I will tell it as it is in this post. No bending of the truth. You will get a true insight in how it is to be a freelance musician in times like this. January 2020, I looked at my schedule and was very satisfied with the situation. Everything that I worked so hard for over the years aligned, a row of success. I was on top of the mountain.A world tour with Steve Hackett, festival gigs with The Flower Kings, other gigs with different artists and recordings.
Then this invisible enemy appeared and literally from one day to another, all activities stopped, got cancelled, postponed. Did I have a B-plan? No, a pandemic of this magnitude is nothing anyone is prepared for. Did I have insurances, financial back up to cover from going 100% to absolutely zero? The answer is sadly “no” there as well. This is not a rant to make you all feel sorry for me. Others got sick, lost loved ones, lost their jobs, shattered families, mental illness, the wounds a tragedy like this leaves upon the world are of astronomic magnitude. I still have a roof over my head, so I’m probably one of the lucky ones.
However, I lost a whole year’s salary to Covid-19 from one day to another. The Hackett and TFK gigs got cancelled. My schedule got totally eradicated. If you lose your normal job, you are getting at least some insurance from the employer or the government (in most cases). In the freelance world nothing like this exists. You are on your own, unless you’re doing great, then the taxman rings your doorbell and wants a piece of the action.
The revenues from the online platforms are basically zero. The only real money we can make, is from concerts. You do the math, zero concerts equal zero income. Luckily, I got 1000 Euros from the Emergencyfund here in Austria. That was nice for a week. I don’t have any Rock’n Roll millions hidden in any obscure tax haven countries. I have my instruments, everything I made on music went straight back into music. Always been like that, so to put it mildly, it’s shit.
But, can you just lie down and weep? Of course not, that doesn’t bring bread to the table. I still have 2 kids to support on top of myself. Is it easy to be creative and start over from square one? Of course not, you have to raise above that. If not for yourself but for your kids.
So, this leads me back to you guys.
Me, Rob and Craig launched this project to cover for our tour losses, to survive. This is the only thing we know how to do. This is the only thing we can do. If you are one of the people who still has a job, a family, your health and on top of that likes music and believes that music should be part of the society, you can make a difference.
By signing up for the VIP package, you help us tremendously through the hard times. The extra money will not end up in champagne, sunshine and lollipops. It will pay for rent, food for us and the kids, just the basic stuff. You don’t get anything more than your name on the CD, but you get a heartfelt thank you from us and on the behalf of the whole musician’s community.