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Old 8th September 2012
Lives for gear
skythemusic's Avatar

Originally Posted by Sqye View Post

Personally, I think this recurring topic being beaten to death is just plain old silly.

Since when have musicians EVER made any real money AS A DEMOGRAPHIC?

All this entitlement is insane.

Musicians have mostly always be broke - and I don't see this changing anytime soon.

So many of our arguments PRESUME musicians somehow DESERVE income.

And again - the REASON this supposition is SILLY - is because it's almost NEVER been true in our history.

EVEN when music was supposedly MORE VALUABLE (in our fabulously inaccurate 20/20 hindsight).

So where did this fantasy about musicians being entitled to earn a living come from?

I submit to you that it was almost ENTIRELY fabricated by a few hippies smoking pot in their dorm room, before they were evicted from school. And they were probably philosophy majors - not even musicians.

Anyway, I wish you all the best, and hope you're able to join the real world sometime in the near future.

Because life is EXPENSIVE and short, and paying for survival by creating music seems like a shoddy plan, to say the least.

I know a FEW of you can and / or will prove me wrong. To you, I say KUDOS! You should indeed celebrate yourselves, because you are among the very few in the club.


THIS. So when only a handful of corporate labels controlled the world, they were paying all their artists an incredibly fair sum? 9-12% as standard after recouping costs is more like it. And, many/most artists got ripped off horrifically. They always have. People are acting like it was some shangri la. Maybe for the 1% but not for most. People used to tour, often at a loss, to sell albums. Now they make albums, often at a loss, to tour. I'm not saying its a zero sum game but have you gone to a show lately? Here in Portland typical hip shows are $15-20 at the cheap venues, $20-50 at the decent venues, and $60-400 for a seat at the bigger venues.

As the middle class of America has disappeared, ironically the middle class of musicians has risen. I would argue that for those middle class artists the scene is better now than in the old days of the 90's. Sure, there are a lot less U2's and Led Zeppelin's (essentially none in fact) but there are 1000 Grizzly Bears and Dirty Projectors out there, and those bands are pretty awesome. Eventually this is going to make local scenes thrive and communities of musicians rise with the internet as a global support and sharing network instead of a few ubiquitous idols standing above all.

Bands today have way more direct control over the sound of their recordings, frequently own the masters, often have much more equitable deals or distribute their own, and have licensing opportunities that were not there before. The money may be significantly less relative to status and fame as before, but at least there is an opportunity whereas before there would be a much greater chance for obscurity. I have mixed several regional and local bands this year that have had their songs on MTV, reality shows, movies, etc. None are "signed". How would that have happened in 1980?

I am not saying pirating is right or the system is where it should be at all, but nearly everyone in the world is struggling financially. Would I like to get paid more for my studio work? You bet, but the inability of the labels and apparently even professionals on places like gearslutz to accept a new reality is astounding. This isn't going away. Even if they take away the entire internet, there will be an internet 2.0 within months. Why is there no subscription service a la Netflix? Why has the industry refused to stand on quality? Itunes is a joke. Their "lossless" files sound like screechy poo. CD was a stop gap solution and bad enough. I wouldn't take their 128 mp3's for free.

Lastly, there are MANY people who "steal" a file to check a band out and then either forget/delete it if they don't like it or go see the overpriced show/buy the vinyl/buy the cd later on. What artist would choose to have that person not know their music at all instead of accepting that the file is out there and that it can lead to downline revenue and cheap word of mouth advertising? To equate file sharing as dollar for dollar the equivalent of stealing a physical product from a store denounces the entire chain of middle people involved from production to purchase in a store. And to do so while giving a pass to the Comcasts and Googles of the world is pathetic. We have to do a better job of rethinking than that.