Not in it for the money

Orren. Photo: Christopher Anderzon.

We’re not in it for the money. Neither is anyone else. Because it’s not 1996.
And we can’t complain, we’re in it for the love of it. Who cares about money, right?

Well, terribly sorry, but we all do. Because we live in the real world. There’s rent and clothes and food and shit, even for us musicians.

So, obviously, since our job has turned into a hobby, we all got day jobs. And we put every extra penny and every spare minute into our music. In 2017, making music is expensive. At least if you want to reach out.
Say you’re an act that doesn’t need a studio. You can spend a couple thousand dollars on equipment and record in your closet. Great! If you wanna reach an audience, though, you’ll need something for that. You might have a great plan for this that is free of charge. That’s rare, though. Only thing more rare than that is a record company or anyone at all in the business investing money in a marketing plan for anyone who doesn’t already have ten million youtube hits. They can’t afford to. Nor can they afford to invest in any other part of the operation. Studio time, producers, tour management, all of that. What was once a whole industry, is now just you. People who claim to know “the right people” will charge you very real money for very vague promises. Someone who apparently is somebody might listen to your shit. Then what? Well, no one will tell you, but they’ll charge you. Venues will offer you “great exposure” instead of pay.

Enough whining, I really can’t complain. This is a choice and I’m far from the only one who’s not getting paid for doing what I love. What I’m trying to say is just this: If an artist or musician is trying to exploit different parts of their operation, they’re probably not trying to make you pay for a new car. Or even a new Xbox. I know I’m not. They’re just trying to make sure they get to keep making music. /Orren

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Swedish 7 piece urban folk band. Tomas Juto: keyboard/lead vocals | Oskar Hovell: acoustic guitar/banjo/lead vocals | Tony Lind: drums/vocals | Oscar Harryson: guitar | Christopher Anderzon: bass/vocals | Mårten Forssman: harmonica | Andreas Prybil: percussion/vocals

3 thoughts on “Not in it for the money”

  1. That whole “Come and play for us. Oh! Sorry! We don’t have any money, but you will get great exposure!” seems to be universal and can probably be traced back to the stone age. When we had our small flamenco troop many years ago, we used to get lots of requests to perform for the exposure or experience. We have lots of experience! What we need is money! I got to the point I felt as tired and enthusiastic about offers to play for free as the woman singing in the Flying Lizards’ version of “Money”. Are you familiar with the Flying Lizards’ version of “Money”?

    It’s pretty much the same thing for photography these days. People act shocked at the prices photographers charge for shooting weddings, or the prices for prints, files, etc. As I believe you are well aware, photography is still an expensive endeavor, even in the digital age, especially if you have good, professional equipment and the computing power to support it. But these days I hear a lot of “Mable has a point-n-shoot and does pretty good picture-takin’, so why should I hire a professional?” Of course, you all have the cost of video production on top of your normal cost of being a band. It certainly is hard to be in it for the money in these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s really surprising to notice the hypocrisy of the general public when it comes to music and musicians. On the one hand, there are those who believe that music should be free because they have no understanding of production costs or the expense involved. Then, while they’re busy NOT paying for music, they have this attitude that a musician is “failed” if they aren’t rich and famous.

    This shows a MAJOR disconnect in the thought process when it comes to the perception of music and musicians.

    I’ve always worked day jobs, and have put whatever “left-over” money I have back into what I love to do, because I love to do it. That is where I feel “success” truly lives.

    At least now I know what I’ll be writing about today 🙂

    Y’all have some great music. Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the confusion might have started with the free software movement and the copyleft. What was meant to be free as in liberty and freedom from the restrictions on use of software and freedom from the barriers erected by a few powerful people and businesses, has been reinterpreted by a lot of people to mean free, gratis, no money needed, which has cut across all forms of digital domains, especially music and software. I got into Linux early on and never owned a Windows license after Windows 3.1, and I advocated and fought hard for linux and open source software since the mid 90’s, so in some ways I’m culpable. But I still buy music and pay for software, but not like the old days.

      Liked by 2 people

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