We have a tendency to believe that it is not actually that difficult to establish yourself as a musician, however, it is time that we change the way we look at things, because a lot of musicians that are aspiring to be a part of the music industry today are clearly struggling to establish themselves, and these artists are facing an especially new struggle since things have changed a lot of in the music industry over the years.
So, we are going to listen to first-hand accounts by musicians that are currently in the process of trying to make a name for themselves and the struggles they have to experience so that we can have a better understanding on the troubles that artists today are going through.
People will tell you to follow all of the clichés, ranging from “just work hard,” “be true to yourself,” and to always keep “networking and promoting.” However, it seems like no matter how much you try to do all of that, you cannot get anywhere, and it just is not enough. You do not know what the right direction is, and everyone is going to tell you different things. There is not a lot of transparency in the music industry, and you will not find people trying to truly help you, the information is vague at best. There is no established road map to follow, and there seems to be a huge black hole for aspiring musicians since no one is there is guide you about the numbers, about managing finances, dealing with promotions or anything, so every new artist is out here grasping at straws.
Since rock and metal is no longer the most popular genre anymore, choosing to play rock or metal full-time is a huge risk, and the chances of any kind of success are dim, and this should not be the case. No one is there to help you out, even rock/metal musicians who have managed to establish a name will never let you in on the trade. If nothing else, it is important that they at least manage our expectations and let us know what to expect, and whether trying to do music full-time is even possible or not.
The numbers are staggeringly low, and a lot of people do not realize that even known metal/rock bands are not making that much, in fact, a lot of them are barely making a livable wage, and touring can sometimes leave them in debt as well.
This is why the idea of committing full-time to music, especially genres like metal or rock is considered to be risky, and it is important that the community start becoming more transparent in order to lift itself up and succeed. For this to happen, people in the industry need to start talking numbers.
Artists that are not signed to labels are more likely to struggle and can end up spending thousands trying to release a single album, and at this point, you cannot help but wonder, if this is simply a fool’s dream, or whether these artists should continue struggling for the sake of “the art.”