|January 3, 2012 | New Orleans Music
As related to this post of a couple of weeks ago. So, you’re a musician in 2012, nobody’s willing to pay for music, things are rotten, nobody cares, there are no fucking jobs, I know, I know. Here, though, is a band who, by thinking things through and budgeting carefully, are pulling it off. I met these guys when they’d been together only a few months, and we bonded immediately over a shared love of old hardcore, classic metal, and horror movies. Most of them have been in bands before, so they were able to come together pretty quickly, write songs, and play shows – they hit me up about recording, and it was based on these early gigs, flying-bodies-mosh-pit-super-action, the band burning it up right out of the gate, that I thought, ” yeah, we could do that – we could make a raw, old-school thrash record “. I was attracted to their strong DIY ethic. They are not rich kids, and they will not spend money on anything they can learn to do themselves, like hand-screening t-shirts, fixing amps, painting banners.
The band rehearsed quite a bit before recording ( this is something I can’t stress enough : if you’re good at playing the songs, they will be much easier to record. Practice EVERY DAY, for at least a week, before you go into the studio ), and we were able to capture something good fairly quickly, often on first or second takes. So, She’s Still Dead, New Orleans metalcore horror band, debut album. Now what? First of all, want the tracks? They’re free. Here. That Radiohead pay-what-you-want thing a couple of years ago was kind of a fiasco, but the honest truth is that most people will download your digital music files for free, and you, the artist, might as well direct them to a place – your website or Bandcamp page or whatever, where it’s about not just your tunes, but you, and what you’re doing, and other stuff you’re selling. Offer people a chance to pay for the tracks, and, surprise, a few will.
01. She’s Still Dead : Hands Of The Ripper
02. She’s Still Dead : Voices
For the physical release, as has been the case recently with just about everything everyone I know has been recording, the primary objective was vinyl – good quality, heavyweight colored wax ( just look at this ” blood and teeth in a porcelain sink ” color scheme ), nice inner sleeve with photos and lyrics ( one of the funnest things about this group – it’s all Jack The Ripper, coffins, knives, blood, and screaming ), and a heavy matte cardboard cover ; all this ( plus a free download code ), by the way, for $14.00, direct from the band. Getting a record pressed is pricey, and there’s no way around that, but rather than coming out of pocket or gigging for a year to pay for mastering and manufacturing, they funded the whole thing with Kickstarter ( you’re probably familiar with the concept, but if not, this ). I’m a big fan of Kickstarter ( and of crowd-sourcing in general ) because it allows things to happen that might not otherwise be possible, but also because it can be a pretty good indicator of whether or not you should be trying to sell your music. If you mount a Kickstarter campaign, and you really work it, making sure all your friends and relatives know what you’re trying to achieve, and you don’t make your goal, well, that’s sobering, but it’s a lot better than ending up with 490 of your 500 CDs under your bed, forever, which is what happened quite a bit in the very different world of 10 years ago.
Speaking of CDs, they made those too. They did the smallest run possible, the packaging is as simple as possible ( a CD in a matte cardboard sleeve, really just a little replica of the LP — no plastic, thanks! ), and they’re selling them for as little as they possibly can ( $6.00, which is a pretty good deal considering that you still see handwritten, burned discs on merch tables for $5.00 ). As I’ve said before, some people still want CDs ( I sometimes buy them, although it makes me feel funny ), but if you make a few and they don’t sell, it’s not the end of the world.