Money Money Money – 23/04/07.
Money Money Money – 23/04/07.
Bands are funny creatures.Some are all mouth, “we’re the hardest working band we know. We practice twice a week and we once travelled to Portsmouth for a gig!”Ask them how much cash they invest? “Eh? Fuck that, I can barely afford my 10 Silk Cut!”
Then you get some bands who don’t shout from the roof tops about how much elbow grease they dedicate to their band, that they regularly travel nationwide for gigs that could be the worst ones they’ve ever played and that they all give £200 each per month from their earnings towards general ‘band funds’.
Now I know its different for everyone. Students might not be able to throw cash at their band and some artists may have other commitments; kids, wives, dogs etc but when are the majority of artists going to realise that what they’re doing is an investment?
I suppose there are 2 train of thoughts here, 1: we are in a band as a hobby and nothing more so whatever money we make is a bonus and we’re happy enough playing our local area (i.e. the north west).
Or 2: We want to be massive and for as many people to hear our music as possible. This blog is regarding the people in number 2…
The fact of the matter is, your average unsigned band ain’t going to make any cash. Its going to cost you to get to and from gigs (which may put you off travelling, but travelling is a good thing), its going to cost to make demos, its going to cost to buy/repair equipment, its going to cost to secure rehearsal space, its going to cost to record your material etc etc, you already know all this so I’m not going to insult you by going on about it.
The one thing that annoys me the most is unsigned bands that flog their demos at gigs. Whats the fucking point? Straight away you are alienating a few members of the audience who either a) can’t afford to buy one or b) liked you and would tell their mates about you if they had a CD, but didn’t like you enough to spend a £5 on a tatty demo. The more people who have access to your music the better, simply because the best form of marketing is word of mouth.
You can get CD’s pressed for cheap enough these days, but if you’re making CD’s to hand out at gigs then you don’t need anything more then a plastic sleeve and a CD-R with black marker on it, the people at your gig just want to hear what they just heard in their bedroom/kitchen/car, they won’t be that bothered about the aesthetics. They’ll get all the aesthetics they need when you are signed and playing the M.E.N Arena – lasers included.
I believe the best way to make money as an unsigned band is merchandise. Get yourself a funky logo and get some t-shirts printed up for cheap online. You can flog them for a fiver at gigs (pocketing about £2 – £3 profit per shirt) and it also works as marketing as all of your fans will be walking about with your name on their chest. I’ve got a bit of a weak spot for band t-shirts, my favourite one is a Pink Grease t-shirt I picked up a couple of years ago at one of their gigs. I bought it mainly because the logo was ace and I actually forked out a tenner for it! (I’ve put an ! on there as I was deep in the depths of student poverty at the time).
Or you could do something with a bit more creative thinking like what Enter Shikari did and import a load of cheap plastic LED rings from Japan and flog them to all the young ravers out there. Entrepreneurialism at its best. (top tip, its all about the scrolling LED belt buckles you can get on ebay from Hong Kong – buy them now before someone else does)
Anyway, what you reading this for? Shouldn’t you all be out buying the Arctic Monkeys new album?!
What I’m listening to this week: Clipe Sexo Amador’s new demos and Mark Ronson’s Versions