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Erosion of Humanity
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 2454
Location: Schaumburg, Il
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:34 am 
 

Ancient_Sorrow wrote:
Not trying to drag back the "young metalheads" thing, as I'm sure it happens at all ages, but something which genuinely annoys me, and something I have trouble understanding, is the sheer lack of motivation people have when presented with the availability of live shows.

I know people who live perhaps a 20-minute walk from venues which are hosting bands they enjoy listening too, and yet they don't show up to the shows, even when they're not busy with other things... It makes me feel almost upset really. If you have the resources and free time to see a band you enjoy, but don't show up, I just don't know what to make of it. A lack of commitment, I guess.

Hope that's not too off-topic.


I know for me at least it's super hard to go to shows cause of my work schedule, I generally start between 4 and 5 am and work 10-14 hours a day so not only do I have a hard time making it to the shows on time its hard to get up the next morning. Another thing is that say 5-10 years ago when I was in my teens and early 20's there was a huge local scene around the Chicago suburbs you never had to go more then like 20 miles if that to find a show now days if you want to see a show you have to go downtown and pay a butt ton for parking and gas plus tickets prices.


Civil wrote:
I think that physical will die more and more as streaming becomes the norm and since we already have refrigerators with twitter and google (http://mashable.com/2011/01/09/samsung-tweeting-refrigerator/) pretty soon it won't be just youtube and spotify for us to just stream all we want, whenever we want. We will live in a world in which every car, every hardware, every tv will and is already streaming every content we can think of.

In that sense, sales will never be what they used to be.

But metal fans are a loyal bunch, and that's why the small, niche but loayl market flourishes. It is small, but it's still business. It's likey collecting baseball cards, or star wars toys, only a few people do it, but the ones who do it are dedicated. So a few thousand copies are sure to go to those niche markets. But like I said, only a few thousand, and this is even more true for death metal bands.

If at the peak of the genre in the early 90s the bands were selling 120, 200 thousand, I don't think those numbers can ever be repeated given the market as it is and the facts we discussed here.


This is so true and so very sad I still buy almost everything I listen to in cd form and when I can't find a physical copy then I buy the digital from amazon or itunes, I never download without paying just doesn't feel right to me. As far as today's day and age and market go I think bands and labels need to adapt and start offering people free listens and the option to download the music directly from them, not only would it make it easier to find the releases but I would much rather give my money directly to the bands or the labels than pay the mark up you get in stores. Something to this effect may actually revive sales a bit maybe not in physical form but digital for sure.
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Scorntyrant
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:57 pm 
 

A good indication is to look at the numbers of albums pressed vs how long the release remains easily available in distros.

For instance - NWN! typically presses 1000 copies of the L.P version of their releases. This is about on a par with what HHR do with their bigger acts, and is substantially more copies than most underground labels press (I see runs of around 300-500 being more usual), but they do it to avoid their releases being bootlegged or becoming "rarities" going for big dollars on ebay. So in the beastialgoatafago scene we are looking at album sales of around 2000 or thereabouts if you are lucky.

So as you can see, there is a big jump between even moderately popular UG acts and the ones on "major indies" like Earache, Century Media, Metal Blade etc etc.
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infinitenexus
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:35 am
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:55 pm 
 

jedimasterhassan wrote:
a new band starting out has a hard time selling even 100 copies, let alone ten thousand. i know bands that bave been doing world tours for several years who have trouble selling more than a few hundred



My last album got excellent reviews, all proceeds went to charity, got thousands of listens on bandcamp... And made a total of $98 and a few cents. The sad truth is the majority of people simply don't want to spend money on music these days, and they don't realize how much they're harming bands. Shortly before I release my next album I'm going to drop the price of my current one to $1, just to see if I can make more for charity. For a solo musician like myself who can't play live, there is absolutely no option to make money off of this. As someone else said earlier, it's a hobby. Granted, I'm not in it for the money at all - I simply love metal and I like doing it for charity.

Speaking of Cannibal Corpse, I believe they are the highest selling death metal band out there. In one of their videos/documentaries (I think it was the making of the wretched spawn) on youtube, Paul said they don't make much money, but they make enough that they don't have to have second jobs. Unless you're in popular music, the days of living comfortably as a metal musician are pretty much over, I think.

Oh, and in reference to all the Metallica comments - when Robert Trujillo signed with him, they wrote him a check for a million bucks as a "signing bonus", and of course he gets a percentage of sales and stuff now. They're in a whole different league.

