When you get the opportunity to go to an Indian heavy metal gig which has an internationally famous band, like Megadeth or Metallica, playing, you'll see a sea of fans in black t-shirts, headbanging to the riffs and singing along with their heroes. These are the Indian metal-heads. You'll look at the sheer number of them and you'd get an impression that as a genre of music, heavy metal must have a huge fan following in India. You can not be more wrong.
When you compare it to other genres of music, heavy metal has a pretty niche audience. The fans are there, and they are pretty die-hard, but there just aren't enough of them.
Which brings us to the most common question a heavy metal artist receives: Is it really possible for you to earn a living in India, by just playing heavy metal music? This FAQ has been addressed by the front-man of the Indian heavy metal band 'Demonic Resurrection', Sahil Makhija.
Sahil starts by trying to calculate a sum of money required by anyone to live comfortably. At 33, he says that his peers in the corporate world earn up to Rs one lakh a month. He crosses out this hefty sum and settles on Rs 50,000. He then goes ahead to calculate what kind of money a heavy metal band manages to make in India. He breaks down the earnings into 3 major components: Live gigs, band merchandise and record sales.
Even though he takes the best case scenarios for all three of these components, the math quite doesn't work out for anyone. His conclusion is a harsh reality. I really isn't possible to earn a living as a heavy metal musician in our country. At least right now. Things may change one day, but for now, the answer remains pretty grim. Watch the full video here: