What is the life of a pro drummer like?

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Last year I was a fit and fairly healthy (at least to my knowledge) 37 year old, I wasn’t even visiting supermarkets, let alone work at them.
The so called 'essential workers' have been some of the hardest hit by the virus. I have basically stayed at home for most of the time.
I had agreed to play my first gig since end of 2019 this week (via a flight to Ireland), but it got cancelled by the promoter due to ongoing difficulties with large gatherings and Covid.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
My accountant suggested I apply for unemployment because I could. I did look into it, but it was a pain.
I have sold a ton of gear :cry:
Talking to a few friends (musicians and touring crew), we were all told if all else fails apply for welfare - which in the UK is now 'Universal Credit'.
The system is complex and fairly humiliating. So, none of us did.
 

Caz

Senior Member
The emergency covid funding was relatively small amounts to get full time musicians by whilst we applied for other things (jobs and funding grants). Quite a few other people I work with like sound engineers and crew members didn't get any of this that musicians got which is why I feel lucky to get the help, it's nowhere near the help people on furlough got. The arts council funding is available all year round and has been for years, it's to support projects like commissioning new work, recording albums, going on tour, and for me (one of the projects I applied for) a development project which is to get mentoring and take time out to practice. Because so many musicians had an enforced time out, it was a good time to apply - and they upped the number of people getting awards because so many people applied during covid. Money for the many grants available usually comes from a mixture of government, National Lottery and private donations. Musicians on the jazz scene started sharing tips on how freelance musicians could put good projects together and write good applications, as a lot of us lacked this business knowledge. You need a detailed project and to prove it will benefit musical culture in the UK. I'm happy to help if anyone is thinking of this, it's a good time for it and I'm happy to forward on some of the advice I got.
 

Sakae2xBopster

Well-known member
It's a very American attitude, this moral resentment that working people aren't working hard enough for you.

As someone married to a hospital worker who has worked pretty much nonstop over the past 18 months under very risky conditions, I'd say that resentment in the US has many facets and layers right now.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
As someone married to a hospital worker who has worked pretty much nonstop over the past 18 months under very risky conditions, I'd say that resentment in the US has many facets and layers right now.
My partner is an ICU nurse and has been at the sharp end of Covid since day one, 1.5 years ago now.
It is very tough on many levels (physical and mental). The only resentment she has is towards the steady stream of unvaccinated patients (mostly middle aged men) who keep coming through the door.
Jeez you guys. Hope everyone's handling it OK. Hospital staff need to get veteran's benefits when this is all over.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
But then so can furloughed office workers and car assembly plant workers. They all got financial support. Why self employed actors, musicians, guitar techs, and lighting company workers were deemed less worthy I don't know.
Do you think it's because society in general sees these groups as being used to struggling financially/ not having a stable income at the best of times and therefore don't require the support that "normal" workers do? (Not saying I agree with this- just asking a genuine question).

Was also wondering- how would the government calculate 80% of a musican/ actors income in the first place if said income is sporadic at best?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Do you think it's because society in general sees these groups as being used to struggling financially
I would think that the majority of public assumes all musicians live in mansions and drive exotic cars. That's what gets projected anymore as "made it". I dont think the majority has any idea that being a musician doesnt necessarily mean financial stability. I also dont think they have any idea how many working musicians there really are.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
I think it's a bit of both.
Governments ignore members of society they think will carry on regardless. For example, after a year of the pandemic, having praised hospital staff for their dedication and hard work, the govt offered nurses a 1% pay rise, which with inflation around 3% is a pay cut.
They know nurses would never close hospitals or abandon sick patients.
Yes, most of the public think musicians are like Ed Sheehan and Kanye West.
The government knew how much musicians (actors, crew, backline rental etc) usually earned because we file our taxes every year. They based their calculations on the previous 3 years of tax statements. So for example, if you were at college and started your full time music career one year before the pandemic, they refused to support you because you didn't have three years of tax returns.
 
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