Should I Manage My Husband's Band?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

You babysitting their band this early in the game means they never learn how to do this stuff, how to be responsible, what the next steps are. And no matter how much anyone gives you their "I'm just an artist," rap -- they need to know. Understanding the basic framework of the world where they operate and what sort of work that involves is fundamental. It would be detrimental for them as a band just getting a toehold in a scene/with a venue to have you do their schmoozing and networking for them. That is how bands get shows much of the time -- being friendly with other bands. If someone rolled up to them after their set and was like "That was awesome, we have a show coming up, you should totally get on the bill," and your husband or his bandmates are all "Uh, yeah, go talk to our manager over at the bar about that," you best believe your husband's band would be the butt of every intraband joke in that other band's van that night.

I think the most helpful thing you can do is to let your husband's band figure out how to manage themselves, and if it is too much for your husband with his workload, then he needs to delegate -- but within the band. If each of them parsed out a portion of duties -- i.e., one person details with bookings and getting the logistics (load in and such) to the rest of the band, one person details with social media maintenance and inviting friends to shows, another cousin is in charge of flyering and PR -- then they each have about 20-120 minutes of work to do on behalf of the band, per month. If they cannot handle that then they need to clear some space in their lives or just stop playing shows and continue as a just-for-fun band. The first rule of being a successful band is don't make your band anyone's burden but your own.

I cannot tell if there is something else at work here. That is, if your husband wants to include you in this mix or have you care about his band as much as he does. Perhaps you have a skill set that would make you great at this, maybe your husband is at a loss for whats the next step of being in a band -- it could be any or a combo all of these things. Sometimes bands want/get a manager because it makes them feel like THINGS ARE HAPPENING, that they matter enough to warrant someone else's time and energy (this is quite typically the case). My feeling is that one of these factors are at work here because something about this does not add up -- because he hasn't just asked for help, what your husband has asked of you is to make the hassle-y part of his hobby your hobby -- something that shouldn't even take a half hour a week. Suss that shit out.

Do you want to be in charge of their social media, their bookings, taking the van in for an oil change, promoting shows, making sure there are flyers made and up in the right places, (wo)manning the merch table all night during their show, settle with the show promoter at 2 or 3 a.m., try to help them find ways to promote themselves and get to their next level of goals? If that sounds like fun, then you should say yes.

If you say yes to taking on management duties, I'd work out an hourly rate for your time. You should get paid by the band, and pay should not be contingent on their earnings. You do not want 15 percent of whatever they get paid at the open-mic nights. Is $15 per hour reasonable for your skills? They already practice in your house; you needn't do them more favors. Also, you need to meet with them and find out what they expect from you in terms of duties, and how they anticipate that changing over time. Do a trial run if it seems cool. Maybe it's a CBF (Could Be Fun). Who knows? Maybe this is your calling. Maybe you figure out you wanna start your own band and do this for yourself. If you aren't game, hopefully your husband can understand that you don't wanna be the Tommy Mottola to his Mariah and leave it at that.

Good luck to you and the band,
FAN

See Also:
- The Top Ten Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender at a Music Venue
- Ten Bands You Never Would Have Thought Used to Be Good
- The Top 15 Things That Annoy the Crap Out of Your Local Sound Guy

Follow RFT Music on Twitter or Facebook. Follow RFT Music editor Daniel Hill on Twitter too, if you are into that sort of thing.

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