This project is to fund the mastering, manufacture, release and promotion costs of my new album
I've made a new album, I think it's the best thing I've ever done (apart from marry my wife) and I'm really close to finishing it. I think it's my Close To The Edge, A Love Supreme, Exile On Main Street, Blood On The Tracks, Kind Of Blue (I think you get the picture).
It's taken six years and here's why; I did it outside of a label and paid for everything myself. I've made five albums as a leader and the last three have been made this way. I put them out on my label Motorik Recordings and they did pretty well (each selling a thousand copies or more).
This album was different, it wasn't a 'record it in two days, all in the same room, play some Blue Note charts and see what happens' kind of thing - I love those but, I had a more cinematic, multi layered kind of record in mind and that takes time and quite a bit more money. It is made up of my arrangements of Bowie's influential music from his Berlin Trilogy and I don't think there's anything like it out there. That's why I wanted to make it.
I had always really liked Bowie's mid 1970's albums; Station To Station, Low, "Heroes" and Lodger ever since I was in my early teens. This was when he was really vital and looking for new influences and places to go to musically. I had recently heard the Philip Glass versions of these songs and was looking for a new kind of catalyst and direction for my own group and new album.
I had released and toured four albums of Blue Note inspired Hard Bop / modern jazz and felt I needed to break out from that and do something more original and personal to me. I started to get a few of the tracks together, firstly Warszawa and Art Decade and they really worked. They seemed to create a new platform and the atmosphere I was looking for. It just went from there - that was back in 2007 and it feels great to have finally got it all together now.
SOUNDCLOUD PLAYER LINK (it won't embed at the moment for some reason):
This is also the first album where I've really utilised the potential of the recording studio, with multiple sessions and overdubs, really thinking about production. I was making a record this time, not just recording an album. In the past I would be in the studio for a day or two at the most, or just bring a mobile studio to a gig; this time however, the process and result has been a little like the music: cinematic, with a feeling of scale and intensity. Think Coltrane Quartet produced by Neu! in an air-raid shelter.
Here's a film with me talking about this whole thing:
I've been a professional musician for 25 years and I've been leading my own groups for over ten years. This record is a kind of a breakthrough for me. The problem is, I'm out of money to spend on it. It's like I'm in my car, I can see the finish line and the fuel gauge is flashing red.
My income comes from gigging, touring and a few studio sessions and I've already put thousands into the recording of the record so far (recording studios, musicians fees, charting, editing and mixing costs).
I really want to get this album out there and to do it properly: to have the money to master, manufacture and really promote it: hire a PR agent, place adverts in the major music publications and broadsheets and generally build up a head of steam in preparation for the tour.
Who are you?
Here's a little about me from my biography:
Dylan Howe is a British drummer (born in1969) best known for leading his quintet and other jazz groups since 2002 and his tenures with Ian Dury and the Blockheads (1997-2010), Steve Howe and Wilko Johnson (2010-2013), coupled with extensive session work since 1990, playing with Nick Cave, Damon Albarn, Ray Davies, Paul McCartney, David Gilmour, Beth Gibbons, Gabrielle and Hugh Cornwell amongst many others.
And a few quotes:
‘A superb player, inspiring and invigorating.’ THE GUARDIAN
'The thrilling, incisive drumming of Dylan Howe.' LONDON METRO
‘Rightly acclaimed as one of the best drummers of his generation.’ RONNIE SCOTT’S '
'A funky little bastard.' IAN DURY
'Dylan Howe makes it new. The way he plays it, it's as if Be-bop were still hot and wet from its Harlem womb - he plays time from the heart.' ROBERT WYATT
'You're playing beautifully.' JIMMY PAGE
Some quotes about these records:
- 'The best neo-bop group in the country' LONDON EVENING STANDARD
- 'A looseness reminiscent of Miles' 1960s ensemble, (DH) knows exactly how the dynamics and drama of this idiom are supposed to work, and he proves himself to be a sophisticated composer of slow tone-poetry.'
