I've been doing my own thing in the music scene for about 7 years now. Not really that long to amount to anything too spectacular. However, something I can be proud about is the fact that I've been through enough to know a few truths behind the music world. Some of the things that typical band junkies might fight for may realistically be absolutely pointless. Like, doing everything they can to play a specific venue. When in actuality that venue is worthless and promotes its self to be something it is not entirely. The venue you play at is not important as long as you put on your best show possible. Don't get hyped about playing in a venue. Get hyped about playing a show!
One more topic that is pointless. Getting signed. I've been back and forth with countless people on this topic. I personally think that getting signed to a small label is pointless. Let me break it down for you...
The retail record industry is dominated by a few large corporations.
These corporations control a majority of the CD/music sales in this country. A very small portion
of the sales are controlled by Indie record labels, a less commercial
version of the large corporations. The remaining is a mix up of small time
record labels who won't really do anything to help anyone at all. Most labels take the jet pack approach to sales and marketing. They
sign up lots of different bands and hope that someday someone may make it big. On the bands
that are a commercial success, there are huge amounts of profit to be
made by the record corporations. The Indie labels are similar, however,
they are a bit more selective and do not always go for the most
commercially viable bands but pick bands that are region-local popular..
If you are considering getting signed - take the money that your record label is asking you to pay them and sum up all the fees and cost. Now, take that number and figure out if you can strategically and successfully use that money to do what the label said they would do for you all on your own. Consider the resources you already have. Consider free promotion and marketing techniques that you as a band can be doing your self. Chances are, you will be more successful using that money for the band than giving it to a label.
A successful band is ran like a successful business. You need a business plan, financing, marketing strategies, promotional campaigns, goals and a way to measure success by each individual of the band. By using the method that I briefly spoke about, you can make your own band more successful than a small or mid-sized label can do for you.
My recommendation. DON'T GET SIGNED.
There are tons of views on this topic. Different perspectives and viewpoints. Let's hear what yours is.