Reflection #1

From conducting my research on touring musicians in the music industry, I have learned that it is not impossible for newcomers to gain recognition and profit for their music fast. Profit is a matter left towards the decision that musicians chooses to do with their musical career. While on the interview part on my research, I found out that CD sales are still a viable form of music income. In this day and age, I thought that people do not buy CDs much anymore. However, with my interview with Zachary from the group “Elysia”, I found out that CD sales, both physical and digital, are still in demand by fans. In the interview, was especially surprised how much physical sales of CDs are helping the touring musicians, while knowing that there are many people who tend to file share or “pirate” music.

In November, I went to see a concert in San Francisco at the Regency Ballroom as part of a participatory activity. The bands that played were The Devil Wears Prada, The Ghost Inside, Texas In July, and Volumes. I conversed with some of the members and tour crew that were present at the venue.

The headlining band, The Devil Wears Prada, is a highly successful band that is on an independent record label, Rise Records, achieving their highest Billboard Top 200 entry of #10 on their album, Dead Throne. At the venue, I talked to the Jeremy, the guitarist of The Devil Wears Prada about what it took to get to this stop of the tour. From venue to venue, the band is given a “guarantee”, which is a set amount of money paid to the bands to ensure that the musicians have enough gas to go to the next stop on their tour. Jeremy also had to resolve an issue with the venue over promotions done by a street team member at their show. At the show I went to, a street team member of Rise Records attempted to distribute free stickers for the band at their show, in exchange for exclusive fan prizes. Street team members are commonly at shows to boost marketing to potential new fans of the musicians they promote.

From what I have observed, I feel that touring life for a musician can be hectic, but can at the same time be profitable. Musicians can either choose to agree or to agree to disagree when it comes to profits. Musicians strive to have the money to go to their next shows. I feel that the most crucial aspect of a touring band is the marketing aspect to new people. Marketing to a new audience can be hit-or-miss, because touring depends on what day shows occur frequently. Musicians try to aim to have shows on the weekend or Saturday, because those days in the week attract most people and bring the most profit because people who go to shows are less likely to have work or school on the weekends.


One thought on “Reflection #1

  1. I also feel that marketing is a huge part of contribution to a musician’s success. Musicians need a target audience to appeal to in order to make money in the industry. As a musician myself, I feel that one part of marketing are in band promo pictures and image. The demographic of people you appeal to, somewhat depends on what you look like, unfortunately. It’s just the same as the pop industry, except you’re trying to appeal to different subcultures. I get told by people I look like a “metalhead” because of my long hair, but I honestly am a punk rock musician. This was a nice read, Andy.

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