Should you quit your band?

Should you quit your band?

I have a different set of rules: 1) Are the other musicians similarly committed? 2) Does the band have a coherent vision and goals? 3) Do the other musicians insist on playing crappy, no-pay gigs?  if 1 or 2 are 'no' or 3 is yes, I leave.  Maybe that's 'cause I'm a decent drummer!  

Can't Afford Gas

Can't Afford Gas

Most music fans see musicians on stage "having a good time," but they don't see that being an entertainer isn't usually entertaining, hence the slogan "Music is a day job."  According to a poll we did a few years back, musicians spend about three hours in preparation (not to mention travel, load-in, load-out, setup, teardown, promotion, and marketing) for every hour they spend on stage.  Performing is a service that involves preparation and expenses. There's no reason those services should be free. 

FTM kitteh

FTM kitteh

Its one thing that the person checking ID's and charging cover at the door gets a better guarantee - and is often paid better  -- than the musicians.  It's insult to injury that the musicians, who have zero guarantee themselves, usually have to pay the sound and door people out of their own "gate," meaning money fans have paid to see THEM, not the door clerk.  The final insult to injury to injury to injury is that it is the musicians, not the sound or door staff, have done a lions share of the advertising, bringing in most of the income for the whole club, are the last to be paid, and may end up owing money at the end of the night.  Kitteh play house koncert next time.  

Exposure Kat 1

Exposure Kat 1

from 'four things every musician's gotta know' #4: “Exposure” kills.It’s no coincidence that this term refers to what kills you in bad weather. Although genuinely valuable exposure opportunities show up, they’re quite rare. “Exposure” is almost always offered as a feeble excuse to try to get naive performers to work for low or no compensation, based on the mere chance of an intangible commodity of dubious real value. The term is so common that booking agents will tout their venue’s excellent exposure opportunity, yet tell you (in the same breath!) that the place has no built in draw and you'll have to bring your own following.  

NEANDERTALLICA!

NEANDERTALLICA!

Early hominid musicians didn't want or need to ask for guaranteed wages. They also didn't have bills to pay! To those musicians who continue to agree to perform for low and no wages, And to those content to complain about the state of things, yet unwilling to take action for positive change, I say:Quit with the knuckle-dragging and evolve!  

Hospitality doesn't pay the rent

Hospitality doesn't pay the rent

It's pretty common to offer 'hospitality' as part of the compensation.  It's a nice gesture, but a) it doesn't actually cost them much, b) money paid at a gig can be used to purchase other goods and services and c) unless your landlord really, really likes corn dogs, HOSPITALITY DOESN'T PAY THE RENT!  (NB: Yes, I've been asked to play out-of-town festivals in exchange for snack bar credits) 

"Supporting" Music

"Supporting" Music

Almost anyone you talk to will say they "support" music. To them, that usually means to go to a show, clap, and smile.However,   we live in an age where music is instantly produced by white plastic electronic devices for free. Why would any one pay for that? Musicans are just hobbysts who appear out of nowhere and 'have fun,' right?  It's getting more and more difficult to remind people that what musicians do is a service that has value, and they have bills to pay just like everybody else. Part of the campaign's goals is to educate the general public that music takes preparation: a poll we did a few years back indicated that on average, musicians spend four hours preparing for every hour that they're on stage.  Many do much, much more. 

Eating Music

Eating Music

Since this isn't actually possible, make sure you are getting paid enough to put real food on your table. You - and the other musicians in your market - will be better off for it.  

For The Birds

For The Birds

from 'four things every musician's gotta know' #4: “Exposure” kills.It’s no coincidence that this term refers to what kills you in bad weather. Although genuinely valuable exposure opportunities show up, they’re quite rare. “Exposure” is almost always offered as a feeble excuse to try to get naive performers to work for low or no compensation, based on the mere chance of an intangible commodity of dubious real value. The term is so common that booking agents will tout their venue’s excellent exposure opportunity, yet tell you (in the same breath!) that the place has no built in draw and you'll have to bring your own following. 

Playing at Pharaohs mic salute

Playing at Pharaohs mic salute

Perhaps our first international/transatlantic mic salute - Playing at Pharaohs from Glasgow.

Can't pay rent with beer

Can't pay rent with beer

Even Canada Cat has to make rent. 

Bands are small businesses -- name your brand carefully!

Bands are small businesses -- name your brand carefully!

Look, Fair Trade Music is about helping musicians make better music by getting them at least a minimum wage. We're not here to save these miserable turds!  Raising the minimum to something above zero minus expenses does not preclude a meritocracy --  It's still up to venues to hire acts they think will make good business partners. Bands still have to do half of the promotion and entertain the crowd, keeping them there dancing, drinking, and wanting to come back.  If the band's good enough to hire, they're good enough to get a minmium wage. If they do their job well, they're worth more. 

Metal Detector

Metal Detector

I'm not sure this requires explanation. 

Musicians:

Musicians:

What do you think you're doing? 

Only if U organizez

Only if U organizez

U can, kitteh, if u workz w/ Fair Trade Musik 4 positive change "LOL" 

HOBBY?!

HOBBY?!

from 'four things every musician's gotta know' #1: Hobby vs. Service.  A hobby is noncommercial. You can start and stop whenever you want, you don't have to work continuously to hone it, spend time and money advertising it, or carry equipment. However, when the time, place, duration, and high quality are all specified, that's not a hobby any more-- It's a service, especially in a business BASED on (making money from) that service.

For The Love, Brau!

For The Love, Brau!

There's nothing wrong with 'Doing it for the Love..."  when conditions are right.   If  absolutely everybody's donating their time, play your heart out.Otherwise, if you're doing it for the love and someone else is doing it for the money, that's not love.  You are getting screwed. Moreover, we're all in this same bathtub and it's not very big. So, like it or not, that gets us screwed, too! Stop it! Get a guarantee or say "no."

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