Sellaband, What Will 2010 Bring?


As an early and optimistic supporter of Sellaband, I feel confident in saying that I am not alone in wishing a successful and prosperous 2010 to the company and all of my friends, both virtual and physical, associated with the Dutch crowd-sourcing music website. That said, the past year has brought changes in policy and implementation which move me to express concerns of a nature less than positive for the first time since I became a supporter, not only of the concept itself, but of many aspiring artists on the platform.

Phil Sommersby

Phil Sommersby

On a positive note, there are two sub-organizations on the website which I support and admire very much. The Dream Team is a group of individual artists organized under the benevolent mentoring of Phil Sommersby. My good friend Phil offers artists the wisdom gleaned from his years in business outside of the music industry. His “out of the box” thinking has proven to be a valuable resource to up and coming artists mired in the old school solutions to new wave problems. Marketing and promotion in the music industry is changing at light speed and Phil’s common sense solutions, positivity and sense of old fashioned perseverance have built a successful track record as no less than five Dreamteamsters  have secured Sellaband recording budgets during 2009. Regardless of changes in policy, members of The Dream Team continue to use the platform to serve their purposes, maintain a positive outlook and reap the rewards of Phil’s sensible eye over their shoulders.

collaboration proj

collaboration proj

The Collaboration Project, under the watchful eye of composer/producer Casper Van Vulpen, is having mixed success in financial terms but if it is indeed “all about the music,” then this project is the Viagra of Sellaband. Most users of the boner-inducing “vitamin V” are not aware that it was first developed for use in treating blood pressure deficiency. In much the same way, The Collaboration Project began as a collaborative effort to raise funding for a compilation album of Sellaband artists but has morphed into a clearing house for side projects which are turning out collaborative songs and productions by artists, writers and producers from all over the ever shrinking virtual world. The latest effort includes songs written by Monica Thomas, Mark Payne, aka Dreb Hacklett of Sheet Metal, Casper Van Vulpen, Kostek Andreev and Lille Mulder and will be available worldwide this spring. Members of The Collaboration Project have joined forces in developing quite an effective production team and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a successful move toward establishing this team as an option for other Sellaband artists who may think that name producers working at a fraction of their normal fees can insure success. These guys are serious.

On the flip side of Sellaband’s 2009, there are three developments which I have found to be potentially disastrous and which only the loyalty of the old guard believers can overcome if Sellaband is to continue to become an important force in the evolution of the music industry. In no order of importance, they are:

1. The look, construction and functionality of the website. The SAB forums document the disaster and subsequent fixes that have resulted in the present incarnation. Many security issues have been satisfactorily addressed and functionality restored but as the proverbial bell cannot be unrung, the damage to Sellaband’s integrity as a commerce site could well be beyond estimation. Navigation through the site is less than intuitive, searching for new music is on a par with browsing through un-alphabetized record bins and buying the music produced by Sellaband is nearly impossible for first time visitors to the site. While Sellaband’s initial priority is to sell parts in future productions, it seems absurd that albums produced by Sellaband artists are nearly invisible and difficult to buy. Yes, there have been answers to these issues but with all due respect to the tech team working hard to make sense of it all, the answers haven’t made complete sense in the real world and Sellaband has not served their own artists as well as they might or should.

2. The new terms and conditions which allow for customized budgetary goals. It used to be a simple plan for artists…post some demos, bring your homegrown support system to the site to get things rolling, sell 5000 parts and boom, you’re in a real studio to live out your dream of making an album with the support of experts in the field. It seems that Sellaband has caved in to artists who believe it can all be done otherwise. Of course it is possible to produce something that sounds relatively like an album for a fraction of what once was a recording budget. But that isn’t the point. The original point of it all was to put unknown or inexperienced artists in contact with people who had made records and were in a position to mentor and develop artists in the ways of producing music on a scale superior to the bedroom studio. But rather than hold fast to the idea of educating and developing talent, Sellaband now allows artists to produce music on the same scale and with the same inevitable results of the typical myspace offerings.

With a budget of $50,000 on the line, there is an understandable expectation of recording quality of even second tier songs. Under the current terms believers are asked to accept well-recorded but underdeveloped material, possible hits recorded in Garageband at Home Studio Inc. and everything between. While it is accepted that there are talented artists who can record great material at a high standard for a fraction of $50,000, it must also be understood that these are exceptions and perhaps Sellaband is not the place for them. Obliterating the original budgetary goal perhaps serves the purposes of a handful of artists but it is a mistake that lowers the standards for what can be expected by those who invest in artists they don’t personally know. And this brings me to what may be the biggest disappointment of 2009…

Maitreya

Maitreya

3. The ambassadorship of Chuck D. What was originally touted by Sellaband as a significant promotional inroad to the U.S. music buying public is fast turning into a public relations comedy of errors. One can almost hear the pies hitting the side of the building as Public Enemy’s ship floats motionless in the doldrums of believer apathy. Many thought that whistling Chuck D. on board would signal a turning point for artists like New Zealand Hip-Hopper Maitreya, Sellaband’s most viable artist of the genre to date. But instead of using the influence of a successful career and notoriety to help Sellaband or its artists, Chuck and Public enemy elbowed themselves up to the trough to get their own…establishing a goal five times the budget at the time and at a buy-in price of 250% the norm.

