The website Kickstarter
has introduced a new step into the record writing process. By a method of donation that is Internet-friendly, it allows for bands to fund themselves, appealing directly to their fans. The majority of musicians use it to record albums, but accounts have also been created to help repair tour vans, shoot music videos and pretty much pay for all the different aspects of a tour -- that is, if you're successful at it There are currently over eight-hundred accounts in the music tab alone.
The webpage for each project includes personal appeals from the artists. Some bands offer rewards, like digital downloads and signed swag, for donations of certain amounts. Others upload videos and pictures to give their patrons some idea of what they're planning to do with the money they're given. Once a Kickstarter has been created, it falls on the band to blast their plea all over the internet -- Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and all the other usual suspects. From there it is on us, the listeners to put our faith (and our money) in the bands we want to go somewhere.
Some musicians have had a lot of success with Kickstarter, raising far more than they asked for. Usually these are the bands with fiercely loyal fan bases, who spring to the aid of their favorite musicians. The quirky Amanda Palmer
has seen three kickstarters surpass their goals. Animal Collective's Deacon, better known as Joshua Dibb
, raised money to end slavery in Mali in conjunction with the website InspirationCommunity. And my personal favorite A Motown Tribute to Nickleback
raised enough to, in their words, become a real band and record a CD. Each of these groups were able to mobilize their fans or intrigue enough random strangers to fund their projects. No begging record companies or searching in-between the couch cushions for loose change, although Kickstarting isn't without its costs (successful projects are subject to a 5% fee).
Here some musicians worth your consideration:
1. Enter the Haggis
"parted ways with their record label" as a way to go completely indie and are recording their new album A Modest Revolution
via Kickstarter. The album is meant to be a musical snapshot of a day (March 30th) based on stories in the newspaper. There are 26 days left. Go Canada!
2. Terra Lumina
is the brainchild of YouTube celebrity John D Boswell and Will Crowley. The two hope to create an education album about science. Their songs will cover topics like gravity, photosynthesis and supernovae. We all want a song about the Higgs boson. Do it for science!
3 Be My Doppleganger
are a punk band, looking to write another album. They're one of the most generous bands -- offering their services as graphic designers to donors and promising to give away any money earned beyond their goal amount. Oh and whoever donates $500+ to choose a personalized tattoo to be penned on a band member. How's that for a perk?
4. Murder by Death
have already reached their goal, but they put up an awesome video and they're a worthy cause. The band is putting together not only a record, but a box set of the past ten years of their work. Help them make more dark whiskey devil music (is that a genre now?) and donate today.