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Thread: Who here is still releasing new music?

  1. #1

    Who here is still releasing new music?

    I'm curious to know if anyone is still planning, or actually producing new music. I'm not talking about for fun, but for actually building a fan base and selling, yes, for money, their own music.

    My questions are:

    1. why?
    2. How do see the future of music as a commodity?
    3. Do you have second doubts about wether you're being realistic?
    4. What formats are you going to use?

    I'd really like to hear what you are honestly thinking.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  2. #2
    YES... my band Visual Cliff is poised to release two new albums in 2013 actually!!

    Ans to #1 > Simply because I love to share what I create with others.

    Ans to #2 > Music in my opinion has completely lost any "real worth paying for value" to most folks. We all know the reasons why. Music however still holds very high emotional value and inspirational value to just about everybody. This dual reality perplexes me on a number of levels for as much as music still moves people, most of those same people still view those who create it as not being worthy of any financial support. Especially independents.

    Ans to #3 > See answer to number 2. I feel this is a completely realistic view of the current culture of music listeners.

    Ans to #4 > Digital download only. Tracking my band's sales over the last 5 years it has been 10 album downloads to every one CD purchase. The next Visual Cliff release will have an extensive digital booklet that will explain recording techniques used, rigs that were used for each song etc... It makes no sense financially for me to worry about pressing anything anymore. I recently went to a free download / donate if you want to model to just test the numbers and it's been eye opening ! Seeing the number of album downloads I average per month now only confirms that most people will find a way to steal it then pay for it.
    Indie Audio Mastering
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    Newly designed Visual Cliff site:
    http://www.visualcliff.net

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I'm curious to know if anyone is still planning, or actually producing new music. I'm not talking about for fun, but for actually building a fan base and selling, yes, for money, their own music.

    My questions are:

    1. why?
    2. How do see the future of music as a commodity?
    3. Do you have second doubts about wether you're being realistic?
    4. What formats are you going to use?

    I'd really like to hear what you are honestly thinking.
    Yes I'm releasing new music, well I did last Nov 2011. In the new year I'll be releasing a video for a remixed song.

    1 - I enjoy writing, recording and performing music and I don't think I could stop. I think most musicians, song writers, artists would say that it's in their blood and they don't feel content unless they're doing the art that they like.

    2 - The future of music as a commodity is pretty bleak for some and a roaring trade for others. Indie bands will have a hard time as technology has made it easier and cheaper for anyone and their dog to record music. As a result there's so much of it around that we are over saturated with music. There's too much for any one act to make what they used to for any long period of time. Now those bands that have already made it and have a cemented fan base will probably still be going strong, but as they get older and retire and/or die, I think you'll see that the bands taking their place will not be the financial heavy hitters that bands like U2, Iron Maiden, Madonna, or The Stones were. The heavy hitters will not have the staying power as record companies do not seem to be investing in long term relationships with artists any more.
    However, I still market my music and play gigs and I make a bit of money and it's all fun.

    3 - I think I'm very realistic. I gave up thinking I'd make a living soley doing my own music about 10 years ago. If I wanted to make a living doing music, I'd be hustling my ass of being a session musician or a sideman while trying to squeeze in time with my own project. That wasn't the path I wanted however and now I'm quite happy with my daytime job as a preschool teacher (it was always my 2nd choice as a career) while I get to do my musical project as a hobby.

    4 - I'm currently working on a Rock Musical and it'll probably be released on a small run of professionally looking CDR's. I find it almost a waste to have a minimum of 500 made as I know they'll sit in the basement. So 100 is a good number. I'll also do downloads as I know many people listen to music via their computer anyways.
    As for marketing, I'm on Facebook and Twitter and I'm currently working my but to network and get more followers who might be interested in what I do.
    I'm hoping the video I release in the New Year will give me a bit of a push in sales and gig attendance. But we shall see.

