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InvisibleJim
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Registered: 04/07/04
Posts: 20,922
Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull:
    #4085024 - 04/22/05 03:02 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)



Quote:

The Problem With Music
by Steve Albini

Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed. Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says "Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim again, please. Backstroke". And he does of course.

Every major label involved in the hunt for new bands now has on staff a high-profile point man, an "A & R" rep who can present a comfortable face to any prospective band. The initials stand for "Artist and Repertoire." because historically, the A & R staff would select artists to record music that they had also selected, out of an available pool of each. This is still the case, though not openly. These guys are universally young [about the same age as the bands being wooed], and nowadays they always have some obvious underground rock credibility flag they can wave.

Lyle Preslar, former guitarist for Minor Threat, is one of them. Terry Tolkin, former NY independent booking agent and assistant manager at Touch and Go is one of them. Al Smith, former soundman at CBGB is one of them. Mike Gitter, former editor of XXX fanzine and contributor to Rip, Kerrang and other lowbrow rags is one of them. Many of the annoying turds who used to staff college radio stations are in their ranks as well. There are several reasons A & R scouts are always young. The explanation usually copped-to is that the scout will be "hip to the current musical "scene." A more important reason is that the bands will intuitively trust someone they think is a peer, and who speaks fondly of the same formative rock and roll experiences. The A & R person is the first person to make contact with the band, and as such is the first person to promise them the moon. Who better to promise them the moon than an idealistic young turk who expects to be calling the shots in a few years, and who has had no previous experience with a big record company. Hell, he's as naive as the band he's duping. When he tells them no one will interfere in their creative process, he probably even believes it. When he sits down with the band for the first time, over a plate of angel hair pasta, he can tell them with all sincerity that when they sign with company X, they're really signing with him and he's on their side. Remember that great gig I saw you at in '85? Didn't we have a blast. By now all rock bands are wise enough to be suspicious of music industry scum. There is a pervasive caricature in popular culture of a portly, middle aged ex-hipster talking a mile-a-minute, using outdated jargon and calling everybody "baby." After meeting "their" A & R guy, the band will say to themselves and everyone else, "He's not like a record company guy at all! He's like one of us." And they will be right. That's one of the reasons he was hired.

These A & R guys are not allowed to write contracts. What they do is present the band with a letter of intent, or "deal memo," which loosely states some terms, and affirms that the band will sign with the label once a contract has been agreed on. The spookiest thing about this harmless sounding little memo, is that it is, for all legal purposes, a binding document. That is, once the band signs it, they are under obligation to conclude a deal with the label. If the label presents them with a contract that the band don't want to sign, all the label has to do is wait. There are a hundred other bands willing to sign the exact same contract, so the label is in a position of strength. These letters never have any terms of expiration, so the band remain bound by the deal memo until a contract is signed, no matter how long that takes. The band cannot sign to another laborer or even put out its own material unless they are released from their agreement, which never happens. Make no mistake about it: once a band has signed a letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the label or they will be destroyed.

One of my favorite bands was held hostage for the better part of two years by a slick young "He's not like a label guy at all," A & R rep, on the basis of such a deal memo. He had failed to come through on any of his promises [something he did with similar effect to another well-known band], and so the band wanted out. Another label expressed interest, but when the A & R man was asked to release the band, he said he would need money or points, or possibly both, before he would consider it. The new label was afraid the price would be too dear, and they said no thanks. On the cusp of making their signature album, an excellent band, humiliated, broke up from the stress and the many months of inactivity. There's this band. They're pretty ordinary, but they're also pretty good, so they've attracted some attention. They're signed to a moderate-sized "independent" label owned by a distribution company, and they have another two albums owed to the label. They're a little ambitious. They'd like to get signed by a major label so they can have some security you know, get some good equipment, tour in a proper tour bus -- nothing fancy, just a little reward for all the hard work. To that end, they got a manager. He knows some of the label guys, and he can shop their next project to all the right people. He takes his cut, sure, but it's only 15%, and if he can get them signed then it's money well spent. Anyways, it doesn't cost them anything if it doesn't work. 15% of nothing isn't much! One day an A & R scout calls them, says he's 'been following them for a while now, and when their manager mentioned them to him, it just "clicked." Would they like to meet with him about the possibility of working out a deal with his label? Wow. Big Break time. They meet the guy, and y'know what -- he's not what they expected from a label guy. He's young and dresses pretty much like the band does. He knows all their favorite bands. He's like one of them. He tells them he wants to go to bat for them, to try to get them everything they want. He says anything is possible with the right attitude.

