5 Things to Look for in a Music Producer Agreement

So, you’ve found the perfect producer for your upcoming recording project. Great news. Now the producer sends over a 10-page contract full of legalese regarding record royalties, songwriting splits, SoundExchange revenues, producer advances and more. Before you enter the studio, here are some key points to look for and understand:

1) Who Owns the Masters?

First and foremost, you should own the master recordings once the producer fee is paid. In rare circumstances, the producer might own the masters or have some co-ownership interest, but that is definitely not the norm. Almost always, you should own the masters.

2) How Many Points for Your Producer?  

It is industry standard for your music producer to receive “points” on the songs they produce. A point is simply a percentage of record sales. For example, 4 points equals 4% of net record revenues from the masters produced by your producer. My advice: make sure that there is language inserted that allows you to recoup all expenses related to the production and exploitation of the masters before these points kick in. In other words, until you recoup all of your costs in relation to the masters, the producer doesn’t start getting revenue. Industry standard is 2-5% for points, either on the suggested retail price (SRLP) or published price to dealer (PPD). See my article here for more on SRLP vs. PPD.

3) Should Your Producer Get SoundExchange and Other Revenues?

I find that more and more producers are demanding a percentage of SoundExchange revenues on songs they produce. The same goes for other so-called “direct monies” or “flat fee” uses of the masters (film/tv placements, etc.). This is mostly a reflection of the modern realities of the music biz, as “points” aren’t worth what they used to be. Not all producer agreements include SoundExchange/Flat Fee revenues, but if yours does, make sure the language is clear and the percentage is fair. Typically, a fraction is used: whatever producer points you agree on (let’s say 4 as per above) divided by the artist’s record royalty flowing from the record label (let’s say 20%). So in this example, 4 divided by 20 gives a 20% SoundExchange/Flat Fee percentage to the producer. My advice: if you don’t know what the label royalty is or don’t have a label involved, the standard practice is to use a “deemed royalty,” which is simply a royalty that you and the producer agree on that’s based on industry standards (somewhere between 15 and 20%). I would cap the producer’s SoundExchange/Flat Fee entitlement at a specified amount, nothing over 25%. Obviously, lower is better for you as artist.

4)  Is Your Producer a Co-Writer of the Compositions?

This is perhaps the most important point to consider: is your producer a co-writer? See my article here for guidance on such a determination. I recommend that you have this discussion as to whether you intend to co-write with the producer before recording commences. I realize that sometimes co-writing just happens in studio, whether you plan for it or not, but it’s wise to discuss this ahead of time to ensure mutual expectations going in. My advice: If the producer is indeed a co-writer, you need to ensure that they assign administrative rights in the compositions to you. This will allow you to use and exploit the compositions without having to obtain the producer’s signature in each instance.

Insider tip: this exact issue was taken to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in the late 90s, when Sarah McLachlan was sued by her former producer Darryl Neudorf, who claimed he was a joint author of four of McLachlan’s early compositions. The takeaway from the court’s decision: if an artist and producer intend to co-write together, that must be agreed to before the recording process commences. Otherwise, the court will assume that your producer is not a co-writer.

5)  How Much Will Your Producer Be Paid?

The Music Producer Agreement should clearly define how much you are paying the producer, either per song or via an hourly rate. My advice: go with per song, otherwise you might be surprised by the bill at the end of the project. Typically, half of the producer’s fee is considered a recoupable advance against royalties payable to your producer. In other words, half the producer fee is considered a recoupable cost, and half is not. A typical timeline in terms of payment of the producer fee is half before recording starts and half upon completion.

Insider tip: the producer fee and producer points/SoundExchange entitlement are definitely intertwined. In other words, if you want to keep more of your royalties and SoundExchange (and can afford it), you can offer a higher per-song producer fee. The same goes the other way, if you are short on funds, you might be able to offer more on the other end. My advice: think big picture and long term, and don’t undervalue your catalog in the long term in exchange for a short-term break in producer fees.

There are many other important clauses in a music producer agreement, but this is a great start. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. My door is always open.

5 Things to Look for in a Record Deal

After years of hard work, you just landed your first record deal. Amazing. Now the record label sends over the contract and it’s thirty pages long. Yikes. Here are the main points to look for in a record deal and what to avoid.

