, My money: ‘Making a living in the music industry is not easy’

SYML will play in the Button Factory, Dublin, on October 12.

For tickets and more information, visit symlmusic.com/ie.

What’s the most important lesson about money which your career has taught you?

Making a living in the music industry is not easy. Unfortunately, if you become too focused on earning money through music, your creativity will eventually suffer. It’s all a balancing act and a lesson I am constantly learning.

What’s the best advice you ever got about money?

My wife gave me the advice to start a retirement savings account, which is a bit unusual for a self-employed musician. It’s one of the many reasons I’m grateful for her.

What’s your favourite song about money?

‘Rich Girl’ by Hall and Oates. It’s a timeless song because we all know people who rely on money given to them – instead of what they have earned. It’s also catchy as hell.

What’s the most expensive country you ever visited?

Switzerland is insanely expensive. I think the best way to gauge how expensive a place is, is through beer. My beer in Switzerland cost about US$12 (€11), and I’m against that on levels, but I ordered and drank that beer. It was delicious.

What’s your favourite coin?

I like the Norwegian krone. Mostly because it has a hole in it and looks like something from a fantasy film.

What was your worst job?

I was a bag boy (packing groceries) at a market when I was 15-years-old. They called us ‘courtesy clerks’, but we were basically just poorly treated servants. I rebelled by stealing beer from the storeroom.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Not starting to save earlier in life.

If you won the US Mega Millions, what would you do with the money?

I would pay a lot in taxes as lottery winnings are heaving taxed in the US. And I would surprise some people that needed help – and were not expecting it.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

I have a hard time with insurance. On one hand, I know it’s there as a safety net in case something catastrophic happens. But I’ve never had a good experience when it comes to making a claim. I had a very expensive guitar stolen from a festival. After going through all of the hoops with my insurance company, it ended up being more costly to make a claim than it would have been to buy a replacement guitar – because of the excess [the first part of an insurance claim paid by an insurance customer] and the insurance premium hike that followed.

iTunes or Spotify?

I primarily listen to music on Spotify and vinyl records these days.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A candle.

Would you buy property now?

In Seattle, the market seems to have cooled off a bit. If I was in the market to buy property, I would wait a bit more so my money could go further.

Do you ever haggle?

I rarely haggle. However, I do feel like I get good deals. I try to ‘kill them with kindness’, and that usually works in my favour no matter what the transaction is. Plus, being nice to people is better for everyone.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

It would be hard to go without Netflix, Spotify and a ride-hailing app [app for hailing mini-cabs or taxis]. I’m sure I would survive, but I’ve grown too comfortable with the extreme convenience of each.

Sunday Indo Business

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