We’re getting close to the end of our Kickstarter Campaign - just over 5 days left!! I still don’t know which way this thing is gonna go, but I’ve got a good feeling. The experience has been totally exhilarating, and also humbling in a way I didn’t really anticipate. It’s got me thinking a lot, writing a lot, reading a lot, feeling alive.
I came across an interview with a musician I admire named John Maus recently, and was struck by this quote:
“I hope I always make music, and I plan on doing that. But I also plan on getting a regular job. Maybe this is blasphemy to say, but I feel like [music] is not meant to be something that earning your keep depends on because it cheapens it and it will force you into making decisions in the interest of earning your keep, as opposed to the interest of the thing itself. And that’s a bad position to be in. It seems to me that the best work I’ve done— and maybe this is something other people can identify with— was because it was an end in itself. It was something other than making ends meet, it was an escape from all that.”
We’re at an interesting point culturally where paradigms are shifting. I try to stay in a mindset where an artist’s value is determined by what they have to say, as opposed to how much revenue they generate. I wrote a pretty long essay a few months back about my experience in regards to the digital revolution, filesharing, etc. You can find here if you’d like. It’s always been the give and take and the sharing of music with our audience that has motivated me. If we were only doing this for ourselves I may have lost interest, and we certainly wouldn’t have found the confidence to pull off the things we’ve been able to. We’re all driven by a basic human desire to feel like the work we do is of value. With that said - at the end of the day, the process of making music is it’s own reward.
Last week I hit a point of overload with all the political rhetoric going back and forth on the radio/television/internet and I blurted out, in the form of a status update:
“Forget politics, only art can save you.”
In some ways I was being dramatic. It was a sort of an idealistic, Lloyd Dobler boombox-over-the-head kind of moment. It was only after I said it that I even realized I believed it to be true. A few days passed and it started to feel even more powerful - like a new guiding principle I could base my whole life upon.
What I love about Kickstarter is how it simplifies the equation. It’s part of a new way for artists to exist and thrive in the world. In our case, it’s all about the music, and the specific thing that we’re creating - a record. In this, we’re keeping the culture of what we do alive, so we can enjoy it together as a community. As artists, your support shows us that what we’re doing is meaningful. Kickstarter a model for an artist-patron relationship where we don’t need to compromise what we’re doing creatively. In that sense, it’s thrilling.