the band manrib needs your help!

chris mcdonald

New member
the band "manrib" needs your help1


hi fellow musicians i have a wee problem?????? my name is chris and im the vocalist and keyboard player for a band named "manrib".
these are my problems,
1) only being bothered to use small case lettering in my sentences and
2) my band have hit a slump in interest from the public,,,,,,, i think, not too sure about that one!!!!!!!
i live in a small clostrophobic town somewhere in scotland. life here is good, i have a great job which involves music, therefore i breath and sleep music. (musics a passion that i havent shaken off and i bloody well wont, thank you very much!!!) i think you get the point my fine peers!
its very frustrating to be in a position where, after trying your best to help the local music industry in your area to boom, you end up helping create monsters out of decent people, by that i mean the bar/club managers, other bands and also music promoters. these people have ended up in a position where they ask you to play your little heart out for next to nothing! what is that all about? we musicians have worked hard at our trade and have put limitless hours of pure passion into what we do, song writing, rehersals, band member relationships, band meetings, promotion, crap pa's the list goes on, im sure youll all agree with me that it is no joyride sometimes!!! (of course unless youve already made your millions!!!! you jammy b!!!!
i think, these sort of people and places are slowly killing off us poorer musicians (by that i mean cash wise). what we do isnt a cheap task in the first place and we all need that well earned cash to help with the endless spending, ie promotion and any cash spending the band needs to do. being in this position puts the band members in a situation where each member needs to put their hands into their own pockets to keep the band alive!!! wots that all about!!!? we have tryed everything from doing gigs on the cheap to setting up our own web site. have a look if your interested, the web site was another spend that wasnt cheap!!!!! with graphic designer fees, web designer fees, up dating fees, domain names and any other yearly fees to keep the web site going.
anyway,,,,, back to my point. (i think you may have just read pure frustration there!!)
the story is this, we have played almost everywhere in this town and we have played it to death. we didnt mean to, it just happened. i mean, if your gonna gig your gonna gig and your gonna try and get as many as possible, for yourselves and to help generate gigs for other musicians that are like minded. you know what im saying here? we are not a selfish band, we love what we do and well keep music alive for as long as were possibly able. all this has happened over the past few years and it has went from bad to worse in this town. im sure theres other people out there who are in the same position!!! do you smell a revolution, if not then im leading it!!!
if theres anyone out there who wants to join me and anyone who has any ideas on how to promote yourself better than we are at the moment, could you please tell us your secret!!!! we are near self explosion and cant stop the bomb from detonating!!!
music is what were here for and music what well do!!!!
take care dudes. X (OOPS I LIED EARLIER ON, SORRY)


New member
Hi Chris

Interesting post you make there. However, there are a few things that, after reading through your post, I still didn't pick up on.

If you are wanting to promote yourself in a positive light, tell us what music you make, where we can find it, and where you intend to play it. I assume that as you posted in thei category that you are into Ambient and New Age etc... I for one would love to hear some of your stuff... after all... us fellow Celts need to look after one another eh!

Other ideas for promotion...

Seek out other interesting forums where either your style of music is discussed, or perhaps where your particular instrument is discussed. Spread the word of your www site and where you are at in your online signature. Don't ruthlessly join up on forums without any intentiom to post though. I am certian though that most music discussion forums would allow you to make an informative post regarding your band/group etc.

WWW site development does not need to be as expensive as you seem to have experienced. There are a plethora of talented designers out there, just as there are a plethora of talented musicians out there... get my drift...;) Ask on www development sites, on graphic designer sites et al... I know of several non-graphic www sites where there are many people in the community who would be willing to help a fellow musician out - you never know who you're gonna bump into somewhere down the road. Also, why not try having a go yourself...? There are many 1st class applications out there that are Content driven, and are free to boot (Open Source Applications). If you need any references or sites to look at that give examples of what can be achieved quickly, please shout.

DO keep your www site updated - this is critical. There's a sinking feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I see a potentially good band, where the www site has a latest news section but hasn't been updated for many months. This is bad. If you take the time and trouble to create your own online identity - then use it to your best advantage.

Why not sell your music online - either on your own www site or on one of the many free online/download sites available. Wy not post links to it here... the more visibility your music gets - especially on sites that are well visited by Spiders/Biots etc - will obviously bode well for your name getting around.

Consider using your money wisely - use a promotional campaign on the very busy www sites... again, you never know who might be looking in.

Do the obvious and register with the major search engines... send Press Releases to www sites with relevant information... the list is endless...

Finally... food for thought... always present yourself as you want people to perceive you... if you don't use punctuation, or always use small letters... this can be perceived by many people in ways you wouldn't really want them to perceive you...



thanks for your advice john, i totally agree with your comments and need as much help as possible with the project, as a team are working on. at the moment we are trying to set up a production team and we have the musicians and equipment to make the project a success. but where do we go from here? at the moment im trying to drum up some interest via the web and since doing so we have had a lot of new guests to our web site.( i think i may have put the first post in the wrong catagory, manrib are a fusion of jazz/funk/blues/rock and we have been performing together for 4 years now and we are still going strong. we are currently in the process of creating a production team who together have the ability and equipment to create great musical concepts in numerous styles. we have the ability and knowledge to create a range of music from what we do as a band to electronic influenced music. we feel we can acheive this but we do not know who to speak to, to help us set this up successfully! any advice or contacts would be appreciated.

thanks again john for taking time to read the articlal and for giving me such great advice.

chris mcdonald


New member
That's no problem Chris. You are most welcome.

Tell me, what is your current project...? What interest is it that you are trying to 'drum up on the web' - we may be able to help you if you give some detailed information. That's the good thing about the web is that there are people who are willing to give their time freely (such as here on MIMF
) to help budding musicians out. Let us know more info yeah.

I think it's OK to leave your post here in this category, no probs.

Looking forward to hearing from you again soon...


Hi John sorry i havent been in touch recently.

Theres been a few changes over the past month or so and the band have came to a decision that there is no future for us as a band. Dedication and clash of personalities have made us come to the decision that we should put the band to bed.

Now, thats the bad news!!! Or is it?

Over the past few months our creativity has been hindered by certain members disaproval of commitment by other members of the band. Which led to disagreements and therefore the band deteriation. After months of playing the "old pals act" game and hanging onto memories of great recordings and gigs, we have decided no more can be done to continue. How do we go on in this state of mind? Theres no point, is the decision we made.
All the compositions that have been created and will continue being created have been written by myself and my close freind and cousin, Mark McDonald. We have decided to continue with composing the material together and if needed we will find the musicians to play what we want them to play. The great thing about this duo is that we still write together no matter what problems face us. Hes my big cous and i love him and the same feelings are returned, you know what i mean?
Over the past year or so, Mark and i have been putting together a small project studio, that will do everything we need to create complete mastered compositions. We are at the point now, where we realise we as a team can go onwards ourselves as producers. We have the knowledge and technical ability to make our ventures a success. Yes we do understand that there is a lot of competition out there, but we also realise that if your good at something then people will take notice if your approach is as proffessional as the compositions. Our studio comprises of a digital audio workstation called logic platinum pro running on a fully expanded G4 Mac and our desk is a yamaha 01v96. Everything we use is legal and anything used in the future will also be legal, so we dont need to worry about any problems in the future. We also have the knowledge and equipment needed to create music ranging from House music to Jazz, Software, Microphones and Hardware instruments included. I play various instruments, guitar, piano, drums, hand percussion etc.. well enough to create quality music and i have been into computer programing since i was a kid. My cousin on the other hand has been playing guitar and composing music in various style formats since he was 16 years of age. He is now 40 and has more than enough musical knowledge to compose great quality music. Mark is the best all-round guitarist i have ever heard. You might think im saying this just for some interest from yourselves, but ill honestly stand by the claim that he would give the likes of joe satrini and steve vi a run for there money! Thats just one side to his musical ability. He can play and compose anything he puts his mind to proffessionaly. Together as a team i think we could contend with any composers in media today.
As you may already know we have a web site up and running which showcases some of our compositions and our ideas of how we should market ourselves, this was set up for the band scenario. At the moment we are putting together another web site which will feature all of the music we create as a production team. If there is anything you think we can better on our current site please let us know. We do realise that the site needs updated, but the site was created to find out how much interest we could bring to the site with minimal promotion. As you will see its not done too bad at all and we think with the right aproach to composition and marketing we can acheive our goals as producers. We also think that we may need to create a record company and maybe a publishing company.
is this the right way to go to be proffessional composers?
Thanks again John for taking an interest and hearing my distress.
I would love to stay here and chat to you all day John and maybe we can sometime but i have more music to create, i think you will understand!

