The Wacken Foundation, Controversial, and the state of the music industry
Controversial released a video for their track “Habitat” yesterday. It’s a nice one. Not exceptional, but good work and gives an idea of the band’s power.
The interesting part, though, is the information that the Wacken Foundation helped to produce the video, which made me think aobut the state of the music industry and our appreciation of metal, music, and arts in general.
More after the
It has never been easy, money-wise, to be in a band. As I’ve said in a recent blog post about Hexis (http://negativeblack.net/lets-talk-about-hexis/), most band don’t make any money at all. That might be ok if the focus of the band is to remain a hobby with the odd gig here or there. But if a band wants to move on and at least get into semi-professional stage, they need money. But how to make it these days? CDs don’t sell, digitial downloads via bandcamp.com don’t earn you much, and let’s not talk about streaming… that leaves vinyls, merchandise, and guaranties. Might work out for a band, might not work out for a band, as Oh, Sleeper showed recently: http://www.metalinjection.net/its-just-business/bands-money-touring.
And now we add fans. Fans, who want to discover new bands, support their favourite bands, are love to attend shows. But, and this is no breaking news, most of them don’t want to pay for it. Albums get downloaded for free, maybe the odd CD or vinyl is bought, and when one goes to a show, many complaints about the high prices can be heard, even if the show is in the range of 5-15 dollars or euros.
Why don’t we appreciate the effort and creativity most bands give into their work? Why do we want everything for free or at least as cheap as possible when it comes to music? We consider ourselves to be fans, to be non-mainstream, to love and live for music – and yet we don’t support the artists. That sucks.
At the same time we demand excellent production of an album and professional videos. Yeah, right. If a band doesn’t have a rich-son-dude among their members, they are in for the suck and have to spend their last personal money for a recording session or a video shoot.
All that makes the work of the Wacken Foundation (and to a lesser degree corporate sponsors) so much-needed. It keeps the music scene alive. One might dislike what became of the Wacken Open Air or the kind of people that attend it year in, year out, but the idea to build up a foundation to help musicians and bands is pretty cool. Don’t you think?