This tactic may have seemed like just the braggadocio needed to pique the interest of the American public but coinciding with the financial disaster that has befallen first America and then every international economy sucking at the teat of the U.S. financial industry, the direction taken by Public Enemy and sanctioned by Sellaband has done damage that will not be undone easily. When Babe Ruth pointed to the cheap seats and declared that the next pitch was ending up there, well, that’s exactly where the next pitch ended up and the episode served to further cement his legendary status. Unfortunately I don’t think that Public Enemy’s plan of attack nor Sellaband’s approval of it will do the same.

And so 2010 begins with unanswered questions, high hopes and hopefully some hard-earned lessons. To all the individuals who share my continued optimism in the promise Sellaband offers, I wish continued success, a hit song and many healthy, prosperous returns of the day. For those who disagree with my assessment, drop me a comment. and to those who have all the answers…get up off your asses and make something good happen. Happy New Year!

29 Responses to “Sellaband, What Will 2010 Bring?”

  • Great summary! I agree w/all of it….but that’s easy b/c you’re always right on! Best of 2010 to you! I’m looking forward to a full 2010 on the work front. See ya out there one of these days. xo

  • I guess I will try to prove what can be done with 20k US .. which in NZ is the sort of expenditure spent on recording a major signed artist …

    Certainly if I lived in the US or Europe .. I would never get away with it ..

    but here in the land of number 8 wire . things are different :)

    I shall be using http://www.alanjansson.com Im confident that this US platinum album credited producer, good friend and myself will turn out more than the moneys worth :) a great album.

    My sole aim is to bring my believers ROI !

    Happy New Year ..

    Aly :)

  • Pieps

    heya Pete , nice reading … I’ll do another posting later today ; it’s still early , and I first have to drink before posting 😉

    Happy New Year / Era , and HAVE FUN !!! yours Pieps :-)

  • Pieps

    Hi Bro :-) ,

    I just got a few beers , opened a bottle of wine , have two bottles of JJJ nearby … and a kingsize marihuana joint to be lit . Okay … for the subject “Sellaband” I may better take some LSD , before writing anything about it 😉 … but I’ll try to manage with some booze and pot .
    Let’s assume that it is all about the music . In theses software/internet times you can record at home , and in quite a good quality … and you can make collaborations with everybody over the whole world . There are no problems with distribution ; just open one or more Myspace and Reverbnation accounts , “allow downloads” , and let their servers burn :-) .
    But … theire seemed to be people that wanted a fysical CD recorded in a proffesional studio with a proffesional producer , you know ; the dinosauer way … and these things cost money 😛 .
    So there was Sellaband … to help unsigned/chanceless* Artists funding a CD . The story was that “you and the Artist are in busseniss together” … and the s*ckers that believed it were called Believers 😉 .
    And it became the same ballet again and again ; Artists promising the best CD you can imagine , the CD getting a little exposure in the local press , some CD’s got sold , and the average Return Of Investment on every $10 being a few cents . And quite some CD’s weren’t “the best CD you can imagine ” … I’ve heard out of tune singing … instruments that weren’t tuned properly , CD’s with no dynamics , and sounding like they were recorded in a bath room … and sure , also some good ones . But I don’t know any other record company with such a high percentage of “totaly shit productions” CD’s 😛 . – don’t be offended , Daddy loves you all ♥♥♥ –
    Well , I think we are ready with the “busseniss-model” aspect of Sellaband . And also with the expert thingy … you can be lucky 😉 .
    LOLOL , the Chuck D thingy … you wrote about it before : http://www.petestrobl.com/2009/03/maitreya-meet-chuck-d/ . Well ; it’s Sellaband … so in the end nothing happens … it doesn’t matter if it is Chick D or Arenafest , Amazone or the Orchard .. it all brought nothing at all 😛 .

    The community thingy is nice … though it sometimes looks like an on-line roleplay game … with knights and princesses , wolfs and trolls , a Team , a Pack and a Project 😉 . And it even has it’s own language ; Sellabandish … in wich everything is wonderful and marvelous … and ” so very much deserved ” [ have to change to whiskey MODUS now ] . Well I have always prefered people that kick my ass above folks kissing it … so I think a Sellaband Forum isn’t the place to be for me 😉 .

