Being in a band has never been tougher.
If you thought it was a doddle, here’s a reality fix from a reasonably known musician…
In between touring with bands such as Sebadoh and Fiery Furnaces, Jason Loewenstein
makes solo records. His album “At Sixes And Sevens”, released on Sub Pop in 2002, didn’t exactly set the world on fire (notoriously hipstery site Pitchfork wasn’t impressed) although NME praised its “lovely, fuzzed-up guitar riffs, touchingly inward lyrics and chugging melodies.” Either way, for someone who’s a member of a reasonably high profile alternative band still renowned to this day, you’d have thought it would provide a nice little sideline of income for Jason? Wrong. Let’s just say it’s a good job Jason wasn’t relying on it to put bread on the table.
Jason admits that signing to a well known label “gave me money that allowed me the time and resources to make the record, and that was a great service to me at the time” – but the figures are pretty stark, and certainly a bit of a shock to someone who has always advocated buying as opposed to stealing music. Of course what is not taken into account is that had Jason made and released this album himself he would have had to pay for its manufacture, promotion and distribution even if the recording costs were low and personally arrange for those copies to be despatched to Pitchfork and NME and radio and suchlike; he probably wouldn’t have all the contacts, and a newly emerging band certainly wouldn’t.
But it does make you wonder. LTW was alerted to the link by a young Scottish band called St Deluxe, who have released on a number of small labels in different countries, and whose comment on posting it was simply “Self Release anyone?”.