metal talk
instagram Facebook Twitter RSS
metal talk
  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
MANAGERS v PRODUCERS
1st May 2012


chris dale



I've been in the music industry a while now doing different things and young bands sometimes ask me for advice. My answers aren't often helpful, but they don't know that so they still ask.

Sometimes young musicians ask about about managers and producers. It's always the same three questions. What do they do? Do we need them? And who would win in a hypothetical fight between the two?

The short answer to the first question is, managers take care of the business side of the band and producers take care of the recording side of the band.

The answer to the second question yes, you need both because you want to be successful. You'll have to start a band by managing yourselves through some local gigs and producing yourselves on your first bedroom demo, but for big time success you'll need to bring in the professionals on one or both sides. I can't think of a single band that has had major success by both managing and producing themselves. I may be wrong here, but I can't think of one.

A good manager can spread the word through the music industry about your impending success, he (or she) can sort out deals for you (recording, publishing, merchandising, agency, advertising and on and on). They can be your guide and mentor through the tricky times and for this they'll usually ask a meagre 20%. Bargain!

A good producer will take care of your recordings and make them sound great. But more than that he (or she) will bring them in on time and on budget, he'll play to the band's strengths and iron out the weaknesses with subtle hints such as: "let's put a brand new chorus in there, shall we?", "Let's try not to drink too much before recording the solos, shall we?" and "today, let's fire the drummer!"

For this, producers usually charge an up front fee and a small percentage of the record. They're a bargain too.

True, you can record your demos at home and mix them yourself, but without someone being paid to tell you which bits are shit you'll never know until it's too late. That's usually when you sell no copies.

Oh and please note, I did say "good manager" and "good producer". That's not necessarily the first person who happens to like your band, though it might well be. Ideally, like the band, the manager and producer should be good at their jobs. That doesn't mean they have to love the music, that's the fans' job later, but they do have to be able to make other people love the music.

Now we know what managers and producers do, let's look at who would win in a fight between the two. Luckily I got to see one in action once and I can tell you it was a pretty clear mauling. This is how it happened.

I was in a studio with a producer recording some bass for a band. I won't tell you which producer or what band to try to save some dignity for all the parties involved.

The band's manager was coming to the studio one day to see how the new recordings were getting along. One of the band piped up the opinion that the manager really knew what was going on with our music, he really "got us".

In return, the producer commented wisely that it was not important that a manager understand the music as long as he understood the business. He was right. But it's also true that a manager must make the band believe that he likes them. They must think he really "gets them". Bands are odd like that, even the big ones.

To illustrate how little the manager really understood about sound, music and "getting them" the producer set up a little game. During the game, he told us whatever happened he would not alter the sound of what we heard at all.

The manager arrived and it was smiles and handshakes all round. He was keen to hear the new recordings, he said.

"Well, it's not really mixed yet" said the producer "but I'll let you hear a bit".

We all went into the control room and the producer blasted a track that we'd finished out of the speakers at crazy volume. At the end of the song the manager gushed, about how cool it sounded. He definitely really "got it".

The producer was pleased the manager liked it (his job was safe then). Modestly he said: "but of course it's not finished, I still need to do some work on that snare sound for a start".

"Yeah" the manager agreed "it does sound a bit... y'know..."

"Yeah", the producer nodded and leapt up to fiddle with a big graphic equalizer that wasn't connected to the snare sound. Then he moved some unconnected faders around.

"How's this?" he said and put the finished track on again.

The manager nodded, "Yes, that's what I was thinking". The producer had won the match to such an extent that the manager didn't even realise it had begun.

"Good idea" said the producer, he was visibly happy. The manger was happy too, the rest of us were dumfounded. He didn't have a clue really, did he?

But the producer was right: he didn't need a clue.

Producer 1 : Manager 0

PREVIOUS CHRIS DALE COLUMNS

chris dale IS THERE ANYONE THAT DOESN'T LIKE IRON MAIDEN?
It really took me a lot of Googling to find a people somewhere that didn't like Iron Maiden but I think I've found them...

January 2017

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY- KISS SONGS THAT SOUND A BIT LIKE OTHER ARTISTS' SONGS
"They had a song called 'Open My Eyes', it's basically the same intro, we kind of copied them."

