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drummerjoe

Christian Bands = easy way to get signed/fans/money?

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I don't have first hand experience trying to get signed, but I have had plenty of experience watching both Christian and Secular bands. There are few good bands in each catagory, and plenty of lousy ones all around! I think trying to be a Christian band just to get signed is the wrong way to go! It only makes sense if you are doing it because you believe it (God, not the music).

 

A guy in my church is in a big-name band, several CDs, touring, etc. They are having a great time now, but it took YEARS of hard work, playing anywhere they could get, and being very patient. If they are any indication, making it as a Christian band is not necessarily easy...

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Probably the most awful thing I have ever heard out of the mouth of a musician came from a bass player I worked with, who had lived in Nashville for a few years and knew some of the Christian bands. When our bandleader brought up the idea of starting a Christian band, the aforementioned bass player said- Yeah! Christian bands get all the best (crude term for female anatomy).

And he was serious as could be. The bandleader just looked at me and laughed and said, well I guess (bass player) is not going to be in our Christian band.

 

Disclaimer: The above is not intended as a slam against Christian musicians, Nashville, or bass players for that matter. I for one could care less when Vince Gill started doing the wild thing with Amy Grant.

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Originally posted by guitarizt

It's still gonna be hard to make it as any kind of band but you have to admit that if you are in a christian band instead of a rock band you're allready gonna have a following.

 

Why would you already have a following???

I HATED "Christian" music until a few years ago, they actually have some good bands/songwriters/singers now that are original and sound good. I still don't like rap very much (unless it's old skool stuff from the 80's:cool: ) I don't care if it's Christian or not-

why would I "automatically" like some music just because the people that made it supposedly share some of my beliefs????

There is no "built in" audience anymore than there is if you wanted to put out a rap album and try to look hard n' shyt...

I mean, there IZ a market for that shyt, but if your shiznit is plizayed out, then, you can forget it.....

 

Peace out-

B-ware

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I responded to this earlier, but since then I have gotten to know guys in another really good Dallas area Christian band. They write all their own stuff, are great musicians and performers, and work really hard. They are one of my favorite bands, but they still have not "made it". They have one indie CD, and another coming out soon, but have not been able to get signed.

 

So, being in a "Christian" band does not make it any easier to make a living in music...

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Being a former band manager for a number of acts in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area and now a recording engineer for Christian bands I can say that this whole idea of making it as a Christian band is a farce. The clubs that welcome Christian acts tend to not have money to pay what secular clubs do. You have to remember that secular clubs have the opportunity to sell alcohol and make money on acts. Christian venues do not have this luxury and do not have the profit margin. On an average Weekend night in this are, Christian bands tend to get paid on average 10% of what secular bands get paid. A decent secular band can book a show and get $500.00 where the same talent Christian band tends to get $50.00.

 

Add to that the stigma that you are "doing this for God." and that even the churches that sponsor shows don't feel that the bands should be compensated (even if the Bible they believe states differently) and you have a hard life. I have seen bands that have been performing for nearly 2 years still have barely enough money to make it to the concerts, let alone be able to make a sustained living.

 

If you think this is the way to go, you are in for a MAJOR surprise.

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Originally posted by guitarizt

if you are in a christian band instead of a rock band.

 

Man you are so naive. Who says christian bands can't be rock bands. Man have you ever heard any christian music besides gospel or hymns? There's a lot of christian bands who play rock.

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Originally posted by Ministry of FOG

Being a former band manager for a number of acts in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area and now a recording engineer for Christian bands I can say that this whole idea of making it as a Christian band is a farce. The clubs that welcome Christian acts tend to not have money to pay what secular clubs do. You have to remember that secular clubs have the opportunity to sell alcohol and make money on acts. Christian venues do not have this luxury and do not have the profit margin. On an average Weekend night in this are, Christian bands tend to get paid on average 10% of what secular bands get paid. A decent secular band can book a show and get $500.00 where the same talent Christian band tends to get $50.00.


Add to that the stigma that you are "doing this for God." and that even the churches that sponsor shows don't feel that the bands should be compensated (even if the Bible they believe states differently) and you have a hard life. I have seen bands that have been performing for nearly 2 years still have barely enough money to make it to the concerts, let alone be able to make a sustained living.


If you think this is the way to go, you are in for a MAJOR surprise.

 

A big AMEN to this post. I was in a Christian band (actually, a few of them) in California in the 80s. We couldn't do clubs, because most clubs wouldn't hire Christian bands. So, we did a lot of youth group events, singles group parties, street ministry stuff, farmer's markets...and almost every one of these events except the Farmer's Market expected us to play for a "love offering"..."hey. just let the Lord decide how much you're going to be blessed"...etc etc. And we'd pass around the basket and usually get between one and two hundred dollars to split 6 ways after gas money. Christian bands can indeed make a lot of money, but not until after they've "made it", which means playing for huge events (Promise Keepers, conferences, etc) and finally concerts. In that respect, they're pretty much like any other musicians.

