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#1
Well, I don't think it's the case for every band, but it certainly isn't cheap:
http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2094921_2094923,00.html

•Training. Our folks shelled out for 15 years of piano and guitar lessons (times two of us!). These days, we're spending $250 to $500 a month on voice lessons. Cost to date: $30,000.
•Rehearsal: We rent a space in Brooklyn for $50 per three-hour session. Cost to date: $3,000.
•Gear. Our family has invested in dozens of musical instruments and other gear (pianos, guitars, drum sets, keyboards, mandolins, PA systems, amplifiers...). And, oh yeah, it cost more than $500 to move a piano down three flights of stairs and then up to Maine (a story for another time). Cost to date: $25,000.
•Recording. Our recent single, Summer, cost more than $1,000 to record — even though we did much of the recording and mixing ourselves. We've set aside another $5,000 for our forthcoming EP. Again, we'll save money by doing much of the work in Harper's home studio. Cost to date: $6,000.
•Performing. For gigs here in New York, we hire taxis to lug our keyboards, stands, guitars,basses, amplifiers and drums to and from the venue. Whatever cash we earn beyond that usually goes to our current drummer. And expenses soar when we hit the road. Cost to date: $1,000.
•Promotion: Once you have music out, you need to promote it. We pay a guy to send email blasts to databases of hip music blogs. Postcards, demo CDs and other materials are also essential. Cost to date: $1,000.
•Lost wages. The two of us each put about 20 hours a week into band-related work. Abner (still in school) could easily make $10 an hour working at a bar on weekends. Harper (a freelance writer) has to turn down writing assignments worth around $400 a week. Cost to date: $25,000.
•Living in New York City. Our cousin Abby lives in Atlanta in a house — a house! — with a couple of friends. They pay a third of what we pay for our combined living spaces. New York is absurdly expensive — but the band's future demands that we live here rather than, say, our hometown in Maine. All told, we estimate that decision costs us an extra $1000 a month. Cost to date: $18,000.



Well, since I don't live in NYC, my family doesn't pay for my instruments, we drive to every gig and just pay for gas, and I haven't really spent much money on lessons at all, it's a huge over-estimate.

BUT, I do see the point it's making: it takes money to do be in a band and achieve even a small amount of visible success. Also, there's easier ways to DIY without so much money. Maybe it doesn't pay to be rich kids in a band?
#2
They're not doing a lot of DIY. Renting spaces, taking lessons, hired advertisement etc plus lost wages don't actually count as an expense per se.

But getting anywhere will cost you, that's no secret.
#3
Quote by BDR_23
Damn. Glad I'm not in a band. There's so much music written, I don't think there's much left for creativity, expecially the typical band setup.


That's kind of missing the point, and there's still plenty of bands exploring corners of music that we haven't heard before. Just because there's only 12 notes and so many chords doesn't mean it's all been exhausted in just the past 70 years of popular rock music, let alone the thousands of years of undocumented music.


But back on topic, yeah. Still, rehearsal space is kind of a luck thing. If you don't have to pay for it, that's a bonus. I practice at my drummer's house, but his parents practically hate us and shit constantly comes up that keeps us from going there.
#4
Quote by SkepsisMetal
They're not doing a lot of DIY. Renting spaces, taking lessons, hired advertisement etc plus lost wages don't actually count as an expense per se.

But getting anywhere will cost you, that's no secret.



Lost wages come as an opportunity cost, so its absolutely fair to count them. And no, they're not doing that much DIY. I've got less than 2g's sunk into recording equipment, I perform every instrument myself and write out the music so that others could feasibly learn it on their own time in their own home, I run around doing open mics everywhere I can, I go to sites like UG and Soundcloud to post music and take a listen to what else is out their in my chosen genre, and I must say that I've gotten better at making respectable mixes of my own music... Not to mention the money I've saved by not paying out for expensive one-on-one lessons and opting to take classes instead when I come up against something I can't learn on my own.

... Not to mention that I try to record other people so I can make back some of the money I put out getting a rig for myself. While I appreciate the sentiment of the article, that being a musician is expensive and time-consuming for little to no profit, deydoinitrong.
#5
So the article says to be a successful band; you have to sink money into it?... Tell that to Ratt
Gibson Les Paul Custom (Aged White)
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#6
Quote by L2112Lif
Lost wages come as an opportunity cost, so its absolutely fair to count them. And no, they're not doing that much DIY. I've got less than 2g's sunk into recording equipment, I perform every instrument myself and write out the music so that others could feasibly learn it on their own time in their own home, I run around doing open mics everywhere I can, I go to sites like UG and Soundcloud to post music and take a listen to what else is out their in my chosen genre, and I must say that I've gotten better at making respectable mixes of my own music... Not to mention the money I've saved by not paying out for expensive one-on-one lessons and opting to take classes instead when I come up against something I can't learn on my own.