take care of yourself dude, your the only one youve got!

Chris McDonald (AS YOU CAN SEE IVE EXTENDED MY PUNCTUATION AND MY USE OF BIG LETTERS!!!!!! WEEEEHHHHEEEEEE!!!!! Dont think to much of my spelling though!!)

thanks again John your a star


New member
Once again Chris - no problem. Great to read about what you're up to.

I think you have it sussed to be honest... in that I mean you have made up your mind about the future of your band and have realised it is not always a good thing to perform 'in the past' and that to look forward is really the better route.

I wish you the very best of success in your ventures with a cousin who you obviously hold very dear to your heart... it is in ones heart that much music is written eh...:)

Great studio gear you have there, I envy you the G4! Maybe you have some time for a little fun? How about doing a little joint venture here... I am a total amateur on the keys (are you aware the owner of MIMF is an accomplished expert) but am always willing to have a go. If you fancy a try, why not have a go at an experiment in collaboration? I own a Korg Karma Synth and woudl love to put a track down on something... whatcha rekon? Also, I can play a decent brass instrument standard... and have a cornet/trumpet/Eb horn for use if you want me to try something.

Your call Chris... just let me know.

Good luck... and drop back soon yeah...:)

James McFadyen

New member
Hope ur still getting on well wi that Korg Karma John and writing some top ambient tunes!

BTW, I wrote an ambient piece called "Five Billion Years Later" based on the events after our sun burns out, it's 12mins long but if ur interested, I'd be happy to send u an mp3 of it.

On the computer I have tons of gear to use, I'm a Cubase SX 2 user (that god for the 'freeze' option!!) and I use a host of VST Instruments and Sample Libraries to produce music or recreate realistic 'preformances' of my classical music.

Chris, you have a neat studio setup and to give you some professional advice on becoming a 'professional composer' (I wouldn't presume, but I just thought my expereince might help you a little)

First of all, you want to start a publishing company. This will allow you to set yourself up as a professional artist (composer). Publishing companies take care of more offical duties like recieveing and taking care of royalties, composer promotion, etc.

Record deals are for bands and ppl with no talent who want to make a quick buck out of singing some badly written song. Also these 'artists' are disposable.

So, set up a publishing company first, then a your own record company. However, record companies are very high risk (and high cost) and banks are not very keen on investing in such ventures as a record company. There is a lot to think about when setting up a record company, mainly to do with royalty flow and sales legislation.

With a record company, you will need to barcode the CD's, they'll need to be glass masters and the hardest of all, you need to find a distribution deal, of which the bigger companies probably won't touch you unless you are a 'name'.

Barcodeing is important because it generates the flow of MCPS royalties. It's ok if ur selling 100 copies to friends and family, but when ur thinking nationally (or even internationally) you need to use a way of getting royalties back to you for EVERY sales made. Also, if you want to have a number one hit, it must be registered and barcoded (as well as meeting to the chart rules.

Anyway, my suggestion is think small first and then grow, my own publishing company, Devilish Publishing is now becoming bigger and more well-known.

So, start a publishing company, you can still register (and pay) at the PRS and MCPS (so long as u meet there guidelines) and sell music direct from you Publishing Company website.

