THANK YOU to all our backers! We are past 100% and onto our STRETCH GOALS!
We're delighted to say we're now pressing on beyond our original goal. The more we get, the better we'll be able to give, so please help us make these amazing things happen!
1. £11,200 – Double LP Vinyl Pressing
2. £11,800 – Full String Quartet Arrangements
3. £12,400 – New Marseille Figs Bonus Song
See Update No. 5 for the full details.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
I'm J. Maizlish Mole, a singer, songwriter, artist and bandleader. With a little help from my friends I am trying to complete a huge new album of my songs, called 'Danger Island'.
The record's been in the works for over two years now. It's all written and the recording is about 50% complete. It includes a whole stack of new songs – piano ballads, pop songs, funeral songs, crush songs, story songs, allegories, complaints, the usual – as well as a handful of old Marseille Figs songs which never got a fair shake in the studio.
The first dozen or so tracks will be released as a quarterly series of four digital EPs, followed by a digital and physical release of the whole big double album on CD and, if we raise enough, a DOUBLE LP.
The album started life as a new Marseille Figs record, but with the Figs so far-flung it quickly evolved into more of a solo project – a full 21-song double album from the pen and heart of the Figs' frontman. Dorian McFarland and I are co-producing it, and the Figs are all on it, of course. But so are about a thousand other amazing people. So for those of you waiting for another Figs album, well this is where it's at.
A lot of very brilliant people are involved in the project, including all the guys from The Jupiter Band – the house band from the monthly night I co-hosted throughout 2012 & '13 – as well as Tom Chant and most of the Marseille Figs people. We also have a large roster of great guest artists. All in all it includes people from Down I Go, the Pogues, Drop Velvet, JJ Horns, Cinematic Orchestra, yoB, The Rails, The Pretenders, Kidnap Alice and Internet Forever. Oh, and pianist Louis Vause (Madness, Graham Coxon), bassist Tom Ash, double bassist John Edwards, with Felix Weldon and Andrew Ranken on drums.
• • • • • • • • • •
WHAT'S LEFT TO DO
All of the tracks are underway, with some nearing completion and others still just bare-boned rhythm tracks. So we're looking for funding to get us to the finish-line.
This means finishing the recording – some lovely horn and string arrangements, a brass & wind band, two guest guitarists, the vocals and backing vocals, some percussion, hammond organ and accordion, and a variety of other exciting things.
Then there's mixing, mastering, design work, and lastly manufacturing of a double CD package. We will also be pressing a double LP if enough people sign up for it, so please pledge generously if you're a vinyl junkie.
Just for a taste, here's a rough mix of the unfinished 'Uncle Billy's One True Love'. You might not want to know how the sausage is made, but this track (for instance) is waiting for a final vocal, a great ska-like horn section, and some backing vocals and percussion:
Our budget breaks down like so:
It's not a tiny budget. There are people working on this record who would happily do what they're doing for a tiny fraction of what their time and talents are worth, because they're all great, and they all want to work on it. But everybody gets paid on our album, which is the rule we've tried to stick to from the outset. It is also a double album, 21 beautifully recorded new songs which, with your help, we will be sending out into the world over the next year.
• • • • • • • • • •
COOL SHIT YOU CAN GET
The first several tracks will be released in small batches as digital EPs. So the smallest pledges buy one or two of the EPs, but not the WHOLE ALBUM. (Track listings and schedules are speculative and TBC.)
• First EP – January 2015
will include 'Annie Get Your Gun' and 'Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone'
• Second EP – April 2015
including 'Fireflies' and the previously unrecorded 'I Love London'
• Third EP – July 2015
should have 'Tar Baby' and 'Everybody Must Crawl'
• Fourth EP – October 2015
with 'She's The One' and mother's favourite 'My Good Looks Are Going to Hell'
The DANGER ISLAND ALBUM
In February 2016 the whole 21-track album will be released through Cargo Records in the U.K., as a digital download and double CD. If enough of you pledge for one, we'll also be pressing a limited edition of double LPs, in shiny vinyl, with full size artwork and a gatefold sleeve, the works. We're not sure what it'll look like yet, but let's imagine it looking like this:
Regardless of which format you choose, all pledges over £21 include the digital pre-release of the album [in MP3 and lossless formats], the double CD and a subscription to all the digital EPs along the way. So you get all the tracks, as soon as they're ready and before they're available to the non-contributing general public, da bums.
Record Launches – Free Entry
We'll be having a launch gig for the album, and probably for the EP releases too. In London. If you contribute, you'll be given free entry and treated like a king/queen/princess/whateveryouwant regardless of how much you kick in.
The T-Shirt of the Album
Again, I don't know what it'll look like yet, but it'll surely be handsomely designed and printed on a good quality shirt, with maybe a few colours available. Buy the album, listen to the album, wear the album.
ARTWORK AND SUCH
We'll be producing a large run of A3 prints to advertise the EP releases, the ALBUM release and the ALBUM LAUNCH. Contributors will receive them signed by the artists and designers. They'll likely be something along the lines of these old Jupiter bills, which were avidly collected by certain highly refined weirdos: http://jmaizlish.com/thejupiter/
Signed Giclée prints of the Cover Artwork
A fine art print of the album artwork, writ large at something like an A1 size. If I've done the artwork myself then it'll be a signed and numbered kind of thing.