They conclude the evening by taking home a copy of a deal memo they wrote out and signed on the spot. The A & R guy was full of great ideas, even talked about using a name producer. Butch Vig is out of the question-he wants 100 g's and three points, but they can get Don Fleming for $30,000 plus three points. Even that's a little steep, so maybe they'll go with that guy who used to be in David Letterman's band. He only wants three points. Or they can have just anybody record it (like Warton Tiers, maybe-- cost you 5 or 7 grand] and have Andy Wallace remix it for 4 grand a track plus 2 points. It was a lot to think about. Well, they like this guy and they trust him. Besides, they already signed the deal memo. He must have been serious about wanting them to sign. They break the news to their current label, and the label manager says he wants them to succeed, so they have his blessing. He will need to be compensated, of course, for the remaining albums left on their contract, but he'll work it out with the label himself.

Sub Pop made millions from selling off Nirvana, and Twin Tone hasn't done bad either: 50 grand for the Babes and 60 grand for the Poster Children-- without having to sell a single additional record. It'll be something modest. The new label doesn't mind, so long as it's recoupable out of royalties. Well, they get the final contract, and it's not quite what they expected. They figure it's better to be safe than sorry and they turn it over to a lawyer--one who says he's experienced in entertainment law and he hammers out a few bugs. They're still not sure about it, but the lawyer says he's seen a lot of contracts, and theirs is pretty good. They'll be great royalty: 13% [less a 1O% packaging deduction]. Wasn't it Buffalo Tom that were only getting 12% less 10? Whatever. The old label only wants 50 grand, an no points. Hell, Sub Pop got 3 points when they let Nirvana go. They're signed for four years, with options on each year, for a total of over a million dollars! That's a lot of money in any man's English. The first year's advance alone is $250,000. Just think about it, a quarter million, just for being in a rock band! Their manager thinks it's a great deal, especially the large advance. Besides, he knows a publishing company that will take the band on if they get signed, and even give them an advance of 20 grand, so they'll be making that money too. The manager says publishing is pretty mysterious, and nobody really knows where all the money comes from, but the lawyer can look that contract over too. Hell, it's free money. Their booking agent is excited about the band signing to a major. He says they can maybe average $1,000 or $2,000 a night from now on. That's enough to justify a five week tour, and with tour support, they can use a proper crew, buy some good equipment and even get a tour bus! Buses are pretty expensive, but if you figure in the price of a hotel room for everybody In the band and crew, they're actually about the same cost. Some bands like Therapy? and Sloan and Stereolab use buses on their tours even when they're getting paid only a couple hundred bucks a night, and this tour should earn at least a grand or two every night. It'll be worth it. The band will be more comfortable and will play better.

The agent says a band on a major label can get a merchandising company to pay them an advance on T-shirt sales! ridiculous! There's a gold mine here! The lawyer Should look over the merchandising contract, just to be safe. They get drunk at the signing party. Polaroids are taken and everybody looks thrilled. The label picked them up in a limo. They decided to go with the producer who used to be in Letterman's band. He had these technicians come in and tune the drums for them and tweak their amps and guitars. He had a guy bring in a slew of expensive old "vintage" microphones. Boy, were they "warm." He even had a guy come in and check the phase of all the equipment in the control room! Boy, was he professional. He used a bunch of equipment on them and by the end of it, they all agreed that it sounded very "punchy," yet "warm." All that hard work paid off. With the help of a video, the album went like hotcakes! They sold a quarter million copies! Here is the math that will explain just how fucked they are: These figures are representative of amounts that appear in record contracts daily. There's no need to skew the figures to make the scenario look bad, since real-life examples more than abound. income is bold and underlined, expenses are not.

