so later i'm going to give details of how We Need You in The Fight Against Pirates. but first; this guy sent us a mail. someone had sent him an illegal copy of our record and he'd realised how much it meant to us and deleted it. and it was genuinely touching. Like some morality tale of this kid who stole sweets then went to the sweet shop full of remorse to apologise and give the half chewed sweets back. I'll call him Speedball, cos i know my Marvel Universe History.
Thanks Speedball. I wrote you a reply. I'd rather post it here as part of our ongoing campaign to speak the truth in this business of lies. Everyone is tempted by leaks, and too often i see people succumb on the basis of - hey fuck off imma going to buy it anyway -
and whilst that might be true, it don't really make the difference they think it does.
so this is what i said:
Hi. thanks for writing. it means a lot.
i see yr point and i do exactly the same thing to my friends who work in press/play in bands cos im too impatient to wait. but [Captain Leaky] had no right to send you stuff whatever his motives, and we explicitly trusted him not to.
its kinda gutting. cos he obviously likes us and would probably write positive things. and y'know, i'd assume, cos he's a fan, he reads our blog, he knows how much we have riding on this, and how important the release impact - all our awesome fans being bedazzled and buzzing about it AT THE SAME TIME - is to our future prospects. i also understand the social kudos in being The Dude That Gets Stuff Early. at some point he had to weigh up what was more important to him; our future or his ego. and he chose his ego, and he used my work/art as a bartering tool. thats a seriously cunty thing to do, whatever the outcome.
that guy is (was) on a list of people who write music reviews and are trusted to have review copies of things prior to release. it's a weird position of power, you could very easily sink a whole campaign if you were evil/stupid enough. it's not about what his intentions or motives were, its more that he'd break the trust he has with people who send him promos. cos, we're relying on that trust to be able to afford being a band.
everyone thinks of release dates and leaks in terms of sales, and in the last few years especially it's become misdirection. a leak isn't the same as a lost sale, and noone seriously buys music any more anyway. it doesn't worry us too much. and y'know, it encourages lazy bands to give more of a shit about their end product, which is always A Good Thing.
what will seriously damage us tho, is, for want of a better term, dissipated hype.
Our absolute worst case scenario is the record leaking in the next few weeks, and then come november, promotors and agents and all the Industry Cunts we rely on checking our facebook and thinking, shit, there's not that many people excited about this record.
and it won't be because people aren't excited, but they'll have heard it a month ago, processed it, already discussed it in less public forums, and be waiting for the wider world to catch up.
specifically, thats you i'm talking about; not "people what like our band", but you (comparatively) tiny % of absolute babes who actually, genuinely care about us and what we do - all the fyjf kids spread over the world who say ridicolously nice things about us and fill our egos, the noise you'll hopefully make in that week when you all hear the legal stream of our record and are all simultaneously internetting about it is our best weapon in the war for more gigs and better gig fees, and more radio plays, tv syncs, more offers to go tour
so i hope you understand, we're not mad at you for wanting this record. fuck, i'd go as far as to say we're relying on it, in exactly the same way a major label shitty bland indie band relies on press adverts and fluff pieces, to make enough noise that the outside world listens to us and hopefully pays for kellys amp to be fixed, etc.
and i hope you also understand why we desperately need to control and channel the hype, and thus the content, as much as we can. We don't have the budget to run big adverts in the press, we're not about to tone our stance down for the mainstream, and we literally cannot afford to take the hit on this campaign. For us to have a decent shot at Making Money And Surviving, we need to focus everyone's first listen on the week of release, where it'll be streamed and annotated and presented in this right context.
i hope this doesn't jade yr perspective of us. as much as we're desperate for everyone to hear the record, we need everyone to get it at the same time so we can compete with all them major label bands who also play guitar pop songs and are arrogant enough to think they mean something.