Original Drawings & Artwork from the EPs, LPs & Posters
The original bits of artwork will be going out to high bidders. It remains to be seen what that will be, but it'll quite possibly be done by myself. If so it might look something like one of these things:
Lots of my past artwork can be seen here: http://jmaizlish.com/
A very exclusive CD of DEMOS & OUTTAKES
This will be a very limited edition CD of my demos, outtakes and alternate versions, most of them never heard or released, going all the way back to Figs days. Yes, I will produce this. Strictly limited numbers.
One Very Special BONUS TRACK
This will be a bonus song available (digitally) exclusively to the first 50 people who pledge for it. It might be a really great unreleased Marseille Figs track. From 2009. Featuring Andrew Ranken and Jem Finer, both of the Pogues. And John Edwards. Maaaaybe.
THE FIGS' BACK CATALOGUE
Marseille Figs' Jumbo 12" EP
The second and last Figs release. It plays 'Jumbo' at 45rpm on one side and the 4-song The Long Goodbye EP at 33rpm on the other. Very limited numbers left of these lovely records from 2009 which will never be reissued. Also on CD. Here's a very nice review of it at Boing Boing.
The Dirty Canon CD
Marseille Figs' first and only full length album, from 2007. We recently recovered a stash of these long-unavailable CDs so there are a very limited number available for the time being. Comes in a 3-panel digipak from what seems like another era. And here's another good review, and another and another.
J. Maizlish's Wild Weeds Book
This little book of beautifully typeset lyrics was produced in a limited, numbered edition in 2011 and sold through the Figs' website. It's a great piece of work by a brilliant young designer.
Marseille Figs T-Shirts
Who knows if or when the old band will be back on the road again? So if you missed us the first time around now's your chance to forever say you didn't. Never too late!
My First Guitar
Seriously. It's a great old thing, I wrote dozens of songs on it, it's in pretty good condition and it's up for grabs if it means we can make this thing happen. Here it is:
A Gig at Your Party
It's a Kickstarter classic. Kick in enough and, geography allowing (we are all in London), we will come to your home/pub/school/hospital and make your windows rattle.
Sing in the Chorus
Seriously. Big Spenders will be invited to come sing in the big rollicking group chorus on the record. Open your wallet to us and we will help you open your throat. (No quibbling about the mix though).
And Please Note
If you want a combination of rewards you don't see, please message us and we'll work out an appropriate pledge amount.
All contributors will get notes of thanks for their support. Meanwhile, though – thanks for visiting, for reading, and for getting on board and kicking in what you can to make this happen. I hope we can brighten the next year a little with this record, which we CAN'T WAIT TO FINISH.
• • • • • • • • • •
We try hard to do everything as inexpensively as possible. We also try to get them done properly, and without cutting corners in terms of quality of work or fair treatment of our fellows. Good people cost money, and deserve fair pay. The budget is based on calculated approximations of the required studio time – we have a pretty detailed production schedule & budget which looks like this:
There is a little bit of contingency built into most of our sums. They don't include the manufacturing of vinyl, which will only be done after the demand for it reaches a feasible tipping point, adding around another 7% to the overall budget.
Ltd. Ed. 2LP Vinyl Pressing
We're vinyl lovers and our first plan for any additional funding will be a 180gm pressing, provided enough contributors express an interest in it.
More Studio Time to Play With
More recording time is not always the thing you need or want, but making a great record is not an exact science, and a bigger budget would mean more resources for the unexpected, and quite possibly a few more details in the arranging and recording department which we'd not otherwise be able to afford or even consider.
If there's any overage we'll also try and squeeze in a few extra tracks, simple recordings for bonus material or for an extra EP of unplugged type material.
We'll be raising a separate fund for promoting the releases as they come out, but extra funds from this campaign could also go a great way toward getting the songs out into the world.
• • • • • • • • • •
CREDITS & CONTRIBUTORS
Lastly, here's a list of the people working on the Danger Island album & EPs, or signed up to do so when the funds come together:
J. Maizlish Mole, Tom Ash, Felix Weldon, Andrew Ranken, John Edwards, Louis Vause, Dorian McFarland, Tom Chant, Pete Fraser, Dan Gale Hayes, Nick Horne, Gustavo Clayton Marucci, Tomoya Forster, Trombone Bob Dowell, James Walbourne, Chris Alcock, James Fearnley, Ben Gallon, Alice Ballantine.
J. Maizlish Mole, Brian O'Shaughnessy.
Dorian McFarland, Pete Fraser, Mike Hall.
Ben Standage, Brian O'Shaughnessy, Max Taylor.
Art & Design
Fraser Muggeridge, J. Maizlish Mole.
Risks and challenges
Honestly, this project has been in the works for so long, going feast and famine as funds have come in and been used up. We are just dying to finish it, and I can't see not getting there.
It's possible that not all of the tracks presently underway will make the final cut, but then we already have as much material as can fit comfortably on 4 sides of a double LP. There are bound to be changes to the album lineup as it starts to take more shape as a programmed sequence. But that's what making an album's about.
There are bound to be hiccups with scheduling in both recording and in releasing – there always are, in my experience – but the schedule as outlined above is designed so that if we get off by a month or two it will be easy to get back on track with the next release. Again, putting a piece of work like this together is not a precise and predictable process, but I really hope to exceed expectations and satisfy our contributors, however much the album and the project change shape in the process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)