James Murphy’s Advice To Musicians – Learn Excel

Last night, I was fortunate enough to see James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem fame speak at NYU as part of Red Bull’s Music Academy spring-summer make-hipsters-think-energy-drinks-are-cool-by-association-fest. Despite my snark it was a really great 2 hours of conversation. While he dished tons of gossip about producing the new Arcade Fire record and more of the same on why he broke up LCD one bit of advice stuck out to me. When asked by an audience member what advice he has for musicians he replied, “Become an accountant and learn Excel” he said with his often-joked is he serious? demeanor. He went on to say “When it comes down to making a living from your music, figuring out how to save money and how to make those dollars stretch on a really limited budget is really important.” By this point you know he was dead serious and this was knowledge he had seen make a big difference in his success. If you’ve ever been a part of a DIY music endeavor you know this statement is true, but rarely does such rational come from such a respected musician. (BTW if you haven’t seen the above video, it doesn’t come from last night’s event, it contains equally amazing advice)

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • ebruce

    Google Docs and the app make for a great way to have everyone involved with keeping track of finances. Getting a good system down is the hard part.