During a recent interview with ‘Metal Godz Radio,‘ former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy made some sincere statements about the current state of the music industry, and also, he shared a few words of advice for the musicians of future.
The interviewer, Zoran Theodorovic, asked this question:
“With the climate in the music industry being driven by online music consumption now, does it become more important for artists in 2020 to abandon more traditional avenues of success with music?”
Mike Portnoy started to answering:
“Yeah, absolutely. I thank God that I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, and I have an audience because luckily, they kind of support what I do, but I can’t imagine starting off in this environment.
The internet’s a great way to get your music out there, you know? You have social media and Instagram and YouTube, and all these ways to get your music out there, but in terms of making a living off of it, nobody gets paid anymore.
It’s a shame because I can imagine how many great, young, talented artists and musicians there are that are going to never be able to blossom and fulfill their full potential because they’re gonna get scared away by not being able to make a living off of it, and that’s a shame.
It’s great that you can access music at any time anywhere in the world; Spotify is very convenient, but it doesn’t pay the artists, so artists now have to think of new ways to make money.
A lot of bands have to do these paid meet-and-greet’s and things like that, and people look at it like the artists being greedy, but no – as a matter of fact, the artist’s actually finding a way to make a living.
If you were an electrician, I wouldn’t expect you to come to my house and fix my electricity without getting paid for it; you have a wife and kids, and a mortgage to pay for. It’s no different for musicians: this is how we make our living, and if we’re not getting paid for it, we can’t do it, and people don’t expect that.
Today’s kids, they feel this entitlement that they should get all their music for free so, unfortunately, I have to sell drumsticks and drum heads at the merch stand in order to pay for my family. That’s the stone-cold reality of where the music industry is at in 2020.”
Zoran Theodorovic asked another question:
“Do you have advice for artists looking to have a career in music in this digital age?”
The drummer replied:
“There’s never going to be a replacement for being at a show and feeling the vibe, and the audience, and the excitement and the energy.
You can’t properly portray that on TV or on a computer screen or on a phone screen, but because of the music industry situation like we’ve been talking about it, it’s not necessarily possible for everybody to get everywhere.
For instance, I just did a tour with my band Flying Colors, and we only were able to do 10 shows in the entire world, so unfortunately for the people that were in Omaha, Nebraska or in Stockholm, Sweden, or Sao Paulo, Brazil, we didn’t get to play for them live.
So the second-best is that we’ve put out a live DVD that they can at least experience the show. It’s better than not doing it at all.”
You can watch the video of his interview below and click here for the source.