It might blow your mind how little money I make from my old band, Soul Coughing (we sold roughly 800,000 records, on Warner Bros, from 1994 to 1998); my income is almost entirely from my solo career. Naturally, I make more because I don’t have equal-partner bandmates, but I gross a lot less than the article’s hypothetical, 125,000-selling, Pitchfork-rock band, and bring home more.
Bands are often unwieldy in terms of making business decisions—one guy wants to fire the monitor tech, the other guy wants to fire a different person, and the default is that nobody gets fired—but, if they scaled back on the stage set, and the crew, and did shorter-driving-distance, regional tours, in vans, they’d take home more money.
I noticed that you photographed them in a type of Prevost tour bus with sides that slide out, when the vehicle is stationary, creating more room inside. This is a very expensive bus to hire.
It’s also worth mentioning that big famous venues like Radio City are often pay less than unheralded venues—sometimes, due to union, organizational, and other costs, shockingly so. If they’re working closely with their booking agent, at some point, somebody might’ve had to say, “Let’s choose to make less money at Radio City, rather than make more playing at a less-glamourous joint.”