How Bands Make Their Money

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As regular blog readers know, I’m interested in business and money. Big deal. Who doesn’t like to make a quick buck? A common question appearing in chat boards everywhere, is the conflict between happiness and business. “How can I chase my dream while cashing in money?” It seems like no one climbs ahead anymore. How can we take off the golden handcuffs of a 9-5 grind?

Although pay can be minimal and the cost of living cheap, bands are a perfect example because they already know the ins and outs of the music business – including stuff an average joe has no inclination toward.

This includes money.

Luckily for me, my friend Baxter runs a band called “Monty’s Lobster”. I chatted with him and asked a few questions about his band.

Q: What made you want to start a band?

A:  I didn’t set out to start a band. It was something that happened over time, it was never really declared (until much later when I intentionally sought kids to make music with). Live music is around me and one day I just remember hearing drums coming from my neighbor’s garage. I headed over there with my guitar and met Lukas Bratsos (the drummer). We started jamming . The first song we played was “The Ocean” by Zeppelin. Lukas and I stuck together and developed a great bond musically. It’s as if we can communicate without even speaking. That’s what music is to me, a way of communication. You know? Everybody just wants to be understood. Building off each other inspired me to declare the band as an official “thing”. Like, “Oh shit I’m in a band now, we need a name, we need a logo blah blah blah”. It’s whatever. We were just a drummer and guitarist. So after a large cycle of bassists who have come and gone, we recruited Mike Jones who has helped us so much since and has become a great friend of mine.

Q: Who inspires you?

A: Many people have inspired me. Lukas Bratsos, Mike Jones, my parents, Duke Robillard, George McCann, Warren Haynes, Anson Funderburgh, JD Simo James Montgomery, Joe Bonamassa, amongst others. Whether we’re talking about the nature of blues music, or jamming at Chan’s in Woonsocket RI. Just because someone isn’t perceived as some affluent rock star doesn’t mean they can’t be any less legitimate and just because their status amongst a majority perception is relatively unknown does NOT undermine their musical statements and validity.

I asked him about the music bus, too.

Q: How do you see the music business right now?

A: Make sure that the bus. doesn’t get too complex. Make sure it stays on route, I suppose. That’s a tough question because it’s hard to be retrospective. Its hard to be analytical on “whats going on” right now. It’s all a crucial step, everything you do musically. I try to go about music in a simple way, despite what it may sound like – as long as you keep an open mind. Don’t stress yourself out. Give other people love. Love really is important to all of this. It’s the heart which makes all your art pump. But to speak plainly, there are no static rules right now.

Q: What advice would you give to people who want to make money in the music business?

A: My advice toward people who are into music, but aren’t quite sure how to make money include a couple things:

Don’t worry about the money- it doesn’t affect your music talent. Music is stronger than money because it’s actually worth something. It’s pure. It’s genuine. Actually real. Everybody can profit from it and experience its richness. It’s a very beautiful and spiritual concept we typically don’t muse about in our everyday lives. It creates more solution than it does problems. To make music you need to be ready to be poor… that’s kind of the honest truth from what I hear. You need to be optimistic.

Just NEVER be opposed to an opportunity.

You can buy ‘Monty’s Lobster’s’ album on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/montys-lobster/id1183948572

 

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