Issue #16

April 2011

Interview with The Subways

+ Alex Highton + Fleur Jack + Aneke + My Awesome Mixtape + Cornershop + Metibla + more + Interviews with Benji Rogers (Pledgemusic) and Peter Sorgenfrei (CrowdBands)



50K MUSIC MAG ( is mainly written and solely published by Mario Putzar, D-99947 Bad Langensalza, Contact: mario(at)

It's been a long time since last issue. But here it is, # 16 of 50K MUSIC MAG. As you may have noticed already when reading the last issue the MAG has developed into a kind of reader's digest of 50K MUSIC's blog posts. So some of the articles in this mag may read familiar to you. In this issue you will read again about my favourite indie artists: Alex Highton, Cornershop, The Subways, Fleur Jack, Cubworld, Aneke, My Awesome Mixtape and a lot more. Also you'll find my interviews with Benji Rogers (cofounder of Pledgemusic) and Peter Sorgenfein (from Crowdmusic). Enjoy reading the MAG and please give me your feedback. Authors and topic suggestions are always welcome as well. Send your hints and suggestions to Besides I'm still looking for correspondents who like to work for the MAG - get/keep in touch with local fanfunding artists, observing the music scene and write articles/reviews/reports for the MAG from time to time. You should live in USA, France, Germany, Australia/New Zealand, South America, Japan. So get in touch with me and we can talk about a collaboration soon. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be copied or distributed without the permission of the publisher. Copyrights of photos and pictures of artists used in this magazine are owned by the artists. Articles, feedback and suggestions are welcome. Please send them to my e-mail adress.

Friends of 50K MUSIC MAG are: www.multicorriente This magazine is made with Scribus -


Alex Highton ... 4 ... 10

The Subways ... 4
Gussie Miller ... 12

Lille Mulder ... 8

Cubworld ... 15

Metibla ... 13 Lillith ...16 Aneke ... 20

Trail ... 18

In this issue
Editorial 2 I've Got To Make It Work 4 Fleur Jack: Album Progress ... And Artist Madness 5 Lots Of Noise, Fun And Sweating 6 Direct-To-Fan Instead Of Fan-Funding 8 Only Doing It Till You're Satisfied 10 A Restart For Gussie Miller 12 Cruelty, Cynicism, Romanticism 13 Grassroots Democracy For Fans 14 Cubworld Album Progress 15 There Are So Many Stories 16 The 7 Ps 18 Just Five People With Instruments 20 Promising Newcomers: My Awesome Mixtape 21


Alex Highton has just returned from his US trip. I talked to him about this adventure and his experiences...

I've Got To Make It Work

50K MUSIC: You just came back from your US trip. You travelled New York, Austin and Los Angeles. Please tell us some details … first about New York … Alex: Yeah. Just back from the most amazing trip across the US. New York was everything you would imagine it to be. Every street corner makes you feel like you're in a film. I was lucky to be staying with friends who looked after me and showed me a good time. I played three gigs in four days and for the most part they went really well. 50K MUSIC: … and what about Austin? You have joined SXSW there, haven't you? Alex: The main reason I made trip was that an invitation to play at SXSW. Initially it looked like I wouldn't be able to go, due to the costs of getting there, etc but some very generous fans part funded it. They thought it was it, an offer like that doesn't come up everyday, and looking back they were right. I met lots of good industry people, made some friends, brought people onboard in general. Two thousand bands played the convention so its hard to stick out but my manager knows what he's doing and my showcase was a big success. 50K MUSIC: … and your third destination was L.A. Did you meet Ashton Kutcher there? Please give us all the details. Alex: In a word. No. I only played one gig in LA, at the famous Hotel Cafe, and he couldn't make that night. Which was a pity. I nearly got arrested trying to get to touch the Hollywood sign. You're not allowed up there but no one was about, so I climbed up the hill. I ended up running away from a cop who said he was going to arrest me. I'm still officially on the run.

50K MUSIC: How do you think this trip has influenced you? Alex: It made me realise how hard you have to work to get anywhere in this business. I missed home, my kids, my wife, and that was hard but writing songs is all I'm good at. So I've got to make it work. I made some really good contacts too. 50K MUSIC: Did you get some new ideas for new songs maybe? Alex: Yeah. I think so. stuff seems to come to me out of the ether so I expect my experience will manifest itself somehow. 50K MUSIC: What about your upcoming album? When can we expect it to be released? Alex: The plan at the moment is a single release on May 21st. Another in the summer and the album to be released properly in October. We're talking to folk at the moment about how we do this. Whether to release it ourselves or not. There are pros and cons either way. 50K MUSIC: What other plans do you have for the next few months? Alex: Lots of gigs & make a video or two. 50K MUSIC: And last one: anything you want the world to know? Alex: If you're in LA go to the In & Out burger. It's the best, by a mile just don't go for the "Animal" option - that's very important.

