SOIL’s Ryan McCombs slams Kickstarter

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SOIL singer Ryan McCombs recently criticised the band’s decision to launch an interactive pre-sale campaign on Kickstarter to enable fans to participate in the release of their new record, which will be their first with McCombs on vocals since 2004’s “Redefine”.


He writes:

I hope that, before assuming we were asking for handouts, you went to the Kickstarter site where you can see that we are actually offering opportunities to people to do things and recieve things they normally wouldn’t. And, in fact, the most basic package is only asking you to pay for the CD beforehand, allowing the money to go to making an pushing the hell out of this CD the right way instead of lining a disk jockeys’ pockets. 

Please understand if we had the money that our music has made others over the years instead of being on the bottom of the food chain within the business we’ve been in, we would gladly fund it. Without question. The industry is a mess. 

Here is one of many simple facts that would leave you scratching your head: I personally have NEVER recieved a dime for the sales of any CD I have been a part of. The contracts you sign are set up to make that so. But you sign it ’cause if you don’t, there are a million bands that will. 

I am sure that the music I have been a part of has bought plenty of cars and made plenty of house payments for many managers and the types over the years. 

Because your CD is on the same shelf as Metallica’s doesn’t mean you’re making Metallica money. 

The industry is fucked. For every Metallica, there are hundreds of bands such as ourselves counting on the shows we play to pay the monthly bills at home. 

I didn’t like this option, but it is a possible answer that allows a band to control their fate, and again, offers special things to the fans that allow us to do what we do. I’m sorry this pisses you off so much, as I realize you don’t know the financial facts of most bands in the industry. What we are doing here is risking taking the unpaved road in hopes of finding a way for bands like ourselves to survive. The paved road has led to the utter destruction of so many bands that deserved so much more. If taking the unpaved road leads to success, then perhaps it opens the door for others to follow and survive as well.”

For a band that is signed to a label, they HAVE to sell CDs. Do they get royally screwed? HELL YES!!! But if they do not sell enough CDs to be viewed as worthwhile by the label, they will get dropped. 

I had a conversation with a teenage fan once that just couldn’t see what was wrong with illegally downloading a CD. Until, that is, I asked him what his Dad did for a living. He happened to be an auto worker. I then asked him, ‘What if tomorrow EVERYONE in the world could come to your Dad’s auto plant and drive off with any car they wanted, free of charge? How long will your Dad have a job if the product he creates doesn’t make the owner of the company money?’ It took a quick second but the light came on and he got it. 

If a band you like is employed by a label, buying the CD is absolutely supporting them… It’s buying that product that they create. 

If I meet a band on the road and I like the people in the band, I go out and buy the CD. If friends within the industry release a new CD, I go buy the CD. It keeps them being able to do what they do, employment-wise. They aren’t making shit off of it, but their boss is and that will keep them employed. 

What is happening more and more frequently is that even if a band can stay employed, eventually they, or members of the band, will reach a point that their cut isn’t taking care of the bills at home and they have to choose between family/obligation and a dream that has ended up being very different then the one they had as an aspiring musician. 

We have survived as long as we have because of the support that people like yourself have given us for 12 years. I could never thank people enough for that. But because of the state of things in the industry through those years, we are where we are but we’re not ready to fold our cards yet. There needs to be change. 

Like I stated before, this path is unpaved and a bit scary, but we have made a lot of connections over the years and we know a lot about the steps needed to hopefully be successful in this venture. If we are, perhaps we will give an alternative method to those kick-ass bands that fall though the cracks year after year after year. 

Hopefully you went and looked at the Kickstarter site and saw that we aren’t asking for handouts. I couldn’t be a part of that. We are simply offering the CD and packages to anyone interested. People like you that have always went out and bought that CD to help that band. We’re just actually using that help to make the CD and not buy an executive’s new car. We are trying to raise the funding for the recording and mixing of the CD. Anything else from the Kickstarter above and beyond will go towards helping out with the marketing, radio, publicity, etc. It’s going to be tough, but for once in our careers, we’ll be calling the shots, making the calls. I, too, have paid for many, many demos in my day.. but there is a large budget difference between a demo or shopping quality CD and the type you have to have for a chance at radio, movies, TV, etc. I know those are outlets that by us being allowed to be us musically may not have wide open doors to us, but I also think people are a little tired of the cookie cutter. 

We ran through a door in Chicago that Disturbed kicked open years ago.. No ego here,.. it’s the truth. If another door isn’t kicked open soon, the rock/metal genre is going to be the way of the dinosaur.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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