Issue 29, Volume 85
Jan. 30, 2013
Street Finished with bottom line obsessed record labels who seemingly don’t care about music, Whitby, Ont.’s Protest the Hero dropped their label to appeal directly to their fans.
Fortunately for Protest the Hero, online crowd sourcing turned out to be the best course of action and the band has already raised over double their $125,000 goal with over two weeks left of their 30-day IndieGoGo campaign.
Lead singer Rody Walker said the biggest problem of traditional record labels is the general apathy that exists inside at the label.
“You’ll find people that are very enthusiastic and love the music they’re in, but they’re few-and-far between, despite what they’ll have you think. It’s very easy to get pushed aside and overlooked when you’re on a label.”
While IndieGoGo proved to be hugely successful for the band, bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi said they opted to fan fund their next album because of a deep-rooted frustration with record labels.
“We’re absolutely blown away by the success of the campaign and we’re kind of slapping ourselves,” said Mirabdolbaghi. “Why did we mess around playing bedfellows with labels for the last I0 years anyways?”
“When was the last time you met someone who worked at Burger King and was very passionate about burgers?” questioned Mirabdolbaghi. “The fact of the matter is, when it’s your job, you kind of don’t give a fuck about it. Our band is about servicing kids. Our audience cares about our music and our career way more than an office full of people.”
Their kids cared so much that 15 hours after launching the campaign, the band posted that they had already reached 88 per cent of their fundraising goal.
By the end of the first week, they were named ‘campaign of the day’ by IndieGoGo. The group credits their success to their fans and creative pledge incentives may have driven the campaign viral, garnering 6,200 supporters by Monday night.
While the entry level offers were common— $10 for a digital download of the LP,
$45 for a signed limited-edition vinyl— the fans with deeper pockets receive more intimate rewards. Supporters pledging $1,250 lands a pizza party with free friends at guitarist Tim Milar’s house in Toronto, complete with sleeping quarters in the
guest bedroom. For $5,000, the boys promise to include the fan and a friend on guest vocals or instrumentation on the album.
While the new album won t flow one set concept, from a musical standpoint, Mirabdolbaghi explained that it would be faster and a touch more aggressive.
“I think that it’s avoiding some of the pitfalls and clichés of our genre. It’s an effort towards making a truly progressive rock or progressive metal album in the sense that it doesn’t fall into as many idioms as maybe some of our contemporaries.”
“We’ve tried to be honest with ourselves,” said Walker. “If we wrote something that sucked, being fairly transparent and saying, ‘Guys that sucked, let’s go try it again,’ until we hash out the ideas enough that it’s `something halfway servable.”
Jon Liedtke was the Features and Opinions Editor, Advertising Manager and Deficit Consultant at the UWindsor Lance.