When I started to get back into this “music thing”, I decided I would do things differently from what was for me the traditional approach to paying the band. In the past, in all my bands, we would sit around at the end of the night waiting for the club to play the leader, who would in turn divvy up the proceeds to the rest of the group. This time around, I pay the musicians, and technicians if that is needed, before we hit the stage. It just seemed to make sense.
“Well, thanks, and goodbye!” is the usual joking reaction, especially when I first did it. It made me think, based on the reaction, how unusual this practice might be, at least in my own experience. Yet, it makes sense on so many levels.
First of all, as a singer/songwriter, especially with my name first in the band identity, it’s my reputation that’s out there and my responsibility to support it. My fellow musicians are my performing musical partners, but the financial risks are not theirs to share. That’s on me.
Second, why have others wait to be paid? Paying them up front is a tangible sign of confidence, makes them feel happy and allows then to leave at the end of the show as soon as convenient. And, it’s far less risky than keeping hundreds of dollars in one’s pocket all night.
In doing research for this blog, I found a great article by Ari Herstand in Digital Music News who says the same and more, and probably better than I have. I guess there a few original ideas, but many are worth repeating! It’s a great read, especially for other singer/songwriters.
Finally, a quick reminder that this Saturday, April 23 at Relish Bar and Grill is the possibly-annual Félix birthday show, starting at 9:30. We hope to see you there!