Advance: $ 250,000
Manager's cut: $ 37,500
Legal fees: $ 10,000
Recording Budget: $ 150,000
Producer's advance: $ 50,000
Studio fee: $ 52,500
Drum Amp, Mic and Phase "Doctors": $ 3,000
Recording tape: $ 8,000
Equipment rental: $ 5,000
Cartage and Transportation: $ 5,000
Lodgings while in studio: $ 10,000
Catering: $ 3,000
Mastering: $ 10,000
Tape copies, reference CDs, shipping tapes, misc. expenses: $ 2,000
Video budget: $ 30,000
Cameras: $ 8,000
Crew: $ 5,000
Processing and transfers: $ 3,000
Off-line: $ 2,000
On-line editing: $ 3,000
Catering: $ 1,000
Stage and construction: $ 3,000
Copies, couriers, transportation: $ 2,000
Director's fee: $ 3,000
Album Artwork: $ 5,000
Promotional photo shoot and duplication: $ 2,000
Band fund: $ 15,000
New fancy professional drum kit: $ 5,000
New fancy professional guitars [2]: $ 3,000
New fancy professional guitar amp rigs [2]: $ 4,000
New fancy potato-shaped bass guitar: $ 1,000
New fancy rack of lights bass amp: $ 1,000
Rehearsal space rental: $ 500
Big blowout party for their friends: $ 500
Tour expense [5 weeks]: $ 50,875
Bus: $ 25,000
Crew [3]: $ 7,500
Food and per diems: $ 7,875
Fuel: $ 3,000
Consumable supplies: $ 3,500
Wardrobe: $ 1,000
Promotion: $ 3,000
Tour gross income: $ 50,000
Agent's cut: $ 7,500
Manager's cut: $ 7,500
Merchandising advance: $ 20,000
Manager's cut: $ 3,000
Lawyer's fee: $ 1,000
Publishing advance: $ 20,000
Manager's cut: $ 3,000
Lawyer's fee: $ 1,000
Record sales: 250,000 @ $12 =
$3,000,000
Gross retail revenue Royalty: [13% of 90% of retail]:
$ 351,000
Less advance: $ 250,000
Producer's points: [3% less $50,000 advance]:
$ 40,000
Promotional budget: $ 25,000
Recoupable buyout from previous label: $ 50,000
Net royalty: $ -14,000
Record company income:

Record wholesale price: $6.50 x 250,000 =
$1,625,000 gross income
Artist Royalties: $ 351,000
Deficit from royalties: $ 14,000
Manufacturing, packaging and distribution: @ $2.20 per record: $ 550,000
Gross profit: $ 7l0,000
The Balance Sheet: This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game.

Record company: $ 710,000
Producer: $ 90,000
Manager: $ 51,000
Studio: $ 52,500
Previous label: $ 50,000
Agent: $ 7,500
Lawyer: $ 12,000
Band member net income each: $ 4,031.25

The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month. The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never "recouped," the band will have no leverage, and will oblige. The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won't have earned any royalties from their T-shirts yet. Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys. Some of your friends are probably already this fucked.

Steve Albini is an independent and corporate rock record producer most widely known for having produced Nirvana's "In Utero".





www.negativland.com/albini.html


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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InvisibleJim
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Registered: 04/07/04
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #4085026 - 04/22/05 03:03 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

You don't even know it, but you are fucked.


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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OfflineLiveByFreedom
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #4085128 - 04/22/05 03:40 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Sounds like a really fucked up industry, glad i only make music for myself. Negativland is cool..


--------------------
"Everything is not as it seems." Eye


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Offlineadamj
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #4085690 - 04/22/05 06:33 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

So like... how in the living hell do you make a decent living in the music industry?


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: adamj]
    #4085778 - 04/22/05 06:58 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

It can be done, you just can't be swindled and spend outside your means. Home Grown Music.


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: adamj]
    #4085921 - 04/22/05 07:54 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Simple. Just don't sign away everything in a contract. Record contract "salesmen" will tell you that all you have to do is sign away everything and they will make you rich. The catch 22 is that once you sign away everything, why the fuck would they give you a penny more than they have to?

Look at tool. They knew that they were so good that they refused to release any more material under their contract and they fought a 4-year legal battle before releasing Aenima with full artistic freedom and rights to most of the revenues. We all know the rest of the story.


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Catalysis]
    #4087475 - 04/23/05 04:13 AM (17 years, 3 months ago)

The debt is unimaginable I'm sure.


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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InvisibleautomanM
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: adamj]
    #4088147 - 04/23/05 12:45 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

adamj said:
So like... how in the living hell do you make a decent living in the music industry?




become a hired on musician for a major artist. if ur good and on a good tour, you can make $1000-$2000 a week easy. then you take the money you earn and do all the music you want to do through indie labels.


--------------------
No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. ~ Niels Bohr


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Offlinetomk
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: adamj]
    #4088234 - 04/23/05 01:31 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

adamj said:
So like... how in the living hell do you make a decent living in the music industry?




It looks like the managers and execs and agents and whatnot all make out pretty well. Maybe you could be one of those guys.


--------------------
"I am eternally free"


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Invisiblemantis
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #4089797 - 04/23/05 10:14 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Steve Albini, eh?

I didn't read all of that but Big Black and Shellac kick ass


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OfflineLocus
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #4090974 - 04/24/05 09:45 AM (17 years, 3 months ago)

very interesting, nice post man

fucking music industry, gahhdhk!