At the moment, I would forget about the record company, until you have the publishing company firmly up and running - as you will soon find out publishing is the heart of our business

Hope at least some of this made sense. It's a bit of a maze out there when it comes to music business and much of it is learning as you go, starting small but with big ideas.

From my own expereince, it is low cost to setup and run a Publishing Company if it is web driven (as your front end) It's when you have overheads (for premises, etc, etc) that the costs start mounting.

I would suggest starting as a sole trader working from home. If however, as part of ur publishing company you bring other artists in to record an album, or whatever, your home (or studio) will legally become business premeses and u may have to pay business rent rates. argh.

If you need any help with your publishing company, how to market and promote on the web or whatever, I'd be happy to help, as I have learn't a lot myself running Devilish Publishing from the ground up since I began trading in August 2002.

chris mcdonald

New member
hi james, thanks for your advice,
at the moment we need all the help we can get. everything else is in place and because music has been in our lives for many years, and will be part of it for the rest, we need to make it all worth while and solid. the publishing company situation seems to be the next step we need to take to acheive our aims. now, my question to you is this, what is the first steps we need to take to create a legal publishing company and what costs will be involved? and also what will this help us acheive as composers/ producers. why is this the best way to go and what help can you give us? the reason i ask these questions is not to patronise you in any way, but to understand more about what we could acheive as a publishing company. we also need to know any pitfalls that may lay ahead of us.

ill leave you with those questions at the moment mate, i dont want to overstay my welcome.

if you dont mind helping me out with this situation i would be more than greatful. if there is anything i can help you out with in return, please, dont hesitate to ask.

thanks again james, your what music is all about.

chris mcdonald

James McFadyen

New member
It's no problem at all problem Chris.

I think it goes without saying that a business plan is the very first step this will help you:

1) have aims and objectives for the business, where u see it going, etc

2) Establish the finacial situation and what it would take to realise your aims.

The thing to remember about a business plan is that it should not be a booklet of the exciting things your business will do, some ppl try to impress with creativity in business plans and it just doesn't work because to you, as the business owner, the business plan is to keep your goals focused so u can see where the business is and is going. Also potensial investors only want to see the business making money.

In terms of costs, there does not need to be ahuge outlay at all. You already have ur studio gear, so don't have to start from the very beginning. You might want to consider the possibility of your studio gear being your assets, however, you're better off getting legal advice about this.

To set a business is very very easy. All it takes is registering with the Inland Revenue. The tricky part is how you business is formed. First of all you are gonna have to decide something quite important - company or business? If you and your band start the publishing company up together (owning an equal share of course) then you will have to form a company....which is full of red tape and registering with companies house, etc, etc.

Usually in a band, there will be one particular person with the drive and ambition to start and run a publishing company. Therefore it is my advice that you start up in business for yourself (not the band) as a sole trader. This has many benefits legally because you do not have to register (or pay) with Companies House, so long as you bear in my to keep the name of your business unqiue so that you don't step on anybody's toes or end up in court. A search engine/yellow pages search shoudl be able to find out if the name you have chosen for your business has been taken.

Once you have informed the Inland Revenue of your new business and the start date, etc. You will then become legally self-employed. And they will start charging you Class 2 National Insurance (currently 2 quid a week)

If you are self-employed as a sole trader there is no charge for this in any way, unless you count the government charges like Class 2 National Insurance. You will be send out a self-assesment tax form at the appropraite time, this is where you'll declare your tax and Class 4 National Insurance. You will probably need help to fill in ur tax return so that u dont pay too much tax, you'll be surprised what you can write off against tax. Of course, if your business brings in less than the government minimum before you pay tax, currently at four thousand and odd quid a single person can earn before paying tax. However if you have formed a company (ie: NOT as a sole trader) then you will be obliged to declare all your accounts and transactions to the Inland Revenue.

