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Lost any interested in being involved in the music industry

This is going to be a bit of a rant.

So, I've been with my band 'Illusion of Despair' since October 2009. I joined the band, which has been around for about 3 years now.

In this time we have SPENT probably around AU$1300 more than we have earned in PLAYING gigs. Not big gigs, but small gigs. Why? Because venue organisers are greedy and crooked. How come the sound guy gets paid, but we don't? Yes, he has to be there for a couple of hours longer and be on the desk all night, but we're also part of the 'working team'. We're up there providing the show and working. We're the ones who go out and practise a couple of times a week, spending money out of our own pockets.

These greedy venue organisers, most of whom are based in cities such as Sydney and Canberra ask for fees up to around $300 from EACH BAND just so they can play. It's utterly greedy and ridiculous. I just played at the Annandale Screaming Sunday festival in Sydney. The organiser gives each band 30 tickets to sell to cover our $300 fee to actually get in. This means the organiser goes home with anything up to around $6000 in her pocket depending on how many tickets are sold at the door, and the bands walk away with between nothing and being completely out of pocket.

Now I know what you're all thinking "Well, if that's the way these people are working then play at different venues". We're working on that. The problem is, that in Sydney for example you can NOT get gigs without going through greedy organisers and you have to start in the dive bars such as the Annandale hotel and the Bridge hotel at Rozelle. There's no other option, unless you can support a big act, and to do that you have to contact the band or their manager directly.

The problem is, is that if you're a GOOD band, then you can't get to support other bands because they don't want to be shown up by a support act.

Before I joined this band, it had been 6 years since I'd played professionally in another band, and while it wasn't great as we were just getting established in the area (the other guys had moved to my area and got in touch with me), it wasn't as bad as it is now.

My perception of the music industry was that it was difficult to get established, but not that it costs you hundreds of dollars just to play a few gigs to actually build a name for yourself. I have always been opposed to getting involved with big music labels, but now I'm actually becoming of the opinion that you're better off to just sit in a studio and write albums, spend your money that way because at least that way you've got a chance of getting some returns.

The other issue is that people are increasingly losing interest in going out and seeing live bands, probably because so many bands these days are awful or all sound exactly the same.

My plan in 2007, I think, was to become a professional drummer within 5 years. Up until the last three weeks, this plan had changed to be until late next year, by which time I will have been able to become a paramedic. Now, the plan is out the window. Unless the band takes off big time, I've completely lost any desire to be a professional musician, apart from if someone hires me for studio work.

I will stick with the band as long as is necessary, but it's no longer a priority. The music industry is screwed, at least in the coastal area of NSW, Australia, and I want nothing further to do with it.

Obviously I love playing drums and I'm not going to stop, but now I need to find a new direction for playing. I may look into teaching again, and that'll probably happen eventually (I have plans to take on a few students at the moment, but not many). I'm more interested in playing for myself, however I don't have a problem with teaching as I have done so in the past. At least now I have credibility as I'm in a band again Smile.

Any thoughts? Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Boy, that SUCKS! I have never had to play! Granted, have been paid less than expenses. There are places here that I can't play because I won't join the local musician's union. I have got around that by being requested or booked by the main act.
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