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Thread: Arc Of Life, new band featuring Davison, Schellen, Sherwood, Kerzner and Haun

  1. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post
    A band that has Steve Lukather on keyboards is clearly a supergroup and is pushing boundaries.
    You might be the only human in history who ever said those exact words. Congrats!

  2. #152
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Wow, lots of great analysis and opinions in the last few pages!

    On the topic of how artists put together an album or project, especially in this day and age, it's worth noting how Dave approaches this. Dave already described this, and something I really like is how when he conceives a new project, whatever it is, he announces it on Facebook and explains his rationale for the project, what music will go into it, etc. He thereby sets listeners' expectations and avoids a lot of the possible criticism that other artists might set themselves up for by springing it on listeners with no warning. It's like the introduction to a book. If you're a talented enough writer you can skip it and let readers start with Chapter One in the confidence that readers will appreciate the book. But even if you ARE a talented writer, no one's likely to criticise the fact that you started with an introduction that helped frame the chapters to come. They might read the intro and decide the book isnt't going to be quite what they were looking for and look for something else, but readers ought to appreciate that heads-up.

    In essence, that's all marketing, and since Dave does all the marketing himself, he's wise to approach it in a pro-active way. He even does this for the projects he produces for and with other artists, like Black Floyd or Mantra Vega. The only thing he needs on is the publishing dates, although he always comes through. RIGHT, DAVE? (Ha-ha, I know you will!).

    If the first Arc of Life album is well received and the parties are up for a second album, they'll then be really glad they have Dave on board, because he'll probably make sure the second album makes sense and gets done. In fact, the first album is well received I predict that the band will appear on an upcoming Cruise to the Edge, along with interesting guest performers, etc. In fact, that's probably quite likely since Yes seems to have had to give up plans to do CTTE, but Billy, Jon, et al will probably want to be in on that.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm never one to judge an album by one pre-released song, so I'm reserving my judgement on Arc of Life.

    PS: Dave was involved in Grace for Drowning? I didn't know that; how were you involved, Dave?

    PPS: For grilled octopus and squid, when in NYC head to Astoria, Queens and go to Taverna Kyclades or Telly's Taverna.

  3. #153
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    A brief jag away from the topic, but in search of songs with your voice, I discovered the instrumental on YT Southern Exposure, and I have to say it's simply wonderful. As I commented it has a Paul McCartney White Album era sound to it which I really like, great job Kevin(and who can resist a cover with a dog on it)lol.
    Also I'm not a gospel kind of guy but the music on The Morning is beautiful, and no worries about your voice, your harmonies on that are great! So I appreciate your associating your experience with how Billy may go about his business of singing and writing.
    Thanks SO MUCH for those very kind words! It means more than you know. The McCartney comparison is very high praise to me. And the dog was my old pal Martin, named such because he was basically the same color as my old mahogany Martin D-15. He passed a couple years ago, so I'm glad he was able to take part in that cover art for me.

    Now back to the Arc of Life discussion.
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  4. #154
    Quote Originally Posted by julioscissors View Post
    This was a great post. I can really relate to what you're saying here. I'm in a band with two other guys, but I probably write about 80-90% of the music/lyrics. The other fellas are better singers/guitarists/etc. then I am, but I just don't have the patience to wait weeks to get things done. We've all got kids, wives, jobs, etc. so scheduling is a challenge. Plus, it's often a challenge to teach them the parts that are in my head with the limited time we have, so 9 times out of 10 I wind up just singing and playing everything myself. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, those are the only version that ever get finished.
    Yes, exactly.
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  5. #155
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Wow, lots of great analysis and opinions in the last few pages!

    On the topic of how artists put together an album or project, especially in this day and age, it's worth noting how Dave approaches this. Dave already described this, and something I really like is how when he conceives a new project, whatever it is, he announces it on Facebook and explains his rationale for the project, what music will go into it, etc. He thereby sets listeners' expectations and avoids a lot of the possible criticism that other artists might set themselves up for by springing it on listeners with no warning. It's like the introduction to a book. If you're a talented enough writer you can skip it and let readers start with Chapter One in the confidence that readers will appreciate the book. But even if you ARE a talented writer, no one's likely to criticise the fact that you started with an introduction that helped frame the chapters to come. They might read the intro and decide the book isnt't going to be quite what they were looking for and look for something else, but readers ought to appreciate that heads-up.

