My son is part of a band in Denver and they looking to record their 2nd CD. They are talking with a studio to do some recording and they'll also help the band with some publishing of the EP. Here are the contracts they sent the band.
I used to play in a bunch of bands. Have a lawyer friend look over the deal for sure. Red line any goofiness that does not benefit the band in the long run.
In this day and age, I would think the band could make more money in the long run by using social media, building an audience, and being in control of the sales through a website.
In my experience.... there were two main ways of record deals. Do it yourself, or enter into a contract with a record producer. The DIY method was my favorite! Save up your money... practice your songs until there are absolutely no mistakes... go into a studio, record your songs fast (saves money)... pay for the studio time and post production... get the masters.. and move onto have your CD / Record made. Each song took 4 hours of work at $40/hr per song. So each song was $160. That was recording all the parts and post production. A 4 song EP roughly took 16 hours. This was in the 90's. So it was a full day of recording and production for $640. The band walked out of a long day with the masters in hand. Done deal. The studio had absolutely no access to publishing rights. I loved it when things worked like this. We had our own pressing, artwork, we distributed to local stores, got on the radio... blah blah blah.
The record contracts I never enjoyed. 12.5% went to the writer, 12.5% went to the performer. The other 75% went to who knows where.
Self publishing and distribution is a great exercise for any young musician to go through. The lessons learned will be invaluable later in life. If a musician chooses to let someone else handle their affairs, they will be giving up more than some money... they could be forfeiting the know how and determination it takes to get things done in business.
Just my 2 cents.
I forwarded your thoughts to my son. They self pub the first cd with not a lot of sales so they think this current proposal is a lower risk way to get their new music published.... My own opinon is that they new to focus on building a bigger following, but alas they are musicians
I'm with Ken. Unless it's David Geffen offering a $200,000 advance (even then, I'd have a good Entertainment lawyer look at negotiate the contract), I'd say you're better off going the DIY route. You keep the control and the money. Build an audience online and playing live and you can (eventually) make a living. Maybe...