    It would be nice if some things really would happens on/for Sellaband in 2010 . But I’m afraid that it will be the same of the regular stuff ; promises , BIG ANOUNCEMENTS , a site update that will keep it off-line for at least a week , airplay on Eskimo radio for some Artists … the usual stuff .
    What the f*ck does it matter ; it’s all about the music .

    HAVE FUN !!! yours Pieps

  • MaWa

    I drink to this one :)

    See you in summer – when its nice and warm even in Europe :)

  • Pieps

    a little update … I just got a mail from a friend from the States , who read this blog , saying ;

    ” You know that Public Enemy is touring the US right now with no mention whatsoever of their SAB acquaintance. So they’re using SAB and not giving back even one iota. I find that hilarious! ”

    Time to withdraw all PE parts kiddos 😀 😀 😀

  • Sounds like you share many of my sentiments on the situation. Item 2 in particular strikes a chord, though I fear it looks at the situation from a more artistic point of view rather than the believer point of view which looks at least 10 times worse.

    Rather there is not only the question of quality at stake here, but even the question of _what_ you will actually receive.

    With one artist showing the “one CD per believer” icon but who is actually only offering a download or vinyl and another artist writing that their budget is for promotion, so what *exactly* do you get in this case (we know it must be a minimum of a download, but a download of what?) these are just a couple of examples of the many confusing and often crazy profiles out there, many of which violate Sellaband’s own fundraising T&C but which it seems they are not interested in policing to ensure at least a minimum standard and give potential believers at least _some_ confidence in what they are reading.

    Someone needs to pick up the ball and fast, because the place is just a disaster waiting to happen at the moment.

  • PS

    Thanks for your comment Lucretia and yes, we do agree on a lot. It is the lack of standards that I believe is most dangerous. Again, SAB was once in a position to mentor and develop artists in the ways of making music. Not every artist needs or wants this, granted. But if an inexperienced artist had the support of believers, that artist could conceivably pass through the SAB process and emerge as a better artist thanks to a project executed under professional conditions (whatever THAT is supposed to mean anymore).

    There is the appearance to most of us that have been here through all its morphings that SAB has surrendered to those artists that say “I can make an album for 5 thousand.” Well and good. So go ahead and do it! The SAB model was meant to make 50K albums and not 5K albums. I can put 20 dollar tires on my car but prefer the more expensive ones. And no matter how much I write on the tire manufacturer’s forum about how inexpensively I can shod my car, they are not going to change their pricing to accommodate me. They are in the business of selling hundred dollar tires.

    By dropping the ball in 1. lowering standards and 2. exiling artists who have completed projects, SAB has missed a chance at doing some really good things. If disaster is in the future than I trust it will be in the nature of evolution that some Phoenix will rise from the ashes to carry on…and on and on it will cycle.

    Thanks again,

    Pete

  • Pete,

    You and I have had some great and very cordial private conversations. One of which was disastrously interrupted by the last SAB website debacle. So I agree with that. You can’t undo a mistake like that. You have to deliver on something special and work to gain back trust.

    I agree that SAB can be a great place to learn. But I think it was mostly from the forum, and now most of the people who have something to offer seldom visit and contribute. This is Sellaband’s under-used and underdeveloped resource. I barely peek my head in these days, as I am making one of those $5000 albums you are dissing (funded elsewhere, however).

    I think your comments regarding selling the music on the SAB site is right on track also. I don’t think this will be a money maker by any means, but it is the principle: you are financing recordings; those recordings should be available in your site, duh.

    I have to disagree, however, with some of your assessment of the current changes.

    I start my argument with a few basic principles taken as givens: 1. There are various levels of success within the music industry. 2. We all see the side of the business we have experienced directly. 3. SAB is ultimately in business to make money. To do that they have to sell a product. They sell something, but that something isn’t music; It is fund raising. (In my opinion they could and should sell much more than that, but that is the basic commodity.)

    The have defined their niche in that they provide fundraising for musicians to record an album, a relatively small niche made even smaller when you consider the number of bands in a year who are able to raise 50,000.

    There is a problem with your analogy of the tire manufacturer. The fact is: very many manufacturers will offer products at various price points specifically to make the sale to people who only shop at that price point. (The music merchandise business has this business practice down very well, indeed).

    Alternately, manufacturers also buy other brand names to add to their product line so they can offer another price point without watering down the value of their original product. (Need I list the endless music merch examples?)

    However to continue your tire example not only do manufacturers need more price points (in tires usually set by how many miles a tire is good for) but they also need different sizes for all the different sizes of rims out on the road. One size does not fit all.

