Misha Mansoor Explains Why Periphery “Make No Money”

During a recent appearance on “Sounding Off”, Periphery’s Misha Mansoor opened about the financial situation that many musicians face in the modern era. You can check out the full video, along with some excerpts below [transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar.com].

He said the following when asked if any metal band will ever sell as many records as Metallica did:

“No! No one’s selling any records anyways now. It’s all gone. It’s all disappeared.”

He also added the following when asked what bands need to do differently than they did 20 years ago:

“Make income outside of the band. This is what I do with the signature products.

“It’s my way of being able to make a living. It’s my way of being able to make a life for myself. People think sometimes, ‘Periphery is achieving a little bit of success.’ We’re not a massive band but we do alright. But we make no money. And people have a really hard time grasping that.

“Because even as we started making more money you’ll gross a lot and net nothing. The ability to monetize music has just dropped by a factor of god knows what – 10, 100, whatever. But the cost of touring has stayed the same. It just means that you net very little.

“And then if you want to have a nice production like us, you don’t want to just go barebones on everything. You want it to be an enjoyable show, so you spend money on that.

“So yeah, we’ll gross a fair bit but we won’t net a lot. We did a five-week tour in Europe last year, we walked away with nothing. And that’s a reality of this – European tours are very expensive.

“US headliners will do pretty well but you can’t do them that often because everybody’s touring – oversaturated market, your guarantees will stagnate or go down.

“So it’s just not a viable source of income for most bands. Some bands are more fortunate in that, they’re sort of more merch bands and they can just really kill it on merch. But it’s tougher and tougher.

“One way of looking at it is, let’s say for the sake of argument, your ability to earn is decreased by a factor of 10 thanks to Spotify and downloading and whatever. You were making a million dollars per year, well now you’re making $100,000. So yeah, you can still make a living on it, you won’t be living as lavishly as before, but it’s still viable.

“But if you were making $100,000 before, now you’re making $10,000. That’s not a lot.

“I’m 33 and as people start to get older… When I was in my 20s, I didn’t mind sleeping on floors or whatever. Now I’m not gonna be doing tours while I’m slumming in a van, it’s just not fun anymore. It’s not worth it. We all paid our dues already.

“So it’s just one of those things where for us music is just becoming more and more about just doing it for fun. But it’s because we all saw this coming. We had no delusions. When I started the band, it was like I’m playing nerdy metal, no one cared about us at all. No one cared about this style of music.

“I would have been amazed to get even 100 people to come to the show. So it was like, ‘I’m gonna need to figure out some other way to make a living. This is just gonna be for fun.’ And I think that is more true than ever now.”

He the offered insight into his approach to business and making income:

“You know what it’s like with the business cycle and product cycles. It’s like they start strong, they dip. So if I’m relying on one thing and it’s the end of a product cycle I still have to buy food. [Laughs] If you diversify everything, you’ll have income.

“And it all goes to have as much as passive income as possible to afford myself as much free time as possible to work on music and have fun with it, so music can be what it was supposed to be and what it truly was to me in the beginning, which is just a fun outlet.

“It wasn’t this sort of sick dance that you do with the industry where you start out with the best of intentions but then before you know it you’re running a business and you’re trying to ride this fine line in the music business. And it just sucks out a lot of fun from it. I’m trying to keep music fun.

“And now that it’s entirely removed form my money-making… Periphery doesn’t have any impact on my finances. So now we can just be truly the passion project that I wanted it to be. And I don’t care if no one buys our albums because they weren’t gonna buy it anyways. [Laughs] It’s not like we’re gonna sell records.

“And Metallica and all that – it’s gone. It’s gonna be something else. There are bands who get a ton of Spotify plays and make money, but metal has always been a bit of a niche genre and I don’t think that’s gonna change any time soon. I don’t think that it’s pleasing to most people so we’re not gonna be getting like billions of plays on Spotify or anything like that.

“I’m the kind of person that that changes opportunity. Because I know it’s very easy to be like, ‘This sucks!’ And in some ways it objectively does suck. But I like to look at the opportunity. The freedom that comes with this is that we don’t have to anything. If we don’t want to tour Europe again we won’t. [Laughs] We will because we had some good shows there.

“But I think we’re also gonna be more strategic. There’s a lot of markets that we worked at for like a decade that have just not grown and are very expensive. We’re going all the way out to Eastern Europe to break even on the show while the gas that it cost us to get there means that we’re actually paying for that show. That’s subsidized by our shows in Western Europe where we get paid better guarantees. I don’t know if it’s worth it anymore…

“And that’s the reality. I mean, fans can’t have it both ways, they can’t be like, ‘Well, there’s not gonna be money in this industry but you still have to come out to our town.’ No. We’re gonna get strategic, this is a cost. This is what will happen.

“And sure, If you’re starting out and trying to build a name for yourself you’re investing in that. And we did that, we’ve done that for almost a decade now. And now we’re at the point where you can do just whatever we want. We’ll tour whenever we want, we’ll play the shows we want, we won’t play the shows we don’t want to.”

