Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 2, 2013.

Update #18

Recording Studio Update! Still On Track For Summer Release!

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Well hello there, loyal and steadfast Project Atma backer!

It's been 3 months since our last large-scale kickstarter update, and for that I heartily apologize.  There have of course been the near-daily updates on the Project Atma blog, but I still think those of you who aren't into the whole "blog" scene deserve regular updates, and so I'm here to report that we're in the home stretch with this recording process, and things are coming out AWESOMELY this second time around. I don't mean that in the colloquial sense either, I mean that I'm literally filled with awe at how well this process is going.

We started pre-production tracking in January and have been in the actual studio itself since February (Rax Trax in Chicago with complete badass Noam Wallenberg at the controls).  Every step of the way, this process has felt RIGHT in a way that I can honestly say I've never fully experienced in the studio before.  Usually being in the studio for me is a heady mix of excitement and dread, as I start to second-guess and doubt and think about where we could be doing things differently, but this time the whole band knows exactly where we want to go with this, we've done the homework, we've put in the hours before we even stepped foot back in the studio, and Noam has been a huge asset, diving right in with us 100%.

I remember the first day when we were importing scratch/demo tracks and talking about songs, and I told Noam about "Jimmy and Sally," the 7-part 6.5-minute-long song that ends the whole album, and I confessed that I had no idea of the best way to attack it recording-wise.  He just smiled and we got to work, and it's been 6 weeks of complete recording joy since then.

We're almost done with tracking, just a few more guitars, a few more vocal tracks, and some finishing touches left to get in there, and then we'll be mixing (all backers at the $50 level and above make sure you look at yesterday's update to submit your vocal tracks!).

We should still be on schedule to have the final masters done by the end of April, meaning that we'll have the June or July physical release that we've been aiming for (we may get you backers the digital version a bit earlier, cuz, you know, you've been pretty damn amazing over this past year).

Also, just for funzies, I've been bringing my camera into the studio and getting some footage of the whole process, which I'll probably cut into a 10 or 20-minute-long giant videoblog once the recording process is done.  For now I'll leave you with some clips of how it's been going, as well as some chiptune sneak peek videos!  

PS - for those of you that might have missed any of the other pretty huge announcements these past few months, a reminder that we will be playing the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer, and that Bill has decided to pursue his solo project Will Post full time, having just released his debut album "Panthenon" (which is awesome, if you haven't heard it go pick up a copy right now, and attend his live webcast show tonight on StageIt).

And now, videos!

Chad Drumming:

Packy Ripping a Solo:

Brian pounding out some rhythm guitar:

Hari Stealing Packy's Chocolate:

Chiptune Sneak Peek video:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10102969606925733

Chiptune Sneak Peek video #2:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152312242051554

Chiptune Sneak Peek video #3:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152323013851554


Update #17 - For backers only

It's Time To Record Your Vocals For The Album! ($50 and above backers only)

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


Update #16

Recording and Release Schedule + Holiday Card!

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Greetings fellow engager of elevated elephantines!

First of all, I apologize for the radio silence throughout October and November.  Of course we kept up slightly more frequent posts on the Project Atma Blog, but even those have had a slower release rate these past couple of months, as we've turned our focus 100% inward, writing more songs and really digging into the existing songs (like the song cycle).

We've had wonderful in-depth discussions and practices, tearing apart the existing arrangements and putting them back together in stunningly awesome new ways, wrapping everyone's heads and hearts around the material and guaranteeing that this record will be nothing short of the coolest thing we've ever created.

Thus, I am now thrilled to report that after these past few months of intense work on our part, we're ready to start along the path toward recording and releasing!  Here is the current planned schedule:

January: Pre-production
February-March: Recording
April-May: Physical Production
June/July: RELEASE! (+ tour??? :)

We'll also be getting back to monthly Kickstarter updates and more frequent blog posts, now that there will be more to report upon.

Also, as a token of our gratitude for your support, patience, and understanding, we're sending all physical-level backers a holiday card that reveals the second pane of the album artwork!

Postcard front / 2 panes of album art
Postcard front / 2 panes of album art

These will be going out late this coming week, and should start arriving to our US backers by next week (obviously international folks will take a bit longer).