    SAB needed another product. They only had two price points: high and impossible. If you are manufacturing expensive luxury cars to be sold only to the richest people in the world, you can well afford to do this. The exclusivity is part of the appeal. But such exclusivity does not work in Sellaband’s favor.

    THE MISTAKE they made: (and it is not too late to correct it) is the free-for all in the terms. I could see this funding model work for small labels as well as indie bands, but SAB should still police the promises made. My plan, for example, is extremely do-able and I believe should be the model for 10K plans. Granted, it is tailored for a small touring band, but it is the market I know.

    There might be a place for a 10K hit single project (maybe like Poppy and the Jezebels), I just have no idea how to structure such a plan. I’ve never had a hit single. I’ve never seen the planning behind it. All I know about it is what I’ve read and people in the business have a way of explaining everything they did without giving you the key principles behind what they did. (I think it’s deliberate. No one gives away trade secrets on purpose.)

    Back to tires: smart manufactures will also look for contracts to supply tires for an auto manufacturer. This could be a biggy for SAB, and judging by the recent acts they’ve taken on as custom artists, it looks like they are trying to prove that they can do it. A few contracts to provide funding for all the acts on a several small record labels would be very nice indeed and a win-win for everyone.

    Anyway, my main problem with what you’ve said is that it is a very well established successful business practice to segment the market by price points and offer products at each price point. The problem is not with the principle, but with SAB’s implementation (which seems to be their problem in general).

    Cordially,
    Mark

  • Pieps

    What’s the difference between 5K flat tires and 50K flat tires ??? 😛

  • PS

    “What’s the difference between 5K flat tires and 50K flat tires ??? :P”

    Okay, you got me on that one…no, wait a minute, I got it, 45K?:-)

  • I agree 100% with Pieps comments as that is rare (usually it is only about 50%) I wanted to say it right off the bat.

    I have little to no hope of a decent website anytime in the near future. This will then be a BIG AREA TO OVERCOME. The chuck D ambassadorship really needs to end and do so quietly.

    In fact the only thing I see worthwhile is the community and even that only a small tiny part of the community. If SAB comes through this next decade it will be only due to the likes of TalentCast, 50k music mag, Knifelady, Bottom-End, etc. and even then SAB themselves can still shoot themselves in the foot and that will probably happen anyways.

    The model will survive that is obvious in soooo many ways. My worry though is that it will only survive as merely a donation basis rather then a fan participation basis. Oh well life goes on

  • We’ve probably stretched that metaphor as far as it will go but: people don’t buy flat tires.

    By the way, what do you think of my plan for a 10K album? It is still the only plan that comes close to delivering anykind of real return to investors. But, it is not based on “the big hit.” It is based on building a network of loyal fans.

    As a reminder you can find it at http://www.sellaband.com/grooveduke

    In a nutshell: 1 part = download, 2 parts = CD, 2 CDs for every part thereafter. Easy to explain: we offer to buy back the CDs as we need them.

  • @netvalar
    Fan participation is a complex issue. On the one hand the people most likely to have the enthusiasm and time to help artists out is a younger generation than the “average” Sellaband believer. On the other hand the people who are most happy to spend money without getting an instant reward fit the Sellaband age range. And the differing age ranges don’t necessarily like the same music, so the evolution you’re looking for is how to get those differing views of the whole to work together – that’s the only way I can see a fan participation model of the kind you’re looking for succeeding. While exceptions to these rules will obviously exist, I don’t think they’ll ever be enough to make the difference.

    Meanwhile I think we’re left watching Sellaband stumble round blindly and waiting to see which piece of furniture they trip over next while they try to work this out.

  • PS

    I am digging the discussion! First off @Aly and Grooveduke, Please don’t take my opinion regarding flexible budget goals as being a dis on artists. Artists are the only reason we are having this discussion and any artist with the stones to post work on the web for all to hear deserves respect…if not for the music then at least for the stones. When the music is such that a lot of folks like it, well then you’ve made the bonus round :-) So, no disrespect at all intended toward artists trying to make something happen according to the current terms.

    BUT, If I read correctly Aly, your project will include material already completed and therefore “off the books” as it were. So the flexibility of the budget terms allows you to build on a project in progress rather than starting from ground zero. A nice position to be in and a decided exception to the norm.

    Grooveduke, yes, as said (many times and by many people) it is always possible to do a project for less. BUT…what if the only SAB possibility were the original 50K? Would that end your career? I think not. I think that you are the type of guy who would find a way to make that work for you and although you would record down the timeline a bit, you would have a better product.

    The whole tire thing comes down to this. I actually sold tires for a year and was quite good at it. I learned that when I put $20 tires on a car that the customer was never going to be happy. Any little thing that went wrong with that car would bring him back complaining about those cheap tires. But the guy who bought $100 tires drove off confident and if his car started making funny noises he knew it couldn’t be the tires.

