metal doesn't sell
Yesterday I spoke on the phone with a guy from Palm Bay that was probably the smartest metal musician I've ever heard. Why? He knows stuff that I've known all along.
First, he understood that metal music doesn't sell in the USA.
At the present time this is an absolute. If you are in a band and play metal music, you are doomed to fail in the USA and it's mandatory to go abroad. Clubs don't want you and the ones that do suck. The audience is predominantly white thereby cutting out a huge chunk of potential buyers meaning no cash in your pocket. It also means attendance to your shows will be sparse at best.
Second, he understood that festival gigs are the best money makers.
The best metal shows in the USA are outdoor festival gigs. This is because any festival labeled as metal-friendly will attract metalheads from all over. It's more or less a guaranteed draw if properly promoted. The people you want seeing you will see you. When the metalheads hear the rally cry of a festival that's guaranteed to have people there that like what they like, they'll show up in droves.
Third (and this was a very good point,) metal at this point is just like it was in the early 80's.
This is the one point he made that really struck me. I made mention of the fact metalheads are extremely dedicated to the music they like but are largely unknown. It's like the biggest group of music fans you know that no one has ever heard of. He said "Yeah, the scene is underground just like it was in the early 80's."
That hit me. He was right.
I wonder if there is still in fact a metal scene, and if so, is the next rumble about to happen?