LIKE BFF AND BECOME A VP
After more than a decade Ben Folds Five are releasing a new album and, as you might expect from these guys, they’re doing things very differently. Taking social media in its stride the band has put out a Facebook appeal to its fans to make a “pledge” towards the creation of the album–we’re talking presales, in other words–as a means to fund the project. You can pledge to buy lots of stuff like the entire works as a download, a CD, a signed CD (an extra ten bucks), vinyl releases, tee-shirts and combinations of all the above. It’s not an empty promise and the lads have been busy in the studio. An “unmastered” version of a single called Do It Anyway from the album can be downloaded for free or you can hear it on Soundcloud. No surprise, by the way, that there isn’t a recognised record company in sight. BFF are doing this all themselves and asking the fans to change the way music is released. They are also careful to leave an escape route open stating it’s “a work in progress” and that they may “change course when necessary”, but fair enough–who wouldn’t slip in some fine-print on a venture like this? There is an added incentive that if you exchange social links with the BFF Facebook you’re automatically made a Vice President of Promotions. Sounds cool, however we suspect the salary package may be disappointing.
So far it all seems to be working brilliantly with a whopping 183% of the pledge target being reached and some of the items up for grabs pre-sold out (if there is such a thing). Does this mean BFF will chuck in a few extra songs? Good question. If you’re an indie band and this revolutionary new approach to making music looks like the answer to all your problems you should know that BFF have a very healthy fan base to start with. They didn’t have to reach out too far.
A lot of people from both sides of the studio mixing console will be watching the success of this project closely. A lot of emerging bands with a good-sized following will be watching as well. And AT will, too.
We’ll keep you posted.