Voices Of The Underground Pt.12


Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were extensive and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get their names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us. Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect, right?

Need to catch up?

Read Pt.1: What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3: What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?
Read Pt.5: What Impact Has The Digital Age Of Music Had On The Industry?
Read Pt.6: Who Is Jesus Christ To You?
Read Pt.7: What Is Christian Music?
Read Pt.8: What Is Your Opinion On The Christian Music Industry?
Read Pt.9: Do You Think The Christian Music Scene Is Still Important?
Read Pt.10: Do You Think People Are More Receptive Or Resistant to Artists Of Faith Today?
Read Pt.11: Do You Consider Yourself A Christian Musician? In What Way Does It Affect Your Music?

It is no mystery that it is hard to be a professional musician. Despite the very few success stories, most of the bands you love right now will not be around in ten years due to a number of reasons. The funny thing is that so much has changed since the birth of rock’n'roll: recording costs are lower, equipment is easier to come by, and the digital music age has allowed marketing your band to become as easy as logging on to the internet.  So why is it still so hard to “make it” in the music world? Really, why is it?

What is the hardest part about being a musician today?

heathstripsinirons Heath(bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)
In Irons
Being a musician, overall, is hard. Its hard learning to play an instrument, finding people to play with, writing music, getting a band off the ground, finding transportation and just holding it together. It boils down to how bad you want it to happen. But if you’re able to get it all worked out, it can be some of the most fun you’ve ever had.

runkidrundavidoneinhatDavid (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run)
Run Kid Run
Staying motivated can be our hardest thing which sounds horrible because we have been blessed so much. but just like anything do it for long enough and you can get lazy and apathetic.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)
I think the hardest part of being a musician today is simply just trying to make ends meet… The market has been so saturated due to the fact that virtually anyone can buy a computer and protools and record music and put it up on the internet… There are more bands than ever now and with the economy in its current state, concert venues and promoters can’t afford to put on as many shows as they used to… Everything costs so much more now than it did 10 years ago, yet promoters are still paying midlevel bands the same as they did in the 90s…

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute)
Poorly Built Parachute
Making money, and then working a part time job or going to school while trying to take your music serious.

ourproclamationfrankieinstrips1Frankie (vocalist for Infantry Records hardcore band Our Proclamation)
Our Proclamation
Telling your parents you’d rather go on tour than go to college. Haha

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)
Brooke Waggoner
The emotional involvement with the business side of things. It’s difficult to learn how to market your heart, and soul, and passions, and art. But it’s a MUST to figure it out.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)
Chris Taylor
Deciding when to try and make it your living. Maybe harder is deciding when to stop making it your living.

curtisblackhighvally Curtis (mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley)
High Valley
For me the hardest part is remembering to give the glory ALL to God because he is the only reason we are able to do what we do. It seems pretty easy to forget about God and focus on income or success in the eyes of the world. I continually have to check my motives and make sure that the reason I do what I do is to reach as many people as possible with the most important message out there.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
The hardest thing for musicians today is getting people to actual shows. I mean right now with the economy and everything it is getting harder for people to want to come to shows and everything…And another thing that is hard is getting genuine fans and not just a bunch of fake myspace friends…that don’t really care about your music…they just added you because they click yes to everyone…I think the true fan has of become a lost art form…

deweyDewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)
Dewey Lybecker
I think the hardest part about being a musician today is trying to stick your head above the clouds. There’s so many good artists out there, how do you make yourself stick out beyond everyone else ?

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)
Having all your bases covered. It’s not just enough to have a good song anymore. It’s not good enough to be a tight band anymore. It’s not good enough to have a great look and a good online presence. With the amount of competition out there, you need the whole package. Making your you don’t have any weak links is definitely the hardest part about being a musician. You don’t get to focus on the music half the time!

xcess Xcess(solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
For me it’s just being me since I’m pretty different. There’s alot of politics where labels and venues will want to play it safe and stick with their genres of preference even though I know for a fact I work well in any capacity. If I was in a band I’m sure I’d get booked left and right but dedicated people are hard to find so I do this solo and its quite the hindrance.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
Amy Courts
Because independent music is on the rise, every person who ever thought to play a chord on guitar is writing songs and trying to tour and sell music. But the pond hasn’t gotten any bigger; There are just more fish in it. So it’s a much more dog-eat-dog world than it ever was before, which means we who love what we do and believe we’re meant to do it have to work that much harder to stay in the game. But it’s worth it!

Not much has changed I guess. Only two more weeks left in this series, check bakc next week when we talk about artist’s responseablilty to it’s listner. Should be good!

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