NOW_2012-08-09

Page 17

Toronto_Metro_NOW_V2.pdf

technology

Globe and mailing it in Using Kickstarter and the national news to promote an album By nowtoronto.com editor JOSHUA ERRETT First there was Myspace, that mid-00s social network/music streaming site founded by a guy called Tom. Then came iTunes? Facebook? SoundCloud? Bandcamp? Grooveshark? Rdio? Who the hell knows how to distribute and promote music online any more. Ever since the once monolithic My­ space was diminished beyond recog­ nition, online music has been in flux. One emerging platform for hearing and being heard is Kickstarter, the crowd­funding site for creative pro­ jects. Bands post their demos on the site and ask for donations to complete their albums. The record­buying public may refuse to pay for finished prod­ ucts, opting instead to download pir­ ated versions free, but it will happily donate money to finish an album of its

liking. It’s confusing, but it works. Here’s one interesting use of Kick­ starter by Toronto band Enter the Hag­ gis. Singer Brian Buchanan explains. What’s the idea behind your next album? We picked a day at random, ordered 1,500 copies of the Globe and Mail for that day and we’re writing a whole rec­ ord inspired by the headlines and stor­ ies in it. We’ll release the album exactly one year to the day after the paper ori­ ginally hit the streets (March 30, 2013), and the first 1,500 copies sold will be shipped with a copy of the paper. Why did you choose Kickstarter? Overall, it was a lot easier to spread the word. The sharing options are very visible. I also like that Kickstarter has a community of its own made up of

people who browse for projects they like, contribute and share online. So were you tired of your SoundCloud account or what? As a band, we’ve experimented with all kinds of technology to promote our­ selves. We were streaming live video and audio from our shows for free on our site until we got our streaming gear ripped off in South Carolina. The industry is evolving, and artists are more comfortable with a direct re­ lationship with their supporters. We parted ways with our label and man­ agement before our last album, which was a bit of a gamble, but our fan com­ munity stepped up and showed us they were willing to get involved and support us directly, which is humbling. C We’ve got over 700 backers on Kick­ starter at this point, and it’s shockingM to me how many names on the list I Y can put faces to without having to try CM too hard. It’s a new era, both in artistic freedom and artistic patronage. MY How much does it cost to make an album? So far, you have $50K-plus. CY You could probably make three al- CMY bums with that. What will you do K with the money? Believe it or not, we’ll be squeezing every dollar. Why did you choose the Globe instead of NOW Magazine? We contacted a couple of papers. We were looking for something na­ tional, and we needed a paper that would give us the widest possible var­ iety of stories to choose from. We got lucky: the front­page headline March 30 was “Harper’s modest revolution,” and The Modest Revolution is an awe­ some album title. We hope.

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