Thomas Nassiff is a contributing writer to PropertyOfZack. Follow him on Twitter.
"New rules," right? Jay-Z set a bar this year when he announced Magna Carta Holy Grail two weeks before its release date, selling Samsung one million units and earning himself a platinum record before any marketing had begun.
But his wife might have just one-upped him.
After almost an entire calendar year of teasing her massively loyal fanbase (and the rest of us) with clips, commercial appearances and generally not saying anything at all about her new album during her entire world tour (she also cut her hair!), Beyonce drops a new 14-song album at midnight on Friday the 13th with 14 accompanying music videos. Oh, and HOV, Drake and Frank Ocean all make appearances. OH, and Columbia Records said this week that her new album would be dropping in 2014. So much for that…
It’s December. The music industry, as it does every year, is about to go on hiatus for half a month. The Christmas albums have come out and the Grammy nominations are already here. No one releases new music this close to the new year for many reasons – one major reason is that Internet traffic dies during the holiday season, meaning that online marketing has a limited reach.
But when your marketing strategy costs zero dollars, who gives a fuck about that? Putting a new album on iTunes doesn’t cost anything. Releasing a 14-song album with 14 music videos comes with its production costs, sure, but this thing costs $16 online. And here’s a prediction – Queen Bey will chime in on this week’s Soundscan reports with sales around the 500K mark (and maybe more), even though she has a 3-day disadvantage by dropping the self-titled LP on a Friday instead of a traditional Tuesday.
Under The Gun Review have posted a new editorial called Dear Record Labels - Please Upload And Maintain Your Video Archives that highlights the need and hope for labels of all sizes to keep better track of important media moments online for all fans to see. Read part of the piece below after the jump.
It’s been a busy week for Modern Baseball between announcing a tour with The Wonder Years and a new album called You’re Gonna Miss It All, but there’s still a little more left. PropertyOfZack met up with the band this past weekend for an interview to highlight their new album, discuss life as a band, the difficulties college presents for being in a band, their future. Read up on the interview with frontman Brendan Lukens and bassist Ian Farmer below!
I remember sitting in this house 14 months ago with your manager, Eric, planning the press rollout for Sports, which just turned one years old. Most people only found out about the record when you signed to Run For Cover nine months ago. The growth has been huge, and fans have helped spread it around so much.
Brendan: It’s been incredible. I think the best way to describe it is that, when other bands first meet us, they ask us how long we’ve been together for. We say around a year and a half to two years, and every answer is always, “Fuck you guys [Laughs].” There’s just been a crazy amount of support - it’s almost overwhelming.
Ian: We really got lucky. The kids who like us, they really support us.
It’s more than just kids though. Modern Baseball has become a band’s band too.
Brendan: It’s awesome, and that showed at Fest. We’re poppy and kind of weird, so it’d be weird for us to have a large crowd at Fest, but the room was 500-cap and it was fucking full. People had to wait outside, and it just shows how supportive everyone can be. It started in Philly basements and bands slowly started to hit us up. I remember when Greg from The World Is tweeted at us so that we could give him our number so we could play shows together and hug.
Modern Baseball is, and has always been, a self-sufficient band. Sports was recorded by yourselves, your manager put up the money to press the record, and it was just all very internal.
Brendan: We had you too, don’t sell yourself short.
POZ: Everything is just close knit, even Run For Cover.
Brendan: Run For Cover was a goal of Eric’s and ours by next year.
POZ: I had a conversation this past January about how the band wanted to be signed around this time in 2013. Three days later you were offered a deal from Run For Cover, which is how everything has been.
Brendan: Everything has been unexpected. We tried our hardest to do as much as we could. We couldn’t do a ton with touring because of school, and we didn’t bail until The Wonder Years offer. We did as much stuff with POZ and the internet as we could. Then we would do these weekend runs that would take us away from Philly, but it was worth it. It almost lifts weight off of our shoulders at this point. People started to see that we work hard and that we’re decent. When we started working with Peanut, our agent, it was just a breath of fresh air. It was crazy seeing that we didn’t have to book shitty house shows anymore. This upcoming winter tour is the first tour we didn’t book by ourselves. We love being really hard working and internal, but getting help is great.
Talk about the summer tour. It was 50 days.
Brendan: That tour was awesome in terms of the shows, but it was one of the most stressful things in my life. Six weeks beforehand we decided we could do it and we booked it. It was split in thirds between Peanut, Cam Boucher, and I. Us three went at it really fast and booked these 50 days in six weeks. You and Chris Farren were both like, “How are you announcing a 50 date tour three weeks before it happens?” I didn’t need your shit.
POZ: It paid off.
Brendan: Now we get to do this Wonder Years tour and a cool winter tour as well. This year really showed an improvement within the band in terms of size and shows in general. We have three shows with Bayside, a show with Man Overboard, and then a few shows with The Hundred Acre Woods and Color And Sound. It’ll be great to go from that into The Wonder Years tour and a new record cycle.
Sports came out less than a year ago to the general public, so the announce of You’re Gonna Miss It All will surprise many. Why a new record now?
Ian: We wanted to. It was a possible thing to do.
Brendan: As you mentioned before, we didn’t expect anyone to love the record. We wanted to sell 300 copies on vinyl then shop around a new record and sign to a label by this winter. Instead, it worked backwards and then forwards. The songs were there. We didn’t want to wait on our songs and end up hating them or something like that. We were just too anxious. We wanted to do it.
PropertyOfZack joined forces with Team Pagano and Stay Alive last year to launch Be Part Of Something, a compilation that included 20 bands and their songs. It went incredibly well, and we are beyond stoked to be launching Be Part Of Something Volume II this month with some added help from Glamour Kills this time around.
Volume II will feature 35 bands and include four unreleased tracks and one alternative song. The Wonder Years, Modern Baseball, A Loss For Words, and many other bands will be included, so don’t forget check back throughout the month!