Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm Not Sold Just Yet ....

Ok first off, yes he's doing it again. secondly, does this man have balls of steel? absolute respect and gratitude for his fans?, or is this the beginning of the new age of music marketing. i guess we will all just have to watch this inter-web space and pray the cards fall in the favour for both music buyer, listener, lover, and artist.

What am i talking about? well a while back, Trent Reznor, lead singer of the rock band Nine Inch Nails took a tour down under, and realised that his record company were selling his album at almost 40% more than the average album lying next to it on the shelf. he quipped to crowds while on tour at his epiphany on why music sucks these days and why American Idol actually influences teens tastes. its simple he said, "who's gonna go buy music for triple the price"? the scary thing was, upon contacting his record label, the response was ... "Well we price your record higher in the market, because we know your fans are willing to pay that much for your music".

Moving on and releasing his album Year Zero, he suddenly found himself without any record contract and felt the need to use this power to start distributing his music in a different way. a new way, explored by Radiohead and others before him. a way that would link him to his fans without the need for a middleman, gobbling up 90% in the dollar. his decision was to explore the internet fully fledged as a distribution, promotion and creative tool. months later he did what many thought was crazy, settling on releasing his new album, Ghosts I - IV, digitally via the web.

For free, the user got the first nine tracks of Ghosts in high-quality MP3 files as well as a 40-page PDF book covering the whole release. For five bucks, you got all 36 tracks in a variety of digital formats plus the PDF and digital extras. Ten dollars got you all that plus two CDs in a six panel digipak package with a 16 page booklet ..... I mean what ever way you look at it, its a win win.

Well NIN went all out this time around, a mere months later, the new album, "The Slip" is now available for absolutely nothing. mentioning on the site "Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years - this one's on me". sure many have said Reznor is only able to do this now because of the success and wealth already gained from years in the business, but does that not make it any less of a good move for both fan and musician? i say as long as the end user has the power back in their hands to aid in a fair trade or purchase of such goods, then lets explore this further. sure the artist is due a royalty if the art is worthwhile to the end user, but the days of coporate suits and record company middlemen sapping the profits from selling music at record high prices is well and truly at an end. this is what the internet is all about. taking back the power one day at a time.

NIN - New Album

Monsters Are Real ....

An agency that just keeps inspiring me on the basis of their classic work, and direct execution is that of Invisible Creature. i think ive mentioned them before, but if not heres a small recap. Invisible Creature is a graphic studio based in Seattle run by brothers Don and Ryan Clark. as well as being wizards of art direction, they also belong to a rock band by the name of Demon Hunter .... too cool.

cutting to the chase, these guys work alot around the music and entertainment industry, having created a huge amount of album artwork and promotion for the worlds leading bands and artists. seen the latest Foo Fighters record cover? yup they did it, along with countless others.

having worked with richard last year to visually conceptualise an idea for an album cover for the band Box, i recently came across a feature on Invisible Creature's work for the band Bleeding Through's album, "The Truth". it brought back alot of memories, fusing themes and issues relative to the music and band, cutting ideas to the core and executing them so simply as to push a powerful lasting message. Great designers, pushing a style i love. clean and straight to the point, no vector rainbows or swirls of bullshit to be found. trends are overrated. dig their work below. buy some of prints. support good artists.