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We played 3 SXSW shows, they all were good and thanks for all the support, we played with fantastic bands and made some new awesome friends,..
We played one down in the jungle down red river at Beerland (6th street area) and Lady Gaga showed up and watched us, we find that funny and strange at the same time.
The other shows were more out of that zoo, the Heavy Metal Parking Lot show at the Lost Well was the best, it was great to see that place packed to the hilt, and people who came were all cool and looking for off the mainstream bullshit SXSW stuff going on, they rock!
Played with Orchid for our next show, they were nice guys drank and we bunch of beers with them in the green room that was very red.
We personally know people working downtown during the tragic scene of the car running down people, they are alright but described how horrible it was in the aftermath, and trust, it was bad. Stay safe out there and we will see you in the trenches.
we just got the acitate copy, sounds great the test pressing are on the way,, the way things are looking this thing is gonna move really fast for this first pressing, so you may want to grab one, we are doing some cool hand done silkscreened stuff on it and goodies on the first press, PARTY !
Our LP is getting pressed right now ! Its going to have really great silkscreened covers and sleeves. It was mastered by the great masterist Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova!!! Thanks to all for the support and anticipation!
hey all, we don't log in much but as always we have a bunch going on out in the not computer world, playing way more shows that get posted on this page, 7 shows in May alone . We have a FULL LENGTH LP in the can and mastered,.. hopefully will be pressed to vinyl soon, we did a master for CDs/downloads too, a we will try post some new songs here too.
We have new shirts, black on army green, red on black and some black on black, they are going fast as always,... thanks to whoever buys one,,,. oh we have stickers and they are always free at our shows,.. the CD EP is probably on its last pressing,.. well thats a quick update... see ya' all out in the trenches !
What a great last 6 weeks it had been. Many thanks to those who are coming out to the shows, we have been playing every weekend and often twice a week, often two days in a row . Getting out on the road in Aug. We have a bunch of new shirts, a jersey shirt too ! The new album is in the can, just mixing it right now and have to get it mastered,..
Hanging out with my bro today that is from the north midwest that knows some of the the guys in Slipknot, his old band used to play with em etc,.. Timmo (The Blood Royale vocals guitar knows em too,..) anyway as the story goes,.. Slipknot got picked up, signed, recored, sold A LOT of units etc,.. went and toured for 18 months, and some of those tour shows were real huge big gigs ,,.. Oz Fest etc,.. Finally got back off tour and label gave his share, units sold and being on tour for 18 months- 8000 bucks,.. he had to move in back with his parents.....
Here is the math that will explain just how fucked they are:
These figures are representative of amounts that appear in record contracts daily. There's no need to skew the figures to make the scenario look bad, since real-life examples more than abound. Income is underlined, expenses are not.
Advance: $ 250,000 Manager's cut: $ 37,500 Legal fees: $ 10,000 Recording Budget: $ 155,500 Producer's advance: $ 50,000 Studio fee: $ 52,500 Drum, Amp, Mic and Phase "Doctors": $ 3,000 Recording tape: $ 8,000 Equipment rental: $ 5,000 Cartage and Transportation: $ 5,000 Lodging while in studio: $ 10,000 Catering: $ 3,000 Mastering: $ 10,000 Tape copies, reference CDs, shipping tapes, misc. expenses: $ 2,000 Album Artwork: $ 5,000 Promotional photo shoot and duplication: $ 2,000 Video budget: $ 31,000 Cameras: $ 8,000 Crew: $ 5,000 Processing and transfers: $ 3,000 Off-line: $ 2,000 On-line editing: $ 3,000 Catering: $ 1,000 Stage and construction: $ 3,000 Copies, couriers, transportation: $ 2,000 Director's fee: $ 4,000 Band fund: $ 15,000 New fancy professional drum kit: $ 5,000 New fancy professional guitars : $ 3,000 New fancy professional guitar amp rigs : $ 4,000 New fancy potato-shaped bass guitar: $ 1,000 New fancy bass amp: $ 1,000 Rehearsal space rental: $ 500 Big blowout party for their friends: $ 500 Tour expense [5 weeks]: $ 50,875 Bus: $ 25,000 Crew : $ 7,500 Food and per diems: $ 7,875 Fuel: $ 3,000 Consumable supplies: $ 3,500 Wardrobe: $ 1,000 Promotion: $ 3,000 Tour gross income: $ 50,000 Booking Agent's cut: $ 7,500 Manager's cut: $ 7,500 Merchandising advance: $ 20,000 Manager's cut: $ 3,000 Lawyer's fee: $ 1,000 Publishing advance: $ 20,000 Manager's cut: $ 3,000 Lawyer's fee: $ 1,000 Record sales: 250,000 @ $12: $ 3,000,000 Gross retail revenue Royalty [13% of 90% of retail]: 250,000 @ $12: $ 351,000 Less advance: $ 250,000 Producer's points [3% less $50,000 advance]: $ 40,000 Promotional budget: $ 25,000 Recoupable buyout from previous label: $ 50,000 Net royalty: $ -14,000
Now, on the other hand, let's look at the Record company income:
Record wholesale price $6.50 x 250,000 $ 1,625,000 gross income Artist Royalties: $ 351,000 Deficit from royalties: $ 14,000 Costs of manufacturing, packaging and distribution @ $2.20 per record: $ 550,000 Label's gross profit: $ 7l0,000
The Balance Sheet: This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game:
Record company: $ 710,000 Producer: $ 90,000 Manager: $ 51,000 Studio: $ 52,500 Previous label: $ 50,000 Booking Agent: $ 7,500 Lawyer: $ 12,000 Band member net income each: $ 781.25
The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/20 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month.