--------------------

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity. ~ Albert Einstein
"Fear is the great barrier to human growth." ~ Dr. Robert Monroe



~~~*Dosis sola facit venenum*~~~

*Check my profile to listen to my music* :smile:


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InvisibleJim
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Locus]
    #4092741 - 04/24/05 09:02 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

actually, a guitar buddy of mine gave me this. his proffessor for a music business class gave it to him.


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Use the Fucking Reply To Feature You Lazy Pieces of Shit!

afoaf said:
Jim, if you were in my city, I would let you fuck my wife.


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OfflineLocus
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #4094601 - 04/25/05 11:27 AM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Cool :smile:

I like Albini, his mix of In Utero is absolutely awesome. It would not have been the same without him. I love that mix... although Nirvana said they had to persuade him to raise the vocal volume many times as he is known to keep them pretty low on his mixes. But after that it came out great. Much better mix then that poppy perfect type sound on Nevermind.


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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity. ~ Albert Einstein
"Fear is the great barrier to human growth." ~ Dr. Robert Monroe



~~~*Dosis sola facit venenum*~~~

*Check my profile to listen to my music* :smile:


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OfflineJordainio
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #14874919 - 08/05/11 02:09 AM (11 years, 10 days ago)

Fuck why is this so old...I just need to comment on here anyway to save this thread for myself quickly and re read it over and over...
but thanks very much for this post which basically destroys my dreams.
Heh, thanks though man it's hard out here for a drummer.


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Also, if anyone is selling cymbals or drum equipment, email me right now!
<span class="spoiler" onmouseover="this.className='nospoiler'" onmouseout="this.className='spoiler'">Distant and unimagined realms lie hidden all around us. Not only do we deny things that we CAN see, but many many more that we do not. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively

hahahaha, P4N3D!!!!!1!


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Offlineant61
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jim]
    #14878539 - 08/05/11 09:53 PM (11 years, 10 days ago)

its sad, at the same time a musicians trying to stay inspired and creative ,yet he has to stay on top of the business aspect, just to survive ,and make enough monies to continue being a musicain, truly sad


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Offlinejakenichols
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: ant61]
    #14888567 - 08/08/11 04:37 AM (11 years, 7 days ago)

Well, i am a musician, i have toured the country twice in a punk band, we made negative money, i went coast to coast from, Iowa to St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA, on the road for 5 weeks, but it was only our second tour, the third will be better, you just have to DIY, can't rely on music executive fucks.  they don't see it as art they see it as a product to sell.


Edited by jakenichols (08/08/11 04:38 AM)


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OfflineJordainio
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: jakenichols]
    #14893418 - 08/09/11 01:19 AM (11 years, 6 days ago)

Get me a gig!!!!!!!! :biggrin:  :biggrin:

:rockon:


--------------------
Also, if anyone is selling cymbals or drum equipment, email me right now!
<span class="spoiler" onmouseover="this.className='nospoiler'" onmouseout="this.className='spoiler'">Distant and unimagined realms lie hidden all around us. Not only do we deny things that we CAN see, but many many more that we do not. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively

hahahaha, P4N3D!!!!!1!


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InvisibleFractalted
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jordainio]
    #14894001 - 08/09/11 04:19 AM (11 years, 6 days ago)

TLDR

but finally some negativland fans



oo yeah watched the documentary on that


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InvisibleRan-D
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Fractalted]
    #14899229 - 08/10/11 02:21 AM (11 years, 5 days ago)

Don't you know the music industry is the devil? :eek:


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Offlinegluke bastid
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jordainio]
    #14900314 - 08/10/11 11:33 AM (11 years, 5 days ago)

Quote:

Jordainio said:
Fuck why is this so old...I just need to comment on here anyway to save this thread for myself quickly and re read it over and over...
but thanks very much for this post which basically destroys my dreams.
Heh, thanks though man it's hard out here for a drummer.




The thing is, this was written by Albini, I believe, back in the 90s. Back then, at least some people were making money from record sales. This is no longer the case due to the internet. If you want to make money as a musician you either need to play high paying gigs, or sell your music to commercial/movie soundtracks. Unfortunately to achieve either, you need to go through the people who control those avenues. That means booking agents, managers, publishers, PR people and synch specialists.

Its a hell of a business. Don't quit your day job. But hey if you love it you'll do it regardless, right?


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:hst:
Society in every form is a blessing,
but government at its best is but a necessary evil
 
- Thomas Paine


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OfflineJordainio
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: gluke bastid]
    #14900395 - 08/10/11 12:03 PM (11 years, 5 days ago)

Quote:

gluke bastid said:
Quote:

Jordainio said:
Fuck why is this so old...I just need to comment on here anyway to save this thread for myself quickly and re read it over and over...
but thanks very much for this post which basically destroys my dreams.
Heh, thanks though man it's hard out here for a drummer.