    So enough with the tire shit. The point is that if 50K were the only option then as an artist, you wouldn’t have reason to wonder if you gave it your best shot. If you are doing a 10K project and cutting corners just to get in under the wire, you might find that down the road a few years you might listen back and wonder what that vocal might have sounded like sung into a $10,000 mic in a real studio environment, recorded by a real engineer etc. etc. Who knows, maybe it doesn’t matter anymore. I just think SAB has opened the door for artists to sell themselves short of their potential through the impatience inherent in making it more important to achieve a lower goal than holding out for what could be your only shot at a great studio experience. Call me a hopeless romantic but I’d rather hang out in the studio than sing in the bathroom just to get it out there sooner :-)

  • Pete,

    The biggest problem with the argument of 50K being the only option brings us down to the wire of where that 50K is going to come from. Or perhaps let us move from tires to houses.

    There comes a point after you were born that you get plopped out into the big wide world. Whilst it might be a dream of yours to own that multi-million dollar mansion you saw on MTV, the reality is you’re going to go out and get yourself something a hell of a lot smaller to start with, or even worse start out renting.
    With time and effort you can work your way up the property ladder, but although possible (hey you could win the lottery) it’s unlikely you’ll make the move direct from that one bedroom rentable to the mansion I mentioned.

    So is demanding the 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom house really being impatient when it comes to heading for mansion territory? And likewise is taking a higher goal than 5K but a lower goal than the mansion-like 50K selling yourself short, or rather being realistic that whilst it might be attainable it’s something you ‘ve got to work up to?

    And after all, let’s not forget you’re not going to the bank to get a loan for this, nor are you looking to have the money saved. Rather you’re looking to have the fans willing to support you and http://whatever.scalzi.com/2008/03/12/the-nagging-details-about-1000-true-fans/ has got some rather interesting truths on that score.

  • actually fan participation really has no age limit. Thor who is in that age range does a GREAT job with the weekly statistics. We obviously can’t forget the knifelady’s blog. Both of those are participatory and both people are shall we say elderly.

    We could mention the family man Mario with 50k mag or even the group at Talentcast.

    Frank and sommersby who both give artists business advice are I believe at least a few years older then me. I actually would say most of the more active members in the forum participate to one degree or another. That is fan participation and yes the start of the evolution I want.

    However the more SAB screws things up the less these people want to do anything. So I poke and prod my way through. Oh and yes I do want more but that has to come from outside of SAB.

  • Thor

    Interesting discussions going on here.

    So, what about this analogy: Why should you produce tires at all, either $5k or $50k ones, if you later cannot use or sell them?

    Seriously, I agree that it wasn’t a smart move to allowe custom budgets. I expect it to introduce chaos! The believers don’t know any more what they will get, plans and incentives are unclear, and if not, they have to read them thoroughly at least. If I go to a tire shop, I want to get tires, and not a sandwich. (ahh.. good that the analogy wasn’t about fuel stations ;-).

    I’m not a musician, I don’t know if recordings for $50k will be really better quality than ones with a lower budget. So I’m curious about the CDs of Aly, Bonnie, CT… – will there be a difference an ordinary music listener would notice? Probably not, they will all record in a studio with a producer, and so it won’t be a home recording.

    About the “carreer steps” for artists, I would prefer the system Akamusic.fr is using: To have two (now three) realistic, but fixed projects, a Single/EP (€15k, 2-4 songs), a full Album (€50k) plus a newly introduced third €100k LP+ project for experienced artists who already made a full CD before. And the question may be allowed: Which of the $50k SAB artists made major improvements in their carreer after the album was released? Sometimes I wonder if the artists themselves were happy with what they reached, or if they expected more…

    Let’s be honest, the lowered goals were more or less only necessary because SAB didn’t grow enough. They always claimed that $50k is needed for an album, and now this suddenly isn’t valid any more?

    SAB should have done their housekeeping first, having a decent and usable website with the needed features, a community, and of course a visible shop for the artists who reached the goal, and last but not least they should have a customer care instead of driving away the customers. Yes, it’s a small niche SAB is living in, but why did they made their niche even smaller and smaller instead of moving to a 2- or 3-bedroom house over the last four years? Not literally, one of the first thing they did was moving to a bigger fancy office, even with a branch in London. The US-branch never opened though, I think. SAB is just a website, and I consider a simple fundraising platform (even for raising funds for almost anything) as a smaller niche than to provide a new kind of a (full-service) record company, like it has been (or been planned, at least) before.

