A couple of days ago I forwarded Grand Master Ratkowski this link to a MetalSucks article in which they talk about Lee McKinney from Born of Osiris selling his Axe FX patch for $20.
Jay responded with this post’s title. I thik it’s great, I hope the kid sells a gajillion of them. I say this having never heard a single Born of Osiris song, ever.
You May Have Heard That The Music Industry Kind of Sucks
A perfect combination of Industrial Hubris, Technological Disruption and Generational Assholism1 means like a band like Born of Osiris is never going to make a living playing music. The fact of the matter is, even if BoO had been born a generation ago, they’d still likely have as much chance of making a living solely off of album sales as, say, Gothic Slam
That being said, this is not 20 years ago, this is now where, “I’m not stealing anything because they still have it,” is a common refrain from people who should know better234. In this environment a big band in a very small pond in an ever shrinking landscape has to come up with a pretty good hustle.
As far as hustles go, “I’ll sell my sound,” it one of the better ones. I have no idea what this sound is, so let’s find a random YouTube clip of a Born of Osiris song and listen together:
Alright, well, first impressions:
- Jay may have been right. That rhythm tone was nothing special, the lead tone wasn’t bad, I could see working with that.
- I would have liked that song way more had I not seen the video. I just cannot take any band that does that much crab walking seriously. This must have been what my grandparents thought about Chuck Berry5.
- Shouldn’t at least one of those guys be brown? I’m pretty sure Osiris didn’t birth many Irishmen.
But Haven’t We Done This Before, Anyway?
My first ever muti-effects processor was the Zoon 9002 Artist Series that I got for like $250, open box, when I got my first job out of college. The 9002 differed from the 9001 largely in that a bunch of guitarists (a list that I think included Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai and Ritchie Sambora) all created patches for it. If you bought it, and you had a giant, Marshall stack, and a buttload of other pre-amps and you put your 9002 exactly in the right place in that signal chain. You could sound exactly like those guys.
Or you could play “The Power” by Snap! right out of the box
In fact, with the exception of the Behringer Not At All A Reversed Engineered POD Pro That We Sell For 1/2 Price that I have, pretty much every multi-effects unit I’ve bought since the 90026 has come with “player presets” from people you’ve heard of. It’s a thing. It’s a marketing gimmick. I’m shocked that it took so long for someone to go free agent on this.
The fact is, of course, that McKinney is going to make about $60 on this. Born of Osiris is, in the grand scheme of things, a tiny band and the same people who place no value on his music are going to place no value on his tone. I say $60, because I’m assuming that the first person who buys it isn’t doing it just to post it to a forum. It sucks for McKinney, but I do, honestly, admire kid’s hustle for thinking this up.
- I find myself, ironically, a memeber of both the last generation which largely placed monetary value on music and the first generation which largely views music as having no value ↩
- As America continues it’s long, painful slide from manufacturing to service based economy I find it ironic that the people who make this argument are almost always my fellow keyboard jockeys. These people, also, don’t actually make anything, but generally expect to be well compensated by the owners of the cubicles they sit in eight hours a day. The irony is not so much delicious as disgusting. ↩
- Also, nerds who are busy preparing for the Zombie apocalypse, your inability to actually build any non-virtual thing means that you’re primary job during said apocalypse is as bait. ↩
- PS Zombies aren’t real. ↩
- That was duck walking. ↩
- Which still works, by the way, except for a battery that long ago stopped holding charge ↩