What a strange contradiction of artistry and practicality working musicians have been forced to take on in recent times. There's been more abundant beauty in music in the last fistful of years than there's been in the two decades book-ending the millennium. Now that home recording is affordable, artists have reigned in a new era of folk music. And I don't mean folk as in acoustic guitars and protest songs. I mean music for folks by folks; songs made by the strugglers, the real people, the ones that decided to do it themselves and immediately dish it out to the masses via tumblr, bandcamp, facebook, and the innumerable web-based musical and social cornucopias that will sprout up in the days to come. It's a truly magnificent age to be a music lover. But, like most great things, it came with a cost. I'm not gonna go into the downfall of the record industry and the paroles of pirated music and the cascade of trite ho-hum details that brought a large number of us to the point where we must ask fans for donations. But, somehow, we are here.
1,2,3 hasn't ever existed as a medium for us to earn legal tender. We didn't form with any purpose other than to make good songs and share them. Of course, if we CAN make money doing what we love... Well, that's the dream, I think. But, as it stands--as we stand--we all work day jobs. This is by no means an exception in the life of the floundering artist. We all acquire these meaningless and soulless jobs so that we can leave or quit at the drop of a hat. Or the booking of a tour, rather. This is a lobotomizing necessity we are all willing to deal with in search of our own personal and musical joys. However, life is life. It likes to stack the odds. Stack it right on your stack of bills. Stack it on your debt, your debt to publishers, labels, lawyers, managers, past managers, past labels. It's really nothing worth complaining about in life's grand scheme. We're all in good health and have the opportunity to do what we love and share it with the world. But, that doesn't mean that our stupid little problems still aren't problems. It's why this site exists and has been so successful after all.
What are we getting at? I'll tell you. Our van is failing in countless ways and we have no means to fix it or buy another.
"How boring. A van?"
Yeah, I know. Vans are stupid. Unfortunately, we need one to tour. It's true. Caravaning our personal jalopies won't cut it. And though, we don't have money to buy a new used van, what we do have is music to offer.
"But, you guys are on a label. Can't they help you?
"Well, no. When I was a youngster dreaming about the day my band got "signed", I thought that was it. The pen goes to the paper, you squiggle out that autograph you spent the age of 17 perfecting and next thing you know you have health insurance and you can buy your mom a hybrid car. But, it's just not like that. Our label helps us more than most, but, this is more than we can ask from them. So we're asking you, the fans, the friends, whomever.
Like I said, we're not about money. We've given away more free music than we've ever sold. Two EPs, singles, and half our debut album if you know where to look. We're happy to do it. We just want you to hear it and enjoy it. But, that doesn't change the fact that we need a new van. Fortunately, I hate vehicles and though what we're asking for is barely enough to buy a new used van, we're also gonna use this money to press 10" vinyl, limited editions of our recent Dreamland pt. 1 EP with a new (not bonus) track and offer that to you in exchange for certain monetary contributions. We're also going to make exclusive, one of kind, hand painted, three track EP comprised of songs that no one's heard yet, for a slightly lesser contribution. Everything from live performances to a bootleg radio hour hosted by yours truly will be offered. Basically every level has something fun for the aspiring philanthropist.
Although the idea of asking for hand-outs for a van of all things is mildly nauseating to me and my bandmates, it surprisingly has been and will continue to be a really good catalyst for creativity and interaction with you, the fan. And even though music's landscape has altered so rapidly and oddly in the last few years, this kind of creative interaction is what it's really always been about.
Immense thanks and appreciation.
Nicolas Snyder of 1,2,3