The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never "recouped," the band will have no leverage, and will oblige.
The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won't have earned any royalties from their T-shirts yet. Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys.
Some of your friends are probably already this fucked...
(the end !) By Steve Albini
Their booking agent is excited about the band signing to a major. He says they can maybe average $1,000 or $2,000 a night from now on. That's enough to justify a five week tour, and with tour support, they can use a proper crew, buy some good equipment and even get a tour bus! Buses are pretty expensive, but if you figure in the price of a hotel room for everybody In the band and crew, they're actually about the same cost. Some bands like Therapy? and Sloan and Stereolab use buses on their tours even when they're getting paid only a couple hundred bucks a night, and this tour should earn at least a grand or two every night. It'll be worth it. The band will be more comfortable and will play better.
The agent says a band on a major label can get a merchandising company to pay them an advance on T-shirt sales! ridiculous! There's a gold mine here! The lawyer Should look over the merchandising contract, just to be safe.
They get drunk at the signing party. Polaroids are taken and everybody looks thrilled. The label picked them up in a limo.
They decided to go with the producer who used to be in Letterman's band. He had these technicians come in and tune the drums for them and tweak their amps and guitars. He had a guy bring in a slew of expensive old "vintage" microphones. Boy, were they "warm." He even had a guy come in and check the phase of all the equipment in the control room! Boy, was he professional. He used a bunch of equipment on them and by the end of it, they all agreed that it sounded very "punchy," yet "warm."
All that hard work paid off. With the help of a video, the album went like hotcakes! They sold a quarter million copies!
Here is the math that will explain just how fucked they are: See part 6 !
There's this band. They're pretty ordinary, but they're also pretty good, so they've attracted some attention. They're signed to a moderate-sized "independent" label owned by a distribution company, and they have another two albums owed to the label.
They're a little ambitious. They'd like to get signed by a major label so they can have some security you know, get some good equipment, tour in a proper tour bus -- nothing fancy, just a little reward for all the hard work.
To that end, they got a manager. He knows some of the label guys, and he can shop their next project to all the right people. He takes his cut, sure, but it's only 15%, and if he can get them signed then it's money well spent. Anyways, it doesn't cost them anything if it doesn't work. 15% of nothing isn't much!
One day an A & R scout calls them, says he's 'been following them for a while now, and when their manager mentioned them to him, it just "clicked." Would they like to meet with him about the possibility of working out a deal with his label? Wow. Big Break time.
They meet the guy, and y'know what -- he's not what they expected from a label guy. He's young and dresses pretty much like the band does. He knows all their favorite bands. He's like one of them. He tells them he wants to go to bat for them, to try to get them everything they want. He says anything is possible with the right attitude. They conclude the evening by taking home a copy of a deal memo they wrote out and signed on the spot.
The A & R guy was full of great ideas, even talked about using a name producer. Butch Vig is out of the question-he wants 100 g's and three points, but they can get Don Fleming for $30,000 plus three points. Even that's a little steep, so maybe they'll go with that guy who used to be in David Letterman's band. He only wants three points. Or they can have just anybody record it (like Warton Tiers, maybe-- cost you 5 or 7 grand] and have Andy Wallace remix it for 4 grand a track plus 2 points. It was a lot to think about.
