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Nihilisti
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:56 pm
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:14 am 
 

Hello,

I need some more opinions on how to look at this record deal. Don't spam and troll if you don't have anything smart to say, or you don't have experience from record deals.

They want us to record under their studios, in other country than ours, and we have to cost the recording, as well as the plane tickets. 260e/day is their offer from day at studio. We could record it in here, our own town but they didn't like the idea so much.

Thank you for your time.

LETTER STARTS:

Our work consists in preparing the "field" with press releases / insert the band in our roster straight after signing of contract and continue keeping
the insiders/media informed all the time
-Print cds professionally and provide all the technical tools like barcode, catalogue number, isrc codes...
-Distribute them in the main European countries and USA with one of the best distribution networks (www.auralmusic.com takes care of our marketing) ...
-Distribute them online on approx 247 digital stores with The Orchard www.theorchard.com
-Mailout out 400/500 copies to media for reviews/interviews/airplay (with partner promotion agency)
-Mailout around 400/500 copies for management purposes: Booking agents,
Festivals, Endorsements, Videogames, Publishers, cooperations (thet's my job but I also have a product manager)
-Distribute even more digital albums for further promotion and business opportunities (we have around 6000 targets as for management purposes)
-Try to sell licenses in countries not covered by distribution (Russia, Australia for instance)
-We release the album in Japan with our label manager Masahiko Kishimoto ... Disk Union is our partner.
-Register copyright of songs with Warner Music Group worldwide (publishing deal)
-Try to push the band to the next level proposing it to the bigger labels for further albums
-We attend all the music meetings like popkomm, Midem, Eurosonic and we present our bands/catalogue there to all the biggest companies
-We give the band 25% of net income, we keep 25%, 25% it's for Aural and 25% to partners cooperating (promotion agency, producer's share or japanese division for instance)...
-You will get as many cds as you need (for free) for your own promotion as long as you tell us where they have been sent , regarding sales in concerts we usually split 50-50 with the band (10 euros per copy...5 to you, 5 to us)

Promotion:

We will chose the best options for the band after having tested the album with a mailinglist where we propose the cd for review. Then when we get answers we ship the cds to make a sure shot and not waste copies and money. After that 2-3 weeks we recall for review. We collect all reviews and we read them. To all marks up to 6-7 we ask for interview. Our press dept will provide you monthly reports. Our media database is around 1500 targets, excluding the ones we do with Mp3s like web radios for insance.We also promote the band as being their mnagement to Clubs, Festivals,
Agents, Publishers, ADV, Sync deals, licensing deals, endorsements...

To ensure the best possible promotion we would love to supervise with you
guys:

Concept:

- Lyrics (Themes and meaning)
- Music (target, influences)
- Study on your image
- Album title (meaning and concept)
- Idea of Cover art
- Idea of booklet
- Photos

Prepare all social networks strategy

Then prepare the final tools:
Artwork
Photos
Booklet
Band logo

Other stuff we'll work together on:

New biography
Merchandising
Posters
Tech Rider
Stage plan
Channel list

Technical tools:

We will provide you with:
Barcode
Catalogue number
Credits e logos
Isrc codes
Publishing deal with Warner / Chappell Music

The promo plan will be approx like this:

Printpromotion
Radiopromotion
Internet

With 1500 targets via digital downlad & cd

Tour promotion

(Clubs) via Digital Download
(Festivals) via Digital Download
(Booking agents) via Digital Download

We have our own partner agency for concerts.

SYNCHRONIZATIONS, MOTIONS & SOUNDTRACKS
(ADV companies / B to B)

Of course we are always open to work on the needs / ideas that the band may have. Btw with all these efforts and investments is not the very best to read " yeah but we can record for less " .... you can also record for nothing, if you do the album in your room but why a label should spend money on your music if you spend nothing, or less than what is Realsound offering? They found the band and they have such a massive studio and we will not be able to bypass them as honestly, without realsound I would never have the chance to get to know you so just talk to them if you are interested! Also we never cover recording costs as we issue licensing deals...the album is yours and we only license it for 5 years and also, again, why should we invest on someone that is investing nothing?? The thing has to be mutual, otherwise it will never work!

