Spacehog's most recent record, "As It Is On Earth."
Spacehog's most recent record, "As It Is On Earth."

How (and why) to crowdsource a record

SEATTLE – My band, Spacehog, was lucky: We made enough money selling our re-recorded hit "In The Meantime" to Guitar Hero and Rock Band to finance its production.

But there was the small matter of promoting our new release – something we had taken for granted that would be performed by the rank and file of a large record company.

As these entities became bigger and thus more bloated in the late ‘90s, bands would often take it upon themselves to outsource various spokes in the wheels of marketing and promotion. It was normal, for example, to hire regional and national PR and radio promotion. Now we were back in that position, but without a record company to go cap-in-hand.

In light of the shifting sands of record business revenue streams, my band Spacehog was asked to crowd source money to promote our latest record "As It Is On Earth."

The company, PledgeMusic, had been pursuing us for a while at this point. If I’m honest with you I didn't entirely know how it worked until we got into it with them.

Their model differs slightly from Kickstarter, in so much as:

  1. It encourages a charity component to the drive.
  2. There is less transparency as to the amount of money raised.

At the time, our lead singer Royston Langdon was getting into Transcendental Meditation and we decided it would be nice to support him in that. The rest of was band was taught the ways of "TM" and in return we pledged a portion of our proceeds to the David Lynch Foundation.

Being the band pack rat, I compiled a giant inventory of every sweaty tour sock, broken drum stick, poster from Omaha Nebraska 1996, rare CD from Lichtenstein, photo outtake from every once-beautiful supermodel I could get my hands on.

Along with the "things that the everyday folks leave behind," we added a few more creative items to our shopping cart of "only if you're obsessed with the band must haves."

Among them were portrait drawings of the band by Royston, a drum lesson (I was amazed someone went for that o…