it's something that lawyers don't balk at, unlike your publishing deal.  That should be a clue right there.

The reason why you get the point no matter what is that the money that you receive is generally to cover recording costs only, and the only fee the producer is receiving is their points.  If your production is the reason that the band was rewarded with a record deal, you should share in that reward.  That is absolutely fair and ethical.  And unlike publishing, points do not get you public performance or mechanical royalties, even when somebody else records the song.  A point is not ownership of intellectual property.  

This isn't just nuance; this is a substantial difference.  If you are unable to see that, then you can guess my response.

BTW, I was tracking yesterday and am running around today and have not had a chance to read your contract.  What is the duration on the publishing terms?  Thanks.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Bent Submissive

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #80 on: August 24, 2005, 11:47:29 am »

J.J. Blair wrote on Wed, 24 August 2005 07:59


Madonna not withstanding, you're hijacking the thread again, Eric.  Relax, dude.  You're in good hands with ASCAP.


LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Bent Submissive
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #81 on: August 24, 2005, 04:57:10 pm »

Dear lord ... we have a troll.  "Bent Submissive."  OK, that is pretty goddamn funny.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Curve Dominant

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #82 on: August 24, 2005, 10:55:59 pm »

Jules wrote on Wed, 24 August 2005 13:28

Dreary thing is that it seems the legal affairs departments at big labels seem to think it is part of their job to crush 'the little guy' like a bug.

Best thing you can do IMHO is to have the band on your side...  they are the ONLY ones that can send a message to the big guys to 'play nice' with you...

The "new management company" that scooped up the rising talent  (short sightedly) may want a big hitter 'he does everyone' type producer to record the band next so they probably don't give a rats ass about what you get out of any deal...

Of course bands 'memories' can become, er... 'vague' about all the help you gave em in the early days when the glare from the afternoon sun on the 50 platinum records in the record co boardroom hits them in the eyes...

When negotiations are on a knife edge, good relations with the band can make ALL the difference... Lawyers know this and often ask at crucial stages, "how's the relationship between you and the band".. They KNOW that a band tight with someone isn't going to dig their A&R mook if he blatantly shafts someone close to them.. naturally being a nasty business - chums DO get shafted / pushed asside...

Plus if you get on well with the band, they can come back as clients after a year or so of the major label A&R circus - to record thier OWN records with you!


All very good points, Jules. Thanks for posting those reality checks.

One thing I'd like to add as someone who is at the semi-beginning stage of this process: Try to look at it through a long-term lens, without expectations of climbing very high very fast, but rather a step-by-step incremental buildup of a strong business foundation/reputation.

Example scenario:

Your first artist may tank completely. Your second artist may get somewhere and completely leave you behind. Your third artist may break big, and he and the label will break you off a small gig. Your fourth artist may then carry you with her right to the top of the game. And so forth you go...all the while attempting to take no percieved setback personally, and maintaining positive open lines of relationship-building vibe with everyone involved.

With each project, and with each small step up in success, you build a rep, experience, connections, resilience, and so forth...always looking to parlay those attributes toward some positive outcome. Be like a goat: Move up the mountain by slowly and persistently circling around it, always spiralling upwards.

J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #83 on: August 25, 2005, 12:35:38 am »

Be like a goat?  Remind me to never let you write lyrics for me.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

j.hall

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #84 on: August 25, 2005, 07:48:11 am »

oh great.....trolls!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????

that's really what i need.

i'll let the one post stand, but "bent submissive" is being watched and i'm a bit skeptical of who it really is......

this is the wrong forum to pull this crap in, i've worked hard to keep this place cool.....don't ruin it for every body.

now keep this thing on topic, it truly is a great discussion.
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Curve Dominant

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #85 on: August 25, 2005, 12:04:25 pm »

For real. Some of don't have time for the silly shiznit.

NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #86 on: August 25, 2005, 01:24:19 pm »

So as I implied earlier, I don't see starting a publishing company as a viable option... for me at least. Jules is clearly an entrepreneur, that's great. As I understand it, the publishing company gets a cut of the revenues because they produce results-- I wouldn't be able to offer that.

I certainly wouldn't be able to dole out a substantial advance upon signing, which is the way the publishing deals I know about have worked.

But as long as we're talking about diversification-- how many of you guys actually have or have had your own label?

How do you make your self a LABEL, rather than just some dude getting 1000 CD's printed up. Off the top of my head, distribution, promotion, and publicity are all part of the LABEL equation.

Obviously, owning the label has a correlative relationship to working on spec-- that's why I bring it up.
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Fibes

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #87 on: August 25, 2005, 01:34:09 pm »

I dunno but i think i'm about to find out.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #88 on: August 25, 2005, 04:04:25 pm »

Rattleyour, that's exactly what my business partner and I did.  And then we have taken the albums to larger labels looking for distribution deals.  I'm waiting for a contract for a distro deal on one of those records.  

The way I have structured my deal the bands is that until recoupment, the label collects 100% of the revenue.  After recoupment, it is a 50/50 partnership between the label and the band, with no options for more records or any of the stickiness that major labels try to get you on.  We own the masters, and the band is free to walk to a better deal any time they want.  We help them out all we can, but we dont give them tour support or anything, even though there are some situations where I would definitely pay out of my own pocket if they had an opportunity to play in front of a large audience that would buy the record.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #89 on: August 25, 2005, 04:26:50 pm »

I think tour support is pretty rare here in the indie ghetto-- although labels will usually float some merch to help support the tour.

Still, I think you have to tour nationally to support a national release... which is expensive. But that's what you'd want as a label, bands that are out there touring whether you can help them or not.
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