Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Industry interest?

So, the buzz in the band over the past few days has been about a possible connection we made at SXSW. A Nashville-based label whom Matt and I (mostly Matt, bless his heart) chatted up wrote us an email saying he listened and liked what he heard. He has now made phone contact, and Matt spoke with the owner today at length, then briefed me after my class.

The whole deal sounds vaguely familiar, with a few twists. Essentially, this guy is willing to work on our next formal record -- most likely funding it for a return of costs and a cut, while shopping it, or allowing us to fund it and getting the project and its product into the right hands. Funding it ourselves would be astronomically expensive, but possibly doable. Regardless, we aren't at the phase to make LP2 just yet. So, this guy's company is just a good contact for now, and a resource for later. Last year, we had a similar offer from someone who wanted to have a role in putting together the album, distributing, etc. This sounds like the same sort of thing, with more money, more contacts, and more upside in general. So, it's a good contact, but just not something for us to use right now. We aren't talking about "signing" to a label, but instead just working together on the next project, probably in Nashville, and seeing what comes of it. Or maybe we won't do it at all.

The truth of the matter is that while this guy likes the record, he doesn't love the record. Fair enough. We know we're not at the stage to floor people just yet. But when they tell you they hear enormous potential, that's the money phrase. I, too, feel like we have a lot of good things in store, and like our current work isn't even close to our best work to come. Which isn't to demean the last two albums -- they are solid jumping-off pieces. Besides, we're not ready to be confined to a label yet, unless it's a really sweet deal, because we'd like to maintain control as we're still carving out our "sound." So, for now, we just keep doing what we're doing.

Matt and I spoke for 35 minutes and talked about the direction of the group over our next few steps. As I wrote in my Boston.com blog, we had a length discussion in Austin over touring and decided that we should test the waters first. So, first things first, I'm going to finish school and the band will stay busy until then, playing the Rumble, a couple prominent shows, taking a month or so off to work on new material, etc. When I'm out of school, the idea is to hit the road in smaller doses at first -- maybe a couple weeks in the fall -- but mostly, keep building in Boston and writing fresh material. In the winter, we'd like to do a larger tour, maybe the entire east coast, backed by radio promotion through a company we're working with right now. Then, for the first part of 2008, back to Boston for a bit, before a little bit more touring surrounding SXSW next year. And that takes us through the next 12 months.

After SXSW 2008, we should be playing tight as hell and have a firm grasp on what songs are working and what aren't, therefore, we'll be ready to record LP2. The band has discussed doing pet projects in the meantime to test out material, which I've got some awesome ideas for, but we don't want to do another formal, money-hogger for awhile. When the time comes, probably about this time next year, I think we'll be ready to call this industry contact back. But who knows what could happen in the meantime?

We'll just keep doing what we're doing and work ourselves into a touring groove as much as we can. The main thing for now is to keep improving and keep our eyes on the prize, whatever that may be.

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