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signed "physical" contracts or verbal agreements?
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Haunt In The Dark



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 878
Location: Trve De Baal

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

darkdescentrecords wrote:
Haunt In The Dark wrote:
NK7 wrote:
Never run a label and most likely never will, but a signed piece of paper is mandatory whenever business is the name of the game.


I personally don't want my music to be released by someone who runs a business instead of a label. You don't run a business the same way as you run a label.


Well, yeah, you do. It's just how tight of a ship some run compared to others. All labels have overhead, expenses, etc...some prefer to tweak a few of the rules but they are businesses (unless you're not speaking in the literal sense). Unless you just have a huge hole in your pocket and a bunch of money to back it up and you don't care about losing money, you have to have some business sense.


If most people who ran labels on here had "some business sense", they wouldn't have started black metal labels in the first place.

Ultimately, it all depends on how you want to run your label. Release a record, sell it, break even and reinvesting that money in putting out another record, repeat over and over. OR run your label like a business, which in the end is not fun and not a hobby anymore (which isn't what a label should be imho.) If you want to be the Universal of extreme metal and you behave as such (with written contracts and lawyers and whatnot), fair enough. But don't come and tell me it's about passion and not money anymore.

Also, if some lawyers post on here, I'm curious... Do you guys have some kind of CVs on which you write that you defended Funeranal Necroslut in their case against Sodomatic Blasphemogoat or something? (I'm being slightly sarcastic here but that's a serious question, still.)
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The_Elite



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you'll find contracts come in useful when that band you just paid to go into the studio splits up before they deliver the record.
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Fallen_Empire
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haunt In The Dark wrote:
"I personally don't want my music to be released by someone who runs a business instead of a label."

"OR run your label like a business, which in the end is not fun and not a hobby anymore (which isn't what a label should be imho.)"

"But don't come and tell me it's about passion and not money anymore."


I treat FE like a small business. Why? Because I'm passionate about it. I care about the music that I sell and promote and I care about the reputation that the label and distro has. Because of this, I put a lot of time and effort into the operations. How much time is a lot of time? I'd say anywhere between 25 - 35 hours a week depending on what's going on. Sometimes even more.

Because time is finite, by choosing to run FE to the best of my abilities I am neglecting to even search for other possible opportunities that are out there. I currently have another full-time job that, bluntly speaking, is beneath me in terms of my capabilities and compensation, but it allows me to put full effort into FE and not sacrifice anything. Its very rare that it takes me more than a few days to send out someones package, even during times of particularly high order volume.

Running a label as a business is not some inherently evil thing. The scope of 'underground' metal calls for it these days. And honestly, I get my kicks out of ~business~, so don't tell me that it can't be fun. Wanna know something that got me excited? Figuring out a way to save a couple hundred dollars on shipping for a bunch of records from overseas. Wanna know why I was excited? Because I could then pass on the savings to the people who support the label.

I understand that this music is special to many of you. It is to me as well. But you know who it is not special to? The company I get packing supplies from. The Post Office. Big Cartel. PayPal. National Audio Company. Record pressing plants. Stamps.com. The Government.

I guess what I'm trying to do here is help dispel this notion that business practices and underground music don't mix. If anybody has any specific questions about the philosophies that I've installed, or anything else, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be an open book about this shit.
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Wilhelm



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 1504

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

darkdescentrecords wrote:
Haunt In The Dark wrote:
NK7 wrote:
Never run a label and most likely never will, but a signed piece of paper is mandatory whenever business is the name of the game.


I personally don't want my music to be released by someone who runs a business instead of a label. You don't run a business the same way as you run a label.


Well, yeah, you do. It's just how tight of a ship some run compared to others. All labels have overhead, expenses, etc...some prefer to tweak a few of the rules but they are businesses (unless you're not speaking in the literal sense). Unless you just have a huge hole in your pocket and a bunch of money to back it up and you don't care about losing money, you have to have some business sense.


Well said, it all depends on the size and type of label. Given the amount of cash flow to and from a company like Prophecy Productions, or Nuclear Blast for instance, it would be an incredible risk without legally enforceable contracts in place to protect said assets.
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nonwave



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fallen Empire = VOICE OF REASON
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Valgrinder



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every band been small at one point and often there's been small releases from small labels. But once in a while some bands grow big and move to bigger labels. So then contracts come handy when bigger label convince band that smaller label havent got any rights of their first releases and they should rerelease them again, with new label.

Or when artist himself dies or doesent care/understand about anything, then not just anyone can release those small kult releases as their own.