He also offered a bit of a clarification via a Facebook comment:

“It would seem that some people here are opting to make judgments off of the semi-clickbaity headline instead of reading the article. I get it, it’s the internet. Just know this: I’m definitely not complaining, there is opportunity in this industry. And I just want people who aspire to be in bands to know what they are in for. The better educated you are to the situation, the better decisions you can make.”


Matt Halpern To Miss Periphery’s Knotfest Mexico Performance

Drummer Matt Halpern will be missing Periphery’s Knotfest Mexico performance in Toluca, Mexico. During his absence, JP Bouvet (Childish Japes, etc.) will fill in.

Halpern commented:

“Peripherals – Matt here… Unfortunately one of my immediate family members is in the hospital and I am unable to join the band in Mexico for Knotfest this weekend. On the bright side the rest of the band will be there and my very good friend (and incredible Drummer) JP Bouvet will be filling in on the drums – he’s gonna crush it.

For those of you attending the Convergence tour in the US and Canada, I want to assure you that I will be there and I’m beyond excited for the tour. Thank you to my band, the band’s business team, and most importantly all of you guys for your support and understanding. See ya soon!”

Adam “Nolly” Getgood Officially Exits Periphery

Bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood has officially announced his exit from Periphery. This news doesn’t come as too much of a shock, considering he hasn’t been touring with the group.

Getgood said the following:

“A few weeks ago I came to the decision I didn’t want to continue as a member of Periphery. The Periphery guys are some of my best friends, I have nothing but high hopes for the future of the band, and I’ll always be a huge fan of the music, however after a year of not touring I became aware that I’m just not invested in the day-to-day decision-making and problem solving that constitutes so much of the reality of running a joint enterprise like Periphery. It’s simply not on my mind, and that’s not fair to the rest of the band, the band’s team, and everyone involved in making Periphery a success – and that includes you all too.

The guys in Periphery are all incredible people and musicians, in their different and complementary ways. I know they’ll go on to achieve things I can’t even imagine, and I’ll be so happy to watch that happen.

For my own part, I’ll continue to enjoy the more settled life at home with my wife, focussing on my production work and on GetGood Drums.

I’ve got nothing but incredible gratitude for everything we experienced together and pride for what we accomplished, it has been an honour to play a role in something that has grown from humble origins to a genuinely genre-defining, internationally successful band. Thank you all for having me along for the ride. Really.”

Periphery & Animals As Leaders Announce 2017 Co-Headlining Tour

Periphery and Animals As Leaders have announced a co-headlining tour. Car Bomb and Astronoid will serve as support on select dates.

Tour Dates:

10/31 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall (with Car Bomb)
11/01 Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre (with Car Bomb)
11/03 Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection (with Car Bomb)
11/04 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall (with Car Bomb)
11/05 London, ON – London Music Hall (with Car Bomb)
11/07 Norfolk, VA – The NorVa (with Car Bomb)
11/09 New York, NY – Playstation Theater (with Car Bomb)
11/10 Providence, RI – Lupo’s (with Car Bomb)
11/11 Philadelphia, PA – The Electric Factory (with Car Bomb)
11/12 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE (with Car Bomb)
11/14 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (with Car Bomb)
11/15 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works (with Car Bomb)
11/17 San Antonio, TX – Alamo City Music Hall (with Astronoid)
11/18 Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live (with Astronoid)
11/19 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall (with Astronoid)
11/21 Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee (with Astronoid)
11/22 Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl (with Astronoid)
11/24 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern (with Astronoid)
11/25 San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom (with Astronoid)
11/27 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom (with Astronoid)
11/28 Vancouver, BC – The Commodore Ballroom (with Astronoid)
11/29 Seattle, WA – The Showbox (with Astronoid)
12/01 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex (The Grand) (with Astronoid)
12/02 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre (with Astronoid)

Periphery Members Cover Linkin Park’s “Shadow Of The Day”

Periphery’s Spencer Sotelo, Matt Halpern, and producer Taylor Larson have decided to record a cover of Linkin Park‘s “Shadow Of The Day” as a tribute to the late Chester Bennington. You can check that out below:

Periphery Announce 2017 North American Tour With The Contortionist, Norma Jean, & Infinity Shred

Periphery have announced a headlining North American tour with The Contortionist, Norma Jean, and Infinity Shred. Check out the dates for that below.


Tour Dates:

03/31 Reading, PA – Reverb
04/01 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
04/02 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
04/03 Montréal, QC – Corona Theatre
04/05 Toronto, ON – The Opera House
04/07 Buffalo, NY – The Waiting Room
04/08 Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom
04/09 Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
04/11 Saint Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
04/12 Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
04/13 Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
04/14 Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
04/15 Jacksonville, FL – Mavericks Live
04/17 Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
04/18 Ft Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
04/20 Charlotte, NC – The Underground
04/21 Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
04/22 Amityville, NY – Revolution Bar & Music Hall