Are you worried I am going to ask you for money? Well don’t worry, I am definitely not going to do that today. However, crowdfunding has become a very useful resource for creative types, and that being the case, I’ve been thinking about making Kickstarter a part of the process for the as-yet-unnamed second album. Below are three disjointed thoughts about this, in no particular order.
Vinyl. Vinyl is cool again. Music sounds great on vinyl. I know people who say that music sounds warmer on vinyl. (I don’t hear it, but maybe that’s because my turntable isn’t of a high enough quality.) Vinyl is so awesome that Pearl Jam wrote a song about it. Alexa, play “Spin the Black Circle”. Here’s the problem. Vinyl is expensive. From what I understand the mastering process for vinyl is different than it is for other media. Further, producing vinyl is a time-consuming process that requires a very unique set of machinery, and that makes it expensive. Simply put, there is no way I can afford to release this album on vinyl… but I really want to. The only way I could do that would be if folks pre-ordered enough vinyl copies of the album to offset the production costs.
Begging. It feels like begging. I mean, when you’re an “indie” artist, you kind of want to be as independent as you can. DIY, right? Crowdfunding is not so much DIY… it’s more like DI with a little help from my friends and as many complete strangers as possible. It feels like begging. Of course, one would offer rewards in exchange for a pledge to back the project, which makes it more like pre-ordering. Of course. It feels like begging.
Fear. You know, if you use Kickstarter and you don’t reach your financial goal, you don’t get paid. Zip. Zero. Nada. Rien. Now, there are reasons why that is a good thing… let’s say I offer vinyl as a reward, and I don’t meet my financial goal for the project… well, if we aren’t doing an “all or nothing” model, I would be obligated to fulfill those vinyl pre-orders when I really can’t afford to do so. However, to quote a movie about music in a slightly out-of-context way, “some money would be nice”. Not reaching the goal, well, that would feel like a crushing failure, and not in a good way. (Looking at you Ken Andrews.) That’s scary. Fear.
Maybe. Probably. These are words to describe my feelings about Kickstarter. At this moment though, I don’t have to decide. Tracking for the album has already begun, and I’ll keep plugging away at it. After all, before any kind of crowdfunding starts, one should have demonstrated that work is already in progress and a product is going to result, yes? I am definitely not asking anyone for money today… but in a few months, well, let’s see.