I have a brother who is a very talented artist. He creates paintings that are very impressive, and he sells them for money. Cash. Benjamins. People see the work of art, and they know it took effort, energy, time, and talent to create it.
Music, on the other hand, is a different story.
Dave Grohl recently stated that musicians should give their music away and then play shows. For him, that makes sense. He can charge money for tickets, and he can sell those tickets by the thousands.
Not so for the beginning (starving) artist.
We work hard to create, just like my brother works hard to create. However, people are less willing to shell out $.99 for a song that cost time, money, effort, and talent.
For us, we have to do free shows in order to entice people to attend – not because the music isn’t good, but because it’s a risk. How good is this artist going to be? Will I enjoy the show? People aren’t willing to pay $10, $20, $50, $100, or more for an artist they don’t know.
So David, I’m glad you can afford to give away your music. Maybe it’s artists like you that are helping to cheapen RECORDED music. You’re not the only one, but artists like U2 who give their music away contribute to the idea that recorded music is disposable.
For the record, I like Dave’s music, and I LOVE U2. I just don’t necessarily agree with what they have said and done recently.
I’m trying to make a living creating music. People make a living painting art, taking pictures, building cars, delivering packages, and cooking food. Why can’t I make a living creating music?