(on facebook? go to www.joshuavt.com for the full post)
If I were releasing a single, it would be this tune. it’s called Double Tooth, featuring –
Burke Carroll on pedal steel, Bret Higgins on acoustic bass, Robbie Grunwald on fender rhodes, and myself on electronics, acoustic guitar, drums, and percussion. I wrote it for my dog, Samwise Gamgee.
So my new record is mixed and going to be delivered to be mastered this week. This is a good thing, right? I’ve been working the past couple months on it, listened to it hundred of times, freaked out over it, pulled my hairs out over it wondering if it’s good enough at all for any type of human consumption, so you’d assume that I’d be ecstatic that it’s done. The problem as I discovered today is that now is when the real work begins.
To me, the fun part of about recording is recording. I get do things at the pace I want them to happen at, and I get to see immediate results. The pressure is relatively low if I’m by myself, so I can feel free to experiment and push and pull sounds until I feel like I have something interesting. The next steps in the process of making a physical album is nothing like that unfortunately, and for me especially it’s where it gets expensive.
When I started recording this music I knew that the end goal was for once to release something physical and tangible, either on vinyl or cd form. I love to buy records, and I buy a lot of them. It’s been a real dream of mine to have one of my own in my hand, and to maybe have another human feel the same excitement I feel when opening up a freshly bought album, putting it on the player for the first time, and hearing that 2 seconds or so of silence before the first tune comes on. Anticipation is actually a pretty great thing (unless you’re waiting for a tax refund cheque during a rolling postal strike, then it’s terrible and useless). So, now I’m ready to take the leap into the plastic disc world, and there’s a few hurdles to get over.
1) Doing vinyl is prohibitively expensive. For a guy like me with no label assistance and completely self funded, making instrumental electro folk, I have very little chance of ever recouping the costs of manufacturing a record in the black 12″ disc sense. It means getting a mastering job of the album done specifically for vinyl, getting all your layout and art work done specifically for the record sleeve. All of this = not cheap.
2) Getting 1000 cd’s printed is a little excessive for me. Let’s face reality – I doubt I’ll ever tour with this music. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s again the pricey reality of what kind of world I make music in. There’s not a lot of clubs in northern Ontario that would be into my style. (Believe me, I’ve played them, and they don’t like much of anything actually. Except ACDC, they love ACDC) I‘ll definitely do some form of cd release party, but if even 500 people came to the show I’d probably have a heart attack and all this would be in vain anyway. The problem with small run stuff and why people don’t do it as much is because it’s still an expensive process. You’re looking at an average of about $500 to get even 200 cds done, and that’s without taking into account your art work and layout costs.
Anyway, I’ll stop this post now because I don’t mean to sound whiny about the process, I’m just explaining it a little for those who don’t know what kind of work goes into making a cd. Regardless if it’ll sell at all and if people just download your music anyway, it still takes money to make, and a lot of it. Speaking of downloads, bandcamp is completely awesome and I love it.