Wednesday, September 14, 2011

aunty piracy measures

yay you guys, it's interactive band time again.

im going to assume you've read this, which was kinda the impetus to try this little experiment yr all invited to.

tldr, this guy [captain leaky] had an advance review copy of our record, and has been sending it to his mates. and one of them wrote to us and i wrote him back explaining how it had nothing to do with the - O I WAS GOING TO BUY IT ANYWAY - and how reliant we are on everyone simultaneously buzzing about it come release week, because thats when the wider world is going to be looking at us.

honestly i feel a twinge of guilt here. we have become the empire. because its YOU, you who reads this blog and champion our cause and get all righteous with us, that wants to hear the record the most/is the most susceptible to leak temptage. and its also YOU that we're relying on to make a big internet hoohaa when it comes out.

i know two months is a massive wait. we've never had a release this ambitious, we've never released over 3 territories (uk, europe, japan) at the same time before, the deluxe album package we're putting together is FUCKING AMAZE and requires more time and effort. Basically, for once, we have our asses organised and have enough time to actually pull this off, and it could so easily be ruined by YOU if yr the kind of person always demands his/her christmas present early.

The nature of what we do means we have to compete with bands and labels with much bigger financial clout than us. and yknow, i'd like to think we do it because we have more committed (and better looking) fans. so, y'know, please dont let us down. this whole thing works as a community, so you can celebrate with all of us in november, or on yr own in a dank and morally grey corner of the internet.

anyway, i'm sure a few of you are as cynical as i am. it's going to happen anyway right? there's no way we can contain all the leaks. it's depressingly true. someone, somewhere, is going to be a bastard.

but! what if we were bastards first? what if we took the power and leaked the record ourselves?

bam. fuck you pirates.

hey, not really. but sort of. the link above is our album, + 4 distortion patches, 3 echo plug ins, 2 flangers, and a deep swell phaser. it's basically an hour of this: fssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssssSSHHHHHHHHH

i'm sure you've seen a few bands try this before. its a rad idea. but it doesn't really work, cos most aggregator sites, filestube, rapidsearch, etc search through blogs and forums, not the filehosting pages themselves.

can you see where this is going? you are a weapon. we can aim you.

we'd like you to download that link, then reupload it somewhere and post a link in a forum or on yr blog. feel free to add in some kind of "this is totally messed up and i'm doing it cos i believe in the power of punk rock" disclaimer text.

if we can flood the search engines with a bunch of fake copies then it'll make it way harder to get the real thing when it eventually leaks.

this is maybe a minute of clicking and 5 minutes waiting, then another minute of clickage on your part. here's a list of sites that host stuff for free, where you dont have to sign up or register. thanks, piracy, for being such a big part of the internet that we have these minimum security fast websites.

feel free to change the filename to make it more confusingly realistic;
-add words like "ADVANCE" and "review copy" and "FULL RELEASE" etcy.
-a lot of pirate groups have a dumb selfserving tag or team name they attach too. feel free to invent yr own.

then, when yr done, get the link and put it in whatever forums you use, or on yr blog, or yr god damn tumblr, or on 4chan..

anyway, prize element: everyone who takes part, and sends us proof will get a code from jack for 50p off the preorder when we annouce it. I know it's not a whole lot, but we hope you'll take part cos you realise how much this means to us, as opposed to the financial reward. consider it yet another token of appreciation from our responsible adults.

whoever deals the most damage will recieve, from us, the original recovered-from-the-sea-bed 1920s playbill that forms the basis of the book that accompanies the special edition album release.
i know you dont know what i'm talking about but i've already said too much too soon. if it gets to a heated competition then we'll throw in some other original bits of artworks too. send linky or screencappy proof to
and title the message Me Vs Pirates

i don't think any bands ever tried this before. im not sure most bands have the kind of fans that would even care, but we're not most bandsso y'know, consider yrselves punk pioneers, and go do us proud.

thank you


anti piracy measures. (prologue)


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.

take care