Best jobs for supporting your music career (being in a band etc.)

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Metalus, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Metalus

    Metalus JP BFR Whore

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    This doesnt sound half bad. Every friend ive had whos dealt with food makes it seem as if its the worst job on the planet :scratch:
     
  2. danresn

    danresn SS.org Regular

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    I must be retarded but isn't anything under around $80 000 considered middle lower income. I'm planning to study engineering, and if you work in the mines the starting salary for a mechanical engineer is anywhere from $120 000 to $150 000 going up to circa $350 000 for experienced managers. Depending on your schedule you could easily get one week on, one off. Two weeks on, one off.

    I wouldn't mind that, two weeks on site 9-5 and then you get a week to go on tour :).
     
  3. RevDrucifer

    RevDrucifer SS.org Regular

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    It's not always a fun job.

    If you can't deal with the public, DON'T GET A JOB IN A RESTAURANT.
    If you already believe that the world is full of idiots and assholes, this job will just prove to you that you're 100% right.

    So the customer who is normally just an ignorant asshole in daily life, well, you're now, in some way, in control of the food he will be putting in his body and is paying for. That ignorant asshole (the millions of them) will hold you personally responsible for any and all things unpleasant with the experience of eating at the place ya work at.

    I've had a brownie sunday dessert (sold in one of those heavy cast iron skillets on a trivet, like you get fajitas on) thrown at me from across the room by a rather large....fucking gorilla sized guy. It wasn't hot enough.

    The cops were called on me by two teenagers who claimed I stole their cell phone. I was questioned by the cop at one of the tables in the station I was working in, surrounded by the guests I was serving. They found the phone in their car.

    It's a constant test of dealing with shit under pressure. Extremely fast paced, there's at any given point, 20-70 individual personalities you're dealing with from stressed co-workers to whacked out guests.

    Shitty tips happen NONSTOP. Especially when the economy took a downturn a few years ago. The average tip is 20%. You always expect at least 15%, but the average is 20%. It's hard when you spend 2 hours taking care of a table of 20 people with a $300 bill and they leave you $10. It took time away from your other tables and it also occupied the same space you could have had 4 other tables come and gone in the time they were there.

    But...ya gotta brush it off because the hosts are seating you with another 20 top.

    It's rare you find a joint with a great management team. If the restaurant has an employee turn around of 1-2 new people a week because 1-2 people are leaving a week, get the fuck out of there. That comes down from shitty management. They - and to an extent other co-workers - are entirely in charge of how the place runs on a regular basis. If they suck, it all sucks.

    Bottom line is that this job has taught me so much about how to deal with life. From dealing with people, connecting with people I have ZERO in common with (you start to find common ground with them after a while), how to think on your feet when rent is 3 weeks past due because you hit a slow season, how to plan your finances, how to work crazy long hours, get zero sleep then do it again the next day, how to bullshit your way to getting what you want....how to cook!

    There isn't one way that those things you learn, rather quickly, in a restaurant won't apply to someone trying to make a career out of music. Especially if you want to tour for a living.

    Does it suck? If you don't condition yourself to it, it certainly does.

    Is it a perfect job while you're working on getting your band off the ground? Absofuckinglutely.
     
  4. sage

    sage twerk twerk thall

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    Yeah, there are downsides to serving. Old waiter joke: What's the difference between a waiter and a toilet seat? Toilet seat only has to deal with one asshole at a time.
     
  5. SirMyghin

    SirMyghin The Dirt Guy Contributor

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    Can I come work at a mine over there? They aren't that good here. 9-5 at a mine too? You folks are spoiler. Ours are 24 hour ops. You are missing something important though, you will be staff (aka Salary) and you will have to put in extra hours now and then. That is engineering in a nutshell.
     
  6. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    I'm a mechanical engineer at a nuclear power plant. Your numbers are WAY wrong. Engis start around 70k, lead engineers make around 120k, only PEs that own their own firm make SERIOUS money....

    And double no on the time off thing. The joys of being salary, you WORK. Basically whoever is telling you this shit is full of it themselves.
     
  7. 3074326

    3074326 Local Astronaut

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    Man, do I wish life were as easy as you make it sound. 50k where I live goes a long way. I have a nice little place, I've bought an EBMM JPX and an Axe 2 this year alone on my 30k salary.

    You make more than that and work half the year.. I feel like you're experience is vastly different than everyone I know.
     
  8. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    Mo money, mo problems.

    Bigger the check, bigger the bills. Id have unreal gear if I didn't have three cars, a morgtage, insurance, taxes... etc, etc. Not trying to show off, just saying how it is.
     
  9. SirMyghin

    SirMyghin The Dirt Guy Contributor

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    Wasn't easy, had to work damned hard in a lot of less adequate jobs to get my education, which was a large factor in getting my line of work. I put in the work to make these standards a reality, that part is easy to overlook though.

    I was told something in my teens that was very valuable. You can work hard now (while you are young), or you can work hard the rest of your life (see labour). My job, while having very long hours and long stretches (I still work 43+ hours a week if you average it over the year, likely closer to 50) is still much easier than my education (Master's Degree, research stream).

    Thing is I have to look forward, have a wife, plan to get a down payment for a house, as well as pay down my and my wife's student debt. Gear is an easy acquisition, despite me not having bought any this year (well I bought 2 pieces coming in Dec, but nothing on my responsibilities.)
     