And times change and people change, friends comes and friends go. Once small band comes more popular, then comes this new, better friend (greedy new label) who starts to talk shit about old friends (small labels) and convince that they should be new bestfriends and only play with eachothers (how gay)

I havent signed any contracts with any of my bands. But if label wants to do it, then it shall be so. They are the ones who believed in us so its least we can do for them.
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Vega360



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have and always will hate the business aspect of this. In theory you want the service and professionalism of an actual business but not the Jew parts. It's sad that stuff "showing up at some point" has become the only standard.

Aside from people being greedy scumbags I think a vast majority of band/label feuds start because of a lack of communication between parties (and I've been on both sides of this) before anybody agrees to something. When minds change after an agreement is made, that's when problems start. I'll meet bands that simply it's just "Ok I send music as attachment" and labels that simply never involve the bands in the creative process of the artwork and I guess there are some labels out there that actually charge bands money to buy their own royality copies.....

I'm all for bands self-releasing their own music (if they have the resources too) rather then getting a label to do it so all the hassle is on them however I'm also all for labels doing whatever it takes to make sure they don't get cut out of something if the band makes a retarded decision like making 1000 copies for each state in each country or whatever.

One of the nice things about running a label and having a band/project is that you can just release and distribute the shit yourself. I've herd enough stories where it's like "yeah unless somebody is offering me something I don't have the resources to do I'll just do it myself"

Communication is really what matters, I've known bands that just disappear for years then yeah that is where problems start. There are plenty of past WS releases I'd like to reissue but yeah band vanishes and you can't really do anything about that.
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NK7
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haunt In The Dark wrote:
NK7 wrote:
Never run a label and most likely never will, but a signed piece of paper is mandatory whenever business is the name of the game.


I personally don't want my music to be released by someone who runs a business instead of a label. You don't run a business the same way as you run a label.

I think there should be a balance between the two aspects. Average metal fans lacking any basic conception of business/commerce yet thinking they can run a label "for passion" and without the required dose of professionalism only led to nightmare scenarios i.e. market flooded with a zillion useless releases, proliferation of rip offs, non-existing quality control on records etc etc. -you could menton a hundred labels born as hobbies that went out of hand because of the lack of seriousness/professional approach from the owner's side, see Seraphic Decay, No Fashion etc. I'm not saying EMI or Virgin should control metal but a certain business-oriented mentality is certainly needed as it usually reflects a more professional approach and care for the final product --> better bands signed --> proper budget for recording --> better pressing plants involved --> better looking/sounding wynil kvlt --> everyone's happy. A label like Peaceville is the perfect example of this.

The last thing metal needs is another FORCAPORTO RECS run by some random Luis releasing Nunslaughter 7"eps with pixelated artwork pressed at GZ. Let labels be labels and fans be fans.
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astralvesl



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to think what he means is that he doesn't want his music released by a label that is only putting out releases to turn a profit. There's a difference between running a label responsibly and efficiently and doing so solely for financial gain.

In reference to physical contracts, I know some people are quick to say they don't have a place in underground metal but think of how popular some bands are today in comparison to when they released that first demo or whatever. It's hard to tell sometimes whether or not what you create will be worth something one day.
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NK7
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

astralvesl wrote:
I would like to think what he means is that he doesn't want his music released by a label that is only putting out releases to turn a profit. There's a difference between running a label responsibly and efficiently and doing so solely for financial gain..

I might be wrong but I tend to think that business-oriented mentality leads (should lead at least) to better professionalism. If you invest your money in something there's a higher chance you'll work your ass off hard to get it going, whereas doing things for passion has a certain "who gives a fuck if I lose some money, it's a hobby in the end" feel to it which is romanthic and all but isnt always a guarantee of long-term success/satisfaction.
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darkdescentrecords



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valgrinder wrote:


And times change and people change, friends comes and friends go. Once small band comes more popular, then comes this new, better friend (greedy new label) who starts to talk shit about old friends (small labels) and convince that they should be new bestfriends and only play with eachothers (how gay)



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Haunt In The Dark



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Elite wrote:
you'll find contracts come in useful when that band you just paid to go into the studio splits up before they deliver the record.


Yeah but paying something in advance to people you don't know/trust is never a good move. Of course in this case you need a contract to cover your back because that's the only solution for the band not to run off with the money or something. But labels that get to that point are already playing in a field I'm absolutely not comfortable with and disagree with in the first place. I think bands should always pay for their recording costs. Nobody asks them to play music. It's their choice and hobby, not the label's, not the potential customer's, they pay for their expenses and then a label decides it's worth releasing and promoting, and the customers decides whether they want to buy that or not. It's not the other way around.

