What Do You Mean When You Say "Sun Shot" is a Billion Dollar Album?
Ha. Wouldn't that be grand? A billion dollar album? Well in some ways this record is just that. Puzzled? Intrigued? Mildly curious? Read on...
Around the time that we were recording and scheming about the release of our new album the press was in frenzy about the sale of Instagram to Facebook for $1Billion. We started joking that this would be our billion dollar album. I started calling John Leccese J-Lo and Adam started looking at sport cars and houses in Hawaii. The joke lasted for months (Fact: Adam once drove a pink pick up truck the joke lasted for years)
In some convoluted way the billion dollar joke came to fruition. I (this is Reid writing at the moment) was intrigued with Instagram and wanted to figure out what the fuss was all about and more to the point what the "driver" of the popularity was. When I first started using it I thought - well at least they figured out how to successfully post an image to Facebook from your phone - my Facebook app sucks and doesn't post. As I got deeper in it unleashed a creative rush in me as a faux photographer. It transformed my iPhone into a tool for visual self expression. In particular I am amazed at how the presence or absence of light effects the image and the saturation of color. Long story sort - I was hooked. Since then I have taken and manipulated hundreds of photos. I love it.
I'm not sure it was worth a cool Billion but it occurred to me that the driver of Instagram, like so many of the new tools for communication, was self expression. The premium Facebook paid was for a shot of creativity that has informed and infused the collective social voice.
So when we started to think about album art for our new record I went back some of the images I had captured , took a series of new shots and tried to use photography and light as a filter to visually express some element of each song. Some are more literal than others. I partnered with Mike Forester a graphic designer from Burlington Vermont and voilà - we introduce to you our own creative shot in the arm -"Sun Shot" - inspired in part by Instagam and the swell of imagination it unleashed. Again probably not worth a Billion but we are hoping for a few pesos or a pack of smokes.
Listen: Click the PLAY button below to listen to a live take on the new Sun Shot cut Arkansas Down, recorded on June 1, 2012 at the Wakarusa Festival, in of all places, Arkansas.
What Drives Assembly of Dust to Make Music?
As kids we all dream of being something or many things. Two of the big ticket careers are firefighter and rockstar. Having collectively burned down several acres of woods on separate occasions in distant corners of the Northeast we ruled out firefighters. So the five of us were left with ROCK. Plus chicks dig it. The simple answer is we do it because we love it. Sure there is an element of altruism - we hope to make peoples lives richer in some way. But really we are just blinded music junkies. The creative process from start to finish is a buzz. From the inception of a song, to the fleshing out of the parts and the arrangement, to the first time your perform it, to memorializing it on a record. The fact that you the listener is there to react and to receive our musical output completes the loop. In so many ways music is an addiction. The rub of it is the habit ain't cheap.
What we are going to use the money for?
It's hard to know how much time the average bear spends thinking about the process, logistics and costs of being in a band. Mainly folks load up a tune and listen as they go about their day or go to the club knock back a couple cold ones and move on with their lives. The musician and the folks that support them spend a redonkulous amount of time on either end of that singular “listener moment” to make it happen. So again the facts jack – here is how we will spend the money:
Bucket One: Recording Cost
Listen: Click the PLAY button below to listen to the title track from Sun Shot.
We wanted Sun Shot to sound as rootsy, authentic and warm as we possible could. We hired Ryan Freeland (Ray Lamontagne, Bonnie Raitt, Son Volt, etc.) who is know for those qualities in his recordings to record and mix the album and picked a studio in NYC called OneEast. We chose this particular studio for its vintage gear: Neve sound board, tube preamps, ribbon microphones. Yes you can record an album in your bedroom with a Mac but it just ain't the same.
Bucket Two: Manufacturing, Marketing and Promotion
It's true social media is free and there are lots of great ways to get the word out about your music these days. Lots of the rules have changed but some haven't. Its still costs money to get the word out. The big buckets here are:
- Manufacturing: Most people these days listen to music digitally but you still need to have a CD (and potentially vinyl). So money gets spent on artwork, pressing of the CDs, printing of booklets, etc.
- Publicist: to let music publications, websites, digital music services, blogs and TV shows know about the record.
- Radio Promoter – this is similar to a press person but he or she contacts all of the relevant stations around the country and says “hey give it a listen they are as good as Loggins and Messina.”
- Advertising: Odds are we are not going to have a super bowl ad BUT its nice to have some ads in relevant places around the release – Relix, Jambase, full page ad in the New York Times etc.
Seems odd that this is a cost right? Think about taking your girlfriend or family on a week vacation. Or even a two night business trip. Imagine doing that with 7 or 8 dudes dozens of times a year. When you add up the planes, trains, automobiles, fuel and “every blue light cheap hotel” the costs are staggering. We SWEAR that with the money we raise from this project we will get to some of the corners of the country that we have neglected. Believe us we hear you people. There are a couple dudes in Montana who are down right pissed! We intend to empower you the fans to direct us to cities of your choosing, funded in part by this project.
Bucket Four: Refreshments
It has been calculated that Adam has eaten over a mile of hot dog in his life. Add to that the increasing cost of doughnuts and Jack Daniels for Reid and John and well you can do the math…..
We feel the love guys. We also feel the frustration to play more, visit more cities and just DO more. We encourage you to be a part of the Sun Shot Kicktart and help us make good on the promise of MORE AOD.
- (35 days)