5 Making an album always seams to take forever. I am rehearsing twice, sometimes three times a week with my band on my solo songs, getting ready to hit the studio and while it's obvious we are making great progress, I can't help but feel like i'm not moving fast enough! It's that feeling of being so close but so far (patience fleur, patience!). As well as my impatience with time, I am also wanting the album to be really freakin' good (who doesn't right!?). I want to make an album that people will want to play from start to finish and enjoy all the way through. I want it to be a successful album that people will talk about and as well as impressing other people, I want to impress myself with it. I have been writing like a mad hatter! Wine in one hand, pen in the other and a cigarette pressed into the end of my headstock. I can't help but feel like i'm channeling Hunter S Thompson some nights. Is that song finished yet? Is my chorus strong enough? Is the bridge working? Can you sing this note, so I can test this harmony? I even called my parents today to ask for their opinion on a song. My dad spent the rest of the afternoon locked in his audio cave putting strings to the song I emailed through, so I guess that's a tick from him and mum was honest about her dis-taste for a chord I had chosen in an otherwise great track. Unlike a lot of peoples parents, mine are always brutally honest with constructive criticism and I can always test out songs on them and know i'll get honest feedback that I can trust - take it or leave it, it's always good to get opinions. Last week I filmed band practice as a way to make people feel like being a part of the album making process. I've left all the in-between stuff out of it and you just see the band playing one song in my very, artistically messy lounge. I will continue to film the album making experience so if you want to stay tuned into it, please subscribe to my Youtube channel. While working on the album, I am also planning the release tour. I toured NZ four times last year between both my bands and i've decided to step it up a notch for my album release. This September, I am going to drag my band to the USA, buy a van and drive for two months. It's going to take me the whole year to plan all the gigs and of course, save my butt off to pay for the flights, the van, petrol, insurance, food, accomodation and everything else that will go into the trip of a lifetime but no doubt, will be worth every effort. Once I get home, it'll be time to do a tour here and then try it again in Australia. The plan from there is to get into my follow up CD which I am already funding for on AKA music. In my head, it's all figured out. I just need to dedicate every part of my soul to turning into reality! Right - now for the sales pitch: Please 'like' me on facebook Follow me on Twitter Friend me on Myspace Check out my stuff and get behind me with my next album Thanks very much - all the way from little ol' New Zealand! Fleur

Fleur Jack: Album Progress ... and Artist Madness


Lots Of Noise, Fun And Sweating
A few weeks ago I digged a little deeper into Pledgemusic's portfolio and found some interesting projects to follow and pledge. One of these was the upcoming album of UK based alternative rockers The Subways. Billy Lunn (vocals, guitar) answered a few questions about their experience with Pledgemusic, involving fans in a new way and their further plans for their upcoming album: 50K MUSIC: You have raised over 130% of the budget for your new album on Pledgemusic in two months. Did you expect it to be that easy? Billy: Never! But we are so glad that it has been so successful and that our fans want to get so involved in the process of making the record! We feel that they have contributed more than just paying for the music and listening to it - they've actually helped us make, and we love the idea of breaking the barriers between the band and the fans! 50K MUSIC: How did you find your way to Pledgemusic? What were your reasons to join PM? Billy: We'd seen some of our favourite bands getting involved and we saw how cool it looked. We're always trying to find out what our fans think and feel about our music and our shows and we love meeting our fans after the shows for pictures and to get to know the people who feel the music speaks for them. Pledge Music suited us perfectly. 50K MUSIC: Do you understand this project rather as funding/pre-ordering the album or more as involving fans into your work? Billy: A little bit of both. The fans are helping us in a lot of areas - by ordering the album now they're helping us financially in making the album in the studio, and also we're listening to what the fans would like to see us do when we come to tour the album!

7 50K MUSIC: I guess fan-funding an album or involving fans this way is a whole new experience for you, isn't it? Please tell us how you deal with this. Billy: We've always wanted fans to come and help out singing in the studio, and we've always wanted them there with us and experiencing the process of making an album anyway, so for us this feels very natural and fun. 50K MUSIC: Does it mean your label will no longer finance your albums? Billy: It means that we'll license the album to whoever likes the finished article. We've had nobody intruding and suggesting things to us artistically apart from our producer, Stephen Street, which has worked brilliantly for us! We own the album, so we do whatever we like! 50K MUSIC: Do you think fan-funding could be THE way for you to finance your albums in the future? Billy: It's an interesting prospect for us on this record, though we're always wanting to try different formulas in doing things for each album. It's been fantastic so far, so I can see us seriously considering it again for future projects. 50K MUSIC: You've announced your album to be out in 2011. Can you give us a release date yet? Billy: I wish I could, but even I don't know yet! Summertime! That's all I can guess at! 50K MUSIC: You're in the studio with Stephen Street at the moment. Please tell us something about your work in the studio. Billy: Well we've been demoing and rehearsing these songs for so long now, that by the time we started our first day in the studio with Stephen the songs were pretty much there. Stephen's sound is exquisite, and he's made everything sound perfect, adjusting the drum patterns and the feel of certain parts of the songs so they sound just right. 50K MUSIC: Will your fans and/or pledgers be involved in the album production? How are you going to involve them? Billy: We're having fans in to sing a gang vocal in the next few days, and we'll also be playing them some tracks and listening to some opinions! We're very excited about doing this! 50K MUSIC: What can we expect from the album? Will it be a typical Subways album or will we listen to some new sounds? Billy: Heavy pop songs! That's how we like to describe this record. A combination of the first and second records, but every single song we wish we could release as a single! 50K MUSIC: Do you plan a release show once the album is out? Billy: We may do a release show, though by the time the album comes out we may be somewhere deep in Europe touring! We'll maybe crack open a bottle of champagne! 50K MUSIC: Will we see The Subways on stages in Europe soon? Billy: As soon as we can we'll be playing all across Europe! We're getting ready now! Lots of noise, fun and sweating! 50K MUSIC: And finally: Anything you want your fans and pledgers like to know? Billy: We love you, and we're going to make this the best Subways album ever - just for you guys!

