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January 29, 2012 Assorted Entertainment No Comments

» Chron: Bands go their own way with Kickstarter

I mention this primarily since one of the references is to the worship band at my church, the Robbie Seay Band. Nice to see them getting some mention in the local rag …

More artists are parting ways with traditional record labels to make and promote music on their own. One company playing a pivotal role in the trend is Kickstarter.

In addition to making their music available, bands are offering those who sign up on these sites incentives that range from release-party tickets to personal phone calls, dinner with the band, instruments used in the recording and private concerts in your home.

Houston’s own Robbie Seay Band launched a successful Kickstarter after releasing its previous three albums on a major label.

A recent check on the site shows the band has 512 backers pledging $24,829. The band’s original goal to produce its new album was $16,500. A $10 pledge gets the donor a digital download of the finished album; a $15 pledge gets a hard copy, digital download and an immediate download of two new songs. For $1,000 donors get Seay’s company at a Texans game and for a round of golf.

The other band referenced in the article is an underground favorite: Five Iron Frenzy. There’s a great interview with band member Leonor Till here on how that band’s success with Kickstarter is impacting their future. What’s interesting about that, to me, is that while I never got into ska back in the day, I did get into FIF frontman, Reese Roper’s solo project … and still highly recommend it. Anyways, that project never spawned a follow-up, because as Reese told it, the project put him in a financial bind.

I’ve had the good fortune to meet other local musicians with enough national recognition to hope that a self-published release might get a good reception … all to no avail. In the two examples that the Chron story covers, both artists have a fairly decent national following due to prior work on a big label. Nothing wrong with that. Particularly when I count myself as a fan of both of these bands. It’s far more difficult to capture the story of a band who rises from a lesser starting point, though, and those strike me as more intriguing stories to learn more about due to the degree of difficulty.

Of course, I’m still convinced that there’s been no truly great music created by any band formed after 1989. Seriously … Mr. Big was the end of everything. Check back in 100 years and if you don’t see a direct correlation in the decline of western civ and the inability of musicians to either tune their guitars when recording popular music or rely on Autotune to sound halfway decent, I’ll own you a buck.

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