The thing is, this was written by Albini, I believe, back in the 90s. Back then, at least some people were making money from record sales. This is no longer the case due to the internet. If you want to make money as a musician you either need to play high paying gigs, or sell your music to commercial/movie soundtracks. Unfortunately to achieve either, you need to go through the people who control those avenues. That means booking agents, managers, publishers, PR people and synch specialists.

Its a hell of a business. Don't quit your day job. But hey if you love it you'll do it regardless, right?



LOL it is my day job!!! just usually really low on money, prolly would be with any other job in this shitty economy thats definately going to get worse.


--------------------
Also, if anyone is selling cymbals or drum equipment, email me right now!
<span class="spoiler" onmouseover="this.className='nospoiler'" onmouseout="this.className='spoiler'">Distant and unimagined realms lie hidden all around us. Not only do we deny things that we CAN see, but many many more that we do not. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively

hahahaha, P4N3D!!!!!1!


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OfflineNlightNme
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Jordainio]
    #14900496 - 08/10/11 12:35 PM (11 years, 5 days ago)

I'm a musician and this doesn't worry me that much. Grant it I'm not a musician for the sake of making money but still.

As someone mentioned earlier, Tool shows that it is possible to avoid all this bullshit. If some A&R guy ever tries to talk to me about anything I'll just stick to WWTD.


--------------------
Tenet Nosce


You tell me the music industry is dead. I tell you that music never should have been industrialized in the first place.


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Invisiblebirdland

Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 2,202
Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: gluke bastid]
    #14910884 - 08/12/11 01:34 PM (11 years, 3 days ago)

Quote:

gluke bastid said:
Quote:

Jordainio said:
Fuck why is this so old...I just need to comment on here anyway to save this thread for myself quickly and re read it over and over...
but thanks very much for this post which basically destroys my dreams.
Heh, thanks though man it's hard out here for a drummer.




The thing is, this was written by Albini, I believe, back in the 90s. Back then, at least some people were making money from record sales. This is no longer the case due to the internet. If you want to make money as a musician you either need to play high paying gigs, or sell your music to commercial/movie soundtracks. Unfortunately to achieve either, you need to go through the people who control those avenues. That means booking agents, managers, publishers, PR people and synch specialists.

Its a hell of a business. Don't quit your day job. But hey if you love it you'll do it regardless, right?





I'm sorry but I can't agree with anything you just said. There are plenty of ways to make money as a musician. People just need to get the idea of being some rockstar who goes around playing gigs to hundreds of  thousands and having their cd's heard by everyone out of their head. It's unrealistic.

Just a few probably lesser-considered ways of making a decent-living off being a musician.

- Regular gigs (yes they don't need to be high paying gigs as long as you gig regularly). I'd also like to add that doing gigs is for the most part something on the side for a musician. More something they enjoy, but with the bonus of some tax free money in the pocket.

- Teaching. Yeah, it's not for everyone, but it pays damn good. This requires a lot of musical ability and knowledge but private instrumental lessons are pretty stress-free and very high paying. Why not do them out of your own house even? Also consider teaching at a high school :thumbdown: , or music college :thumbup:

- Session playing. For those of who who don't know what being a session musician involves, you basically prostitute your musical services to those who need you. Let's say you play some crazy good funk bass. Some funk band/performer is recording an album and they need some crazy good funk bassist to play on a few of their songs. Well the recording studio will contact you and hook you up with a good deal. (You can make SERIOUSLY good money being a session musician, although you also need to be seriously good in the first place).

I'm taking too long so I'll just skip through a few more...

- Live mixing
- Sound engineering
- Music therapy  :peace:
- Composing (for more than commercials. There are some seriously talented people out there who compose music for various things (movies, games, videos, documentaries, etc.))


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Offlinegluke bastid
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: birdland]
    #14913213 - 08/12/11 10:47 PM (11 years, 3 days ago)

Quote:

birdland said:
Quote:

gluke bastid said:
Quote:

Jordainio said:
Fuck why is this so old...I just need to comment on here anyway to save this thread for myself quickly and re read it over and over...
but thanks very much for this post which basically destroys my dreams.
Heh, thanks though man it's hard out here for a drummer.




The thing is, this was written by Albini, I believe, back in the 90s. Back then, at least some people were making money from record sales. This is no longer the case due to the internet. If you want to make money as a musician you either need to play high paying gigs, or sell your music to commercial/movie soundtracks. Unfortunately to achieve either, you need to go through the people who control those avenues. That means booking agents, managers, publishers, PR people and synch specialists.

Its a hell of a business. Don't quit your day job. But hey if you love it you'll do it regardless, right?





I'm sorry but I can't agree with anything you just said. There are plenty of ways to make money as a musician. People just need to get the idea of being some rockstar who goes around playing gigs to hundreds of  thousands and having their cd's heard by everyone out of their head. It's unrealistic.