    In essence, that's all marketing, and since Dave does all the marketing himself, he's wise to approach it in a pro-active way. He even does this for the projects he produces for and with other artists, like Black Floyd or Mantra Vega. The only thing he needs on is the publishing dates, although he always comes through. RIGHT, DAVE? (Ha-ha, I know you will!).

    If the first Arc of Life album is well received and the parties are up for a second album, they'll then be really glad they have Dave on board, because he'll probably make sure the second album makes sense and gets done. In fact, the first album is well received I predict that the band will appear on an upcoming Cruise to the Edge, along with interesting guest performers, etc. In fact, that's probably quite likely since Yes seems to have had to give up plans to do CTTE, but Billy, Jon, et al will probably want to be in on that.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm never one to judge an album by one pre-released song, so I'm reserving my judgement on Arc of Life.
    I can only do that stuff when I'm releasing something on my own label. Even the stuff I've released through Cherry Red is still a co-op with my label and more of just a distribution deal. A full record deal with a label doesn't give you the same freedom to give nearly as much advanced info and prep for what you're going to release and when it finally comes out someone else usually writes the press release and between that stage and what the media says is where it can get hyped into confusion (good album title! haha).

    For example, just from me posting a picture of shadows on my Facebook page as a little teaser (which I did get the green light from to do from Arc's manager who also happens to manage Yes btw), someone brightened it to reveal who the shadows were and then a writer took that and ran with it suggesting "What if this was the next generation of Yes?". It's understandable to ponder that just based on the ideas mentioned by Chris Squire and others that Yes music should continue on etc. Jon, Billy and Jay strongly help Howe, Downes and White keep that torch burning, especially when they can tour. They're the younger guys (although not THAT young as the article points out... even me which was like **gulp** am I really that old?). But, by "going there" in addition to what the eventual press release said about Arc being Progrock and pushing boundaries it just kind of set expectations up in a confusing way... as if you should be expecting something that sounds like the next generation of Yes and that it's going to push boundaries like say Tales did. Haha. It does have SOME similarities to Yes and, as people have pointed out, it has many similarities to Circa and Billy's other projects because he's the main singer and songwriter along with Jon for this album. So, it can be tough to manage expectations when these kinds of things happen... and I knew I couldn't even say anything until December 9th when the news was official and first song was already released. Not that it was my job to clarify what to expect though. I only feel it is when it's a band/project/album I put together, not something like this where I'm asked to join someone else's thing.

    In addition to all that, and as much as I appreciate the props, I wouldn't say my approach is necessarily the best. I'm accessible but some friends in the industry have told me I am too much so and that my previews are like "spoilers" sometimes and knowing what I'm thinking behind this and that takes away some of the mystery. But, at least being interactive and answering questions, explaining what the idea is etc. does help with setting expectations. Oh and yeah I've been crap at predicting release schedules on some things which have taken much longer to finish but in 2021 my goal is to catch up on everything and change that so it's more accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post

    PS: Dave was involved in Grace for Drowning? I didn't know that; how were you involved, Dave?
    I played some keys and did sound effects with guitars, amps and an EMS Synthi for the 20 minute track Raider II. He was using a product I created with IK Multimedia and my company Sonic Reality. It was a plug-in/sample library called "SampleTron" (for Mellotron sounds) and that's how we became friends in 2010 while I was making Dimensionaut with SOC at the same time. We shared tracks back and forth for each other's opinions. It was awesome. That doesn't happen anymore though.
    Last edited by Squids; 12-14-2020 at 09:10 AM.

  6. #156


    This just came out and Billy Sherwood is singing: best singing I've heard from him in ages. Also guesting are Rachel Flowers, Adam Holzman, Chad Wackerman and Lenny White. Good stuff.

