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> Why The Music Industry Sucks Part 978
Saoirse O'Shea
post Nov 20 2010, 03:00 PM
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QUOTE (brandon @ Nov 9 2010, 02:56 PM) *
...So that's about $8,000 in the whole and about $72,000 unaccounted for. So I can only guess where that ended up because we didn't see a dime from the label....


TBH I think this is pretty much true for most. With a group I was in years ago the major we signed to spent 7 years threatening to take legal action to recover ALL of the advance when we didn't sell loads of records and they dropped us. That's despite the fact that the label had already clawed back most of the advance anyway.

QUOTE
I do know a few people who scrape out a small living playing in a band,
... and even they still work part time jobs ...


Similarly I know a lot of engineers who have to hold down a normal job as well. Those that can make a full time living are in the minority.

QUOTE
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like it would be so much easier to make a living at it if you lived in Europe. So many countries and cities so close by.


Depends on which part of Europe I guess. I live in S Spain and the population density here is much lower than a lot of N Europe. Also income is much lower and there is high unemployment.

QUOTE
Another problem with the US is that it's completely over saturated with musicians and bands. People are at the point where they're indifferent on seeing live music because half the people they know play music or aspire to do so. Good bands a lot of times go without ever being heard because no one cares.


People here enjoy seeing live music but most of it is free - very few get paid for performing. TBH I think most people here are often very good amateur musicians interested in doing it than paying to see it. Traditionally people often perform when the 'spirit moves them' rather than at a particular time or at a specific venue. That sort of duende doesn't lend it self to being paid or to normal gigging.

There's also not a great amount of variety where I am - mostly flamenco and classical. The flamenco varies from the very good to the rubbish churned out for tourists. With classical it's performed by small, local orchestras rather than the big national ones. The ayuntamiento normally put on a live group for major fiestas but they usually play 'hits of the 70s' type stuff.

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Nov 20 2010, 03:00 PM


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brandon
post Nov 23 2010, 07:52 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 19 2010, 09:25 PM) *
I hate to say it but yes, you have a great point. Having played quite a bit in our local scene, I can tell you that there is a HUGE amount of apathy. People just don't have time to care it seems. The audience is a bit jaded and they really just want to hear songs they are familiar with . The good news is that again, via the internet, I've found inspiring music and musicians from all over the world. This site for one is an amazing community of talented musicians working towards similar goals. The collaborations have been great and I look forward to more. The students and teachers are all helping build the community up and nobody is wasting time trying to rip it down. In short, I"m glad to be here smile.gif

Todd


True True. This site is definitely a big help in a lot of ways. Even if it's something as simple as venting about the music industry wink.gif
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jdriver
post Nov 26 2010, 06:41 AM
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There are some interesting new business models that have a lot of potential. A favorite band of mine, Over The Rhine sent out a newsletter to all the fans on their email list, and basically said "Let's make a record together." They offered various packages of goodies based on how much money you invested, from $15 to pre-buy the CD, up to a few thousand dollars which would buy you a private house concert.

Ultimately they collected enough to pay for the entire record. Two weeks recording in Los Angeles with Joe Henry producing, and a duet with Lucinda Williams. The record is coming out in January, but everyone who contributed has already heard the finished record with some bonuses.

A very successful project. It would still require that you have enough fans to pull this off.

This post has been edited by jdriver: Nov 26 2010, 06:42 AM


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OzRob
post Nov 26 2010, 07:12 AM
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jdriver,

That's the kind of innovation bands will need to display to 'make it' in this changing industry.

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For those of you who are gig and recording bands, here's a relatively new blog where the writers road-test self-promotional services and then review them. Might be of some use.

http://www.passivepromotion.com/


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 26 2010, 11:02 AM
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[quote name='tonymiro' date='Nov 9 2010, 12:39 PM' post='504703']
I think the figures he's quoting are not far out. Years ago a band I was in signed to a major and we saw maybe 5% of the advance - the rest was clawed back by the record label for various things. One thing to add is that these are probably the figures that the record company/label accountant will present to band management rather than what the label pays.
quote]

How did they manage to get away with that ? Forgive my naivete, but if a band has legal rep and the terms have been agreed, how can they hold back on your advance legally ? I know the industry is constantly shifting, but am I right in thinking that fundamentally the advance and recording costs were kept separate ?