1) How Long is the Term? This is a good starting point: how long will you be tied to this record deal? For the label, a longer term is more desirable, so they can earn back their investment and make a profit from your music for as long as possible. For you, shorter is better in any record deal. The reason? If things are going great with your label when the term expires, you can always sign a new record deal, likely with better terms. But if things aren’t so hot, you can get out and find a new label (or go back to being independent).  There will likely be “option” periods associated with any term, which allow the label to extend the length of the record deal. Ideally, such options should only be exercised via mutual agreement (i.e. not just the label deciding).

2) What is the Territory? Some record deals apply to a single territory (e.g. the USA), some apply to the entire world. If the former, you can in theory sign different deals in different territories. This can be a challenge in the digital era, where borders are somewhat arbitrary. If you sign a worldwide record deal, try to ensure that if the label fails to release your music in certain territories, those rights revert back to you. This allows you to either self release or team up with another record label in these territories.

3) What is Your Royalty? This is a big one. Many small to mid-size labels offer a “net 50” deal, which means that after they’ve recouped their expenses, you and the record label split profits 50/50. You’ll want to clearly define what expenses are allowed, and include some language that larger expenses (over $1000 for example) require your consent. For major label record deals, a typical artist royalty is in the 12-20% range. This lower royalty is a reflection of the increased investment that comes with a major label. In other words, you make less from record sales, but should be benefitting from a much larger investment in recording and marketing.

4) How Much Will The Label Invest in You? I try to get as much clarity as possible on this topic, in terms of actual budget commitments from the label. This includes dollar amounts budgeted for music videos, tour support, recording, radio promotion, and more. Your label may be hesitant to commit to actual numbers until they see how the records perform, but this is where you need a good entertainment lawyer advocating on your behalf.

5) Does the Label Participate in Non-Record Revenues? This is the biggest thing to watch for in a modern record deal. More and more, record labels are asking for a piece of the pie from non-record revenue streams such as touring, merchandise, and publishing. These are the so-called “360 Deals” that you’ve likely heard of. In many ways, they are a reflection of the modern realities facing record labels and artists. But before you give away a portion of these crucial revenue streams, you need to know what the label is prepared to do to earn their piece. If they want to commission on touring, will they be providing funding for tour support? If they want a piece of publishing, will they be providing publisher services including shopping your songs for film and television placements? Some labels who ask for these commissions do indeed provide these services, but some don’t. And remember: if you’re giving a cut of all these revenues to your label as well as a manager, it might not leave much for you at the end of the day.

These five areas are of course just the starting point. There is much, much more to look for in a modern record deal. If you take your career seriously, you will seek the advice of an experienced, trusted entertainment lawyer who will also help negotiate the best record deal possible for you and your career. As always, email me with questions.

 

Why Every Band Needs a Band Agreement

Band Agreement

A Band Agreement is likely the most important agreement you can sign in a band. I say this based on my years as both an entertainment lawyer and a band member. It costs relatively little, and could save you thousands upon thousands of dollars (and a great deal of headache) years down the road. Yet most bands do not think about a Band Agreement until it is too late.

What is a Band Agreement?

A Band Agreement is a contract between band members, much like a partnership agreement is to a partnership. It simply outlines how the band business will be run. If you don’t run your band at least somewhat like a business, please stop reading and choose an easier career. You won’t make it in this one.

Some of the main issues covered in the Band Agreement include:

– who owns the compositions
– who owns the master recordings
– who owns the band name
– what happens if a member leaves
– how decisions are made (i.e. majority vote, unanimous decision, etc.)
– how revenue is divided from touring, record sales, merch sales, publishing revenue, etc.
– who owns the music equipment (band or individual members)
– who can sign contracts and cheques on behalf of the band
– who can hire/fire members
– and much more

Band Agreement

Why Have a Band Agreement Drafted?

The Band Agreement is perhaps the single most important document a group of musicians can have to ensure that things in the group run smoothly as their career progresses. Whether you are a new band or a well-established one, you need this agreement. Most of the legal issues that come across my desk could have been avoided with a proper Band Agreement in place.

Yet most bands do not think about signing one until it’s too late…and it comes back to haunt them.

Band Agreement

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Band Agreement?

I get many emergency calls from musician clients of mine across the country. Often when a member quits, threatens to sue, or simply refuses to let the other members carry on as a band.

Without a Band Agreement in place, any one member of your band might be able to stop you from using the band name if he/she chooses. In fact, they might be able to start their own band and use your existing band name. They can also stop you from exploiting the songs that you’ve worked to hard to write and record. They might be able to withdraw band money from the band bank account.

It can create a stressful situation to say the least.

Band Agreement

Is a Band Agreement Worth It?

