Artist & Band Agreements, the devil is in the detail!
How important are music contracts for artists and creatives in today’s entertainment world!
The first thing which comes to mind when starting a band is playing music together with your mates and having a good time. This is all well and good and necessary to form chemistry with band members.
However, what bands fail to consider in the early stages is creating a Band Agreement.
A Band Agreement might single-handedly be the most important document a band could do in their lifetime.
This document could save thousands if handled correctly should a dispute arise.
During the lifetime of a band, there will likely be a dispute, as no band is perfect and we are all human.
It is also crucial to note that this agreement is cheaper than most equipment needed to perform, and is worth paying for.
This document would detail how income is distributed. This is essential as it will decide the share of revenue each band member will obtain, be it equally distributed or weighted to the artists who write the songs.
Also, this document delves into the areas of how much revenue each member should have from Touring, Record Sales, Merchandise Sales and publishing.
As well as this, it includes provisions of distribution when members aren’t available for tours or recording.
This is done to reduce the risk of unnecessary disputes and reduce the risk of a court case.
Ownership is another key issue that has faced many bands, the issue is here is ownership distribution. Be it equipment, compositions, recordings or the band name.
These can all be issues if ownership is not distributed at the start. One of the major issues is who owns the logo.
Cases have arisen in the past with high profile bands such as Guns and Roses, regarding ownership of a logo and what happens on the event of a member leaving the band.
Also, this document will detail what will occur when a member leaves, or on the event of the band breaking up and also how decisions are made, either by a unanimous decision or a majority vote.
The reason this is so important is to reduce the risk which may arise later on in the career of the band, as a band is a company at the end of the day.
So there should be a document detailing how the company is run and how the property is divided.
So, on the event of a Band member leaving, or the band breaking up or even a dispute between the members there are provisions in place to make sure the band will run smoothly and efficiently.
Always consider and look for the devil in the detail and take advice from your team, account and seek legal advice to help you navigate these waters!
By Pete Moore