    SAB simply doesn’t manage to use the potential, which should be there: I registered at Akamusic too, about 2 months ago. Within these two months, there have been (not exactly sure, their website doesn’t provide these information neither 😉 3 albums and 4 singles funded. And you have to keep in mind that they are more or less only a local platform, in french, mainly for France, plus the french-speaking parts of Belgium and Switzerland. Maybe it’s an advantage, to at least start locally and grow slowly? And it’s megalomania, hybris to start-up internationally?

    SAB is international, in English, and doesn’t even manage to get enough users/believers to fund 1 album/month? Even though $50k is “a little bit less” (as JohanV would put it) than €50k? But well, if SAB only sees the artists as their customers who should bring their believers, how can it work…

    About PE: The $250k (which they wanted to reach until the end of 2009, btw.) is another case of hybris. They (and Sellaband) obviously don’t have this potential. I would consider this project as failed, just the exit strategy (lowering the goal or the bail-out, suggested by MaWa) is missing.

    Okay, enough for now, it’s already way too long….

  • Comments about the music all being rubbish (aka “flat tyres”) is somewhat disingenuous – it’s all down to personal taste, so continually mouthing off about it is just mud slinging trolls.

    I’d say the idea to provide for lower targets ($10K, $15K, etc) was a good one. It’s true that this is partly because SAB hasn’t grown (fast) enough, but it’s also got to be true that a new Artist should be able to reach $10 reasonably fast. Producing something ‘good’ with that $10K should be a springboard to coming back for $15K or $20K. It just primes the pump.
    Perhaps the sub-$50K projects should be set levels and set incentives to simplify it for both Artists and Believers? Any Artist with some bespoke ideas could approach SAB for acceptance, and maybe any Bespoke plan could be highlighted on the website with some different background colour or something? Have a “rainbow” of set projects … hey ho … who knows!
    And I’m not saying SAB shouldn’t be pushing the SAB concept/brand more!

    The “Bespoke” targets (> $50K) is also a good idea for established Artists (whether they be returning SAB Artists or existing ones). This offers ‘real world’ budgets to big/bigger/biggest Artists and _should_ be a way for SAB to get more widely known – but if it’s true that PE are touring and NOT pushing their SAB Project then they seriously need a slap-up-side-the-head!

    Anyway … SAB has lasted longer than a lot of the doom-mongers suggested (wanted?) and I certainly hope it continues …

    Utt

  • Pieps

    Hi Folks :-) ,

    the bonus for smart questions/remarks goes to Groove Duke and Thor :
    1) We’ve probably stretched that metaphor as far as it will go but: people don’t buy flat tires.
    2) Why should you produce tires at all, either $5k or $50k ones, if you later cannot use or sell them?
    The last Sellaband CD I heard wasn’t even a tire … it was just a chunk of rubber . The worn out piano wasn’t tuned properly , and the goddamn thing kept on banging the whole CD :-( . Of course this Artist also promised to make “the best CD you can Imagine ” . Well … if that was ” the best CD you can imagine ” , I would suggest this Artist to quit music and get a waitress job 😛 .
    O wait I get it ; it’s Sellabandish . You know ; that strange language in wich anything can mean anything 😛 .
    For the budget thingy , I agree that more $$$ can buy you a better studio … but when you are not able to make a decent song , your ears are full of shit , and you don’t have any respect for what you are doing ( tune that f*cking piano !!! ) … no $$$ will help you to turn your sh*t into something you can call MUSIC .
    Artists are talking about Dreams , but IMHO it’s self absorbing pitty wishes 😛 . There’s an Artist I regulary speak , who always asks me : ” Don’t you think that it is possible that I will make a career in music ? ” , and my answer is always : ” No , of course not ” . Than this Artist starts with : ” But I think that it is possible . ” Me : ” Well , fine … but why do you ask my opinion ? ” Artist : ” I wanted to hear what you think about it .” Me : ” you just did ” . And I’m sure that the next time I see this Artist , there’s a big chance we will have this same stupid conversation 😛 .
    And when I say ” No , of course not ” I am told that I’m negative . Okay , you may call it negative , I think that it is just realistic 😛 .
    Meanwhile SAB has build up the name of the worst record company in the world … when I want to play a SAB CD for friends ( musicians , music critics , programmers ) … they always say : ” please , not a Sellaband CD , we’ve heard some Sellaband CD’s before .” So I think that ; if you really want to make a career in music ; SAB is the wrong place to start . Partly because of the shit quality the self declared “experts” and ” popstars ” deliver , but also because of the Murphy kinda management . So far every update or change in plans , was a dissaster … and all promises made by HQ are broken . It even gets worse ; Adam Thief is known for trying to scrape out every penny out of the “50K” budget . I had quite some mails from 50K Artists about this 😛 . Not to mention his friendly behavior ( http://www.mandyleigh.com/blog/?p=1001 ) .
    Let’s sum it up :
    # you are asked to invest in quite pitty music , wich will result of course in ” the best CD you can imagine ”
    # self declared “experts” will mess it up even worse ( in most cases )
    # you have no chance of any ROI at all , but still Artists call it an investment
    # The language spoken on the site is Sellabandish ; everything can mean anything … and Believers and Artists will tell you that everything is wonderful and marvelous .
    # O , and I still didn’t get all CD’s I payed for … so I will tell everywhere that the SAB management are just ordinary thieves !!!
    All together it’s all just “wishful thinking” ( okay , you can also call it ; lies , fraud , theft … but wishful thinking sounds nicer :-) )

