The Self Release - Artist services, options, successes, expectations

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  • TravisWTravisW Posts: 976
    Haffner said:
    TravisW said:
     

    I had a big (too big) art tie-in planned for Echoes, but I ultimately lost steam on it. I'm glad I did: otherwise, I'd have hundreds of hours and God knows how much money tied up in pictures for a downloadable .pdf. 
    This was an idea Jasmine and I started back in the beginning, because Ken was interested from the moment we asked him (Vince, too). However, this is yet another big investment that never got anywhere near paid back. I wouldn't recommend it.
    In that regard, if a guy is going to invest resources in accompanying things like artwork, it makes sense to do it in a way that makes it easier to sell - kind of like Srikanth mentioned with the videos. Rather than putting together the rather involved packaging idea that I had, and loved the idea of, it would make much more sense to make a short film for the same money.

    In reality, I'll do neither, but it's something I'll consider down the road when I'm daydreaming little ideas of neat things to do. 
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,809
    TravisW said:
      
    when I'm daydreaming little ideas of neat things to do. 
    Sometimes I wonder if that's really the best part of my little....ahem, "career".
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,497
    edited March 2018
    Haffner said:
    TravisW said:
     
    when I'm daydreaming little ideas of neat things to do. 
    Sometimes I wonder if that's really the best part of my little....ahem, "career".
    In the end, I got out of it what I wanted to get out of it: a musical statement that I'm very proud of -- that if I never do anything serious again, I can point to and say: this is what I was about as a songwriter, player, and producer.  The time and money I've spent on music over decades produced something tangible and lasting. It wasn't all just bedroom wanking or a series of forgettable gigs. 

    What did it cost? 

    Rather than physical media, we invested studio gear. Probably somewhere around $15K over time (not including instruments) and my production partner probably had a similar amount of gear that we pooled together. Much of it, Amy still uses for session work, so it's not like too much was wasted. 

    I justified buying several new guitars, amps, and a couple of keyboards I probably wouldn't have bought were it not for the project.  Probably another $20K there. But everything I bought for the project was used on the project -- most of it extensively.  There are DRG guys who buy several guitars a year and don't record or gig.  When I look at my gear, I'm reminded: I used this guitar or that amp on this song. Or I wrote this song on that guitar.  On our band FB page, I've been posting a series of my memories associated with each song we recorded -- just things that stick out to me about each track, how they were conceived, some general recording notes, and some anecdotes.  I'm mostly doing that for me while they're still relatively fresh memories -- before I lose them.  But I'm sure all of you who've done this would agree -- every track has a story.  I find writing about it both cathartic, and bittersweet.

    Mostly it cost time. Some of which was extremely gratifying (maybe 20%), but much of the time was very arduous and negative.  We stopped before it cost us our marriage, but it strained the hell out of it for a while in a way nothing ever has done before, or since. And that's a large part of why we did stop.  

    And while that was the right move, I was adamant the we FINISH the recordings, regardless. Not only was the stuff we did toward the end some our best work, it would have been truly tragic to NOT finish it after investing all that time, money, and emotion in it.  But we had been done as a band for a year before we finished the recordings. And I had to drag the recordings over the finish line kicking and screaming.

    Was it worth it?
    Yes. Because the time we spent produced the results I wanted, and because we stopped before any irrevocable damage was done.  The monetary expense I don't worry about. Some people golf for over $100 a round. Some people ski. I used to ski. At the end of the day, all I had was an empty wallet and sore muscles. There are lots of expensive hobbies.  Mine is music.  I still have all the gear I invested in, and more importantly, the music I made with it. 
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,809
    edited March 2018
    Haffner said:
    TravisW said:
     
    when I'm daydreaming little ideas of neat things to do. 
    Sometimes I wonder if that's really the best part of my little....ahem, "career".
    In the end, I got out of it what I wanted to get out of it: a musical statement that I'm very proud of -- that if I never do anything serious again, I can point to and say: this is what I was about as a songwriter, player, and producer.  The time and money I've spent on music over decades produced something tangible and lasting. It wasn't all just bedroom wanking or a series of forgettable gigs. 

    Was it worth it?
    Yes. Because the time we spent produced the results I wanted, and because we stopped before any irrevocable damage was done.  The monetary expense I don't worry about. Some people golf for over $100 a round. Some people ski. I used to ski. At the end of the day, all I had was an empty wallet and sore muscles. There are lots of expensive hobbies.  Mine is music.  I still have all the gear I invested in, and more importantly, the music I made with it. 


    Terrific post. My girl and I had our battles over all this. After the donation debacle (not meeting the target for Tsangarides), things got really bad for both of us (though we remain SUPER grateful for the folks whom did help). She strongly urged us to just put away Lv2 for awhile (partly due to an unhappily surprising lack of interest, especially given the names involved) and concentrate on the graphic novel.

    To be completely straight , I shoved the music thing way too far ahead of the rest of the project early on and, being a typically overbearing male continued to do so for the first few years after the release of the first album. Even worse, through over-indulging in Facebook I kind of burnt myself out on the genre, but that served to make the transition toward Jasmine's goals easier. We still don't have enough outside interest in any aspect of the project to warrant the future expenses (besides the engineering money we received in FB donations, which looks like it will be done after Vince completes the actual novel).

    So, a polarized audience, little interest (or at least not enough)...great recipe for financial disaster. But this is in our hearts, and all be told it ultimately won't break our bank (at least not in a bridges burned way). We love what we've made, and that fact's what helped change our attitude.

    We said we'd do this, and we still want to do this very much.

    Was it worth it musically?

    Sure, at least from that one perspective. I got to shed my skin and really learn powerful things about music, production, arranging, orchestration. I wrote things on the second album that I absolutely would not have been capable of even in 2011. I wrote every day, .six hours minimum, and it paid off like crazy. So, a lot of personal satisfaction...again, from THAT perspective.

    I love the first album, and the making of it was overall very much a dream come true. The second one was and remains a bummer; mostly because a lot of people were permanently fired (including people who had to pay me back for what they didn't do).

    As some folks know, at post-production I stopped playing guitar altogether. But that was the best thing for me from both a musically broadening perspective and production knowledge.

    I did learn that trying to be an engineer for my own music just doesn't sit well with me, in that department Chris would have been invaluable. But I'll find someone else, one heck of a lot cheaper I hope (I think I'd poop myself if I got someone like Allom, but that would be another unnecessary expense I think).

    Finally I learned that, overall,  I really don't like working with people in Rock music much, and that further releases in that vein would have to be commissioned. In fact, making albums really doesn't do much for me, as it's all about the writing these days, has been since sometime in 2014.

    I've learned to lower my expectations, and I found it really works: I'm nowhere near as often disappointed. 

    And hey, I get to do what I love nearly full time, every day of the week, so there's that satisfaction.

    Post edited by Haffner on
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