a serious inquiry

I've been debating about whether to post this for a little while now. I have decided to for two reasons 1) if you read this blog because you're curious about the kind of life us independent artists lead, this will give you much insight, and 2) I think some of you might have some great ideas.

And what is the topic of this most serious thought? Money. Specifically, where can I get some? Yeah, that sounds really weird, I know. Here's the scenario: I'm about halfway through with recording my next solo record. I've gotten about as far as I can get down in my own studio in my free time. The next step is recording drums, then I can come back here to finish up the tracking, and then it's going to go to someone to mix it. To record drums means going to another studio, hiring an engineer and a drummer. Any other parts I want played by someone other than me (keyboards, bass, strings or horns) generally carry a price tag for said instrumentalist and their talents.

I have people lined up to do all these things, almost all of whom are friends and are giving me great deals. The problem: until I have a new record to sell, I can't afford the deals. Catch-22.

Now I know I can get a bank loan or something, but we generally have tried to stay away from debt, and that is really a last resort. I could also sell some gear, but then I'd have nothing to play to make the record.

I have a few ideas of ways to raise some capital to fund the completion of this album, and I'd like to share them with you to see what you think. I also wonder if any of you might have any ideas I haven't thought of.

The first idea is to pre-sell copies of the album. You send me fifteen bucks today, in April when the record comes out, you're the first to get it. The downside of this is that I would have to pre-sell around at least three or four hundred to really knock it all out. That's not a crazy number at all, but having nothing to offer for six months is a hard sell. I don't know if there are that many people willing to do that. The upside is that I could maybe offer an extra disc to pre-sellers or something. A few extra tunes, maybe a free ticket to my next show in your area, something else you think of... This is a pretty strong option, though, I would just want people to know they weren't throwing their money away. Is it trustworthy?

The second idea is to try and get a grant from a foundation or corporation that supports independent arts. I'm working on this with a few different places, but it's a slow process. Anybody know of anything like that?

The third is to book a few small venue acoustic concerts as sort of fund-raisers for the record. No cover, but please give generously to help cover the costs. Probably awkward. Just an idea. You might have a better take on this.

The fourth is the old standby: the never-failing bachelor auction. "Two thousand dollars for my cousin Dean! Going once, going twice!!"

The thing is, it's not really that much money, but this lifestyle tends to be pretty month-to-month and part of putting out a new record is to hopefully get ahead a few months, you know?

I hope this doesn't come across weird. It's really just an obstacle I've got to get around, so why not be honest about it? Thanks for any input you might have, and here's hoping you love the record when it does get done.

And this has nothing at all to do with the subject, but its just amazing..

fat croc