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4687
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:58 pm 
 

What country do you live in that they don't approve of any recording studios without flying to another country? Based on the link in your profile, you're in central Finland? Perhaps a bit far from major cities, but there are certainly more than enough capable studios in Finland, even with notable producers in extreme metal. I'd be wary of anyone pushing you to put a lot of your own money into travelling unnecessarily to record - it's not an uncommon business practice, but it's also not in your best interest. If you want to throw a lot of money into it to try to get a break, it might be something to consider for a one-album deal. You're not going to get a great deal from any label if you haven't made a name for yourself, but if you're self-financing, you may want to consider just handling it yourself. Depending on the locations involved, you could probably record locally at a good studio, have CDs+promo copies pressed, and spend some money on advertising and end up doing better for yourself. Expect that in any record contract, you'll never get any money after an advance, regardless of what they tell you.

Consider if the investment in both money and time/potential that they're asking/offering is worth it to you. Some of it might be inaccessible to you, some of it could be if you do some research any contact people - for example, if you have 500 promo copies of a CD made, you could find a promotion agency like they use and have those sent out to publications, if that's what you want to do. Things that you might not be able to get on your own would be connections to open on tours and play festivals - you'll work your ass off and possibly lose money on at least your first few tours, and expect worse if this label isn't reputable. Touring, especially as an unknown band, is expensive and rough work to do for about 23 hours per day.

Regarding this:

Nihilisti wrote:
Of course we are always open to work on the needs / ideas that the band may have. Btw with all these efforts and investments is not the very best to read " yeah but we can record for less " .... you can also record for nothing, if you do the album in your room but why a label should spend money on your music if you spend nothing, or less than what is Realsound offering? They found the band and they have such a massive studio and we will not be able to bypass them as honestly, without realsound I would never have the chance to get to know you so just talk to them if you are interested! Also we never cover recording costs as we issue licensing deals...the album is yours and we only license it for 5 years and also, again, why should we invest on someone that is investing nothing?? The thing has to be mutual, otherwise it will never work!


If they emailed you in these exact words, I would question their ability to effectively promote an album in English, the grammar/punctuation is atrocious.

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Nihilisti
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:56 pm
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:22 pm 
 

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, we live in Finland, and the studio would be in Italy. My opinion is, that it's not smart to fly to Italy and record there, with all of the expenses, unless they pay for those. The studio wants their own cut for marketing us to label earlier, which is ok, but it would be easier for all of us to record here. The studio wants to internationally produce the album, what I don't understand as a term, haha.

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orionmetalhead
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:54 am
Posts: 2439
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:25 pm 
 

Quote:
-We give the band 25% of net income, we keep 25%, 25% it's for Aural and 25% to partners cooperating (promotion agency, producer's share or japanese division for instance)...


This is quite misleading. 25% of net income means, they will send you 25% of what their profits are AFTER they've earned back the money they've spent to promote the release. Because you have no idea what they've spent promoting the release, you have no idea if you'll see any return back to you. I would reply to this with an edited contract replacing "net income" with "sales." Sales are all sales of your release so you would receive 25% of each CD sold or whatever.

Often times in contracts small wording like this makes bands expect money back however they receive nothing in return because a label will simply spend more to promote the CD and not have to give the artist anything back.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4687
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:53 pm 
 

Consider what you could have done for the cost of flying five people and gear to Italy. That probably costs more than pressing a thousand CDs plus 500 promo copies in sleeves and paying a promotion agency to get them out there. You can handle digital sales yourself, there aren't that many important ones - iTunes, Amazon, BandCamp. 247 digital stores are hardly a worthwhile selling point if someone is taking a cut for doing it, hardly worth it if it's free.

You get all the money you earn if you self-release it like this. You will continue bringing in money that can be used to promote the album. You'll get money for each sale quickly, and you'll continue getting it as long as the album sells - small amounts, but you can buy ads on Facebook+Blastbeat Network sites and it's a lot better than a label who will do one run of promotion then give up if they don't make enough money.