... Not to mention that I try to record other people so I can make back some of the money I put out getting a rig for myself. While I appreciate the sentiment of the article, that being a musician is expensive and time-consuming for little to no profit, deydoinitrong.


+1

Music requires money spent to make money, and if I had more time to devote a.k.a got off my lazy ass and motivated myself to write the music I wanted to, I'd be doing the same thing as this.

However, there are bills and gas and food and junk to pay for. There is opportunity gained by playing shows or investing in equipment or taking time for band, but most easy-to-hold jobs only give you so much to work with when it comes to time off. I'm lucky I can take off two weeks for a tour or whatever and even get paid (minimum wage mind you), but not everyone else in my band is.
#8
I've been playing for 4 years, made two EPs, and I haven't spent over $500.


Those guys are spending money on ridiculous things.
#9
That is almost as bad as the one I read yesterday about the cost to be a gamer.

The thing is, there are so many approaches to be a musician, many types of bands to play in etc etc. Gear will always be a cost, but I think your biggest loss is going to be in the time category.

Also, I have a hard time imagining taking lessons from a teacher for 15 years. You either have to continue finding teachers than can teach you (college courses, I suppose) or develop your own insight/style with your instrument. But everyone has different needs I guess.
What?! There's a clean channel on my amp?!

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#10
I hate Indie.
Catch me,
heal me,
Lift me back up to the Sun
I choose to live
#11
I pretty much did exactly what they were doing in Montreal while I was going to school, except didn't spend money on lessons, didn't hire any people, and got deals on all recording.
I shot JR

Oh Canada Our Home and Native Land
#12
Bands can cost, but that's a great overestimate. We rehearse at home (but not living in NYC might be a factor), recording we don't really do but when we need to we try to get it viavia, we try to get cars from friends and stuff,... I do understand New York =/= Belgium, but you really don't need to spend 6,000 dollars (+5000 in the future for an EP) if you're going to gigs in cabs.

And so on and so on. But yes, a band can be expensive.
#13
This is a pretty solid picture of what the industry is like these days. Yeah, they've got some unnecessary expenses, but so do pretty much anyone. So many people don't realize the costs there are in stuff like promotion and touring. Gas/road tolls/breakdowns/etc are huge money holes, and fairly often bands barely break even from a tour.

Here's a similar article from the band Oh, Sleeper.

http://www.metalinjection.net/its-just-business/bands-money-touring

And a documentary from the band Car Bomb (HIGHLY suggest people watch at least some of this)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJSp-yRMrsY
NOPE
#14
$1000 on a single

There's no way they're actually "recording and mixing" most of it themselves.

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#15
Quote by Das_Skittles
$1000 on a single

There's no way they're actually "recording and mixing" most of it themselves.



Perhaps demos themselves, but when it comes time to actually release, then getting things professionally mixed and mastered can start getting up there, especially if they're staying in NYC for it
NOPE
#16
Quote by Das_Skittles
$1000 on a single

There's no way they're actually "recording and mixing" most of it themselves.

He got the idea for the song, then paid someone to write it down for him. Then paid someone else to call all the other band members and inform them he's writing a song that sounds decent. Then paid someone else to go and bring them to his place. Then they all chipped in and got pizzas and weed. Then they paid someone to book a studio session, paid someone to book an engineer, paid someone to call them and remind them on the day they were supposed to record. Then they paid for a limo to drive them there and paid someone else to bring champagne in. Then they got four session musicians to record what's written down.


After that it's all just miscellaneous expenses.
#17
They're spending more money than they need to.
Check out my band Disturbed
#19
Quote by Nakon14
Perhaps demos themselves, but when it comes time to actually release, then getting things professionally mixed and mastered can start getting up there, especially if they're staying in NYC for it


It costs ~$1500 for a full day session at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini mixing/engineering for your band; my band could record and mix an entire LP in 2-3 sessions. For $1000, I want the godliest single ever recorded.

Quote by Pat_s1t
I remember Das_Skittles made me rage hard.

Quote by WCPhils
I can't stand Das_Skittles everything he says makes me mad.

Quote by due 07
Skittles is the shit you cuntles. Slob on his knob.

My Band Youtube Channel Last.fm
#20
How the **** did these kids burn $100,000 on an EP? I don't even know what I'd spend that money on.
#22
Quote by ali.guitarkid7

Those guys are spending money on ridiculous things.



This.

Plus, if you read the article, they also said this little gem:

Once upon a time, the suits at the record labels funded the enterprise. Your band would play local clubs in a major city, make a buzz, and an A&R (artists and repertory) guy would sign you and write you a blank check. ...These days, you have to build your own following first:

You always had to build your own following first, that's how the A&R guys knew you were marketable.

Take KISS for example. Paul Stanley mentioned in an interview that after they were singed and stared gaining national attention people would ask him "How does it feel to be rich and famous?" he would answer "I can tell you how it feels to be famous".