Thank you again for undertaking this epic quest with us, we knew it wouldn't be easy, but with your support we know that in the end, when you're holding this glowing artifact of destiny in your hands, it will all have been worth it.

Happy Holidays from your Friendly Neighborhood Dragon Fighters,

Brian, Chad, Hari, Packy, and Bill

PS - for all of you in the NYC area, we will be taking a few days in January to head out to New York City and play a show opening for sElf on Jan. 10!  There are a handful of tickets still available here, but the show will likely sell out so if you're interested definitely grab them quick.  We're mostly trying to forego live shows in favor of working on the album, but this is one we just couldn't pass up as Matt Mahaffey is a complete badass.


Update #15

Blowups, Setbacks, Recalibrations, and the Impossibility of Holding Art To A Strict Schedule

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I Fight Dragons almost broke up this week.

I'm not trying to scare you, but I want to be honest, and I think you deserve the truth since you signed up to be a part of this crazy journey with us, and it has certainly been a crazy one so far.

Before I go any further I want to start by saying that Project Atma is still 100% on, that I Fight Dragons is still together with all 5 of us on board, and that we're moving forward in a way that excites all of us immensely.

So what happened?

Well, the central issue is one of time.  When I (Brian) set the schedule for the entire kickstarter, I put us into a bit of a quandary.  Specifically, I only left under two months of real writing time for myself, and only 6 weeks of recording.  Plus, with the running of the kickstarter itself, the fulfilling of rewards, and all the day to day duties of running the band (now that we don't have a label I am our label, manager, web designer, merch coordinator, marketer, and I do all our social media), that time began to seem even shorter.

Still, when the time came to hit the recording studio on August 12th, we took the songs I had written and dove in.  However, it turns out this album is a BEAST.  I deliberately left the demos very sparse, so that means there's a lot more work to be done in the arrangement and fleshing out of everything, not to mention that one side of the record is a freaking song cycle, with some crazy instrumentation and a ridiculous amount of possible avenues to go down recording-wise.

As the weeks went by and we forged onward, my bandmates started feeling like we hadn't given ourselves the time to make this album the right way.  We began making decisions in the studio in the name of expediency, and people began to admit they didn't like the way the entire process was going.  Being a ridiculously stubborn individual, I ignored those signs and just kept pushing, doggedly telling myself we had to get this album done, on budget and on schedule, no matter what. 

Still, this didn't do anything to address the underlying problems, and matters finally came to a head on Monday when the rest of the band called a meeting and confronted me.  I still insisted that we had no choice, that we had spent the money for the producer and studio and we had a schedule and we had to stick to it, no matter what.  I argued that backers had expectations, and that I didn't want to be one of those kickstarters that let people down.  They obviously disagreed strongly, arguing that the real backer expectations were for a great I Fight Dragons album, and that I was the one letting fans down by insisting we move forward on the path we were on.  Tempers flared, words were said in anger, and while we were smart enough not to make any decisions in the heat of the moment, no one backed down and the way we left it that night was that I Fight Dragons was likely done.

None of us slept much on Monday night.  I personally got no sleep at all.

But, by the time the sun came up I realized that they were right.  This was our band, this was our record, and I had been pushing everyone else away in my drive to stick to an arbitrary schedule that ultimately would hurt everyone, including you, since the record itself would be the real casualty.

So, I swallowed my pride and apologized.  We all got together on Tuesday night and discussed how we could make this record the right way.  To be blunt, it involves pushing the timetable back.  It involves producing it ourselves, the way we did Cool Is Just A Number.  It involves making sure that the entire band is working as a unit, and that everyone is adding the artistic piece that only they can add.

We've spent the rest of the week planning how to move forward, and here are the salient points:

1- The record release itself will be pushed back a few months.  I wish I could give a firm date, but the truth is my desire to do so is what got us into this position in the first place.  What I can say is that we'll keep you updated every step of the way (via our daily blog and these monthly updates), and we'll be as open and honest as we can with you about the process.  I will not let you down, I promise you we will get there, and it will be worth the wait.

2- The Flexi-Discs are going out to EVERYONE on Sept. 16.  We experienced some long delays in their production, but they're almost here, and we'll be signing all of them.  Also, you heard correctly, we're going to spend the money to send them to international backers as well.  It's the least we can do to make sure you have a cool slice of Project Atma to tide you over while we make this album the ridiculous magnum opus we know it will be.