- John Fordham - THE GUARDIAN
- 'Searing modal hard bop from drummer Howe, playing scorching originals and drawing on the spirit of classic 60’s Blue Note'
- THE TIMES, TOP FIVE JAZZ
- Jazz CD of the week in the OBSERVER and LONDON EVENING STANDARD
- 'Superlative drummer/pianist duo reinterpreting Stravinsky's finest movements via freewheeling jazz.' TIME OUT
- 'Thrilling...packed with big gestures and catchy hooks. It's fresh and immediate and engaged the full house...digs out Igor's Slavic jazz soul without losing the work's essence.' John L Walters - THE GUARDIAN
Also, some of the music was previewed at the London Jazz festival in October 2007 with Serious. It featured an extended lineup, including; Adrian Utley (Portishead), Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Gilad atzmon and The Solid Strings. Here are a few photos:
And what people said about that gig:
A formidable lineup…immaculate, entrancing collective performance. Howe’s trademark powerful yet delicate drumming was the motor propelling this finely tuned engine. Every piece told its own story. This will not be easily forgotten…' JAZZWISE MAGAZINE
'Dylan Howe's self-styled "reimagining" of Bowie's instrumental meisterwerks invests them with new life while remaining true to their original spirit. His mini-orchestra (ensemble?) treat the originals as blueprints for some inventive flights of fancy but remain recognisably anchored in Bowie's Berlin. The Thin White Duke would surely approve.'CONTEMPORARY MAGAZINE
'Takes the "who would have thought of that?" award. The drummer has formed a group featuring Portishead's Adrian Utley, former Strangler Hugh Cornwell and saxophonist Gilad Atzmon among others to re-imagine the music of David Bowie's Heroes and Low.' 'TOP TEN IN THE LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL' - THE TIMES (9/11/07)
Hey, but haven't you got a rock star dad who's not short of a few bob? Can't he give you the money?
A fair question, I would ask it myself. Well, it has just never been that way. I've always earned my own keep and have never been offered or taken handouts. I think it's stood me in good stead really.
Where is the money going?
Having made and released five other albums (and paid for four of them myself) and organised six twenty-five date UK tours with my groups over the past nine years - including multiple successful PRSF and Jazz Services funding applications - I've got to know how to make budgets work and how preparation is everything.
All the recording sessions are done, as is the editing and mixing, and I've made an EPK and various web pages.
So, here's what I need your help with:
(I've broken it down a little like this)
- MCPS (Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society) licence fee.
- CD manufacture (1000 copies)
- Limited edition vinyl manufacture (100 copies)
- PR agent and marketing campaign
- Jazzwise Magazine advert
- Guardian newspaper advert
- Downbeat magazine advert
- Facebook advert
- Kickstarter and Amazon fees / charges for this project
- Postage costs
What happens if the project is over-funded?
If this happens, I've plough any excess into the budget for the launch gig and tour. Or of course I could buy a really good wig (I know that's not allowed).
Basically, the best musicians and sound engineers I know:
And special guests:
Also, the brilliant sound engineers, editors and mixers;
Will Worsley at Coda Cola Studios and Philip Bagnal at Eastcote Studios.
And my brother Virgil - who found most of the vintage synth sounds for the record.
- Weeping Wall
- All Saints
- Some Are
- Art Decade
- Moss Garden
Ok... why Kickstarter?
l was a little sceptical at first but, after seeing what The Blockheads achived recently (£14,259 - 143% funded) and then seeing Spike Lee and Zach Braff up there as well, I started to see that it's just a modern version of how musicians and artists have been getting their stuff out there by working with patrons through the ages.
So, I thought rather than wait to get the phone call from Sting or Quincy Jones, or to have the album sitting unheard in a hard drive only to be discovered after I've carked it, I thought I'd give it a go.
Wrap it up, D, I have stuff to do…
Ok, fair enough…. So, if you think you like this, have a look on the left and click on a reward option.
You can only pledge once but you can go over the amount if you like and you can increase your pledge at a later date too.
THANK YOU SO MUCH
I really, really appreciate any pledges you can make.
+ Got an idea for a pledge that isn't up there? Get in touch through the Kickstarter message service or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
I feel that this a minimum risk / challenge project really. I mean maybe if there's a tidal wave or grumpy extra terrestrials with a pathological distaste for jazz and electronica arrive at the mastering studio, or I spill hot soup on Brian Eno's new coat or trip David Bowie up on the tube, it will be alright.
I feel I have enough experience, OCD-like attention to detail and drive to get this done, I REALLY want to get this out there and make it the best it can be for everyone involved, and if any of the above does happen I'll just emigrate - I mean refund you all.
Regarding production and delivery of the rewards, the main thing to bear in mind is that some of them are phased time-wise - i.e:
The digital version of the album will be ready before the CD and vinyl;
The ringtones can be made and emailed quite fast but the launch gig is not until next year;
The drum lesson will require a specific dates to be fixed with you, as would the living room gig etc.
I think you can see what I mean. In summary, what I'm saying is that you might not get all the contents of the reward at exactly the same time on all the pledges - BUT you also just might too. Production of all the items will start as soon as the campaign ends and the funds have cleared in Amazon's account (this takes 2 weeks).
ALSO re. SIGNED COPIES of the vinyl and CD's; This will mean opening the shrink-wrap... So if you want me to do that I will OR you can have the option of a mint, unsigned copy - the choice is yours!
In the unlikely event I can't fulfil a pledge, I will immediately offer your money back.
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or through Kickstarter if you have any questions before you pledge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)