Yes, you are going to have to make some group decisions if you are in a group, but what are you allowed and not allowed to do as a member of a band? Well, it all depends on the agreements you’ve made up front, and practicing good artists team management is going to be a skill you need to learn. Here are some important issues you need to consider.
We’ve all heard about members of bands walking out in the middle of a tour, so it must be ok to do that, right? Wrong. Obviously no one can physically stop you from saying you’ve had enough and you’re off, but if you do this you need to be aware of what the consequences might be. Your band members may be sympathetic and might just say, if you’re not happy go home, but it’s doubtful that your record label and tour promoters will see things that way. The bottom line is, if you quit when you should be on the road, prepare to get sued.
Say you’re in a band and one member just isn’t pulling their weight, what can you do? If you’re smart you will have decided, as a band, how you are going to vote on such matters. For someone to be fired, it will usually take a majority vote, it can’t be unanimous as the one being fired isn’t likely to vote for it!
Similarly to firing, if you want to hire a new member, a new manager, or anyone else connected to the group, you need to know beforehand how this is going to work. This can be unanimous, as no one is leaving you’re simply bringing someone new in, and this is usually the best way to go. No one wants to be the member who turns up to the band meeting on Monday only to find out a new manager was hired without them knowing last Friday.
The problem most bands have when things break down is that you are all, as a band, represented by the same lawyer. This person is working for the best interest of the band, so if one of you leaves and wants legal advice from the lawyer, your lawyer is in a sticky position. He now has a conflict of interests. Does he council the band on how this can work out best for them, or does he advise you on how you can screw the band? The most common way to resolve this is for the lawyer to sit you all down and give you the facts, then let you decide as a group what to do next. It will get messy, but your lawyer is there to guide you through, as a unit.
It’s hard to look ahead and predict problems that can occur in bands down the line when you are just starting out, but being prepared for possible issues will save you a lot of headaches.
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