Perhaps musicians’ renegade spirit is what ultimately will save the next generation of recording artists, who are increasingly forgoing record deals altogether and going it alone. As true independents, they work the margin between the technology that makes recordings cheaper to create and a public that is steadily buying fewer of them. Without a label taking a bite out of multiple revenue sources, the numbers can actually work. Others are coming together in groups centered on advocacy and pressing for changes to the laws that dictate royalty payments in the new streaming economy — something that could mean all the difference when injury, accident or age brings a touring musician’s career to a halt. But in the meantime, the vans and buses roll on.
If musicians have to rely on touring for the majority of their income, is that ultimately sustainable?
Source: Touring Can’t Save Musicians in the Age of Spotify – The New York Times
I’ve always loved touring, loved traveling, and love being on the road, but there’s an interesting article below that sheds light on the mental and physical toll that touring can have on working musicians.
For many, the contrast between the highs of a successful show and the anti-climactic low that often follows can be hard to adjust to, a phenomenon that has been termed “post-performance depression’, or PPD. Mental health professional John C Buckner writes: “When the body experiences major shifts in mood, it is flooded with several different neurotransmitters, resulting in a biochemical release that leads to a feeling of ecstasy. After these moments the nervous system needs time to recalibrate itself to prepare for another release. After an exciting performance the body starts to balance out the level of neurotransmitters, and therefore it is not releasing the same level that caused the exciting feelings, resulting in the lingering sadness. In normal day-to-day life, biochemicals are released and rest/recovery follow, causing the typical ups and downs of life. In the case of PPD, the process is more extreme with higher highs and lower lows.
Source: Insomnia, anxiety, break-ups … musicians on the dark side of touring | Music | The Guardian
Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and finding ways to reduce stress on the road have been key to recent tours. I’m curious if you have any other suggestions or thoughts on the above?