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What? Both the real world and the internet are over-saturated with "musicians". What every musician needs to hear right now is this: Grow up and get a day job.


Alex, just because I didn't directly mention the importance of having a day job, or education, doesn't mean it's not implied in the article. Funds for upkeep on a touring van, merchandise, recording, etc, must come from somewhere. Those who are aware of the real world status of musicians know how little payouts can be. This leaves the only option to be everyone having reliable, consistent work outside of music.


Too long, didn't read.
I'm sure whatever you said has nothing to do with music other than new, crappy metal bands. If they want any money, what-so-fucking-ever they need to give up the metal dream. The fact someone ever thought they could make money playing music is a laugh. Even rather big name metal bands "Cannibal Corpse" has to have second jobs to help supplement tour income. The dream and industry are dead. The only assclowns who make it in the world are the "radio elite". Change your music or change your dream if you want to bank.


Asshat is right. Rise Above? Challenges of todays independent musician....Coming from some guy who probably has over 5k in illegal downloads. Way to support the craft, dick.


That's a mighty fine negative attitude you guys got there. I hope it brings you much success.

Paul Bishop

I think you really have to love what you do and be very determined to get somewhere anymore, and it's those people that will succeed, and they're consistently not looking to "bank".

I can prove this because I've talked to a few people, all very inspiring, at different stages of musical success, but with a common thread

Hard Work
Never Giving Up

Please take a look at a 2 part interview with Renaat from R&S Records



Guy Tavares from Bunker Records, a 20 year underground Dutch veteran


And The Exaltics from Germany, who talk about being on the edge of moving from the day job to full time, without wanting to destroy the music and the home life.



Nice point of view!


Um, your response is longer than the article, assclown....


Another point to be made...your music needs to be good. I know, I know, "good" is a relative term. But if you can't write a song to save your life, there's no point in blaming anyone else for your lack of success.


Dude...you should learn to read things BEFORE you make yourself look like an idiot


Music is a day job. I'm a road warrior. Did a 3 month cross-country tour in my Van over the winter. Currently on a 3 week tour to Texas and got a 2 month tour coming up in the fall. Want to spread your brand? Hit the road.

Of course, I've got my Van wrapped in graphics with my name, phone and website... it helps to be smart about it.

Indie Helper

This is a brilliant article! I've been saying for a while now, given today's technology, there is no reason for an aspiring musician to hope for a label to sign them or to be discovered. The Internet is your manager, publicist, and distributor! YOU have to be the traveling salesman (or woman) who tries to get new clients. Sure, your Facebook, Reverb, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp pages will attract some attention, but you still have to wow those people who aren't aware of those sites. Independent musicians have all the tools they need at their disposal, it's just a matter of putting in the hard work.

Andrew Wiebe

Thanks for this post, Justin!

I think the point here (and you kind of hinted at it) is that artists can't always be in a state of doubt. "What if it doesn't work out?" is a doubter's mentality. It shows that you are not sold out to your craft. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you don't believe that it could work for you. You have to put your blinders up to any type of negativity. You can't care too much about who's doing what. You have to get focused on your craft and develop it to the best of your ability, at any cost.

Stewart Maclennan

The music business is tougher than its ever been with so much competition and with the creeking descent of the big record labels everything has changed. I remember naively thinking how great it might be to make money from my music, but I never had any great illusions about fame or great fortune. I have slowly become bitter from the frustration and like you say you have to be a salesman and frankly I've had to learn that with some struggle. Playing a weekly gig in front of a mixed crowd of people who could care less about music to a handful of occasional genuine music lovers takes its toll after a while. I enjoy performing music for people that share my love of music, but everywhere we are bombarded by music to the point that people are frequently unresponsive to it. Perhaps I expect too much and should just be grateful that I'm being paid weekly when other musicians are banging songs out at open mics for a polite applause from fellow musicians. Well I've ranted enough now. I feel better I suppose.

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