The dream is starting to come true! The band is sounding great, getting some cool gigs and starting to get some name recognition. We all get along and share the same vision - make good music and have fun doing it. Why in the world do we need to worry about some "agreement"?
Believe it or not, the Band Agreement can be one of the most important pieces of paper you sign as a musician.
There was a commercial years ago for oil filters. The catch line was "pay them now (for a new oil filter) or pay them later" (for a new engine). A band agreement is much like the oil filter. A good entertainment attorney can draft one at a very reasonable price. On the other hand, a few years down the road, the band without an agreement will likely have an issue pop up. Now you (and possibly each band member), will have to pay the entertainment attorney a ton of money to resolve that issue. There's your new engine.
WHAT IS A BAND AGREEMENT?
WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE BAND AGREEMENT?
- Who owns the band's name
- Who can hire/fire members
- Who can sign contracts and checks on behalf of the band
- Who owns the compositions
- Who owns the master recordings
- Who owns the band's equipment
- What if a band member leaves
- How are decisions made
- How is revenue divided from merch sales, recording sales, touring, publishing, digital distribution, etc?
- How are expenses shared/divided
- Any other matter that is important to members
WHY HAVE THE AGREEMENT?
It doesn't take much of an imagination to look at the list above and see how any of those matters could result in a big blow-up that will likely lead to COSTLY and lengthy litigation. Not to mention the very real likelihood that the band will cease to exist.