Direct-To-Fan Instead Of Fan-Funding
Over the last few weeks Pledgemusic attracted attention with projects of some wellknown musicians like Cornershop, Dave McPherson and The Subways. I asked them for an interview and Benji Rogers, one of the co-founders, provides us with a deep insight into Pledgemusic's corporate philosophy:


50K MUSIC: You started Pledgemusic together with your mates Rupert, Jayce and Jann back in 2008. What are your experiences during these two and a half years? Would you do it again? Benji: It has been an amazing ride for sure, and personally I am still reeling from it all. I went from being a musician to running a music company seemingly overnight. The best part about the day to day is that I am working with an incredible team of people who deeply care about the music and the musicians that we are helping. What we do seems simple from the outside but ask anyone who has worked with us and you'll see that there is allot more under the hood than just a fundraising platform and so there's allot to get right. I would do it over again in a heart beat but this time with more sleep for sure. 50K MUSIC: What does Pledgemusic offer musicians once they've joined? Benji: From the outset we knew that we couldn't build just a website. We set out to build a music company. So from signup to fulfilment our artists are guided through what is essentially a digital marketing campaign that assists with growing the existing database, consolidating the social networks, a data capture strategy & the actual writing of the campaigns. Whilst live the system and the team work with each artist to make sure that the campaign runs smoothly and in short has the best chance of succeeding. There is allot to this process and we can make it easier. Most artists realise that they do not want to look desperate or needy and as such we will guide the message of the campaign to focus on the Pledgers only updates page i.e. the place within the site from which the artist rewards their fans for their participation. We are currently batting a 75% success rate across the platform which means that you have a really good chance at succeeding with your campaign goals. We're a friendly bunch too and so we go above and beyond to help out in matters beyond just the campaign where ever we can.

9 50K MUSIC: And what are the benefits and chances for fans? Benji: These vary from project to project and artist to artist. Ideally the fan gets, rather than just a sales pitch or an artist flat out asking them for money an experience of the making of the record or tour or what ever is on offer. They get to Pledge in at the level of their choice, and they also get access to the Pledgers only updates page from which the artist can offer them exclusive access to anything from rough mixes, demos, live tracks, videos, tour and studio diaries and all in between. This is really where things get exciting for the fans. It's my belief that fans are sick of being flat out sold to. So the Pledge experience was designed to reward them from day 1. Rather than a glorified pre-sale they are offered participation right from the outset. 50K MUSIC: Dave McPherson, The Subways and Cornershop have successfully raised money for their upcoming albums – Dave in less than 24 hours and all three much more than the planned 100%. Do you think fan funding can work for unknown artists as well? Benji: So before I answer this I need to clarify that PledgeMusic is not a fan funding platform it is a direct to fan platform. As previously stated there are multiple ways to ask your fans for money and straight out fan funding is one of them. We just do things a little differently. But back to your actual question it can work at every level as long as the expectation is reasonable & the campaign thought out. The most important thing is to set the target correctly and make sure that it's appropriate to the level that the artist is at. An artist with 50 fans does not need $50k to get to the next level. They need 50 more fans. So it's crucial that that campaign is well thought out and to this end we have built in a budget calculation tool into the signup system. This coupled with the experience of running so many campaigns means that we can get this right more often than not. Being an unknown artist is in no way an impediment to succeeding with one of our campaigns. 50K MUSIC: By the way, why don't Pledgers see the funding goal (in £) on the project page? Benji: Because it's not important to the experience of the project. It goes back to my issue with fan funding. Why would you publicly set a price on your artist or album? Why would fans care? We offer the ability to show the target but it rarely gets used. The amount of money required to make an album is irrelevant to the PledgeMusic process as I don't think that fans ultimately want to "Fund Anything." When the target is displayed fans spend less money as well. The last thing I want to know about my favourite artist is how much they need to make an album or tour. I want the music, the access and the experience. I'll leave the financial stuff to the bank. 50K MUSIC: It seems like Pledgemusic is mainly successful on the UK music market. Do you plan to expand to the European or US market? Benji: We have actually run an equal number of campaigns in the US and Europe and the rest of the world is growing for us at quite a pace. The higher profile acts have definitely come from the UK so far which is brilliant though the US is going to catch up this year for sure. 50K MUSIC: Do you think fan funding will be the gravedigger of big labels? Will websites like Pledgemusic, SellaBand, Slicethepie really revolutionise the music business? Benji: Not "Fan Funding" in its present form no. Fan Funding is getting allot of buzz at the moment and there are some great people out there doing it but it's not a long term strategy to my mind. The big labels are digging their own graves and as such don't need any help with that. The direct to fan sector is where things will get interesting indeed and this is where I see PledgeMusic fitting in. You see we can work with the labels and not against them. We have run campaigns with both major and indie labels and as such have seen what a brilliant future could look like. The direct to fan industry is the most exciting sector to watch at the moment as it has the ability to totally change the way things are done. Asking your fans to give you money can be done with a paypal button on your website. But the kinds of strategic and in depth campaigns that will actually succeed and engage the fan, offer true value and more importantly leave artist and management in control of their destiny to me are not so much the future of the music business but the business of making music and this is what it's always really been about. 50K MUSIC: What are your further plans on Pledgemusic for 2011? Benji: I want us to hit an 85% success rate and to further improve the system. The iPhone app and a few other bells and whistles that we are rolling out are really going to offer the fans something special indeed and are going to give the artists some incredibly powerful tools to use. We are also going to see our first releases on the PledgeMusic Recordings label which is going to be great and we are signing our first artists to the publishing company as well. We have opened an office in Los Angeles and will have one in NY shortly. This is an exciting time and we are ready to bring this direct to fan experience into the mainstream. 50K MUSIC: Anything else you want to let 50K MUSIC readers know? Benji: Because it can be amazing it should be. Thanks a lot to Benji for this great interview.

