Why it's good that bands have to rely on touring instead of record sales

Blood Command
(Image credit: Øystein Haara)

Bands now rely on live shows and touring instead of record sales. That is the state of the music industry. Bands no longer just sell songs, we sell an experience. An experience that is best served loud, live and in your face. This might suck for bands who just want to sit at home, but for music fans like me who just want to see our heroes – it rules! We saw Kiss live in our small hometown years ago, and that would never have happened if Gene Simmons didn’t have to do it. No big bands ever came to Bergen before 2007, but it’s different now, thanks to artists needing an alternative income to counteract poor record sales. Thank you, Napster!

Merchandise has become essential for artists, which has led to a huge increase in quality and design. And that’s great! Now your kickass t-shirt will last for ages instead of becoming an unreadable croptop after just three washes. I’ve got nothing against croptops, but if I wanted one, I would buy one. Yeah, it's cool to support a band by wearing a cheap, bad quality shirt, but you can only wear it a couple of times before you're basically wearing a flag.

As a band, our live experience needs to be A-Game if we want to sell tickets and compete with all the other acts playing the same week. As people, we have limited time and funds to spend on going to shows, which is something artists must take into consideration. You have to work for the audience's attention, and in turn, this will force all performers to create a better live show. Music isn’t supposed to be a competition, but there’s nothing wrong with having to up your game to stay relevant. It’s only healthy for art.

Physical records are great and all, but streaming has made it so easy to discover new bands, and that is good for music in general. I wouldn't listen to half the bands I do today if it wasn’t for Napster and Limewire, so maybe I’m just trying to defend my sins...

When Spotify came along, it was suddenly super-easy for everyone to release music properly. This is just the evolution of listening habits, and we have to follow.  

Also, this need for proper live shows will kill off some of those bedroom djent artists who can’t play music unless it’s edited. But then you have that unholy live-track swindle, but don’t get me started on that topic.

So please, music fans, buy fewer records!

Blood Command UK tour 2018

Oct 30: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms (w/ Rolo Tomassi)
Oct 31: Bournemouth, The Anvil (w/ Rolo Tomassi)
Nov 01: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach (w/ Rolo Tomassi)
Nov 02: Norwich, WF Studio (w/ Rolo Tomassi)
Nov 03: Bath, Moles
Nov 04: Plymouth, Underground
Nov 05: Southampton, Joiners
Nov 06: Birmingham, The Flapper
Nov 07: Glasgow, Audio
Nov 08: Manchester, Star & Garter
Nov 09: London, Scala (w/ Rolo Tomassi) 

Blood Command tour poster