Management and lawyers
With the various issues that come with securing a record deal, management and lawyers are vital to ensure the best deal for the band. Ann Harrison, of London based legal consultancy Harrisons, highlights the importance of lawyers.
"The band should get a lawyer on board as soon as they get interest from the industry," she says. "This is particularly important if there's no manager involved as record companies like to deal with middlemen so they can remain on good terms with the artist while all the business is done with the manager or lawyer. Anyone wishing to appoint a lawyer should go and see at least three."
Ann also outlines the actual role of lawyers with artists. "Where there is an experienced manager involved the lawyer may only act as a sounding board, or to record what has been agreed.
The band should get a lawyer on board as soon as they get interest from the industry. This is particularly important if there's no manager involved. Anyone wishing to appoint a lawyer should go and see at least three.Ann Harrison
"Where the manager or artist is less experienced the lawyer can advise on who is signing, what sort of deals they do, whether the deal or offer is good, and what improvements could be made. They then negotiate the deal and once all are happy with the terms they document the agreement."
Rhys Mwyn, former member of Welsh language punks Anhrefn and now head of Rhys Mwyn Management, offers some information on the role of managers.
"For bands starting their careers, an experienced manager will have greater contacts and understanding of the business. If a band is fairly together and organised they do not necessarily need a manager, and it's often a good thing for bands to do things for themselves early on."
Mwyn believes a manager is important to a band's progress and development. "A manager on the 'outside' of the band but part of the team can often be more objective in terms of songs, recordings, set list arrangements and so on," he says. "A good manager will be a well organised diplomat and be very practical and able to sort out all kinds of problems."
Mwyn also raises a final warning: "A bad manager is the kiss of death for a band. Being hard and aggressive does not really work - it just pisses people off."