After the nearly three years since I started NO CLEAN SINGING, what I know about the economics of extreme metal has multiplied by orders of magnitude. There are two caveats that go along with this statement:
First, when I started this blog what I knew about the economics of extreme metal wouldn’t fill an ant’s ass, so what I know now is all relative to that barren starting point. Second, since I’m not a musician, a producer, a promoter, or involved in running a label, even what I know now is second-hand, incomplete, and undoubtedly inaccurate in at least some respects. My learning has come from a lot of reading and a fair number of discussions with musicians, but that still ain’t the same as living the life. I watch, while others do.
I’m still curious and I’m still trying to learn. My latest bit of learning comes from a long piece written by Chris Grigg, posted on his personal blog last night. Chris Grigg is the founder, vocalist, and guitarist for Woe, a Philadelphia-based black metal band that also includes members of Rumpelstiltskin Grinder. Their last album, Quietly, Undramatically, was released by Candlelight Records in 2010 and they’re working on a new one now. Chris has also been involved with Krieg and The Green Evening Requiem as well as a grindcore outfit named Unrest.
Chris Grigg also runs a recording studio and holds down a full-time job with an IT services company.
In the article I read — which is entitled “The Music Industry Is A Fucking Pit” — he explains in detail why independent musicians do not make money, and who does. He summarizes his thesis thusly:
The music industry, as it has existed to date, is a fucking pit. It is a dead-end. Anyone who expects to play rock music in 2012, follow all the old rules about touring full time and signing with a label and all that shit, AND live off of it is living in a dreamworld because by the time the purse floats down to the bottom of the river, everyone along the way has reached in and taken their share. There is nothing left for you. Continue reading »