    Henry
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  7. #157
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    That was fun. The guitar was very Terje Rypdal.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  8. #158
    I listened to the tune a few days ago, and my main question is the same as Ken's: Who is this meant for?
    The band is marketed to a prog audience, specifically Yes fans, and signed to an AOR/Classic rock label, and considering the people involved, especially Billy, one would maybe expect some poppy take on the Yes sound. I consider most of the members of the band to be talented. I love Haun's playing in any context, and while I never quite groked Billy's contributions to Yes, I thought he made an unusally nice lite-prog album with that Circa/Windmill disc. I know Squids to be a dedicated and talented player and writer. The only one I don't really know much about, apart from his contributions to a terrible Yes album, is Jon Davison. But anyways: The tune seems to check none of the boxes one would associate with the players, the genres or their label. Which is ok, but when the tune also falls flat from a songwriting perspective, it's kind of concerning. There's very little of interest harmonically, melodically and rhythmically, and the production is - I'm really sorry - kinda cheap-sounding.
    One thing is that one should of course always strive to write memorable and interesting material - especially when invoking the Yes name. Another thing is that one needs to know one's audience. The people who are interested in buying - or are even aware of the existence of - these musicians, are, let's be honest, middle-aged dudes. What they respond to are things like out-and-out prog, proggy hard rock, smart pop of the XTC variety, or maybe for Frontiers' audience, some nice, pompy AOR. This, on the other hand, sounds like early 90s also-ran MOR rock, and there's just no conceivable audience for that among the people who are aware of these musicians.

    THAT said: Maybe this tune is just a dud, and the rest of the album is ace. Hope so.

  9. #159
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    This just came out and Billy Sherwood is singing: best singing I've heard from him in ages. Also guesting are Rachel Flowers, Adam Holzman, Chad Wackerman and Lenny White. Good stuff.

    Henry
    The singing sounds good because it's not the overprocessed, over-reverbed, multi-layered stuff that Billy usually does. I'm okay with his voice - I just hate the way he chooses to make it sound.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  10. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Holm-Lupo View Post
    One thing is that one should of course always strive to write memorable and interesting material - especially when invoking the Yes name. Another thing is that one needs to know one's audience. The people who are interested in buying - or are even aware of the existence of - these musicians, are, let's be honest, middle-aged dudes. What they respond to are things like out-and-out prog, proggy hard rock, smart pop of the XTC variety, or maybe for Frontiers' audience, some nice, pompy AOR.
    I remember Fernando Perdomo in an interview saying how he'd tried for years to make it as a musician with mainstream music and got nowhere, but when he started making proggy stuff, he was surprised to suddenly find a large audience for his work.

    Henry
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  11. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    I remember Fernando Perdomo in an interview saying how he'd tried for years to make it as a musician with mainstream music and got nowhere, but when he started making proggy stuff, he was surprised to suddenly find a large audience for his work.

    Henry
    Yep, I think this is a lesson many learn along the way, sometimes to their big surprise. It's a question of who the dedicated, non-casual audiences are.

  12. #162
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't think most here care if it's proggy-prog, pomp-prog, or klezmer-prog. If it's good, it's good, and the artist(s) will be duly rewarded. But how something is marketing does matter.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    Yeah, I don't think most here care if it's proggy-prog, pomp-prog, or klezmer-prog. If it's good, it's good, and the artist(s) will be duly rewarded. But how something is marketing does matter.
    I totally agree with this, great point!
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  14. #164
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Holm-Lupo View Post
    I know Squids to be a dedicated and talented player and writer.
    Thanks. I'm a late addition to the band and came in after the songs were already written and mostly recorded. I wouldn't normally do that but I love these guys and the potential of what we can do together live and in collaboration is exciting to me. I get that people on PE want to hear more Prog and I'm here too so yeah... I'm with you on that! Haha. All for it. But, I also understand that many people here do appreciate a well-written song whether it's Prog or not. That's great and I'm the same way. When I work on my own music projects this is the goal every time I write a song and I think I'm probably even pickier than most fans of these classic Prog bands are with regard to lyrics. With me not writing a word or note on this album and not producing or engineering this it naturally has none of my particular sensibility or stylistic approach to it. I also have very little say! That's all understandable because I didn't put this band together. I'm just the keyboard player in this case. But, I hope my contributions will be part of the equation in the future. That was the idea of me joining... that we'd tour and co-write the next album together. Of course, a pandemic can throw everything up in the air so who knows what will happen when? Regardless, I carry on writing and producing all kinds of albums and one of them in the works is very early 70s Prog-infused.