Only Doing It Till You're Satisfied


Sure you remember these guys and sure you remember the hit single "Brimful of Asha" from their 1997 third album "When I Was Born for the 7th Time". Cornershop have just raised the budget for their upcoming album featuring Bubbley Kaur on Pledgemusic. I have made my pledges and look forward to the album. And I talked to Tjinder about their experiences with crowdfunding...
50K MUSIC: You have just raised 100% of the budget for your new album on Pledgemusic in a little bit more than one month. Did you expect it to be that easy? Tjinder: No, we didn't really know what to expect, but our label took it on with enthusiasm & we all put a lot if work into it as well as receiving a lot of support from PledgeMusic themselves. 50K MUSIC: How do you feel now? Tjinder: We are very happy & excited about it. Aswell as peoples pre-orders we also collate very warm messages from them - most of them are as happy as we are, & there is an excitement to see certain items being taken up. There still pre-orders coming through, & it will all help, not only to put the album out, but also in the means if how it will go out. 50K MUSIC: Do you see this project rather as funding or pre-ordering the album or more as involving fans into your work? Tjinder: The basic summary of it is all of these things and more. It helps to get out the foot soldiers of support & then

11 also allow other peoples know we have an album coming, & then let the campaign help finance the endeavour. 50K MUSIC: Was this your first experience with crowd funding/fan funding? Tjinder: This was our first experience with this type if funding, & it has been bolstered in our minds by efficient procedures of PledgeMusics system backend & the issue that artists retain their Copyright. 50K MUSIC: Do you think it's THE way for you to finance your albums in the future? Tjinder: In the future, we would certainly consider this again, but getting back to the music, it will depend on how good the music is, as to our ability to enthuse people to pre-order. Having said that, the music of our whole catalogue is why the campaign went so fast & smooth. 50K MUSIC: In September 2009 you've announced your next album for 2010. You are bit late, aren't you? Tjinder: I don't think there is any notion of being late, only doing it till you're satisfied, & as we are our own label, we have always given ourselves as much time as we need. The day we stop that is the day we finally end the group. 50K MUSIC: Does it bother you when you're mostly remembered for your hit single „Brimful of Asha“? Tjinder: It doesn't bother me because I think it's a song that deserves to be praised, & is political & pertinent as ever. Appreciation for both versions is strong, we more people preferring the original, the more they get older. In the preorder campaign it was nice to see that it was the 3rd most popular handwritten music sheet ordered. Add to this that even our earlier stuff is gaining in popularity, so we are happy to see things going & growing as they are doing. 50K MUSIC: We have already listened to Bubbley Kaur on your single „Topknot“. Could you please tell us something about the collaboration with her on your new album? What kind of album can we expect? Tjinder: I started working with Bubbley Kaur before she had ever recorded a note. It was a learning curve all the way & as pleasurable as how Cornershop worked in the beginning. I was brought up on Punjabi Folk Music, so to bring it out with modern western influence & not have it sounding like Bhangra (which I always disliked on the grounds that it was purely a commercial arranged marriage), is a challenge, & one I have wanted to do for a long while now. 50K MUSIC: Is there any change in band lineup for the upcoming album? Tjinder: There is no change in the lineup. I think everyone is into it as much as they ever have been, despite its change in remit. 50K MUSIC: When will the new album be released? Tjinder: 14th March 2011. There will be a video for United Provinces Of India prior to that. 50K MUSIC: Will we see Cornershop on stages in Europe soon? Tjinder: Nothing is planned as yet, as we have been so busy setting up ample play as label as it takes it's baby steps into the world.


A Restart For Gussie Miller
About one year ago I featured Gussie Miller as Promising Newcomer here on 50K MUSIC. Now it's time to support him again. I talked to him about his upcoming single and the plans to raise money for his album on SellaBand...
of my first single from "Forever Plan" which was entirely self funded to show the SAB community that I am a viable artist and that I am worth investing in and believing in. The single is called "What More Can I Say" and was actually the first song I started recording back in 2001 one when I decided to start a solo CD. This of course was WAY before SAB but had a few things that slowed me down like a divorce, a custody battle for my kids, and then a incredibly bad hard drive crash that wiped out most of the data on two different drives, so I really had to start from almost scratch. After having to recover the drum tracks which were played by Tris Imboden of the legendary group Chicago, also had to put all the guitar parts back in the right places. The guitar parts were pretty easy since I had actually cut them first with my dear old friend Reggie Boyd Jr. who is a well known session musician here in Los Angeles. I then moved on to re-doing the keyboard parts which were originally all played by me into MOTU’s Digital Performer before I started using Logic Pro. Somewhere around 2007 I asked my musical director friend Alex Alessandroni to come by and replay all of my keyboard parts since he just smokes on everything he touches..LOL It was actually right after those sessions that I had my horrific hard drive crashes (they were Lacie Drives) and I would NEVER use one of their drives again! When I finally got back to working on the CD in 2010 after a bunch of personal stuff, I asked my friend Valerie Davis, who is a veteran L.A. session vocalist to come by and sing on the backgrounds with me, and at the same time we also cut the EPK shoot during these sessions so I have a lot of great stuff that we be seen soon. After that I asked my longtime friend Cleto Escobedo of ABC TV’s Jimmy Kimmel LIVE fame to blow some sax on the track so I would have some choices, and to rap it all together, my mentor legendary mega producer Peter Wolf to play a Bass part on the track which tied it all together! I am very excited about the quality of the performances and I’m very happy with my vocal as well! 50K MUSIC: What more plans do you have for the next few months? Gussie: My main focus will be mixing and mastering the single and getting it out on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Cdbaby, spotty, Napster and Emusic worldwide and producing a music video for the single as soon as possible, which will be directed by Jonathan Lewis and assistantdirected by my son Nate Miller and produced by Kellie Yackie. We will be in full PR promotions mode to get the word out about the CD project and use those funds from the sale of the CD single to help fund the rest of “Forever Plan” 50K MUSIC: And again my question: How can we support you to reach your goals? Gussie: I could really use all the promotion I can get. Links to my SAB profile would be great, and in general spreading the word about me and my music all across the world! So please support Gussie's efforts and spread the word.

