Ah, yes – one of the more frequent questions I get: why am I not on Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a “funding platform” for creative projects such as CDs, film, design, etc. One sets a financial goal and people can then donate towards that goal. Depending on the amount you give, different funding levels receive different product (ie someone who gives $5 gets a free song download whereas someone who gives $100 gets their name on in the linear notes and demo versions). If the goal is reached, the artist gets the funds but should time run out before the goal is met, the project does not get funded. It’s all or nothing.
Let me first start by saying I think this is a great idea, although it’s nothing new. Over the years, I’ve seen amazing musicians struggle to get their music out while having to make concessions due to cost constraints. Some have set up PayPal accounts for donations while others simply include mailing addresses on their websites for people to contribute to their cause.
With that being said, these types of programs aren’t for me. Whether it’s my discomfort with asking people for money without anything to show for it or if it’s my inability to properly market myself, I simply don’t have it in me to ask people for money. I know I’m not a huge fan of someone asking me for money so why put that someone else in the same position?
My thought process has been the same since day one – put out a demo, if there’s a demand and it sells, use that money towards a professionally released full-length CD. I put out a demo in 2003 as a tester: will people pay $5 to listen to music without words? 750 sales later, I released a fully-mastered “Inside The Unsaid” with updated songs and additional music. In 2009, my “MMIX.EP” demo was released with a performance at the Hard Rock Cafe. The support received from that recording has now allowed me to proudly promote my digitally mastered full-length CD, “Show Me The Way To Go Home“.
Increasingly, quality recording equipment is becoming more affordable. MP3’s are now the dominant way of listening to music. Why spend thousands of dollars when I have the ability to record on my laptop and know that 99% of the people who hear my music will eventually downgrade/ compress the quality to a MP3 file anyway? CD quality vs MP3 quality is a whole other discussion…
Those who seek funding will be quick to point out: musicians deserve to be paid and will outline the cost of studio time, mastering, CD duplication, etc. That’s all well and good. I’m not knocking anyone – simply put, it’s not for me.
Now please buy my new CD so I can continue recording. Thanks!!