We get asked this question a lot. And with good reason. Who doesn’t love to go and see their favorite bands on tour?
But, right now, there are no plans for a Neverlight tour. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I thought I might take a little time to let you know what they are, in case you’re wondering.
1. As I’m sure you know, Neverlight is an independent band. What does that mean? Simply put, we don’t have a record label backing us. While it’s super important to us to be able to maintain control and ownership over our own music, being on our own also means that we are in charge of everything. And I mean everything.
Who designs the website and does the coding for it? We do. Who covers the cost for our online shop (it ain’t free to operate, and the more you want it to do the more it costs every month)? Who pays the musicians that appear on the albums? We do. Who pays for mixing and mastering? We do. Who pays the artists who do our artwork? Who designs and pays for those spiffy Neverlight ads we see all over? Who pays for all marketing campaigns and publicity? You guessed it. We do.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not complaining. Neverlight is a business. That’s what it HAS to be, if we want to keep making music. And these costs are just what it takes to establish us and get us out there. That’s a fact, and it’s something we expected and planned for. Do we hope we will recover at least some of those expenses with sales? Well, yeah. That’s the hope of any business. But here’s another fact for you.
Touring is also not free. If we manage it ourselves that cuts down some, but we still have transport, booking fees, lodging and food, new merch design etc. These are just a few of the costs we’d have if we wanted to tour and really do the music justice. These costs have to be paid up front, but we have to know we can recoup them on tour. And the cold hard fact is that for small independent bands, that is often not the case.
Now again, don’t get me wrong. I knew that this is how it would be when we started the band. It’s a fact. It just is what it is. Hey, you have to start somewhere, and if you don’t start you’ll never succeed. I’m just being real here. This is what it is to be a startup. And make no mistake, a new band is a startup business. Am I trying to get rich here? Nope. I have no expectations that touring would in any way do this for us. And to be honest, I don’t give a f*ck about that. But, I do need to make ends meet. Which brings me to my next point.
2. We are a family. Josh and I are married, and we have a daughter. As much as I’d like to bring my family on the road to you all, I have to know that, if I do, I can still provide for them. Now, we both work full time jobs. It’s possible we could do shows on the weekends in the USA, to places close to us anyway, and still make that work. But…there’s no hope of a European tour as long as we both still have to report in for day jobs, because we just can’t get the time off. And, we have to know we can at least cover the cost of a tour and not be out money that really needs to go to things like food and cello lessons for our kid, and dog food for our favorite pups. Make sense? Our family has to come first.
3. There’s only 2 of us. We bring in musicians from all over the world to help us record. You know this already. If gives us the freedom to choose the best artist for the music. But getting these musicians to come on tour with us is not likely to happen soon because a) they are based in Europe and getting them to come all the way to the US is an expense for them. They will expect to be paid. And rightly so. I believe in paying artists for their art, and I would never, ever, ask anyone to work for free. So we have to know we can cover all other expenses and pay them for their efforts. b) They are each involved in their own bands and projects and need to be able to tour and record with them.
Now we could (and have) searched for local musicians who are interested in playing our style of music and who would be willing to tour. But these musicians are rare, and are often in the same boat with regards to touring. They have day jobs too.
‘But, Amanda,’ you say ‘this blows! What kind of a band doesn’t tour?!’ Well. An independant band who’s just beginning on a long and successful career – Neverlight, that’s who. But I don’t want that to always be the case. I have some very aggressive plans with regards to marketing and music production which I hope will help us get there faster. But this music isn’t just about me, right? It’s about you, too. So here’s what you can do to help that long awaited tour come sooner!
1. Share the sh*t out of our stuff. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Subscribe to our channel. Share and comment on our posts wherever you see them. The way that algorithms on social media work is more geared towards comments and post shares than reactions. So a simple ‘like’ doesn’t really help more people see the post. (it does tell ME you like it though, so still do that!) But really, shares and most importantly comments mean that more people see the post. More people = more potential fans = more ticket sales on tour = Neverlight on tour in your town.
See? The math is simple. You didn’t even have to carry the one.
2. SHARE THE SH*T out of our stuff. I know. I said it before. But this time I’m talking about in the REAL world. Now I know a lot of you out there do this. And I am so appreciative of it. Because YOUR word means more than ours does. It means more than ads or reviews. It means more than radio play or Facebook stats. YOU, out there in the world, telling your friends, ‘hey, this is great. I love this song! Check these guys out!’ That right there is beyond price, and I can never thank you enough for that. That is more precious than gold to me, and it’s why I do what I do.
3. Finally, when you can, buy some merch. If you can buy it directly from our shop, so much the better, because we make a little more from those sales than we do if you get it elsewhere. That matters because every single penny we make on anything goes straight into a seperate Neverlight account, and that account is how we pay for albums, and artwork, and TOURS. And you get some really cool artwork and some good music out of the deal, too.
So there ya go. Some painful truth about the realities of being a musician and touring. I hope that isn’t too big a disappointment, but it is not in my nature to lie or sugar coat things. I want to be honest with you. It is my biggest hope to see you on tour and to be able to share our music with you live and in person. And we’ll get there. The more we work together, the faster that will happen.
Thank you all for all you do in support of our music. My ‘door,’ so to speak, is always open. Feel free to message the band on FB (that’s a direct line to us and we try to answer as fast as we can) or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in Metal,