While buying a new guitar, new touring van, or new merch often takes priority over something as mundane as a legal agreement, I can’t emphasize enough how important a Band Agreement will be for you and your band going forward. It’s either a few hundred dollars now or thousands of dollars later, when sh*t hits the fan. And sh*t often hits the fan.

Some examples of high profile legal disputes between band members include Pink Floyd (both David Gilmour and Roger Waters laid claim to the use of the band name, and for a time there were actually two versions of Pink Floyd tour simultaneously), and Guns n Roses (Axl successfully established his right to the band name, even though more of the original members were together in another band – Velvet Revolver of course). Members from both bands spent hundreds of millions of dollars for a judge to determine what could have been determined from the outset in a Band Agreement.

Make it happen!

I have drafted hundreds of Band Agreements over the years, for all levels of artists, big and small. Email me if you have any questions about the process, and whether it is right for you.

Band Agreement

What Rights Do You Have in a Sound Recording You Play On?

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I get many emails every week from musicians around the world asking me questions about the music business. One of the most common questions is: what rights do I have in a recording that I performed on? Whether it’s a song you played on decades ago that was just re-released by your former bandmates, or a song recorded last week that has yet to be released, the same principles apply. And whether you’re a drummer, guitar player, oboe soloist, or David Lee Roth, the law is the same.

Your Rights: Two Main Copy Rights In A Recording

A starting point is understanding the two main copyrights in a recording: one in the written composition (the songwriting copyright) and one in the recording of that composition (the sound recording copyright).

The revenue streams generated from the songwriting copyright include performance royalties (from radio play, public performance of the song, etc.), mechanical license royalties (a fee paid per-song for every copy of the song that is made), synchronization fees (if the composition is used in film or television), and more.

The revenue streams generated from the sound recording copyright include record sales (both digital and physical), streaming royalties, master use license fees (to use the actual recording of the song in film and television), and more.

Co-writer Rights

If you are a co-writer of the composition that was recorded, you are entitled to a percentage of revenues generated from the songwriting copyright. Some drummers are considered songwriters, some aren’t. Some guitar players are considered songwriters, some aren’t. It really depends on the agreement you have with your bandmates, and the extent of your contribution to the song in question. If you are indeed a co-writer, the other writers cannot exploit the recording containing the composition without your written consent.

For example, if David Lee Roth co-wrote Hot For Teacher, he could stop the other members of Van Halen from using that composition once he left the band. However, this principle does not apply if a publishing agreement was signed, as these rights would be assigned to a publisher (which they were in this instance). But if your indie band has not signed a pub deal, the principle applies: one writer can stop the other writers from using a co-written song, unless something is put down in writing between them.

Rights - DLR

If you are not considered a co-writer of the composition, you still have certain rights in your performance on the recording. Absent an agreement to the contrary, you own your performance on the master recording, and it cannot be exploited without your consent. In other words, even if David Lee Roth didn’t co-write Hot For Teacher, he could still stop his ex-bandmates from exploiting the recording of that song. However, this principle does not apply if a record deal was signed that gives these rights to a record label (again, one was in this instance).

But for indie bands without a record label, the principle applies: without something in writing between the members (a Band Agreement), any single member can stop the others from exploiting recordings that contain their performances.

This comes as a surprise to many of my clients, and is why the Band Agreement is so important. If you record your masterpiece and three months later your bass player quits, he or she could stop you from releasing your masterpiece. As we all know from reading rock and roll bios, bands don’t always stay happy and together (just ask Hagar…or anyone else that sang for Van Halen).

Rights - Hagar

The Modern Musicians Rights

So what does this mean for you, the modern musician? Well, without a Band Agreement that outlines the various rights and responsibilities of each member vis-a-vis the compositions and sound recordings, any one member can stop the others from exploiting the songs.

My advice: sign a Band Agreement that deals with these issues and clarifies the rights of each member. If no Band Agreement exists and you’re having a dispute with a current or former member, you have the choice of discussing it with them or discussing it through lawyers. One option costs a lot more.

rights - Halen

How to Legally Post Cover Songs to YouTube

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YouTube is full of cover songs. From indie artists to toddlers to superstars, some of the most viewed videos on the Internet happen to be of cover songs. In the past week, I’ve been listening to and watching a ton of cover songs of the man himself, Leonard Cohen.

[Fun fact: both Cohen’s and Jeff Buckley’s recordings of ‘Hallelujah’ were flops upon their release. In fact, Cohen’s record label didn’t initially release the song in North America. The composition did not gain widespread attention until after Buckley’s death in 1997. Over the course of several decades, a prolonged snowball effect has made the song one of the most loved, most covered, most misunderstood songs of the modern era. What a story.]

