Don & Lori Chaffer of Waterdeep have a fantastical double album underway, but you can help them finish it.
TWELVE HOURS left in the campaign! You are our heroes. Just do us one last favor, and spread the word about this campaign. Many of you have already, of course, but here in the last 12-hours, let's give it a real heave-ho. On three...
Waterdeep's MOMENT, FREE for another 12 hrs. As a token of our affection, we posted our last album, Moment, on noisetrade.com, where you can download it for free. It's a great way to introduce folks to us: https://noisetrade.com/waterdeep
STRETCH GOAL UPDATE
$25K- Met. We've resumed work on the record. It's hard to sleep. We're re-writing lyrics, re-harmonizing chord changes, pondering reverbs, drum sounds, strings, horns, choirs...
$28K- Met. Our Original "Secret" Budget is met. We're going to actually have TIME to make this thing really good, AND the money to invite co-conspirators into it: singers, players, and nare-do-wells, oh my.
$35K- Met. Videos, y'all. We're buying a camera. Get ready for what will surely be the first in a long line of Waterdeep oscar-bid videos.
As Yet Unmet Stretch Goals (see below)... You have inspired us. It's like we have tempera paint in our veins. Imagine a cross between, like, a finger-painting pre-schooler, and The Terminator. That's us now, thanks to you. We feel unstoppable, full of magic-whirly-twirly-love-and-sunshine, shooting out of our fingertips...
We're planning for the Waterdeep future. Seriously, though, Lori and I have talked a lot about this influx of money, tools, and renewed (and new) connections being a game changer. For quite a while, Waterdeep has, by necessity, sat on the back burner. What if it doesn't have to anymore?
Thanks beyond expression,
Don & Lori Chaffer (Waterdeep)
WHAT FOLLOWS BELOW IS THE FIRST MAIN PAGE UPDATE:
It Feels Good To Be Waterdeep Like This Again
We asked you for $20,000, and, in less than 48 hours, you said “Sure thing. Here you go.” Our jaws dropped. We tweeted. We facebooked. We graffitti’d highway overpasses with the word “amazing.” We're humbled and grateful.
Also, all this love (and money) has made us feel like recording artists again. After a hard day with the kids or the studio (working on someone else’s album) it's easy to wonder whether it still matters that we write songs from our hearts. Not trying to be a sad sack. Just sayin' that when you all said “Yes, it matters,” it felt really, really good.
Now, let's address some outstanding questions about the campaign in mock interview format. Lori and I will play the role of "Us;" you will play the role of "You."
You: Awesome, Don & Lori. Happy for you. Can we still give you money?
You: Is the kickstarter still going now that you’ve met your goal?
Us: YES! Until that number on the right gets down to “0 days to go,” the campaign is still going, and you can still give.
You: Do you still need more money?
Us: When we made a budget for finishing the double album, it came to $27,665, but when we imagined missing that goal by $1, and getting nothing as a result, we said, “Yeah… I mean… but… we could still squeak by with $20,000, right?” Thus, a kickstarter goal was born. As of this writing, we’re past our official goal, and almost to our original “secret” goal.
You: What happens with any extra money you make?
Us: See our next section “Stretch Funding Goals.” However–and I hope you’re okay with this–we’re gonna end the mock interview format.
You: Sure. That’s cool. It’s been nice, though, you know, chatting.
Us: Oh, man, for us too. Thank you… (voice cracking) for everything. (“You” and “Us” hug, tears forming in both of “Our” eyes.)
STRETCH FUNDING GOALS
Here are the things we plan to do with our money if we make even more amazing amounts than the amazing amounts you’ve already given us. Mind you, I should probably set aside some cash first to look up more superlatives. As amazing as the word “amazing” is, I bet it’s getting old.
STRETCH GOAL #1 ($25K) RESUME WORK ON ALBUM – GOAL MET!
We’ve already started working again on the double album because of your generosity. We're thrilled.
STRETCH GOAL #2 ($28K) REACH THE SECRET BUDGET NUMBER
We’ll have hit our original goal, the "secret" one we made, before we got nervous and lowered it. At $28,000, we'll be able to make the process better for both ourselves and others (i.e. pay musicians and designers better, take a bit more time on things, stuff like that). And when we're done, you'll hear a better album than $20,000 would have given us. How cool is that?
