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Old 01.26.2013, 07:02 PM   #1
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I've always been curious about this. It is such a commitment to work on art that you know is not going to support your life. And that has always been one of my attractions to the underground, the fact that these people are killing themselves to create something that they believe in.

Which begs the questions, have any of these people (Sonic Youth aside) that have made an impressive living through creating an unlistenable racket, or people that have come from money making it easier to follow their passion?
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Old 01.26.2013, 07:15 PM   #2
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probably most of them?

noise isn't really associated with rural communities or people in public housing etc.
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Old 01.26.2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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Expressed as a percentage of people making noise, very nearly no-one makes any money - less since records can't be relied upon.

Some people move themselves cleverly and get bits of funding or charge a lot for tours. Some people have careers and do noise as a sideline. Some of them get old enough and notorious enough to charge well. There's a few people in the Free Improv scene (different, I know) who have alarmingly lucrative day careers meaning a money-haemorrhaging trip overseas isn't so much of a problem.

Essentially, the thing to always remember is that musicians as a whole are most likely to be destitute from music (unless they teach music or are very lucky), and they can't rely upon CD sales any more which makes anyone downloading things a total cunt.
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Old 01.27.2013, 01:51 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 01.27.2013, 06:20 AM   #5
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I'd say William Bennett from Whitehouse may be, probably not "rich" but kind of wealthy. Considering how he collects African art, etc. Loving his stuff under his Cut Hands project by the way.
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Old 01.27.2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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I believe Steven Stapleton, David Tibet and some of the members of Throbbing Gristle may be better off than most. They've been doing it for so long, it's almost hard to believe they haven't accumulated some sort of wealth.

David Tibet aka Current 93 has been releasing "subscription series" for the past five years and they are all sold out before it's even pressed. David is also doing art and making money this way.

I've heard yes / no when it comes to the Legendary Pink Dots. They've had so many re-releases and tours over the years. I remember Edward being asked one time about a Tear Garden tour and he responded saying the plan was to hold off on that until the money was really needed. Of course, no Tear Garden tour has ever occurred.
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Old 01.27.2013, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYRFox
I'd say William Bennett from Whitehouse may be, probably not "rich" but kind of wealthy. Considering how he collects African art, etc. Loving his stuff under his Cut Hands project by the way.

Bennett and Best both have other, well-paid jobs. I wouldn't want to speculate too much, but I can't imagine that they made all that much from Whitehouse.
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Old 01.27.2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
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.
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Old 01.27.2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
Bennett and Best both have other, well-paid jobs. I wouldn't want to speculate too much, but I can't imagine that they made all that much from Whitehouse.
must say, i wouldn't imagine it either
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Old 01.30.2013, 08:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice

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.


Socialism = the tax payer to pay for other people's hobbies?
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Old 01.30.2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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are there any noise "artists?"

(I do not like the term "artist" being used for musicians. Just a pet peeve.)
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Old 01.30.2013, 08:57 AM   #12
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I bet they make less money than Ben Weasel, and he earns around $40thou a year in royalties from the Screeching Weasel albums. Those have got to sell much more than any noise musician right?
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Old 01.30.2013, 09:11 AM   #13
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Masami Akita doesn't look like the type who has a regular job.
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Old 01.30.2013, 09:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Instigator
are there any noise "artists?"

(I do not like the term "artist" being used for musicians. Just a pet peeve.)

Why are musicians not artists? Don't tell me you are being wrong about something again, Rob. Not today.
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Old 01.30.2013, 09:38 AM   #15
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Just seems self-aggrandizing, as if "musician" is a craftsman, a utilitarian type of laborer, and "artist" is someone with great, society-changing ideas.
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Old 01.30.2013, 02:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batreleaser
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.


I have a tacky, personal question:

How much have you ever made from music? I mean, roughly? Ever? In how many years?

I'm really curious.
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Old 01.30.2013, 04:42 PM   #17
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i bet John Zorn makes a decent living. at least i hope he does. and not that i know much about MERZBOW (i'm sure that's spelt wrong) but i'm going to guess he/she or it makes out alright. i mean. if there are still bands putting out albums (like vinyl) then people must be buying them up. they are all limited. but then again, how many are on the aftermarket and shit where people are selling them at stupid amounts on ebay.

not to go off topic, but it's kinda like how i think that theres got to be a 3rd party person(s) who are related to TMR somehow, and just sell mega rare albums on ebay, just to cash in on that market.

and if Ben Weasel is making $40,000. just imagine how much Joe Queer makes. and that band still tours! where, hasn't Screeching Weasel done fuck all for many years? i dont follow them, just cause i gave up on most of them back in the 90's
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Old 01.30.2013, 04:46 PM   #18
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Ben Weasel says it pays for his mortgage and bills.

He is lucky though, because he retained royalties for the Screeching weasel records. They still sell several dozen thousand of each a year.

many bands do not retain royalties. Their contracts give the royalties to the record labels after a certain time...
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Old 01.30.2013, 04:49 PM   #19
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of course not. unless they were born rich. noise noise noise fucking noise. i use to record layers and dub layers of feedback on my four track. then me screaming my brains out.

my girlfriend broke up with me not too long after that. don't do that no more.

i also wrote songs and performed them. i gave that up too.
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Old 01.30.2013, 05:06 PM   #20
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Ten years ago or so, Brainwashed released a series of DVD featuring two or three artist on each. On the Nurse With Wound DVD is a highlight of the artist: Aranos

By noise standards, Aranos has released very few albums on his own. He has appeared on and performed with other Avant artist. This interview takes place in his home and he walks you around his property......he discusses money some.

1 of 3 http://youtu.be/_PCO5YHxqYY

2 of 3 http://youtu.be/Pb0nfDyusrY

3 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbDIxJcS8rI&feature=share&list=PL0717D9A92 4DACB7C
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