The Business

‘Tis the season to make money!

CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog has put up a string of posts showing how musicians can take advantage of holiday sales spikes, much like retail stores do in the annual post-Thanksgiving tramplefests.  Indeed, by offering the right deals and maybe even releasing a novelty Christmas song, you can make some solid cash during the holiday shopping season.

But, in metal, we don’t just make money off songs — we also have merch!
And if your band isn’t offering up anything special for the holidays, you’re missing out on sales.

Despite its seasonal restrictions, good Christmas-themed merch can go a long way in making you money. Recently, Slayer released an “ugly Christmas sweater” and sold out two runs of it in less than 72 hours. Of course, Slayer weren’t the only metal band to offer Christmas sweaters — but their Jacquard woven sweater was a lot better looks/quality-wise than the Walmart sweatshirts other bands tried to sell as “Christmas sweaters.”  As with most things, fans will notice the difference!

(Insert clever Slayer Christmas pun here)

But your holiday haul doesn’t have to revolve only around Christmas sweaters.

Last year, shred bands Holy Grail and Austrian Death Machine both released Christmas-themed EP’s (red and green vinyl!) to give fans one more thing to put in their letters to Santa.  Also in 2011, Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor released his own “Christmas carol” which not only raised money for charity, but also raised his own profile with a hilarious accompanying video that was plastered all over music blogs.

Just because you’re a metal band doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the spoils of Christmastime. You can still reap a significant amount of publicity and/or merch money with good, creative holiday-themed releases. (and if you think doing a Christmas song is “not metal,” others may disagree)

Our recommendation:  Do a Christmas song or EP — but also have a memorable video (to make it blog-worthy, for publicity) and quality merch (to make it rain!) to go along with it.