Cover Songs Launching Careers?

It just so happens that some of the biggest artists of the modern era got their start with YouTube covers (instead of touring the cold ass Canadian prairies for ten years, ha!). Justin Bieber and Walk off the Earth, for example, might not have a career without the exposure received from their cover songs. The former was discovered by manager Scooter Braun after his covers of Usher and Justin Timberlake went viral when he was only twelve years old. The latter’s five-people-one-guitar cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” went viral before the original did and arguably sparked further interest in the original, accumulating nearly 50 million views in its first month of release. As of the writing of this article, the cover has 175 million views, the original 825 million views. The band then parlayed their sudden success into a major label deal with Columbia Records.

The irony is that most of these cover songs are posted without the permission of the song’s copyright holder. In other words, they’re posted illegally.

YouTube Cracking Down

In recent months, cover songs on YouTube have become a heated topic in the music business. Record labels and publishing companies have started to aggressively enforce their copyrights. This has led to an increase in video take-downs and in some cases, lawsuits.

So: how do you post cover songs to YouTube legally?

cover songs youtube

To find the answer, we must understand the two main copyrights in a song: one in the composition (lyrics and music), and one in the sound recording. Read more on the topic here.

Obtaining a Mechanical License

When someone records and releases a song, you are free to do your own cover version of that song by obtaining a mechanical license. Contact CMRRA in Canada and the Harry Fox Agency in the USA for more info. Then every time your cover song is sold or reproduced, you (or your record label) must pay the statutory royalty fee for that song. That rate is currently 9.1¢ per copy in the US and 8.3¢ per copy in Canada.

But a mechanical license is not enough.

The original artist holds certain rights in the song under copyright law, including the exclusive right to reproduce, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies, to publicly perform, and to publicly display the work. The mechanical license covers reproduction and distribution. It does not cover public performance and display.

Obtaining a Synch License

Therefore, you need a synch license as well as a mechanical license to legally publish cover songs on YouTube (unless the song has fallen into public domain).

cover songs youtube

How do you obtain a synch license? It’s not always easy. One option is contacting the copyright owner (often the artist’s publishing company) and negotiating a reasonable rate for the synch license.

Another option, which is likely easier: YouTube has deals with many record and publishing companies through its Content ID Program. Under this program, at the copyright owner’s sole discretion, YouTube may monetize your video with advertisements rather than take it down. The copyright owner then gets a share of the profits. When a video of yours is found to be in copyright violation, the copyright owner can decide whether the video should be monetized or removed. You would then receive notification of their decision.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

If you fail to obtain permission, will you be sued? Not likely. These types of disputes only go to court in extreme cases. Most times, the worst case scenario is that your video will be pulled by YouTube. You might receive a copyright notice from the owner or publisher.

However, watch out for YouTube’s “three strikes” policy. According to their terms of use, if you receive three strikes or takedowns, your account will be terminated. This means that all of your videos will be removed and you will be permanently blocked from creating new accounts or accessing YouTube’s community features in the future. Yikes.

My Advice

My suggestion: do your research. If you want to avoid getting permanently banned from YouTube, look into what songs are covered in YouTube’s 2012 agreement with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and the Harry Fox Agency (HFA). Try to reach out to the song’s owner. And just like in baseball, when you’ve got two strikes, make your next decision wisely.

Oh, and if you’re doing a cover, try to make it as good as Buckley’s.

Cover songs

Should Your Band Trademark Your Band Name?

Band Trademark  Band Trademark Band Trademark

Is it worthwhile for musicians to obtain a band trademark? When you think of bands like The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Metallica, the Ramones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, KISS, and Iron Maiden, their logos and brands are immediately identifiable and familiar. These brands also happen to be worth millions.

The trademark of a band name or logo serves to identify and protect these brands, and can be hugely valuable in the music industry. The band trademarks listed above are arguably as identifiable as the band’s songs, and in many ways, just as valuable.

What can be protected via a Band Trademark?

Band trademarks can assume numerous forms. There are traditional Word Marks: Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Aerosmith are all word marks that have been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and protect the words themselves when used in association with music.  Word marks can also take the form of personal names.  For example, John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan all have trademark protection on their performing names.

