It’s 104°F as I write this, that’s 40°C which for many people in the world might seem normal except that we are in the Rheinland in Germany where temperatures like this are unprecedented and records are being broken across the continent. We are about to leave for an equally scorching England where in the month of August Dare and I will start mixing some MOAT tracks from the second album ‘Poison Stream’ for a 2020 release and think about writing sessions for a future Noctorum album which might appear anywhere between 2021 and 2025. Historically, despite there being four completed albums, a five year minimum has separated the releases.
But before all this happens we have decided to relegate to the past, the difficulties involved with working with PledgeMusic even though, with enthusiastic support from the public, we were encouraged to make arguably our best album to date, ‘The Afterlife’. As they declare bankruptcy (as we always suspected they would), the biggest tragedy of PledgeMusic is that it was such a great idea and when we hear talk of six figure wages for executives in swanky offices and so many artists unable to honour Pledges we wonder will there ever be justice for bands and their fans. It could have been so simple and we wonder if greed or stupidity was the platform’s downfall – the pain of broken promises lingers.
In our case we raised $28,615, Pledge took a commission of $4,292 (even that doesn’t seem fair now) that means they owed us $24,323. They paid us $10,280, leaving $14,043 to be paid – we never received this amount. Our outlay had to cover the studio costs, the musicians, mastering, manufacture, the general administering of the project, and postage across the world to all the Pledgers – all this soon swallowed up the whole amount – that is the whole amount that we didn’t receive.
Other bands and their fans have suffered terribly from all this. Promising a record that in the end they either couldn’t afford to record or couldn’t afford to manufacture because PledgeMusic didn’t give them the money they so badly needed to finish the project – and then of course there was the huge expense of the postage for all the items promised. In our case we decided between ourselves – that is me, Dare, Olivia and Stephen at the label, that despite not receiving all the funds, we would see it through and hope that the situation would resolve itself – it didn’t. So as it now stands, all of us and especially Stephen at the label are struggling financially with the costs of honouring the pledges. So with PledgeMusic abandoning us to their villas in the sun, what do we do?
It seemed to me that the only way out of this was to think positive and as it has been some months since the release of ‘The Afterlife’ the time has come for us to unleash the companion piece and appropriately titled ‘The Afterdeath EP’. BUT, the problem is that the cost of manufacture incurs all the same expenses that put us in this position in the first place. So, what we have decided to do is release four songs digitally. Three that have never been heard before and including two songs recorded in ‘The Afterlife’ sessions. The other two songs are cover versions. But we also decided to go ahead with real artwork that is downloadable so you could make your own CD.
So, welcome to ‘The Afterdeath EP’ – Dancing With Death and The Mermaid are two songs that we didn’t release with the ‘Afterlife’ album for no other reason than we thought the album sounded complete as it was. The Sound’s I Can’t Escape Myself is one of the cover versions. It was recorded for a tribute album that never materialized and has lain on the shelves unloved. The other, Buffalo Springfield’s Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing was recorded for a tribute album that did materialize and we have recently made it available as downloadable rarity through my Bandcamp page but it was originally released by Noctorum.
The artwork is from a painting by Olivia of a skeleton of a mermaid, turned into a fossil by Photoshop genius, Churchhill Garden and The Blue Heron’s main man, Andy Jossi. Not only have we made a booklet, lyrics and front and back cover available for download but we have also made it possible to download the front cover as a poster (landscape & portrait formats).
This is our way of giving you as close to the physical thing as possible without incurring all the costs.
Stephen Judge at our label Schoolkids Records suggested that instead of making this EP available through our Bandcamp page we could make it available through GoFundMe which would allow people to contribute whatever they wanted towards the cause of us trying to claw back some of our losses and at the same time make something worthy available. I would like to thank everyone who has already contributed to this project and for all the great feedback and amazing reviews we have received. We can only hope that our next project does not suffer the same fate (MOAT’s ‘Poison Stream’) as we consider how to refund the costs already incurred.
On how you receive your link to get ‘The Afterdeath EP’ and artwork; once you donate we will receive your email address and we will forward you the link. It’s as simple as that.
Our ultimate goal is to create and release as much original material in different forms as we can. I’m sure most of you are aware that on November 8th Atlantæum Flood will release the debut instrumental album ‘One Day’ on Schoolkids Records – another project supported by Stephen Judge. But in the meantime if you would like to support our quest through the GoFundMe page and help us recover by contributing to ‘The Afterdeath EP’ then thank you in advance, it will be much appreciated as we doggedly continue to make music on our own terms despite the distractions.
Marty, Dare, Olivia & Stephen