    As for this song and album, I know everyone thinks their opinion is the final word on whether something is good or not. Let's not forget that it's still subjective. Some people love it the way it is. So, you could answer the question: "Who is it for?" with "it's for the people who like it". But, that's not to say that I don't understand your point with what people would expect from this line up. I get that and can't say I disagree. I'd want some Prog from this line up too. You'll get some from this album and surely more live and on the next album should if it all happen and fold out the way it could.
    Last edited by Squids; 12-16-2020 at 06:55 AM.

  15. #165
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ Short translation: "Don't shoot me. I'm only the piano player."
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  16. #166
    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    As for this song and album, I know everyone thinks their opinion is the final word on whether something is good or not. Let's not forget that it's still subjective. Some people love it the way it is. So, you could answer the question: "Who is it for?" with "it's for the people who like it". But, that's not to say that I don't understand your point with what people would expect from this line up. I get that and can't say I disagree. I'd want some Prog from this line up too. You'll get some from this album and surely more live and on the next album should if it all happen and fold out the way it could.
    I'll pull this thread a little.

    I can say something like "my music is for the people who like it" because I'm a nobody. I self-release, with minimal financial risk in a tumbleweed approach to marketing my material. And I barely break triple digits in sales. That's fine for my "less than a molecule within a single drop in the ocean" model. I'm genuinely ecstatic with my sales, in fact.

    In the case of Arc of Life, I would assume that Frontier has made a financial investment in this project and release and as such, if their marketing department's mission statement was "it'll find the people who like it" then I suspect some people will be getting pink slips for Christmas. That's not to say that Frontier are cold, calculating money sharks...but they aren't exactly a charity operation either.

    So: one would assume that Frontier has done research and has a marketing strategy to maximize their ROI on this product. I'm also assuming that this strategy has been shared with the members of the band (as the kind of defacto PR faces for any such strategy).

    From that (IMHO reasonably fair) standpoint: who was or is the intended target market for a product like this, released as a product for sale on a for-profit label like Frontier? What was the intent of this song + video being the first impression for the public and prospective audience? Was that the band's choice? The label's? Both?

    My own read on the materials provided (the PR bio and the music video) is that there is a disconnect. Rather than targeting prog rock fans musically, I see a reach for prog rock fans based on reputation and past work, with the (presumed) hope that at least a percentage of those fans might also like this (IMHO subjectively very non-progressive) material. I hear assurances that more prog is back there, yet this was the ever-so-critical opening salvo. Why not hit that target out the gate if that was ever the intention?

    I get that you're a late addition to the party. You probably don't have all these answers. I simply stumble over the idea of a release with money behind it not having a solid marketing strategy and intended audience.


    (PS: this isn't meant as an attack, either on the band or anyone who enjoys the song. I asked the same question about Stewart/Gaskin, whose work I unconditionally adore.)
    Last edited by battema; 12-16-2020 at 12:33 PM.
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  17. #167
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    ^^^ Very well said Mr. Battema. I teach business for a living and I could easily use the release of this Arc of Life song as a "mini-case" on an exam about marketing and consistency of messaging. What you have written about the disconnect would be the "right" answer.

  18. #168
    I can only speak in general about that because I don't know the label any better than you guys do seeing various releases they've put out and how they've marketed them or the particular styles they're known for. And better than that I can speak about labels, PR, A&R and marketing in general which would be more appropriate.

    I get the feeling that a fair amount of people on the business side, probably going back to the 80s when bands like Asia had HITS as well as Yes with 90125, want their cake and eat it too in terms of it having the "Prog credentials" but being enough "accessible commercial material" to make some money and not just get the "street cred" for an album of 20 minute epics! haha. I mean, if they were given a choice of an album with lots of odd time signatures, extended instrumental sections and atmospheric soundscapes vs. 3-5 minute songs with catchy hooks, in the end they'd probably actually want the second because it seems like it has a bigger chance of making money. Makes sense. But, even going back to that first Asia album, they've mentioned Prog in marketing because of who was in the band but the album delivered more Pop with hints of Proggy elements in it. Some people now have different subgenre names for that like Crossover Prog or whatever. But, it probably annoyed UK, Crimson and Yes fans then (while winning over millions of new fans) and in this case the only thing missing is... winning over millions of new fans! hahaha. Where are they man??? I'm kidding. Not every band, artist or label can have the kind of success those bands had in the 80s and 90s when people mostly bought music instead of streaming it for free. Plus, those were great albums and songs too.

