Bad Omens, Stray From The Path, And Devin Townsend Open Up About The Current State Of Touring And The Music Industry

A number of artists have shared their thoughts on the current state of touring and the music industry as a whole. Among them are Bad Omens, Craig Reynolds (Stray From The Path), and Devin Townsend, who held nothing back with regards to the harsh realities artists are facing.

Bad Omens said the following on Twitter after a venue decided to sell band-branded cocktails:

“That’s dope, artists still don’t get a cut from bar sales tho even if the venue gives cocktails cute little names after your songs, but still take 15-20% of touring artists’ gross merch sales every night. Nowhere To Go punch does sound delicious though, tip your bartenders. 🐸 🍹”

They also added:

“Just to be clear – we don’t want a cut of your bar sales. We just don’t want to give you 20% of the merchandise we design, pay for, manage, set up, carry, and sell ourselves because you gave us 24sq ft of floor space in your venue we sold out.”

Reynolds also commented in a series of tweets:

“streaming services pay nothing and everyone is cool with it. managers make their bands do dangerous snow drives and everyone is cool with it. ticketmaster has a monopoly on live music and everyone is cool with it. bands swap royalties for playlisting and everyone is cool with it.

venues take a giant merch cut and everyone is cool with it. record labels are more interested in viral videos everyone is cool with it. bands have 90% of their show on a laptop and everyone is cool with it. members of bands do unspeakable things and everyone is cool with it.

most record deals include merchandise now and everyone is cool with it. your favourite bands hire the same producer from LA to write all their songs and everyone is cool with it. i can think of 6 bands with an entire instrument on backing track and everyone is cool with it.

labels and booking companies are ticking bare minimum diversity boxes instead of making systemic change and everyone is cool with it. prominent and influential multi-platinum selling artists are being openly antisemitic and everyone is cool with it.

…and that concludes the list of why i am so very annoyed, almost all of the time.

i sound like a boomer. ignore this. i’m just entering my jaded musical unabomber arc

nsane the amount of people who read THE FIRST LINE and made their mind up about this tweet. this tweet is a very pointless and specific list of the reasons i’m usually annoyed, some relate to each other, most don’t.

because you like to take me very literally I should reiterate that it’s okay if you use streaming apps. and to use a laptop for your live show: just don’t cheat.

i do think a bassist on a backing track is lame and putting someone out of a job but i understand that sometimes it’s a money thing or like counterparts the guy they get is gonna quit anyway”

Bad Omens and Reynolds also had the following exchange:

For Townsend’s part, he told Metallerium the following [via Blabbermouth]:

“It’s gotten way worse. I don’t think it’s better at all, actually. Because the costs of touring now, with inflation and the cost of gasoline and diesel… Plus, over the course of the pandemic, we’ve lost a ton of really good venues. I’d say probably 50 percent of the workforce in touring has now left. ‘Cause what’s a guitar tech gonna do for two years? You have to get a job, right? And so the ones that are remaining, not only are they already spoken for with other bands, but they’re almost twice as expensive.

I saw this thing about Live Nation the other day, they’re taking 30 percent of merch sales from some of these venues. The costs of airlines have gone up. So artists, the ability to make money on tour is almost completely gone now — at least an artist on my level.

So, yes, it’s opened up again, but it’s 10 times as expensive. It’s, like, what do you do? Even little things like, okay, the hotels are more expensive; the food at the hotels [is] more expensive. So at the end of it, you’re touring for what? You’re touring ultimately so you can present your work to the people who care about your work, and that’s worth it to me.

But I think for anybody to think that it’s now easy again, you should investigate that, because I’m trying to set up tours for next year, and there’s no way to keep them within cost — there’s no way. And so you go out there and, like, well, we can’t have this vehicle; we can’t have this backline; we can’t have this production; we can’t have these lights.

And then if you show up at a place and the audience comes, they’re, like, ‘The show’s not good. There’s no lights. There’s no production.’ So what should you do? And I think a lot of musicians, their decision is, like, ‘Well, I’ll just stay home then and I’ll just create from home.’

I try to go out with acoustic now, because that way I can afford it. If I just show up with an acoustic guitar and sing for people, it’s better than nothing. But it’s still, like, man, it’s a complicated time, brother.”

[via The PRP]

Stray From The Path’s Craig Reynolds Says Complications From Past Injury Are Having An Effect On His Drumming

Stray From The Path’s Craig Reynolds, who fractured his back last year, has taken to social media to open up about the ongoing complications that have been affecting his drumming. He said the following:

“hey guys. about 18 months ago i broke my back. my ankles keep going numb when i’m playing the drums and it’s messing with my playing. i’ve been using ways like massage and the gym to manage it for the last 6 months but during this tour it’s got really bad. i’m not actually in that much pain just numb and scared, obviously it’s also destroying me mentally. i don’t want to cancel the tour and it’s too late to get a fill in so i’m going to have to suck it up for the last week and get an MRI when i’m home so forgive me if i sound off.”

[via The PRP]

Stray From The Path Premiere “Needful Things” Music Video

Stray From The Path have premiered a new video for their new song “Needful Things.” This track is from the band’s newly released album “Euthanasia.“ Guitarist Tom Williams commented:

“‘Needful Things’ is about facing the broken system that is in America. We have more homes than houseless people. We have the wealthy 1% making trillions over the pandemic, while the people lost their asses. Capitalism does not work for people, and it is failing before our eyes. As the younger generation becomes more aware of this, people need to be asking other people…are you in or in the way?”