December 2016

chris dale SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO: BRITISH ARMY TELLS HOW CLOSE TO DEATH BRUCE DICKINSON AND BAND ACTUALLY CAME IN 1994
"They had actually taken aim at the vehicle, taken their safety's off..."

December 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - KISS COVER VERSIONS
We're going to sit back and listen to the original versions of all the songs that Kiss have covered on their records

September 2016

chris dale 1066 AND HOW THE NORMAN INVASION OF ENGLAND SHAPED HEAVY METAL
These invaders that King Arthur and his brave Knights of the Round Table fought against were the Anglo-Saxons - yes, the English!

September 2016

chris dale 'KISS ROCKS VEGAS LIVE' CD AND DVD
In case you hadn't guessed from some of my previous articles, I'm a massive life-long Kiss fan...

March 2016

chris dale EU REFERENDUM FROM A HEAVY METAL PERSPECTIVE, TAKING THE SWISS EXAMPLE
For some bands the UK will, like Switzerland, simply not be worth the hassle in future...

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 2
...more juicy tales and a plethora of brand new information.

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 1
...and the mystery of who actually played guitar on the Creatures Of The Night album.

January 2016

chris dale BEST NEW UK BAND OF 2016 AND THE PHENOMENON OF BIGFOOT HOAXERS IN NORTH AMERICA
"Something very odd is going on in the forests of North America and it's not Bigfoot."

January 2016

chris dale BRIGITTE SCHÖN: 'BRUCE DICKINSON: INSIGHTS: AN INTERPRETATION OF HIS SOLO ALBUMS
In which our scribe reviews a book where he has more knowledge than most about the subject matter...

December 2015

chris dale THE IRON MAIDEN-GO WEST PARALLEL UNIVERSE THEORY
He said in one diary he had a singer named as "Bruce" noted down, a phone number and next to it he'd written "Too heavy!"

September 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: VINNIE VINCENT'S WARRIOR
The Full Story Of Vinnie Vincent's Awesome Pre-Kiss Band

March 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: THE KISS DRUMMER AUDITIONS OF 1980
How many and which drummers auditioned for KISS when Peter Criss departed the band in 1980?

March 2015

chris dale MATTHEW TRIPPE RIP
Another look at the strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx.

March 2015

chris dale KISS – LOVE GUN DELUXE EDITION
In depth review of the re-issue of the classic Kiss album, Love Gun with bonus live tracks and studio outtakes.

November 2014

chris dale MR BIG – KOKO, LONODON
Live review of the opening night of Mr. Big's 2014/15 World Tour.

October 2014

chris dale MR BIG – THE STORIES WE COULD TELL
Review of the new album from Mr. Big.

September 2014

chris dale INTENSIVE BASS COURSE WITH BILLY SHEEHAN
Your humble narrator goes on tour with the legendary Mr. Big / David Lee Roth bassist and picks up some handy tips along the way.

September 2013

chris dale BOOKING AGENTS vs PROMOTERS
Why your favourite band aren't playing in your home town this year and who would win in a hyothetical fight between a promoter and a booking agent.

August 2013

chris dale ROCK AND METAL PUB QUIZ
Your MetalTalk columnist hosts a regular pub quiz on our two favourite topics: rock and metal!

July 2013

chris dale COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR EUROPEAN FESTIVALS
How to learn a foreign language in a single evening with a film, a phrasebook and a few beers!

June 2013

chris dale Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
A tribute to the artist and visionary genius behind the album covers of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Rainbow, Thunder, Dream Theater and Helloween and his work on Bruce Dickinson's 'Skunworks' album.

May 2013

chris dale Daily Mail Columnist Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
A response to Richard Littlejohn's Attack on Goths, Punks and Heavy Metal fans.

April 2013

chris dale The Future Of Classic Rock Bands
What will happen to bands like Kiss, Rainbow and Van Halen in the next decade? Do you want tickets for AC/DC's 50th Anniversary of the 'Back In Black' Tour?

April 2013

chris dale Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
The fun I had working as an extra on the 'Ava Adore' promotional video and why dog mess should always be avoided.
March 2013

chris dale Ten Years On Total Rock
Good times as a Radio DJ playing my favourite tunes, making mistakes and talking to Queensryche, Dokken and Geezer Butler.
February 2013

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY I: An Entire Album Full Of Unrelased Songs
How Kiss could make a great record this year by looking back at their old demos. We get to hear them all here.
January 2013

chris dale Kiss Reformation Magick
How Alex Dickson and I unwittingly caused the Kiss 1996 Reformation during our South American Tour with Bruce Dickinson.

