Think back to your days in high school when there were people who really paid attention in class, others who synthesized all of the information given to them and really got it and some people who just showed up waiting for lunch time. This all still applies to what goes on when someone “works in the music industry.” Just because someone has been along for the ride does not mean they understand what really goes on. Having connections can get you somewhere, but having ideas and a work ethic is what really counts. While a work ethic can only be tested in the field, the ideas can be tested before you connect yourself to someone.
My advice to every band who is looking at someone potentially managing
them is to have them write you a plan as to what you are going to do
with the next year of your life. How are they going to help develop you
and make you stand out from the countless other bands looking for
everyone’s attention. If they come back with a plan of obvious things
and ideas you easily could have thought of on your own, then why do you
need to give away a percentage and energy to this person?
As we have discussed many times before if you think a manger is going to do all the work for you, you are bound for failure. The managers role in 2009 should be fresh new ideas, with a means to accomplish them and the first test is they should have a clear and insightful vision as to how to get your band somewhere that isn’t just record, promo pics, record release party, tour and repeat. Every great manager I know has a strategy and ideas on how to make their artists stand out from the pack and if someone can’t demonstrate these ideas to you, they have flunked out of class and aren’t going to be of much use to you. Many wise-ass Italian gangsters have summed this up in one easy saying “Tell me something I don’t know.”