Well, they like this guy and they trust him. Besides, they already signed the deal memo. He must have been serious about wanting them to sign. They break the news to their current label, and the label manager says he wants them to succeed, so they have his blessing. He will need to be compensated, of course, for the remaining albums left on their contract, but he'll work it out with the label himself. Sub Pop made millions from selling off Nirvana, and Twin Tone hasn't done bad either: 50 grand for the Babes and 60 grand for the Poster Children-- without having to sell a single additional record. It'll be something modest. The new label doesn't mind, so long as it's recoupable out of royalties.
Well, they get the final contract, and it's not quite what they expected. They figure it's better to be safe than sorry and they turn it over to a lawyer--one who says he's experienced in entertainment law and he hammers out a few bugs. They're still not sure about it, but the lawyer says he's seen a lot of contracts, and theirs is pretty good. They'll be great royalty: 13% [less a 10% packaging deduction]. Wasn't it Buffalo Tom that were only getting 12% less 10? Whatever.
The old label only wants 50 grand, and no points. Hell, Sub Pop got 3 points when they let Nirvana go. They're signed for four years, with options on each year, for a total of over a million dollars! That's a lot of money in any man's English. The first year's advance alone is $250,000. Just think about it, a quarter million, just for being in a rock band!
Their manager thinks it's a great deal, especially the large advance. Besides, he knows a publishing company that will take the band on if they get signed, and even give them an advance of 20 grand, so they'll be making that money too. The manager says publishing is pretty mysterious, and nobody really knows where all the money comes from, but the lawyer can look that contract over too. Hell, it's free money.
DAT machines. They sound like shit and every crappy studio has one now because they're so cheap. Because the crappy engineers that inhabit crappy studios are too thick to learn how to align and maintain analog mastering decks, they're all using DAT machines exclusively. DAT tapes deteriorate over time, and when they do, the information on them is lost forever. I have personally seen tapes go irretrievably bad in less then a month. Using them for final masters is almost fraudulently irresponsible. Tape machines ought to be big and cumbersome and difficult to use, if only to keep the riff-raff out. DAT machines make it possible for morons to make a living, and damage to the music we all have to listen to.
Trying to sound like the Beatles. Every record I hear these days has incredibly loud, compressed vocals, and a quiet little murmur of a rock band in the background The excuse given by producers for inflicting such an imbalance on a rock band is that it makes the record sound more like the Beatles. Yeah, right. Fuck's sake, Thurston Moore is not Paul McCartney, and nobody on earth, not with unlimited time and resources, could make the Smashing Pumpkins sound like the Beatles. Trying just makes them seem even dumber. Why can't people try to sound like the Smashchords or Metal Urbain or Third World War for a change?
The minimum skills required to do an adequate job recording an album are: Working knowledge of all the microphones at hand and their properties and uses. I mean something beyond knowing that you can drop an SM57 without breaking it.
Experience with every piece of equipment which might be of use and every function it may provide. This means more than knowing what echo sounds like. Which equalizer has the least phase shift in neighbor bands? Which console has more headroom? Which mastering deck has the cleanest output electronics?
Experience with the style of music at hand, to know when obvious blunders are occurring.
Ability to tune and maintain all the required instruments and electronics, so as to insure that everything is in proper working order. This means more than plugging a guitar into a tuner. How should the drums be tuned to simulate a rising note on the decay? A falling note? A consonant note? Can a bassoon play a concert E-flat in key with a piano tuned to a reference A of 440 Hz? What percentage of varispeed is necessary to make a whole-tone pitch change? What degree of overbias gives you the most headroom at 10Khz? What reference fluxivity gives you the lowest self-noise from biased, unrecorded tape? Which tape manufacturer closes every year in July, causing shortages of tape globally? What can be done for a shedding master tape? A sticky one?
Knowledge of electronic circuits to an extent that will allow selection of appropriate signal paths. This means more than knowing the difference between a delay line and an equalizer. Which has more headroom, a discrete class A microphone preamp with transformer output or a differential circuit built with monolithics? Where is the best place in an unbalanced line to attenuate the signal? If you short the cold leg of a differential input to ground, what happens to the signal level? Which gain control device has the least distortion, a VCA, a printed plastic pot, a photoresistor or a wire-wound stepped attenuator? Will putting an unbalanced line on a half-normalled jack unbalance the normal signal path? Will a transformer splitter load the input to a device parallel to it? Which will have less RF noise, a shielded unbalanced line or a balanced line with floated shield?
An aesthetic that is well-rooted and compatible with the music, and the good taste to know when to exercise it.