STRETCH GOAL #3 (35K) MAKE A VIDEO ON A NEW CAMERA
We’ll go out and buy a camera, tripod, and, like, maybe a lens cloth, and make another video. It’ll either be a short documentary on the "Making of", or it’ll be a music video. Not sure yet which.
STRETCH GOAL #4 (40K) MAKE ANOTHER VIDEO ON OUR NEW CAMERA
The camera will still be new, and we’ll make the other video… the one we didn’t make for the last stretch fund goal. Like, if we made the music video for GOAL#3, then we’ll make the documentary for GOAL#4. If we made the documentary for…
Lori: Don, they get the idea.
STRETCH GOAL #5 (50K) TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
I started to spend a lot of time budgeting out other things we might do if we make more than this, and then Lori–who is, as many of you now know, the voice of reason in our family–suggested we just let people know what some of those other things might be, and cross that bridge when we come to it. She’s right, as usual. So, here are some of the things we discussed:
Don Chaffer – An Unfinished Tale, Vol. 3, Strange – a Spoken Word Album
I would record some more readings of my poems, like I did on the first two Unfinished Tale solo albums; maybe also a small chap book of all the poems from the first three volumes.
We would produce a theatrical Waterdeep show involving: actors, musicians, lights, costumes, and maybe puppets. It’d be a cross between a regular Waterdeep show, Late Night with David Letterman, and the musical, Wicked (which, technically, I have never seen). Rad. We’d run the show for several weekends in Nashville, and possibly take it to other town(s) as well, for weekend runs in small 100-200 seat theaters.
Son of a Gun Full Musical Recording
My first musical, Son of a Gun (co-written with playwright, Chris Cragin Day, as well as Lori, on additional music) premiered in NYC in November, 2012. A few of you got to see it. Most of you didn’t. Due to Actor’s Equity Union issues, we were unable to video it for you. However, what we can do is record the entire musical in audio form–both the songs AND the dialog.
More Shows and Touring
If we make a bunch of money, we could finally afford a minivan, instead of the Honda Accord we presently use for “touring.” I put “touring” in quotes because our show schedule has been miserably sparse the past few years.
Get that minivan.
Change the touring schedule, and change the world!
Right now. With us. Together.
WHAT FOLLOWS HERE IS THE ORIGINAL KICKSTARTER TEXT:
On Our History (Briefly, With an Apology For the Word "Farewell")
About twenty years ago, my wife (Lori Chaffer), and I (Don Chaffer) formed a band called Waterdeep. We used to tour a lot. We made a lot of records, and people used to buy them, back when people bought records. We were even on a record label for a while, back when people used to be on record labels. In 2004, we took a break from touring (a.k.a. had a kid). That's when we had our famous "Farewell To Touring Show." I'd like to take this moment to admit that I am indeed the one responsible for choosing the phrase "Farewell To Touring Show." As it turns out, "Farewell to Touring Show" sounds a lot like "Farewell Show." So–while we've released over ten records since then,–we continue to have people ask, "Didn't you guys break up?" Well, no. We didn't. But I did once use a phrase that made it sound like we did. Sorry about that.
On How We Make a Living
After I sabotaged the public perception of Waterdeep's existence, I moved on to other areas of the music business. For the past ten years I've earned my living by: running a studio, producing other people's albums, writing songs for and with others, making instrumental music for film &TV, and doing musical theater jobs (from composing/writing/arranging down to bits of amateur acting). Lori, meanwhile, has cared for our two kids and home, run the books for and administrated the business, written songs for and with others, collaborated on the musicals, and sung a heckuva lot of background vocals on people's albums.
On This New Album (And On Two Solos Verses One Double)
Despite all this, we still write songs for ourselves, and they get to banging around inside of us. So, about once a year, we gather these songs together in the studio. Voila. Waterdeep album. This past year, when it came time to record, we each had enough songs to fill an album individually. So, we started two separate solo projects, but realized they were still artistically connected to each other. Voila. Waterdeep Double Album.