Just a few probably lesser-considered ways of making a decent-living off being a musician.

- Regular gigs (yes they don't need to be high paying gigs as long as you gig regularly). I'd also like to add that doing gigs is for the most part something on the side for a musician. More something they enjoy, but with the bonus of some tax free money in the pocket.

- Teaching. Yeah, it's not for everyone, but it pays damn good. This requires a lot of musical ability and knowledge but private instrumental lessons are pretty stress-free and very high paying. Why not do them out of your own house even? Also consider teaching at a high school :thumbdown: , or music college :thumbup:

- Session playing. For those of who who don't know what being a session musician involves, you basically prostitute your musical services to those who need you. Let's say you play some crazy good funk bass. Some funk band/performer is recording an album and they need some crazy good funk bassist to play on a few of their songs. Well the recording studio will contact you and hook you up with a good deal. (You can make SERIOUSLY good money being a session musician, although you also need to be seriously good in the first place).

I'm taking too long so I'll just skip through a few more...

- Live mixing
- Sound engineering
- Music therapy  :peace:
- Composing (for more than commercials. There are some seriously talented people out there who compose music for various things (movies, games, videos, documentaries, etc.))




Apologies I took it for granted that the whole slant of this thread/my reply/Steve Albini's article was oriented around the aspiration to "make it" as a recording artist.

Yes of course you can teach or be an engineer or various other things, but that's not really the same as being a professional performer, is it?


--------------------
:hst:
Society in every form is a blessing,
but government at its best is but a necessary evil
 
- Thomas Paine


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Offlinesaucerfulofsecrets
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: gluke bastid]
    #14915028 - 08/13/11 10:21 AM (11 years, 2 days ago)

I'm gonna have to agree with bridland. Musicians have plenty of ways to make money, out of live performances or just selling albums. I mean, every great musician did, or does these things birdland just mentioned. For instance, Joe Satrianni was guitar professor. Not that i like him, or think he's great though. And just like him, there's plenty of more examples.

But i think there's some trouble in these shroomers minds when it comes to music. I will have to agree with the article when it says that artist become sort of empty when they sign with major record labels, that much is true. But we can't just judge a thing just because it turned mainstream or whatsoever. I mean, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Doors, they were all pretty mainstream in the 60's. That doesnt mean they were bad. Nirvana was mainstream as fuck too. was it bad? No.

I'd like to express my disappointment to all of you guys here, for not having mentioned Radiohead, which is a perfect example of a great band, which is also mainstream, dont kid yourselves, and has an Indie label.

I think you guys need to start listening to other stuff. From what ive seen most part of people here is just a bunch of Tool and APClovers. Don't get me wrong, but those guys are just as sell outs as any other shit you see on MTV. Aenima for soundtrack of that worthless piece of shit called Captain America proves it.


Since you guys enjoy the magic of psychedelia, why not try the indie, psychedelic rock bands that are starting now? they're all pretty cool in my perspective. Or try the old stuff.

I spent this whole last year listening to some cool psychedelic stuff.

Tame Impala
Pink Floyd- Piper at the gates of dawn/ Saucerful of secrets
Caribou
Animal Collective
Boards of Canada
Pond
Dungen - theyre swedish, but really cool.
The radio dpt.
The Beatles - they got plenty of awesome stuff.

i listen to some rock, stoner or desert rock, blues..but ive sorta lost the feeling to it.
I still listen to QOTSA, some Kyuss of course, Asteroid, Fu manchu..well you just gotta look for the obvious. BBking heheh.

thanks, and i hope ive been useful


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OfflineImmortal Corrupter
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: saucerfulofsecrets]
    #14917616 - 08/13/11 10:35 PM (11 years, 2 days ago)

Don't forget all the random merch you can whore your logo on :laugh:


--------------------
where's my lap dance?
.:nonono:
/OO\
/ (y) \
  //\

(\\__/)
( O.o )
( > < )
What poor gods we do make


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OfflineSlaithenn
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Immortal Corrupter]
    #14918243 - 08/14/11 01:03 AM (11 years, 1 day ago)

Nice informative post,
i mean i already knew this
but i didn't "know"


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Invisiblebirdland

Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 2,202
Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: gluke bastid] * 1
    #14918470 - 08/14/11 02:07 AM (11 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

gluke bastid said:
Apologies I took it for granted that the whole slant of this thread/my reply/Steve Albini's article was oriented around the aspiration to "make it" as a recording artist.

Yes of course you can teach or be an engineer or various other things, but that's not really the same as being a professional performer, is it?





I was only referring to "don't quit your day job" and other not so well-thought out comments.

