Guitarist Jackie Chambers indicates Girlschool need to sell about 20,000 downloads just to make £20
In a recent interview with Mark Michaels for The Cosmick View, Girlschool guitarist Jackie Chambers spoke about the challenges of how to make ends meet in the now changed musical landscape of downloads and streaming
When asked how she would define the current state of the music business and then compare that definition to what the business was like when she first started working with Girlschool, Chambers indicated (with slight edits): “Well, I’ve now been with Girlschool for 21 years and SO much has changed even in that time. Forty two years ago when the girls started, it was a different industry all together. Some things are better of course, as in there’s a whole new platform for new bands to be heard now with the use of the internet and without having to be signed to a record deal… of which there were very few to even be signed to then, and even fewer now.
Now record deals seem like a waste of time when you can take control of the whole thing yourself and miss out the middle man. I do all of it myself in Syteria… so learning new things all the time. It’s also much harder in some ways too as record sales have been replaced with downloads and streaming and where as back then you could earn a good living from selling records/CDs… Now, we’d have to sell around 20,000 downloads just to make £20 and that’s between us which is why most bands rely on sales of merchandise at their gigs.”
In terms of how she would define the term “rock star”, whether it’s still an applicable term today and whether she considers herself a rock star, Chambers replied: “Mmm, a rock star has a very different meaning now to what it did have years ago. Years ago, it would have been all about the flash, cars, a girl or boy on each arm, parties galore, etc as there was so much money in the industry back then. But now musicians hardly earn anything from record sales as it’s all downloaded and often for free, so not making anything on occasions… So nope, not a rock star if that’s the bar… I’m broke most of the time [laughs].”
You can read the rest of the interview with Jackie Chambers at The Cosmick View‘s website.