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09/27/2012

The Limousines Request $30k in Kickstarter Campaign, Receive $75k in Pledges

The Limousines' Campaign Video for Hush

The Limousines recently ran a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to record and release their second album Hush. Requesting $30,000, 1767 backers came through with pledges of $75,808.

Their pitch video, shown above, as well as the text description on Kickstarter makes it clear that they're asking for the basic amount they need but that they'll be able to do much more if they get more. They describe what they would use additional funds for without becoming overly detailed. They then go on to describe why they don't want to sign another record deal and how they want to do things in the future. And they do it while big upping their fans and staying positive.

Their video is entertaining and humorous. It doesn't get bogged down in details or rhetoric while communicating quite a bit.

In addition, their campaign rewards are well thought out from special digital goodies for those who pledge $2 to limited edition tees at $50 (along with a copy of the album) to all sorts of interesting rewards at higher tiers many of which are one of a kind. For example, one of the $500 rewards is titled the "ZOMBIE KILLER PACK" that includes a leather jacket worn in a music video plus other cool prizes.

Every aspect of this campaign is well thought out and definitely an example worth considering when you're thinking through your own campaign.

Eric Victorino seems to handle the talking job for the band and he discussed why they took the crowdfunding route in a recent interview:

"I have just learned as I've gotten older that nobody is ever going to be as passionate about my art and my ideas than I am. That leads to the next logical step, which is to seize control over my art, not to hand it over to someone who doesn't care about it like I do..."

"[We are] people who can only be happy when we're making art – it's the process that gets us off and we're tired of having people fuck with our process. That's what this Kickstarter campaign is all about. I have seen some people comment that it looks desperate or needy when a band does a crowdfunding project for their album – I don't think it's desperate, I think it's honest, I think it's ballsy, I think it's a hell of a lot easier to pick up the phone when these label people call and say, "Okay, I dunno what all that fine print says but I wanna be signed" and just give away control of this huge part of your life..."

"Now, since I've been signed to a few labels in my career, and I know it's not the route I want to take again – should I just say, fuck it, I guess I'll go find a job and just kinda make music as a hobby, since I don't want to be a professional musician? No. I am a professional musician. I can stand up in front of a crowd of 15 thousand people and entertain them for an hour. I'm good at that. It's what I love to do with my hours. The music business is fucked up, but I'm not going to treat my art like a hobby just because I don't want to play by their rules anymore. I'm going to find another way to get exactly what I want to do done." 

"I think there's nothing more natural and obvious in the progression of the business than bands getting closer to their fans and treating them like partners, cutting out the middle man. Bands need two things to stick around; a desire to make music and fans who give them the love and support they need to make it all feel worth it."

"I don't know how many hours I have left on this planet. To me, they're priceless. So I'm gonna find whatever way that works so I can be free to make what I want and to be proud of myself."

Big ups to The Limousines and their fans for a job well done!

Note: Eric Victorino was also interviewed by Matt De Mello. It's a really sad example of a hostile interviewer who seem to neither understand the realities of the music industry or the shift in power brought by crowdfunding. Victorino responds strongly and well but ultimately it's a waste of his time and I hate to see that happen.

I had considered including it in a post I'm working on about criticisms and misconceptions of crowdfunding but glancing over it in consideration for this post just turned my stomach. De Mello is clearly not worth your time or mine.


Crowdfunding For Musicians is authored by Clyde Smith (@crowdfundingm).