December 2012

chris dale Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
Steve Goldby and I get to ask the singer of Queensrÿche all the questions we ever wanted to know the answers to.
November 2012

chris dale Morally Worrying Session
As an occasional bass session musician, at what point does one call the line and say that enough is really enough?
November 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Review
Thoughts on the lastest Kiss album after hearing it a few times. It is indeed a great album!

October 2012

chris dale The Best Invention Of All Time
Absolute proof that we bass players (including Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan and Bob Daisley) are the best people in the world. Fact!
October 2012

chris dale A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
My son Archie and I get to ask Rudy Sarzo (legendary bass player for Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Queenryche and Dio) everything we ever wanted to know about Kiss Make Up, Steve Vai and Cuban Politics.
September 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
The tale of how back in 1994 Bruce Dickinson and his band of merry men (including myself) found ourselves on our way to the besieged city of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War.
June 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
The second part of the story, telling of the practicalities of playing a heavy metal gig in a besieged city.
July 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
Our journey home from war-torn Sarajevo and refelctions on the long term effects of war.
August 2012

chris dale Managers v Producers
Why do bands need managers and producers and more importantly who would win in a hypothecial fight between the two?
May 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
Predictions of what the upcoming Kiss album may sound like. I think it's going to be pretty good!
April 2012

chris dale London Venue's Nazi Past?
For years I'd heard rumours of the Kentish Town HMV Forum being a former Fascist or Nazi venue. One day I decided to research it more closely to find its true dark past.
March 2012

chris dale How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
The time that just for a second, I thought I might be the new bass player for Ozzy Osbourne.
Feburary 2012

chris dale Metal Evilution
Theories about the orgins of Heavy Metal from Creationists and Evolutionists put to the test in a study of the recordings of Def Leppard and AC/DC by producer Mutt Lange
January 2012

chris dale Take Your Pick Competition
This was a competition but still have a look at my cool collection of guitar picks from the last century! Can you guess the original owners? Here's a clue, there's some Dokken, Dio and Kiss in there.
December 2011

chris dale The Pandora's Box Of Pop
What do you do if Banarama offer you their backing vocals for a heavy metal session?
November 2011

chris dale Tank Tour Diary
The Tank Tour of Scandinavaia and Poland including our show supportting Judas Priest.
October 2011

chris dale Festival Stage Collapses
What caused the tragedies at 2011's Ottawa Bluesfest, Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis and the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium?
September 2011

chris dale Bruce Air, The Early Days
Recollections of flying across the American Mid West on Bruce Dickinson's ''Balls To Picasso' US Tour in 1994.
August 2011

chris dale European Festival Round-Up
My reviews of the best bands while I was with Mr Big on the European Festival circuit this year, including Twisted Sister, Whitesnake and Judas Priest.
July 2011

chris dale Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
Let's compare live clips of Rhandy, Jake, Zakk and all the other guys who have played lead guitar for the Ozzy Osbourne band. Who do you think is really the best?
June 2011

chris dale Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan guitarist gives his repsonse to our thoughts on Ozzy Osbourne's various guitarists before and since him.
June 2011

chris dale Japanese Tsunami Disaster
How Japan coped in the wake of the earthquake/tsrunami/nuclear disaster of 2011 seen from the view of a roady on the Mr Big Tour shortly after the events.
May 2011

chris dale 10,000 Tank Albums!
How us having ten thousand listeners might well be the end of the music industry as we once knew it.
April 2011

chris dale Death Metal Session
Recording death metal for polite customers with Mikee Goodman from Sikth and Jay Graham from Ravens Creed.
March 2011

chris dale RIP Gary Moore
My happy recollections of the late great Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011). A legend and a good guy to laugh with.
February 2011

chris dale Recording Bass at Steve Harris' House
The tale of how we recorded the bass tracks for the Tank album ' War Machine' at Iron Maiden HQ!
February 2011

chris dale A Column About Columns
How I got asked to write columns for MetalTalk by editor Steve Goldby and how I got it wrong from the very start.
January 2011












 

metal talk © All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.