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Iron1
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:04 am
Posts: 73
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:35 am 
 

It looks better than the deal we had with Colossal/Restless Records, except the flying you to another country to record part. In ours, we handled the recording end of it, and the label was responsible for everything else. And, instead of a percentage of profits, we got a set dollar amount per unit ($4 per CD, if I remember correctly). In the end, we never got any money from the label (they made up a bunch of lame excuses about us not selling enough copies, even though we moved nearly 30,000 units), but did sell quite a few CDs/cassettes at shows and the label got us some great PR.

I'd take the advice of those above, and also negotiate a way for you to handle the studio part yourself. For what it would cost you to fly to Italy, plus the label adding 280/day, I can't imagine you couldn't get an awesome sounding album in your area and have cash left over.
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Tantalus
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:18 pm
Posts: 1095
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:20 pm 
 

Quote:
To ensure the best possible promotion we would love to supervise with you
guys:

Concept:

- Lyrics (Themes and meaning)
- Music (target, influences)
- Study on your image
- Album title (meaning and concept)
- Idea of Cover art
- Idea of booklet
- Photos


Do NOT go with this company. They need to give you recording money, time, and leave you alone, otherwise they don't want a band, they want a label house-band.
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Nihilisti
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:56 pm
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:56 pm 
 

Thanks for the responds, that wasn't our first shitty record deal what we've got already. Still waiting on the better deals.
We talked to other band under this label, and they said that this label sucks ass. Also, the guy seemed arrogant to us, and didn't even want to negotiate on the deal. Such a dumb guy.

We decided to publish the next album ourselves again. We just have to pay a lot more for better promotion than we have so far paid.

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Tantalus
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:18 pm
Posts: 1095
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:03 am 
 

Good call. They sound really shady. And good luck with your search for a deal - good labels are still out there.
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BaloroftheEvilEye wrote:
I bet you believe in the Junk Trader genocide the Empire supposedly committed. Open your eyes, the Junk Traders own the Rebel Alliance media.

Caïna - 2004-2011: http://www.myspace.com/cainaband

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mentalselfmutilation
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:39 pm
Posts: 1424
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:58 pm 
 

looks like the most of this has already been covered and taken care of but basically some things to watch out for all over this contract.


MONEY: They're asking you to pay to record, which is fine, this is becoming more common that bands take care of the recording aspects, which then turns into who you know there. You can record on your own or in a studio this way. However for you to travel internationally and pay expenses for yourselves and gear out of pocket will put you in the red. The key word in the royalty section is 25% of net income. This is only their profits after they cover their costs for pressing the CD's, and all the advertising costs, costs for their promotion companies, copyrights, etc. Pretty standard music industry stuff, 25% sounds great but then you realize that 25% of $0 is still $0.

DISTRIBUTION: Sounds enticing, but once again just requires research.


I'm assuming if you're being offered a deal your band has been around a while. You can probably do your own DIY venture with promotion anyway. And finding the contacts for the "right people" isn't too hard with a bit of research.


There's a few ways to go with your expansion and making of the break, especially if you're at the point labels are already offering you deals...

1. Go completely independent. Press 1,000 CD's at a time out of your own budgets. This might even cost similar to what it would take for you all to fly and record in italy vs. recording with the studio in town anyway. Take 10-20% (100-200) for promotional use right away. Email all the contacts you want who will review it (try for every zine you can, some small but popular following xerox zines to the bigger names like Decibel, Terrorizer, Metal Hammer, etc). A lot of bigger magazines run on print ads anyway, so you can probably pool money together and get a small ad in some bigger zines also. For touring and festival promotion you probably have metal scene contacts already, they can help hook you up. The DIY network for touring has always been very useful, and only takes as much as a guy who knows a guy, and each piece comes together.

2. Go with a small independant label not affiliated with the industry. A lot don't accept promos or have signings so don't contact them, but if you appeal to this scene they have better more straightforward deals without any technicalities. The deal usually goes that they press your album and give you 20% of the copies you can sell or give away yourselves, you record the album. These labels have strong dedicated followings, and will keep their word and not press more without asking you, but at least the pressing and "distribution cost" is not something you have to eat yourselves, and your album will still get in plenty of places worldwide, just maybe not in your local record store.
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