How much do bands REALLY make?


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Muscle_Guitar
08-26-2008, 04:55 PM
I keep hearing different stuff. I heard they make $1 an album or 0.10 an album. I heard they get all the money from concerts.

So what's the real deal?

BringMeTheCalm
08-26-2008, 04:58 PM
Metal bands generally don't make much and usually have to have real jobs, keeping the music on the side.

Zaphod_Beeblebr
08-26-2008, 04:58 PM
I'm what the exact proportion is but it's definitely true that unless you're selling like Metallica then you make the vast majority of your money from merch sales at gigs.

eazy-c
08-26-2008, 05:00 PM
It depends on the band.

Lots.

Psychopathology
08-26-2008, 05:05 PM
Sell out. Unless you mean being famous, which is just luck really.

Bair
08-26-2008, 05:06 PM
probably like 2 dollars from a 25 dollar cd

Phill-Rock
08-26-2008, 05:19 PM
Pretty much nothing, considering there's 4-5 members at least in almost every metal band, and most metal is underground.

Money is not the reason people make metal music.

destroy_techno
08-26-2008, 05:24 PM
A cookie a day

poopsmith666
08-26-2008, 05:26 PM
Artists get ****-all from CD sales, most of their money comes from Concerts, endorsements(big name artists), and MERCH. MERCH MERCH MERCH

AmpleSteak
08-26-2008, 05:27 PM
I feel bad for the metal musicans who are 100 times more talented than people like soljia boy who makes millions...

BladeSlinger
08-26-2008, 05:29 PM
Wait....musicians make money?

zigz407
08-26-2008, 05:30 PM
probably like 2 dollars from a 25 dollar cd
$25 dollar cds!
Sucks for you.

TheUnholy
08-26-2008, 05:39 PM
Very, very little from CDs

Considerably more from ticket sales.

Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) said that until the last album she was still having to get other jobs when the band weren't touring. Considering that Arch Enemy are fairly major players in the metal scene, and also that Angela probably pulls in a fair bit of money from photoshoots, this gives you an idea of how little extreme metal bands earn.

unfathomable_bo
08-26-2008, 06:10 PM
Bands get next to nothing from CDs

Dyer's Eve
08-26-2008, 06:23 PM
Enough to buy a cardboard box to sleep in. And a candle, if they're particularly good.

Vermintide
08-26-2008, 06:23 PM
Wait....musicians make money?
News to me.

Where's my money? :confused:

ZylitoL
08-26-2008, 07:48 PM
Yeah, which is why I spent considerably more on merch than CDs. Most of the money actually goes towards benefiting the band.

Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) said that until the last album she was still having to get other jobs when the band weren't touring. Considering that Arch Enemy are fairly major players in the metal scene, and also that Angela probably pulls in a fair bit of money from photoshoots, this gives you an idea of how little extreme metal bands earn.
Wow. That's quite a statement.

Ouch.

BladeSlinger
08-26-2008, 07:53 PM
Isn't Cannibal Corpse the highest paid Death Metal band in the world at 30,000$ annually?

MetalMusicianAl
08-26-2008, 07:55 PM
i've always been curious as to how musicians get paid. in the form of a check like normal people or just get paid in cash.

Zaphod_Beeblebr
08-26-2008, 08:04 PM
i've always been curious as to how musicians get paid. in the form of a check like normal people or just get paid in cash.

Depends who's doing the paying I guess.

bootyguard
08-26-2008, 08:46 PM
Depends who's doing the paying I guess.
Probably like checks from the studio with invoices listing all the many studio deductions that makes their sales of 50,000 albums at $100

RawrSlinky
08-26-2008, 11:04 PM
Very, very little from CDs

Considerably more from ticket sales.

Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) said that until the last album she was still having to get other jobs when the band weren't touring. Considering that Arch Enemy are fairly major players in the metal scene, and also that Angela probably pulls in a fair bit of money from photoshoots, this gives you an idea of how little extreme metal bands earn.

