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John 5: I Make Way More Money Not Being With a Record Company


During a conversation with Guitar World, guitarist John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, solo) talked about the financial aspect of his career, saying he’s much better off since he started doing everything himself in terms of management.

When asked, “Do you find it hard to survive in these difficult times for musicians?”, the guitarist replied:

I pay for everything myself. I finance everything. I don’t have a record company, I pay for my own videos, my touring, the merch, the hotels. I don’t get any help from anyone. I’m totally self-sufficient.

“Sometimes managers will call me and say they want to work with me. I say, ‘What can you do for me that I’m not already doing?’ Whatever they suggest, I always already have. If somebody had something they can really offer me that I can’t do, then I’d love for someone to take the load off. I’d love for that day to come, but it hasn’t so far.

“Here’s the truth: I make way more money not being with a record company than I did before, and that is before streaming and iTunes impacted anyway. Everything is obsolete now, which is wonderful in a way.

“You can have the largest store of music in the palm of your hand; people have to understand it will never go back to the way it was. You’re never gonna beat it, so you have to learn how to work with it. You can be the biggest artist in the world, but there’s no record stores, there’s nothing. You gotta work with what you got.

“Luckily, I like to work with what I got. I just heard that FM radio is gonna go away. Eventually, everything will be digital. It makes sense. It’s great how the world evolves – you just have to evolve with it.”

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