    To me, if a project is intending to be commercial Prog-Pop with Yes-influences the bar is 90125 or the first Asia album in terms of songwriting, arrangement and production (apart from deciding between a dated style which I'm fine with depending on how it's executed... hate to say it my fellow old farts but 80s and 90s is "vintage" now!!! haha or something more current sounding or fresh and new). Although that's only if the rule or goal was to be commercial and still have Progrock roots involved. I MUCH prefer just writing whatever I want to write and let it naturally be poppy or proggy based on serving the song. Although that's the songwriter speaking. As a producer you get to step back a bit from that and just put together something that sounds great and hits the nail on the head for what it ideally should be overall.

    But, this is all easy for me to say because I spend most of my time outside of the music industry and do things how I want (for better or worse btw). It affords me lots of freedom yet I make less money and have less of a machine behind the bands and projects I do. I mean, have you checked out In Continuum? Seriously. Have you?? Because there's no label or marketing muscle behind it. It has a nice balance of commercial Prog Pop and straight up Prog. It has star players on it including Jon Davison (and a co-write with Jon Anderson no less) and guest appearances from Steve Hackett, Michael Sadler, Steve Rothery, John Wesley and more with a core band that has fellow PE member Randy McStine (I actually met him on PE btw), Matt Dorsey from Sound of Contact (along with me) and two amazing drummers, Marco Minnemann and Nick D'Virgilio. So... have you heard it? Jon Davison does some GREAT singing on both albums. But, I bet at most only half the people reading this thread or maybe even a third or fourth or less even know this band and those albums exist. Even more, I wonder how many will go check it out even now after I mention all of that! However, if a label had put some money behind it, pushed it and hyped it up (like they all do for every album they release) you'd all know about it. Then you could scrutinize it like you're doing now and decide if it gets the thumbs up or not. (Again I do know some of you know and like it but I'm just using it as an example of a pure Indy release vs. a label release).

    It's a weird industry these days. There's a lot of experimentation and a lot of diversity in how bands/albums are presented. Labels tend to have a more cookie cutter approach probably because of the sheer volume of albums and songs they release. They benefit from being able to REACH you but sometimes there are things that are missing or don't line up between what's written or said vs. how it sounds etc. That's just generally speaking because we see it happen often. But, then there are the pure Indy artists with their own labels getting the marketing words just right to match the music and expectations... however much less people even hear those words! Welcome to the modern music industry. Now, if it was a genre that made everyone more money then everyone, both labels and indy artists, could hire more experts to fill in the gaps if there are any and get everything just right. But, Prog Rock and ANY rock these days simply by and large does not make the money it used to mostly thanks to the streaming companies devaluing albums.

    So, we get what we get. Sometimes there's a gap or disconnect but we also know how to fill in the gaps ourselves as music fans. We all know what we like (in your wardrobe) and buy whatever we want to buy. I bet plenty of people will buy this album (and already pre-ordered it) and it'll be as successful as Frontiers needs or expects it to be relative to their many other releases. With a big catalog there's always the chance that a song, album or band can take off.
    Last edited by Squids; 12-16-2020 at 01:33 PM.

  19. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    have you checked out In Continuum? Seriously. Have you?? Because there's no label or marketing muscle behind it. It has a nice balance of commercial Prog Pop and straight up Prog. It has star players on it including Jon Davison (and a co-write with Jon Anderson no less) and guest appearances from Steve Hackett, Michael Sadler, Steve Rothery, John Wesley and more with a core band that has fellow PE member Randy McStine (I actually met him on PE btw), Matt Dorsey from Sound of Contact (along with me) and two amazing drummers, Marco Minnemann and Nick D'Virgilio.
    Marco is so good on the In Continuum albums.