I very much doubt VAT will be an issue for you as u need a turnover of around 55000 a years (or something like that) before you need to start paying (and charging) VAT

For you, probably one of the biggest costs is registering with the PRS and MCPS. Legally, you have to do this, the MCPS make checks to see who is selling music recordings without passing it through the MCPS, this is more the case if your doing covers, so that the approprate people are paid the correct way. The PRS and MCPS have tons of info about how to join them, requirements and fee's. I believe at the moment the cost to join the PRS is 40 quid and the MCPS is 400 quid. but each have additional requirements.

Website costs shouldn't be too expensive nowadays, speak to theMusicMan about this as he offers a very good and advanced web hosting service.

If you can do web design yourself, great you'll save money, if not you'll have to hire someone in or get a company in, but be warned the flexibility is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike lol. But that's just me, I like to be in complete control of my website and update it whenever I wish, add another 300 pages without having to pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a service.

The bottom line you must always think about is can you justify it? If you're gonna spend 800 quid a year on web development costs, can you recover your costs - remember that's gonna mean selling more CD's, whch means more work and more marketing and promoting which add more to the costs.

Think - Low in - High Out. If you spend too much money on the business structure, it's even harder you'll need to work to recover your costs. Of course, a business plan helps here as it will give you direction in where money will come from and be distributed.

Setting up the Publishing Company (although the word company is used it would still be a business if u were a sol-trader) is one thing, but you're still left with a lot of hard work promoting and getting your name out there.

This is hard, but not impossible, the thing to remember is just don't leave your website to get you customers, you must promote as well, registering in directories, search engines and forming relationships with other companies, etc. There are tons of forums where you can spread the word very quickly. However I have learn't from experience that the aggressive sales tactic is dangerous, it worked for me, but you can be very subtle about promotion and advertising and not be so up front with it. For example you will notice in my pervious post I mentioned my own publishing company, Devilish Publishing, the information was not important for the post but it subtly added me in the equation and was relevant in subject matter. That's the sort of thing that can be quite effective.

As a publisher you will need a distribution network, this acts as a front end for your company. For an example if you want to buy the latest Oasis album, you wouldn't go to EMI or whoever published it, you would nip down to Woolworths or WHSmith and buy a copy.

Target small local shops to begin with until you build up capital and clout - we'd all like to step in this business and go to the top right away, but if you start small but have big ideas, you're capital will steadily grow and you will have more resourses to expand you business, perhaps turning it into a LTD company and developing offshoots like setting up a recording studio which will feed more money into your improved LTD company.

However such things arebest left till later when u have formed the business, got it going, making some money, etc, etc.

The above info is a lot to take in so I'll try and make a short list of what you should do next. I'll make up two scenario's - one for you setting up a business as a sole trader and the other as a company with each of your members having a share in the business to form the 'board' which you will 'chair'.

Oh forgot to say something about the Sole Trader. if you go down this road (which I recomend) you can take the band on as a artist, in essence they become part of your publishing company's 'rota' they are your first act (which, of course you are allowed, legally to involved in) again, you will need to get royalty info sorted out, contracts drawn up, etc, etc, but if you need a help I'm here, no problem.

If you have sole propeitorship of the business and you are involved in the band, you will earn royalties on sales as well as what the business takes in.

You will need a business bank account, but due to recent legislation with Fraud, they do credit checks now, so if you have a poor credit rating, then you might find it hard to get a bank account. However, if you are a sole trader you can use your personal bank account to put business funds into if you have any credit problems. of course you'll need to keep good accounts so you can trace and take care of you money, artist royalties and business expenses, etc.

Forming a company - there is no work around
you will need a business bank account, 2 signitures will need to be on it.

In terms of money to startup, you probably wont need very much, if any. Costs can vary depending on the nature of the business and what assets or equiptment you have to buy, If you need a new PC for the business, for example.



1) Write up a business plan

2) set a realistic start-up date

3) Apply for finacial assistance if nessesary

4) Inform the Inland Revenue that you are starting up in business as a sole trader on such and such a date.


