Monday, January 25, 2010

after i finished constellation i knew i was at a crossroads
i'd been doing this song and dance routine of independently making records
for over 17 years
from nourallah brothers - done on an 8-track recorder in the corner of a converted garage
to polaroid - staying up all night recording while Jayme was making G in her belly
to snowing in my heart - stretched over the course of a year
each record had it's own story
and a different method of construction
ultimately i finagled my way through every one of them
because that was the ONLY way to create them
no financing from labels
or backing of any sort
all completely D.I.Y.
punk rock ideology without the punk rock music
even my recording studio Pleasantry Lane
was born out of the D.I.Y. ethic
when my brother and i realized we couldn't just sit around waiting for a label to give us
money to make our own records
we established a place to do it ourselves
and took the labels out of the equation
it was born out of necessity

when Billy and i put the finishing touches on constellation
roughly 18 months ago
i felt ok with walking away from making any more of my own records
i'd finally made the one i'd been wanting to make all these years
i enjoyed the feeling of peace
later on i told Observer music editor Pete Freedman
"yeah, this might be my last one..."
and then he wrote about it
after that people started asking me every now and then
"so, are you really not gonna make another one?"
i'd say "i don't know"
i honestly didn't know how i could it pull off again
unlike the Stones, time was definitely not on my side
1) with a baby on the way and tons of bills to pay
where was the time supposed to come from?
2) 99% of all PL artists self-fund their records
i have not and will not raise my studio rates right now because of this
that means if you look up the term "hamster on a wheel" the Wikipedia page might just have a picture of yours truly!
3) constellation was the first time in ages i took time off of work to focus on my own music
and it almost put my family in the poor house
up until November i had no plans to continue
other than still performing live
i felt like my making D.I.Y. records goose might finally be cooked...

in November
when i picked up my friend Alex Dezen from the airport
he told me about
his band, the Damnwells, had parted ways with their last record label
but it didn't matter
they were planning to fund their next record themselves
via Pledge Music
i'd never heard of anything like this before
it blew my mind
it was a brilliant concept
the pledges are all incentive based
so that fans get stuff in return
for example - a pledge of $16 gets you a pre-order of the next cd
$750 - a house concert which you can sell tickets to (if you'd like) in order to recoup the cost
at the end of the pledge drive 10% even goes to charity
the whole concept is another great example of how the major label system
has crumbled
trying to finance records this way was unheard of even just 2 years ago

after Alex D. laid the Pledge Music info on me
it became obvious that this was the next step for me
my #1 priority now is trying to support my family
my own music has never been able to come close to doing that
so, with a little help i hope to soon be able to afford my most highly sought after commodity
time to make another record
i have lots of new songs i'm excited about
i've got a million and one ideas ready to be unleashed
i just need the time...
time - he's waiting in the wings/he speaks of senseless things
his script is you and me, boy

it's been a privilege getting to do what i love all these years now
to express myself
to make "art"
as a kid getting to make records was my wildest dream
i've been able to do that plenty of times now
there's not a day goes by that i don't thank my lucky stars for it all
i'd love to continue
we'll see if i do...

please consider your pledge a vote for me to keep going!