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Check out Audio Adrenaline for rock stuff. That's my biggest pet peeve - "You're a Christian Band! You can't do fun songs like 'Secret Agent Man' for crowd pleasers; it's not a christian song! You should change the lyrics!"

 

We get this after every show we play. We have a bunch of crowd pleaser fun songs, Secret Agent Man, Ghostbusters, Scooby-Doo, Monster mash etc.

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Disclaimer: The above is not intended as a slam against Christian musicians, Nashville, or bass players for that matter. I for one could care less when Vince Gill started doing the wild thing with Amy Grant.

 

you're kidding right? I thought she was married to Gary Chapman

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If anyone is familiar with the band King's X, they are a christian band.

 

As similarly stated above, this is no longer true. The Christian overtones started falling out of their lyrics quite a few albums ago, and Doug Pinnick (singer/bassist) has announced that he has reconsidered his faith and is either agnostic or atheist at this time. I'm pretty sure that Ty Tabor is still a Christian, but I'm not sure. Who knows about Jerry Gaskill - something tells me he doesn't talk so much.

 

King's X, by the way, is also probably the MOST UNDERRATED BAND in rock and roll. If you don't have any of their albums, get Dogman, Out of the Silent Planet, Ear Candy, King's X (self-titled) ... and do it NOW.

 

Back to the subject at hand.

 

I started making music because me and my two good friends (brothers) in church found that we harmonized well together when we'd improv three-part harmony to the hymns in church and songs in the youth choir. We were "Jesus Freaks" at the time (and I mean that in the positive sense) and felt that perhaps writing some original material would allow us to use our talent for the Lord. We did it for a long time, first in an acoustic trio, then as a Christian punk-metal Quintet.

 

At the time, I listened to the popular Christian rock of the time, which was predominantly Petra, Mylon LeFevre, Bryan Duncan, Bash 'n' the Code, etc... and of course, a mainstream hair-metal success called Stryper. With the exception of the last band, I think that the reason my music sounds like what it does (and the fact that my lyrics have to really MEAN something) is based on these bands (and others) that I listened to during my formative musical youth.

 

I'm now an atheist, and the two brothers from back then have also questioned or put aside their faith - but we're still playing together. And you can definitely hear the influences of the early Christian Rock that we used to listen to. I'm glad that you can, because that was good music (and still is - I recently pulled out some old Petra albums and was still digging on it!)

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yeah, i am lead singer and guitarist in a Christ centered rock band. We dont deny our faith and we've won secular battle of the bands a few times. there were great bands too, so it wasnt like there was no competition.

and just to give a little insight into really how many Christ centered bands there really are out there:

POD, Blindside,AFI,Dave Mustaine(FormerIRONMAIDEN),Billy Corgan(ZWAN),12Stones....i could go on for days.

Me and my band "Cranial*Halo" we havent been signed but really that doesnt matter. We care about the meaning behind our music, just like any non-christian band. and just because you call yourself a christian band...it doesnt make you a christian or mean that the christian market is gonna love you!

just some of my thought!

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nope youre right. i wasnt really into the metal, but i know Mustaine is a Christian now! See i learn new things daily! :o)

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Once again it comes down to contacts...

 

A lot of Christian bands have it easier because they have a better and more positive network of venues. There are literaly an unlimited number of venues (every church hall) and a built in audience (faithfuls, childern who are not allowed to clubs etc) For many kids in the audience it will be their first rock concert ever and they will instantly buy a copy of your CD.

 

Much like the Jr high curcuit in the 80's (till teachers decided rock and roll was wasting the school's time) WITH THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS doing the christian thing can be a quick payoff.

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Originally posted by LittleBastard

Once again it comes down to contacts...


A lot of Christian bands have it easier because they have a better and more positive network of venues. There are literaly an unlimited number of venues (every church hall) and a built in audience (faithfuls, childern who are not allowed to clubs etc) For many kids in the audience it will be their first rock concert ever and they will instantly buy a copy of your CD.


Much like the Jr high curcuit in the 80's (till teachers decided rock and roll was wasting the school's time) WITH THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS doing the christian thing can be a quick payoff.

 

Is this your experience, or just a theory? I'm just curious,; it certainly was not mine nor anyone else's I know in the Christian music scene.

