While up into the wee hours of the morning doing some research on current digital “distribution channels” for my art and music…. I found a five year old article on Pitchfork (read here) that explains the struggle of a DIY music career, perfectly! And.. This is what keeps me up late at night…. Is it all hopeless? and I wonder: Who do I know that’s able to even slightly support themselves with original art/music/performance? Who, and How?
There’s been times when I’ve managed to keep my bills below $300 a month for years living “homeless” aka “off-grid” in a short bus, which although afforded me less resources still gave me more freedom/time to create… and I got tons done. But even after countless hours perfecting my “masterpieces” thru experimentation and practice, working on tours, organizing showcasing events, making crazy and crafty merch, putting out albums, then of coarse all the promotions, promotions, and more promotions that had to be done just to sort of get your attention, (lol)… I still have yet to find a way to even partially support myself with my art/music performance career. So, What am I doing wrong?
Why must I be concerned with getting my music on iTunes/Spotify/Pandora/Etc when they offer me no promotional effort for the money I am paying them? Is it just simply “making it available to the masses” of people who are already over-whelmed with other advertising? And then, after all the work making it available and seen, I have to concern myself with how to “converting” fans into sales… cause otherwise, where’s the money?
It all feels icky, honestly. Hell, can’t we just skip the MAN, the digital middle man… Cause I’m tired of FB and I’ve got physical hand made CD copies of the latest Rat Babies release entitled “Speak Hard Answers”, maybe even a few old releases left from past tours as well, or you can check out our digital download site here: www.thecompleteguidetocaringforyourratbabies.com. I play Bass and do Vocals as well as manage the band over all, Chodd is on Drums, and Dain Marx plays guitar… and we’ve worked really hard on it all for a very long time.
In fact, these newest releases (pictured above) are each made from stencils I hand spray painted… numbered… of course limited quantity… So, Come on over and get a copy! You can just pay me what you think is fair… Or you know what? I’m working on planning another tour for early 2018 thru the south, and then late 2018 up North maybe… plus I’d love to figure out how that European tour we’ve been talking about is going to happen… so yeah, maybe we can just come to you?!?
Also, In case you didn’t know… I perform sound and visual performance art as “Mr Blank” (mrblank.bandcamp.com), and have recently begun work on material with a noise friend from NC named “Nuss” under the moniker NARB (aka Nuss and Rat Babies)… but more about those at another time.
Anyways, the sun has come up now… and, I need a few hours of sleeeeep.