...is money, of course. We live in an age when everything is commodified from its inception, which is killing our culture and our souls. This process really picked up steam in in the music industry in the 80s, but has now reached total metastasis. But first, some deep background...
17 years or so ago indie rock producer Steve Albini wrote a widely distributed screed in which he detailed how badly screwed 99% of musicians who signed to major record labels got. The funny thing is that this was written in the post-Nirvana gold rush years when million-dollar advances were seen as the new normal. Who knows what normal is today, but I guarantee you that whatever terms Albini was trying to scare musicians away from major labels with in 1993 were probably downright liberal to what bands are looking at today. All the more so given that companies like Live Nation now take cuts of sales, tour receipts and licensing.
The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month. The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never "recouped," the band will have no leverage, and will oblige. The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won't have earned any royalties from their T-shirts yet. Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys.Read the whole thing here.
I feel really sorry for younger people who've grown up in a sick and denatured pop environment, where artists are filtered out and sleazy, narcissistic no-talents are hyped to the gills. It's fostered a very twisted relationship of people to what should be their culture, a process accelerated by the radical dumbing-down of our society as a whole.
All of the stupidity we see out there with all of the occult symbolism is a direct byproduct of this disconnect. Real occultists like Jimmy Page don't play the industry's games- Led Zeppelin surrounded themselves with bonebreaking gangsters in order to scare the piss out of all the ripoff artists in the business and it worked marvelously for them. Tough act to follow, however.