Why I Started Backstage

Remember when it was simple to support an artist you loved?

You’d hear a song you liked, go to the record store and pay for that record, tape or CD. Eventually the record store moved online but the process was the same. You’d hear a song you liked, buy it and assume you were supporting the people who made that music.

Now that we stream our music for a low monthly fee, everything’s changed.

But everything has changed before.

Records killed sheet music sales. Jukeboxes killed live music in bars. Radio killed free improvisation and MP3’s killed it all. At least that’s one way to tell an old story.

But music survives and we continue to sing.

I’m a music fan just like you and I love the convenience and discovery of streaming. I listen to more music now than ever – and from a bigger variety of artists and genres. It’s awesome.

At the same time the money I’ve made from streaming royalties the past several years wouldn’t even fund the recording of ONE song.

So how do we ensure the artists we love keep making the music we need?

A lot of us still sell CD’s and MP3’s on Bandcamp or our own websites.

But I know how hard it is to actually load up an MP3 and play it these days (somehow more complicated that it was ten years ago) and I know most CD’s I sell live shrink-wrapped in a glovebox for emergencies. IF the car even has a player.

Streaming is just SO EASY that I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

But why does the rise of streaming mean we can’t pay artists for their work?

It’s simple really. If you like what you hear and you want to pay me for it, just like you would have in 1997 please do. This is why Backstage exists – a simple way for you to support me to keep making music you want to hear.

If you want to pay what you would have back in 1997 for my music on CD, I recommend just $2 a month. Here’s how that breaks down. Let’s say it’s 1997 and I put out a CD and you love it so you buy it for $20. You might do that every time I put out a record – let’s say once a year.

You can still give an artist like me that $20 (let’s say $24 with inflation) each year so I can keep putting music you want to hear on the platforms you want to hear it on. That’s just $2 a month and we’re both living in the good old days of 1997 music economics.

Except they weren’t good old days for artists and this is much better because every dollar you give goes straight to supporting my work.

In return I bring you behind the curtain as the music is made and invite you to be a part of it. Now how would we have done that in 1997?