Wow, that's pretty sad actually. And to the $2/$25 CD guy, not even close. I believe I remember hearing something along the lines of the most any musician in the ENTIRE industry earns from CD sales is Celine Dion at $1/CD, granted she sells millions. Correct me if I'm wrong.

MHDrunk
08-27-2008, 05:45 AM
consider the costs of vinyl/tape/cd pressing + jackets and the cost of making merchandise, most underground bands wind up losing money

powerhead
08-27-2008, 08:56 AM
consider the costs of vinyl/tape/cd pressing + jackets and the cost of making merchandise, most underground bands wind up losing money

Or at best just cover their costs.
Who was it that said that real musicians have day jobs? Some metal drummer I think - but that sorta gives you an idea.

mortiis999
08-27-2008, 09:02 AM
If you're starting out you'll be luck if you get a can of beer.

powerhead
08-27-2008, 09:06 AM
i once played a gig where bands got free booze. Another time I got a free jello-shot.
That makes me the highest paid musician in South Africa.

*yournamehere*
08-27-2008, 09:16 AM
I remember reading an interview with Nergal where he said he does all the producing, mixing, and other stuff for behemoth albums and he still lives in an average sized apartment.

dead-fish
08-27-2008, 12:06 PM
^+ gig booking + tour managing + every legal business + general band managing. So that's 3-4 people that the band doesn't have to pay, which saves them a lot of money, and he still lives in an average sized apartment.

On the other hand, apparently Nile have enough money to finance Kollias' trips to and from the US, because he apparently doesn't have a green card or any other means of legal extended stay in the US, apart from work visas.

Phill-Rock
08-27-2008, 01:06 PM
The vast majority of big metal bands' members are normal guys, in normal houses or apartments, with day jobs.


Like I said before - the only reason most of them keep it up is because they enjoy it, they're getting their music to the metal masses, and they're making at least a bit of money while having fun.

fallenangel20
08-27-2008, 01:08 PM
Bands get next to nothing from CDs
+1

The majority of their income comes from ticket sales, merch, and endorsements, if I'm not mistaken.




Also, did Alonso say in a past thread that some really big, influential drummer worked at a McDonald's for around 25 years or something like that?

the metal lifestyle is nowhere near glamorous, but damn if it's rewarding :p:
The vast majority of big metal bands' members are normal guys, in normal houses or apartments, with day jobs.
Except Karl Sanders, who has a sarcophagus in his living room.


And Candy Land under his TV. :haha:haha:haha


[/hopes someone remembers that thread/moment]

Phill-Rock
08-27-2008, 01:13 PM
^I do remember that, actually.

las7
08-27-2008, 02:37 PM
The real money in the music buisness comes from singles/hit songs; which Metal bands don't make. I mean Vanila Ice probably made more money with one hit song then most Metal bands make during their entire life span. And even then the most sucessfull artists in terms of money in the music buisness arent rich thanks to CD sales
it's in endoursed tours/ big PR campaigns/ merch(or brands)/ or the creaton of a sucessfull label under the umbrella of a larger company.

A lucky Metal artist would probably be someone that can just about live without getting a second job.

Billy Picken
08-27-2008, 03:08 PM
Ironic, that even knowing this, many bash bands for "selling out"

Phill-Rock
08-27-2008, 03:15 PM
Ironic, that even knowing this, many bash bands for "selling out"
The people that know how little bands make are not the same people that bash bands for selling out.

Shining_Yrael
08-27-2008, 05:06 PM
Doesn't the punk band NOFX make pretty good annual earnings?

technicolour
08-27-2008, 05:26 PM
Doesn't the punk band NOFX make pretty good annual earnings?

Well considering they've been around since the 80s, are extremely popular in the punk scene, and fat mike owns his own (fairly large) record company...yeah, I'd say they're pretty well off.

Hanzi_G
08-27-2008, 05:28 PM
My guitar teacher was talking to the manager for Billy Talent, and he said that only now the band is starting to make some money, even though they've had many big hits.

nebraskan
08-27-2008, 05:53 PM
Having people enjoy my music would be payment enough for me. Beer too.