    Thanks
    Wilton
    Wilton Said... , Toronto Art Rock.
    http://www.wiltonsaid.com

  4. #4
    Member Big Block 454 part 2's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm still releasing new music - 4 albums last year (two from Churn Milk Joan and two from Jumble Hole Clough), one just about to come out, enough material for another one at least.

    1. Why? Because it's what I do. Because I enjoy making music and want to share it with other people. Because I get a good reaction - people download (and actually pay for) the music, and then let me know that they've enjoyed it - which is what it's all about.

    2. The future of music as a commodity? The whole financial structure of music is changing - how many people still make a living solely out of music? I'm not sure.

    3. Whether I'm being realistic? How many musicians are realistic ?! I doubt if I'll ever make enough money out of music to live on it full-time, but it pays for equipment.

    4. Formats? Downloads only currently. No money needed upfront, no money tied up in stock, no having to ship CDs to the USA... It's a good format, and it's what people are buying - I could see that when I was selling both CDs and downloads through CD Baby. If any of my projects were gigging regularly, I'd have some CDs made to sell at the gigs - but realistically, CDs are dead.

    There's an update on my recent recordings here: http://bigblock454.tumblr.com/

    And of course, you can download all my albums from the links on my signature. So what are you waiting for?

  5. #5
    Yeah, I'm still doing it. Two CDs in the past 13 months...one with Pinnacle and one with RED.
    1. Why? It's just what I do. Sometimes I think because I'm stupid. Other times I think it's because I'm proud of the work I've done and I want to share it with the world and thus far I've been able to do that and make at least a little money every time. I have a studio here which is paid for, so production doesn't cost me anything. If I don't count the man-hours involved in recording (which are insane, but I'd be doing SOMETHING with music during that time, anyway) I can produce and release a CD for about $3000. I only have to sell 300 at ten bucks a pop for it to pay itself off, then....PROFIT (tiny, tiny scraps of profit.)
    2. Music as a commodity...interesting question. Two years ago I'd have said it was dead and gone, but we've already sold more physical copies of the new Pinnacle CD than we did of the last one ever, and we've sold a ton of downloads as well. Everything has a cycle. Remember how big and clumsy cell phones used to be. Then they got smaller and smaller and smaller. Now what? They are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The next generation Iphone is going to be a TV that you talk to. I think people are starting to miss actually "owning" something. I don't think CDs will ever get back to the sales they had in the 90s, but I think the market will come up a bit. But again, maybe I'm stupid.
    3. Yep.
    4. So far, printing cds and having downloads available seems to be working. With all that I've said, I feel I need to also say that I now have a real, grown up day job for the first time in my life. I've turned in my "rock star" card. At 42, I no longer think that super stardom is right around the corner and it kills me to say that music is now a hobby. (wow..that's the first time I've actually said that and it really does hurt like hell) I have enough gigs and sell enough albums to where it's a hobby that pays for itself. So maybe that's the future of the recording industry? Determined hobbyists?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by everythingtoexcess View Post
    I think people are starting to miss actually "owning" something.
    I sense this too but for vinyl not CD's. When I say that I sense this, I am purely speaking for what I have gathered from the non-prog crowd. Which is encouraging. A lot of my marketing is aimed at the non prog crowd and the Christian rock crowd. It's funny the emails I get from "normal" every day music listeners. It's like they discovered something so unique and fresh and when I turn them onto other prog bands the replys are always the same "I never knew music like this existed or still existed". It's my feeling that the younger 20 somethings and late teenagers will be ripe for a prog revival. A lot of my younger guitar students love learning Pink Floyd, Yes and Rush tunes rather than the latest Bullet For My Valentine tunes.

    We must keep advancing our brand into non-prog related groups of folks... they will convert over trust me I have seen it happen so many times. Great music cant be denied.
    Indie Audio Mastering
    http://www.indieaudiomastering.com


    Newly designed Visual Cliff site:
    http://www.visualcliff.net

  7. #7
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Creative musicians have to get it out, otherwise they'd get constipated and and die.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  8. #8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U1H8KbCEcU

    The first 2 parts are worth watching but it's really the end of this section where he gets to the point...

