Black Collar Workers

How an Unsigned Metal Band Broke Even on a 27-Date Tour


EndastThe indie rock band Pomplamoose got the Webernets all riled up a couple of weeks back (including us) with a “woe is me” post outlining how they grossed $136,000 on a national tour and still lost money.

Here’s the thing: it was all basically a wizard-level troll. Jack Conte, the band member who wrote the post, is the founder of a website called Patreon that enables fans to fund the artists they love, and he sneakily included a link to the band’s Patreon profile in his missive. Though Conte claims not to draw any salary from Patreon, the company just received a $17 million round of venture capital investment (!) and a shitload of publicity. Joke’s on us.

STILL, the conversation Pomplamoose sparked about touring expenses is absolutely worth having, especially in the metal community where bands survive on nickels and dimes.

To show the world that’s it’s possible to be a struggling band and get by, Montreal-based metallers Endast published a rebuttal to Pomplamoose outlining how they broke even on a recent 27-show, 35-date tour (Canadian drives are long and more off days are required). And it’s WAY more in line with what you’d expect for a touring underground metal band! To wit:

Hotels: $997.81

We very rarely stay in hotels. We have the good fortune of having many, many friends across the country who welcome us into their homes. We bring sleeping bags, pillows and self-inflating inch thick air mats so we can crash pretty much anywhere with a flat surface. When we started out and didn’t have the network of friends we have now, we crashed in the van most nights in Walmart parking lots. Now that we are making a bit more money, we splurge on hotels sometimes if we don’t have a friend who can put us up. We get one room for six guys and only tell the hotel we are two people and sneak the rest in the side door to avoid extra charges. Only once were we busted for doing this and paid a $20 fine. We ALWAYS choose a hotel that has free breakfast buffet so we can CRUSH it mercilessly in the morning eating as much as possible saving us half our day’s budget on food. Often when staying with friends they will feed us as well, which we never ask them to do, but saves us our food budget for that day. If they don’t feed us, we ask to use their kitchen to cook cheap meals, again saving us money.

That’s more like it! We knew we could count on metalheads for good, old fashioned, cheapskate ingenuity that wins every time. Read the entire post here.

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