Longtime readers of this site may recall the name Pressure 4-5. Well, their former bassist Lyle McKeany wrote a piece late month that has been making the rounds online. In it he breaks down the costs of his time spent recording and touring with the band.
The piece reflects on late 90′s and early 2000′s, providing a unique look at how some things have changed and others haven’t. An excerpt from the post can be read below with the full entry available at his website, lylemckeany.com.
“After signing with DreamWorks, we also took a publishing deal with EMI. They provided a large advance of money in exchange for half of the royalty rights to our music. They, in turn, used their distribution connections to try to get our music into TV shows, movies, commercials, and the like. In fact, I made more royalty money off of the Regis and Kathy Lee Show than anything else. I never saw how they used our music. If anyone ever saw an episode that played our music, let me know. Think of the publishing deal like an insurance policy in case the album was a flop. We were glad we took the deal.
We recorded our album at NRG studios, which cost roughly $350,000. We also shot our video at Universal Studios, which cost roughly $250,000.
Let do the math: $500,000 advance (we had a 5-piece band) + $350,000 recording + $250,000 video = $1,150,000. And we had not even hit the road yet!
Towards the end of my time in the band, I distinctly remember one of our managers telling me that we had to sell over 1,000,000 albums in order to recoup all of the money spent. In the end, we only sold 80,000.
All told, I personally made roughly $100,000 on both the record and publishing deals before taxes. Sounds like a pretty nice chunk of change, right? Well, keep in mind that it had to last until we made a second album, which usually happens 1-3 years after the first. I left the band two years after we were signed. We had just started writing songs for a second album. The band was dropped from the label before they ever had a chance to record it.
So, what do bands do to get by?
They hit the road… a lot.”