Archive for June 2016 | Monthly archive page
We made it!!! The Kickstarter for Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s These fleeting moments reached the $12k goal Thursday, and we’re almost to the first stretch goal (which adds a bonus CD to the package). There are 2 more days on the campaign, this is exciting! I’ve created some add-ons for pledgers, to get even more cool stuff.
Add-ons are additional items you can add to your pledge.Add-on instructions
1 Determine the total cost of the item(s) you would like to add from the list below. • Include postage for overseas orders.
2 Visit the Kickstarter page and click the blue “Manage” button that appears next to your current pledge amount. • If you have not pledged yet, it will say ‘Back this Project.’ • Add-ons require a pledge at the $25 or higher tier,
3 On the next page, select “Update your pledge” • Increase your pledge in the ‘Pledge Amount’ box by the total of the add-ons you want. • Do not change the tier you are currently pledged at unless you also want to increase to a new pledge level. In that case, you will then need to add the total of your add-ons to the amount of the new tier you choose. • Accept the new total.
4 Send a message to Sam (via Kickstarter) with a list of the items you want.Do I need to add shipping/handling?
Maybe. Shipping & handling is included for U.S. backers. Additional worldwide shipping as specified below.Add-ons to choose from:
1 — The Rope LP – handmade cover (100 available) ($25) The vinyl itself is “new old stock” pressed in 1986. The covers are handmade in 2016, with color photos glued to a one-color printed black LP jacket. Album title written by Sam, and signed by Sam.
Please note this important disclaimer: Due to the age of the unplayed vinyl, there is some warping. If you are opposed to any warpage on your LPs, please do not select this item. I asked the most exacting Blacktape vinyl customer to review a copy. He writes: “True, I like to have a ‘perfect’ record, but still this plays out and the warping issue is not audible. The only way to know it’s warped is to look at it. The warp on mine is not a bother to me. Others might have issues with it, of course. When I replayed my copy with a record weight it was flat warp free.” Also keep in mind the vinyl has been in storage for 30 years, so the album will need a wet cleaning to remove dust and such. Delivered: USA: late July. Overseas: in December. Add $5 for international shipping ($30 total)
2 — Black Tape For A Blue Girl Black Tote Bag ($20) http://www.companycasuals.com/CompanyCasuals/b.jsp?id=1087&prodimage=imglib/catl/B050UBK03MS.jpg&swatch=Black This 14x14x3 inch black tote is perfect for carrying LPs or a quick supermarket trip. Delivered: USA: late July. Overseas: late July. Add $2 for international shipping ($22 total)
The following CDs are limited quantity, They will be removed them from this list when they run out.
3 — Of these reminders 2-CD box set – (5 available) ($50) https://www.discogs.com/Various-Of-These-Reminders/release/203770 The original 1994 Projekt Black Tape For A Blue Girl cover-song box set. 2 CDs, artcards + sticker, in jewel case, shrinkwrap. Might be some corner wear after years of storage. Delivered: USA: late July. Overseas: late July. Add $5 for international shipping ($55 total)
4 — This Lush Garden CD – (5 available) ($25) https://www.discogs.com/black-tape-for-a-blue-girl-This-Lush-Garden-Within/release/6524721 The original 1993 Projekt edition, when the booklet was slipped into a translucent sleeve. In jewel case, shrinkwrap. Delivered: USA: late July. Overseas: late July. Add $2 for international shipping ($27 total)
5 — A Teardrop left behind – (5 available) ($25) https://www.discogs.com/black-tape-for-a-blue-girl-A-Teardrop-Left-Behind/release/528972 The 2nd 1991 Hyperium edition. In jewel case, shrinkwrap. Delivered: USA: late July. Overseas: late July. Add $2 for international shipping ($27 total)
6 — Revue Noir single – (5 available) ($10) https://www.discogs.com/Revue-Noir-The-Revue-Noir-Single/release/1040588 The 2006 self-released 3-song CD-single Delivered: USA: late July. Overseas: late July. No additional charge for international shipping
I was interviewed by Patrick of Mapanare. His article is here, he only had room for about 25% of what we talked about, so I am posting the rest for you.
1- Tell me about the new project, musically and thematically where is it coming from?
These fleeting moments is the new album. I’m Kickstarting the deluxe-CD and double-lp; a standard edition will be in stores August 12th. It’s been a long time since the last Black Tape For A Blue Girl CD, it was 2009. For this one, musically I decided to make an album that goes back and touches upon the band’s 90s sound. The ethereal, gothic, heavenly voices sound. Plus more instrumentals than on the last few releases. I’ve been doing a lot more crowdfunding over the last few years, and this choice is somewhat inspired by what I’m hearing from the people who support my music: the aspect of the band they are really excited about. But it also just feels right to me at this moment. 10 Neurotics was pretty much as far as I could go in writing melodic, concise songs. I wanted to go back and create textural, moody, expansive music, with lyrics.
What makes it work so well for me is Oscar is singing again. He was the band’s vocalist for the first 13 years, 7 releases. I really love his voice singing my lyrics. Having him involved let me go to places as a songwriter I haven’t been in a while. His daughter Dani sings the female vocals, and their voices work nicely together, and she does a wonderful job on the songs I wrote for her to sing solo. Nick is playing viola. Brian Viglione is the only other band member who comes along from 10 Neurotics; he’s also the drummer in the Dresden Dolls.
