Our project began last January on the side of the road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was -16 degrees outside. A puddle of transmission oil pooled on the shoulder of the highway where the truck had come to a halt. This is where the story of our record begins... Rock n' Roll!
As you may have already seen in our KickStarter video, we are Eric and Steve - founding members of a band called The Belle Weather. We have been playing music together for about three years now, and decided last January that we were long overdue to record our debut album.
We began this process the only way either of us has ever known how - by making a DIY recording with the best tools we could afford on our own. We had a little recording gear, a few microphones, and some DIY recording experience to work with. We even decided to take it one step further... We found an old vaudeville theater in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with a great stage sound and rented the space for a long weekend to record. We were on our way...
Our enthusiasm for the project was just about all we had going for us that weekend... We dropped the transmission on Steve's truck on the way up and lost a day. The gear wouldn't cooperate at first once we got there. More tinkering, more time, and more frustrations... Once we finally had things set up, we had to make a choice between a quiet recording environment and a heated space (guess which one we chose?)... So there we were, bundled up and freezing our asses off in this old theater to record the drums for our debut record. You know what we remember most from those frigid early sessions, though? The kick drum sounded HUGE in that space!!! Welcome to our world. Music, music, music...
On the way back from the Upper Peninsula, we listened to some early mixes of the tracks we recorded in the theater. They were good. They were... pretty good. But they were riddled with the problems most DIY recordings suffer from. It was an interesting, but not an ideal recording space. Our gear wasn't the greatest. You could almost hear the cold in some of the tracks. We talked about the songs and all of the work we had put into crafting them. We talked about how everything came together with these tunes, and how we felt lucky to find the inspiration for not just one or two, but an entire album's worth of songs we were really, really proud of...
We decided on that trip home that this was the time to really do things right. This record deserved to be made it a real studio, with a top-notch recording engineer. We believe in the music we make, and believe that these songs are worth going "all in" on. We love making music more than just about anything else, and getting the chance to do this in a real studio environment is nothing short of a dream come true for both of us. We've already invested every dime we have into this project (not to mention quite a few credit card dimes), but we need help finishing it off right. We've done most of the recording with our own funds, but we still need to get the album mixed, mastered, and pressed, and our personal well has run dry (or has perhaps frozen over completely!)... This KickStarter project will help us finish it off right and get it out there into the world. We'll see where it goes from there...
Thank you for your time and consideration! We truly couldn't do this without you. We look forward to making music for you! Thanks!!!
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges of completing this project have already been realized and paid for, more or less. We can tell you first-hand that pulling a trailer load of drums, guitars, amps and recording equipment with a small truck will ruin your transmission! Beyond that, our funds have taken us to the point where the album is fully tracked...
With a little help, we can have it mixed, mastered, and pressed in short order. We have a cd release show booked in July... We'll be able to turn your pledge into a fully actualized album and have it to you fast... We can tell you that we've already brought this project along far enough to know that it's everything we hoped it could be... With a successful KickStarter project, we can afford time to get the mixes just right, have the album professionally mastered, and afford to do some deluxe packaging... Let's take this all the way! Thanks!!!
A high-quality digital download of the album, a physical copy of the album, a fancy pinwheel just like the ones used in our KickStarter video, a "Thank You" postcard from the band, and a Shout-Out! on Facebook and Twitter.
A high-quality digital download of the album, a physical copy of the album, a fancy pinwheel like the ones used in our KickStarter video, a really excellent T-shirt, a "Thank You" postcard from the band, and a Shout-Out! on Facebook and Twitter.
Everything from the previous levels -PLUS- a one-year membership to The Belle Weather Fan Club. Get a quarterly snail mail newsletter ("The Belle Weather Report"), exclusive demos and new recordings, and probably candy. We love candy.
The Deluxe - Everything from the previous levels (download, album, t-shirt, pinwheel, postcard, shout-out!, Fan Club) -PLUS- a deluxe photo book with all of the lyrics to "Hold On" and the stories behind the songs...
The Deluxe Deluxe... Eric's wife, Mariya, makes REALLY incredible chocolate chip cookies. The best ever - seriously! For a $100, you get everything from all of the previous levels -PLUS- one-dozen of these delectable cookies. WARNING: You may be inspired to eat the entire dozen while spinning our album the first time. You may just want to go ahead and order at this level twice... :)
The Song... Everything from the previous levels (including the cookies!) -PLUS- a framing-quality, signed, hand-written sheet of lyrics from The Belle Weather song of your choice on fancy paper. It can be personalized for you as well, if you would like!
