Thursday, April 15, 2010
Easiest way to get into the Music Biz? Help a new band out.
Question: So i was watching the great documentry that came with the blessed are the sick reissue, I noticed the guy being interviewed with suit who once roadied for morbid angel who had gone on to high paying white collar employment, and it got me wondering where do most road crews for bands come from is it Students who want extra cash? friends of the band? agency guys? guys from other bands between their tours or all or none of the above? quite interested as he seemed to be an example of a person who successfully left the road behind them. From:
Answer: People often ask me "Dig, how can I make a million dollars in the Music Industry?", "Well," I glibly reply, "start with two million". The Record Biz, at the top end of the scale, is like a frenzied, unregulated poker table -the players make eye-wateringly huge bets on bands, not even because they actually like the music - but simply to eliminate the other players seated at the table. Its a tough business which is best avoided by the unwary or the non-committed. Competing for the attentions of artists or generally just feeding the wasteful, out-dated machinery of the Biz will suck all your time, energy and money.
The easiest, most painless way to break into the Biz is by helping a new band out, nearly every new band I know could use some help- even simple stuff like hiring a van and driving to the gigs stumps many. Actually I meet a lot of people these days who tell me they work at the summer festivals, not in the booking of the bands, or anything cool like that.I mean the more mundane, behind the scenes logistics of running the festival- building stages, running the electric cables, setting up the backstage areas etc. Thousands of people make a living doing this every summer now.
The summer festival scene has seen a huge growth recently, there must be over 100 metal/rock festivals taking place across Europe this summer 2010, Earache itself aims to attend at least 12 festivals in 13 weeks from May-August. About two decades ago, there were just 4 or 5 festivals for metal across Europe, nowadays there aren't enough free summer weekends to book fests in outdoor fields any more, so promotors have expanded their reach by booking a metal fest on an off-season cruise-liner -see January 2011's 70,000 Tons of Metal. Its a big gamble but I sure hope its a success for them, as more festivals means more live opportunities for our stable of bands.
You can drop into the biz from anywhere, no qualifications needed cept a willingness to work long hours for little reward. Industry folks come from all walks of life- Entombed once famously had a manager that was ex-Wall St, he would be trading stocks one minute and then selling swag on the road the next.