RushIsABand.com posted some scans of a Guitar Center circular that had an interview with Neil Peart. It's a great read, and Neil has all sorts of interesting stuff to say as usual.
The part RushIsABand highlighted was one of the more interesting tidbits to me too. It's about how the music biz has changed over the last 35 years. Neil said:
I know that the mechanism that brought us up doesn't exist anymore," he says. "For instance, a perfect example of how reversed it is, in those days we made no money touring for a long time, even into the successful years. You counted on record sales and songwriting to make your living. And touring was a way to publicize that. Suddenly, in the last 10, 15 years all that turned around and our income is entirely from touring, and recording is an indulgence. In a band like Rush, no one's going to pay us to make a record. It's going to be an indulgence. Even Snakes & Arrows basically paid for itself and that's it, and if we want to make a living beyond that we have to go on the road and tour.
Touring is also the best way to establish relationships with your fans (not what you are thinking, but yeah that happens too). You can Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and email me all you want but experiencing the band melting my face off live is the best way to keep me loyal.
I remember I toured with a band called The Samples and they were signed to a big label and then were dropped. Usually that would have been the end and it would have been coffeehouses and tier three church basement gigs from there on out but they had toured so much, it didn't matter. They had grown a huge, loyal fan base. They stayed popular and actually wound up signing with another label even!
Of course they sucked so the inevitable happened and now you can see them in your local church coffeehouse. But you get the point - touring is the way to go.
Unless you have four kids and are 41, which is my excuse. Those days are over for me!
By the way, MY copy of Guitar Center's marketing rag had Tom and Chris Lord-Alge on the cover, whoever the hell they are.