"How do you know when you are finished with a piece of writing?"—Evie, age 10 Evie, you've asked a stumper. I wish I had a clear, concrete ... Read More
[Nick Flora is well known around here, and he’s recently launched a new Kickstarter campaign. We asked him to drop by the Rabbit Room and tell us about it and here’s what he had to say. Click here to support Nick on Kickstarter.]
One thing they don’t tell you when you sign up to be an indie musician (at the “Indie Musician Sign Up” booth) is that your dreams get to come true in the smallest of ways. Like twice a year or so you get to play “PBS pledge drive host” to all your fans, friends, and family! Remember those pledge drives? When you’re just trying to watch Ken Burns’ 156-part documentary on turtle doves and every 20 minutes some guy with a ill-fitting suit and a skinny Bob Barker microphone chimes in to tell you about tote bags or VHS copies of Anne Of Green Gables you can get for pledging 15 bucks a year? Okay, if you were born after 1990, then this probably doesn’t ring any bells for you.
But that’s what it has come down to for indie musicians thru the amazing technology of crowd sourcing platforms like Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, Indie GoGo, GoFundMe, HelpMeGetMyScarfBusinessOutOfMyStepDadsGuestRoom.org, etc.
It’s a really cool time we live in. We can directly help out the artists we like by literally putting our money into the art they create and then see it created. It’s also the most stress-inducing time for artists, since we have to “bug” our fan bases by constantly reminding them how broke we are because we chose to go into the music business. Then after all that bugging and reminding about the campaign, we HOPE that our goal is met and we can finally make the thing!
So that brings me to the point of this blog. A couple weeks ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund not one but THREE musical projects. The idea is to make three EPs over the course of a year. Each EP will have a different style or theme attached to it, but will be inherently still “Nick Flora” (if that’s a thing).
Let me tell you the top 3 things you may not know about each of these EPs. [cue Mark Mothersbaugh’s score from The Life Aquatic]
EP #1: Futureboy
1. This EP deals a lot with time travel. Not literally, sadly, but in the ways we often become (too) attached to events from our past, worry about the future, and struggle to stay present. More specifically, it’s about the after effects of things we go through, like why it’s hard to open up (even with people we love) or start over after we’ve invested so much time and love into something that didn’t pan out.
2. Despite those heavy themes, it’s easily the most fun-sounding record I’ve made. I wanted to make a recording that sounds like summer. The feeling of waking up in the morning and not having to go to school, or the way it feels in the evening as you get a little more nostalgic about summer’s past.
3. The bass player from ’90s Christian Brit-pop band All-Star United played on it. True story. ‘Nuff said.
EP #2: Christmas
I’ll be the first to ask the question: do we need more Christmas music? And then I’ll be the first to answer with: “If it’s good, then yes!” So the second EP (that will hopefully release around the time when holiday music isn’t obnoxious) will be Christmas-themed. My friend, and frequent musical collaborator, Stacy Lantz and I have written a handful of songs that fit nicely with the holiday season and we’d like you guys to hear it.
1. I’m interested in writing songs that deal more with the feelings that surround the holidays than the actual holiday itself. Feelings of melancholy and self-doubt, that feeling that you didn’t accomplish enough in the year, and so on. That’s more relatable to me as an adult going through the holidays.
2. I wrote a song about how to make a Christmas-themed mix CD, which is something I know a little something about. It’s hopefully more clever than as lame as that sounds on paper.
3. This EP will most likely be produced by Andy Osenga, bringing him out of “producer semi-retirement.”
EP #3: Stripped down
Despite the provocative description, it’s just because I don’t have a better way to describe it at the moment. This EP will be more stripped down tonally. Acoustic, piano, and vocals are my favorite combo for hearing songs.
1. I’m diving into a lot of struggles that remain constants in my life, some that I’ve never heard brought up in song before.
2. There are a few more “too bizarre to be true” family stories I’d like to tell in song. If you’ve heard my previous record, then you know a few of them already (see “Lost At Sea,” parts 1, 2, and 3) But there’s more, believe it or not, and I can’t wait to tackle them.
3. Obviously this EP will be influenced by some of your favorite Rabbit Room artists, and maybe not the ones you’d guess.
In summation, let’s remember, it might be obnoxious to get 215 emails or Facebook posts in a week from artists reminding you to pledge, but that just shows how much we care about making the highest quality art we can. We want to make something you can be proud to say you backed. For an artist, it’s all worth it. I love how connected it makes me feel to my fans, and how it makes random people on the internet feel like friends and family.