Band Trademark

Another type of band trademark is a Design Mark, which might consist of stylized words, letters, and/or a design element, like a logo. So the classic tongue of The Rolling Stones, the asterisk logo of the Chili Peppers, the stylized letters used by Metallica, Iron Maiden, and KISS…all of these designs are trademarked in addition to the words themselves.

Titles of songs and albums receive limited benefits under trademark law. A band generally cannot register trademark rights in the title of an album or song to prevent other artists from using it. For example, The Replacements released an album titled Let it Be, which of course The Beatles did years before. A title of a song or album may be protectable, if it is used in connection with merchandise, such as clothing. For example, Led Zeppelin would likely have a successful claim of trademark infringement if another band made t-shirts with ‘Stairway to Heaven’ written on them, because the song is so directly linked with Led Zeppelin.

The general prohibition on registering titles does not apply where there is a series of works involved.  For example, Meat Loaf owns a federal trademark registration for the mark BAT OUT OF HELL, which he used as the title of a three-album series.

Band Trademark

Without a Band Trademark, what rights do I have in my band name?

You can establish rights in your band’s name without a trademark, through the simple use of the name. However, absent a federal trademark registration, your rights in a mark are limited geographically to the scope of your reputation.  Therefore, without a trademark, it is possible for two bands to exist with the same name, and neither would have a claim against the other unless the “reach” of the bands overlaps.

If two bands have the same name and their territories do not overlap, each band would be entitled to prevent the other from entering into its “zone of protection”, and both have the right to expand into “unoccupied territory” so long as their areas of operation remain remote.  Thus, for example, a band in Toronto with only a regional reputation in Ontario can peacefully coexist with a band in Vancouver using the identical name.  However, if either of those bands land a record deal with national distribution, or release a song online that gains significant exposure in the other’s territory, they could bring an action to stop the other band from using the name further. Of course, the concept of completely isolated territories is a bit nebulous in the Internet age, but the principle still applies.

What are the benefits of a Band Trademark registration?

The case of Stuart vs. Collins demonstrates the benefits of a federal trademark registration in the music industry.  The Stuart case involved a little-known rock musician named Thomas Stuart who performed in a group called The Rubberband.  Although the group’s primary area of operation was in the southeastern United States, Stuart procured a federal trademark registration for the band’s name.  Subsequent to the registration date of Stuart’s mark, well-known funk bassist Bootsy Collins began to tour and release records under the name Bootsy’s Rubber Band.  Stuart filed suit, and ultimately was awarded $250,000 after prevailing on his infringement claim. Without a federal trademark, Stuart’s rights would have been limited to his immediate zone of reputation, and the value of his claim would have been greatly diminished. Too bad for Bootsy.

Band Trademark

Here are some other benefits of a trademark registration: it will stop dishonest competitors from diluting or tarnishing your band’s image; it will stop new bands from trying to use the name (as the name will appear in the Federal Trademark Register); it might allow you to claim triple the amount of damages if your band name is willfully infringed; in the event a domain name infringes your mark, a federal registration provides standing to bring an action that can force the infringing site to be shut down; and finally, you may be able to enlist the help of US Customs Service officers to stop gray market or counterfeit goods at the border.

When is the right time to obtain a Band Trademark?

My advice: if you take your career seriously (and you must if you’re reading this), you should think seriously about investing in a trademark for your band. In theory, it is never too early to apply for a trademark. A good estimate of cost is around $1,000.00 CDN to file a Canadian trademark application, and roughly twice that to file a US application. I’ve dealt with several band name disputes, and can confirm that they end up costing far more than the cost of a trademark. I appreciate that paying rent, buying a new guitar, and maintaining your tour van might take precedence, but the cost of a trademark will be money well spent. When you look at the ongoing decline in music sales, it’s hard to deny the increasing importance of ancillary revenue streams like merchandise and the increasing value of your band’s “brand”.

Before choosing a band name you should do some targeted Google searches as well as trademark searches on the US Patent Office website (www.uspto.gov) and the Canadian Trademark Database (www.cipo.ic.gc.ca) before committing to the name. When you can afford to, invest the money and secure the trademark. The last thing you want is to get your big break after years of hard work and building up your brand, only to find out that another band owns the rights to your band name and you have to start from scratch. As always, email me with any questions.

Band Trademark

Should Musicians Give Their Producer Songwriting Credit?

very common question I get asked by my musician friends and clients is whether they should give their producer songwriting credit on songs they’ve produced.

This question brings up a key distinction to be drawn between the Songwriting Copyright and the Sound Recording Copyright.

