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  • Recording Session Part 2.

    So I did my first rehearsal last weekend, and I was told that the bandleader went way over the budget flying the guest artist and recording engineer in. The bandleader didn't really give any specific detail but he implied that he is in a bit of a financial strain. He said that he has always paid fair price for gigs(which is true), and he will try his best, but asked the band to understand. I messaged him later asking him what's going on, and ask him if he can actually let me know exactly how much I am getting paid(We have 3 gigs coming up and we've played these festivals before so I assumed I'd get the usual rate. Again he said that he will let me know at a later date, and he will do his best to pay us and whatever we get will be the best compromise he can come up with.

    I spent a few days thinking about this and how to articulate my point, but I am about to send a mail telling him just how wrong this is. First of all, the fact that the bandleader had to even mention this during rehearsal already shows that this is a problem. If he didn't want us to worry or it's nothing to worry about, he wouldn't have even mentioned it. Second of all, he made the decision to hired the guest artist/enginner all by himself and his wife. I told him that he makes all this talk about how we are doing this as band, but the band was never consulted about the songs were are recording(some of the songs have real issues and the virtually every single band member don't think it's ready to be recorded), or how we are going to prepare for the recording(basically what I mentioned in the last post, we should have picked the songs and played it regularly on gig for the last couple of months). He could have let us know about the guest artist/engineer and the financial situation but that was decided without the band ever knowing about it.

    And now that the bandleader is in a rut for spending over the budget, he wants the band to shoulder the burden for it? How is that fair to the band? The bandleader was lecturing me about how NY session players does things, and he wants us to accept a pay situation that no professional would agree on. I explained to him that this is enough reason for any musicians to walk out of the project in any professional situations, because you are suggesting that you may not be able to pay what was initially agreed upon.

    The bottom line is, this whole project was never about the band..It's all about what he wanted, and I would not have any problem with that as long as the job pays what it's supposed to. But if he made plans and ended up going over budget without consulting the band, you can't expect the band to bail you out, and while I don't personally don't want to see the bandleader and his wife go broke, even a minimal pay cut is unacceptable as far as I am concerned, as you are literally screwing over your bandmate.

    And of course, as always I am the only one who is even bring this up since everyone seem to be going along with it... which puts me in an awkward situation, but I feel like this needed to be said.

    Thoughts? I'll probably send the bandleader the message in the few days after I get some feedback.

    thanks.

    EDIT: A friend of mine suggested not bringing the issue up about how the bandleader ****************ed up, as it will strain the relationship with him, but let him know that what he is doing is straining the professional relationship I have with him and I want out.
    Last edited by etcetra; 09-06-2017, 01:07 AM.

  • #2
    Three sides... would help hearing the music/band/material/promises/projections - ie all your business. Otherwise it's like or unlike on blind faith.
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    • #3
      well, sounds to me like Mr. Bandleader [and wife] got himself backed into a corner on this guest thing, and that is completely his problem, and any overages due to his inability to budget correctly is frankly going to come out of his pocket. Is this guest artist a big enough name to make these songs sell on the latin charts and make money? If not, why bother, and if so, Mr. Bandleader will have to wait for that to happen as that was his call as well.

      If this is a working band with regular members, Mr. Bandleader needs to STFU about session players, because that is not how you work together. Who owns the rights to teh songs? Who will hold the rights to the SR copyright?
      Last edited by daddymack; 09-07-2017, 07:58 PM.
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      • #4
        So I addressed this issue with the bandleader.. and apparently the problem isn't so much with the budget, but that he has to pay out of his pocket for the recording engineer&guest artist's flight, hotels and other expenses because the government grant doesn't cover that. He told me that the budget for everything else, including the pay is not a problem. He also explained to be that the reason it's taking time to finalize the pay is because him&his wife have so much they need to do for the project that they haven't gotten around to it yet. I don't think this changes the fact that everything still reflects poorly on the leader. the recording and the big shows are a month away and so far it feels like a mess.

        ‚Äč
        Originally posted by daddymack View Post
        Is this guest artist a big enough name to make these songs sell on the latin charts and make money? If not, why bother, and if so, Mr. Bandleader will have to wait for that to happen as that was his call as well.

        If this is a working band with regular members, Mr. Bandleader needs to STFU about session players, because that is not how you work together. Who owns the rights to teh songs? Who will hold the rights to the SR copyright?
        I totally agree with you about the session player thing, especially when you consider the poor quality of his arrangement. We spent good part of the rehearsal going through mistakes in the charts(a lot of which could have been corrected if he double-checked), and he just told the band today that the guest artist was is kind enough to look at the music and fix the arrangement. Although we were told there won't be major changes, it doesn't change the fact we may need to re-learn some new parts and that the last rehearsal was a lot of waste.

        I mean all this talk about session players, and the bandleader hands out draft of a chart that needs to be fixed by a real arranger? I don't think anyone would tolerate this kind of stuff from an arranger in a professional situation.

        As far as the commercial prospect...I'll address it below in 1001 gear's response.

        Originally posted by 1001gear View Post
        Three sides... would help hearing the music/band/material/promises/projections - ie all your business. Otherwise it's like or unlike on blind faith.
        I guess the purpose of the recording is 1)The bandleader got a government grant to record his own project. Making the CD will boost the band's reputation locally and can lead to more performances for government sponsored music events as well as awards and accolades and more gigs in the local music scene, as well as opportunity to perform overseas. But I actually don't care for the reputation and/or accolades because a lot of these projects/bands that gets this big music grants and subsequent awards are kind of a joke.

        2)Bandleader personally want to record something because the band has been in existence for 5 years and this was his long time dream. The bottom line is, the bandleader is really good at hustling. He somehow got sponsored to record an album last year and he hired whole bunch of NY session guys for it, and he managed to book a spot in several major oversea festivals in the region this year.. but truth be told, he is not that caliber of a player and it's kind of embarrassing. I have musician friends overseas and the local musicians who saw the festival weren't impressed by his playing.

        I guess he is trying to do the same with this band. He is trying to promote the band as a brand, posturing itself as a serious band and associating with serious players, and possibly placing the band in touring circuit for major oversea festivals and shows... even though the band isn't really there yet(something most of the band member actually agree on). It didn't start out this way, but now that it's taken the direction it did, I've kind of lost interest in it and I am ready to leave after the project is over.
        Last edited by etcetra; 09-07-2017, 09:51 PM.

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