Getting Paid

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
3. at the end of the night, and door money or payment goes into a band-wide bank account that we all can see, but that is handled by our guitar player since she does finance stuff for a living anyways (our band fund is actually a money market acct)
If we get to a point where we're making a living doing this or if not, it's paying a sizable portion of our bills, then I think we'll start down that road. But once money hits a bank account, the govt is going to want their fair share of it.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
If we get to a point where we're making a living doing this or if not, it's paying a sizable portion of our bills, then I think we'll start down that road. But once money hits a bank account, the govt is going to want their fair share of it.

hmmm...I have never thought to ask if we get tased on that account. It is not set up as a business account...
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The singer is constantly asking me if I trust him.
This is a red flag. Trustworthy people dont have to constantly ask for trust. Trustworthy people know they can be trusted.

This goes for liars also. Only liars have to constantly tell you they arent lying. People who tell the truth dont need to qualify anything.

Personally I would have bailed after the cocaine issue. Oh yeah, junkies are not to be trusted with money. Just one more thread in this constantly unraveling sweater.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
Smart and equitable, well done!

yep...we talk it out a lot. When we took on new members, we told them up front that the goals of the band were not to make money, but to be kick ass players and to have a good time. Professionalism is more important. We figured, if you are professional, smart, and proactive, than fights and stupidity won't happen

if we make money, it is because of other stuff we are doing correctly....and the better we do, the more the money should fall in
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
The singer is constantly asking me if I trust him. And I keep saying "yes" instead of the famous Donald Sutherland line in Italian Job - "I trust you. I just don't trust the devil inside you.". It also feels awkward he's hugging on me a dozen times every gig.

These are all red flags of the highest order.

Like everyone is saying - make sure you ask to be part of the business end and go from there.

Our band has total transparency on that stuff with excel sheets, etc. so anyone can see what's going on.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
In general, better to split tips evenly, and leave everything else up to the individual.

Often, not all band members are drinking, or are purchasing food from the venue. Of course, there are sometimes bars and clubs where drinks and food are on the house, and if that's the venue's policy, then the drinkers and eaters in the band benefit slightly more than non-drinkers and non-eaters. Not much to be done about that.

If a server is "assigned" to the band, then they are taking time away from other patrons (who are presumably tipping), so it's only fair to tip them at the end of the night (20% of the bill). The venue will NEVER compensate a server for taking care of the band, so when that server takes your order, they're doing so at a cost to themselves personally. Due to varying rates in alcohol and food consumption, it's best not to take the server's tip money from the band's tip jar, and leave it to the individuals. One band member might have two draft beers, but someone else might have 5 top shelf whiskeys. In addition to all the normal reasons, it's also a terrible idea for the band to not tip servers because the staff at your gig will tell the manager if they like your band or not, and this can make or break the gig.

When counting the contents of the tip jar, do so in the presence of at least one band member, never privately. Even among best friends, this is a good idea. And never leave the tip jar on the stage, no matter what.

My tips have gotten stolen on private gigs before, where the agent intercepts the client, and pockets the cash that was intended to be divided among the band and crew. I hear from other musicians that this is not uncommon in certain bands.

The singer is constantly asking me if I trust him. And I keep saying "yes" instead of the famous Donald Sutherland line in Italian Job - "I trust you. I just don't trust the devil inside you.". It also feels awkward he's hugging on me a dozen times every gig.
Yuck.
 

justadrummer

Junior Member
In general, better to split tips evenly, and leave everything else up to the individual.

Often, not all band members are drinking, or are purchasing food from the venue. Of course, there are sometimes bars and clubs where drinks and food are on the house, and if that's the venue's policy, then the drinkers and eaters in the band benefit slightly more than non-drinkers and non-eaters. Not much to be done about that.

If a server is "assigned" to the band, then they are taking time away from other patrons (who are presumably tipping), so it's only fair to tip them at the end of the night (20% of the bill). The venue will NEVER compensate a server for taking care of the band, so when that server takes your order, they're doing so at a cost to themselves personally. Due to varying rates in alcohol and food consumption, it's best not to take the server's tip money from the band's tip jar, and leave it to the individuals. One band member might have two draft beers, but someone else might have 5 top shelf whiskeys. In addition to all the normal reasons, it's also a terrible idea for the band to not tip servers because the staff at your gig will tell the manager if they like your band or not, and this can make or break the gig.

When counting the contents of the tip jar, do so in the presence of at least one band member, never privately. Even among best friends, this is a good idea. And never leave the tip jar on the stage, no matter what.

My tips have gotten stolen on private gigs before, where the agent intercepts the client, and pockets the cash that was intended to be divided among the band and crew. I hear from other musicians that this is not uncommon in certain bands.


Yuck.


I've been doing this forty-five years, this is how I've handled things from the start. If a band leader doesn't like this, he needs another drummer.



If I were the original poster, I'd would be looking for my next gig for sure.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
it's also a terrible idea for the band to not tip servers because the staff at your gig will tell the manager if they like your band or not, and this can make or break the gig.
Yep. There are dozens HUNDREDS of other bands looking for gigs, and servers, sound people, and management always prefer working with people they like. Music is one of the few 'businesses' where nice guys finish first.

Even the parking attendant needs to be taken care of. At one regular gig I do, parking is $5. Of course the band parks free - and gets preferred spaces right in front of the place - and I always give the guy $5 bucks even though he doesn't park my car.
 

