I hate to break it to all y'all, but playing metal probably isn't going to pay the bills. Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor elaborates quite a bit in an interview with Guitar Interactive about the realities of trying to make a living off music.
Mansoor says some things musicians looking to make a paycheck should keep in mind are that you're probably not going to be able to quit your day job, that you should combine any of your passions or skills in with your musical endeavors, and of course that you need to diversify your income.
“There ain’t no money in this music industry. I’ll tell you as well because you guys should also know about this. Mainly you guys *points at camera* should know, there’s no money in this industry, so if you want to be in a band, do all the things. And if you’re lucky, you could also do all the things that you enjoy. So I enjoy gear, I’ve always enjoyed gear. That was sort of a way to merge the two passions, and also be able to make a bit of extra money out of it, right? Because again, you ain’t going to make no money in this industry.”
Do you have any advice for people trying to follow the model you guys have done?
“I do have advice. If you’re going into this industry and you’re like, ‘Oh, when can I quit my job? When can I do this full time?’, you’ve already lost. You’ve already lost. It’s like, if you just kind of went for it because it was fun and that was what you wanted to do – that’s the reason to do it. And then be smart about it. Find ways to make money, find any ways to make money, play to your skills.
“And a lot of people aren’t going to make it, but you should try it anyway because, might as well, right? Most people in this industry – people that might surprise you – don’t make any money… Man, this is depressing, we’re supposed to be talking about happy things! You just got to believe and diversify your income, that’s really what it’s about. Diversify your income.”
Shortly after this story was posted on MetalSucks, Mansoor elaborated in the comments of the Facebook post about what he was trying to say:
Remember guys, there IS opportunity in the music industry. My actual advice is to manage your expectations, diversify your income early on and do it for the love and not for the money. If the money follows, then that’s amazing, but if it doesn’t then you won’t be disappointed and you will have been well prepared!
This led to Mansoor posting a thread on Facebook inviting fans to ask him questions about the music industry. Click on the comments link to see the interactions:
Periphery will release their new record Periphery IV: HAIL STAN on April 5, which will not pay any of the band's member's bills.