1) Form board and appoint positions

2) Write up a business plan

3) set a realistic start-up date

4) Apply for finacial assistance if nessesary

5) Setup a business bank account (2 signitures needed)

6) Contact Companies House about name of your company and the legislation you must meet

4) Inform the Inland Revenue that you are starting up a company on such and such a date.

However, theMusicMan could give you more detailed and accurate info about a company - but like I said, I would start up as a sole trader first and take the band on as an artist, a lot less painful a process and quick to setup and most of all less red tape. The less red tape the better!

And should u fall out with the band, you will not lose everything coz it's ur business and the business will have the copyrights
It might sound unfair to look at it like that, but in business u can't afford to take chances, even although u see the band as a lifelong thing, you never know what might happen down the line, so it makes sence to at least make sure that you won't lose and if the band split, you can go solo and keep the business going.

In terms of what would this achieve as being Composers/Producers.... well....

1) You are he leader of your own fate
2) You decide what the world should be listening too
3) You control every aspect of your music
4) You retain the copyrights
5) It will gain you recognition
6) You'll have clout for other artists to use your creative potensial.

The list is endless really, but as long as you've got a head for business, a willingness to suceed and not let anything get in ur way, it will be beneficial for you.

I first had my music published when I was 18, and now 24, I can easily say the hard work has paid off the past few years and if I pick up the phone to call someone within my specialist field (Brass Band) 90% know who I am, which is always a good thing as it let's you know you're going in the right direction.

When u get ur business setup, just go at it and think like a professional, there is nothing more damaging than setting up ur own wee enterprise but still viewing urself as a hobbist or mediocre - ALWAYS PROJECT PROFESSIONALISM.......If ppl are gonna buy ur music they have to know that you are good at what you do and that you have faith in ur own abilities, which I'm sure u do, anyway.

It just seems to be a pitfall I see from time to time.

Well, I hope this has answered your questions, it's a bit long winded but I hope things are clearer on the path to go down, it can be daunting, but once you break everything down and look at it from small chunks, the whole thing fits together nicely.

And, again, I'm here if you need a little bit of assistance starting up, I know how tough it can be
Hope I've helped.

chris mcdonald

New member
hello folks!

hi hope everyone is fine and life is treating you well. just came onto the site to say hello. everything has been cool at the moment and im still plodding along with life. after speaking to some great advice from the music man and james mcfadyen i have decided to go along with the advice i was given.
i would just like to thank the people who gave me this advice and i will speak to you in the near future.

take care dudes you know who you are.

chris mcdonald

higher than hope

New member
Hay dude right im new and are crape on computers so i can' tsend this to you by pm soz.well anyway would you be willing to come down to wales and do a gig ,in my town we have what you call the sessions were about two support bands and a mian act come and play there music and sell ther singles or albums we are a small comunity but if you are then phone wyeside at "edited out" say that your anew band trying to promote your music and have been eat sleep breathing music since you were small and if you get a reply pm me back and tell me because im intreged by your band!!!.
Take care
Lots of love


New member
Hey higer than hope be careful when posting telephone numbers on www pages. We don't really permit that on MIMF as it is easy for unscrupulous web viewers to abuse this. You never know who may be calling!!!. By all means use MIMF to send a PM to the person who you want to know your telephone number.

Hope you understand.

John - fellow Welshman...:)

chris mcdonald

New member
hi aino, do you know something? i have never been notified of the message you sent a long time ago, and this is the first time i have ever seen it. im so sorry for taking sooooo long in repling. i hope all is well down in wales. ive been in wales a lot in the past. carmarthen to be exact and also i have visited tally, llandilo and that area. the band are still writing away doing what we do. a few things have came up over the past months that have takeen our focus from the band scene, but we are back on track, doing what we do. the question you asked so long ago about our band coming down to do a gig was very interesting and we would have loved to have played for you all. as i said the band are in writing mode at the moment and comeing up with some new interesting material. as for the gig idea...... i dont know at this precise moment but would love to chat with you some time about what your upto yourself musically.

take care and hopefully you will reply and we could have a chat.

chris mcdonald