Record Points vs. Songwriting Points

Rather than give their producer songwriting points, recording artists would traditionally give their producer 2 to 4 points on the record. In simplified terms, this means that 2 to 4% of revenues generated from the sale of these records would go to the producer. So for each $0.99 iTunes sale, two to four cents would go to the producer. Only the sound recording copyright is involved here.

However, I’ve noticed an interesting thing happening in the last few years: as record sales (and therefore producer royalties) continue to decline, many producers are suddenly calling themselves songwriters. In some cases, it’s justified: I know a lot of producers that are also talented writers, and who sit down with the artists they record and help them take the songwriting to the next level. They might help write lyrics, add entire parts to the song, suggest structural changes, or change the chords and melodies.

If the producer is indeed a co-writer, they would be entitled to portion of the songwriting copyright, for the length of the copyright (the life of the writers plus 50 years in Canada). Once a songwriter, he or she will always be a songwriter of that song, likely for a hundred years or more. They will be entitled to revenue from radio play, use of the song on television, at sports games, and any other time the song is performed…for decades.

Giving up songwriting is a big deal, and a much deeper commitment than giving up points on the record. See my article on The Two Copyrights in a Song for a more in-depth comparison.

This leaves us with the million-dollar question: where is the line drawn between producing and writing?

Producer or Producer/Songwriter? 

You as artist are paying – and likely a significant amount – to obtain the various services that a producer provides, such as offering their opinion of the songs, making suggestions on improving them, and suggesting changes to the arrangements. But do any of these things constitute producer songwriting?

For example, if a producer changes a single chord in the chorus of your song, is that producer songwriting? If they write all the lyrics to that chorus, is that producer songwriting? In my opinion, the answer to the former is no and latter is yes. Unfortunately, most contributions fall somewhere in between the two extremes, which creates a real grey area.

producer songwriting

What does the law say? 

In Canada, the question of whether the producer is entitled to songwriting was settled in the Sarah McLachlan case (see Neudorf v. McLachlan et al, BC Supreme Court). The court ruled that there must be proof of mutual intent between artist and producer that producer songwriting with the artist will take place, as well as evidence that such producer songwriting occurred. What this means is that bands and producers need to sit down before recording begins and discuss this important issue, and agree if the producer will get points on the record and/or on the song, or neither. Unfortunately, 90% of the time this does not happen, and things hit the fan when a song becomes a hit and the producer claims half of the songwriting.

While the issue of intent might be clear in some cases (i.e. was it discussed or not), finding evidence that producer songwriting actually occurred might prove to be difficult. See my article on What Constitutes Songwriting for more clarity. In the meantime, just know that as an artist, you should not be giving away any of your songwriting unless real co-writing is happening with your producer. And it should all be discussed before the “record” button is pushed.

producer songwriting

Arena Shows with Judas Priest!!

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We just got off stage at the Brandt Centre in Regina opening for Judas Priest, and it was one of the best shows of our career!! Rob Halford came to our dressing room before the set and introduced himself, and knew our names (!) and a bit about the band. What an honour, and what a true gem of a man. So humble and kind. What a legend.

We head to Winnipeg for another date with the metal gods, then back home for a few weeks off before our national headlining tour. But for now, just soaking this in. What a feeling.

KD Guest Lectures in Vancouver & Saskatoon

It’s been a busy month for me as a guest lecturer across Western Canada. I’d like to give a sincere thank you to my friends at The Recording Institute of Saskatoon (www.rais.ca), the Nimbus School of Recording and Media (www.nimbusrecording.com), and the Pacific Audio Visual Institute (www.pacificAV.com) for having me as guest lecturer in their music & business classes. I had engaging conversations with students about the emerging issues in the music industry, the changing roles being played by the various copyrights in a song, and where the whole thing might be heading in the coming years.

Many thanks to Doug, Shawn and Ryan @ RAIS, Keith @ Nimbus, and Aaron @ PAVI…and to all the students who will be the next movers and shakers in the Canadian music industry!

PAVI

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RAIS

Def Leppard Part Two

OBS Def Lep Stoon

KD and Rick AllenWow. What a trip it has been!! The Def Leppard guys have been absolute gems, every arena has been sold out or very close to, and the crowds have been the best of our career. Saskatoon last night was truly special…playing a packed SaskTel Centre has always been a dream of mine since seeing my first concert there (AC/DC in the 90s).

A big THANK YOU to Def Leppard and their crew, and to all my friends and family who came out across Western Canada. Check out second and final instalment of my Road Diary for the Star Phoenix here for more insight into what the last two weeks have been like!