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Is being in a band really worth it?

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Above, there's me and the boys on a photo shoot out in Essex. One of the photo's from this shoot would end up being the flyer for our upcoming gig at the 100 Club. Today, while me and J were knocking our pipes out at work we had an order come through our website, the sound of that notification on our phones fill the pair of us with an unbelievable amount of joy because if that sound could speak it would say "oi oi boys, someone else has decided that your band is worthy of them parting with their likely hard earned cash". It still blows my mind that there's an army of our fans out there, scattered around all over the place. For me personally, other bands have really gotta hit me right in the feels, be it their music, image, likeability, commonality or whatever for me to click on their stuff, fanny around putting my card details in for a ticket, get tarted up, jump on a train and get a nice pair of shoes trampled on for a few hours whilst spending somewhere between £75 and £200. The fact there are people out there willing to do that for us I find absolutely amazing and it spurs me on to want to grow the band, release more music and keep on at it! By the way, this particular order was from Lyon in France for a vinyl copy of 6:36, mental mate! That said, being in a band can be hard. Being in a signed band or a DIY band like ours both present their own problems, I only have experience in the latter so I'll explain a little about that. There's a catch 22 with being in a DIY band, actually there's many but here's the first... If you're a youngster say between 14-21, you are (more often than not) afforded the luxury of time, energy, drive and absolutely nothing else to occupy that lump of shit between your ears lads that age call their brain, most young women have got their heads screwed on by the latter stage of that age bracket. The problem is and it's quite a big one, you're absolutely piss-would be living in a samsung TV box eating an unboiled pack of supernoodles if it weren't for mum and dad-poor! Now being our age (29-35), you've got a bit more disposable cash about you, you can afford to throw a few hundred quid at some facebook ads without your landlord banging on the door on the 2nd of every month. You've also matured from the short sighted, 'live for the moment' bedlam that occupied those early adult years (I use the term adult extremely loosely) and are absolutely sure that having a crack at being in a successful, DIY band is what you want to do. Thing is, what is also running parallel with all that is this little shit head who appears on your shoulder every now and then, usually when things are going great, you've built a nice little pot of savings up and the shit head goes "Dan, hold fire before you drop all that money on something band related, you're nearly 33 now, shouldn't you have a mortgage? What about a car that could facilitate the family most 33 year olds have by now? Look at your old friend you used to go to Ibiza with, have you seen that beautiful 4 bedroom semi he's just moved into? You really should invest in a new van for work, you know that banged out old thing outside is on its last legs" and so on, so forth. That's just one tiny example of the mind games you're forever playing with yourself being in a DIY band. On top of that, our goal is to replace what we earn via our day jobs with income earned from the band. Now don't get me wrong, from where the band was on the 22nd August 2018 (the day before we put Eye of the Hurricane out) compared to where we are now is unrecgonisable. We've raised circa £19,000 from two crowdfunding campaigns, our gig fee has gone up by 66% and at the time of writing this we're 10 tickets shy of selling out the legendary 100 Club, but we've still got a long, long way to go, as I said in the opening sentence, this is hard! Insanely hard to the point you need tenacity, mental strength and belief in unlimited amounts, not to mention bollocks of cast iron. So let's just say the band grew to a point where we were earning £100,000 a year, that's £25,000 a year each which would be an incredible achievement, but that's before we'd paid for the storage unit for our merch as Jamie's spare room wouldn't cut it by then, that's also before tax, that's before we'd stuck another penny in to continuing to grow the band and that's also before the no doubt countless other expenses I can't think of right now because we're not currently in that situation. All of a sudden it's looking like the band would need to earn £150,000 a year for the four of us to be able to pay ourselves £25,000. It's an absolute mammoth task, but now I've got what must seem a whole load of negativity (in actual fact it's realism) off my chest, it's a task that the boys and I are more than willing to undertake. I mean, imagine if we actually pulled it off! At the end of the day my attitude is this... Unless you're Henry VIII, Vincent Van Gogh or fucking Jesus, in a hundred years time nobody is going to care that you existed and that's at best, more likely the only way anyone is going to know you ever existed is if your time rich, curious, great, great grandchild decides to do their family tree so you may as well try and do something fucking amazing! People go through life wondering what the meaning of it is, or why we're here. Well, coming from the mouth of a pro-science, astronomy geek I can tell you there is no meaning, and there's no reason why we're here, all we are is a spontaneously accumilaited, extremely rare collection of atoms that miraculously have the capacity to think, feel, observe and fuck! Due to there being no meaning we are all given the beautiful choice of deciding what the meaning is to ourselves subjectively. I believe that the meaning of life is the influence you have on others. I also believe that there is a gift inside everyone that can be used to make the lives of others better. I think mine is songwriting. What's yours? Do people like coming to yours for dinner as you're mustard in the kitchen? Do you cut or colour hair better than anyone else? Maybe you give the best advice to people when they need it? That order from Lyon this morning really got the cogs in my head turning today (as you've no doubt realised), but it just got me thinking... fuck me man, there's a geezer in Lyon who's parted with £25 because he believes our music will add something good to his life, so with that in mind, it wouldn't matter a fuck to me if it was £1,000,000 we needed to earn as a band, the thought that our music enriches the lives of some who hear it forever shackles me as a slave to this process. Over and out... Dan x

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