Go Fund Yourself

The newest trend in revenue sourcing for a new generation. You.

Wanna know what chaps my hide? Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, Indie Go Go and all of those crowdfunding campaigns that give the average joe a sense of entitlement to other people’s money. Now, before I start pissing people off, I will say this. I’ve seen and donated to many kickstarter campaigns that I think were really legit. A kid needs a kidney? Donate! A family in need at Christmas? Donate! A high school student with a chance to compete in something internationally? BY ALL MEANS DONATE!! Wanna presale a vinyl that costs a ton of money to print? Great idea! Sometimes, people come upon really neat opportunities and they NEED a little extra push from folks who believe in their art. Notice I said “NEED”.

Wanna know what you don’t need? You don’t need $10,000 to make a record. You don’t need me to pay for the growth of your hobby or your experience and you don’t need other people’s money to set and achieve realistic goals. Need a record? Find an engineer who believes in you and your art. Your brother-in-law is a graphic designer right? Your bass player takes decent photos and your neighbor illustrates for a living, right? My point is, if your product is good enough and you’re nice enough to people, you can find other like minded individuals who probably aren’t making a bunch of money at their art either. Chances are they have some time on their hands to help out a friend with good music. I’m not talking working for free. I’m talking about avoiding the high prices of commercial studios. Wanna know why? A dude with rent, electricity, investors and expensive equipment to pay for is not what makes a great record. Talented people make great records. Some of the best albums ever were recorded at home, in bedrooms or kitchens. (thats a whole other subject for another blog).

Want to tour? Play shitty shows in your region that you can afford to travel to. Play those places until you have a following that allows you to request a higher payday. Then take that money and drive a little farther next time. Build your following there in the next city. Be the next big local band in every community within an 8 hour drive. It costs very little. Don’t beg for money from people to make your pipedream almost come true, do it yourself.

Need a tour ride? Throw a fundraiser or hold a raffle. If you’ve been good to people, they will donate an evening to help you DO SOMETHING to accomplish your dreams. WORK! PLAN! ACTION! Don’t just log in to a site and panhandle the information superhighway.

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen bands ask for ridiculous amounts of money to record an album and a year later, they’ve broken up. With the ability to play music, also comes an ego that sometimes sports a cloak of entitlement. Just don’t let that ego speak so loud that you forget to labor after your dream. Dreams handed to you through crowdfunding are not nearly as satisfying as dreams acquired through hard work and uncertainty.

Moral of the story? Work hard, make good music, stay busy, treat people right and fund yourself. If you do that, chances are you can eat and make ends meet while playing music. Don’t go asking the general public to fund your dream, because you can only ask once. Don’t waste that chance on your first album in your first gigging band. Remember that you’re probably never going to be famous. You can however, enjoy the life you want while creating your art. Do it smart and on your own dime, because my facespace newsfeed is getting out of hand. -Jody Hendrix, Little Class Records

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