After seeing how bad sales are with my own albums, I made a promise to myself not to download any music, but to pay for every bit of it, and I've kept that promise, and I'm proud of that. I don't ever want metal to get to the point where it's a handful of radio-metal rich guys and the rest of the entire genre is underground.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:53 pm 
 

It's difficult to make money off being an artist of any kind; always has been. You think one-man musicians would instantly get rich and profit a ton even back in the old days? People not wanting to spend money on stuff they can get for free is just a fact of humanity. The only reason we only view this phenomenon in this "woe is the new generation; they're all just freeloaders and don't understand the spirit of the music" angle is just because it has no precedent. Popular music has always been popular, has always made money. Lots of stuff, low budget bands and garage acts and solo artists, fall through the cracks all the time. There was no internet back then, though, and thus no widespread outlet for these artists and low-budget acts to gain recognition. Now that myspace and Youtube exist, allowing them the freedom to upload songs and albums for "free sampling," people are going to take the idea and run with it. So really it's not a problem singular to this youngest generation, and should not be taken as such. If you upload your music for free, as a charity thing, then don't be surprised if you get a shitload more listens on rating/chart sites than you do actual full album sales...human curiosity has always been that way.
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TheEvilSocky
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:36 am 
 

As far as the pirating thing goes, I'll never charge for my music, ever hopefully, it's something near and dear to me and hope it never becomes a business, I understand other people want to make a living off of their music, and thats fine.

As far as extreme metal goes, I think the guys that play it really aren't all that into money, I know I want to get a drummer and form a BDM band just cause it's its fun to play and write, If I wanted money I'd start a country band, boom, record deal where I live.


To answer the OP's question, I believe you are more interested in the bands album sales then some of the bands are.
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joppek
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:27 am 
 

xThe__Wizard wrote:
As Rich Hoak said in a van before, it's easier to sell a million TFD/Brutal Truth shirts then selling a million copies of any album. And it's better that way since they make more money on merch then albums.


i think the latter might be (a small) part of the reason for the former - people know that by buying a shirt, their financial support for the band is much greater than by buying an album
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Tantalus
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:18 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:48 am 
 

joppek wrote:
xThe__Wizard wrote:
As Rich Hoak said in a van before, it's easier to sell a million TFD/Brutal Truth shirts then selling a million copies of any album. And it's better that way since they make more money on merch then albums.


i think the latter might be (a small) part of the reason for the former - people know that by buying a shirt, their financial support for the band is much greater than by buying an album


That's if they print them. Making music should be about....making music, not becoming a full-time fucking clothing manufacturer just so you can eat. That's the impact that low record sales are having. How depressing is it that people would rather pose in band's merchandise than actually own the album as it was originally intended by the artist?
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joppek
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:32 am 
 

Tantalus wrote:
just so you can eat.


as much as people complain about artists not getting paid, i'd like to play devil's advocate on this one - how big should a band have to be for the members to be able to live off the music comfortably?

there's a supply/demand problem in the core of that question: if it was easy to make a living with music, half the world's population would be musicians
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Tantalus
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:02 pm 
 

Of course, I totally agree with you and it was a slight exaggeration - but the point was about previously successful and/or major touring bands effectively having to sell shirts for a living because no-one buys CDs any more. Not every band should live off their music by any means, but it's still depressing that merch sells better than albums in general.
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Civil
I'm not sexist, I have binders full of women friends!

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:58 pm
Posts: 112
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:45 pm 
 

Quote:

That's if they print them. Making music should be about....making music, not becoming a full-time fucking clothing manufacturer just so you can eat. That's the impact that low record sales are having. How depressing is it that people would rather pose in band's merchandise than actually own the album as it was originally intended by the artist?


Image and looks always were one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of the subculture. Or of any subculture.

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bloodycumshit
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:10 pm
Posts: 514
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:16 pm 
 

Civil wrote:
Quote:

That's if they print them. Making music should be about....making music, not becoming a full-time fucking clothing manufacturer just so you can eat. That's the impact that low record sales are having. How depressing is it that people would rather pose in band's merchandise than actually own the album as it was originally intended by the artist?


Image and looks always were one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of the subculture. Or of any subculture.


too bad they just end up with the same image as the average pop star mainstream person in this modern day

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Civil
I'm not sexist, I have binders full of women friends!