\m/Gaz
08-27-2008, 05:55 PM
MY plan was always to get qualifications as something like a dentist, like a pretty good-paying 9-5 weekday job, to keep myself afloat, and then do my music on the side, not for the money, purley for enjoyment =]

destroy_techno
08-27-2008, 05:56 PM
Getting to travel the world and playing the music that YOU wrote for a lot of people.. I would gladly pay for that

Stranglehold
08-27-2008, 06:04 PM
Ive always wondered how awkward it must be for bands to get time off for mini-tours, festivals, and gigs in general. Must be very frustrating.

mortiis999
08-27-2008, 06:06 PM
A lot of people use the excuse 'bands make next to nothing on cd's' as an excuse to d/l everything.

Rengori
08-27-2008, 06:19 PM
For metal musicians with odd jobs on the side, King ov Hell from Gorgoroth is a full time primary school teacher. Yeah.

dragonofdis
08-27-2008, 06:27 PM
Dethklok is the 12th largest economy in the world. Thats biggr than Belgium

Stranglehold
08-27-2008, 06:28 PM
Dethklok are shit.

fallenangel20
08-27-2008, 06:51 PM
For metal musicians with odd jobs on the side, King ov Hell from Gorgoroth is a full time primary school teacher. Yeah.
:haha

That's AMAZING.

"Next, if you'll look at the blackboard *under his breath in an evil voice*(the black of ALL the blackboards in Hell)), there is a picture of a man you should all recognize.

Who is it?"

*pan toi Gaahl in the back of the room*

........


Satan.

*sips wine*



"Kristian! What are you doing in my class?!"

bootyguard
08-27-2008, 07:54 PM
:haha

That's AMAZING.

"Next, if you'll look at the blackboard *under his breath in an evil voice*(the black of ALL the blackboards in Hell)), there is a picture of a man you should all recognize.

Who is it?"

*pan toi Gaahl in the back of the room*

........


Satan.

*sips wine*



"Kristian! What are you doing in my class?!"

I want to take his class on religious appreciation and acceptance.

Rengori
08-27-2008, 09:10 PM
I want to take his class on religious appreciation and acceptance.
"...Today's lesson shall be about what to do when you encounter a Christian. To give an example, we have two special guests. One of them is Gaahl and the other is a Christian. Gaahl has chains, a chair, and a cup. Can anyone tell me what he will do when the Christian starts to preach to him?"

"Rape him?"

"No, he is not a fashion designer."

24fRETSoFfURY
08-27-2008, 09:42 PM
:haha

That's AMAZING.

"Next, if you'll look at the blackboard *under his breath in an evil voice*(the black of ALL the blackboards in Hell)), there is a picture of a man you should all recognize.

Who is it?"

*pan toi Gaahl in the back of the room*

........


Satan.

*sips wine*



"Kristian! What are you doing in my class?!"

:haha
That made my day.

dminishedthingy
08-27-2008, 09:46 PM
Lord Worm is an english tutor, that'd be great to see as well

"lovely day, isn't it professor?"
"HURGH HURGH HURGH!"
"excuse me?"
"HUUURRGGH HUH UH HURGH HURGH YUH YUH HURGH!!!"

seymour_jackson
08-27-2008, 11:07 PM
but say u land an endorsment with Jackson, hypothetically.. and u get 5 soloists a year say the SL2H.. that would be an annuall $10,000 in guitars. and you would save money from not buying guitars/amps/pedals/strings/cords.. if u were endorsed by other makers/companies.

also you get metal chicks!!

i find metal chicks hot!!! cause they like metal DOH

i wonder how much those punk/emo fags like fall out boy get paid. damn thier commercial success and ability to sell out to get money and girls but yet have no idea how to handle thier respective instruments and are insecure about thier ability to play next to us metal heads. :peace: its fun watching those kids at shows and watching thier jaws drop when they see a mind blowing guitar solo and then want to argue that it has no emotion :livid:

Tim Charles
08-27-2008, 11:31 PM
The real money in the music buisness comes from singles/hit songs; which Metal bands don't make.

