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Hard Times On The Road For European Bands

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Its a tough time to be a European band touring the US. Caught between the hammer and anvil of high touring costs and a weak U.S. economy, many touring artists from across the pond are having a difficult time turning a profit.

One such band is the Lordi, a Finnish heavy metal act known for their pyrotechnics, theatrics and costumes. At a recent gig at the HoB in Hollywood, the 1,000 capacity was barely half-full when the band took the stage. It was their seventh gig on their most recent US tour and thus far, turnout for the band's shows has been a mixed bag.

"There were lots of people in Dallas, but in San Antonio, it was rather empty." Lordi's keyboardist Awa told Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

Spotty attendance figures are compounded by the rising costs of touring, high ticket prices and the weak American dollar – factors that have caused bands to increasingly look to leaner styles of touring and other sources of revenue such as merch sales. In Lordi's case, that's meant leaving their trademark pyro display at home and selling t-shirts for approximately $10 dollars a piece.

"That time we had our own pyrotechnics, and fireworks aren’t exactly free," Awa told the Helsingin Sanomat reporter "On this tour there are 12 of us. We try to save on everything. We live in the bus instead of hotels." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers