Why Indie Musicians Quit

Back Stage Indie Report

What makes us just give-up???

We at Back Stage Indie report know lots of musicians, many achieving success, many scratching out a living, and many letting their passion and talent go to replace it with more “traditional” types of employment.  So… why do some give it up and what do they do next?  Back Stage Indie Report looked at the five most common reasons the dream is put on the proverbial shelf.MAGIX Software

1. Money.

Most indie recording artist play multiple instruments in their recordings (can’t afford session musicians), consider the amount of cash needed to create just one single finished song or act in order for it to garner enough attention to be considered a success. Lets face it, most musicians are not independently wealthy but creative souls trying to earn a buck from their god given talent.  It’s physically and emotionally taxing when talent alone does not take you to a  sustainable cash flow.  Just the costs of  legal counsel, CD manufacturing, professional studio time and quality gear, to name just a few, are well enough to cause even a working musician to break out in hives.  Most musicians are going it alone in the hope that they will be able to get deal eventually, which would relieve the financial pressure and stress. Many spend their last dine in pursuit of the dream only to be without a dime.IK Multimedia's MODO BASS

2. Other Obligations.

It’s the old story. Mikey Music has been playing with his band for five years. Keenly focused on stardom.  But there is Samantha,’ who loves the attention he receives and finds the whole band thing gives her a buzz. She is drawn to his talent and his soulful, expressive music.  But one day Samantha wants to be the most important thing in Mikey’s life and soon he begins to feel the pressure.


His attention to the music is emotionally side tracked, He worries about how he now has less time to make music and his band mates think he should get rid of  “Yoko”! How can he let her mess things up? But Mikey won’t dump Samantha because he loves. Maybe he can come back to music in a few years “Maybe”.

3. Band Breaks Up

Yes it happens to the famous as well as the unheard of. Unfortunately disagreements are a fact of life. However if you are a band hoping to rise to the top, constant disagreements do not bode well for your musical career!Free shipping and the guaranteed lowest price as SamAsh.com

Some band members split and don’t necessarily quit, but join other bands or go solo. It’s much harder to pick up the pieces though if the band are already represented by an agent or label and have commitments to fulfil. The job of an agent or representative is to ensure that disagreements are solved professionally, and small quibbles may be solved over a drink and a game of pool.

Sadly though, getting a group of people to agree to each others opinions, future musical direction, (plus all the hundreds of other little decisions and details that require unanimous agreement) is more than impossible for a good length of time.

4.Stress and Pressure

A words everyone in the music industry are all to acquainted with. It’s a dog-eat-dog industry.  A lot of talent and limited resources for making a living.  Lets face it.  If you got into this to be rich, you havent been paying attention.   No to say you can’t reach any goal but the journey comes fraught with “Stress and Pressure”.


The pressure to get noticed.

The pressure of making it great.

The pressure to be/stay relevant.

They have the pressure of making sales.

There is also the pressure to feed a family and pay all the general household bills now.

All this manifests itself in stress on in the artist.

Pressure is an enemy one can ill afford, but generally shifts us into fifth gear and keeps us soldiering on. I remember talking to a friend who gave up his indie career because the pressure of trying to get heard was causing him nasty headaches.


Let’s face it; we all want to come out on top. It human nature.  It’s our nature as artists.

For the indie musician though, the ‘competition’ is the biggest drawback to his chances of success.

The amount of unsigned, yet incredible talent can be disheartening to the Indie artist.

The competition we face today is more apparent due to the visibility of artists online trying to make their way to the top. If we were to go back to the highlights of The Beatles era, we wouldn’t know who or where half of these aspiring individuals were!

As indie musicians we walk an uncertain path. Tomorrow will be a mystery of luck and chance.  With all the forces trying to push us away.  It is the love of music, the poetry, the expressive release that makes some of us stay.



4 thoughts on “Why Indie Musicians Quit”

  1. David

    So true. I regulary quit just to come back for another (irrelevant) run a few years later 😉 You can’t quit making music anyway, if it’s in your system. You can quit selling it, though. But you know … when you made a great song you want people listenig to it and than the whole cycle begins again. I don’t know … it’s fucked up and worth doing it at the same time.

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