3- This is a hard one.  We're not going to be able to make the documentary right now.  This was a decision that had to be made in light of the high costs of physical production, the climbing financial costs of shipping, and the current need for more studio time.  It is still my hope to make a documentary at some point, and when we do everyone who backed Project Atma will still have the opportunity to be in it, but the massive costs of these amazing physical LP/picture-disc/graphic-novel/poster creations we're making combined with the rising shipping costs and now the extra studio time have meant that we can't do it right now.  This was a really hard decision, and one we had to make for the sake of the album.  I hope you can forgive us, because in the end all the work we're doing in this crazy saga is to try and make sure that the creation we put into your hands at the end is so magical that you will weep tears of redemption upon opening it up for the first time.

And believe me, it WILL get there.  It's well on its way.  Making great art is never easy, it involves sweat and blood and anger and joy and sadness and turmoil and reconciliation and hunger and doubt and luck and persistence and time.  So, in the name of art, we humbly petition you for a little more time.  It will be worth it.  We promise.

Thank you again for taking this crazy journey with us.  

-Brian, Hari, Packy, Bill, and Chad
I Fight Dragons


Update #14

USB Dog Tags shipped, Pre-Production Begins, BLOG!

Greetings all!

As you know, we've tried to keep these updates infrequent so as not to flood your inboxes. That said, we've been having an amazing, busy time as we've been working on Project Atma!

So, in order to let you have your cake and eat it too, we have started a blog and are posting daily updates there for those who want to know every detail of how it's going.  We've been updating it for a couple of weeks now, and it's even got a nifty exp/power meter:
http://www.ifightdragons.com/blog

That said, we'll still do big updates here once a month or so for those who would rather have their news in chunk-form!

So, what's new in the past month?  Well as the graphic above states, we are officially in Pre-Production!  This week we're in a practice space fleshing out the instrumental parts for the album, and then next week we head into the belly of the beast, the recording studio.  We'll emerge 6 weeks later, victoriously clutching our new album to our proverbial chests, or else we'll die trying.  Either way we'll keep you updated!  Here's a pic of us from last night:

Looking good, eh?  

But let's move on to the other important aspect of these updates:

SWAG REPORT:

The big news this week is that the IFD USB Drives are all shipping out!  Boy howdy do they look amazing:

These puppies will also be available in the IFD web store in about a week as well, here's a picture of them all packed up and ready to head out into the world:

Also, we've gotten our test pressings in for the Flexi Discs!  They sound great, so we approved them, and the real ones are now in production.

These puppies are still on track to arrive in late August, and we'll get them shipped out as soon as we're able to sign and pack them.

However this brings me to a serious part of the update:

International Shipping Update:

As many of you who frequent kickstarter may have noticed, lots of Kickstarters funded within the past year are having huge problems because USPS has had not one, but two MASSIVE rate increases for first-class international shipping in 2013 so far.  

This is having a huge effect on people (like us) who said "add $10 for international shipping" because at the current rates, the standard $30 international tier will cost us over $25 to ship internationally (not including the cost of the record/graphic novel/picture disc/etc.)

That said, we are fully committed to delivering this album in its full form to everyone who donated with NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES.

So, we're going to figure it out.  That said, I want to be as transparent as possible as we do so.  As you know, we were planning to ship all the Flexi-Discs out to everyone as soon as they arrive, before the record itself.  This will still happen for all US backers, however for international backers we are going to delay the Flexis and send them to you along with your record package in December.

I apologize for that delay, but know that our first priority is making sure that you get your record, and we will not ask you for any extra money!  You WILL receive it.

Also, I'll definitely be posting a breakdown of our costs in the end so you can see exactly where all the money went (spoiler alert: we're not keeping any of it, it all goes to making awesome stuff and getting it to you).

So that's the update!  Feel free to stop by our blog if you want more frequency or get curious, otherwise you'll hear from me in about a month!

-Brian


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    {PRIVATE IFD SHOW} Everything from the Executive Produce The Album Package, plus IFD will travel to you anywhere in the US / Canada and put on a private show for you. We can also go outside the US/Canada, but in that case you'd have to purchase travel for us to get to you since our van (the Dragon Wagon) is not yet capable of flight.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (33 days)