He said that during that time, he had an endorsement deal with a guitar company (I can't remember which) that would send him guitars which hew would pawn/sell to get money to buy food.

And that was the early to mid 70's.

Those kids live in a dream world (and spend money on stupid things)
#23
I think the lines about getting backstage/ VIP or whatever were hilarious. "We didn't expect this!" Well of course dipshits. A green room for anyone but those with money falling out of their asses will just be a living room, at best.

I'm interested in hearing more of what everyone else has had to put forth as far as costs for their musical efforts. I know everyone's got gas or some studio time, but I'm of a minority that still makes and prints all our flyers and has paid for our stickers. We put together money for t-shirts too. I also recall trading 2 pedals and a decent handful of money from a few of us to get the bass player an amp and 2 15's for his rig. I'm hoping to get some of that rig back if we go bust though. It's a nice set up, lol.
#24
I must have sunk at least a couple of hundred pound in rehearsal room bookings over the years but I don't see that as expenditure, it's what I did for fun
#25
Being a musician is being a business, which means you need investment and capital. That said, these guys are shitty at business.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#29
This is why I would rather pull a full time job than dedicate myself to music. I'd rather play on the weekend for an extra few grand and live in Maine where my boss is actually a cool guy and wouldn't mind if I had to go on tour across Europe.
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#30
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
I've been playing for 4 years, made two EPs, and I haven't spent over $500.


Those guys are spending money on ridiculous things.


Where is your EP? I'd love to hear what an EP fully recorded/mixed/mastered for under 500 bucks sounds like. These guys aren't spending money on stupid things. They're spending money on things that people who actually want to make it in the business use.
Last edited by Nirvana_RATM2 at Feb 3, 2012,
#31
Quote by Firenze
I hate Indie.

I hate that pricks like the kids in the article cause people to say that.

You can definitely do a lot more D.I.Y. to start off. These kids are just brats who don't know a single thing about creativity. I understand that if you want to be serious about it and quite successful, there's a lot of work involved, but in the end, listeners don't care about your marketing, they care about the music (even if they're tastes seem "lame" or whatever).
BOOM-SHAKALAKALAKA-BOOM-SHAKALAKUNGA
#32
They may not be spending it on stupid things, but they are spending too much. They've had 15 yrs of guitar/piano lessons, and yet still spend $300 a week on voice? Surely they'd have some idea about music and what sounds good and once they get the basics down they can teach themselves from there?
Also, the gear is really a fixed cost anyway. Sure, paying for a guitar isn't easy, but it's not like you buy a new guitar/amp/piano every month. And why keep using taxis? Buy a cheap van, even if you do have to pay the gas/servicing, at least you aren't paying extra for someone to drive you too.
And since when does it cost $5,000 to record in a 'home studio'?
"People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis; you can't trust people."
#33
Quote by snipelfritz
listeners don't care about your marketing, they care about the music (even if they're tastes seem "lame" or whatever).


That's not what record executives care about. When you are looking to make it in the music business it is ( sadly ) not just about appeasing your fanbase, it's about drawing attention from people in a position to better fund and market your "business" which is your band.
#34
Also, marketing attracts listeners and broadens your fanbase. It's not a ridiculous thing to be spending a bit of dough on.
"People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis; you can't trust people."
#35
Quote by Dory77

And since when does it cost $5,000 to record in a 'home studio'?

Actually this is within the normal cost of a decent home studio. It's actually a modest one.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#36
Quote by Xiaoxi
Actually this is within the normal cost of a decent home studio. It's actually a modest one.

I know setting up one would cost a lot, but I thought the article meant they were paying someone $5,000 to record at their home studio, not actually put together their own? Maybe I misread it.
"People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis; you can't trust people."
#37
Quote by Dory77
I know setting up one would cost a lot, but I thought the article meant they were paying someone $5,000 to record at their home studio, not actually put together their own? Maybe I misread it.

•Recording. Our recent single, Summer, cost more than $1,000 to record — even though we did much of the recording and mixing ourselves. We've set aside another $5,000 for our forthcoming EP. Again, we'll save money by doing much of the work in Harper's home studio. Cost to date: $6,000.

Kinda vague but they specifically said they're mixing by themselves, so I'm guessing it all went to equipments. A Pro Tools HD rig is not cheap, plus sound paneling, proper monitoring, software DSPs, mics, cables/stands/peripherals. $5000 is keeping things pretty tight under these considerations.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#38
that is the most retarded shit i've read about being in a band.

it should be titled: "Want to be a Rock Sta...." oh wait, that is the title...

who the **** wants to be a rock star?
#39
I just realized these kids are from southern maine.

So they spent a Grand in a studio for a single and are planning on spending 5k on a home studio to do the rest of the album?

... Why don't these southern kids got no smart
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