Does a band leader deserve more of a cut?

Band leaders work hard to organise the members. So should they get more of the gross fee ?
If anyone has ever run a band, they’ll know how difficult it is. Bands are businesses at all levels. If money exchanges hands, it’s a business. A business has to have a leader and a direction and it’s up to the band’s leader to drive that direction.

As a manager, the band leader is also responsible for the organisation of the band and managing all of the personalities involved.

There are endless hours of communication between the band members. Having to endlessly change plans to account for unavailable dates, changing plans in a member’s life, changes to a client brief. Then it’s the endless communication between the band leader and clients or agents. Answering questions - making sure the client is fully aware of what they’re buying and ensuring that the band is meeting expectations.

Then there’s promotional material organisation. Organising photo shoots. Organising recording studios. Endless back and forth communications to nail down appropriate dates and times.

Some bands may share out the responsibilities. Some bands will have one guy driving while the other members of the band only need to practice and be awesome on stage.

This leads to the question of financial reward. Should a band leader, who may potentially do many more ‘admin’ and back office work for the band, deserve a bigger slice of the pie?

Some say yes. Some say no.

I’ve always run an equal split in my bands. The fee divided by the number of musicians and everyone gets a fair cut. Despite the number of hours of emails and organisation and, in many cases, DJing at the gig between sets - meaning I’m doing more work than everyone else at the gig, as well as ‘in the office’.

There are also cases of musicians advertising ‘bands’ as a ‘brand’, employing dep musicians on a gig by gig basis for multiple versions of the same band. The MD takes the gross fee and pays the deps a set fee for every gig.

Even in a set band, the band leader could make an arrangement with the band members whereby each member receives the same fee, but the band leader receives slightly more.

How does your band work? Do you agree that the band leader or MD should receive more for their additional work or should a band leader accept that someone has to organise the administration and suck it up?

Let the discussion commence!