Way back in the day, when I was in a touring rock band, we often dreamed of being picked up by a major label, having our financial woes taken care of and really rocking out with perfect equipment, a great tour van, hotels and fully promoted tour support. But after seeing fantastic band after band around me getting signed, shelved, ignored, or just under supported I’m more convinced now than ever that labels are leeches.
I remember the first time my band was signed, we were offered something like 3 points per album, which effectively meant about 50 cents per band member per album sold. This is the kind of thing that is common across artistic ventures and genres. Why is it that the artist, the person who makes the product, gets less for their own work than virtually anyone else? For a very long time, this has just been accepted because there were no other alternatives.
I can’t remember the last time I walked into a record store to buy a cd. I buy lots of music when I can and pay for the albums of the bands I love, but knowing what I know, how much is even making it to them? This is where digital downloads are enabling great musical acts to break free from the relentless fleecing they are suffering at the hands of labels.
Enter, He Is Legend. With several heavy albums under their belt and a road ethic that would make a truck driver blush, He Is Legend has carved out a rabid and loyal following and now they are looking to the fans to make the record with them. The band states:
In our music we have gained such a respect for this thing we were called to do. We have a camaraderie and a brotherhood that a lot of bands lack and we can’t help but think that it’s you all, the true music fans, that have kept us alive. We owe it all to you and this is the best way we can keep you in the passenger’s seat.
As a writer and artist myself, I recognize what it takes to make something beautiful and put it out there for the lovers and the haters and because of that I support the artists that I admire. To those out there who love non-corporate rock and want to check out what He Is Legend is doing, visit their site.
Gabriel writes for VICE Magazine, Disinfo.com and Realitysandwich.com and is the author of three books. He is continuing his research at the University of Washington in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.