And I'm going to assume when you say "that's not really the same as being a professional performer" you mean that literally, and you're not putting performer's on some sort of higher order than all other musicians... Coz that would be pretty stupid of you. Not to mention recording artists aren't necessarily performer's themselves. Look at The Beatles later career.


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Invisiblebirdland

Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 2,202
Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: Immortal Corrupter]
    #14918477 - 08/14/11 02:08 AM (11 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

Immortal Corrupter said:
Don't forget all the random merch you can whore your logo on :laugh:




There's quite a lot of things I didn't mention, I was just trying to make a point :thumbup:


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OfflineNlightNme
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: birdland]
    #14920934 - 08/14/11 03:38 PM (11 years, 1 day ago)

"You tell me the music industry is dead, I tell you that music never should have been industrialized in the first place" - me


That's going in da sig.


--------------------
Tenet Nosce


You tell me the music industry is dead. I tell you that music never should have been industrialized in the first place.


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Offlinegluke bastid
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: birdland]
    #14921841 - 08/14/11 07:21 PM (11 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

birdland said:
Quote:

gluke bastid said:
Apologies I took it for granted that the whole slant of this thread/my reply/Steve Albini's article was oriented around the aspiration to "make it" as a recording artist.

Yes of course you can teach or be an engineer or various other things, but that's not really the same as being a professional performer, is it?





I was only referring to "don't quit your day job" and other not so well-thought out comments.




hm. They were perfectly well thought out. Are yours? I wonder where your defensive stance is coming from.

Quote:

And I'm going to assume when you say "that's not really the same as being a professional performer" you mean that literally, and you're not putting performer's on some sort of higher order than all other musicians... Coz that would be pretty stupid of you.




I did mean that literally. Its a completely different job. My mother was a professional music teacher and I'm a professional touring. Our jobs couldn't be more different. I would never say I'm "better" than my mother because she teaches and I don't. But its ridiculous to think they are the same job requiring the same skill set. Its also really difficult to do both at the same time. Young dudes out there rarely realize this.

Quote:

Not to mention recording artists aren't necessarily performer's themselves. Look at The Beatles later career.




*sigh* I'm just curious how many times I'm going to have to make the same point before you acknowledge it either by agreeing or disagreeing.

In the 60s through the early 2000's the money that made the bulk of the music industry was music sales. Now music sales make up a shred of what they used to. Recording artists aren't making money. That era is esentially over. Today's commercial equivalent to the Beatles (unfortunately the likes of the Jonas brothers or Miley Cyrus) make money off of concerts, merchandise, and television. NOT album sales.

Pointing out that the Beatles made $ off of recording without touring is not relevant. The industry is different.


--------------------
:hst:
Society in every form is a blessing,
but government at its best is but a necessary evil
 
- Thomas Paine


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Offlinesaucerfulofsecrets
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: gluke bastid]
    #14924484 - 08/15/11 07:52 AM (11 years, 15 hours ago)

Quote:

In the 60s through the early 2000's the money that made the bulk of the music industry was music sales. Now music sales make up a shred of what they used to. Recording artists aren't making money. That era is esentially over. Today's commercial equivalent to the Beatles (unfortunately the likes of the Jonas brothers or Miley Cyrus) make money off of concerts, merchandise, and television. NOT album sales.

Pointing out that the Beatles made $ off of recording without touring is not relevant. The industry is different.





Not really sure what should i think about all this. Pointing out that the music industries is different, that is what is irrelevant in my point of view. Yes, several decades have been since the sixties, of course its different. I will have to agree that artist these days won't get their cash from album sales - unless they are big bands. And i prolly won't be speaking just for myself when i say i buy the albums of the bands that deserve to be on my shelf.

You say you're a professional touring. that is very vague. i mean, are you really apart of the band, whenever they compose? what type of band are they?

I'd be stupid if i say that everyones got the potencial to live their lives with just music income. Let's be reasonable here. A good band will always be picked by someone, with the right promotion and a few shows here and there. If you suck, well..then i guess not. Music itself is already an industry, like everything else. Its made FOR people. Ultimately, its gonna be the People who decide if you are or not worth listening to. I think this shouldnt be a problem to understand.

I read questions in this thread like: So how is it possible to live form music? Well, I'd say that Music has been limited to a certain range of people - the good ones. there's no space for mediocrity anymore. Of course I am not speaking about the jonas brothers or Hannah Montana. Im talking about the decent side of Music making. If you want to live from music, just fuckin' do it. Try to be the best, or innovative at least. Don't go blaming the music industry for the lack of success, or money, coz everyones got plenty of choices out of that devil's factory. If there are bands that choose to make contracts with this music companies, and for some reason they disappoint you with their limited sounds and perspectives, move on, that just shows they're no good.

