Episode 75: Heather Go Psycho Radio – Favorite Record
Thanks for tuning in to 210 Local Media podcast, I am your host, Mario Zamarron. I’ve been meaning to have Heather Go Psycho’s album Favorite Record on the show for a very long time. I’ve seen the girls a couple of times, but due to the circumstances of the night, was unable to introduce myself to them or anything. Luckily, thanks to Twitter, I was able to chat with Heather Go Psycho’s bassist, Diana. Here’s an update for those who haven’t heard yet, Diana is no longer the bands drummer. They’ve recently added an actual Heather to the line up! Kind of like when Donella Drive had Ella. I saw Heather Go Psycho, most recently at one of the Creative Creatures shows at Fitzgerald’s. They played right after The Black Market Club and before The Lost Project and The Sandworms. They put on a great show and brought a totally different vibe to that stage. I’m glad to finally add them as alumni to the 210 Local Media Podcast. First, we’ll dive into some music, and then I wanted to chat for a little bit.
Heather Go Psycho – Favorite Record
Just For Tonight
Back 2 You
Nice Girls Finish Last
I just wanted to reach out to music fans, concert goers, and ask some questions of you all and share some insight that you may not hear everywhere. First, some information on the music industry I’ve learned. I admit though, that I am by no means a expert and am learning new things every day, so, be aware of that caveat. There are bands, solo artists, fans, talent buyers, venues, promoters, managers, labels, and there’s merch, distribution, contracts, emails, social media, draw, booking, and a whole slew of other things that have an impact in the music industry. There’s an interesting cycle that regular concertgoers don’t ever see, that includes all of the above. Once you’re walking up to the door of a venue, many things have happened to get what you’re about to see, to where it is at that very second. A band who has practiced countless hours, has either been approached by another band, a venue, a talent buyer (someone who works for the venue to books shows), or a promoter (someone who puts shows together with a secured date at the venue), or has reached out themselves, to play that night. Depending on the show, bands can get paid in many different ways. There’s the door split, in which each band is coming away with their equal cut of the money paid at the door. There’s the percentage of the bar, which usually denotes a free show, where the bands try and get as many people as possible in to the venue to drink, in the hopes that the percentage of the bar that they get paid from is decent. It’s also split with the other band(s) on the bill, and is usually around 10%-15% of the bar. That means, every dollar you spend, gets them $.10 to $.15. There’s the sought after guarantee, where a band can make (at least) their guaranteed amount. Sometimes this is a method of payment that works as an either/or with a guarantee. For example, the guarantee is either $100 or 15% of the bar, whichever is higher. Finally, there’s the pay-to-play or ticket selling method. There are so many variations of these methods, that I won’t go over them here, but feel free to look it up online. For a band to get onto a bill, they either need to know another band that will add them to their own show, make some contacts, have their booking agent (who gets a share of the bands cut from the gig), know a promoter (who’s take is also a portion of the night), or they sell tickets to get on the bill with national acts. There may or may not have been contracts, personnel changes, schedule changes at work to be sure all band members could make the show, band cancellations, or possibly even entire show cancellations…. All before you step foot into the venue. Also, I can’t forget the merch that the bands made to sell at the show, or the money that went into printing handbills or designing digital flyers. Does the sound guy get paid by the venue, by the bands, or the promoter? Does the venue have lights, are they programmed by the sound guy, or are they able to be matched up with the sounds of the bands, or does only the headliner get lights? What are the drink specials? Will the venue allow underage band members inside? How much did each member spend on their instruments and gear? Did they ever have any lost/stolen and have had to replace it before? Did people forget to RSVP on Facebook and spook the venue, booker, or promoter into canceling the show? All of this before the show starts. Once you get inside, the door person asks for ID and which band you’re there to see. Why do they do that? Because your numbers count if the band gets paid per head in the door. Because the venue owner, promoter, talent buyer, or other bands on the bill want to see what your draw is. That is, how many people can you get out to your shows. So, here’s a scenario; The Rockers decide that they want to play at X Bar on Friday or Saturday. How much will they get paid if it’s per head, at $1 a head, and only 10 people came out? They get $10. Did they sell any merch? Did they give any away or offer discounts? Was the show free and they got a percentage of the bar? Did you buy a drink? Did they have to pay for a booker or artist manager? How much was gas? Did the guitarist bust a string? If so, a full set is usually about $10. Did any band members spend money at the bar? In case you haven’t noticed, this scenario makes it very difficult for a band to become successful playing shows. Sometimes, bookers, venues, talent buyers, or promoters don’t pay the bands anyway if they bar barely made anything, nobody came out to the show, or the band just doesn’t have a good draw. Scenario two: The Roller Band wants to play at Y Venue because their favorite national touring band is in town, The Headliners. (I said I wasn’t going to tackle this, but here we go) The promoter says, we’d love to have you play at the show. Here’s 20-30 tickets, at $10 – $20 a ticket for you to sell to get on the bill! Those who sell all their tickets first, get to pick when they play for the night. The show starts at 8pm and ends at 2am the next day. If you don’t sell all your tickets before showtime, then you’ve got an option. You can bring us back the tickets you didn’t sell and the cash for those you did, or you can buy out what you didn’t sell so you can still at least be on the bill. That is called Pay To Play. That happens way more than you’d think. As a promoter, I can kinda see why it happens. Scenario three goes over that part. Scenario three: A headliner is in town and a promoter puts a local band on the bill. The Locals don’t have to sell any tickets or make flyers, or reach out on social media. The night of the show is here, and there’s 12 people in the audience for the show. The Locals didn’t bring anyone out. The promoter promised the headliner a $100-$800 guarantee (that could be much higher, depending on the band). So, the promoter looses money and has to pay the band anyway, because contracts are contracts. If all of this isn’t frustrating, I don’t know what is. So, the final scenario: Every band on the bill brings about 30-60 people each, the bar makes a ton of money, the bands split a nice amount, and you enjoyed some great music. By the way, I have to say that I disagree with Pay to Play.
Here’s a final thought. Ten years ago, $5 was what you paid to hear some live music. Today you still pay $5. Ten years ago, you paid $6 to see a movie. Now, you pay almost double. Why hasn’t what we pay to see live music kept up with the times?
I could go on for a very long time about this topic, so if you liked it, please let us know on our Facebook page /210LocalMedia or on Twitter @210LocalMedia. As always, thanks for listening!
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