Stray From The Path Drummer Craig Reynolds To Sit In On “Late Night With Seth Meyers”

Stray From The Path’s Craig Reynolds will be sitting in with the 8G Band on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” this month. You can catch the drummer on September 19-22.

Stray From The Path Premiere New Song “Bread & Roses” Featuring Stick To Your Guns’ Jesse Barnett

Stray From The Path have premiered a new song titled “Bread & Roses.” This track features Stick To Your Guns’ Jesse Barnett and it will appear on the band’s new album “Euthanasia,“ which is set to be released on September 9.

Stray From The Path’s Tom Williams commented:

“If you know Stray, you know that since we first met in 2008 and throughout our whole career, Jesse Barnett is family. He’s a person that walks the walk and someone that everybody should look up to as an example of direct action to help people in need. We had this idea for the song and there aren’t many people that are qualified for it more than him.

In addition to his voice being the perfect fit for the vibe, we wanted to do something that helps boost his efforts and supports his mutual aid projects in the Los Angeles community. We did a special All Power Books vinyl variant of our new album, where all of the profit from these sales go directly to people in need.

A lot of time, it is hard to feel confident where your money goes, but we’ve seen directly where this money goes with our own eyes, and you can also see by following them at @allpowerbooks and @apfreeclinic.”

Barnett added:

“We believe in the principles of uplifting our community through directly asking our community about its needs. Through this we have noticed our community becoming empowered and more involved with itself. In a world bent on isolating and alienating us from ourselves and each other, we militantly combat this by not only serving our community but allowing anyone from the community who wants to, to also serve.

We reject saviourism and we believe that only through unity and togetherness can people save themselves from the common problems that plague our communities. We are honored that Stray From The Path has decided to do this and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

The money from this shirt and vinyl variant will go towards our educational programs, our free medical clinic, our produce distributions, our school supply drives, our day care services and the many other things we offer our community. Thank you Stray for helping us keep this alive.”

Stray From The Path Announce October European/UK Tour

Stray From The Path have announced a European/UK tour with Guilt Trip and Vatican. Here’s the dates:

10/11 Hannover, GER – Musik Zentrum
10/12 Dresden, GER – Chemiefabrik
10/13 Schweinfurt, GER – Alter Stattbahnhof
10/14 Karlsruhe, GER – Die Stadtmitte
10/15 Essen, GER – Crowdsalat Festival
10/16 Enschede, NET – Metropool
10/17 Brighton, UK – Patterns
10/18 Newcastle, UK – The Cluny
10/19 Edinburgh, UK – The Mash House
10/20 Bristol, UK – Thekla
10/21 Sheffield, UK – The Foundry
10/22 London, UK – The Dome

Stray From The Path Premiere “III” Music Video

Stray From The Path have premiered a new video for their latest single “III.” This track is from the band’s new album “Euthanasia,“ which will be released on September 9.

The group said the following about the song:

“We’ve always used our songs as an outlet to speak against oppression. It’s been close to 10 years, and now our third installment of the Badge & A Bullet series entitled ‘III‘ has the same target. Policing in the United States has always been rooted in racism, hate & violence. Public funding for police departments has skyrocketed since the 1980s.

The US now spends more than twice as much on police as it does social welfare programs. Many major cities spend over a third of their budgets on police. Despite the hundreds of billions of federal, state & local money poured into police departments & the corrections industry every year, there is little oversight. The outcomes have been fucking horseshit.

Over 1,000 people are killed every year by the police but despite comprising only 13% of the population, nearly half of all people killed by police are Black. Less than 1% of police officers who kill someone on the job are prosecuted. To be perfectly clear: there is no crime in this country where the punishment is execution on the spot extrajudicially by a cop.

The idea of justice in this country is a fucking joke. The only protecting and serving the police do in this country is protecting the wealthy, the powerful & capitalist interests while subjugating the marginalized & the working class.”

Stray From The Path Premiere New Song “III”

Stray From The Path have premiered a new song titled “III.” This track is from the band’s new album “Euthanasia,“ which will be released on September 9.

The group commented:

“We’ve always used our songs as an outlet to speak against oppression. It’s been close to 10 years, and now our third installment of the Badge & A Bullet series entitled ‘III‘ has the same target. Policing in the United States has always been rooted in racism, hate & violence. Public funding for police departments has skyrocketed since the 1980s.

The US now spends more than twice as much on police as it does social welfare programs. Many major cities spend over a third of their budgets on police. Despite the hundreds of billions of federal, state & local money poured into police departments & the corrections industry every year, there is little oversight. The outcomes have been fucking horseshit.

Over 1,000 people are killed every year by the police but despite comprising only 13% of the population, nearly half of all people killed by police are Black. Less than 1% of police officers who kill someone on the job are prosecuted. To be perfectly clear: there is no crime in this country where the punishment is execution on the spot extrajudicially by a cop.

The idea of justice in this country is a fucking joke. The only protecting and serving the police do in this country is protecting the wealthy, the powerful & capitalist interests while subjugating the marginalized & the working class.”

Stray From The Path To Release New Album “Euthanasia” In September

Stray From The Path have announced that their new album, “Euthanasia,” will be released on September 9. A new song from the effort, titled “III,” will be available on May 4.

“Euthanasia” Track Listing:

01. “Needful Things”
02. “May You Live Forever”
03. “III”
04. “Guillotine”
05. “Chest Candy”
06. “Bread & Roses” (feat. Jesse Barnett)
07. “Law Abiding Citizen”
08. “The Salt In Your Spit”
09. “Neighborhood Watch”
10. “Ladder Work”