Originally Posted by batreleaser
I wish there was a web site like Celebrity Net Worth (guilty pleasure of mine, like holy shit asshole reprehensible jew/woman hating drunk has $425 million!?!?
) for underground musicians. Something like, Masonna net worth, -$13 in his bank account.
I would assume some of the people who have established labels get some sort of life-sustaining income, Prurient, Carlos Giffoni, Nate Young, etc..
I know this is a weird post, but now that I'm living in New York and have now worked my way through college and 1/3 of grad school, money has become so much more of a huge worry to me. It really impresses me how much these people sacrifice to be putting this music out. It really bummed me out when I walked from my East Village apartment to 2nd ave and 3rd st to go to the Hospital Productions store only to realize that it had been closed for a couple of years (missed that memo i guess).
All I'm saying is it takes an impressive amount of courage to willfully dedicate your life to something that you know could totally lead to you being completely broke. And being broke, speaking from some experiences here and there, really really sucks.
Most of the people I know of, and most of the people I know people who know of, either come to terms with the destitution or get other jobs. I've noticed that there's a lot of people who can deal with it until they hit a point in their 30s, then they tend to back out for a few years, some never to return, some to wait until the family life is settled. I think when there was the possibility of selling some records there was at least revenue - I suspect that all but a narrow handful can make it.
Colour out of Space (some of you may have heard of it) is struggling at the moment because it was financed largely by funding. It basically means that the festival can't happen, because it can't survive in the free market. There are fundraisers going on at the moment but (I'm speculating) it's most likely had to change its thinking. This is a city with a fairly healthy noise scene but the costs of getting acts over here are crippling. There's occasional gig swaps, and a lot of people don't mind playing out-of-town for a door split and a good night, but it definitely feels like the changes in the economy have seriously affected the ability of musicians to survive without supplementary incomes. I think that a different sort of music - say, a big-ish doom band - can do ok (by 'ok' I mean not putting themselves massively in debt to tour) once they hit the point of being able to sell 200 tickets, but that's not realistic in the noise scene - there's only so many noise fans.
Cards on the table, I'm a complete socialist in this matter - noise is an artform and governments should be supporting that. The other option is co-operatives, so feel free to form one to get your favourite people into your town.
Also, as someone who's now destitute I hope you realise that every time you buy a CD/ tape direct from a noise musician you've put a smile on their face and potentially bought them a sandwich.