50K MUSIC: In December 2009 you signed up to SellaBand and in January 2010 we've featured you as a Promising Newcomer here on 50K MUSIC. Please tell us what has happened since then. Gussie: I have been working on perfecting my profile on Sellaband and reaching out to the community overseas and here in the United States. I realized that I needed more video on the site, so I got together with indie director Jonathan Lewis and we produced a few EPK (Electronic Press Kit) videos to create more interest in my project. The first one is already posted on SAB and YouTube, and the next one will be posted soon to hype the release of my first single. 50K MUSIC: You have just raised about 800 € and you're still far away from reaching your goal. Are you disappointed that fan-funding on SellaBand has not worked for you so far? Gussie: I would have to say that I had hoped that things would have gone a lot quicker...but then again, I probably need to reach out to the SAB community more often, so I can't actually blame them. I have really worked hard to give them more content and more new music. 50K MUSIC: What are you working on at the moment? You have announced to release a single soon? Is that right? Please tell us something about it. Gussie: I have been working long and hard on the release

13 Riccardo: Well, It has been a pretty good experience. Some years ago SAB was a bit less professional. There were a lot of believers disposed to invest money and support their favourite artist. Today the platform is much better, there’re a lot of wonderfull options and links with partners (I appreciated very much the soundcloud link for example) but everything is a bit more “cold”. I mean, people doesn’t support bands in the same way of some years ago, and my profile will be deleted on September if I won't reach my goal. It seems more like a record shop where you can buy music. 50K MUSIC: You have only raised 17 % of your budget so far. Do you think you can still make it to your goal? Riccardo: I really don’t know, but I’ll try! I’m hard to kill. I’ll be on SAB until the date of expire of the profile (September). Then we’ll see. 50K MUSIC: Let's talk about the time once you've reached your goal. What will you use the money for? Riccardo: I will choose 5 songs (“Christmas time” will be one of them) and I’ll record the E.P. at the Hombre Lobo Studio in Rome. Then I’ll print some copies for my believers following the instruction of SAB. It’ll be a Christmas EP, so, if everything will go in the right way, It could be ready for December. Fingers crossed! 50K MUSIC: How can we support you raising the money you need? Riccardo: Just listening to my music and, if you really like it, buy some parts and tell other people to take a look at my profile. If you have Facebook this is my band page. I don’t want to seem hypocrite, If somebody wants to buy parts is more than welcome, but the most important thing for me is to have fans that listen to my music and feel something through my songs. This is the best support I can aim. 50K MUSIC: What kind of album can believers and fans expect once you've raised your budget? Riccardo: As told before, A Christmas E.P., with a Christmas song (Christmas Time) re recorded and re arranged and other four new songs of sadness, iconoclasm and love for life. 50K MUSIC: And finally: Anything you want your believers and fans like to know? Riccardo: I really like to know their opinion about my music. Come on fans, don’t be shy! You can insult me but, please, tell me what you think about my music. Reaction is the key of everything.

Lately I talked to an old hand in fan-funding business Metibla joined SellaBand in 2007 and they still want to raise their budget. Riccardo talks about their music and their further plans... 50K MUSIC: Where do you come from? What are the roots of Metibla? Riccardo: I’m from Rome, Italy, but I’m not so proud to be Italian. I mean… we had a lot of wonderful Art in the past, and we had probably one of the best movie and literature scene after the world war two…but today, Italy is just a useless country for old people. No work, No art, bad quality of life. My life is NOW, not in the past, and It’s so ridiculous that the only thing that you can save of this country is the food. Nowadays my country's economy is based on the restaurants; people says “Ok we’re dying but we have a delicious kitchen!”. Everybody are depressed for that but nobody is able to react anymore. Italy needs a revolution right now. The roots of Metibla are the “genuine” Italian roots: I tried to take the best from my country ... Cruelty, Cynicism, Romanticism. Italy never had a good rock scene in the past because we were too busy to putting bombs against politicians instead of live our youth and create our “rock & roll” revolution. Most of the people in Italy don’t know classic rock because the Christian democracy a long time ago was against the music of the devil. In that way, Metibla is against the Christian Democracy. 50K MUSIC: With your music project you follow a quite different approach. Please tell us something about that. Riccardo: All my songs are composed in my room, alone or when I’m drunk. I switch on the pc and I start to record something. If the day after I still think about that song, I start to work on it, composing an electro base for my friend/guitar player Paolo Alvano. When we think that the song is finished we record it at Home Lobo Studio, where V Fisik start to think about arrangements that could satisfied both of us. 50K MUSIC: You're an old hand at SellaBand, you have already joined in 2007. What are your experiences through all these years?

Cruelty, Cynicism, Romanticism

14 50K MUSIC: You have just started Crowdbands and “want to save the world from bad music“. How would you define your mission? Peter: There is a gap in the record industry today where credible artists like The Donnas are itching to make great records, but where labels focus on flash in the pans like Ke$ha and Justin Bieber. We aim to fill that gap with a platform that allows bands and fans to get closer earlier in the writing and recording process. either vote or you don’t. It is up to the fan. The Donnas want to hear from the fans and make decisions with them and so they are ready to execute the decisions made. Some of the decisions are for the Crowdbands team to execute on as well. 50K MUSIC: If you need fast decisions I guess the process on Crowdbands could be a little bit complicated. Is grassroots democracy really the best way? Peter: Define fast. We can turn a decision around in matter of hours or a few days. In 99% of the cases that is

Grassroots Democracy For Fans
50K MUSIC: Your approach is rather crowdsourcing (with using the wisdom of the crowds) than crowd or fan funding, isn't it? Peter: That is true, our members have an equal voice in the choices we put forth. You can’t buy greater influence than other members by paying more money. We are not in the business of selling mentions in liner notes, or t-shirts or mugs. We are in the business of providing a unique experience to our members. 50K MUSIC: What does Crowdbands offer musicians once they've joined? Actually, can they simply "join"? Peter: At this point musicians can’t ‘join’ per se. We are actively talking to a variety of bands that we feel could do well on the platform, we hope to announce a couple more in the next few weeks. 50K MUSIC: And what are the benefits and chances for fans? Peter: The main benefit to the fans is to be part of the artistic process, which to date they have not had a chance to participate in. Their voice is heard and they help support and guide a band they love. We are giving them free music from our bands, and we are creating experiences only they have access to. 50K MUSIC: You're focusing on a small number of musicians to support or more precisely one band, The Donnas, at the moment. Do you think this could be the right way? Peter: We will add more acts over time, but we are not going to be a platform for hundreds of bands like some of our competitors. We believe in keeping it small, focused, and curated. This way we can really listen to our members and truly implement their desires for our bands. 50K MUSIC: Don't you think you will overstrain fans with all the decisions they have to make and the artists with executing these decisions? Peter: Participation on the fan side is voluntary – you

