So wow, it's been busy.
First off, Alter Ego comes out August 5. Much time and preparation has gone into the eventual release of our debut EP. Many of you have heard the music and seem to know the lyrics better than I do, so we owed it to all of you to get our asses in the studio and provide a produced, official album. We have always said that we would prefer to put our time and effort into playing live than recording and releasing albums....if we had to choose between the two, that is. Lo and behold, Covid-19 forced our hand in this direction. All venues closed, all gigs cancelled. Might as well get that album out there.
Releasing an album in the midst of a pandemic....Who would have thought? You know, they don't make a rule book for this type of situation. They don't tell you how to record an album whilst maintaining social distancing even in the control room. They don't tell you how to find creative ways to sell merch and interact with fans when you cannot play in front of them personally or interact with them personally. So now, we live on social media....a place I would never have imagined being the primary method of interacting with fans.
We are proud to be an independent band. Normally, if a band was signed into a record label, they would record and wait. The sales, marketing and PR machine of the record label would spin into gear and begin the pre-release process. Without the label, these are the hats we now must wear...and some hats fit better than others.
Distribution...It would appear that we simply upload the files to a distribution service and watch the streaming revenue roll in. They say that tens of thousands of songs are uploaded to streaming services every day, so that system doesn't work without some serious supporting labor. We are reaching out to our existing fans as well as social media influencers to launch a PR blast on release day to drive new and existing fans to the streaming platform to listen to our new album. That spike in activity (if planned and executed well) will then spin up the streaming site algorithm, which will move our music into playlists that would gain more streams. It's a much more complicated system than we at first imagined.
PR and social media....Long gone are the days of walking the streets and selling CDs. A percentage of new cars don't even have CD players anymore. With the exception of the novelty-driven return of vinyl (which is too pricey and impractical for us at this stage), there are virtually no tangible methods of getting the music out. Many fans still love CDs and want them. If nothing else, a CD is a tangible item that the band can autograph. So the merch steps up to the plate. We are making a limited edition white Khallus T-shirt to commemorate the album release that we will only sell this July and August. This has been very well received. I must admit, our fans have been amazing. They have really supported us with donations and merch sales. This is so humbling for a band that hasn't even officially dropped it's first album yet.
Airtime and exposure...Now, as we prepare for album release, we work on airtime and media exposure. Where we would once pitch the local radio stations and local newspapers, we now get to navigate the tens of thousands of internet radio stations and countless music blogs and podcasts. In Bake Sale I sing "Disorder, insanity. It is the very air that I breathe". In all honesty, I have to admit sometimes I choke on it more than I breathe it.
Nonetheless...This has been such an amazing, adrenaline-filled and oft-times horrifying experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.
Let's see where this thing takes us and thanks for jumping on board!