We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our fundraiser like why so much money? How can you possibly use it all? Any musician who’s ever recorded and fully funded their own album (both of The New Vagabonds included) can tell you that a lot only goes a little bit of the way especially when you’re dealing with professionals and what we in the business call the “best-of-the-best”. Sure, we could go into the studio with some guy who just got some recording equipment and is going to try to learn how to record with us as his guinea pigs, but we both have made records in the studio this way before and it is not worth our time to have someone surfing through a manual trying to figure out how to copy-and-paste on our (your) dollar. We want the real deal- professionals who will give us a professional sound with years of experience on us. When you add up just our experience, we already have over 35 years between us! So… here we go… we’re going to break down our budget for you so that you can see where your donation is going! Help us Here.
Our producer has been playing music professionally since he was only 15 and has produced and played with all the big names in Austin and the Americana scene. He is not only a fantastic musician who has recorded with everyone who’s anyone (including Ashlee Rose) but he also is a wealth of information for us. We are honored that we will be considered to go into the studio with this music great who won’t just make anyone’s record. We’ve inspired him through our fun songs and musicianship to make an album worth listening to over and over. Help us!
Producer/Engineer: $800/song x 10songs= $8000
Next we have the rhythm section that includes drums and bass. The “dream team” duo was on the Dixie Chicks record, “Home”, among other albums from Austin, TX royalty. We would be so lucky to bring these guys in as part of our dream team for the WHOLE album but at $100/song/guy we’d need your help to get the funds up there!
Rhythm Section: 2 guys at $200/song= $2000
If you’ve heard The New Vagabonds music, you might realize that we have a wide variety of styles that we play from Honky Tonk to downright country to the San Antonio sound, which hits close to home for the duo. These different styles are calling out to be included on the CD through fiddle, pedal steel, accordion, and piano. While we have secretly chosen our dream team, we are not yet sure what they would charge to come into the studio to record with the likes of us so we’re going to be generous and say that for $500/musician we can get at least a couple of takes out of them. There we are… $2000 more. It adds up quick, doesn’t it?
Mixing and Mastering
We are now up to $12,000 for the recording ALONE. But, go put on your favorite CD. Do you hear 20 different guitar tracks all happening at the same time? Is one song louder than the others? (This means literally louder, not just up-tempo as opposed to a slow song, therefore seeming louder) Is one song more bassey than the others or one more tinny or trebeley? Of course not! That’s because your favorite albums have been put through some rigorous testing and tweaking called Mixing and Mastering. They bring certain instruments louder or softer at the right times (guitar part during a guitar solo) and then make the whole record sound nice and even like it all belongs together. This part usually costs about (on the lower end of things) $2000. Okay, here we are at $14,000. What could possibly come next?
Don’t you love that CD cover of your favorite CD? Sometimes, it’s what makes you pick up the CD in the first place, we right? The band Reckless Kelly even received a GRAMMY for Best Recording Package that proves that this part is an art that should be appreciated by every single person who buys a CD. Fortunately, we have a married-in on-staff designer, photographer, and artist- Ashlee’s husband, Chris- who works tirelessly to help the New Vagabonds reach their goals. He hasn’t yet released what he’ll charge to do the CD, but Ashlee’s hoping that he’ll do it for the brownies she’s making him right now.
Okay, the artwork is finished, the musicians are paid, the mixing and mastering is done and we have master tracks in our hands it’s time for manufacturing. We go through a company called Discmakers that makes those cool Digipaks (the cardboard CD cases that we all love so much). They charge $1000 for 1000 copies of your album. Now we’re up to $15,000 and the CD is almost in our hands!
I hope that those of you who’ve thought “$20,000 for a CD? They’re crazy!” are not thinking that we are so crazy now. We want to make something that you don’t just buy from us because you like the band and you want to support us. We want to make something that’s fun to listen to and that you WILL listen to again after you buy it. Help us!
The last $5000 is for promo and publicity. If we make a $15,000 album, we don’t want it to just sit in the cardboard boxes in our living room waiting to come out when we decide to do a show. We want it working for us. The way to do this is to hire pros that do radio promotion and can work with the media to get our name and our amazing CD out there. Radio promotion usually costs about $3500 for the album and that leaves us with $1500 for the promotion, which we can use on a publicist or we can consult with one on how to do the promotion ourselves. Promo is arguably the most important part of our budget and will get our name out there and get us noticed by venues, booking agents, managers, record labels, magazines, blogs, and ultimately new fans. Without it, you have 1000 copies of a CD and no one to buy it from you.
There you are. Full disclosure. That’s how much it will cost to do this album RIGHT- the way we want it done. I hope it clears the air for you, is informational, and makes for an interesting read. If we don’t reach our goal, we’ll have to cut down on the number of songs we do, the musicians that we get in, and the promotions we end up doing. Don’t get us wrong, we will make the CD no matter what- it just might end up being more of an EP with less songs.
Please help us today. We only have a couple more weeks to raise our funds and even $20 will help us on our way. If you have more to give, by all means, give more. If you have less, you can donate even as little as $5. If you can’t support us monetarily right now, please consider sharing our project with your friends and family using Indiegogo’s share tools on our page.
Our Big Dreams
We want to be truthful with you. Our biggest dream is to make the ass-kicking-est (sorry, grandma for the language) best album you’ve ever heard and take it to the top. We’d love to have it reach the top of the Americana charts, then the Texas Music Charts, then the Country charts, then the Billboard charts. We would love for this to launch our careers to a place we’ve never been before solo. In the words of The New Vagabonds “godfather”, Tom Wasson, “The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts” and that is something that we believe as well. We think that our music is not only fun to listen to, but it can change the face of San Antonio and Texas and country music for the better and you can help us be a part of that. Enough with the San Antonio heavy metal scene getting all the attention, enough with the songs about tubing the river and drinking with your frat buddies in Texas Music, enough with the “truck” and “bro-country” songs in Country music today. Let’s do something about it by making this the best record to ever come out of South Texas.
We’d like this record to be a launching point. We’d like to take this album to Nashville and show it off to the big record companies and have them salivate over a new version on a genre of music that hasn’t walked through its doors in 30 years. That could be us. You could be a part of it.
Thanks for reading and PLEASE head over to our Indiegogo fundraising campaign to help us out. It’s the difference between excelling and succeeding in making our dreams come true and going on with every day life as it is and you can be the seed that gets us to that next level.
-The New Vagabonds