I recently responded to a friend's email who claimed that most Christian artists are only in it for the money. It is one of those statements that I have heard over and over. Each time it causes the proverbial hair on my back to stand straight up. Why do I feel that I have to defend this thought all the time?
My friend does not even go to concerts, and rarely listens to the music. So how can someone make such a strong general statement. Sure, are there some musicians out there who are in it for the money? I suppose. But these must not be the folks I am hanging out with. Sure, the recent increase in digital sharing and decrease in music sales could be a factor, but before all that I knew that there are many folks out there who make music because it is what they love to do. How many folks out there in any occupation could make even more money, but enjoy what they do?
Did you know that many musicians don't have paid health insurance as a benefit of their work? Yes, they can choose to pay for insurance alone, but do you know how much that costs, especially if you have to support your family? If you follow bands as I do, you could list countless situations where a band member or singer has a health issue and folks donate to help offset the costs of medical bills. I won't name them now, as I don't want to make the band the focus of the blog.
One band member told me not long ago that he could make more money at Starbucks than going out on tour. He is part of a newer band, one of the openers that night. Having released two albums nationally, they strive to continue in hopes more people will hear and enjoy their music. Not long after, a member of another band told me that after four albums, they are still not making much money, despite being a headliner on the tour.
I don't know if my friend will ever believe anything than his original statement. But I could not just sit there and let it slip by without a response. He speaks from knowing songs on the radio. I speak from experience with the musicians.