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Today’s Cold Splash of Water in the Face of Your Music Biz Dreams: Devin Townsend’s Monthly Salary

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Devin Townsend
Photo by Miika Skaffari 

Sorry to keep hammering home the point that it’s CRAZY hard to make a living as a metal musician, but: Devin Townsend (who has been in the business for decades and would be considered successful by pretty much any measuring stick) is the guest on the latest episode of the Music Business Facts Podcast, and during the course of the interview, he very kindly reveals how much money he makes:

“About five grand a month, before taxes. Sometimes you get a bonus, but a lot of it goes back in the pot because everybody’s on a salary. I get a bit more than the other guys [in the band].”

In case you’re arithmetic sucks, that works out to about $60,000 per year, plus bonuses. If you’re 22, that probably sounds pretty good — but keep in mind that Townsend is 42, and has been doing this since he was a teenager. $60K a year ain’t a lot of money. Townsend says he’s able to pay his bills and that “I can’t complain,” which is great news and a great attitude! But there’s still something depressing about the fact that a guy this brilliant, prolific, and hard working isn’t even making six figures.

Point being: a) Townsend clearly makes music because he loves it, not because it’s making him rich, and b) passion for music is the ONLY reason ANYONE should pursue it as a career, because the James Hetfields of the world are very few and far between.

Townsend does, however, go on to say that say “I get paid much less than my brother-in-law, who does much sheet metal fabrication.” So you CAN make money in heavy metal after all!!!

Listen to the entire interview here. The bit about how much money he makes comes just after the 29-minute mark.

Thanks: Simple Nomad

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