By Sofia Bergfeld
Chicago Music Professional’s second Meetup presented again by “The Brian’s” focused on contracts, specifically the cautionary action artists should take before signing any contract. They began by stating the basic elements of a contract and introduced the hypothetical of a four-member band to better illustrate the situations and terms an individual may run into during contract negotiations.
The Brian’s also discussed band agreements and stressed the importance of getting an attorney. Attorneys are there to represent only their client not the entire band. In most cases a record label is not concerned with the band behind the lead singer therefore it is extremely important to get yourself protected.
They also discussed the types of management contracts and recording agreements. The standard album cycle is around 18 months so most management contracts are the same length. The Brian’s mentioned key terms to look for in recording agreements as well. Some of these terms include: parties, team recording process, advances vs. recording budgets, artists royalty, recoupment, controlled composition clause and cross-collateralization.
The worst mistake an artist can make is coming to their attorney and asking, “What did I just sign?” Bottom line, you need to understand the agreement and there is absolutely no excuse for not reading the contract. This means you should not rely on anyone else to read the contract. The Brian’s stressed that there is also no excuse for not understanding the contract. An ounce of prevention can go a long way in the world of contracts so it is important to ask questions.
Overall, The Brian’s provided useful information for anyone who will encounter a contract in the future and even gave great advice for those that already have come in contact with these types of contracts. The session can be viewed on our Ustream.com channel.