The idea behind this thread is a place where we can discuss the difficulties of the financial part of playing originals, and share some strategies. It is expressly NOT intended as a place for a flame war between originals and covers guys, please and thank you. Some relevant background info: I am based out of the Albany, NY area. Albany is not NYC, nor is it a tiny town in the middle of nowhere: it's a small-to-medium sized city. I am 39. In my main band, the guitarist is 29 and the drummer is 54. So we are not kids just starting out. Both of the other guys make at least part of their living through music. I currently do not, but have in the past. Writing original music is the primary factor that got me into playing, and the one closest to my heart. To give up originals entirely would take a significant amount of the joy out of it. The other guys feel that way too. But here's the math. When I was last in a cover band, I got paid $100 to play four hours. In my originals band, I would guess I average about $25 to play for an hour. The pay is a lot less consistent, sometimes much higher, sometimes, frankly, non-existent. But on average, about the same hourly rate, right? Not so fast. Every originals band wants to record. I've never been in a band that so much as broke even on the recording part. It's just a freakin' money pit! So, I'm currently in two originals projects, both have CDs in the works, and I recently got an offer to join a third. I have the time (not married, no kids), but the shocking realization I came to was, I actually can't AFFORD to join another originals band! I also got an offer to join a reggae covers band. It's an upstart, but the players are not. The drummer (also in my originals band) was the drummer for two successful reggae bands for the past 10 years. The guitarist is a well-established blues guy looking to do something a little different. This is an offer I'm taking seriously. I don't expect to make the money that the Jenny 867-5309 guys do, but I've made clear that I need at least $75 per show, and would prefer $100 or more. The others are 100% on the same page. My only fear is that it may take too much time away from the originals projects. I swear I still don't care about the money. But I need to offset the costs of playing originals somehow. It's also a little embarrassing that what for some people is a business, for me is an expensive hobby. Anyone out there making originals pay?