How can I get a musician I like to be featured on my album?

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So I was thinking wouldn't it be cool to star Alexi Laiho, Till Lindermann, or any other of my rock/metal blood brothers on one of my tracks? How would I go along with doing this? I understand on the track the artist and the label he/she is signed to gets half the credit and whatever royalties come from the song. I have a endless list, including Lizzy Hale, David Drainman, Matt Tuck, Marilyn Manson, Tim Mcllrath and Randy Blythe. So can anybody enlighten me on this?

Many thanks in return.
 

dogboy

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The best way is to become famous yourself. Unfortunately, the pros are part of their own brotherhood. When I was playing in a very good cover band, I was part of a small group of musicians that were know all throughout the state of Virginia. We played in and out in each other's bands if one of us had a conflict. One night we had played a late gig in Richmond at the hotel where Gone with the Wind had been filmed....the big staircase scene. Coming home late I was listening to NPR which plays jazz all night. They announced the piece and named the players, and the drummer was our drummer, and I had just played with him that night. That's how it works. Get very, very good. It takes time.
 

AEsahaettr

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Start off small and network. I'm two handshakes from a person who's been a fill-in drummer for NOFX, Anti-Flag, and a few other punk bands. He's not a regular but the fact he's been on stage with them makes them extended family. How did he start? Learned to play instruments on his own time and worked as a roadie. Road crews know who can play what instrument so when the band needs someone to play an instrument to help with tuning or to set a beat or to see if the bass is hooked up, they grab the person with that skill. Eventually, they realize you're pretty good. Eventually, they ask you to fill in on a gig here and there because the second guitarist got caught propositioning a 16 year old girl who totally looked 18 after snorting some coke and can't make bail until the morning. Eventually, the band's opening act needs a new guitarist and asks the main act if they know anybody and they point them to you.

There's no free lunch. Marilyn Manson won't feature on one of your songs unless your good enough that it's going to help him as much as you. Currently, you're not at that level of fame or market share. Don't ask "how can I get these amazing artists to help me out?". That's the wrong question. The right question is this: how can you get a foot in the door of this industry you so desperately want to be in?
 
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CrinklySiren

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There are courses that teach you how to market yourself properly. Although these days if you can make a YouTube video of yours go viral, then you are bound to get signed if you are deemed good enough :p

But otherwise, it's like everyone else has said - it's all about mutual gain.
 
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CrinklySiren

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Balto doesn't believe in education.

Perhaps he just doesn't believe in structured education or maybe education institutions, but I'm sure he isn't completely withdrawn from the idea of being taught by someone.... At least I hope not :S
 

Nadia

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Perhaps he just doesn't believe in structured education or maybe education institutions, but I'm sure he isn't completely withdrawn from the idea of being taught by someone.... At least I hope not :S

Depends who that person would be, because according to previous statements by Balto, it can't just be anyone, they have to be "real" musicians.
 

EPO1

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Balto,

from what you have written in the past (and not written) I can assume a few things:

You are:
- You play in a small band
- You love rock/metal music
- You would love to make this your CAREER (as in "puts food on the table & pays the bill")
- You blame pirates for your misfortune in the "Industry"
- You haven't been very successful at PROMOTING your band/song/product
- Your act is unknown outside of maybe a very small circle
- You don't have a contract with ANY label
- You haven't been featured anywhere on mainstream media, shows, magazines, etc...
- You are very passionate about the whole thing.
- etc.

Let me know if I'm wrong with my assumptions....

but honestly: as others have mentioned... GET GOOD, GET SOME PUBLICITY, GET TO KNOW PEOPLE.
No big stage artist will come in and play on on one of your tracks... unless it will provide his label / his band / himself/herself with anything of value.
The last thing the music industry is: CHARITY.. doesn't work.
So unless your band is getting famous, has had a LOT of positive exposure... has had a few MAJOR gigs... no one of the big-shots is going to be "featured" on your album.
Why? it doesn't help THEM... Worst Case it makes them the laughing stock of the scene, if your material doesn't take off.
it's a harsh & cruel world - but that's how BUSINESS GOES.

in everything you do with a passion you've got a POSSIBLE CHANCE to make it into a "PROFESSION".
but especially in music & art stuff, think at least twice if that is the route you'd like to take.
it will take a hell lot of a commitment - at least - to get ANYWHERE... it will take A LOT of BUSINESS SKILLS in marketing your "product"... it most likely will put a severe strain on your life, when for months you'll have no clue how to pay bills.
And if you're really GOOD and not too much of a NICHE "product" - you might - just maybe - are lucky enough to meet the right promoters, etc...
In 99% of the cases, you'll not be able to turn it into a life-supporting career. sorry, but that's just the truth.

even in the non-art related business world, the number of start-ups who fail during the first two years is staggering... and the number who make it past the fifth year is amazingly small as well.


So before thinking on having some big-name featured on your track: get a strategy on HOW TO PROMOTE your stuff.
 

kayley

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The only way to get a headliner to be on your album is if you happen to travel in the same social circle as they do, and can ask them as a friend to do it. And the only way to break into that social circle is to earn your place there by either being that good of an artist, or by being that good of a person that they want you as a friend. Neither of those are likely to happen if getting them to play with you is your end goal.
 
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I wasn't talking about now, just further down the line.
 
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Rikachan

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I think the best advice I can give you is to temporarily forget all about famous musicians, fame and money. Just concentrate on your art, experiment, analyze the music you love to see what it is that makes it so great, and then try to incorporate that into your own art. Start to find joy in the process of making music itself. You will start to just... do. And you will get better and better, and before you even know it, you are good enough that you will actually pique people's interest.
 

pajamakitten

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I wasn't talking about now, just further down the line.

Same points apply, down the line may be 10-20 years down the line but if you're still playing for 5 minutes at an open mic night in Nowhereville, USA these guys aren't going to have anything to do with you. You need to be in the industry, you need to be established in the industry, you'd probably need to be at least known by these guys whether it be personally or through them hearing your music and a whole host of other factors will be important in getting these guys to perform with you. This isn't something you should be considering now because this isn't an early stage thing, this is a "Once I get famous/well known then maybe I have a shot at this" type of thing.
 

ozbub

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I'm pretty sure most of them are going to be thinking, what's in it for me.... they're unlikely to put their name to anything that's not going to serve them well... that's just good marketing sense.

I think youve just got to put yourself out there and as others have said try and network. oh and youtube of course
 

MOPaddED

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I was in a band where the frontman worked at a credit bureau and was in a position to absolve a relatively famous 'hair metal' bandleader (whose members prevented him from working under his own name in the early 90s) of a few debts and subsequently the artist agreed to open his studio to us and produce the band's demo. Our drummer used a kit I owned, augmented by the famous drummer's cymbals.

To get to a position of guesting on recordings or all-star jams one has to have been noticed as 'rock royalty' in their own right for a few years, bribe their way onto Ozzfest, or by blackmail, which was essentially how my former band got our foot in the door
 
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