Why I’m Not Crowdfunding My New Album
(For those of you who don’t know, I currently produce dark electronic music and perform/DJ other stuff too as a place both wonderful and strange. Yes, it’s a Twin Peaks reference. No, I’m not doing those Twin Peaks shows currently. Yes, David Lynch.)
Yesterday (or today depending on when u see this bae), I launched the third indie gogo campaign of my life. The first was for an employer a few years ago. The second was late last year, when I pretty successfully crowd-funded my debut album as APBWAS, “Play It As It Lays”. The album debuted on Black Book the day before its release party at Sleep No More, and continues to earn pretty ok for a nobody returns via Spotify, mostly from Spain and primarily for the debut single, DNT CM. DNT CM was created through the grace of goth with my friends Bunny (of Aural Sects records) and Lucy aka GHOST COP, a musical moment that stands as one of my proudest.
When the crowdfunding from the first album hit my bank account, I was unemployed but fortunately not destitute through the grace of several factors—my girlfriend. My landlords. The government (THANKS, OBAMNA). But my checking account was in arrears, and the money for PLAY IT AS IT LAYS went not to the album’s creation but to pay off a checking acct overdraft, thusly allowing me to actually utilize a couple weeks’ worth of unemployment benefits.
That’s what the “risks etc” bit of Indiegogo never tells you as an investor: you never know to what extent the actual life situation of the person/creator/artist is, and to what extent that money is food on the goddamn table.
For “Play It As It Lays”, that money was, quite literally, food on the goddamn table.
NEW JACK WwITCH is an entirely new creature to me. It’s a multimedia experience, a film, an EP, a vinyl release, and a full-on media onslaught, the likes of which I’ve never attempted before, in ANY of my projects. I’ve been thinking about it for ages, how the future of RHYTHM NATION 1814 hues more to both what’s happening in the world AND what will happen then the tumblr-colored rosy-glasses and cats future. And I want to make a fully fleshed-out vision to accompany these..these things, I see and hear and quite often talk to, in my head.
And that costs money.
From my indiegogo for this:
New Jack Witch is a fully fleshed-out concept, with a sound, look, and feel. The apocalypse was never meant to be a bright, shiny Spongebob fun zone. “Rhythm Nation 1814” got it right, and it’s time to combine that with my creative vision and let people KNOW it’s mine.
With your help, i’ll be releasing a fully-realized 6-song EP exploring the New Jack Witch universe, a combination of trap, techno, dark electro, schaffel and new jack swing, telling a story of a time and place in which magic, music and emotion are lost and forbidden—and then rediscovered and reclaimed.
This includes outside production and post-production work (mixing/mastering), video production, and a full PR campaign. “
Um. Here’s the thing:
When reflecting on how I wanted to promote this campaign, I realized something that wasn’t news to me: I can afford all of this. Myself.
Does it help when a listener/fan/my friends pay for my music or shirts or concert tix or w/e? YES ABSOLUTELY AS LONG AS YOU DON’T FUCKING BUY IT ON ITUNES.
But is my project really in a life-or-death state based on if I raise $2K?
No. EVERY SINGLE PERSON working on this knows what’s in it for them, and I wouldn’t be literally shooting off at the GD mouth about how beautiful, brilliant and WEIRD my next, possibly FINAL under this project name, release/tour is going to be otherwise. Because chickens, hatched, geese, bushes, hands, ganders, etc.
Do I live paycheck to paycheck? Yes. Is it possible that, tomorrow, I will go into work to find the ad agency I work for and LOVE closed down, shuttered, me out of a job and needing that $2K to live? Yes. Does that mean the project would get pushed back? Yes. Would that still happen if all of the above happened and I got the $2K. Yes.
I don’t need my friends—let’s say friends, to be clear, because if i have ANY fans, any, I’d be shocked and be more than happy to buy them TWO cocktails on my own dime ANY TIME—to pay for me to create my art. Because I’m a grown-ass adult, with a grown-ass adult job, and maybe one day I’ll be doing my grown-ass adult music full time. Who the hell knows?
But until then, I refuse to accept the hardworking cash of any other human being to make MY dream come true. You wanna support me with $$? Come to a show. Book me for a show. Buy the vinyl when it’s out. Obey my dog.
So, um, thanks for reading, yolo, and turn down for what.