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:58 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:29 pm 
 

TheEvilSocky wrote:

To answer the OP's question, I believe you are more interested in the bands album sales then some of the bands are.


I think that if you are a professional musician that would be hard to prove. How much you sell is very, very important for you as a musician and as a professional. It has a direct impact in your work, how your artwork is distributed and consumed, on how much money and exposition you have and in the end in the way you live your life.

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Subrick
Metal freak

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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:31 pm 
 

Exposure, not exposition. We're talking music, not writing a script.
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Civil
I'm not sexist, I have binders full of women friends!

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:58 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:47 pm 
 

I think it's both, no? Your life becomes more exposed as you become more famous as a musician.

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Metallumz
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:02 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:46 pm 
 

I broke even with both my AveNatas and Whoregasm demo's, would I do it again though? of course and I already am. You don't need me to tell you all that music is simply expressionism in its purest form, the art of interpretation and appeal. If I make or break a few pounds here or there it at least tells me my music is being heard and enjoyed, what I especially like about todays modern technology is that it reaches out to more people via d/l sites than I could possibly imagine having to go through advertising, zines, distribution, and so on.

My intention is to build a fanbase who will appreciate the work gone into the music which means more 'sell' either physically or heard via torrenting. Money is always nice to have, but then again so is booze.

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TheEvilSocky
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:34 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:56 pm 
 

Civil wrote:
TheEvilSocky wrote:

To answer the OP's question, I believe you are more interested in the bands album sales then some of the bands are.


I think that if you are a professional musician that would be hard to prove. How much you sell is very, very important for you as a musician and as a professional. It has a direct impact in your work, how your artwork is distributed and consumed, on how much money and exposition you have and in the end in the way you live your life.


Not really, I play noise and brutal death metal, as I said before, if I was doing it for record sales or to become famous, I'd play back up guitars for Gretchen Wilson and live quite comfortably.
Even if some label became interested in releasing some of the BDM stuff I write it would still be something I do squarely for the enjoyment of playing BDM, any money made from it (god forbid) would be extra, not how I make a living.

Anyone will tell you that if you seek to play BDM to become a famous musician that lives solely off of their music, you are completely off your rocker or really naive, I'm pretty sure most BDM or grindcore musicians will agree, It's more about the times you get to hang out with both friends and fans jamming to really cool tunes and less about treating it like some kind of product to be marketed.
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Civil
I'm not sexist, I have binders full of women friends!

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:58 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:20 pm 
 

Evil, I see your point and I think that the current status of things is exactly that which you described.

However, until recently people would, or could expect to live out of their music and have reasonable exposure. Hence the examples we discussed here, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Death, Napalm Death, etc, all with reasonable sales, transforming their musicians into references, people who are interviewed and have contributed to music somehow, etc.

It's not as if you either play guitar to Britney Spears or you are an underground musician that sells 500 copies and no one ever heard of. There's a lot in between one extreme and another.

Nowadays it's very unrealistic as the odds are more and more against the musicians. But to be a reasonably successful and influential, or at least respected musician is, sometimes, an aim of some bands.

People look up to musicians and are interested in them. And the more succesful you are the more people will be interested in you and the more your life will change. We all discuss musician's lives and music on this board... And we even care if they are nice people. Look at the thread which is just about musicians which are cool to fans, for instance.

So certainly how much you sell and how popular your band is, even if you are within a very specific niche scene, has a strong impact on musicians and their lifes.

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Riffs
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:41 am 
 

I think if you are reasonable money is always a concern but it doesn't have to be your main concern and it can be quite low on your list.

Whether you have small or big ambition, money is a concern if you want to promote your music, get exposure and play for more than just the janitor at the local shithole bar.

Even if you have no ambition at all but making music for yourself (whether solo or as a band), money is still a concern because gear, recording, rehearsing space, promotion, etc... are all things you pay for. Not to mention your time.

For some bands, it's about how much money they might earn doing what they like and for some, it's how much money they can spend partaking in a hobby. This can all be accomplished reasonably.

What's unreasonable is extreme positions. Such as aiming to make shitload of cash and to be a superstar and putting the actual music last. Or at the other end of the spectrum, ignoring the financial and management aspect because "it messes with your true artistic soul" and as a result, getting shafted and ignored constantly. Wasting copious amounts of cash you don't have on projects and having your life suffer because of it is a classic for many musicians.
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