Actually most pop stars that have say a one off hit single often make very little money UNLESS they wrote the song themselves. In pop music, unless they get massive, it's the songwriters and labels who make all the money.

Tim Charles
08-27-2008, 11:58 PM
When I was a kid I always thought all the bands I listened to were making a living from their bands. Then I found out that they actually didn't make much money from CD sales, but from touring...... then when I realised that actually, most bands make barely anything from performances fees on tour and most of their profit comes from selling merch...

Then I found out that "huge" bands like Nile don't even make a heap of money... But still I push forward in the hope of someday getting some money from the art that is metal. \m/


In regards to where bands get their money:

*Royalties: When a CD sells there are 2 types of royalties: for the person that owns the rights to the recording (normally the label), and then there are also royalties for songwriting which the label can't touch. Normally with the first type of royalties labels take 100% of the bands cut until they have paid back the money spent on making the album (anywhere from 5k to a few hundred k). This means that most bands actually make ZERO money from these types of royalties because many albums never sell enough to pay back recording costs. So if you're listed as a songwriter you'll get some royalties from CD sales, but if you are not, then often you'll get basically nothing.

Performance fees: Most bands make their money from touring related income. However lots of bands get paid very little for shows, and for some big festivals, like Ozfest, bands even have to PAY the promoter to get on the show. Many promoters know bands are desperate to get on these big shows and so they take advantage of this knowledge to try and make more money off these bands. I know many bands pay $75,000 to be on Ozfest, and then have to pray that they make that money back from merch sales. And then they have to hope that they get enough promo from the festival that they will make money from future tours.

Merch: Most bands make the majority of their profits from merch. For a band that charges 1k a show, most of that will go towards costs (hotels, van hire, planes, gear hire etc..) and then they might make a couple thousand on merch (if they are lucky).

The reality for 98% of metal bands though is that most of the money the bands make goes into funding tours and recordings and the like and not into their own pockets to pay their bills. Which means that for most they get home from tour and go back to their day jobs.

So with that in mind- make sure you all support the bands you like! CD sales definitely do help, because if not enough people buy an album the band can actually end up in debt to the label; but even if you don't buy CD's, make sure you go see bands you like when they come on tour and buy their merch as many bands end up breaking up, or having members leave simply because financially it's too hard to be in a touring metal band, so the more support everyone gives the bands they like the more bands will be able to keep touring and keep putting out great CD's. :)


EDIT:
Endorsements: Most bands that are endorsed still have to pay for their gear. All they get is a discount. Many of the top metal bands would be getting things at cost price at best. So a guitar that costs a couple thousand they might get for 1k. So it saves them money yes, but most aren't getting handed stuff for free by any means.

dminishedthingy
08-28-2008, 12:03 AM
so when i bought The Aurora Veil and sent that $15 to Xenoyr, how much of that do you guys get?

Tim Charles
08-28-2008, 12:12 AM
so when i bought The Aurora Veil and sent that $15 to Xenoyr, how much of that do you guys get?


We paid for and released 'The Aurora Veil' ourselves so minus postage costs ($4-5), we keep 100% of the income from CD sales for that release. So that money is actually going directly into funding us buying new merch (next week!) to sell. (Will be releasing 2 new t-shirt design within the next couple weeks ;))

So the more independent a band is, the more money goes to the band. :)

The album will be released through a label (announcement soon), so we won't be getting as much of a cut then, but it's looking like we'll have a much better deal than many others which is good. :)

dminishedthingy
08-28-2008, 12:22 AM
We paid for and released 'The Aurora Veil' ourselves so minus postage costs ($4-5), we keep 100% of the income from CD sales for that release. So that money is actually going directly into funding us buying new merch (next week!) to sell. (Will be releasing 2 new t-shirt design within the next couple weeks ;))

So the more independent a band is, the more money goes to the band. :)

The album will be released through a label (announcement soon), so we won't be getting as much of a cut then, but it's looking like we'll have a much better deal than many others which is good. :)
:haha no shame...
thats cool though, i can't wait to see 'em (and hopefully buy them)
do you guys get a large portion of performance money as well?

madbasslover
08-28-2008, 12:48 AM
I think this brings up another important question: How do I start my own record label and then sign myself to it?

