One more thing.....there are NO bands or artists without professional representation signing contracts. That hasnt happened in thirty years. The label wouldnt even deal with you if you had no manager and lawyer to start with. Its illegal for them, the contract wouldnt be worth the paper its written on in court.
Just a flipside view of this discussion. Maybe this can shed some light on how the music biz has worked for the past fifty years...There dont seem to be many professional music people reading or commenting here so here we go....Since 1984 I have signed four major record deals, a production deal, and a publishing deal. My total advance for the four albums was around 2.5 million, the production deal advance was $300,000 plus $100,000 for new gear. The publishing deal was an advance of $350,000. None the four albums barely saw the light of day before the label lost interest and declared the project dead. The executives who signed me to the production deal left the company as I was gearing up to make records for them and the new guys didnt care who I was and told me to take my money and go home. The publishing money was based on the records money, so those guys said never mind too! So I took in around three million dollars before taxes over a ten year period and the guys who gave me the money never recouped one cent! They never even asked. So, now understand I have ten friends who have been in similar situations over the years, some for much more money by the way, and you can see how the business of advances keep food in our mouths for a long time. I would estimate that for every album the label spent 1 million dollars on in the 80's and 90's, nine out of ten were TOTAL LOSSES. So thats my piece for day.