It’s fair to say that “making it” in the music industry or even getting signed to a label isn’t particularly easy, although, arguably the rise of social networking has helped, plenty of goods bands will remain undiscovered and more than likely split before they get anywhere, often due to financial constraints. Making it (like a lot of things in life) takes a lot of hard work, dedication and in many cases it also takes a lot of luck. It also probably helps if you’re not completely disillusioned, expecting to become the next best thing overnight. Trying to get noticed inevitably takes a lot of self-promotion by putting on gigs, talking to promoters and emailing record labels etc. As with most things there is two ways to go about this, the right way and the wrong way. With all that being said, welcome to the first instalment of our brand new feature, How Not To Make It (in the music industry). This first instalment comes from friend of the site, Big Scary Monster Records who a few days ago, made a post via his blog containing extracts from an email he received from an unsigned Australian band. Getting signed is hard enough, below is an example of how to make it even harder. “Dear label I have attached an entire tracks that I feel is more to what your label illustrates, please have a listen. These guys have more tracks like these, yet I will be honest I tried to prepare them for the commercial market and requested a few softer tracks in the last year, yet they rock well as the attached track demonstrates. I am not after a magical record contract and have some options that you may want to consider. Stage 1 - Test contract - No money up front (retainer agreement), we book in a Euro tour in early 2011 with an established act from your label, duplicate a few C.Ds (5,000 - 10,000) and test the reaction of the audience (website numbers, on-line and live show sales) as well as the radio audience Stage 2 - record contract - retainer agreement - record some new tracks - prepare the band for marketing and promotions - release some serious singles and organise another tour to a larger market etc.... I can see your finances return from ticket sales alone, I will be willing to want these expenses paid for the band in this testing period. 1 - travel to Europe (return to Aus) = 5 people = 5000 Euro - being generous (share tour bus with head-liners) 2 - tour accommodations and meals = 2 rooms per night 100 euro x 45 days = 4500 Euro. 3 - a small wage - e.g - 500 Euro per show x 20 = 10,000 Euro (can be negotiable) or equity on ticket sales. 4 - 50% equity for sales - on-line, in stores and live show = 25,000 Euro (example on projections) I just want you to consider the stage one option, lets clean up their myspace page... I would appreciate it if you consider this agreement and to make my offer more interesting, this test contract has never proved the theory wrong and always generated the retainer funds for stage two in advanced for the label.” Read the full blog post here Needless to say BSM didn’t sign OutKry but, if you would like to sign them check them out on Myspace. www.myspace.com/outkry Stay tuned for more ‘How Not To Make It’ articles, coming soon!