The drummer in an Iowa-based band that’s gained international attention says the music industry has changed so bands now make their money from concerts rather than albums.
Shawn Crahan is the percussionist in Slipknot, a Grammy-award-winning band that’s headlining a tour with concerts in over 30 U.S. cities this July and August. "I’ll just be honest. I’ve never made a dollar on a record," Crahan says. "We make our money on the road."
Crahan’s band travels Europe, too, and he like the concert scene there. "I think America needs to look toward Europe and see what they’re doing because over there they all get crazy and they need to have festivals and they just go and they take, like, weeks off and everybody — it doesn’t matter if it’s your boss or your mom or whatever — it’s festival time," Crahan says. "…I’ve played these festivals and they’re more than just music. It’s cultural. It’s have a drink. Have food. Let’s take a break from our job and let’s really figure out life and then you come to America and it’s all, like, selling buttons and this and that and, you know, it’s really difficult."
Jason Walsmith of The Nadas, another Iowa-based band, agrees that the American consumer is less likely to go to a concert. "It’s a tough battle to convince the average fan to leave their comfortable couch and their big-screen TV, to go out into the cold and pay money to see live music on any given night," Walsmith says, "but I think there’s more and more people realizing that real, true energy and performance that they get to have a personal relationship with has a value."
The Nadas just released their sixth studio recording, but in another sign of a changing music industry, the band released tracks on-line first. "We had the record done. We had the unusual, like, you know, few months lead time to try to get it ready to release and then we realized we need some money to help release it and we decided we had it — start selling it early," Walsmith says, "so we put it on our website and made it available to our fans as downloads and they’ll still get the hard-copy when it comes out."
The Nadas are scheduled to play 15 concerns between now and August 1st. The two band men made their comments earlier this year on Iowa Public Television’s "Iowa Journal."