  9. #9
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Streaming music services are the future...., no doubt!
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  10. #10
    And the idea that in most ways music in itself will mean nothing as a product; it's just a commodity that will justify the services. It becomes "content". If you can provide "content", you can make some money. maybe.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    Streaming music services are the future...., no doubt!
    not if you are a live act (and to me, playing live is the ultimate end game for anyone involved in music). When I go to concerts and see an opening band that catches my ear, I'm looking to buy a CD. What else are they going to sell me at at merch booth...a download code??? Plus I can't get that autographed by the band.

  12. #12
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80s were ok View Post
    not if you are a live act (and to me, playing live is the ultimate end game for anyone involved in music). When I go to concerts and see an opening band that catches my ear, I'm looking to buy a CD. What else are they going to sell me at at merch booth...a download code??? Plus I can't get that autographed by the band.
    I was referring to audio music, not live music !
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    Creative musicians have to get it out, otherwise they'd get constipated and and die.
    HAHAHAHAHA ! Spot on.
    Indie Audio Mastering
    http://www.indieaudiomastering.com


    Newly designed Visual Cliff site:
    http://www.visualcliff.net

  14. #14
    For me, it's the hope of maybe.... just MAYbe..... doing something the tiniest bit different than anyone else has and that sense of gratification that comes from creating something.... tangible. That's why the physical CDs matter to me - it's evidence that what I believe happened actually DID happen. Or, at least, that SOMETHING happened....

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Robbue View Post
    YES... my band Visual Cliff is poised to release two new albums in 2013 actually!!

    ... Digital download only. Tracking my band's sales over the last 5 years it has been 10 album downloads to every one CD purchase.
    Rob! I have a Visual Cliff CD from about 6 years ago, we met in a different forum. I'm glad to see you're still feeling the love for music. Its a great CD!

    Funny how that swing has been so quick. The digital downloads are working for you.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    Rob! I have a Visual Cliff CD from about 6 years ago, we met in a different forum. I'm glad to see you're still feeling the love for music. Its a great CD!

    Funny how that swing has been so quick. The digital downloads are working for you.
    How cool !! Thanks so much!

    Yeah the download model seems to be working just as well as when I was only selling them via cd's and now folks dont have to go to file sharing groups and run the risk of viruses. I'd rather just make it easier for people to get the music and if they dig it enough they eventually donate or if they dont the word of mouth that the site is 100% free has been spiking my visitation stats which is what I would rather have. More people hearing and diggin the music is more important to me than making a few extra bucks but I'm sure I would be feeling differently about it if music was my only source of income. But then again I would be touring if that was the case.

    Good to meet up with you again!
    Indie Audio Mastering
    http://www.indieaudiomastering.com


    Newly designed Visual Cliff site:
    http://www.visualcliff.net

  17. #17
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    Creative musicians have to get it out, otherwise they'd get constipated and and die.
    Thanks Chris, now I know why I'm dying of constipation.

    Honestly, I could write a long post on why I've only put out one album by my own (former) band (and that was 8 years ago), but I'll spare you all of the whining. I do always dream about making another one.

    The most positive thing I can tell you right now is that the latin/jazz/fusion band I've been in for over 30 years, Chevere is making plans to put out a live DVD culled from a couple of concerts we played 2 years ago. We were supposed to have a meeting about it this afternoon, but it just got cancelled.

  18. #18
    Tribesman sonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    Honestly, I could write a long post on why I've only put out one album by my own (former) band (and that was 8 years ago), but I'll spare you all of the whining. I do always dream about making another one.
    Just do it. There are many of us here who would be interested in hearing your originals. What is holding you back?

