Back in 2005 I was deployed to the northern part of Iraq with my unit. We recieved Rolling Stone every single month. I always stole it from the hang out room. One day while I was flipping through the pages I stumbled across an article on the band Linkin Park.
At the beginning it didn't seem like much but once I got about half way through there was something that dumbfounded me. Linkin Park had just got done with there second album Metero. They were planning on making a third album pretty close to the end of there last one.
Linkin Park was asking for around 1 to 2 million dollars to record there album. Now once you do the math as far as Studio cost and paying the artists and writers it comes nowhere near that much money. Warner Brothers entertainment told them that they were asking for to much. They also wanted full split 50/50 with the songwriting royalties as well as performing and artist.
Now when you first start out in the Music Industry it's common for you to only get 5% of the earnings. Once you get into your sophmore release you get around 6%-10% of the royalties. Once you do your third and you have a proven track record then they might bump you up to 15%or 20%. They also keep a number tracking system so if you get up to a certain number then they give you a little something something for being a good boy.
Warner brothers told them that they would give them 50% of the royalties but would not give them 1.5 to 2 Million dollars to record an album. Well Linkin Park got mad and said that if they didn't get what they wanted then they were going to leave Warner Brothers. I don't know about you guy's but just having the ability to make music for a career and get a steady paycheck is good enough for me. I dont' need millions to make a record nor do I need millions to maintain a lifestyle.
Another thing most people don't realise is that when you ask for money to record your album from the record lable. You have to pay that money back. They don't just give it to you. You have to pay them back and hope that you are able to plus make some profit at the same time. I did the calculations one time for a band that has just a gold record. If it was a 5 piece band each member would make around $24,000.00 a year...
My mother made more then that being a school teacher. Now this calculation doesn't envolve writers royalties only performing and artist. If you did get Writers or hell even Writers and Publishing royalties you would be making bank.
The dixie chicks also became money hungry. With there Freshman release they were doing pretty well. Then one day they did an interview on Sixty Minutes or something and the reporter asked them how they liked being Million-aires. The dixie Chicks said that they hadn't made there first million yet... Well no sh*t it's your freshman record you didn't think that you were going to become millionaires over night did you. Normally it takes a couple of records normally when you get up to your Senior or third record you start raking in the big dough cause the record lable knows you aren't a shitbag.
Well a few people had to leave warner or whatever lable cause the dixie chicks started attacking people saying that they weren't getting paid there just deserves. There lable tried to reason with them but all they wanted was that green.
Why can't people be more like Sheryl Crow Or Don Henley. The only thing they wanted out of the business was to get rid of the "Work For Hire" Lable that is put on all beginning artists. The reason being is that they dont' get full credit for the songs that they had written. The Lable gets to keep them and the Band or person who wrote the song basically gives up there rights to the material. They never bitched about how much they were being paid. They just wanted proper treatment for the individuals who loved there music and didn't want to just sign it all away.
This is just one of the many reasons why I always like the fact that I can do music on my terms every single day. It sucks I don't make a good living from it but in the end I still have my music. I still love what I do and I don't require millions to live my life. I just wish that the rest of the world was the same way.