How Most Metal Bands Fare Due To Fans Not Practising What They Preach

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Original post

Posted by Marcel Hubregtse, 30.10.2012 - 00:57
The following message was posted on Facebook by Pantheist.


We have now lowered the prices of our self-titled album to 13 euro. Our 'Unveiling the Signs' split is also available for 8 euro, and both can be bought together for 18 euro only. The album is also still available as digital download from or spotify.

The new prices will mean that we are only earning 1 or 2 euro per sold copy after deducting the wholesale price we are paying to the label and postage and packaging. But one needs to do what one needs to do.

This measure follows disappointing sales of our latest album, which means that we still owe money to our record label and that financing our next album has become problematic. We have repeatedly stated through this medium and elsewhere, that bands of our 'size' are not making any money, and definitely not a living through our music. We play it because we like it and hope to communicate with those who like what we do too, as long as the 'band bills' are paid. But unfortunately, we can't get round the fact that people are buying less and less of our albums, and we don't see an equivalent increase in merch sales (rather on the contrary) or attendance at our gigs, so that paying these 'band bills' has become problematic now.

Running a band without any money coming in, is a bit like running a car without renewing your fuel. Eventually you will run out of it, and then you won't be able to go anywhere. Every penny that comes in, goes towards financing traveling to come to your city or country to play a gig (as promoters seldom pay all traveling costs made by the band) or towards recording our next album (since the budget we get from our label is not enough to finance a recording to the standards expected from Pantheist).

We have been prepared to take the bulk of these extra costs ourselves over the previous years (and still are to some extend), but there is a limit to everything. It's particularly difficult to work hard on an album for years, have it released and promoted by a hard working, bona fide record label, get the positive reviews and comments in (most of these can be found on our site and Facebook page).and then nothing. Not even enough sales for band and label to recover half of what they have put in in the first place.

We hate to be so blunt about finances (this is a well-known taboo topic within the underground scene), but at the same time feel that if we don't talk about it, maybe some people will never be able to understand the importance of supporting a band. Not just through talking about it, or listening to free downloads, but to actually also financially support a band, whether this means coming to a gig, buying a t-shirt or buying the band's album. Whether we like it or not (and let's face it, we don't) traveling costs money, recording costs money, everything a band does costs money. You fans are our lifeline, what sustains a band and motivates it to keep going. Without you the only thing that remains is -with a few exceptions- either amateurish DIY muddling, records made by experts in sound engineering who also happen to play in a band, or corporate sponsored mega bands. We are within that majority of bands that tries to survive in the middle of these extremes, and ask for your understanding and support so that we don't run out of fuel before our next album can be recorded, released and promoted.

We know that we are probably preaching to the converted, but hope that you will be able to spread the word in order that everyone who might care reads and understands our situation. We don't expect everyone to suddenly change attitude and start spilling money on underground bands; but we hope that raising awareness will at least help to start shifting a don't-give-a-damn mentality still pretty much present the day of today, a mentality which is self-destructive and will slowly but surely lead to the demise of a whole host of honest bands and labels that are just out there to share with you their love and passion for music.

A band/project such as The 11th Hour goes through the same ordeals. Ed Warby posted that he doesn't know how to go about recording the third The 11th Hour album. LM was financed with half the budget of the debut Burden Of Grief, if this trend continues he can spend 500 euros for the next album. Which would mean that at least 2000 euros have to come pout of his own pocket.
08.01.2013 - 04:11
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Written by Valentin B on 07.01.2013 at 10:39


This is why the music industry is dead.
Checkout my band here!
08.01.2013 - 07:50
Edmund Fogg
Written by IronAngel on 07.01.2013 at 22:04

Libraries and new financial models.

For the libraries, I don't think it was ever intended for everyone to have free access to anything anyone ever created, and I don't know about you, but where I'm at libraries rent more then books. You can rent movies, TV-series, live dvds, music albums and so on at your corner library.

As for having new financial models, one thing worth trying, that has proven its worth already with Netflix, would be to have parts of the monthly fees of all the file hosting site redistributed to some kind of pool that basically pays the artist per click. I think something like that would work.
You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
08.01.2013 - 12:55
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by john_mcc on 08.01.2013 at 03:27

We are not talking about profit here, we are talking about the future of bands, and particularly less well known bands in less popular genres such as Metal, being able to record albums. Read this topic's opening statement by Pantheist to get an idea of what is going on. Up until now, the cost of recording has always been paid for by the Record Company, the band then owes this money to the Record Company who deduct the money that the band owes them from the artist royalties. If no CDs are sold then there are no artist royalties to pay for this. In the Metal scene it has always been fairly common for artists to never see any royalties at all because the royalties from the CDs that have been sold do not cover the money that the label has spent on recording the album or the other things like promotion that the label spends on their behalf.

As stated in my post earlier, the Project Hate album cost 5000 Euros to record, mix and master. This is despite the fact that the guitars, bass, keyboards and electronics were recorded at home using expensive equipment that Lord K has bought and paid for himself without any expectation of ever making a profit from his music. Most of the cost is apparently due to mixing and mastering. The Sellaband project that Nemesea used to record their 2nd album without a label had a target of 50000 Euros that the band had to raise to record the album, which seems to me to be higher than necessary but that was the target that they had to reach. Now the question is, in a utopian world where all music is free, who pays for this? CDs have paid for it up until this point, but the number of people buying CDs has dropped to an alarmingly low level because despite the protests of people who download that they will buy the album if they like it, most of them don't, and none of them buy CDs in anything like the same numbers that a typical music fan would have done 10 years ago.

Oh I for one agree for 100% (but I am sure you could have guess that ),
but I am sure quite a few will come in here and say that it need not be so expensive to record an albym because recording an album at home need not cost much at all. Well, sure you can record enormously cheaply with modernday software. But to be honest you can still hear it. An album still needs proper mastering to sound good. Bands such as Faal and The 11th Hour (to keep in the doom moode Pantheist set) recorded at home but still had their works masterd somehwere else by someone who knows what he's doing.
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

10.03.2013 - 01:51
Financing anything is difficult right now. The economy is shit. 1% of the world's pop holds 99% of the wealth. There's going to have to be a MAJOR restructure of money before any artist can live comfortably, imo. The big thing is, of course, piracy. People need to stop sharing music. A 2 minute (or less) file transfer of an album that cost thousands or even tens of thousands to create is completely unfair to the artists. I know a lot of the rationalle is to "screw the man" meaning the label, but unfortunately, all that ends up doing is screwing the little guy (the band) because of the old saying, "shit rolls down hill." Record labels are in the business of making money. For better or for worse. They're not going to take a loss on an album. If that means underfunding an up and coming bands' next album to pay for lost rev on the last tour, then so be it. And that's just how business works. It really is up to the fans to make the music work. Ya gotta spend some money on the bands to get the music that makes you happy. It's called support.

That's my opinionated rant, for what it's worth.