About two weeks ago I introduced here on 50K MUSIC. After publishing the post I got in touch with HQ and asked Peter Sorgenfrei, co-founder of, about the concept and their further plans ...

not needed however, in the creative process things take time and so the fans and the band have more than that to make up their minds. 50K MUSIC: Do you think fan funding or your new approach will be the gravedigger of big labels? Will websites like Crowdbands, Pledgemusic, SellaBand or Slicethepie really revolutionize music business? Peter: As in many other industries there is room for different models and players. We believe we have a place in the industry and to some extent we are revolutionizing the process. The fans should have more input in the music they love. 50K MUSIC: What are your further plans on Crowdbands for 2011? Peter: More bands, more fans, more decisions and more fun as part of the whole process. 50K MUSIC: Anything else you want to let 50K MUSIC readers know? Peter: Come join us, we are eager to listen to and work with a diverse group of music fans.

Cubworld Album Progress
His fans are impatiently awaiting his upcoming album. Cubworld financed the second album as well as his first one "Step Lightly Create Out Loud" with the support of his believers on SellaBand. I talked to him about his plans for 2011...

50K MUSIC: For all those who don't know you yet (if there's anyone at all), please tell us something about Cubworld. Where do you come from, what are your roots? Cubworld: I'm from the South Pacific. Born in Samoa, Raised in Tonga and Hawaii. I love the tropics. Fresh south pacific breezes and the friendly nature of Island people. 50K MUSIC: You are an old hand at funding your music on SellaBand – two albums within 3 years. Is fan funding the best way for you to finance your music? Cubworld: Yes, I'd say for me it is. I dont have the means to pull together this kind of money on my own and it's so hard to prove to a label that your worth an investment these days so yes. It's fun too :) . 50K MUSIC: You reached your funding goal on SellaBand for your upcoming album in December 2009. When will your album be released? Cubworld: I'm hoping for Spring. I am talking to some really inspiring people at the moment that will be helping me. Once we get going I dont think we'll stop any time soon. More details on that to come. 50K MUSIC: Please tell us something about the album production. Cubworld: Production...hmm...well, at the moment it's all acoustic. I took my time finding someone I click with to trust them with production. I dont feel like that last record captured fully what I have to offer to I've been real protective this time around. So I guess the answer is yet to be determined. I'd like it to be a pretty strong mix of Coldplay and Jack always haha. 50K MUSIC: What kind of album can we expect? Will it be similar to your debut “Step Lightly Create Out Loud”? Cubworld: Sorry, I think I answered this on in the last question. I want more of the singer song writer to come out in my records. 50K MUSIC: What are your further plans in 2011? Cubworld: Release an album, maybe 2 :) . I need to make up for 2010!! 50K MUSIC: How can we support you? Cubworld: Hang in there with me. I'll be putting out tunes and can always use the help spreading the knowledge to friends and family. 50K MUSIC: Anything you want your fans to know? Cubworld: I FREAKEN LOVE YOU! Seriously, what you have all allowed me to do these last couple years has blown my mind over and over. Even when I get down on myself I think about the support I've gotten from Believers and I just lifts my spirits. Thank you all from the bottom of my Polynesian/Scottish heart :) For Cubworld updates check out regularly. his blog on


They were a part of my 2010 Promising Newcomers series Lillith from the far north of Norway with their Alternative Rock made my day when I listened to their music the first time. Check them out and find out yourself... 50K MUSIC: Who are you, where do you come from, ...? Please tell us something about Lillith. Lillith: Lillith consists of Camilla Hell on vocal, piano and musical-saw, Mr. Frantzen on guitar, Gregorius Grim Knockelkatt on cello and bass and Espen Engrønningen on percussion. Lilliths music is like entering a haunted wonderland. We like to invite the audience to a fever dream dance that can be described as black clad cabaret/rock, inspired from the 70s colorful scenes. We live in a small costal-town called Aasgaardstrand in Norway. And once upon time the well known painter Edvard Munch used to live here, and he left some inspiration behind when he died. We get a lot of

inspiration from the artistic life in the summertime in Aasgaardstrand and the arctic climate in the winter when the little town is deserted and the mighty sea wash the waves ashore. Lillith debuted in 2010 with the album “Once I Was Alive”, which has collected great reviews both abroad and back home. For the moment we add the finishing touch to the material for our sequel. 50K MUSIC: How did you discover SellaBand? What are your expectations here? Lillith: We were given tips by a person who had visited the page before. In the beginning, when we decided to record our first album, Mr. Frantzen sold his apartment and Gregorius Grim sold his car to finance it all. This time we are in need of raising some money to finance the recording and

There Are So Many Stories

17 release. To be quite honest we have no expectations at SellaBand, since this is the first time we do this. But, sites like this bring hope to musicians. Since the internet is the main distributor of music these days, musicians are more depending on the music-lovers than ever. Fans can more and more take part in the decision making which the big labels used to do, and help contribute to the projects which they believe in and the music they want to listen to. 50K MUSIC: How are you going to convince people to believe (and invest) in you? Lillith: We have great faith in our next album! And we have worked hard to create new material, played many concerts and grown a lot as a band since the debut album. We are ready to bring our audience even further into our haunted wonderland, there are so many stories, so many songs to be played and we have only just begun! 50K MUSIC: You've just started your project on SellaBand. Have you thought about the time after reaching the goal of 5k yet? What are your plans then? Lillith: Our main goal is to make a hell of an album, to show everybody that have believed in us and invested in us our infinite gratitude. Then we hope to play a lot of gigs, which brings us even closer to the people. 50K MUSIC: And last question: How can we support you to speed up raising your budget? Lillith: Spread the word and let the jungle drums call upon those who want to be a part of the concept. We won’t disappoint you!


