“All the money is made touring”….what bands are you seeing? Why is it assumed that just because a band is on tour, they’re rolling in cash? Maybe if the bands you’re talking about are Radiohead and whoever is on the bill at Coachella ths year, but for your average underground band on a small independent label who are playing the equivalent of the Echo (Los Angeles) or Bottom of the Hill (San Francisco) or whever (insert small club here) are not getting rich or even necessarily breaking even by touring. Man, everybody quit trying to justify your mooching the system because you see a band play a show. Yes, check out the band for free via MP3, fine, but if you like the music but the download or better buy the LP or CD and give the band some money. And go see them play live and by the 7″ or the T-shirt from the merch table, etc….
So you’re basically saying screw the musicians–budget down, make do with crappy broken gear, record in your closet on one cheap microphone, tour 11 months out of the year, become a T-shirt selling business instead of focusing on creating great music, because this is the new era and technology makes it OK. Hell, you’re entitled to free music because the genie is out of the bottle, pay Apple, pay AT&T, pay Comcast but screw the people who actually make the music. I’m not talking about U2 and Metallica, I mean the small band or artist who already has a day job to make ends meet and is on a small independent label or is self releasing music. Consider it patronage if you have to, but your money should be going to them. What you’re eventually gonna have is the culture you deserve–which by your statements seems to be a cheapened, unvalued, throw away music scene. Have fun.
Right, but it actually costs money to make and record music. Artists should be able to be compensated for that. Gear costs money (amps, guitars, drums, repair), practice spaces cost money, recording studios cost money, engineers, etc. Even a modest home studio costs money. Not every band can be out on the road 100% of the time selling merch. And it still costs money to get out on the road, (van, ever increasing cost of gas, etc.). Not every band out there breaks even touring as it is.