It's a go! (But we still need your help!)
The project is fully funded and we're committed to delivering the best possible open source rock opera we can. We set some stretch goals to cover more of the mixing and mastering costs and now we've hit those goals! We'll put together some extra bonuses for all backers including a digital tour poster and some music videos. Post comments here, or on twitter and and let us know if you have other ideas. And please continue to promote this project to the world on social media, email, newsletters etc.
Are you guys kidding?
No, this is real. Underground Radio is a modern-day rock opera composed and recorded as an homage to classic ‘70s rock. It’s like spinning your car radio dial late at night and hearing a strange mix of rock, blues, new wave and punk songs you’ve never heard before. It’s discovering some long lost bootleg LP in a bargain bin and spinning the vinyl until the grooves wear through to the other side and you wake up in an alternate universe where Roger Waters and David Gilmour still get along, The Clash are playing at the Fillmore East, and Jim Morrison is headlining all the summer festivals.
Underground Radio was created by two software guys (Zack and Rob) whose only qualification is a combined 50 years listening to rock music. Underground Radio was inspired by the works of The Pretty Things, The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam, The Stranglers, The Cynics, Television, Brainpool, Watershed, Ted Leo, Tom Robinson, Paul Weller, Pink Floyd, U2, Green Day, Booker T & The MGs, The Staple Singers and everything else we've listened to since 1974.
This project has taken us nearly two years, writing and recording on weekends and evenings while juggling careers and families. Our hope is that a hundred people (ok, make that 150 people!) care enough to listen to what we've been working on.
What's it sound like?
There's about an hour's worth of all original music with 4 different vocalists and a range of different rock styles. Here are a few of the songs that have been professionally mixed and mastered. (You may need to click twice.)
9. You're Never Alone
13. C'mon Eva
20. Self-Made Man (Reprise)
We've written and recorded all of the songs trying to capture a '70s rock vibe with vintage amp simulations, effects pedals, keyboards and vocal effects. Also, twin lead guitars, handclaps, cowbells, hammond B3 organ, fuzztones, phase shifters, flangers, theramin, vocal harmonies, strings, backwards guitars, french horns, trumpets, Bo Diddley drum beats, guiro and vibroslap. If it's a '70s rock cliché, we've used it.
And we've got sound effects from Mars courtesy of NASA and the US tax payers at the cost of $18 billion. (Admittedly, NASA does some other pretty cool things besides contributing sound effects to rock operas.)
Where's the money going?
We'll use the money we raise to recoup some of the costs of professionally mixing and mastering to give the songs the high-fidelity sound they deserve. We're using Miles Fender of The Streetlight Farm Studio and we've got most of the songs completed already. We'll make these final versions available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, SoundCloud and any other music outlets that are still in business by the time we finish.
Also, we've hired the Western European Symphony Orchestra which we found on Kickstarter (http://www.99dollarorchestra.com) to record one of our songs. We'll throw that into the mix, along with a few bonus instrumental versions. If you've ever thought about hiring a symphony orchestra for your own rock opera, I strongly recommend working with them. Their work has been top notch.
We've hired a professional illustrator Dustin Krcatovich to develop the album artwork. We'll also create a Libretto that sets the stage for the story, provides all the lyrics and includes commentary on the songs and their production.
Here's an example of some of the artwork Dustin has been working on for the album cover. These are illustrative of the 4 major characters in the story (clockwise from the upper left): Joe Spectrum, The Creeper, Eva Arduina and Louden Metal. Astute observers will notice a slight resemblance to the creators of this project in two of the characters.
If we successfully fund this project, we'll release all of the music under a creative commons license. So anyone can use these songs in films, video games, remix them, etc, all royalty free. Heck, you can even get the LogicPro files using Box (the official cloud-based content management system of leading rock operas everywhere), and do whatever you want with them.
Honestly how many people do you know who could pull off a project like this? For the price of a pint of beer (or a whole case!) you can show your enthusiasm by helping to make this music available royalty-free to the world.
Won't you join us and be part of the Underground Radio?
Click on one of the sponsorship levels on the right hand side.
"The best rock opera to come out of Michigan in 2015!"
Risks and challenges
The songs have all been written, recorded and mixed. The only things that remain to be completed are final mixing and mastering of the songs, including the Western European Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has already been recorded, and we have final mixing completed on several songs already. So we do not anticipate any creative or production problems.
We've hired a professional illustrator to create some cover artwork. There will be some additional production work on the Libretto, but I do not anticipate anything difficult. There is a risk that production of the printed Libretto will delay shipment of CDs, but we will make sure everyone has access to the digital files early.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)