  19. #19
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonic View Post
    There are many of us here who would be interested in hearing your originals. What is holding you back?
    Number one: Finances
    Number two: The hassle of trying to get four professional musicians to get together and rehearse for free. Not that they wouldn't want to, but the unwritten law is that if you get a gig you're getting paid for, you HAVE to take it. And somebody always has a gig. My band WAS together for about 17 years, so I suffered through that predicament for a long time. The stress gradually outweighed the fun.
    Number three: I don't have a home studio.
    Number four: I'm in a relationship. The one time I was able to get enough money together to record and put out an
    album was when I was between relationships. When you're in one, there's always stuff that "we" need that takes priority.
    Number four: Having no prospects for releasing another album, I'm not inspired to write. I know there's some people for which the music just "comes to them," but I've never been one of them. I have to work long and hard to finish a piece.

    If you've never heard ANY of my tunes, there's the s/t Bad Dog U album, available at CD Baby and on iTunes.

    Here's a the first track from it (unfortunately, YouTube's compression makes the soft parts sound louder than the loud parts):



    And I hope I wasn't sounding like I don't appreciate the encouragement; I DO!

  20. #20
    Tribesman sonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    , I'm not inspired to write. I know there's some people for which the music just "comes to them," but I've never been one of them. I have to work long and hard to finish a piece.
    I know what you mean. I'm just a bedroom noodler, but I wish I could just pump it out like some people seem to do.

    I have actually seen your CD in the shop once. I'll definitely pick it up next time if it's still there.
    You could always record DIY with a computer and doing your own backing, but as a professional I guess you might not be satisfied with that approach...

  21. #21
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonic View Post
    You could always record DIY with a computer and doing your own backing, but as a professional I guess you might not be satisfied with that approach...
    Well, not as a finished product that I'd want to share. For one thing, I kinda hate drum machines, even when they're programmed with a lot of knowledge and ambition. I'm also just a "band" kinda guy; I love and thrive off of the input and interaction of other musicians.

  22. #22
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    Well, not as a finished product that I'd want to share. For one thing, I kinda hate drum machines, even when they're programmed with a lot of knowledge and ambition. I'm also just a "band" kinda guy; I love and thrive off of the input and interaction of other musicians.
    Band kinda guy....yeah I hear you.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  23. #23
    Yes, if things work out, because I love to create new music. I am a guy who thinks he has something to offer the prog world if not the music world at large and I frankly want to go to my grave having played at least one prog festival. It was a blessing to find out that there are people who like what I write, find it listenable, don't care that I don't sing better than Bill Berends, don't mind that I'm derivative because I have so much Yes, ELP and Genesis floating around my brain, think a positive spiritual message is a good thing, like the way I play the keys even if I am no Emerson, and finally, know I'm being honest about it all.

    My wife thinks I am nuts, wasting time I could be spending with her. My band thinks what we are doing is worth pursuing because they love creating new music. That means it's worth us all putting up with each other's various deep seated personality disorders and banging our heads against the "who's available and when" wall. It means that putting that idea on the anvil of the creative process and watching it coalesce into a finished piece of prog, even if it's not as intense as Frost or as 990-mph as Niacin, has so much satisfaction for all of us that if we quit they'd be calling the men in the white coats in short order. Wait, I think they're at the door now because I haven't seen my guys in almost a month and I can't wait for next week when they'll show up and we'll argue for two hours before we start playing.

    I feel like a guy on a 90-mph treadmill as I watch band after band I never heard of get festival slots and think, next year that'll be us because we're gon' git 'er done this year. I get inspired and depressed as I listen to new music so phenomenal as to be unreal and then realize KE is still trying to figure out how to operate Sonar X-1 producer edition or waiting till we get something decent to at least put on Kickstarter and raise ten grand to go to a real studio with somebody at the controls who knows what he's doing.

    I do it because it's in my genes to do it and I aim to get another CD done that is good enough to get us onto a festival before I am done. So maybe if it's pride, a grand delusion or just that the passion for this genre is what lights my fire, and a spirit with a vision is dream with a mission, I can't choose which, and I know there are artists more talented than I, but I am a prog rock keyboardist and what else is a prog rock keyboardist gonna do with his talent? Wait. I know. Put together a bunch of classic rock covers and go play bars so as to get some money for the gear we need to record the prog. Anybody near Richmond come see KE on 1/25.