I'll present you the example of Radiohead once more. They had a great album called In rainbows - recent one - and they chose to put it to download for whatever price people thought it was worth. they haven't started touring up until now.

If you're good, you're good. People will know it. And people will want to have you.

END OF FUCKIN STORY


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Invisiblebirdland

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Posts: 2,202
Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: gluke bastid]
    #14925299 - 08/15/11 12:48 PM (11 years, 10 hours ago)

Quote:

gluke bastid said:
*sigh* I'm just curious how many times I'm going to have to make the same point before you acknowledge it either by agreeing or disagreeing.

In the 60s through the early 2000's the money that made the bulk of the music industry was music sales. Now music sales make up a shred of what they used to. Recording artists aren't making money. That era is esentially over. Today's commercial equivalent to the Beatles (unfortunately the likes of the Jonas brothers or Miley Cyrus) make money off of concerts, merchandise, and television. NOT album sales.

Pointing out that the Beatles made $ off of recording without touring is not relevant. The industry is different.




Ok I'll acknowledge it right here - yes the music industry is a lot different now than it was 40-50 years ago. I'm simply making the points I am, as irrelevant as you may think they are, because I'm not one to agree with the whole "the music industry is fucked" hype which is pretty much where this thread is coming from.

The music industry doesn't only consist of touring/gigging. That's a big point I'm trying to make which YOU aren't acknowledging, as you think it's somehow irrelevant. Now, I apologise for being optimistic as you seen quite taken aback. That said I'm going to make a pretty big call here, disagree if you want, I don't care. I know what I'm talking about pretty well when it comes to music so I don't need your approval.

The music industry is better now than ever.

Why? Big artists are making less money. Obscure, less mainstream artists are far more easily heard, their music far more easily obtained.


If you think this is a bad thing... Well I feel sorry for you :frown:


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Offlinegluke bastid
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: birdland]
    #14926520 - 08/15/11 04:57 PM (11 years, 6 hours ago)

Basically, I've simply been trying to bring a lot of attention to how the music industry has changed and how a lot of the founding myths of how you can have your dreams come true (practice, get good, get noticed, get signed, become paid and famous, etc.) are not exactly the way it works any more in the music biz. This is based on personal experience, networking with lots of musicians some of whom have "succeeded" and some of whom have "failed," and writing such as this Albini article and a great book called The trouble with music by Matt Callahan.

I'm trying to point out to people the reality of this business. I understand money and fame may not be the motivation, but I've also been around and I know for a lot of musicians that dream is in the back of their head, which is fine.

It seems like a couple of y'all are getting upset because you think I'm saying "Your dreams are stupid, the music industry sucks now because there's not enough money, and being a teacher is lame." I'm not. I think its rad that the industry is changing, I think its rad that its easier to get your music out there, I think its rad that the scene isn't just ruled by super famous people. I just think that if you are counting on that huge signing bonus with a massive advance I'm just trying to tell you that's not really how they do it any more. There may be a few exceptions, but there aren't many.


--------------------
:hst:
Society in every form is a blessing,
but government at its best is but a necessary evil
 
- Thomas Paine


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Invisiblebirdland

Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 2,202
Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: gluke bastid]
    #14930766 - 08/16/11 11:34 AM (10 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

gluke bastid said:
I'm trying to point out to people the reality of this business. I understand money and fame may not be the motivation, but I've also been around and I know for a lot of musicians that dream is in the back of their head, which is fine.



I just think that if you are counting on that huge signing bonus with a massive advance I'm just trying to tell you that's not really how they do it any more. There may be a few exceptions, but there aren't many.




Well I agree with you on this. :smile:

Luckily it seems to me that for the large majority of dedicated musicians money isn't a motivator. :thumbup:


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OfflineJordainio
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Re: Words Of Warning to the Music Industry Hopefull: [Re: birdland]
    #14947741 - 08/19/11 04:08 PM (10 years, 11 months ago)

Dudes, or dudettes....
Everyone should read
Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner.
I mean, if anyone sees this and is remotely into jazz, classical, or just esoteric, spiritual ways of being in the music. They should read it. It's really great and I'm trying to talk to people about it, and I've only read up to the sixth chapter. Talks about why people play, why they fear continuing playing, how to separate how you feel about yourself from how you feel about your playing or technique and just...letting the music flow.
Good discussion here though just adding my next 2ยข.


--------------------
Also, if anyone is selling cymbals or drum equipment, email me right now!
<span class="spoiler" onmouseover="this.className='nospoiler'" onmouseout="this.className='spoiler'">Distant and unimagined realms lie hidden all around us. Not only do we deny things that we CAN see, but many many more that we do not. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively

hahahaha, P4N3D!!!!!1!


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