Listen to:

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The 7 Ps
by Tim Bennett
Tim Bennett wrote down a few guidelines for indie artists read carefully and maybe it will help you to get your music to the people. When I was asked to write an article about 'Cracking America' - I knew it was a daunting task because I haven't come anywhere close cracking the music scene in this giant country or any where else for that matter. But I have learned many important lessons about the music business. Probably the most relevant thing I've learned is to live by the mantra 'hard work pays off' and I believe it's essential if you want to have any credible form of success here. There is so much competition and the only way to push on through is to work that much harder than the next band or artist. It's not just about creating top quality music but also putting together a team who can guide and promote you. Another thing I've learned is that you can't rest on previous success. The audience moves on. An associate in the business recently told me he was booking a tour for Keane in the USA. The UK based alt/rock band have previously sold several million albums world wide. He said he was staggered to find that their management told him to book venues with a maximum of 500 seats. He had to ask them again to make sure he heard right. It appears that just because you sell a few million albums and downloads a couple of years ago does not guarantee that you'll sell out an arena. So how do you conquer this Everest-like market ? I've built a potential strategy list which I propose might work for any beginner or up and coming indie or mainstream artist. I call these the "7 Ps" 1. Potential 2. Practise 3. Produce 4. Perform 5. Promote 6. Provide 7. Precaution 1 - Potential It is vital to establish your parameters as artist. Essentially this means identifying your musical genre, your strengths and weaknesses, image,demographic audience , commercial possibilities and potential revenue streams. You can find your demographics from your audience turn out at gigs and through you social network sites. You can find out more about revenue streams through research on the internet. 2 - Practise What ever style of music you chose - the only way to perfect your craft is through constant practise. I think performing with musicians who are better than you is a great way to learn, hone and improve your craft. It's especially beneficial to work with people who are constructively critical and supportive. 3 - Produce I personally believe that self expression, writing and creativity should come naturally to any artist and if they don't then forming a quality product is going to be very hard. To be a success in this business you need to have an audio-visual product. Producing something of high quality is going to be a challenge to any newcomer. The above mentioned practise will ensure that you are somewhat prepared for the rigours of the recording process and the pressures in the studio. Hiring producers, studios, musicians, engineers and photographers and video makers is a costly expense and the question is how to raise these funds. Without a large inheritance, winning the lottery, a wealthy family to back you or a record label to finance your expenses there are few options available. My option of choice (unless you are lucky enough to have one of the above) is to learn to use music recording software ( e.g. protools, garageband ) and use this to demo your songs on Fan-Funding Platforms. With a quality demo, some self orchestrated publicity and persistence you can reach your funding target. Some well known funding platforms are Kickstarter, My Major Label and Slice the Pie. These will allow you to afford and work with top professionals to make a high quality album, photos and video. In 2009 I raised $31K through Sellaband and finished recording my debut album in May 2010. I was fortunate to work with some top industry professionals including Multi Platinum, Grammy Award Winning Mixer, Steve Hardy and Master Engineer, Ted Jensen, in NYC. This probably would not have happened had I not raised the funds through Sellaband. 4 - Perform Performing is a vital ingredient of any artist's career and it helps mould and develop the craft. I've been lucky enough to have performed with some wonderful and talented musicians in some of the top rated, smaller venues in New


