Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Trent Reznor said:
Forget thinking you are going to make any real money from record sales. Make your record cheaply (but great) and GIVE IT AWAY. As an artist you want as many people as possible to hear your work. Word of mouth is the only true marketing that matters....
This brought about a thought.

Nowadays, musicians develop the album, record the album and tour the album. They avoid any leaking of the album until the time the record hits the shelves. U2, to name one I can recall, has worked hard to keep leaked tracks off YouTube.

But that isn't the only way. I recently watched a documentary on the making of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and before the recording, when it was still called Eclipse, they toured on it. I am sure that certain people in the know had and played recordings of the songs before they were officially released. Certainly that familiarity with the material and audience reaction helped in recording and editing of what has proven to be one of the greatest selling albums of all time.

So, what happens if you develop the songs, the overarching suite, and never go into the studio and record it? Release the soundboard recording of this part when you think you have it down, then another piece from another when you like that. Maybe go back to the first one if you play it well again.

I dunno. I'm just spitballing. Does this make any sense?

1 comment:

Cameron Mizell said...

No, you're definitely on to something here.

My trio has been playing my new material for almost a year now, and when the gig is long enough we play the record start to finish. I have to admit that I was inspired by Pink Floyd when I started writing the music with a few overreaching themes that occur throughout the album. I'm recording nearly every gig, collecting some of the best songs from the best sounding gigs, and plan on giving that away. Granted it's a jazz album, I still like the idea of people knowing the music and experiencing the development of the material. We're going to record the actual album in a studio in September.

And I somewhat disagree with Trent Reznor on the fact that you can't make any money from music sales. I think there are people out there that will still buy music, and if they're into what you're doing, it's just a matter of getting your music in front of them. It's possible. It's not easy and it doesn't happen overnight, but if you're in it for the long haul I think it's completely reasonable to expect to make money off your album if you keep the initial overhead costs low.