Great Music Stories


GREAT MUSIC STORIES launches a new project to mark 900 hours of interviews with rock musicians, with a special series focused on working in the underground music scene.

The interview series will look at the particular challenges presented to active musicians since the outbreak of Covid-19.

Following controversial comments this week from the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, who suggested that musicians should look for another job, perhaps ignoring the obvious fact that everyone consumes art (every day) and if there was ever a time to seek healing through creative artistry, it’s right now: the new weekly series of ten 60-minute interviews will allow working musicians to tell their stories and share their experiences about coping and adapting at an unprecedented time of difficulty for the rock community.

On average, performing musicians earn around £ 23,000 a year (but most creative craftspeople already do other work, to support their passion).

Like most other artisans, musicians are part of the brave and tireless autonomous workforce of this society (many are small business owners & entrepreneurial business-folk, so one would think Sunak would have been more empathetic to their plight). Yet the British music industry contributes more than £5bn to the economy per year, so it is not unreasonable to expect specific and targetted support to prevent the music industry from collapsing, is it?

This radio series coincides with a recent YouGov poll conducted for Great Music Stories that shows a resurgent interest in guitar-based music among the youngest – with 79% of under 35s expressing an interest in the rock genre, overtaking the more traditional older rock audience (75% among over 45s and 67% of over 55s).

GuyB from Great Music Stories comments: “Like many other outlets, Great Music Stories has been supporting this wonderful new generation of artists since 2015. During our series of lunchtime lockdown interviews in April it was apparent that every artist was facing the challenge of adapting with gigs off for the foreseeable future.”

It was during this series I was fortunate to speak to Mike Ross and Matt Mitchell and these interviews focused the mind on what it’s like for those musicians for whom in income from music literally is the thing that feeds the kids and keeps a roof over their heads.”

With the prospect of a challenging winter both in terms of rising Covid numbers and the economic impact really beginning to become known, I wanted to do a project just on working musicians. The fan and industry outrage early this week, whether the comments made were misquoted by the media or not, underline that this is a difficult time for musicians and given the value of arts to the economy, musicians justifiably should feel they are supported and respect like any other business sector or professional. Respect and support are the key words here.

This Friday October 9 at 7pm on Great Music Stories, the interview hour will focus on the musician Matt Jones, from TWISTED ILLUSION, who lives in Manchester and who created a series of albums during the lockdown and embarked on the mission to record a new album every month. Jones represents the kind of work ethic and commitment that would put other business sectors to shame. Tune in to find out…

This new radio series will provide musicians with an opportunity to talk about these challenges and how they have adapted and thrived. GuyB hopes the series will be a catalyst for greater respect and support for musicians, as well as sharing best practices in these difficult times.


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