A musician friend of mine once said: “We don’t do it for the money. But we won’t do it without the money”
I’m paraphrasing. The original piece is here. But this is as good a start as any. I’m finally plucking up the courage to talk about money. I have to, everyone else does.
It is a subject I loathe. My bandmates know not to discuss the fees and splits when we’re at a gig, they know it makes me very snappy. I just hate putting a price on what we do, that’s for the booking stage, not the magic bit. Money is what I think about when the Council Tax second reminder comes along, or the red-bordered United Utilities threat, or when I’m in a shop trying to work out which milk bottle has slightly more in it. Money is what I think about when things are going badly. Money is an obstacle as much as it is an enabler. Playing with a band is a joyful thing that takes my mind off money. If money invades that special cathartic moment then something very precious gets a little bit spoiled.
I try to keep art and money in different compartments of my brain. If the two subjects get too close one will inevitably start bullying the other – like bored children in the back of a hot car on a long trip with no scenery.