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  • Writer's pictureWil Cameron

10 Reasons Why Bands Fail

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

I've been reading some interesting material about why bands and musicians either fail or never reach their full potential professionally. I have to give credit for the article below to the writer Vinny Ribas, who is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management company. Check it out:

Keeping a good band together is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you're the leader. There are countless reasons why bands break up. The sad part is that most break-ups could be avoided with just a little foresight and planning.

Here are 10 traps to avoid:

  1. Having too many "cooks"...

  2. Band members are not on the same page...

  3. The music isn't challenging enough...

  4. Everyone is not getting their fair share of the spotlight...

  5. Opportunities arise that not everyone is in favor of...

  6. Legal complications....

  7. Financial problems ...

  8. Band ownership (everyone understanding their role)...

  9. Not enough gigs...

  10. Not taking responsibility for the act's success...

The long version of these are below if you care to review them.

  1. Too many cooks. One person needs to be the leader, even if he or she is just the main organizer. Without this, nothing get’s done.

  2. Band members are not on the same page.  Everything needs to be discussed "or communicated" before the band forms. Good ongoing communication is essential - always.

  3. The music isn’t challenging enough. This is especially true if one player’s limited talent, style or skill is holding the others back.

  4. Everyone is not getting their fair share of the spotlight. Egos are fragile. Find team players.

  5. Opportunities arise that not everyone is in favor of. This could range from touring to hiring a manager to playing certain kinds of venues. Discuss all possibilities before they arise and be sure everyone agrees on how they will be handled.

  6. Legal complications. This includes issues like who owns the name, who gets credit for songs that one member writes but the entire band arranges etc. There are dozens of these kinds of issues that need to be addressed up front.

  7. Financial problems. This could be that the band isn’t making enough money. It could be that someone feels the money isn’t being divided up fairly. Set honest and realistic expectations for all up front.

  8. Band ownership (everyone is equal) vs. leader and back-up band. Be sure everyone knows and agrees to their role and legal relationship to the act.

  9. Not enough gigs. Set realistic expectations up front and. Develop and implement a plan for handling this common challenge. Decide who is ultimately responsible for getting and negotiating gigs.

  10. Not taking responsibility for the act’s success. This could range from member not helping with marketing or booking, to members not wanting to sit at the merch table and meet fans. Everyone should have their own agreed upon set of responsibilities and should take them seriously.

You can view the entire article here: .

Now that we've discussed 10 things that should NOT be done or things bands should steer clear of, I'd like to mention a few things artists and bands SHOULD consider and do to achieve success and keep their bands together.

  • Be appreciative to those who help: This list could include other musicians, booking personnel, studio techs, the press or bloggers. A short "thank-you" e-mail or $10 Starbucks card will go a long way toward letting someone know you appreciate their efforts.

  • Be sure to follow up: It's good to be patient but don't be shy about follow-up e-mails or calls to let folks know you're still interested. It is recommended to use an alternate way of communicating (i.e., send an e-mail to follow up with a phone call).

  • Become proficient with Social Media and Social Networks: So many many folks have grown accustomed to using Social Networks as part of their application process. I once was turned down for a gig because I didn't have enough "likes" on Facebook. At the time, I didn't even have a Facebook account - but I do now!

  • Remain aware of your team and get their support: Even solo artists have a team of folks helping them. Not many folks can do EVERYTHING well and manage to have time to it. That's why it's important to build a trust in your team/crew/group. It's okay to ask for help even if you're in charge.

  • Be self-less in your deeds: Always support others professionally, even it you consider them as competitors. Encourage and support others. You'll get to be known as a positive and supportive person, which gets gigs. Bad "boys" are a bit entertaining; however, the self-centered types don't seem to survive for long in the music industry - on the professional or independent side.

My email is below if you ever want to send me a note or have any questions.




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