    Music as a commodity: it's an art. I accept the prog reality that either recognition gets you on a festival or a festival gets you recongnized and either way you need both to move some product. I have had this argument with bandmates several times: if we get money it'll be bonus. That's why I drive big trucks 60 hours a damn week. I HAVE a day job. That's facing reality. Reality is what your life is. I'm 60 years old. The music business is done with me. I'm done with it. Prog people, however, if I can reach them I will be as happy as if I achieved Jay-Z status. People who share my passion is for whom the commodity I make is intended.

    Formats: I don't even know what that means unless we're talking about CDs vs. downloads vs. shows etc. ... to which the answer is "all of the above." Or if we're talking about what the work will be, well, Powered by Light was a concept album; I think Wonderland Journey is going to be unrelated songs/pieces about this and that with a bunch of good playing supporting them.

    I just was feeling a little frustrated as I wrote this .... hope it doesn't put anybody off ... you know I love you all.
    Last edited by HoldYourFire; 12-29-2012 at 07:37 PM.
    A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission!

  24. #24
    Member Lebofsky's Avatar
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    1. I can't stop, apparently. So might as well try to connect to more and more people.
    2. The same as I always have since being a kid in the 70's: nobody makes money except a select random few.
    3. On one hand, being realistic means nothing risky ever gets done. On the other, I always do the math in advance and thus am never disappointed in the results.
    4. Whatever exists. Currently dumping all my excess non-band stuff on bandcamp. See links below.

    - Matt

  25. #25
    I haven't given up yet. If I had any common sense I would have years ago.

    Technology does make it easier for just about anyone to put together a decent recording, but I disagree that the volume of competition makes things harder for artists. I have heard some terrible, terrible playing, songwriting, and vocal performances recorded in relatively high-spec recordings. Great ideas, arrangements, and inspired performances stand out as much as they ever have--they just have to compete with a higher level of "background noise."

    I suppose one benefit of not depending upon progressive rock recordings/gigs to feed one's family is that one does not have to entertain any artistic compromises. The prog artist can go for a big, pompous, overblown project or a commercially poisonous, edgy, experimental statement without fear. Art for art's sake.

    So, to answer the original question, YES, Divine In Sight will eventually be releasing more music. When? Maybe within a year or two. I'm 130k words into a novelization of our next concept album's story. By June 2013 I should have a decent rewrite of the first draft completed (200-240k words, i.e., 600 + pp. novel), which I'll be shopping to select publishers at a writing conference later that month. If I get no bites, I'll self-publish. Proceeds will go to upgrade my studio, then recording begins in earnest (I have about 70% of the music written with basic arrangements). I'd have skipped the whole novelization step except that my current studio can't handle the ambitious scope of the project. Given the state of the economy my family cannot afford to drop $5k on studio gear for my projects. I am hoping the novel will scratch out just enough funds to facilitate the rest of the project.

    I'm already five years behind my original projected release date for O Nox Ultima. Our previous album, Sorrow & Promise, was released in September 2001 (within a few weeks of the 911 tragedy). Much of the instrumental tracking for that album was done during Clinton's second term. Yikes! My first daughter was a toddler when we were mixing that album down, and next year she'll be in high school.

    For me, life has had a tendency to "get in the way" of prog-rock aspirations and productivity. It would be nice, at some point, for my wife to see some actual ROI on the hours of writing and playing, planning and scheming I've done to breathe life into these epic musical statements. If it never happens, though, it would be at least a decent consolation to have produced something really good and/or really significant/important, even if no one buys it (literally or figuratively).
    Bartholomew Boge
    of Divine In Sight

    Current project:
    Regarding Tiberius

    BUY NOW in paperback ($17.99 + s/h) or EBook ($4.99)


    Completion date of art rock musical based upon this novel?
    Sometime before Hell freezes over
    (or, if Dante's vision in the Divine Comedy was correct,
    "sometime before the frozen lake of the lowest ring of Hell thaws.")

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