Y’all know us, if you’ve spoken to us at a gig, you probably quickly realized how much we love doing what we do; we’re blessed with an exceptionally rewarding career. I can’t think of another profession where you conceptualize a product, design it, fabricate it, and deliver it all yourself, with no interference or outsourcing, and seeing the first reaction upon delivery is always incredible (even if its not always wholly positive.) We are so grateful to our fans for making us able to do what we do, and although we work really hard at it, we do feel lucky.
We get together as a band twice a week for practice, once at Kits, in a purpose designed room full of really expensive and necessary gear, which we paid for, and once at a professional rehearsal studio, which is also full of that expensive necessary gear, and we pay for that out of our own pockets too.
We each then also have our ‘gig rigs’ which, because we want to be the best we can be for you, is even more expensive. Just the flight case for my amp (the box that keeps it safe) new, is supposed to be £200, and that’s not even making any sound! Pedals, guitars, cymbals, cables, boxes for it all to go in(!) its all really pricey stuff, and because we’re total bossin’ pro’s we also carry a spare of everything, and again we fund it personally. Then there’s consumables; Strings, picks & sticks, batteries & skins ect, it’s worked into our budget like gas & electricity. Then of course theirs the giant Italian phallus/van/hotel we drive to every gig, that requires fuel, insurance, and a driver.
What I’m trying to get at is; this is an expensive game to be in, and that means the level you think it takes for a band to be completely self funding, let alone be able to support it’s musicians is probably a lot higher than you think. There are a lot of great bands about, but there are also a lot of crap ones, and years upon years of crap ones saying ‘I CAN DO THAT CHEAPER!’ has really devalued the art, and made it difficult to negotiate a decent fee: a great deal of festivals expect you to play for free, and most for expenses (by which they tend to mean fuel, which really doesn’t come anywhere near covering expenses) and that doesn’t help the situation at all.
All we want to do is come and perform for you, personally meet you all, and together create a great time, we also want you to have something to take home, we want you to be able to have us on your iPods and show your Nan, which is the real point of this article; of all the expensive things, recording is the expensivest.
A single day in the studio costs around £300, that’s not at the worlds flashiest studio either, it’s a studio we love to work at, with good equipment and a great producer, it’s a very reasonable amount of money for the skills and equipment we get to access. So £300 a day, how long do you think it takes to record an average song? For us it works out at about 2 or 2½ days, for all the layering, harmonies, trying out ideas that you can only try out in a studio, and epiphanies. When we put out an EP, we want it to be the best value it can be for you so we want it to have 4 tracks plus. So £300 x 2.25 x 4 = £2700, and that’s just mastered tracks, not including the cost of artwork design, cases and printing, discs and pressing, etc. Its really pricey.
Already funding everything else ourselves, we just can’t afford to fund that too, and here’s where you come in. If you come to one of our gigs – and we really want you to – if you can buy a ticket from one of us instead of on the door, please do. This makes a massive difference, often the deal we work out with the venue is that we keep the money from pre-sale tickets, but don’t see a penny of what they take on the door. If we work together this can work out really well, if everyone who’s coming gets them from us in advance, we could clean up! We could take 100% of that gig money and wang it straight into new recordings for you, I know it’s a bit of a bum-ache but it works out so much better for both of us, you get cheaper tickets, we can afford to record, and that means you can take some tunes home with you. We’re generally happy to run around delivering tickets wherever it’s reasonable, or you could collect them from me (I’ve got a cracking coffee machine) or one or some of our endorsers’ shops are usually selling them for us too (e.g. FixMyAmp in Worcester) so you don’t even have to arrange anything with us.
It boils down to this, you can help us in the simplest way, just by buying tickets directly from us in advance, you get much better bang for your buck, cheaper tickets AND you’re investing in us directly so we can record. You win, we win, much win, hooray.