Cork folk and roots band, the Hard Ground, are appealing to their fans for funds to record their second album — having gained a healthy following with their debut album, Broken Conversations.
Members Marlene Enright, Pat Carey, Dave Duffy, Davie Ryan, and Hugh Dillon have put together a Fund: It campaign to crowdsource €8,000 for the cost of recording, mixing, mastering, and manufacturing the album, entitled Triptych.
“We self-funded the first album in its entirety, through a mixture of savings and loans. It’s no secret that being in an original band, initially, is difficult and we certainly didn’t get back what we put into that album, in financial terms, which is something you have to accept from the get-go,” says keyboardist and co-vocalist, Enright. “We simply could not afford to make a second album on our own.”
There has been a lot said against crowdfunding, in this case that it’s a band appealing for charity. Enright says they considered the backlash. “Initially, we were hesitant, and we certainly gave it a lot of thought. There is always the possibility that you’ll fail and that, in itself, is a drawback to doing a crowdfunding campaign like this. Fear of failure in anything is a drawback to doing anything though.
“A crowdfunding campaign isn’t charity, and it isn’t asking for a loan from people. It’s a reward-based means of reaching a specified target required for a project. It’s very similar to a pre-order system, except the money paid by the funder is used to create the project from the start, so it definitely involves your fans and supporters more. That’s very important for us — to be able to actively involve fans of the band from the start of this project. In very real terms, they’re helping us make this album. They’re a part of it.”
Perks the Hard Ground are offering as part of the Fund:It campaign include:
* A cajon, a Peruvian hand drum that drummer Davie Ryan made, for €175;
* A night on tour with the Hard Ground, for €250;
* The band will play at your wedding and reception, and compose an original song for you, for €2,000.
As the name suggests, Triptych is not one release. It will be three EPs over the course of the year, before being grouped together as an LP. The first release, Triptych:One, is due out in late April. “The album format isn’t so much dead, as maybe cryogenically frozen,” says co-vocalist Carey. “The problem is that it doesn’t work, at the moment. People don’t have the patience to give the album a chance. Music has become so ubiquitous that it can be very hard to hang your hat on an album for a bit”.
Carey says: “The album, as a concept, may be on hold, but the album as a means for a band to try to support itself is certainly dead. People don’t buy albums anymore, unless they’re emotionally invested in the band. We felt that we wanted to provide an alternative, this time. By the time the album comes out, you’ll have had the chance to listen to two-thirds of it digitally. And by then you’ll pretty well know if you want the physical copy of the album.”
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