Like Remnants of a deeper purity, I tried to stick with a “core band” on this release. To give it more of a cohesive feeling. There are a few guests who capture certain sounds I was looking to add. Chase plays great electric guitar + bass on “Limitless,” which is the catchiest track on the album; the lyrics are philosophical questions dealing with living to our fullest potential. The album explored those sorts of themes that we all ask ourself as we get to the mid-point in our life.
2- What led you to go the crowdfunding route? What attracted you to the model?
The music business has changed so drastically since the 80s and 90s. As an artist, I need to change with the landscape and figure out what works to allow me to keep making art, and connect with the people who really care about what I create. Crowdfunding is ideal for that. For example, sometimes I ask Kickstarter pledgers how they discovered the band. And often it’s some variation of, “Oh, I remember your music from the 90s. I didn’t even know you were still around. This is cool that I can help out.” It’s very much a personal connection to a few people who really care about my music. Yes, Fleeting will be out there on Spotify and youTube, and will be heard by the most people that way. But in order to bring in the funding necessary to record and pay my band, I need something more direct then just the royalties that might be earned down the road from sales. Because you and I both know where sales are at these days.
3- Are you planning additional “stretch goals” – should people keep coming back to your Kickstarter to check out? (I mean after the pledge of course!).
Sure, I have a few stretch goals for this release. Assuming it funds, there’s a CD of extra tracks as the first one, color vinyl as the next one. I like the idea of being able to make the release even more deluxe, after the initial goal has been reached. I’ve added some new premiums and will probably have some add-ons at the end.
4- You’ve been making music for a long time—What is the same and what is different when you create?
Yeah, 2016 is the 30th anniversary of Black Tape For A Blue Girl, and I was making music for 3 years before that. It has been a long while (laughs).
I think the biggest difference on the musical side is over the last couple years I have been very prolific, starting (and scrapping) a lot of songs before settling on the ones that are on the album. I guess I feel I’m a lot better at creating music vs back in the early days. I’m not saying one era is better than the other because of that, just that it’s not as much of a struggle to get the sound I want now. That makes it all a lot more fun for me. Of course, there’s still all the angsty parts about recording. Like writing and rewriting lyrics until I feel they are good enough to present to the singers. And doing the mixes and getting OCD and tweaking miniscule level changes on the word “memories” that nobody will ever notice anyway. Digital recording makes small changes a lot easier, but it’s still stressful and makes me both excited and annoyed at the same time. In the end, it turns out beautifully and I enjoy the music. But the process is sort of a love/hate relationship at times.
5-Any plans to play shows with this new music?
Honestly, I don’t think so. What I really want to do is keep making music. Getting geared up to play is a big time suck; we only have so much time in the day, right? I have to ask myself where I want to direct my energy. And playing live is not third or even fourth on my list. I do enjoy playing live, it’s fun to go out and meet people, but it also has a lot of tedious aspects. And ultimately, I don’t feel right asking band members to perform my music, when I’m not able to fairly pay them for their time. I’d rather go in and work on new songs, and keep moving forwards on the music.
6- You mentioned it’s been seven years between releases from Blacktape. That seems like an unwise marketing strategy.
Oh yeah, I agree (laughs). It really wasn’t my intention to go that long after 10 Neurotics. One thing, then another. Like you, Pat, I’m a father. That definitely takes up a lot of my time; my son lives with me half the week. I wrote a novel. I moved across the country. I recorded an electronic album.
But a big source of the delay before I left Brooklyn in 2013 was an ongoing funk about the music business. I know many musicians who go through the same thing. They’re asking if there’s even a point anymore? I was just talking about this with somebody yesterday. They feel they were in their prime as an artist, and then the rug was pulled out from under them, as listeners switched to getting music for free. Yeah, I argued that argument, fought that battle, but then I realized I couldn’t change things. The war was already lost for those of us who measure success by units sold and dollars brought in. No matter how much I talk about artists needing to be respected and payed, things aren’t going back to the 90s where Blacktape could sell 10,000+ on each release. I realized that I create music to have it heard. I know that my music is getting a lot of play on streaming sites and through illegal downloads. And apparently even bootlegs in China. None of that makes my life easier, but it does tell me that what I’ve created is getting out there and getting heard.
I suspect the only thing worse then people stealing your music, is nobody stealing your music. That nobody cares about it.
But meh! I don’t even think of it as “stealing” anymore. It’s just the way things have evolved. It’s the new reality. Free is people’s favorite price point. Of course, money coming in from music is how I am able to keep doing it; so yeah, I still want to see income from my work. But I’ve accepted that all I can do is move forward within the environment that we have today. And look for the new ways to earn from my work. Such as my Patreon page, or crowdfunding…
Yah, ok. I got off the topic there. The long time between releases…. Nearly three years ago I settled in here in Portland. I had room for a home studio for the first time in eight years, I started working on music. Some of those first songs ended up on the album, as the instrumental section on the third side of the LP. I also met Nick, a great violist here in town. We worked together and I was able to conjure up some of that strings + electronics sound like on Chaos or Remnants. That spurred me along to work more in this direction.
Running a record company (Projekt) is good to stay away from having “a real job;” but ultimately, it’s my own music that people care about. And that’s where I’ve been putting my energy lately. The world is shaped however you are conceiving it; I decided to look at it in a way that encourages the things I want to exist.
And now my plan is to keep creating. To get a lot more consistant about releasing music. I had created my own downward spiral there for a while in the beginning of this decade. “Free music, bah! Nobody cares, why bother?!” But crowdfunding reconnected me with the people who care, and that motivated me to think about my art in new ways. A positive, and explorative way. And to make albums like this, again.
Thanks for letting me talk about this with you, Pat.