Quite some time ago we embarked on this journey to create and record our first album. Not content with just recording the songs as we'd been playing them live, we decided to go all out in terms of instrumentation, concepts, flow, techniques, etc. We threw the kitchen sink at this thing. It took countless hours of recording, mixing, renting gear, setting up gear, breaking down gear, returning gear, rearranging, starting over—rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat—to achieve what we'd set out to do from the beginning, but all that time and effort has finally led us to where we are now.
The truth is we already owe so much to YOU, our fans, for helping us get to this point. Your support and outpour of love for what we do is what keeps these gears turning for all of us and inspires us to put everything we have into our craft. Whether it's running into you at a show or a message on Facebook from those of you who follow us outside of Austin, the question always seems to be "When can we get your album?" Well damnit, it's about time we can finally tell you RIGHT NOW!
Ok, so now you may be saying to yourself, "well what do they need my help for if they are finished recording the thing?" Fair question, and to be honest we didn't really know the answer to that either until we got here. As an indie band, we soon realized there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes to make the release of an album successful that we have to coordinate ourselves. We'll make it short and sweet…
Even after spending hundreds of hours writing, recording, mixing, editing, and producing everything ourselves (with some uber-talented guest performances by Brooke June Harman, Michael Robles, and Kevin Flatt), we felt it was essential that we had the finishing touches applied not just by an outside set of ears, but by a proven industry mastering engineer. We're proud to say we've enlisted one of the best in Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound, NYC. A veteran and a true artist, Greg has mastered many albums for many great artists we admire, including: Tame Impala, Bon Iver, Alabama Shakes, Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket, Lenny Kravitz, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Ramones, Talking Heads…The list seriously goes on forever, so check out his wiki page for more!
Mr. Calbi's services cost a pretty penny, but the price was absolutely worth it. Everyone in this band can say we're all tremendously proud of the final result. We all felt we'd done a hell of a job with everything from the start to our final mixes, but Greg's mastering wizardry really put the whole thing over the top.
We were beyond fortunate to bring on the incredibly talented Adam Chalupa to helm the design, layout, and aesthetics of the album packaging. He designed all of the artwork (which includes a six-panel booklet) from scratch. We actually requested that Adam create the artwork not from any particular directions, but rather from listening to the music and drawing his artistic interpretation from it instead. We're happy to say that he must've thought it was really good because what he came up with is incredible...I mean just look at this!
The layout of the included booklet is so phenomenal that we prefer everyone see it for the first time in the flesh, so…sorry, but you'll just have to wait until the album's released!
Adam was kind enough to provide some words on this project. Here's what he had to say about his creative process:
The inspiration for crafting this work really was much more complicated than I initially could have expected. When I started thinking on what I was going to do, I was constantly listening to the album while making small sketches. Needless to say, the work ended in a totally different direction than initially predicted. Last year was a very difficult time for me, and with each song I could see a different journey and hardship that was behind me. This is what eventually led me to want to create a more cosmological interpretation of the artwork. It was about drifting into space, a breach of light in the midst of a blizzard, or a quiet starlit night where you just look up and wonder what lies beyond what is seen. This work, along with the actual album itself, has taught me a lot about myself - and I'm happy to have been a part of all of this.
And as if that wasn't enough, he of course went above and beyond by styling this Kickstarter page for us.
With all the music & artwork finally set, we still have quite a few things to get in order:
Printing the CDs and Merchandise — This part isn't cheap, and since it's hard to estimate how many copies we'll sell (it's our first major release, after all), there could be a good chance we'll have to do multiple print runs.
Website Revamp — In internet years, the old one might as well be hosted by Geocities.
Promotion — Given all the time we've put into this project, it'd be a shame if we just released it and rested on our laurels. And while we're perfectly comfortable writing, recording, and mixing on our own, when it comes to promoting our work…Let's just say we're not exactly naturals. Which is why we'll need to hire some pros to help get this into more avenues than we'd ever be capable of ourselves.
Album Release Show — We're going big for this one. We don't want to spoil any surprises, but in order to put on the show we're imagining, it's going to take a bit more than pocket change.
We have shirts! Our dear friend Lauren Santorio-Ellington designed these puppies for us, and we couldn't be happier with what she came up with. We have four options available for the first run:
***If a t-shirt is included in your donation's incentive tier, we will send you a message soon regarding type, size, and color***
The goal we've set for this campaign factors in the expenses (some set, others projected) needed to fund everything listed above. Should we reach that goal through your donations, we'll be doing backflips. But if the target ends up being exceeded, it could enable us to pursue some things we've temporarily put on hold: vinyls, new shirt designs and/or color options, additional merchandise, a band manager(!), etc. Most importantly, however, is this:
Through the process of working on this album, our confidence in ourselves as musicians and songwriters has grown exponentially. There's no fear of being too ambitious with our crazy ideas going forward. This feeling has been bolstered by the amazing feedback we've received from the select few that've had an early listen to the album.
So with all these good vibes, we're excited to say that we're already brainstorming the next project, and in the event that we end up with more donations than anticipated, we'll be able to get right back to recording at the start of the new year!*
*...and we swear we'll be way faster next time around.
Risks and challenges
It's a relief to say that most of the heavy lifting on this project is complete. However, every expense thus far has come out of pocket, and in order to get this out to as may people as possible and promote in a way that does justice to the product we need to continue with the next steps. Without this Kickstarter campaign, we would be completely hamstrung financially and unable to make the important steps ahead of us in order to keep building the momentum.
Asking for donations from our fans, friends & families isn't something we take lightly, so in return, we promise to work harder and more efficiently towards reaching this band's aspirations than we ever have before. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and every one of you for all of your support! Here's to an incredible 2017!
An exclusive private 60-minute acoustic show performed by Michael & Ty at a mutually agreeable date to be determined in 2016/2017. Must be within 250 miles of Austin, TX. (Travel expenses negotiated separately, but not to exceed $150). Super Fan Merch Package included. Availability begins at the start of Kickstarter campaign.
An exclusive private 60-minute show performed by the entire band at a mutually agreeable date to be determined in 2016/2017. Must be within 250 miles of Austin, TX. (Travel expenses negotiated separately but not to exceed $200). Super Fan Merch Package included. Availability begins at the start of Kickstarter campaign.