How To Fund A Full Length Album

Tumblr_inline_ne5yjpUQ4L1s24py6By James Shotwell, Social Media Coordinator at Haulix.com

It’s funny how fast the music industry changes these days. A year ago many people would have claimed that crowdfunding was the future of the music business, but as many independent acts have learned over the year this is not always the case. Some audiences will be able to support the dreams of their favorite musicians, but that is not true for every talented musician with a diehard fans following their every move. For some, it takes a lot more than launching a free web page and asking for money, and today we’re going to take notes from one Massachusetts based group who recently cracked the fundraising code and raised the long-awaited funds needs to create their first full length album.

Nemes are not the smallest band in the world, but if you asked your average alternative rock or folk fan outside of the New England area it might be hard to come across anyone who is all that familiar with the Worcester, MA outfit. They have been together for a number of years however, and in that time have been featured on countless music blogs, as well as appearing in a handful of influential music publications. All that exposure helped the band tour and scrape together enough money for a few EPs, but eventually the band knew they needed to do something bigger if they were ever going to advance their career. They settled on recording a proper full length in a real studio with a producer who could help develop their sound, and soon set off to raise the funds needed to make that dream a reality. They turned to fans first, but instead of depending on their loyal followers to cover expenses once again they also turned to the general public through a series of off the cuff performances. The money eventually came in and today, October 28, the band is releasing the album they first conceived almost two years ago.

We were so impressed by Nemes and their efforts to create a truly DIY release that we asked them to share their secret to success with our readers. You can read a blog written by the band below, but first let’s take a moment and enjoy their music:

Hello all! Alex from Nemes (pronounced knee•miss) here. In case you haven’t heard of us, we’re a folk-rock indie quartet out of Boston, MA. Our music has been called, “an embodiment of extremes” and our performances, “a nuclear power plant’s worth of energy.” Both of these things are prevalent in our new album, I Carry Your Heart. I’m writing this from a coffeeshop in Brighton, MA the night before it is released (October 28th). We worked our toosheys off to fund and get word out about this thing without the help of a label or traditional management.

Our band has been around for a little while now, but this release is the first album recorded in a legitimate studio on a semi-legitimate budget. We even got Rick Kwan (My Morning Jacket, Oasis, Jim James) to mix it. After self-producing several EP’s and gaining local exposure in Worcester, MA, our band migrated to Boston where we put our collective nose to the grindstone to work on this release.

The first step was funding. This album was funded in 3 main ways:

  • The first, performing in the subway. Every free morning for around a year and a half, our band put out a guitar case and experienced the incredible generosity of Boston’s citizens.

  • Second, we performed everywhere we could. And I mean everywhere Bars, venues, weddings, pizza shops, police precincts (okay maybe not police precincts); we did everything we could to turn our music into something we could do full time. We learned dozens of covers (and are now better for it) just to be able to pay certain events so we could put more into this album.

  • The last thing we did for funding was turn to our fans. We reached out on Kickstarter and asked our incredibly supportive, generous fan base to help us make this piece of art. They came through in a way we never imagined and helped us raise more than 120% of our initial goal. Because of this we were able to get the album professionally mastered, pressed to vinyl, and duplicated with incredible CD packaging that showcases everything exactly the way we feel it should be experienced.

Haulix actually took an interest in what we were able to accomplish and asked us to compile a list of tips for other artists when it comes to putting together the funds for a record. Here goes nothing!

  • Plan ahead. Have a goal, and don’t go in blind.

  • Realistically shoot for the stars. This can be hard, but if you take a step back and look at the trajectory of your band, you’ll be able to gauge approximately what you’d be able to do.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask! Ask everybody, everywhere, for anything they can help you with. Show them your music and be confident about it. For instance, we were able to partner with local record label Antique Records to put together some exclusive items.

  • Cut costs on the road! We sang for food, asked for leftovers, and did research on where we’d be able to get free resources.

  • Otherwise, just be creative. It can go a long way to think outside the box and figure out what works for you.

I’d really like to invite anyone who reads this to give a little bit of their day to I Carry Your Heart. It is comprised of 11 songs. Each has a distinct personality, almost fitting into its own genre, but all of the tracks work together to accomplish a singular feeling; an emotional core that does its part to represent the theme, “I Carry Your Heart.” We’d like to thank Haulix for taking an interest in us, and add an extra thanks to them for all the incredible work they do in general.

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