19 York city and London. Booking these gigs requires the above mentioned demos and a promoter or booking agent who will facilitate the process of booking the appropriate venues. It is necessary to bring a good crowd of friends and fans and obviously a huge amount of practise is necessary before going in front of a paying audience. This kind of practise should be done at home, with tutors and your band mates and then at Open-mics. Open-mics are a great way to explore your public persona and repertoire. Busking is also a great way to reach the public and potential fans. However, you must look into the legalities of busking as it is unlawful in some public places. 5 - Promotion and Publicity Lack of promotion is the downfall of many a brilliant musician. Promotion is the hard graft that goes on behind the scenes and will help bring your music to the masses. I've known many artists who think that they don't need to promote themselves and some even consider it as a job that is below them. I don't buy into this and I certainly don't buy into the idea that you could get discovered playing in a dive bar by a famous producer who wants to sign you even though you only have five fans. The truth of the matter is that, from my experience, A&R, Managers and Record Execs are more interested in 'Bums on Seats' than raw talent. If you have thousands of fans who follow you loyally then that's a fan-base who are more likely to spend their money to see your perform, buy your t-shirts, and purchase your downloads, CDs and videos. And those are the dollar signs that the above can relate to. It's really that simple. Social Networking sites are a fantastic way of reaching new fans. Myspace is still a viable site although recent gossip seems to suggest that it is on it's way down, although, it's still possible reach many thousands of people around the world through this network.Facebook is also a wonderful promotion tool, as is Reverbnation, as well as Youtube which is still the most under-used site in my opinion. It's important to spend time interacting with your friends and fans on these sites. Gone are the days of up and coming rock stars in ivory towers. These days, fans want to be able to talk to you or at least be able to message or comment you. I believe that your fans are your lifeblood - they are the most important thing along with your music. Without fans you have nothing. I found that playing in the New York Subway as a busker allowed me to meet thousands of people as well as music industry execs who have given me vital advice and suggestions. I was able to invite these people to my gigs and it brought me a lot of positive publicity and know-how. Whilst performing in the subway I was also filmed for ABC TV who did a 3 minute segment about my music. This was shown on prime time TV for a week and exposed me to millions of people. My catch phrase was ' This is the biggest venue in NYC and for a couple of bucks entrance fee I can play to thousands of people' 6 - Provide Providing your music through distribution sites and social networking sites is the way that you'll hopefully make enough revenue to support your music and even provide a full time living. If your product does really well then that will improve the likelihood of you being picked up by decent management and/ or label. Reaching the US audience and making a success here requires a really dedicated and enthusiastic team of industry professionals. 7 - Precaution Last but not least, there are many predators in this shark infested business. Most of them just waiting for the next desperate, naive musician to prey upon, bleed dry and leave for dead. Harsh words, you may think, but sadly it's not an exaggeration. Rule number 1 - always read contracts and have someone with legal expertise to look over anything binding. If you can't afford to pay an attorney then it is possible to find lawyers who will work 'pro bono'. I've done this in the past and it saved me from signing a disastrous record contract. Rule number 2 - contracts should always be mutually beneficial. Rule number 3 - no one can assure you of success or fame and if they do then they're are almost certainly lying. Rule number 4 - always do your homework and research potential suitors. Ask other musicians and don't be afraid to ask industry people for references. You can also use online forums for this too. Rule number 5 - always look at resumes and past history. Look for credibility and past success with the people you are intending to work with. Rule number 6 - watch out for personality and agenda clashes and trust your gut. If you don't feel right about the people you're considering working with, then there's probably a good reason for it. Rule number 7 - your ' Word' is very important. Be honest and trustworthy - This will stand you in good stead for all future endeavours.Those who run their mouths without facts to back up their claims soon get a reputation for being such and will not be taken seriously by those who really matter. I moved to the USA in December 2009 for personal reasons, intending to stay for a month or so. However, I've now been here for a year and have decided to stay long term. Since that time: I've worked with Grammy Award Winning Mix Engineer, Steve Hardy ( mixer for Bono-U2, Prince, Pink, Jay Z and Beyonce); worked with legendary Recording Engineer, Ted Jensen ( Metallica, Alice in Chains, Dave Mathews, Green Day, Police, Madonna); I've also made, directed two music videos which have been receiving critical acclaim; I'm represented by one of the world's biggest Entertainment Law Firms, Loeb and Loeb; built strong relationships with highly regarded industry movers and shakers; played with some of the best session musicians in the USA ; been included on a compilation CD for GoDIY Records; I've also had the pleasure of working with the very talented and versatile singer/actress, Bambi Monroe aka Taylor Horn.

Thank you for reading and the "Best of Luck". Tim at Facebook


... I consider this to be one of the biggest understatements I ever heard. And if you listen to their songs you will surely understand what I mean. It's time for part two of this week's promising newcomers: Please welcome ANEKE with awesome Rock from Poland ... 50K MUSIC: Who are you, where do you come from, ...? Please tell us something about Aneke. ANEKE: We are from Poland. There is four handsome men and one beauty:-) We started to play as Aneke on 1st of January 2010. We just want to play our music, meet other people and do our best during live shows. It's that simple. 50K MUSIC: How did you discover SellaBand? What are your expectations here? ANEKE: Frankly speaking, don't remember. You know, link to link to link and suddenly you find an interesting idea like SellaBand. Our expectations are very simple - we hope people will like our music and let us to do another record with higher budget. We also want to book more gigs. It's quite expensive nowadays. Especially travelling. 50K MUSIC: How are you going to convince people to

believe (and invest) in you? ANEKE: We are old fashioned humans. We believe good product doesn't need marketing and fancy photos. Although we have some fancy photos too ;-) Anyway, here are our songs. You'll buy it if you like it. 50K MUSIC: You've just started your project on SellaBand. Have you thought about the time after reaching the goal of 6k yet? What are your plans then? ANEKE: Yes, we've got a very precised plan. We want to record 10-12 songs in very short time. No hundreds of overdubs, no studio hocus-pocus, just five people with instruments. Then we want to hit the road for few weeks. You cannot record music and lock it up in a drawer. You must face it with the people. At least we must. 50K MUSIC: And last question: How can we support you to speed up raising your budget? ANEKE: You can introduce us to Marillion guys or Robert Smith... Honestly - you can just promote us in your magazine. Maybe you can tell about Aneke some people who can organize live shows in Europe? We don't know your contacts, but any help will be appreciated. You can spread links to our music. More people = more chances.

Just Five People With Instruments

21 My Awesome Mixtape have just joined SellaBand with a mix of Alternative, HipHop and Electronica. And they are quite successful so far. With over 1,000 € raised in a little bit more than three weeks they're on a good way I think. I talked to them to introduce them to you... 50K MUSIC: Who are you, where do you come from, ...? Please tell us something about My Awesome Mixtape. MAM: Hi Guys we're My Awesome Mixtape, 5 guys centered in the mid-northern part of Italy in a city called Bologna, we started this project in 2007 trying to play the more we can everywhere!!! 50K MUSIC: How did you discover SellaBand? What are your expectations here? MAM: it's only a matter of surfing on the net...nowadays getting money from the music is dramatically hard, in an historical time where the CD format is becoming obsolete, and concerts are no longer followed by crowd of people, the web turn to be the best way to get in contact with a large amount of people. 50K MUSIC: How are you going to convince people to believe (and invest) in you? MAM: the obvious answer to this question is simply "the music" in itself and just like it sounds like...even if it can sound like a sort of post-romantic quote, I want to believe that the best way to convince people to invest in a band is all centered in the music the band plays! 50K MUSIC: You've just started your project on SellaBand. Have you thought about the time after reaching the goal of 10k yet? What are your plans then? MAM: of course...the first target is to fund the release of our new album trying to invest a proper amount of money on that in order to reach a good quality level, then another point is to find some funds to go overseas, but let's see... 50K MUSIC: And last question: How can we support you to speed up raising your budget? MAM: just spreading the verb

Promising Newcomers My Awesome Mixtape

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