    Hehehe , for the “music management”-thingy ; lately I found this Artist on SAB : http://www.sellaband.com/projects/poogiebellband . Poogie Bell has recorded and played live with : Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Roberta Flack, Erykah Badu, David Bowie, John Scofield, David Sanborn, Angelique Kidjo, Joe Sample, Al Jarreau, Vanessa Williams, Stanley Turrentine, Victor Wooten, and Randy Crawford . And he has far out the best plan I’ve ever seen on SAB :

    ” To produce a great funk jazz cd feat: marcus miller,herbie hancock,wah wah watson,dean brown,patches stewart,poogie bell ”

    Amost everything Marcus Miller and Herbie Hancock do , is automaticly platinum . I thought a bit about it , and than I phoned HQ and told Dagmar :” You got a really big fish IN , make work of it .” 10 minutes later I saw that Adam Thief bought a part , but for the rest nothing happened 😛 . LOLOLOL , for one time a REAL Artist drops in … and he is totaly neglected 😀 😀 😀 .

    For PE I’m sure that they will never reach the 250K … and for Hind ; she already f*cked up her career before , and I’m sure she will do it again 😛 .

    5K flat tires , 50K flat tires … I think that I’ll walk 😉 .

    HAVE FUN !!! yours Pieps

  • Crossman

    A tyre without a groove is no good at all…. I have to agree with both Pieps and Thor. I came to Sellaband to support an artist called Laixa, but they quit just afterwards (I notice both Thor and Sommersby now support them on Akamusic…!) I stuck around for a while, but the site makes it too difficult to find artists other than the ones being pushed by Sellaband management , none of whom I especially like. There is no clear explanation of how the whole thing works and the would be investor gets no clear idea of what they can expect in return. In short, I can’t see why anyone other than people brought to the site by the artist would invest, in which case why don’t the artists just use this funding themselves and save themselves Sellaband’s cut? Its not as if they get anything for it, as far as I can see.
    I presume Sellaband saw the success over at Akamusic of having ex TV talent show people on board (Lucie Bernardoni and Gautier Reyz) and have tried to copy the formula with Hind. It will be interesting to see what happens when her album comes out.

    As for Chuck D, what decade are we in here?

  • What I keep saying is that there are all kinds of levels and situations in music. One size does not fit all.

    I do not know anyone in HQ personally. It seems like most of you do. Whether that is good or bad, I can’t say. Objectively, speaking there are plenty of reasons to stay away from SAB. And The faith I have now is only in that they have brought in new blood to help.

    I stuck around because of the changes they made. Call it Sellabandish if you like, but the changes seemed to fit what I know I can do. And If I can get a break with my health, I’ll prove it.

    As far as could I have made a 50K budget? Maybe, but not by selling 5000 CDs in advance. I just don’t have the time. The way that artists seemed to be making the goals lately was through corporate sponsorships. Winning popularity contests like SEAT and internal contests and finding large investors.

    In other words, the same way it’s always been.
    My plan if they hadn’t changed would be to find a corporate sponsor, perhaps locally. Perhaps several. Maybe sell advertising space on the CD material. Maybe advertising on my tour (although if I used advertising on my tour to fund my album, how would I fund my tour…?)

    So, yeah Pete, you’re right that I don’t take no for an answer easily. Things happen for people who make them happen.

    I just happen to be of the opinion that SAB should cater to the clientel who make things happen. And if you know any low budget indie bands out on the road, you know that these are people who make it happen. Sellaband needs them, but do they need Sellaband?

    If SAB can lighten their load and make it worth their while, yes. Will SAB do that? I don’t know.

  • P.S.

    Pieps, how do we know that is really Poogie Bell? I look at the profile and all I see are a couple photos, 3 songs and a 1 line plan.