[quote name='brandon' date='Nov 9 2010, 02:56 PM' post='504713']
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like it would be so much easier to make a living at it if you lived in Europe. So many countries and cities so close by. It seems like it'd be a lot easier to get your name out there, but that's just what I've always assumed...I don't know for sure. If anyone has any good insight I'd love to know. When the closest cities in the US are about 2 hours minimum from each other and about 12 hours max apart (depending on what part of the country you're in) it always feels like an up hill battle. Like you spend more time travelling than you do meeting people and playing, and all of the money you make from shows goes back in to your van. Most smaller bands never even make it from one coast to the next because it's such a long trek and without a good following it's probably not even worth it (North Carolina to California is about 3,000 miles (around 4,800 km)). I know gas is about 3 times as much over there, but would it be worth it? The other guitarist in my band is from Ireland and his mom is from Germany (so he has lots of family in both countries). We've jokingly talked about moving across the sea to see if it'd actually make a difference being a musician in a different country. Another problem with the US is that it's completely over saturated with musicians and bands. People are at the point where they're indifferent on seeing live music because half the people they know play music or aspire to do so. Good bands a lot of times go without ever being heard because no one cares.[quote]

Apart from the logistical differences in Europe and the UK, I think the struggles are still the same. I can't imagine however, how difficult it must be to keep morale on an American tour. Even for veteran pro bands, an American tour is like a 'World Tour within a World Tour' as they say ! ohmy.gif

But yes, it is just the same over here.. people still tour and make no money and the apathy for live music is as present here as it is anywhere. My band have thought about the various factors that might be holding back the numbers at live gigs.. a lot of the time we think charging on the door to see unknowns isn't helping us bands get an audience. All of the pay on the door gigs we've done we've not been paid. Now that's ok, we can expect that.. but the way we see it, we might as well set up our own gigs at various venues across the UK and make them free. We're not making any money anyway so we might as well not make any money but get a bloody good crowd and a fanbase at the same time. I've said a few things about making it happen to other bands, but naturally there's been a lot of people willing to shoot my idea down. Can you guess who ? Promoters maybe ?

I've always maintained that if you want something done properly, you've gotta do it yourself. It's not the easy route and we won't make any friends but sucking ass to the middlemen and bottom feeders of the industry doesn't exactly help bands apart from keeping us where they want us.. 100% reliant on 'them'.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Nov 26 2010, 03:32 PM
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[quote name='Ben Higgins' date='Nov 26 2010, 10:02 AM' post='506597']
[quote name='tonymiro' date='Nov 9 2010, 12:39 PM' post='504703']
I think the figures he's quoting are not far out. Years ago a band I was in signed to a major and we saw maybe 5% of the advance - the rest was clawed back by the record label for various things. One thing to add is that these are probably the figures that the record company/label accountant will present to band management rather than what the label pays.
quote]

How did they manage to get away with that ? Forgive my naivete, but if a band has legal rep and the terms have been agreed, how can they hold back on your advance legally ? I know the industry is constantly shifting, but am I right in thinking that fundamentally the advance and recording costs were kept separate ?

We were young and naive and got some very bad advice including fundamentally listening to a solicitor who knew nothing about the music industry. Following her advice we signed a pre-contract that left us personally liable. The record company spent several years trying to recover about 50k from each of individually when they dropped us because of the contract. With the pre-contract we signed we also 'agreed' to use the label's in-house production, including tracking/mixing and mastering and we 'agreed' to pick up all the promotion costs. Only way to cover those was the advance. Really stupid bit was we got the pre-contract from some A&R after a gig and when we signed it we thought it would lead to a proper full contract but it actually committed us to a lot and the label to virtually nothing.


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
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The Uncreator
post Nov 26 2010, 04:07 PM
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QUOTE (jdriver @ Nov 26 2010, 01:41 AM) *
There are some interesting new business models that have a lot of potential. A favorite band of mine, Over The Rhine sent out a newsletter to all the fans on their email list, and basically said "Let's make a record together." They offered various packages of goodies based on how much money you invested, from $15 to pre-buy the CD, up to a few thousand dollars which would buy you a private house concert.

Ultimately they collected enough to pay for the entire record. Two weeks recording in Los Angeles with Joe Henry producing, and a duet with Lucinda Williams. The record is coming out in January, but everyone who contributed has already heard the finished record with some bonuses.

A very successful project. It would still require that you have enough fans to pull this off.



Wow thats a pretty cool idea.
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