Sales figures for Christian bands

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Sales figures for Christian bands

Post by Bahana on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:25 pm

Does anyone here know of a resource to find sales figures for Christian bands? It would be interesting to know just how popular some of the bands were that didn't make it into the mainstream. On Tourniquet's site it says that they have sold over 350k worldwide. That doesn't seem like that much at all considering their first album was 28 years ago. What would be considered good sales for a Christian Metal band? 100k?
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Re: Sales figures for Christian bands

Post by Temple of Blood on Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:52 pm

old school christian metal scene or since the music industry collapsed?

It's a niche genre, there's no way around it.

I think probably only Stryper can live off of music so I think that really tells you all you need to know.

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Re: Sales figures for Christian bands

Post by Bahana on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:21 pm

I was referring to before 2000. Some of the concerts I went to in the 90s, I doubt there was ever over a few hundred people there. It would still be interesting to know for sure.
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Re: Sales figures for Christian bands

Post by stevegarveyfan on Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:44 am

I sent a Facebook PM to Jimmy Brown several years ago, and he told me that he didn't have exact sales figures on most of the albums but that Weapons of Our Warfare, due to MTV exposure, sold around 500,000 units.  I don't think the other albums even came close to those sales figures, unfortunately.
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Re: Sales figures for Christian bands

Post by ImagoDei on Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:07 am

I don’t know numbers for the Christian scene, but there’s no way they are much especially once you start talking the more extreme bands. Most secular bands don’t make enough to live on, Cannibal Corpse being one that does. I remember In Flames said they did too, back around the time they were still playing melodic death metal, one of the guys said they could live modest lives from the band. I think for them it’s only gotten better because they’re quite a bit more popular now then they were then. There are some that aren’t super popular but I think make it because they tour relentlessly, Warbringer being one of those at least a couple of years ago, they were nonstop. 

One thing that sticks out in my memory is a Mortification show during a world tour back around the time Silver Cord came out. They are one of the biggest names in Christian Metal, and there  might have been 50 people there, if I’m generous, and they were playing material from their first 3 albums. I’ve been to Christian shows where you could count the audience on your fingers. Contrast that with secular bands, I’ve never been to one that didn’t draw at least several hundred for lesser known bands with a record deal. It certainly is a niche market, but it doesn’t help either that most Christian bands are following trends rather than doing their own thing, causing them to sort of blend in with the mediocre, in my opinion of course. I say that to point out that there’s little that Christian bands do to cause the secular scene to take notice, and even secular metal, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t huge, so you’re talking a niche market within a larger niche market, which doesn’t leave much to go around. Just compare, for instance Cannibal Corpse live in Nashville pulling <1,000 vs Taylor Swift filling the downtown arena with probably 30,000, and more would be there except they sold out.

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Re: Sales figures for Christian bands

Post by Bahana on Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:41 pm

ImagoDei wrote:I don’t know numbers for the Christian scene, but there’s no way they are much especially once you start talking the more extreme bands. Most secular bands don’t make enough to live on, Cannibal Corpse being one that does. I remember In Flames said they did too, back around the time they were still playing melodic death metal, one of the guys said they could live modest lives from the band. I think for them it’s only gotten better because they’re quite a bit more popular now then they were then. There are some that aren’t super popular but I think make it because they tour relentlessly, Warbringer being one of those at least a couple of years ago, they were nonstop. 

One thing that sticks out in my memory is a Mortification show during a world tour back around the time Silver Cord came out. They are one of the biggest names in Christian Metal, and there  might have been 50 people there, if I’m generous, and they were playing material from their first 3 albums. I’ve been to Christian shows where you could count the audience on your fingers. Contrast that with secular bands, I’ve never been to one that didn’t draw at least several hundred for lesser known bands with a record deal. It certainly is a niche market, but it doesn’t help either that most Christian bands are following trends rather than doing their own thing, causing them to sort of blend in with the mediocre, in my opinion of course. I say that to point out that there’s little that Christian bands do to cause the secular scene to take notice, and even secular metal, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t huge, so you’re talking a niche market within a larger niche market, which doesn’t leave much to go around. Just compare, for instance Cannibal Corpse live in Nashville pulling <1,000 vs Taylor Swift filling the downtown arena with probably 30,000, and more would be there except they sold out.
That's one of the things that has made Tourniquet stand out for me because they have their own sound and don't sound like they're copying a specific band. They did go with trends, at times, but still mixed it up enough to make things interesting. Jimmy P Brown was frustrated with having to be the "Christian Metallica" and rebelled with his progressive stuff. Going against the grain doesn't always work out but it can give you a little more respect from some fans.
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Re: Sales figures for Christian bands

Post by ImagoDei on Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:12 am

^ And that is the pickle that most Christian bands find,themselves in, they are the Christian version of (fill in the blank). If I am not a Christian music only sort of guy (which represents 99.999999% of metal heads around the world), and I want some melodic death metal, who’s the most prominent Christian one? Probably Immortal Souls. And how do they compare to the secular scene? In my opinion they are competent, but incredibly average, so why am I going buy their stuff when I can choose early In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, At The Gates, Arch Enemy, etc? Well, I’m not going to, and the labels, unless they’re Christian only, aren’t going to either, because their ultimate purpose is to make money and here going to sign what the market demands. That’s just an example that I believe is widely applicable to the scene as a whole. It’s not my intent to bash the bands by any means, but I’ve seen for myself that most bands who wow the Christian market makes the secular scene go “meh” because there’s 50 and more other bands out there doing the same thing better, touring, etc. And the touring thing is another issue, you don’t see Christian bands laying it all on the line to tour relentlessly like the Warbringer example I brought up earlier. The vast majority of the tours are regional, or just one off shows occasionally if they play live at all. And if a band is going to make any money, you’ve gotta hit the road. These are all reasons that support my belief that Christian metal sales are low, and as much as I wish it were different, I don’t believe that to be the case. I would be interested to hear the insight of someone who runs an online Christian metal music distributor/ store, because they should have actual numbers to cite.

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