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I am not a perfect Christian but here's what I have to say

 

People can draw artistic inspiration from various things, but eventually you will have to show you're worldview. Im responding to the debate about people who dont really have a relationship with God but they are members of Christian groups becuase that was the first gig that came up, etc...(they're like that cat from "the Gilmore Girls" show that my girlfriend watches that pretends he's in a 7th day adventist worship group when he's actually not even a christian, so he can spend time around the Korean girl he likes without the wrath of her super strict mother...he pretends he's down with the Lord for an outside interest)

 

Yes, There are many believers in Christ who are saved by grace but they fall short in areas, and some of them are in bands and play guitar, some of them rap, etc. These people have sins in their life, and.... (I am one of them... big time) Like the Bible says "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness"

Whatever we have done against Him, he died on the cross to pay the penalty for that sin. I myself have a lot of screw ups. But if we have in our hearts to not be that kind of person and change more and more into the person He meant us to be, then we are on the right road.

 

And, there are people who think that the type of music I create (Hip Hop) is against God and ungodly. But, there are also very NON Christian people who totally speak against the message of the Bible, yet Christians will quote the same person's book because it's against "the evils of Rock and Roll" and "Jazz" and so support their specific music doctrines that arent out of the Bible. (I'm taling about David Tame's "The Secret Power of Music" and certain web based Christian books who quote him, a secular source, because he thinks Rock and Roll is "bad music"...yet he also tries to say that Hindus and Christians believe the same thing, and he supports the New Age movement...so where's the outrage over that??)

 

Bottom Line...what is your motivation? Sometimes I admit that my motivation was the desire to create art and get recognition for my creativity. Sometimes my goal is to make a polished, professional sounding product and so impress people with my "progress" towards my desired line of work (i.e. to impress my family). But, these arent the purest of motives. My motive, if it is to make Christian music, should be to remind people of WHo it is that is really what this world and this life is all about. Just remind people in a song that they like of who has the answers to their problems. You cant save the people with your music

 

And dont let the music become more important than the message. Some Christian rap groups turn up the bass all loud and the beat and all that and the actual rapper is way down in the mix and you cant even hear what he's saying. Keep it real but let the motivation of turning folks to God lead everything else

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Evanescence did it. They were signed up with Wind-Up and in a recent interview they said their music wasn't Christian. It's every pseudo Christian band's dream come true.

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see but Evanescence really screwed up because they put a few explicit words in their interview to show how much they werent Christian. They lost a huge Christian audience because of those few words. If they would have just said "well its not Christian,but Christians can listen" cause they made it into a large growing industry without even having to say the word God. There are tons of bands that would love to be able to do that! Evanescence really went down the wrong side with that, cause 12 Stones is a band that believesin Christ, theres just a lot of Christians that want to hit the secular scene without the label.

Its crazy how the world labels someone Christian just as they do "prostitute" or like you have aids or some disease. but whatever cause the God i believe in is bigger than all of this! So rock on!

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I'm in a band in which all four member profess Christ. However, we really get tired of being compared to Christian bands and even had to specify on our want ad for a bassist that "we are not a worship band" We are open about our faith when confronted, but we don't confront others with it. I think our lifestyles reflect what we believe.

One benefit of the ability to be labled a "Christian band" is that many places will let you play just because you confess Christ. Our band has just recorded our demo, and we already booked (or already played) 8 shows in 9 months before the demo, just by approaching Christian venue owners. Unfortunately, we have usually wound up playing with bands that don't rock hard or are worship bands, thus giving people a reason to lump us with them.

 

One normal venue show we played opened with a band stating before they started "We're here for two reasons: One, to rock out, and two, to take your f*ing soul!" I though that was a great show. Everyone who I talk to still remembers that show like it was yesterday. The members and fans of that band were even honest about the complements they gave us.

 

I mean the world is a melting pot made up of all kinds of people, so when secular people turn away Christians and when Christians turn away anyone else (there's Christ's love for ya) thats just causing more problems. I could probably babble on, but I'd better not.

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This is slightly off topic, but...

 

...did anyone catch the South Park episode where Cartman forms a Christian rock band called "Faith +1" with Butters and Token? It's freakin' hilarious. However, Cartman's whole idea is based on the premise that Christian rock bands have a built-in fanbase. It's definitely worth watching, in any case.

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i dont see why ya cant pretend to be a0 christian group and have success, I hate to break it to ya but 95 percent of the bands who have satanic lyrix and such dont worship satan its all just for show and can be fun (as i listen to morbid angels altars of madness)

so i dont see why the reverse cant be true i mean its called the "music bussiness" for a reason it dont matter how ya get to the top there as long as your looking down in the end

;)

 

and AFI is a christian band? huh?

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Hey guys, I'm in a Christian rock band that is currently being looked at by 5 record labels. I play bass. Just like all genres of music, the best Christian bands aren't the ones that you see doing stadium tours, but in small clubs throughout the country.

 

Getting signed to a Christian Label is actually pretty tough because all of the labels for the most part are a tightly connected guild in which everyone is connected to each other. If you do not impress one label, then attracting other labels is kind of hard to do. We had the opportunity to play for the guys from Audio Adrenaline who own Flicker Records...they loved us. In return they introduced us to producers and other members of Ardent Records,Essential Records,Sparrow Records,and Gottee records.

So we are still in prayer that if it's God's will that one of them will pick us up...

 

As far as the money goes...initial sign on with a Christian label is pretty much a joke...you're looking at 30-40k as a whole...and you have to fund the production of your album,which in today's market is easily 20-25k dollars. then you have to fund your own tour (ie, van,trailer,equipment,etc)...also you have to pay for your own merch...so as you can see with first album, you get nothing! pretty much.

 

If your first album is a success then they start putting more money in your lap...but it's still no where compared to a secular label...that's why I'm in it for the ministry/music and not the money...because at first there is not much to be made.

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Ok. Since I am the new guy here, I have no idea what to expect with my reply. However, this topic stirs my interest greatly. So, I offer up my opinion... for what it's worth.

 

I live and work in the Nashville area. I work with a lot of "Christian" artists. I work with a lot of secular artists. There are a lot of VERY average musicians in both fields. The cream rises to the top in ANY genre. However, there is one thing I notice about the rare ones that have either "made it", or are on their way to "making it". It's a sincerity about their art, coupled with at least SOME true talent. For Christians, it seems clear that they want to SERVE their fellow humans by making GREAT music that brings them joy. For non-christians, their inner motivation is very often the desire to serve themselves/gratify themselves by do something that brings them pleasure (both making music, and being praised for it), but they are SINCERELY into it in a BIG way. Both extremes are FASCINATING, and we as people are REALLY drawn to them. I have seen both types of people in Christian bands, and I have seen both types in "non-christian" bands. This sincerity transcends getting signed. It's all about making GREAT music to these people. It's about saying something to the world that they feel desperately needs to be said. Very rarely have I seen a band or artist get signed that hadn't worked MUCH harder on their talent than they did on TRYING to get signed.... to ANY kind of label.

 

Not one of us is perfect, or good in our work, or our motivations. We all have some selfish motivations that drive us. The "Christian" bands are just expected to live a certain way in ADDITION to making music. I think anyone going into this genre should take that VERY seriously. It is sad to see people turned off to a lifestyle/relationship thats' very principles are unconditional love, non-judgemental living, selflessness, kindness, and forgiveness, because of "jerks" that went after a Christian label deal because it was easier to get signed. However, Christians are also HORRIBLE at showing grace and forgiveness to one another. Christians are not expected to be perfect, by God... but they really are by many other Christians. Thus, if you do decide to go into this business.... you either need to have a REAL sincere relationship with God, or be VERY good at faking it.... because you will get sniffed out pretty quick..... and unless you sell a LOT of records.... you will be right out the back door.

 

To "succeed" in ANY genre, I think we must strive for GREAT work. If our music is GREAT, we won't have to choose Christian/Non-Christian labels. Frankly, I don't like the "lablels" at all. Indeed, making music should be like any other vocation. I mean we don't have Christian Postmen, or Christian Doctors. We should all just MAKE music and let our LIVES show what we stand for. Believe me.... people will be watching... and see what is in our hearts.

 

Bob Dylan wrote a song called "You Gotta Serve Somebody". It speaks of a GREAT truth. You must make a choice. Making music is something many of us were MADE to do. Answering the call in our hearts to do this can be the greatest form of worship... either to God.... ourselves.... or even the devil. I think it is one of the MOST powerful calls in life. "Success" as proven by history can be found on either side of the fence.

 

In my humble opinion, the secret to success is not nearly as simple as what kind of record label to solicit, but rather HOW urgently we go about ANSWERING the call to make GREAT music! It's all about that.

 

If you write a GREAT song, and perform it at least half way well, I can GUARANTEE you will have no lack of labels wanting you to work for them.

 

That's just my humble 2 cents. Please don't flame me too bad since I am new.... :)

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:( Unfortunately, everything you said in your thread seems

to be true! and it's a real shame that such things are a reality

in the world of music... IT DISGUSTS ME!!! :mad:

I hate Christian music for many reasons...the particular being

that you have to affiliate yourself with a particular religion for

your band to get more success! plus the whole polished

"goody-goody" thing makes me just want to vomit! :rolleyes:

I'm not a religious person, and never will be!

plus, if anything I'm a "bad boy", and that's fine with me!... :D

 

Crypticglobe's reply to this subject is REALLY good!

one of the most knowledgable posts I've ever read!

Bluestrat's posts in other threads have really opened

my eyes as well! Both of these guys obviously

know WAY MORE about the music biz than I do, and

I'm keeping A LOT of what they said in mind, as I

continue along with my music career. Thanx guys. :)

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