How Much Does a National Touring Act's New Drummer Make?

Vistalite Black

Ludwigs in the Basement
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
4,943
Reaction score
3,242
Location
North Carolina
So, let's stick to the topic and please show your work ...

Recently, a number of highly coveted drum thrones have been filled or need filling ... Fates Warning/Halford drummer Bobby Jarzombek got the chair behind George Strait, Deen Castronovo is sitting on half a drum stool for Journey and the Offspring is looking for a new drummer.

How much per week could I expect to receive per week in the event the Offspring's Dexter Holland answers my DM and hires me to play "Keep 'Em Separated' and "Pretty Fly" two to three or seven nights a week?

Let's allow for two answers: How much does an arena act pay a known guy like Jarzombek to join a tour vs. someone like Vistalite Black who can do the gig as well as probably 50 drummers out of a 100 could do it?

Answers that go beyond top-of-the-head speculation are especially welcome.
 
Last edited:

bellbrass

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
7,750
Reaction score
1,893
Location
Bluegrass of Kentucky
It really depends on the band, the tour, and the drummer's involvement in publishing.

If you are the touring drummer for a major act that will fill arenas and pavilions, and you have contributed songwriting to the catalog, then the ceiling's the limit....(insert Don Henley here)...

But if you are talking about a late fill-in drummer to an act that is way past its ticket-selling heyday, then the answer is probably a lot less than you think.

I would guess that the drummer touring with The Offspring would make less than $2,500.00 per show, after taxes, fees, and expenses.
 

Pat A Flafla

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
1,227
I went to comment,
"Possible future headline: Drummer discovers he was fired upward from 30yo two-hit-wonder band, scores better gig,"
but found that thread was unsurprisingly nuked. Thanks for the second chance at snark.
 

Pat A Flafla

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
1,227
It really depends on the band, the tour, and the drummer's involvement in publishing.

If you are the touring drummer for a major act that will fill arenas and pavilions, and you have contributed songwriting to the catalog, then the ceiling's the limit....(insert Don Henley here)...

But if you are talking about a late fill-in drummer to an act that is way past its ticket-selling heyday, then the answer is probably a lot less than you think.

I would guess that the drummer touring with The Offspring would make less than $2,500.00 per show, after taxes, fees, and expenses.
Less the bodyguard fee to keep the kind of groupies they probably get at bay.
 

Vistalite Black

Ludwigs in the Basement
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
4,943
Reaction score
3,242
Location
North Carolina
I went to comment,
"Possible future headline: Drummer discovers he was fired upward from 30yo two-hit-wonder band, scores better gig,"
but found that thread was unsurprisingly nuked. Thanks for the second chance at snark.
The Offspring scored 7 Top 10 hits and has sold more than 40 million albums, as many as Steely Dan. Pretty Fly, right?

 

mydadisjr

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
1,355
Reaction score
649
Location
Prescott AZ
I always thought THE OFFSPRING (along with GREEN DAY) was one of the best from that era of rock acts (remember Limp Bizkit? Blink 182? Rancid? Papa Roach?)

Singer DEXTER HOLLAND was sorta the thinking man's punk... PhD in science.

here's one I dug:

 

SKSMITH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
347
Reaction score
219
Location
STL, MO
The Offspring scored 7 Top 10 hits and has sold more than 40 million albums, as many as Steely Dan. Pretty Fly, right?

I would've never guessed they sold so many, but they were pretty popular during the early 90's "alt rock" craze.
And if you were to make about half of Bellbrass stated ($1000 per show), and he said "after tax", you would be making around $250k if you played 5 shows per week for 50 weeks out of the year. You could sign me up for that any day of the week.
Good luck VistaBlack, hopefully they call you back!
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
1,099
Reaction score
1,637
Location
Montréal
I know personally a bunch of the guys who've toured for years with Celine Dion both worldwide and during her Vegas residency. Musicians and techs.

I expect some snark, but hey, Vegas promoters have built her not one but 2 brand new casinos, complete with designed-to-her-specs amphitheaters, and she's sold north of 200 million records... Like her or not (I don't, personally) but she's still an entertainment juggernaut and a money printing machine.

Anyhoo, Specifics were never given since they're all under an NDA, as is custommary in the biz, especially on big productions when it pertains to contracts negociations. But i know they were on a weekly salary with per-diems and lodging expenses covered.

Let's just say they all drive cars you can definitely NOT afford when playing the jazz clubs circuit...
 

Deafmoon

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
1,956
Reaction score
1,952
Reddy Post is a good one. If you read Dave Lombardo story, that’s accurate.
 

Polska

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
2,602
Reaction score
1,308
Location
Buffalo NY
Can't remember where I read it, but I recall some of the more recent pop acts that are big paying their musicians pretty poorly. Kind of a "We can get someone else in a minute so be grateful for the opportunity ". More of that playing for exposure scam, just on a higher level. Very likely depends on the artist.

More stories that make me appreciate my day job and playing music for fun.
 

bellbrass

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
7,750
Reaction score
1,893
Location
Bluegrass of Kentucky
I would've never guessed they sold so many, but they were pretty popular during the early 90's "alt rock" craze.
And if you were to make about half of Bellbrass stated ($1000 per show), and he said "after tax", you would be making around $250k if you played 5 shows per week for 50 weeks out of the year. You could sign me up for that any day of the week.
Agree, but major touring acts don't play 50 weeks a year, they play summer shed tours, I thought...as in, 40-50 shows a year.
 

Houndog

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
5,074
Reaction score
5,240
Location
Oklahoma City
Would also depend on the players resume ,
VB isn’t going to command near what
a guy with tours under his belt would .

But then they’d be missing out on the latest fanzine polls in their emails on a daily basis . That’s gotta be worth a few dollars extra ….
 

drummaman1

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
969
Reaction score
114
Location
Rochester, NY
40 years ago a Cruise Ship drummer was paid between $300 and $375 a week for 10 shows a week. What is their pay today?
When I was on ships 2008-2012, my pay started at $2000/month. You’re responsible to perform two shows and the rehearsal before, every night if needed. No day off was in the contract. Usually one night you played in the lounge to give that band the night off, or the dance club to give the party band a night off. This the showband in the theater I’m referring to.
Stating salary for MD/Bandmaster, however, is $2700/month and you get your own cabin. When I went back as a sideman, then my pay was capped at $2400/month.
Yes, you don’t pay for room and board, but have you eaten in a crew mess lately? Let’s just say that when they use all of the fish or chicken they cook for dinner, they use ALL of the fish or chicken, and the guest get the good stuff first.
 

Reddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
71
Reaction score
86
Location
Bay Area
40 years ago a Cruise Ship drummer was paid between $300 and $375 a week for 10 shows a week. What is their pay today?
Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $4500 a month. Not happening now. The good old days for sure.
 

CC Cirillo

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
2,227
Reaction score
4,054
Location
Northern California
About 15 years ago, I once jammed with some one who said he was married to Terry Bozzio’s sister.

He was a investment person, a numbers guy, so I asked him if he knew how much Mr. Bozzio made a year. His answer was that if he was on tour with an act and then did clinics when not on the tour the combination was around $70K.

No idea if this is accurate, but at least I’m giving a number. —and from someone who might be accurate, and I had no reason to doubt this guy, and Mr. Bozzio graduated from high school in the town where we lived…so story checks out.
 


Top