The Rising are a Irish country/rock group and the five-piece band are currently fundraising via PledgeMusic to try and raise funds so they can start work on their new album.
The campaign was launched by The Rising earlier this month and here they talk exclusively to us about their fundraising goals.
What made you decide to launch your pledge campaign?
After the experience of our first album and learning exactly what it costs to release and promote an album we knew that we wanted to find a way to get help. Being based in Northern Ireland we fall outside the boundaries for the likes of PRS grants and things like which are designed to help independent musicians with regards to funding. We had spoke about doing a pledge campaign for a while but it never seemed to stick as an idea. But then, we made the decision that if we could get fans to pre-order the album then we could generate advance sales which would allow us to pay for the costs of producing the physical product. We also knew that we really wanted to get the new album on vinyl so this pushed the costs of production up substantially. If we had have ran the pre-order through the likes of Amazon or other retailers we knew that we would lose a lot of the revenue generated in advance sales to distribution fees. So the primary reason of running a pledge campaign was to create a way for fans to pre-order the record which would allow us to get the revenue generated to pay for distribution. Another benefit of running the pledge campaign is that we can offer fans exclusive merchandise and one-off experiences that they cannot get anywhere else.
The money raised will go towards the making of your new album ‘Moving On’, what can fans expect from the LP?
We are super excited about this new album. It marks a real period of growth for us as a band. Firstly, from a song writing point of view we have grown so much, but also, this will be the first full length release featuring the new version of the band. We think there is something for everyone on this album from gentle ballads to uplifting pop-based song through to dance orientated tracks that pull influence from a more pop and dance world. It is a real mixed bag and that is something that we enjoy doing. Giving listeners a journey throughout the course of an album. We have also had the opportunity to work with some great musicians in Nashville this time adding instruments we always wanted to add but could not find anywhere. Such as the pedal steel guitar which features heavily. The writing also brings a much more personal feel to this album. The first album dealt with themes such as politics and involved the use of a lot of metaphor. However, this album deals more with personal relationships and things that have happened to each band member. The struggles, strains as well as the joy and pain each member has gone through. So that is why we decided to call the album ‘Moving On’, because the overriding theme of this album is no matter what we may go through we will keep moving on. It also was a perfect title because it signalled a new beginning for the band.
Fans who pledge will receive a signed copy before anyone else, is there anything else you are offering?
Yes, we are offering fans lots of exclusive merchandise and one off experiences. One off experiences include the opportunity to have us record a song of your choice or indeed one of your own songs as acoustic or full band sessions. We are also offering the chance to have your name on the artwork as well as an executive producer credit Other exclusives include things like handwritten lyric sheets, studio notes as well as handmade making of the album books containing photographs and the story of the album. These items will all be made by hand by the band and as such are super limited in quantity. The thing we are most excited about as a band however, is the chance to have our new album on vinyl. It has been a lifelong dream to have our album on vinyl with the big artwork. As a result we are offering fans who order the vinyl an exclusive merchandise bundle. This will includes things such as tour plectrums, badges, stickers and even used drum sticks.
The Pledge has been launched because you don’t have the backing of a major label, are you actively looking to be signed to a label?
Yes, we are actively seeking the support of a major label. Not because you ‘need’ to be signed these days, but purely to help with the financial side and of course, the promotional power that comes from being on a major label. Record labels are now really just glorified bank loans, they pump a load of money into an act in the hope that they make their investment back. If they don’t then they will drop that act and move on. They then hold onto your publishing and other such assets in order to re-coup the costs they initially invested. Our dream would be to keep our own imprint label that we are currently on and license the recordings we make to a major. That way we can still retain our DIY ethos and creative control. We would also own the product, which saves the label money and in return the label helps with the promotion, costs of touring.
Being independent do you feel the pressure to pay for your studio time, promotion etc?
Yes, it is one of the toughest things about being an independent artist today. A lot of people think that there is a lot more avenues to get music out there due to social media and platforms like YouTube etc. But in reality, its now harder to rise above the noise. Everyone is using those platforms so it is now more important than ever to promote the music effectively to create a buzz and attention around your music. Promotion is generally the most expensive part of the music business and it is even more difficult because you are paying so many people. Typically an album launch will involve radio and press pluggers. But as expected, it is very rare to get these services as a one-stop-shop. So you get national and regional pluggers. So straight away your paying for four different companies to promote your release before you can even release any music. The costs associated with this are extremely high, with campaigns starting around £10,000 and upwards. That is just factoring in radio and press plugging, not to mention TV and online pluggers. The big kicker with all this is, once you pay out large amounts of your own money to all of these services they come with no guarantee of any coverage. So for example, you could pay a radio plugger £6,000 for a campaign and get no actual radio play. They still get their money and you have zero comeback on that. It is all part of the big risk. You then factor in the cost of recording, mixing and mastering and you need to have very deep pockets. Add to this the cost of producing physical product. A run of 1000 CD’s will roughly cost about £900. A run of 250 vinyls will cost you around £1200. So to release an album and promote it effectively you are looking somewhere in the region of £30,000 plus for a basic campaign. This is the side that most people do not see or realise. Especially when you see so many people illegally downloading. It is OK for major bands because they have other revenue streams. But for independent bands they need all the support they can get to continue on working as a band. This is why we launched the pledge campaign, to try and lighten the financial stresses of releasing new music. As most independent bands rarely recoup the costs they spent promoting a record.
What is your overall target of your Pledge fundraising?
We hope to raise £2,000 as part of the pledge campaign. This is a drop in the ocean of what the release is going to cost. But we are hoping to raise the money to pay for the pressing of the physical product i.e. CD’s and Vinyl. So we thought offering fans the chance to pre-order would mean that we would have the money in place to pay for pressing the physical products.
For more details on The Rising’s pledge campaign and how to get involved head over to PledgeMusic.
Make sure you keep up to date with all the latest music and tour news from The Rising by following them on Twitter @TheRisingMusic.
Did you enjoy our exclusive interview with The Rising? Are you planning on donating to their fundraising campaign? Let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix.