Let’s Get Real with Jeff Paulick is a new column featured on Metal Insider featuring the thoughts and opinions from Lazarus A.D. singer/bassist Jeff Paulick. He’ll be sharing his views on everything from the music industry to life on the road (and everything in between) in this bi-weekly column.
What’s the good word everyone? I wanna open up this blog by explaining a little about me and what I’m gonna be touching on in my blogs, which may run until I get booed offline or get so popular I have to take my talents to South Beach, whichever comes first. For those of you who don’t know, I am the lead singer of Lazarus A.D. I also play bass (but who gives a shit about bass right?). We’re signed to Metal Blade Records, and we’ve put out 2 CDs thus far. We play a style of thrash metal, well that’s what the critics say anyhow, and I have a lot of fun doing it, but there are also a shit ton of things going on behind the scenes that a lot of people not involved in the industry may not know about. I wanted to call the blog Lets Get Real, because that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. I’m not gonna sugarcoat anything, and I wanna be honest about what life is like in a metal band trying to make it in today’s market. I also am gonna ramble about bands I like, why you should like them, why certain bands are popular or not popular, trends, politics, whatever the fuck I feel like cuz, ya know, these awesome dudes at Metal Insider have given me the freedom to do so, and I thank them! On a side note, these opinions are strictly my own, and do not reflect the other dudes in my band whatsoever. But please feel free to talk as much shit or praise me as much as possible.
Lets get real, the music industry is fucked. Or is the artist fucked? Who’s getting it worse? Who’s gonna prevail? The new generation of kids are way too smart to buy music. I don’t buy music, I can’t afford it. But I still wanna listen to it, so I steal it. Yup, lump me in with the 13 million others, its ok. So the record industry, with a business model that is based SOLELY on the distribution and sales of compact discs, is faced with the task of somehow gaining revenue without selling compact discs. And artists (like me) are stuck in deals that require me to pay back advances to the label through the incredibly small percentage that I see on every CD sold. Those very same CDs that aren’t selling! And don’t talk to me about 360 deals, it’s bad enough the House of Blues takes 15% of my clothing sales on top of the 10% management sees, if one more fucking hand comes in this cookie jar there’s a buzzsaw waiting for it. But wait, Emmure is pushing units, so why can’t Lazarus AD or any other up and coming artist? Damn I wish I had that answer. But I don’t.
What I do know is that I see the writing on the wall. Everyone is seeing that same writing, except the labels apparently. Music is going to the cloud. Much like a web mail server, the cloud is a great thing. I don’t need to physically own the music; I just want access to it at any given time, at any given place. I don’t download emails, they stay in this magical land where Google interns tend to them and make sure I can retrieve them whenever I need them. Wireless internet, whether it be on your comp, phone, iPad, iPod, iThis, iThat, iDog, whaaaatever, is everywhere, and still gaining ground. Streaming services like Rhapsody, Pandora, and Spotify are fucking awesome. And I’m willing to pay low monthly fees to have that service (7 million of you pay $15 a month for WoW, why not 15 more for music). This is where the industry IS headed, and the labels are going to kick and scream the whooooole way. They are going to be bought out first (you’ve already seen this, the last one being Warner), and then eventually they will just go bankrupt. The smart ones are going to disband and create 1 stop shop management companies, much like Good Fight and what Ash is doing at Sumerian, and keep the politics in their hands. But, the idea of selling music and making a serious profit is long gone. And it should be gone. Making money off music is a way new idea when you put the history of music (or art in general for the matter) into perspective. It was a bunch of businessmen with money, finding talent, and selling that talent to the masses while taking a way bigger percentage than necessary. And I say good fucking riddance. We are back to the age of the starving artist, and I’m ready to embrace it. You only write good music when you’re starving. You also only eat off the dollar menu when you’re starving. So apparently I got till I’m 34 to write as many albums as I can, hope for the best, cuz the grim reaper with the McDonalds work tee on is chasing me down.
So that’s 1 angle to the diphrapaspherazoid of being in the industry. And remember, Im just a 23 year old kid, I’m pretty damn opinionated and OBVIOUSLY have ALL the answers to life. Duhhhh. It’s my take on it, what do you guys think? What do you want to hear me ramble about next? Otherwise I’m just gonna start ripping off TMZ threads.