Breakfast with The Belle Weather... We. Love. Breakfast. Foods!!! For a $200 pledge you get everything up to the $100 level -PLUS- a breakfast date with the band for you and a friend. We'll buy (and leave a big tip). You get to hang out, pretend we're rock stars, ask us whatever you'd like, do a crossword puzzle with us, finish the breakfast maze on the back of our placemats... whatever you want!!! This will be a blast!!! Limited to Wisconsin and thereabouts... Thanks!!!
Dinner with The Belle Weather... Guess what? We love supper foods, too! For a $250 pledge, you and a friend get to go out on a dinner date with the band. We know some great spots! We'll buy (and leave a big tip!)... You also get everything up to the $100 pledge level. Serious fun! Limited to Wisconsin and thereabouts... Thanks!!!
The Mystery Science Theater 2000 Package... Watch a movie with the band! Your pick! Our place or yours - invite your friends and have a movie party with the band! We'll bring snacks and drinks! Let's make a night of it! Plus you get everything up to the $100 level. Total fun! Limited to Wisconsin and thereabouts... Thanks!
A hand-written experience... For a $300 pledge, you get the entire book of hand-written lyrics from the album "Hold On." You will also receive everything up to the $100 level. I'll only be writing 10 of these, so they'll be worth lots of bones, or clams, or scratch, or what have you on eBay when we're famous!
The Cover... For a $400 pledge we will learn and record a cover song of your choice! A great way to add something unique to your personal collection or to create a one-of-a-kind gift for someone else! Plus you get everything up to the $100 level.
We'll come to you! For a $500 pledge we will come out and play a house concert, benefit, gala event, or anything else you would like! We'll also toss in free cd's for 10 of your guests. Plus everything up to the $100 level for you! This experience is limited to Wisconsin or thereabouts... Thanks!!!
The Singing Telegram... For a $500 pledge we will learn a song of your choosing (ours or a cover) and deliver it in person! Tell someone how much you love them, brighten up someone's day, present a cease-and-desist order with music (we're not a licensed notary, however!)... Limited only by your creativity! Give them something they'll never forget! You will also get everything up to the $100 level. Limited to Wisconsin or thereabouts... Thanks!!!
Your Song... We'll collaborate with you, write, and record a special song. You direct it as much or as little as you would like! If you've always wanted to tell someone something with music but can't do it yourself, this is a great way to do it… You can sing or play an instrument with us in it, too, if you'd like!!! Plus you get everything up to the $100 level!
The Wisconsin Winter Package... It's only June - it could still snow here! For a $1000 pledge, Eric's wife, Mariya, will crochet you a beautiful, hand-crafted throw. A serious, heirloom quality piece! You can help pick the colors to fit your decor. Plus fancy tea and coffee from our favorite spots in Wisconsin, plus 2 dozen of Mariya's cookies, plus everything up to the $100 level. Winter is coming - this will come in handy again before you know it!
The Kitten... For a $2000 pledge, you will get to go along with the band to The Humane Society and pick out a new "band mascot" rescue kitten! We love animals, and the cats at Eric's house are part of the band! They play in our cases, sit on top of our speakers, and occasionally even hide in the kick drum! Be part of "the family" as an adoptive parent!!! AND we'll write you a song about your generosity! Plus everything up to the $100 level. Limited to the Wisconsin area and thereabouts... Limit 1. Yes, Mariya - ONLY ONE!!!
The Experience... 4 Tickets to our release show at The Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, WI on Saturday, July 13th. VIP treatment. Hang out before the show. See soundcheck. Take pictures with us. Go backstage and see the Green Room. We'll even validate parking!!! Plus everything up to the $100 level for you AND your 3 guests. Plus dinner with us sometime (we don't eat much before big shows, so we'll find a date to grab some food reminisce about the BIG NIGHT!!!)... Limit: 1 very, very lucky donor. This will be epic!
The Kitchen Sink... We recently did a little home repair and ripped out some plumbing (kidding, kidding!)... For this $7,500 pledge, we'll start with a whole heaping helpful of serious gratitude! Beyond that, we'll give you everything we've got: the album download, the physical album, the pinwheel, the postcard, the t-shirt, the fan club membership, the cookies, a framed hand-written page of song lyrics, the deluxe lyric photo book, and the hand-written book of lyrics from "Hold On." We'll also record your favorite cover tune for you. And we'll write and record a song just for you. Mariya will crochet you a hand-crafted throw. AND - we'll travel anywhere in the continental United States to play a house concert or show at a venue of your choice. We'll throw in the singing telegram for someone while we're there. We can do breakfast, dinner, and a movie. We can get creative from there... Just like when we play - we'll give you everything we've got. Thanks!!! Big, BIG Thanks!!!