Dear Vice - Anti - Anti - Touring
EMA's stories are hilarious and heartbreaking, and were so much fun to read, but how she got from her experiences in atonal performance art to the conclusion that it's now impossible to make a living as a touring musician is mysterious to me. I make sort of low-level-corporate-lawyer money, but I had songs on the radio in the 90s; other touring musicians I know make McDonalds'-assistant-manager money, or prosperous-shopkeeper money, or sanitation-worker money, or tenured-professor money. All better (if you like the life) than a day job. Some suggestions:
1. Play solo, or duo, and sound amazing that way. Not easy, but bands eat money. You need to tour cheap, but your show still has to be tremendous.
2. Write songs. Noise jams are lovely, but your favorite artists who toured for a long long time wrote songs (and lots of the great noise artists did, too). If you have a long life playing shows, your crowd will, alas, grow up. Kids who go to shows see fashion, hotness, and audacity; grown-ups who go to shows hear songs.
3. Don't be wasted all the time. Drunken adventures with friends = completely valid (seriously, no snark), but you've got work to do.
4. Work like a motherfucker.
5. Be in love with it. The arduous travel part isn't for most people; you have to genuinely love to live this way. If you don't love it, it's not worth it. If you do love it, you'll get art and performance and sublime connection in your life, too.
Thanks, VICE, for your continued fantasticness. Your nihilism sometimes makes me need a nap, but you're absolutely the funnest thing out there.