Wednesday, September 01, 2004

IT MAKES YOU WONDER: WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY SPENDING ALL THAT MONEY ON?: As they bring more court cases and arrange more mergers amongst themselves, the RIAA like to suggest it's all for the good of the talent. Although that's something that doesn't seem to be born out by the experience of the talented. Take, for example, Kevin Shirley, one of the most talented producer/engineers working in metal. According to Shriley's Diary, the labels are just taking the piss these days:

Well, this a wacky ole world. Beware - was a tequila night last night, and I'm in a fine mood! FLAME ON! I'm definitely commiting professional suicide on a huge scale these days. I just get so pissed at these record companies and band managers that treat us engineers and producers like shit, and we are supposed to take it, because there is apparently a dearth of work out there and we should be scraping and groveling. Because the labels spend so much on A&R "expense" accounts, and bitch so publicly about downloading, budgets are cut so much that the quality of product up for offer is often short of nothing but peurile. The music is not the problem, so why spend less on the music than they did thirty years ago. I was listening to old Sabbath the other day, and the care that has been taken to make a quality record then, far exceeds what we have now, by and large! Obviously I'm not stupid enough to name these people (well I am, actually), but certainly by my work schedule, it's not hard to guess who I'm talking about. Everything needs to be done for near-free now, and then it takes forever to get paid! Put it this way, since I got back from London in early June, I've not seen a penny, but plenty of fucking attitude from CEO's, A&R people and managers who have very tight deadlines and want us to fix these cheaply and badly recorded records. One label asked me to mix an entire album for $5k - studio, me, materials included. At best, it could take a week, and studio rates are $2k/day - not to mention all the equipment I own and have loans on! What do they expect me to tell the phone/mortgage/etc companies? Sorry, surround sound doesn't pay thirty days?

... Kevin, get yourself a gig as a merger consultant. That's where the money is in the music industry these days.

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