"I think we had 25, 26 million plays last year, and I think personally I got about 20 pounds, which is less than an hourly work rate."
Anyone who's interested in music knows that it's been a tough slog for musicians for a fair few years now. Touring costs are as expensive as ever, record sales are down, and streaming platforms give very little back to the artists, which makes them a whole lot of money.
Some might believe that once you reach a certain stage in your music career, all your worries wash away, and you magically turn into a millionaire. Well, Dani Filth, lead vocalist, lyricist and founding member of Cradle of Filth, has dispelled that myth once and for all while chatting to Rock Hard Greece.
In the interview, he gets candid about the state of the music industry, saying, "It's been deteriorating ever since… I think 2006 was the year that everything swapped from being comfortable for musicians — well, not necessarily comfortable; it was never comfortable. But [it went to] just being a lot harder with the onset of the digital age, the onset of music streaming platforms that don't pay anybody. Like Spotify are the biggest criminals in the world. I think we had 25, 26 million plays last year, and I think personally I got about 20 pounds, which is less than an hourly work rate.
"For example, the other day, my girlfriend… She's got an ill cat; her cat's very sick and needed a life-or-death operation. She's a well-known tattooist, and she posted a thing online about… a GoFundMe for her cat, and she was gonna do a raffle, and people could win a tattoo, et cetera, et cetera. The point of it is a lot of people were, like, 'Why the fuck should we pay for your cat? You're going out with a multimillionaire?' And she was, like, 'Excuse me, I don't think you understand how the music industry works nowadays. One, he's not a multimillionaire at all. Two, I'm my own person, and this has nothing to do with him.'
"I think people just have this amazing ability to [believe] that when you have stuff out there, like physical product, that you're earning a fortune from it. They don't realize you have so many people taking pieces of the pie — record company, management, accountants, blah blah blah blah; it doesn't matter. If you're not getting any money in the first place, there's not much money to share around. And nowadays, the reason why people put out limited-edition vinyls and stuff it's for collectors — they're the only people that buy it; other people just stream it for nothing.
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"That's why you're finding a lot of bands, since the pandemic, are not touring. Petrol's gone up. Tour bus hire's gone up. The cost of living's gone up. Yeah, it's very hard for bands at the moment. But it doesn't help when people just have this in-built idea that it's not a privilege to get music, that music is something that should be given away for free. I mean, I don't walk into someone's shop and just pick up — I don't know — a pack of bananas and say, 'Well, these grow on trees. They should be free. I'm walking out with these.' I'd be arrested for shoplifting. But it's fine for people to download… Even before albums are out, you find fans, like, 'Oh, I've got a link to it,' and they put it up and then instantly, any sales you're gonna get from people buying it for a surprise are out the window because they've already heard it and then they just move on to the next thing.
"Yeah, the music industry is on its knees at the moment. I still enjoy making music — don't get me wrong, I love it — but, yeah, the musician nowadays is finding a million things against them. It's a hard time." Watch the full interview below.
Luckily, the deterioration of the industry hasn't discouraged Cradle of Filth from making more music, with the band revealing in may of this year that they are hard at work on their fourteenth album. According to the band’s post, drummer Martin "Marthus" Škaroupka has finished recording his parts.
Sharing a few photos from the studio, the band wrote, “We're on our way Filthlings! From Martin 'Marthus' Skaroupka Just finished recording drums for the new Cradle Of Filth album and it's sounding amazing so far! Great to be working with our producer Scott Atkins at Grindstone Studio again!”
The news about Cradle Of Filth cooking up something devilish in the studio arrives a month after the band released their second-ever live album, Trouble And Their Double Lives.
The live album was recorded between 2014 and 2019, with most performances taking place in the US, Europe, Australia and beyond during their Cryptoriana World Tour.
Trouble And Their Double Lives was released on Friday, 28 April, via Napalm Records and serves as a thirst-quencher until the follow-up to 2021’s Existence Is Futile is released next year.