  10. 3074326

    3074326 Local Astronaut

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    I certainly respect that and hope I didn't sound like a dick with my comment. Haha

    But I know how comfortably I could live with $50k. I'm awesome with money. I have a bachelor's degree and stupid nice gear without any debt whatsoever. I'll eventually make decent money doing what I love, and I'll probably have plenty of time for gigs. That's enough for me. :)
     
  11. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    This is why americans sometimes piss me off. Believe it or not, not everywhere has a shitty depressed real estate market right now.

    Where I live at the moment prices have been sky rocketing for 10 years straight now. Asian countries are also experiencing a huge real estate booms.
     
  12. danresn

    danresn SS.org Regular

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    I live in Australia... Queensland, my state is currently experiencing a mining boom that is supporting the entire country, tradesman (diesel fitters, mechanics etc) make over $100 000 a year.

    Mechanical Engineer EPCM Mining Options-$288K-139K- Gold on the Horizon... job ($150,000 - $200,000) in Perth Metro, WA ( Engineering:Mechanical Engineering )

    This ad is in perth, buts its the same deal, mining pays a lot of money.
     
  13. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    That's... absurd haha. Id need to know more man, there's no way they are hiring non licensed engineers for 200k though. here in america, mech eng salaries don't break 150k, unless you become some kind of director or manage serious projects.

    That aside... looks like I need to move my ass to australia! Haha
     
  14. danresn

    danresn SS.org Regular

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    It looks like its coming to an end now though. Its just that in mining boom was so large and so sudden. We actually had messages sent to every school in queensland from companies looking for diesel fitter apprentices etc for large salary jobs, because the competition for skilled workers was so large amongst the companies the salaries grew. Its not uncommon for a person to get their certificates/experience and change companies because company B offered a large salary than company A.

    Also our costs of living are way higher over and so are our normal wages. Teachers make around $70 000 a year. Beer is way more expensive and our music prices seem ridiculous compared to america, Schecter hell raisers are over $1000.
     
  15. ShadowAMD

    ShadowAMD SS.org Regular

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    Umm I got into IT and audio R&D / Soft dev.. 120K USD + a year so I can buy tons of equip ;)..

    Work comes in waves and droves, so sometimes I spend a lot of time on music others I don't..

    Contractors can earn 250 - 300K USD, but in this climate I wouldn't think of this as an option..

    You will find that only 1.5% earned more than 250K and above in the US rated in 2005. 15.93% earned 100K or more: the national median is around 44K.. My wife earns 40K and after taxes and bills she still has over a $1500 left a month so 40K is an excellent wage..

    Teachers in the UK earn 50K USD, but it all depends where you live.. In London the cost of renting a small flat can nearly be 2.5K a month... Up north it costs 1.5K and that's for a fair sized house.

    I live in the UK but comparing to US..
     
  16. Saidincontext

    Saidincontext SS.org Regular

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    -No.
    If you were studying to be a lawyer, would you have a back up plan? Hell no. Cuts your focus in half and let's you think it's okay to fail. Give it your 100%!!!
    Dimebag sold pot :)
     
  17. ArrowHead

    ArrowHead SS.org Regular

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    It is. And restaurants are busiest on nights and weekends, which means you'll be kissing your friday and saturday nights goodbye if you want to make any money and get on the schedule.

    I went into the restaurant industry in my early 20's and had a 12 year career. I absolutely believe it KILLED my musical life, both performing/playing and going to see shows.

    And having been a restaurant manager, in charge of staffing, I disagree that it's easy to get time off for music. I had a lot of musicians work for me over the years, and few lasted long as they tend to need too much time off, making MY job infinitely harder making the schedules, especially with the Friday and Saturday nights, the two shifts where you DO need everyone working that can.
     
  18. RevDrucifer

    RevDrucifer SS.org Regular

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    Guess we all have different experiences in them.

    I currently don't work Fri/Sat nights and still generally take home $4-750 a week.

    Maybe I've lucked out, in the past 15 years, I've never had a problem getting my shifts covered either by a manager or another employee picking them up. Only when I was working as a cook, did I have issues, but that's because most restaurants have half the amount of cooking staff as they do servers.

    That's a bummer the industry "killed" music for ya. The job gets me down at times, but it's always something temporary like an idiot customer.

    I've been offered a management spot several times from different places, but I've never had an offer above $40K salary come my way so I've turned them down. I refuse to work more than 40 hours a week, while 85% of managers I've worked for are working 40-75 hours a week.
     
  19. xCaptainx

    xCaptainx Dr Djodson

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    Cool man, enjoy being the 35 year old dude working at 7-11.

    Most of the professional/semi full time bands I've had the pleasure of touring with, or have been in, have all either been self employed in various areas where they were extremely skilled (IT, Construction, Banks, Tattooists, Sound Engineers etc) or unemployed and broke 24/7.
     
  20. Overtone

    Overtone SS.org Regular

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    IT/programming work where you can set your own hours and even do work on the tourbus seems like the ideal situation out of everything I've seen musicians do. Devin Townsend also mentioned in a few interviews that producing other bands is really what puts bread on his table and lets him take on his own projects without worrying as much about making it profitable. Amazing dude, and I swear it's like all the support he got since Ziltoid from his expanded fanbase has gone straight into making more music, better. Much of the same can be said of Steven Wilson. But planning to be like them or Guthrie is a little unrealistic.

    Another idea is to make yourself enough of an asset at your dayjob that they are willing to be flexible with you once they understand that music is a part of your life that is important to you. Doesn't happen often, but it does happen to varying extents from time to time.
     

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