My title is no exaggeration. It’s a vicious chain, where all of the links and coin are going to one place. And it’s not the musician’s pocket, and it’s not the US economy.
I’m about to record another song…and perhaps another album. But why should I? Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to recoup recording expenses. Yes, breaking even is a challenge! Musicians make music for a “living”. It is our job. Yes, we love music. Yes, we find joy in making music. But we also need to make money to sustain this art.
Streaming “services” like Spotify, and others, rob us blind. If those services were not available, people would still be able to hear drops of our milk, but not get the cow. Free cows take away the motivation to pay for a full glass of milk. Yes, the glass is more than half empty. It now comes to us in form of eye-drops of income.
So, I’m working out my budget to record and make a video for ONE song. “The Cantina”. This song requires mu-si-shons. I like to be able to pay my musicians. Recording also requires recording equipment, an engineer, and usually a stooo-deee-oh. Guess what? These things all cost money. And of course, tick tock. Is my time worth anything?
For that matter, are musicians’ time worth anything at a charity event, for example? I know I am straying here…just a quicky. All clubs when dealing with charity events, assume the musician will perform for free. And they usually do. I usually do. But why does the staff, bartenders, doormen, etc – get paid? “Well, we can’t ask them to work for free! They have bills to pay!” Yeah, the fucking tooth fairy takes care of ours.
So, as I am fidgeting around with the numbers, pulling favors out of my ass to get things for as little as possible…(musicians, studio, filming, cast, crew, locations, feeding said arteests)…and not feeling great about offering less than people are worth, I realize, even being resourceful, I still lose. Why? Because streaming music is available, most musicians’ income has been cut by ONE THOUSAND PERCENT! Is that possible? Well, rather than one downloading a song for a buck, where a musician clears a whopping .69 cents, listeners choose to stream the song on their spotify account, that is sometimes FREE, and in other cases 10 dollars a month. (I realize this is a great deal for the listener.) But we get a fraction of a penny instead. And in order for us to get our golden .69 cents, that person would have to listen to that song…like 5 thousand times. THAT is the difference. To read how fucked up Spotify’s paying system is, check out this link. Imagine if your job paid, based on that bullshit!
Today I am doing my taxes. My expenses exceed my income by so much, it is ridiculous. These are not trumped up expenses. It costs a lot to be a touring recording artist. I heard that if you can’t show a profit after three years in a business, the government no longer considers it as a business. Yikes!
Back to my recording…so, why am I?
People keep asking me when my next album is coming out. Well, how motivated is this Grammy Nominated Recording Artist?
Will enough people BUY a download? (Forget the physical album. Hardly anyone buys those anymore.) Fortunately, my following still liks to hold a CD in their hands, so I have a chance of breaking even.
Getting back to this blog’s title…because we are making less money, losing money, we don’t have enough net income to pay taxes. Therefore, the United States of America is being hurt by SPOTIFY. Treason I say. Lock them up and throw away the key. Let them experience streaming…of getting spotified in the face by cellmate Bubba. (Bubba was a full-time Blues Guitarist, who had to turn to a life of crime to pay his gas bill.) That’s Karma. But then again, who approves this highway robbery? Congress? Who is getting greased? Well, it’s not the musician.
I’m still going to record, and video tape my song, “The Cantina”. Because it’s what I do. But possibly not for much longer. And all involved will make less money, and pay less taxes, too.
And as far as a new album? It might be “Linda’s Smallest Hits”. It will be a couple of songs from each of my 6 albums, plus a couple of new ones. Keep my expenses down…but I’ll still take a loss, because of SPOTIFY…and so will our country.
FUCK YOU SPOTIFY, YOU COMMUNIST BASTARDS ARE THE DEVIL!
P.S. I must thank all involved in “The Cantina” for having the same passion for music, and doing the project for pennies on the dollar. Your art is priceless. Spotify is useless. This song will NOT be available on Spotify.
Many thanks to Mariachi Sol Azteca, (Angel Guzman, Jess Rojas, Chris Burr, Angel Duran, Ramon Munoz, Many Celaya) Harry Findysz of Southern Arizona Video Productions, Maria Powell, The Can Can Girls, stunt men, Brian Phillips (engineer/co-producer), Phillip Anderson (bass) , and Michael P. Nordberg (guitar), and Rick Harker of Harker Creek, where we will be a’shootin’ the video..with my co-star, Stunt man James Lovin!
Wait til you see and hear the song! Huge production! Can’t wait!