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  20. #170
    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    But, this is all easy for me to say because I spend most of my time outside of the music industry and do things how I want (for better or worse btw). It affords me lots of freedom yet I make less money and have less of a machine behind the bands and projects I do. I mean, have you checked out In Continuum? Seriously. Have you?? Because there's no label or marketing muscle behind it. It has a nice balance of commercial Prog Pop and straight up Prog. It has star players on it including Jon Davison (and a co-write with Jon Anderson no less) and guest appearances from Steve Hackett, Michael Sadler, Steve Rothery, Jon Wesley and more with a core band that has fellow PE member Randy McStine (I actually met him on PE btw), Matt Dorsey from Sound of Contact (along with me) and two amazing drummers, Marco Minnemann and Nick D'Virgilio. So... have you heard it? Jon Davison does some GREAT singing on both albums. But, I bet at most only half the people reading this thread or maybe even a third or fourth or less even know this band and those albums exist. Even more, I wonder how many will go check it out even now after I mention all of that! However, if a label had put some money behind it, pushed it and hyped it up (like they all do for every album they release) you'd all know about it. Then you could scrutinize it like you're doing now and decide if it gets the thumbs up or not. (Again I know many of you do know about it and like it but I'm just using it as an example of a pure Indy release vs. a label release).
    Speaking for myself only, yes I am familiar. As I am with the Dave Kerzner Band, Sound of Contact, your work with Simon Collins on U-Catastrophe, your ties back to Kevin Gilbert, and so on. Our respective bands shared the Sunday bill at Progday 2017, in fact we sat roughly 5 feet away from one another under the tent prior to and after your set (we were first prior to your arrival that day so it's understandable that you wouldn't remember and/or engage me in conversation). I also saw your bandmate Fernando's other project the following Progday.

    I totally get the value of a label behind a band/product. If by some insane miracle of fractured reality I found myself being courted by a label, that marketing access would probably be the main thing that would interest me. And before I agreed to anything, the first thing I'd like to do is get a clear overview of said marketing plan. Unless told otherwise I'd assume that all the costs of marketing would be recouped from my royalties; unless I felt confident that a label could deliver a successful marketing campaign, I'm not sure I would sign the deal.

    But the flip side is what I was probably talking about more: the label as a for-profit entity, spending $$ to release a product by a band. Maybe I'm overly cynical, but I can't imagine they would do that unless they were confident in their ROI.

    Perhaps the mistake is ours, assuming that we were the intended audience by and large, rather than something more supplemental. If so, then it's not unreasonable to wonder who IS the intended audience.

    I think that's still the root of my disconnect and I 100% respect that you may not be in a position to speak to that. So I may simply be in rhetorical question territory here. Despite any perceived criticisms I certainly don't wish the band to fail or be a disaster for anyone involved.
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  21. #171
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    I think I did check out In Continuum when the first album came out, and I liked it, but balked at the Bandcamp price. I gave another listen to a couple songs, and I liked them. As a point of reference, they reminded me of a cross between Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons Project. I'll probably pick them up at some point.
    15 Cuban minutes
    Can get lost in the fog
    Life's a test, just do your best
    Like a three-legged dog

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  22. #172
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I think I did check out In Continuum when the first album came out, and I liked it, but balked at the Bandcamp price. I gave another listen to a couple songs, and I liked them. As a point of reference, they reminded me of a cross between Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons Project. I'll probably pick them up at some point.
    I assume you mean the CD price because the HQ download price is more or less what it costs on iTunes give or take a dollar or two. The CD is jam packed so it's like a double album and it's also expensive to make and sells less volume than labels. That's usually why some artists have higher prices than normal but it's worth and the best news of all is that it actually goes to the artist. When a band is on a label they usually have very little control and while the listeners do benefit from the volume discounts and special blow out sales (I just bought our own album "Dimensionaut" on vinyl for $15 from some site blowing it out!!! I got a few even at that price, sure... but none of us in SOC will see much money at all from those sales sadly). So, it's all relative but I think it's a good thing that music artists and bands communicate to let people know the reasons behind these things. Then it's not so bad paying $20 or $25 for a CD that's a double album. I don't mind when I buy knowing that's the case. But, I do understand and I also like to pay as little as possible. You can enter the code: squids15 and at least save an extra 15% on my bandcamp page if that helps.

