SOMEONE'S gotta ask this.. money question...


Jun 13, 2001
This may seem petty and worthless, but I've always kind of wondered about it... How much money does a relatively popular metal band such as Opeth make? Even percentage-wise per album sale, and how much do they charge for shows?

I remember reading years back Dani Davey (before he got rid of his last name) was talking about how much money Cradle of Filth makes, nothing specific, of course. But he said he'd just bought a new home theatre, and a bike or something... (which suggests neither poverty nor wealth), but also that Galder/Jardar of Old Man's Child was living in his mother's basement.

So, that said, do the Opeth boys relax in their indoor swimming pools, drinking Dom, or do they live a simpler life?

No idea if anyone'll have an answer, but it's high time we had a new thread, I think. :D
I don't know how much they make or anything but I have read a couple interviews where they said that money is a big problem. I think it was Peter who said that napster does hurt a band like Opeth who needs all the record sales they can get.
Well, I've read that around the time MAYH was recorded Jonas Renske and Mikael Akerfeldt were living together in near poverty. I also know that Dan Swano has a day job in a music store and for awhile Mikael did as well. Also, until the release of BWP and the decent distribution it recieved, backed by MFN and Koch, Opeth could barely tour at all.

I drew my own conclusions.
I'm always very keen on supporting bands, and therefore try to limit my mp3 count to a bare minimum. But in the case of "fantastically talented, underappreciated and underpaid" bands, there should be an extra "support for band" fund somewhere. Here's an addendum to the orignal post: How many of you would be adverse to sending a band (this IS hypothetical, of course!) extra money?

This could be a poll, but that's more effort than this Opethian is willing to exert at this time.

My answer is.. if I had income, dropping $10 to support the artist who I admire above all others wouldn't be a problem in the least.
But seeing as how i'm without income right now...

Thought I'd stir things up a little!
Yeah, I've read in interviews that Opeth were often struggling for money. Hopefully with the release and success of BWP, maybe they'll get a bit more of the cash that they so rightly deserve.

As for giving them cash from my income, I too would consider it, if I actually had an income to speak of. (I hate being a student sometimes) :rolleyes:
With the current system, I don't think metal artists will ever get enough cash from record sells to support themselves. If one could get rid of all the second hand money takers (music stores, distributors, promoters, etc.) it'd be much better. The ideal system would of course be one in which the artist would get, say, even 80% of the money flow.

I wouldn't mind having my music sold for something like $10 USD on the net so that once you've paid you could download the tracks in high quality mp3 (like 256kb) format, or full quality wav tracks even, since broadband connections are becoming more and more popular. Maybe one day. :)
I would say that a band would have to consistantly sell 100000 CDs with each release and tour fairly regularly in order to live comfortably. Of course the songwriter of the band would be considerably better off since the mechanical royalties would go to them alone.

Here's a basic senario of how it may work:

50000 CD sales @ $7.00 (this figure is based on the distributor price) x 16% royalty = $56,000. Minus the recording advance (say $15,000), mastering and any other scams the label has going on (a packaging deduction is a good one) then the band would maybe make around $8,000 each. Then take into account equipment, rehearsal time, tour support (a support tour would cost money, not make money) and you're probably looking at a minus figure.

Bear in mind that not many bands make it to the 50000 sales mark....

Lee B
ouch, poor Opeth, those starving artists. I"m trying to be funny here, but it's really seriously sad and disturbing, especially I imagine for aspiring artists. But as they say, neccesity is the mother of invention, and if poverty is the genius behind Opeth's music, let them suffer a while longer before they sell out and live happily ever after, just like our beloved Metallica has. :)
I know literally nothing about the music industry so this may be an exception to the rule. And i hope it is.

A while ago i read an interview with the singer of a band and this very subject came up. I was amazed when the guy said that the band basically makes no money what so ever off of record sales. He said the only money they make is playing shows, record sales go to the record label. Perhaps they just got a raw deal on their contract or perhaps this is the norm, either way im a huge fan of the band and it really ticked me off.

I read in an interview that akerfeldt is now living off of opeth, but barely. he's got an apartment and such. in sweden, the gov't helps musicians out. that's what i've read in a lot of interviews from many many swedish bands, defleshed in pit mag was one. bands dont make much off record sales. i've heard that if a band has really good deal and does realy well they can make a buck off each album. i know nothign about opeth's contract though.
Very few metal bands live off their band. Nevermore lives off of the band though not cuz of the label. they make their money off of merch. its really hard for a touring band to make much money off of the shows. its all about merch. then that all goes to buy gas to get to the next town.

np: dark funeral vobiscus satanas
If you want to do your part, it's fairly easy; buy the band's stuff.

If you go to a show, buy a shirt. Hell, buy two or three. It's pretty much cash in the bands pocket. Anything the band is selling at the show, CDs, t-shirts, key chains, etc. will go mostly to them. If a band you love puts out a CD that you aren't crazy about, buy it anyway.

Use MP3s to determine what to buy, but don't use MP3s to replace CDs that are worth purchasing. If you do this, you are stealing from your favorite band, and in the case of small label bands (which is, after all, what we are talking about) taking food off their table. People can try to rationalize that MP3s aren't stealing, but they're kidding themselves.

Originally posted by General Zod
If you want to do your part, it's fairly easy; buy the band's stuff. If you go to a show, buy a shirt. It's pretty much cash in the bands pocket. Anything the band is selling at the show will go mostly to them.
This made me wonder. I get that about how the shows are a good source of money for the band members, but what about all that shit online? All those vendors selling Opeth shirts for like $40.00 and shit! Where the hell does all that money go? I'm not looking for the direct answer, I'm sort of just ranting. But, if someone know actually. Do tell! Whenever I buy something Opeth, I'm thinking of the guys. I'm thinking that little bit might help them. I'm sure it does, but maybe not as much as I thought. WHICH SUCKS ASS! I fucking hate all that middleman shit.

Yes, bands like Opeth don't make enough money to live off thier musicianship. It's sad, but painfully true. Especially when you get these shit bands that come up with a two note riff in only half as many seconds and sell hundreds of thousands of records and are now millionaires. The way we can do our part is by soliciting our favorite bands to all these ignorant little teenagers that watch MTV and have them like it too or threaten them into buying it:D

As far as Metallica, they have paid there dues. They were playing hard metal over 20 years ago and still perform some good songs today.
Ya.... i read that peter did say that napster hurts bands like opeth.....but here's a small step.... i downloaded three opeth albums off that, and after i read that interview i had just this immense when i got enough money.... i bought all of them from a record felt good!!!!....hehe
We have to remember thought that TRUE artists make art for the sake or art... not money... even though it is pretty fucked up that Opeth are suffering for it (not to mention that it may limit their funds to make more art).

Well, thats why I'm becoming a network engineer... pays a SHITLOAD of money... and my dream of making music will be for the sake of the music.... nothing more nothing less.

Whatever the case I hope things pick up for the guys. I do my best to get others into Opeth... and get em to buy their cds!! :)
Dudes there most be a seperation made here:
Opeth are a very good band. They are not of those whom start and finish a song during their deeds at the toilet. They are not of those who write a 3-riffs song, add lyrics in the form of "i'm a kewl dude, straight from the hood" and call it a record, then come to the newspapers and say: "i can't make a living out of music, the market is ruthless".

They invest alot of time and thought in their songs and albums. That is a good reason to support them and buy the cds and not download them.

And yeah, buying does feel better! Even if you buy an album you already d/led!