On Why We're Inviting Your Participation
We couldn’t finish it. Right now, the songs are just sitting, lonely, on a hard drive. Meanwhile, all around Nashville (a.k.a. “Music City”) studios are closing; labels, downsizing; and publishing companies are letting long-time writers go. Record budgets have shrunk; royalties, diminished; and film & TV doesn't pay what it used to. So, while my schedule has been extremely busy, our financial life's still mostly gig to gig. Furthermore, we never make money on a Waterdeep album until after it's finished. That's where you come in. If you support us through kickstarter, we have enough up front money to get the album done. We can feed ourselves, the songs are no longer lonely on their hard drive, and you get a new album. You can also get a whole bunch of other stuff (see rewards at right).
On Why This Whole Thing is Worth It (And Other Existential Concerns)
We can't shake the feeling that these songs are important. As life goes on, it gets more difficult: parents grow ill, loved ones pass on, marriages crumble, finances get tight, children find their own life problems. Of course, in the midst of all that, there are a thousand mercies and wonders, from daily sunlight, to the ocean of interactions we have with one another. Lori and I have talked often about how these new songs salute complicated realities, and embrace both wonder and sadness. They remind us that this is just human life, and it's pretty great to be alive, even when it hurts.
On Why You're Important To Us, and to This Album
Having not toured as much in recent years, our interaction with all of you has sadly dwindled. We still stay in touch with some of you through social media, and you with us, but we used to have such times together out there on the road, didn't we? I know we're all busy, but this is a chance for us to re-connect, to re-capture some things, and for you to remind your friends that we didn't break up after all ("No," you say, "They called it 'Farewell TO TOURING'... I know. Bad name.... Yeah. They know that"), and for us to bond over a new set of songs at a new shared time of life. We hope you want this as much as we do.
On the Budget, why $20,000?
The budget includes all of the costs of: hiring musicians, finishing the recording and mixing, mastering, package design, manufacturing, promotion, and of course, the money we need to cover the bills while I turn down other work. It's a pretty low number for a double album, by the way.
On Having the Room to Choose
It recently occurred to me that I spend more time and energy making other people's albums than I do our own. Having this money set aside will give us the room to make more deliberate artistic decisions. We will still be insanely efficient with your money. I can run Pro-Tools-Hot-Key circles around most people. Seriously. I don't play.
On "Inflexible" funding And The Importance of the Goal
This is NOT a flexible-funded project. If we don't make the $20,000 goal, we don't get anything at all. That's how kickstarter works. So, when it comes to giving to this project, our livelihood is in your hands. No pressure.
On Stretch-Fund Goals
If we get more than the $20,000, we’re going to use that money for Waterdeep-related work:
-We'll promote this record more. We've made the joke before that we release a record by whispering into our closet that it's out. Sad, but true. Real promotion takes both time and money. So, let's create some of both.
-We'll buy a video camera, so we can make more videos like this one. Dang. That was fun. Music videos, sketch comedy, poetry readings, Pro Tools tutorials, Cooking with Lori. All sorts of crap.
-We’ll write and record more songs. No explanation necessary. I'm guessing you know what songs are. Man, we love songs.
-And then if you surprise us, and the money just keeps coming, I may write a book of Waterdeep poetry. Lori may score a Waterdeep film. We may actually hit the road. There may be some kind of weird hybrid Waterdeep/theater piece I may or may not have already started working on with or without having told Lori about it. Oh, and I'll probably start method acting classes, and keep honing my acting chops… every night… upstairs, in the room over the garage… where I will become the new Daniel Day Lewis... and probably do the definitive bio pic of Millard Filmore, America's underrated 13th president.
Thanks in advance, everyone. We love you. Really. Even those of you we don’t know yet, or whose names we forgot. When we meet you, we’ll apologize for forgetting, and then... A big group hug. Yes. A big group hug to all of you.
Don & Lori Chaffer
Risks and challenges
Because we record in our backyard studio, it's hard to imagine that anything–barring a natural disaster or major sickness–would get in the way of completing this record. I've never failed to deliver a record I said I would make, and that's been true of over 100 albums. Per my previous comment, I don't play.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)