The title says it all. The best managers are the ones who love your music more then anyone in the world. They are your evangelists who would spread the word even if they weren’t taking a cut.
I have two friends who are in similar career points, yet could not have more dissimilar managers. One is far away in a distant land. He claims to have big time industry connections and yet they have been slow to help the band at all. The usual nonsense about being a rock star, signing to a major label, and the like, has been trotted out by this manager, yet still the benefits have been few and far between.
My other friend’s manager was simply a fan that had enough foresight and commitment to tell the world about their music. He had some connections in the begining but not a ton. He worked at it. Called and called, and went to the festivals, went to the workshops and worked his ass off for the band. No false promises were made, simply an agreement that the music the band made he would share with the world.
WAIT!!!!! Of course this is typically for bands who start out. Like Ryan Gentles who quit his job to manage The Strokes. If you’re being heavily courted by an industry heavy weight then their connections may be able to out weigh your buddy. Still, having some one who will encourage you, hype you, and help you like a super fan is something that every band should have the pleasure of dealing with.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwc7_SGHXOo]