Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Economy and Starving Bands

A few noteworthy things that define the “now” for Eric Owyoung:

1) He is gagging on his own flem through sleepless nights from a cold which he reluctantly smuggled into the country from London last week.

2) He has just signed a rent contract to move the studio and house to Encinitas, CA (2 miles from the beach!)…no, I’m not putting my address on the web.

3) He has been experimenting in Photoshop and realizing how powerfully subtle color changes evoke emotion (I took the above photo in Chicago on tour)

4) He has been lagging on the daily blogs as a result of the above items


Other news pertaining to the band is that we have had to cancel 2 shows that we were supposed to fly to. Reason? War, economic recession, and a starving music industry has raised plane-fares to the point where flying to play concerts is a financial suicide for a band like ours. Everyone in the economy is hurting. After extreme raises in gas prices, airlines are not only responding with higher fares but are also beginning to charge up to $100 for anything more than one checked bag! So even if we COULD get there, we can’t bring our instruments. Anyone want to pay us to do a lip sync?


I used the phrase “starving music industry” very carefully. It is not a dying industry. Music is probably more alive than it has ever been in history. More music, more places in the existence of mankind since Adam and Eve. With it comes a few problems:

ONE: More music means not just more good music but more BAD music. There are too many bands and artists to choose from now. Anyone can make a CD now, just turn on the Macbook and away you go. With everyone and their little brother making music, what makes us stop and listen when so much of it is crap?

TWO: More music today also means more free music. In the days of vinyl records and good pot (don’t worry, I wasn’t born yet), people either bought a record or didn’t have music. There was no ipod, internet, or burned CD’s. WALMART and freebies have lowered the value of music. What is a song worth today…a few cents?

Do I blame people for giving away their music? Not at all, you have to if you want to make it. Future of Forestry will do it to at this next album release in one form or another. It’s one of the most efficient ways of getting music out there and gaining fans. Do I like wondering if the band is going to make it? Do I like paying hundreds of dollars in gas to get the band van to the gig only to sell a few CD’s (while I stand there at the CD table and listen to the 2 teenage girls argue about who gets the burned copy)? Do I like knowing that my record budgets are falling below a quarter of what it really takes to make a great CD?

I’d tell you to go out and support your local musicians by buying all their CD’s and T-shirts and going to their concerts. But the economy tells me that you are in the same place. That it is costing you $15 in gas to get you to work, just so you can spend the first 2 hours working for free. I had to move my car out of the driveway yesterday, so I put the car in neutral and physically pushed it instead of turning the car on. Yes, I’m trading a few pulled leg muscles for a few cents. So I won’t tell you how to spend your money other than to say, “Put it where it counts.” Life is fickle…this economy, this country and its future is unknown. Be wise with what you have, and be bold in your faith to put your money where your heart is!

Enough lecturing, I’m the worst person to offer any kind of financial advice…see ya.

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