  • Pieps

    @ Mark , I contacted him on his MySpace … we have internet these days , you know 😉 . I specialy love the 1 line plan , and totaly lack of interesse :-) . Maybe he has read the Thorum , and thought something like :” If these geezers wanna buy me a CD ; fine … but I’m not gonna bring any family , friends , or fans into this looney place ” 😀 😀 😀 .
    I have to admit that when I was still on SAB I never asked anybody I knew .
    @ Ut , sure there is “good” music and “bad” music … when instruments aren’t tuned properly , or it is sung out out of tune , it certainly is “bad” . Taste is a different thing … there is music like Mozart and Brahms I don’t really like , but I can’t say it is “bad” music … but out of tune … I don’t even wanna talk about it 😛 .
    @ All , I still like the idea of making a CD together … but does it have to cost so much money ??? I know that studio time cost money , producers need to be payed , chips , pot and beer of course … but still 😛 . When I wanna make a CD ; I burn some songs from my Hard Disk and print a cover and it costs 30 cents :-) . I record @Home using Cubase , MIDI keyboards , and electric guitars with tube , analog rack , and software Amps , a good soundcard with DSP’s and a channel strip . And Pete will agree ( we are using the same “Fender Amps” software ) , nowadays software amps are as good as the real thing . So I don’t need a studio to mike amps when recording … nor for the Rhodes , samples and (VST) synths . And for vocals and other instruments ; the world and the net are full of top notch musicians , and guys and gals that are good in mixing and editing . Just like the Collaboration Project does , and like I did in my SAB time . And I still think that that was/is quite a unique thing on SAB ; on other music and or crowdsourcing sites you almost see /hear no collaborations . In the Golden Era ( first episode , and a working , less ugly , website ) there were a lot of ongoing collaborations … like an orgie on a campus 😀 😀 😀 . But … well … collaboratios have a lot to do with comunucation and vision , and from HQ we know by now that they are afraid of comunication and have no vision ( and they also have quite a bad taste … and are a little ugly on the side 😉 ) . Already in the Golden Era they where trying to drive the free speech and communication out … than they drove the money out ( a lot of big and enthousiast Believers have left ) … the site destroyed last summer … a credit card fraude case … a data base leak … SAB went from try and error to : error and error . And I think that the basic of all problems are ; the non-communication and the autistic behavior of HQ , resulting into a Sellabandish Absurdistic Theater® .
    The 16bits/44.1k/Hz CD/file format is history . IPods have enough memory to use 320k/Bits MP3’s . And Blue Ray will cover the 24bits/96k/Hz format . A big pain in the ass in price and work is ; distribution . So haleluja for MySpace/Revernation and that kinda sites : FREE DISTRIBUTION when you allow downloads … or you go for payed downloads to ITunes and pay a little commision . For quality WAV or FLAC downloads you can set up a little server . Making a CD and selling the thing , comes to me as reinventing the dinosaur … aswel as going from freedom to slavery . I am free , and my music is also free … for a blowjob you have to pay 50 bucks ; but my music is free !!!
    The night nurse just told me , that I will get new medication tomorow . Good Night … Love you all ♥♥♥ yours Pieps

  • PS

    I must say, I’ve been really fortunate in working for many years in great studios surrounded by some of the best vintage guitar amps money could buy. And it’s no bullshit, if you are working in the digital domain some of the software guitar stuff is so good you can damn near smell the dust burning on the tubes.

    Pieps, you are fucking nuts and I love you madly for it!

  • Well, now we know what 2010 will bring. I had hoped it would turn out different.

  • Pieps

    The answer what 2010 will bring is there : BANKRUPSY !!!

  • Hi Pete
    With all the controversy swirling about SAB, I’ve had to do some convincing that everything is up and running again to my fans. It’s particularly hard when some musicians pulled out during the crisis and now are bad-mouthing SAB. I’ve even had to ask (nicely) one facebook friend not to print negative thoughts about the new SAB terms on my profile so as not to alienate any potential believers. With all of that said, I’m a proud member of the Dream Team…and, Pete, since you seem to be a fan of SAB, maybe I can make a ‘believer’ out of you….?

    Peace
    Sillken

  • Well I can assure that things are fine at sella. Today all of my money arrived to my producer my video director and the balance bar a little bit left for postage in Europe.. to myself.

    I think the new management have done fairly well. I did have a little pressure on from a solicitor. In these situations It pays to extract the money asap .. possesion is 9/10th of the law.. But in hindsite I think it will all be ok and it will be a better Sellaband than before. With reference to the article Im confident that the product my team will turn out will be the most successful release from Sellaband yet. That is my aim and to hit the charts and reach higher chart postitions than I have before. Ive just formed a label and am close to locking in physical distribution deals with large established distributors in NZ and Australia ..Who are recording industry registered & associated .. ie will enable my sales to be counted in the charts for both of those territories. Im now looking at the bigger territories ..

    I will look to have a few select other artists on our new label to follow my release later this year.

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