From the minute they first stepped onto the Aussie music scene, Ne Obliviscaris knew that it was always going to be hard for a progressive extreme metal band with a violin player to make money. But they may not have anticipated just how hard it would be.
Despite achieving huge amounts of global recognition, the Melbourne act have just revealed how dire their finances are after three international tours, confessing that they’ve suffered a collective loss of at least $60,000.
And in what they’ve called “the most important thing we have ever done in our career”, NeO are now appealing to fans to help keep them on the road.
They’ve launched an interactive membership program or Patreon campaign, which outlines the financial realities of trying to make money in a “broken system” where the internet and other factors make it next to impossible for musicians to even earn the minimum Aussie wage ($17.29AUD per hour).
Not hard to believe when even Kanye West is torrenting shit on Pirate Bay these days.
And in the post accompanying the campaign, the band implores fans to help them support their families and mortgages in a world where “only the biggest of the bands are able to make a living” by putting the onus on punters to decide whether or not the band will continue: “We want to do it by empowering YOU, the fans, so that you get to decide who succeeds and who doesn’t”.
On NeO’s Patreon platform, fans can donate as much or as little as they want on an ongoing basis, and in return can expect exclusive benefits like pre-sale ticket options, exclusive live chats with the band, special merchandise and access to unreleased material.
If fans want to pledge $250 or more per month they will be granted the rank of ‘Grand Master In The Order Of The Ne Obluminati’ and become part of the band’s inner circle.
The fact that one of Australia’s biggest metal experts must resort to charity to keep their careers afloat is a mark of how screwed up today’s music industry has become.
You may recall ex-Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ McMahon breaking fans hearts last year when he quit the band because the financial toll was too great.
And despite the Australian Liberal Government’s belief that local musicians rake in an annual salary of over $300K, McMahon’s claim that he – as another one of the country’s most successful heavy artists – was raking in a MAXIMUM of $3,000 a year is another grim wake-up call.
A study released last year also found that the majority of Australian performers are not only underpaid, but also experience higher rates of mental illness and suicide than their counterparts in other industries.
So it seems like there need to be some major changes to the way the Australian music industry operates if we don’t want to lose all of our best bands.
As for right now, you can find out more about Ne Obliviscaris’s Patreon Campaign in the video below.
Join The Ne Obluminati (Ne Obliviscaris Patreon Video)