The nature of our business is such that we find ourselves involved in projects of wide and varied degrees of talent, budgets, skills, notoriety, and complexity. The people who come through the doors of our studio range from full bands that leave here and play the Late Show the following week to self-funded solo acts with nothing more than great aspirations to their credit. The most recent project to come through our doors, however, brought with it something new that we hope and expect to see more of in the not too distant future.
Zach McNees, a great up and coming engineer who has brought many projects to us over the years, called to check in towards the end of 2010 to talk about a potential recording he was in the early stages of coordinating. We spoke at length about the usual particulars (how many memebers in the band, what type of music, how long the gig would be, travel plans, rates, etc.) and he revealed that this self-funded project had something very unique going on in the way that it was being financed. The relatively unknown musician, Seth Bible, was gathering the money for his project through a campaign at http://www.kickstarter.com
We've known of Kickstarter.com for some time now and we were aware that there were people out there trying to get funds together for various projects, but this was the first time that our studio actually came into direct contact. The choice to turn talent into a professional endeavor is difficult for anyone, especially when the funding for it has to be generated by the people taking the chance. Like so many other independent artists, Seth and his wife Sarah reached the stage where a critical decision had to be made regarding the level of commitment there were going to make to music. This is where Kickstarter entered the picture for them. Immediately after making the decision to commit to a career in music, Seth launched a campaign to raise money to help make an album, started a blog to chronicle the progress of the project, and sent messages to everyone he knew to let them know what he and Sarah were trying to accomplish. A few short months later, they had exceeded their goal of $11,000 and were in the studio making the dream a reality.
For Saint Claire and for Zach, this project was especially exciting to work on because Seth's material is downright exceptional. He's got great lyrics, catchy tunes that are really well put together, and he hired excellent musicians to play for the recording; a perfect storm in the world of music. It would be remiss of me to gloss over the quality of Seth's talent and ability in the course of this story as that is much more important than their road to financing the project. In fact, I believe that it is because of Seth's music and personality that he was able to make the Kickstarter.com attempt a success. In a time when labels are shrinking, budgets are disappearing, and independent artists are finding it harder to find stability, what Seth and Sarah have accomplished to make their dream a reality heralds a truth that everyone in the music industry is clinging to; the world is still thirsty for good music and there are still ways to make it happen.