LucasGtrGod
08-28-2008, 12:56 AM
Actually most pop stars that have say a one off hit single often make very little money UNLESS they wrote the song themselves. In pop music, unless they get massive, it's the songwriters and labels who make all the money.

The way it should be, cut out the label part though.

LucasGtrGod
08-28-2008, 12:58 AM
I think this brings up another important question: How do I start my own record label and then sign myself to it?

Well depending on where you live, you must register as a small business under the entertainment clause, and get a bond to buy all the stuff you need, then start recording, and class all the money you make as an artist as a salary from the label you have create, and then take most of the percentage off yourself for your label.

bootyguard
08-28-2008, 01:00 AM
well anyone can start any business they want. they just need to have equipment, a place to record (especially if you want to be professional and not just for your own band, you're gonna want to rent or lease an office with some recording booths). Then you probably have to fill out paperwork and tons of forms and stuff like that for starting a business. So its pretty expensive to start one so you better be making some good money already so you can support it and hopefully profit off of it.

CSguitarvocal
08-28-2008, 05:05 AM
I believe this is why Derek Roddy was forced to leave Hate Eternal. After months of touring and album sales, he was getting a royalty check for $5,000 at the end of the year. Not too good.

TeenBite
08-28-2008, 06:52 AM
Didn't Mastodon (I'm pretty sure it was them) nearly have to disband because someone stole their two electric guitars? This wasn't too long ago either...

Cryptopsy's lead singer says he has to get jobs on the side.

Also, a while ago I went to see Scary Kids Scaring Kids support Fightstar in concert (a fairly big gig), and SKSK couldn't play because their tour bus had broken down and they couldn't afford to fix it.

The saddest story I've heard though is Jason Perry, lead singer of "A" (now-disbanded British pop punk band). They were fairly big, won Kerrang's "Band Of The Year" in 2000, and the video for their main single "Nothing" still gets played on TV. They also featured as the soundtrack to a long-running Nokia TV advert here too. So, at the peak of their fame, the lead singer had to apply for a job as a postman over Christmas. He was rejected, and his daughter couldn't have a Christmas present.

Vermintide
08-28-2008, 07:18 AM
tons of knowledge
An actual musician? On my UG?

It's more likely than you think.

BRB, I'm off to look for one of those threads in The Pit about famous musicians being members...

TheUnholy
08-28-2008, 08:13 AM
Oh, also: Radio plays.

I remember attending a music business showcase...thing once, and the guy was talking about radio play. I seem to remember that he said BBC Radio 1 (Britain's most-listened-to radio station) pa about 60 per song play, then filtering down through about 40 for Radio 2, to a few quid for local stations. This means that, like the Vanilla Ice example quoted earlier shows, a single highly successful song, that stays on radio for years, can be a major money-spinner.

Obviously this won't be much difference to most metal bands, but even Radio 1 play underground music late at night and stuff.

(However, it could be that you get less per song outside prime-time hours. IDK)

Also, if you're friends with metal bands on MySpace you'll notice quite often when they're not touring, the musicians will advertise tuition. Paul from CoF and Andols from Chimaira I seem to remember both flogging lessons recently. Also, Matt from Chimaira is selling the guitar used on the Impossibility of Reason album on eBay atm :p:

powerhead
08-28-2008, 08:23 AM
This thread depresses me.

\m/Gaz
08-28-2008, 11:29 AM
This thread depresses me.

yup, same here, I always knew there wasn't much money in playing metal, but I had no idea it was this bad. From what I've gathered, even if you hit the bigtime (I mean bigtime for a metal band), you still don't even get enough money to be a full-time musician =[

Muscle_Guitar
08-29-2008, 02:57 AM
This thread depresses me.

****, you're not the only one :(

This really makes me respect metal bands more then ever