Even among some of the more prominent groups, most idols fall within the broader idea of an amateur — even if they or their group are able to make a decent amount of money from performing, recording, merchandise, etc., they’re not looking at being an idol as a career. And, honestly, so few idols really make a lasting career out of it that to have almost a hobbyist’s mindset toward it is probably a good idea.
But to get an idea of what the underground idol, the true part-timer, thinks of themselves and their work, check out this article from Tokyo Girls Update that features Usami Moe from Bellring Girls Heart. Moe is graduating from Bellheart on Feb. 1, 2016, after having spent three years with the rambunctious little crows, and is otherwise a university student.
It kind of puts your high school garage band into perspective, doesn’t it?