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Answers from Professional Musicians Needed

Discussion in 'Andy Sneap' started by LydonB, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. gabriel g.

    gabriel g. Member

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    It is all true what TheDude said!!!!
    Making hard music and playing shows is just passion. You have to live for this!!!
    But the passions doesnt pay the bills. I and my band are still happy that we normaly dont have to pay to play. (I mean you get a fee of 100-300€ per show, but you have to rent the Van=150-200€ and you need gas=50-150€) So even you we get 300€ you have -50€ left. So you need at least sell 5 Cd´s or 5 shirts to get away with NO MINUS.

    Or you play more then 50 shows a year (or even 100 shows) you are getting trouble with your real job (which pays the bills;) ).
     
  2. DanLights

    DanLights Santa Hat Forever

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    It's hard, really, as much have said is the same thing I've heard. Here in my country we have the fashion of asking the promoter to pay for all travel and hotel costs (sometimes we end up crashing at the promoter's house, we did this when we did a short two date visit to Colombia, sometimes they do pay decent hotel rooms), if it's a big important gig and the band has at least one full length to support them (as in they are known and actually bring audience to the show) the band might ask for a little extra, but given how bad economy is here and how bad metal shows go in the eastern side of the country (where I live) this normally doesn't happen. It is more often in center cities of the country, we have had good audience reception and great promoter's attention in paying all expenses, meals included.

    Still, never enough to live with it.

    and yeah, cd sales do matter because the label feeds on that, and labels then feed the band, so it does matter
     
  3. LydonB

    LydonB Member

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    This is exactly what I was looking for.

    It blows my mind that people think artists can survive off of touring and merchandise sales alone. I think the biggest issue with this is that a lot of people listen to music that is on the radio, and their perception of those artists is that they are all rich and can't afford a new jet or a new rare fish for their massive fish tank, and the luxuries of life. So if this person does not purchase this particular artists album, its okay, the artist is making millions of dollars some other way...why do they need more money?
     
  4. SentencedToBurn

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  5. nwright

    nwright Member

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    While on tour at Mayhem, I could maybe see that.

    But I call shenanigans on that figure when they are off tour and writing/recording.

    And, around here a part time mall worker makes about 200-300 a week. 5-700 isn't too bad at all.

    I know a couple bands that were on metal blade and prosthetic, and over the course of their label stays, they made a net of less than zero, owing labels money.
     
  6. lepersmeesa

    lepersmeesa Badman rudeboy

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    I think it really depends on the type of music you are playing, and what scene you are part of.

    Bands like Bring me the Horizon will be making a shit load of money in publishing, and merchandise. We are talking about at least 300-600 kids a night buying a £10 shirt. That will work out at around £2000-3000 a night in merch sales, or more depending on the amount of shirts being sold. My old music teacher used to be in a band called Neds Atomic Dustin, quite well known indie band, and he said on a good night they could be making anywhere between £5000-10,000 a night from merch. You work out how many Cd's you need to sell. Obviously the downside is, you need to be constantly touring, so you can keep on releasing merch, and tour specific merch.

    Bands like Hot Chip (dance orientated pop) will be making their money from publishing more than anything else. When your music is appearing constanlty on TV (like rap music on MTV) you will be earning money.

    CD sales obviously come into this, and depending on your contract the label may not care as much about CD sales if merch sales are going well and they have a 360 deal.

    Disclaimer - Not an expert, just saying what I know from people in bands.
     
  7. DaveBlack

    DaveBlack Member

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    What mall are they workin at?? I hope you mean 5-700 for the whole band to split lol. I work full time and part time at the studio and i only pull in about 400 something a week. which is barely enough for me to pay my rent and bills.

    either way, I think a lot of this is relative to the band. Take KISS or the Insane Clown Posse. Both of them make an exuberant amount of money off of their merchandise which generates most of their income.

    And then what about completely independent bands. A band that manages themselves can drastically reduce the same expenses of other bands with all of the middle men. I'm friends with this band Left To Vanish who just signed to lifeforce america sometime last year and they literally make pennies off of each CD and when they tour (7 months out of the year) it's very rare that they make enough money to get to the next city. What a life...
     
  8. LydonB

    LydonB Member

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    It is obvious they don't do it for the money and they actually love what they do, which is awesome. It sucks that they can't get paid more for doing what they love though.

    I am not at all shocked to see some of these figures. I am sure many bands can make a killing on merchandise sales and be able to do well because of that.
     
  9. DanLights

    DanLights Santa Hat Forever

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    sorry for the off-topic question man, but what did you have to do in the aghora debut? band member, producer or something?
     
  10. tearsofthedragon

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    A lot of bands do actually make more off merch, Maiden for example. I remember having a an e - mail conversation with Derek Riggs a few years ago in which he called them "a small heavy metal band but a massive merchandising company". He's maybe over-exaggerating, but still, if bands are selling loads of merch at gigs, there is no middle man eating into profits.
     
  11. TheDude

    TheDude Jocke Skog

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    When we're out touring, if our merch sells 10% of the capacity (for example 50 tees per 500 people) that's considered good. Bring me the Horizon are obviously quite famous then. Your music teacher is "quite well known" so there you have it.

    With those figures you're talking about, it means a capacity of 3-6000 kids. Then you still make money of the concert fee, and you probably sell cd's too.

    Yeah, Iron Maiden is a small band, right? A small band that sells out a 50,000 capacity venue in Sweden. That's fucking tiny, right?
     
  12. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    This has been my experience as well (granted on a lower level).
    Two things I haven't seen mentioned in this thread are

    #1 CD's are merch too. My royalties have always been rolled towards the next record advance etc. but we have made significant money selling CD's etc. at shows and online. I would guess more than we've made off of soft goods.

    #2 Whether or not you "make money" off your CD, no one is going to give you money to make another one if you don't sell any! In other words Sneap is paid by labels....labels are paid by Cd sales. Unless you want the system to devolve into nothing but self produced albums you need to pay for music.

    #3 It's important to understand the difference between "we sold $2000 worth of merch last night" and "after expenses we lost $100." Those statements could easily and often refer to the same day.

    #4 Venues often take a percentage on soft goods ranging from 10-30%. So that $40 Hoodie may = $28 to the band who paid $13 for it...so $15 profit.

    #5 lots of merchandise is liscenced meaning that the band only recieves a small percentage and in return a company manages, designs, produces and pays the upfront cost for merchandise.

    Anyway, merch is very important but that doesn't mean that album sales are some how irrelivant. And besides, I have seen NOTHING to indicate that there has been even a fractional increase in merch sales corresponding to the decrease in music sales.
     
  13. James Murphy

    James Murphy Member

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    didn't bother reading the whole thread... just the OP.... but i'll quickly tell you this:

    it is NOT ok to download bands albums illegally. touring and merch sales do NOT pay for recording budgets.

    for MOST touring bands on the planet, money from live appearances and merch sales barely manage to pay for touring expenses... even some pretty famous bands just manage to pay for their tour costs bus/van, crew/band salaries, gas, food, etc etc. add up to a LOT of money and the majority of signed bands barely manage to make it from one show to another. there is no magic money left over to pay for album recording.

    CD sales pay for recording budgets for 95% of signed bands in the world.

    if everyone behaved as the people you mention you will see more and more bands unable to record new albums.... already so many people do behave that way that we are seeing recording budgets cut in half for many many bands.

    the above are facts, not an opinion. anyone who thinks otherwise has not toured or dealt with labels over recording budgets.... so stfu.

    that's the way it is.
     
  14. LydonB

    LydonB Member

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    Thanks for the reply Egan. I have not seen anything about merchandise sales increasing as music sales decrease either. I did not know that venues take percentages of merchandise sold either. I guess it makes sense, but that is kind of surprising to me.
     
  15. James Murphy

    James Murphy Member

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    Egan is exactly right.... pretty much every venue takes merch %.... even the tiny bars... and they don't give the band a % of the bar till, trust me.
     
  16. LydonB

    LydonB Member

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    I fully agree! Thanks for the input James.

    I'd like to know why people feel that it is okay to download music and not pay for their music? Is it just a sense of entitlement? Is it pure ignorance to the way the music industry works? I would guess that it is a combination of several things. It just boggles my mind that people are so uneducated and/or oblivious of how things work.
     
  17. EerieVon

    EerieVon Member

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    Never had the chance to do a national tour or record for a label but from all the bigger bands I have had a chance to talk with back in the day merch and ticket sales enable the bands to get from point a to point b, and enables them to eat and drink (sometimes not in that order). And sometimes, if the band is lucky, they know someone in that town and lets them crash at their place which lets them save some money and usually lets them eat something decent, and sleep in a nice, clean place
     
  18. James Murphy

    James Murphy Member

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    it's a very self-serving stance for them to adopt... and so they do. i bought 9 CDs yesterday. if you love a band, you NEED to buy the CD... going to a show is not enough, period. all these jackasses keep talking about "new business models" and new "paradigms for the industry" blah bah... that'd be all well and good, except that i've yet to hear a single one of these theories that outlines any way in which the band and labels even come close to being reliably and realistically compensated for the outlay of capital required for decent recording budgets, nevermind manufacturing and administrative, etc, costs.

    and regardless of how much royalties are earned, future recording budgets are generally allotted on a sliding scale based off the gross sales of previous albums.

    it's amazing how long this info has been available, but yet you still get asshats like the OP talked about that somehow believe complete fairy tales.
     
  19. DanLights

    DanLights Santa Hat Forever

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    50,000 anywhere in the damn world actually. I don´t think Derek Riggs was "maybe" exaggerating, he was being a plain asshole hahaha


    Good to hear real facts from people into the business, like Egan and James, clears things up
     
  20. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    Yeah, this is very wrong. I don't know the actual quote but (assuming a 12.5% royalty rate) the correct (but oversimplified) quote would be "Nirvana only personally makes a million dollars for every 8 million dollars worth of records we sell."


    12.5% is a reasonable/typical rate but typical contractual math would look like this:

    (90% of Sales) x (Retail price - 25%) x (12.5% -(minus producer points) - advance


    So lets say they gave up 2.5% in producer points, the record retailed for $15 and spent $250k on the record. They would still be splitting nearly 8 million 3 ways.
    And then there would be at least another $5.7 million in writing royalties.

    Of course the trick is when the numbers are all much more humble.
    Obviously the deck is stacked against artists but it is important to actually understand the facts involved.
    It's a fair complaint to say that 10-15% isn't enough going to the artist, however it's impossible for me to follow the logic that would suggest that it's somehow more fair to give them 100% of $0 from a d/l album.
     

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