Oh, Sleeper guitarist Shane Blay recently took to his Facebook to explain why ‘mid-level bands’ make little money on the road. You can find his take on the situation below:
For the past 5 years my brothers in Oh, Sleeper and myself have sacrificed our lives, our time, relationships, birthdays, holidays, health(haha) to travel around and play shows for our fans. Not to say that isn’t been a fun ride!
I would just like to bring a few things to our fans attention:
I would like to show you guys an average day in finances for a “mid-level” band like us. Im going to breakdown the average monetary in and outs of a day on tour. On tour bands have two ways to make money. Guaranties, and Merchandise.
On tour bands have big bills. The biggest are: Managers, Booking agent, Merch Rates, Merch bills, Food, and of course.. the Gas bill. Our last headliner tour was an east coast run with 3 other bands. The average guaranty per band was 300$ per band, and around 300$ in merch. This was the average for all 4 bands, for the entire tour.
So we have a 600$ gross income per night. Now lets break this down. Merchandise is bough, printed, and shipped on the bands dollar. We print most our shirts on American Apparel. They obviously offer the best fitting shirts, and kids are smart about looking good now days. They wont sell unless you have slim fitting, soft shirts. The demand for better quality shirts from bands is higher in last few years.
American Apparel shirts are very pricey to print. usually $7.50 a shirt. More for v-necks, 3/4 sleeve shirts, etc. We sell our shirts for 15$ at our shows, UNLESS we are on tour with a headliner that demands we price match them. SO $15 – $7.50 = $7.50. So half is profit. So out of the 300$ the band made in merch, they owe 150$ to the printer.
BUT HOLD ON! Merch rates! Most nice venues have merch rates, we have seen them be as high 32% gross. Usually they are 25%. —– So out of the initial $300 in merch the band made. 25% goes to venue. Thats $75. $300(gross) – $150(merch cost) – $75(merch venue rate) = $75 (Net profit for the band.) BUT the breakdown doesnt stop there. If the band has a manager, he takes 15% of Net profit of merch. SO MERCH TOTAL PER NIGHT: $75 X .15 = $11.25 $75 – $11.15 = $63.75( TOTAL Net profit in merch for the band.) ——– Guaranties: The breakdown in deductions from this money is: 15% to Manager, 10% to booking agent. $300(gross guaranty) – $45(managers cut 15%) – $30(booking agents cut 10%) = $225 Average Gas bill is around $150. some days way better some days way worse. We have done 17 hour drives..leaveing show and showing up to next one right before we play…many times. Those are a bit more expensive. Most west coast tours we do the average gas bill is around 200-250…but ill use 150 for this example. $225(guaranty after manage and agent deductions) – $150(gas bill) = $75
We have 6 people on tour, our 5 Guys, and our merch guy “The maze”. We give everyone $10 bucks a day to eat on. (This isnt enough when your 6 4 and 200lbs like micah and i by the way) 6 people x $10 = $60 $75 – $60 = $15 $15 Total net profit in Guaranties. ——- $63.75(Net merch) + $15(Net guaranty) = $78.75 for the band for the night. out of $600 gross. if you divide that 6 ways its $13.12 a day per band member. ——- This doesnt include hotel costs. which are usually 50-60 bucks. Most bands dont get hotels or shower to save money to pay for phone bills. This does not include Tires/Van payment/Oil changes/Van upkeep registration bla bla/Trailer tires/Gear/etc. This doesnt include taxes. This doesnt include ROAD TOLLS. Which in the northeast can add up to 20-40bucks a day.
Thanks for reading.
MERCH RATES HAVE TO GO. STOP STEALING OUR CDs PLEASE. WE DONT MAKE MONEY WHEN YOU BUY IT FROM STORES, COME TO SHOWS. WE DONT MAKE MONEY FROM LABELS. BUY MERCH FROM US AT SHOWS IF YOU LIKE WHAT WERE DOING.”
If you “love” so and so band but steal their CDs, LISTEN THE HELL UP!!!!!!!!!!
While I was in Vegas this weekend, I missed a call/got a voicemail from a company by the name of EOCCA “attempting to collect a debt”. I had no idea what that could be since I pay all my bills and on time. I figured I’d deal with it when I got home. I forgot about it and yesterday during class, the same number called and I received the same voicemail. So, I called them as soon as I got out.
They proceeded to tell me that they were a collection agency attempting to collect a debt from Verizon internet for my house in Pomona. They said it was $80 and that I received 3 notices from Verizon and 2 from them. She said “we can settle this right now with a credit card.” I told her I needed to call and check to see if I ever got these notices and she kept insisting I got them. Finally I just hung up and called my parents. They had not seen anything in the mail or knew what I was talking about.
So then I called the “EOCCA” again and she was a total bitch. She told me I received 14 calls from them and they “always leave voicemails” but this was the 2nd time I had heard from them. She said I owed $95 when I told her the other lady 5 minutes ago said $80, she said that $15 was a service charge. Oh and this “debt” was supposedly from a bill dated March/April. I started arguing with her and she gave me the same lines. I told her they needed to send me the invoice again because I want to see it in writing she said they already sent me two and I guess refused to. I told her I was going to talk to Verizon, she said they’d forward me to them. Oh and at the end she said she would put me down as refusal to pay and that this would go on my credit report. So I hung up and decided to call Verizon.
While I was on hold with Verizon, I started googling EOCCA and I see hundreds of posts about people being scammed for $20, 80, 900 and more by this so called “collection agency”.
I finally spoke to Verizon and they said my account was completely paid off, had a $0 balance, nothing sent to collections under my name in Pomona or Alta Loma and they had no idea what I was talking about. I told her what happened and she called it “creepy”.
So the point of my long story is DO NOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE. They are a complete scam. From what I’ve learned, they’ll call people telling them they have debts to pay off from months or years ago.
The scariest thing is, they had the date I moved out of Pomona, my Pomona address, my parents’ address, my phone number, my full name, etc.
Some people got scammed into giving them their social security number.
I just want to make everyone aware that there are people like this out there.
People that make a living off lying to people and making them suffer by stealing their money. Obviously I know that’s been going on for years, but like this? A collection agency? Wow.
This morning I called the “EOCCA” at 877-611-1815 and gave them a piece of my mind. She gave me the same BS and I told her that the funny thing is, I called Verizon and they had no idea what they are talking about. I told her to get a real effin job, not steal other people’s hard earned money. I told her they were pieces of shit. Silence. I asked her if she had nothing to say, she said “I don’t respond to idiotcy”. I told her she was the effin idiot and I knew they were a scam to never call me again and I hung up.
The other scary part is they still have my address and I want to find out who I have to report these people to, how can I get someone to take all my information off of their “database”, how to inform other people that this is a scam, etc. It makes me sad reading stories that people have actually handed over thousands of dollars because they kept harassing and threatening them with non existent debts. Telling these poor people that it was going to hurt their credit report, etc.
How do they get this information? Does Verizon sell my information?
Let me know if this has happened to you or anyone you know. I’m going to try to figure out how to stop these people, I don’t know how, but I’m going to try.
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