Fallen_Empire wrote:


I treat FE like a small business. Why? Because I'm passionate about it. I care about the music that I sell and promote and I care about the reputation that the label and distro has. Because of this, I put a lot of time and effort into the operations. How much time is a lot of time? I'd say anywhere between 25 - 35 hours a week depending on what's going on. Sometimes even more.

Because time is finite, by choosing to run FE to the best of my abilities I am neglecting to even search for other possible opportunities that are out there. I currently have another full-time job that, bluntly speaking, is beneath me in terms of my capabilities and compensation, but it allows me to put full effort into FE and not sacrifice anything. Its very rare that it takes me more than a few days to send out someones package, even during times of particularly high order volume.

Running a label as a business is not some inherently evil thing. The scope of 'underground' metal calls for it these days. And honestly, I get my kicks out of ~business~, so don't tell me that it can't be fun. Wanna know something that got me excited? Figuring out a way to save a couple hundred dollars on shipping for a bunch of records from overseas. Wanna know why I was excited? Because I could then pass on the savings to the people who support the label.

I understand that this music is special to many of you. It is to me as well. But you know who it is not special to? The company I get packing supplies from. The Post Office. Big Cartel. PayPal. National Audio Company. Record pressing plants. Stamps.com. The Government.

I guess what I'm trying to do here is help dispel this notion that business practices and underground music don't mix. If anybody has any specific questions about the philosophies that I've installed, or anything else, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be an open book about this shit.


There's a difference between having a "sense of business" and "common sense." Trying to save money when you can is common sense. I love comparing prices and working out all those kind of details regarding "shipping and handling" (maybe you're also one of those nerds who love office supplies and organising everything neatly, etc... too? Because I know I am.) Caring, doing stuff well, efforts, etc... is always expected when you provide a service to someone else.

BUT I don't agree with you (and with pretty much everyone on here, we already had this discussion before) when you start talking about how much time it takes you and how much it prevents you from doing other things in your life (taking a better/different job for instance.) It's up to you to decide of the importance of this passion of yours in your life and to set your priorities straight. If it takes too much of your life, then take care of what's already on the stove and once it's done, cut back a bit.

I understand it's difficult when you have one thing going and you love it and you always want to do more and it takes more and more importance in your life and blahblahblah, it's a vicious circle. But ultimately the choice is yours and you can't complain about "neglecting opportunities" because of you're doing with your passion, you know? I'm not trying to guilt-trip you or anything by the way. I just don't think it's fair. And you don't owe anyone shit besides the records they paid for. You (or any other label or band) don't have to let "customers" or "fans" or whatever influence what you do because it's YOUR choice, not theirs, and you do what you do the way you want. Show some misanthropy for Goat's sake!!
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Fallen_Empire
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll just bullet point this:

- One of my primary goals on the distro end is to become a 'one stop' for imported black metal records and cassettes. The drive for this stems from my own dissatisfaction with having to constantly buy such things from overseas for many years. There is no end to this, because people from abroad will continue to release music that people from here are interested in.

- I'm not complaining in any way about the time it takes up. I prefer my life this way for now.

- In order to continue to grow this in to what I want it to be, I need to make money so that I can continue to fund new wholesale orders and releases.

This operation requires money. Money that I need to make somehow. This, above all else, is the primary reason that I need treat this as a small business, otherwise I'm constantly left without enough money to operate as well as I would like to. Its beginning to approach the point where it funds itself, but over the past 18 months or so there have been a few instances where I have taken a good sum of money out of my personal accounts to inject into the label when necessary.
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vinhas



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I think bands should always pay for their recording costs. Nobody asks them to play music. It's their choice and hobby, not the label's". [/quote]

I couldn't disagree more with this statement. if a band start to make money (or, on a more realistic view, cease to lose money) from their activity, it doesn't have anything to do with the passion and honesty involved in the process.

If a label can have profit and then invest on a better final product, it is not only okay, but indeed what should always happen (on a perfect world, I know)

the point is: the FANS should be the financial foundation of the "scene", paying for records, tickets, zines, etc. but, off course, when I say the fans, that includes all bands membres and labels owners, that, as any metalheads, also buy lots of stuff themselves.


" Show some misanthropy for Goat's sake!!" [/quote]

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Haunt In The Dark



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, that's the thing. I don't think a band "loses" money when they buy gear or pay for recording costs. It's necessary for their activity so if they can't afford it, they can do something else.
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