In the rock indieverse, bands come and go by the day. Some resurge five years later with a groundbreaking album, and others remain just below the spotlight of a true breakthrough. The rock group ‘The Spill Canvas’ has toyed with mainstream success, but has always remained a pivotal point in the emo-tinged indie world. Right out of the middle of the “naughties” circa 2005, The Spill Canvas’ channeled The Get Up Kids and Mineral to full effect.
The Spill Canvas has never been Death Cab For Cutie or Modest Mouse, but they weren’t Tommy Tommyson and the Rocketeers. Now a few years later, the group has taken a break from their admirable blend of organic pop/rock, and front man Nick Thomas has gone the way of the “solo career.” Unlike Mick Jagger, we hope this one to be a success.
With this new avenue comes a new opportunity to introduce aspects of music that would have been arguably too alienating in a band format. With that, there is quite a lot to be excited for. Thomas clearly has an ear for a pop hook, and his songwriting and lyrical ability recalls some gritty dramatics and storytelling aspects that are quite fashionable and intriguing in the right light. But Thomas can go the experimental route, opting for a bizarre blend of many styles, or harnessing the power of the “acid-prog rock odyssey. I wouldn’t count on it, but you never know.
Nick Thomas is using Kickstarter to fund his latest endeavor, and this says more about he power of Kickstarter than it does the power of Thomas’ fan base. See, a record label could fund the production of the album based on the eager fans waiting and willing to buy the album, but Thomas seems to entrust his fans a responsibility- to help him directly and right now.
With the prizes associated (a digital copy of the album, a signed physical copy to name a few) you are essentially preordering the album before release, and supporting its production in the meantime).
Kickstarter is powerful- extremely powerful. Without a label, it fully frees Thomas to do whatever he wants with the album. With the proper financing, it really COULD be an acid-rock space opera.
The Kickstarter was set up to fund studio recording time, equipment rental, album artwork, and album pressing. It costs a lot to make an album. It costs a lot to make a great album, for the most part. Thomas is clearly harnessing the power of social media 3.0 to deliver some of the utmost quality, and hoping fans will support the project with passion and adoration.
‘The Spill Canvas’ exist in that odd little middle ground between breaking the billboard charts in 2006 to releasing underappreciated indie gems with a modicum of sales. But if Nick Thomas can find success on Kickstarter, any musician, of any type, could essentially gain support from their modest amount of fans. Neither Nick Thomas nor Spill Canvas has the sizable audience to break the charts and tour arenas, but they may have a big enough audience to fund $15,000 for the creation of their album. And in the end, that is all that really counts.
The funding was a success, but there is no reason to stop supporting the project. Maybe with more funding, Thomas can add those orchestra strings he always wanted or tour the world fourteen times over. After it is all said and done, the music was supported by the fans, and this new way could be the ONLY true way in the not too distant future.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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