Timmy

Active Member
Yeah, after thinking about it, I don't think I'd like someone doing my tipping for me. That's rather presumptuous. But, I'm not a professional drummer, so, WTH do I know? If it's regulation to do that, then, suck it up buttercup.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
In every band I'm in, the split is equal and the amount is agreed to when we take the gig; everyone helps load in, set up, and tear down. Payment is done in cash, check on the spot, or PayPal. When there's a tip jar, I'm usually the guy who takes care of it because I'm fast, accurate, trusted, and can shelter in place behind my kit (floor toms are a good place to count money so long as it's not a windy outdoors gig). In the event we're not comped food or drink it's 100% an individual responsibility to pay and tip. We encourage each other to leave tips even when comped.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
If the guy asks you if you trust him again, tell the truth. You don't trust him.

Just to see how it's handled. It could be very revealing. He's all nice when you say the right thing. What will he be like when you give him an answer he's not prepared for? I'd want to know. He sounds like he's trying to take advantage of your good nature. That's when it's time to stop the charade with him and speak respectfully, (unemotionally) but truthfully.
 
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Paisleyman

Junior Member
Ugh. I'm fairly new to drums, but I've been working as a singer/guitarist/bandleader for many years.

#1: If you don't trust your bandleader, GTFO right away. What I'm saying is, if you can't rely on your bandleader to recompense you properly, they don't deserve you. They should be absolutely trustworthy and honest and forthcoming about what's happening with the money.

#2: Given that I've always enjoyed the trust and respect of my fellow players, I've never had an issue with this, so far as I'm aware. But, here's the deal I give my players: We all get paid equally, minus expenses, which includes a cut for promotion (gasoline, posters, and ads where applicable), and minus drink tabs, which...honestly...that's almost always $0.00, given the way I operate. And, minus tips to the bartender or security. I always make it a point to tip the people who work at the venue, but I also make it a point to explain that in full to my players.

#3: None of my players expect me to pay them in full on the night of the gig, because they trust me. The drummer needs $20.00 to fill his tank? Fine. We'll settle up the rest later.

#4: I'm saying this as a singer, and I think it's important, and I think that singers who don't follow this rule aren't right in the head. I am 100% involved in the load-in. Drums first, then PA, then keys, then bass and guitar. It's a group effort. Once that's done, my job is to schmooze with the crowd, and that continues for the rest of the night. So, I suppose, that's an extra burden for other players at the end of the gig, but that's precisely when I'm working out the money and making sure that everyone is happy, which is also part of my role in the whole process.

TLDR: You don't trust that you're getting compensated properly, get out now.
"The drummer needs $20.00 to fill his tank?"

Your drummer gets his kit on the back of a motorbike?
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
It's always been the same in all my bands. The owner hands cash or check to the "leader" or whomever they booked with in the band. That person finds everyone else and reports the full take, and we split it up.

Things like tipping the waitress or bar people would be agreed on the spot at that point and taken out before any of us get money. On that note, I usually tip the sound guy.

This business of one guy being the distribution dude and deciding on his own who you're all tipping sounds both sus and stupid.
 

Sonar Dave

Active Member
We were pretty stupid. We just trusted our vocalist who usually did all of our deals. Cash split four ways at the end of the night.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Your situation is too weird for me. If I book a band, I'm up front about how much each person gets paid, and that's what he gets at the end of the night. There's no tabs being kept, we're not tipping anybody because hey - we're just like the waitresses and bartenders - we're providing a service as well - so I don't understand why you would tip the staff you're working with. If it's truly a equal situation, then shouldn't the waitresses and bartenders be tipping the band as well?

I think if everything is laid out in front and the band isn't paying for any hidden fees, or expecting to get food and drink (they shouldn't), then everybody gets paid what I say they get paid. If there's money in a tip jar, then I would split that equally among the players - usually as soon as the gig is over and we're packing up when I can count it out right there at the stage.

Bands should not expect free food and drink (although some places provide it) simply because on a regular job, you're not being provided any of that stuff. Some long gigs (like weddings or other special events) may provide it, but I still don't expect it. I'm hired to play with the band - so that's what I expect to get paid for. So likewise, if I'm booking a gig, there's no discussion what "what will be provided" other than what I will pay you for showing up and doing a good job.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
. There's no tabs being kept, we're not tipping anybody because hey - we're just like the waitresses and bartenders - we're providing a service as well - so I don't understand why you would tip the staff you're working with. If it's truly a equal situation, then shouldn't the waitresses and bartenders be tipping the band as well?

I think if everything is laid out in front and the band isn't paying for any hidden fees, or expecting to get food and drink (they shouldn't), then everybody gets paid what I say they get paid. If there's money in a tip jar, then I would split that equally among the players - usually as soon as the gig is over and we're packing up when I can count it out right there at the stage.

Bands should not expect free food and drink (although some places provide it) simply because on a regular job, you're not being provided any of that stuff. Some long gigs (like weddings or other special events) may provide it, but I still don't expect it. I'm hired to play with the band - so that's what I expect to get paid for. So likewise, if I'm booking a gig, there's no discussion what "what will be provided" other than what I will pay you for showing up and doing a good job.

There may be some regional differences here.

If I’m getting the service of the waitstaff, I should expect to tip. Because the venue is definitely not making up for revenue lost to the server who is waiting on me, simply because I’m in the band. So I tip as if I’m a normal customer, because I am, as far as the server is concerned. But it bears mentioning that, because of geography, drinks are typically $6-10, and not $12-20. So I’m not put out financially very much at all. $5 will usually cover it.

In this conversation, it doesn’t seem like anyone is expecting free food, but it’s quite common for me to get 50% off food at a bar gig, locally here in Michigan. Maybe not so much on the coastal parts of the US or abroad?

I would never expect the waitstaff to tip the band. That’s absurd. However — again, geographically — the norm is for the band to make a guaranteed amount, not whatever the door cover charge brings, or a percentage of bar sales (which was commonplace before I started gigging).
 
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