  23. #173
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ Suids, I'll probably wait for the next Bandcamp Friday and go in for the 4 CD edition, pricey tho' it is. I've bookmarked it with my other Bandcamp "watch" items. And yes, physical copy all the way.
    15 Cuban minutes
    Can get lost in the fog
    Life's a test, just do your best
    Like a three-legged dog

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  24. #174
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Speaking for myself only, yes I am familiar. As I am with the Dave Kerzner Band, Sound of Contact, your work with Simon Collins on U-Catastrophe, your ties back to Kevin Gilbert, and so on. Our respective bands shared the Sunday bill at Progday 2017, in fact we sat roughly 5 feet away from one another under the tent prior to and after your set (we were first prior to your arrival that day so it's understandable that you wouldn't remember and/or engage me in conversation). I also saw your bandmate Fernando's other project the following Progday.

    I totally get the value of a label behind a band/product. If by some insane miracle of fractured reality I found myself being courted by a label, that marketing access would probably be the main thing that would interest me. And before I agreed to anything, the first thing I'd like to do is get a clear overview of said marketing plan. Unless told otherwise I'd assume that all the costs of marketing would be recouped from my royalties; unless I felt confident that a label could deliver a successful marketing campaign, I'm not sure I would sign the deal.

    But the flip side is what I was probably talking about more: the label as a for-profit entity, spending $$ to release a product by a band. Maybe I'm overly cynical, but I can't imagine they would do that unless they were confident in their ROI.

    Perhaps the mistake is ours, assuming that we were the intended audience by and large, rather than something more supplemental. If so, then it's not unreasonable to wonder who IS the intended audience.

    I think that's still the root of my disconnect and I 100% respect that you may not be in a position to speak to that. So I may simply be in rhetorical question territory here. Despite any perceived criticisms I certainly don't wish the band to fail or be a disaster for anyone involved.
    That's cool! Ah that was fun that Prog Day. I miss festivals and live shows. Shame we didn't get a chance to chat then. But, anyway, to your point... yeah I need to be respectful and not get too specific about things as you might expect. However, I do like to talk about the music industry in general and I think it's important. I've had record deals and I've done things completely on my own and I've also seen other artists with record deals and... well, you mentioned Kevin Gilbert so you know he has a whole rock opera about the music industry! He told me most of the stories that were the "inspiration" behind it and some of it you just can't believe! But, to protect the innocent... we won't mention any details! Haha.

    However, I will say this. If you can get a record deal with money being put behind your music you're lucky as that's not the easiest thing in the first place as most musicians know. Then, you're even luckier if your opinion as asked for in the marketing department or even part of the deal negotiating process!!! This whole "Well, I want to know how you're gonna market it" conversation doesn't even exist much of the time! Haha. I mean, you'd have to mean big $$$ to them to wield that kind of power and even then... there's a whole machine and each person has a job. The marketing people don't want to be told how to do marketing any more than the musicians want to be told how to make the music... generally speaking of course. There are exceptions and the BEST situations were whenever artists, producers, A&R and other teams on a label are in total sync and harmony with no disconnects. It just all lines up. Well, that really is nice but with more people involved there's more of a chance of things getting confused or watered down or contradictory etc.

    Now, another thing in general is that as great as it may seem to be on a label, you do get less money than putting an album out yourself. So, for any of my fellow musicians reading this, a record deal does not necessarily equal more money. I had one deal where an album sold 4 times as much as an album on my own Indy label yet the band/artist made 4 times as much per unit. It was about even except that there was more room to sell as much as the other label album and could then make 4 times as much money without a label... the catch 22 is that a label can not only reach that larger audience but their team of people, as critical as we all can be of any of them, often make more sales from whatever smoke and mirrors Prog and Pony Show (like that? Hahaha. A little Prog humor for ya) they do.

  25. #175
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    ^ Suids, I'll probably wait for the next Bandcamp Friday and go in for the 4 CD edition, pricey tho' it is. I've bookmarked it with my other Bandcamp "watch" items. And yes, physical copy all the way.
    Thanks. The 15% off should work then too although I don't think they're doing another one until February.

    The 4 CD bundle has some nice stuff in it and the price is actually not that bad for what it is. Live albums are as much work as studio albums but sell a lot less for one thing. But, when you break it down per CD it's less than they'd sell for individually etc. Plus there's some bonus swag involved too. You'll see!
    Last edited by Squids; 12-16-2020 at 03:06 PM.

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