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Interview: Such Gold (Industry Interview) - 11.02.10
 

Such Gold (Industry Interview) - 11.02.10

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Such Gold (Industry Interview) - 11.02.10Leaks are as common as Burger King "breakfast" commercials these days. While some think leaks only hurt major artists, they've also taken their toll on up and coming ones as well. Such Gold recently had their un-mastered, un-mixed album Pedestals leaked just a bit too early. The band was not pleased. Nate Derby took some time to talk to us about the leak and how to keep playing past it.

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Let's talk about the leak. You used the word "pissed" in your blog post. Some bands have taken an indifferent stance with leaks, possibly realizing their potential to gain hype or capture new fans, but you are on the other side with artists unhappy with the preview before the reveal? Why have you taken this stance?

We were “pissed” for two reasons: 1 - the copy of ‘Pedestals’ that leaked was one of the early mixes...it was very rough, it hadn’t been mastered, and all of the song titles were still working titles. It wasn't the finished product we wanted everyone to hear. 2 - we’ve had one version or another of the record in our hands since before the summer - we held onto it for a long time before it was ready and in less than 10 days before the official news about ‘Pedestals’ was to be released someone pulled the rug out from under us, undermining the work that we, 6131 Records and our manager R.J. all put in. We were really more upset that the “cat had been let out of the bag”. The loss of control over your own music is very frustrating. We tried to explain why we were so frustrated as best we could in our post-leak response on our Wordpress.

What HAS been the reaction of sales since the leak? Do you think it helped in any way?

Sales have been great! Definitely around what we expected. We don’t think the leak “helped” much - sales would have probably been about the same if everything had gone as planned.

You recently put your album up on Bandcamp and then streamed it with us on the site. Do you think this should be the alternative route for bands to take and listeners to catch onto, or do you think leaking and illegal downloading already has an abundant grip on everyone and can't be reversed or slowed at this point?


Well...both. Bandcamp and similar services as well as popular news sites like AP.Net or Punknews.org that host song/album streams are extremely important and helpful tools that every band should try and take advantage of to get their music heard, however they don’t completely remedy the effects that illegal downloading can inflict on a band. Illegal downloading definitely has a grip on everyone, and is extremely abundant and easy these days, but it’s effects aren’t all negative. For example, we use Last.FM to track who’s listening to us on an Audioscrobbler-supported program or Last.FM radio...which doesn't show who downloaded the record illegally and who didn’t, but it does provide us with some solid data we can use to tell us how many people are actually listening out there.

If someone really gets into your band because of any sort of leak or they come up to you at your show and say, "Hey man, I downloaded this off a torrent. You were really great tonight," and then buys a physical copy, or even a t-shirt - is the situation justified?

Absolutely - even if they don’t buy a thing. The fact that they came to the show to see us is good enough. Don’t get us wrong - we want people to hear our music regardless if they paid for it or not. We want it in their hands regardless of how they acquire it. Even if they download it and make a point to tell us how much they liked it, or they tell a friend or two about us, we’re happy. We’re all guilty of illegal downloading - who do you know that isn’t? What matters is the other ways you choose to support the band or label you essentially just stole from.

What routes should bands take or be aware of in keeping their albums under lock and key? What can other bands (big or small) take from your experience to better keep a hold on a release before it is officially supposed to be released?


Here’s some advice: don’t make physical copies of anything that’s not completely finished. If possible, take one digital copy, and keep it in a password protected .zip or .dmg file on a computer, and leave one copy on a secure iPod if you absolutely have to. Let people hear it as necessary, but DO NOT give it out to anyone except for those closest to the band...what we’d call “immediate family”...manager, label, booking agent. Our mistake was giving out an un-mixed, un-mastered copy to someone who was not “immediate family”.

Do you think there's only two ways to play the market these days? The first being the old school D.I.Y. and the second signing big and hoping for the best amongst an already saturated market of music.


There’s no right or quantifiable way of “playing the market” these days - every band has to take a unique approach to marketing themselves and their music. We do what we feel is right and works for us to achieve the goals and expectations we have of this band while still maintaining our integrity and credibility.

Where does Such Gold go from here in the wake of things?

We continue to ride the wake, just as we did from the moment we got word of the leak. We’ve moved on - the leak is old news. At least now kids can download a legit, official copy from any number of sources, regardless if we make any money from it. All we want is for kids to hear the music, and hopefully we have some sort of positive impact on them - the money we’ve lost from illegal downloading would be nice to have, and would solve a lot of our problems, but that’s not what we’re in this for.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17
11:44 AM on 11/02/10
#2
shotgunbang
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hope everything works out for these guys the way they had hoped! they're good dudes and they work super hard. having a record leak while it isn't finished has to be the worst way it could possibly happen. people might judge it too soon and it doesn't allow a band like this to show everyone their full potential the first time around. you wouldn't want to hear someone play a half finished song at a show, i don't understand why people would want to download a recorded but unmixed and unmastered copy of an album.
12:01 PM on 11/02/10
#3
PirateSkater182
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Every interview is about the leak. Fuck.
12:09 PM on 11/02/10
#4
nate_derby
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Every interview is about the leak. Fuck.
YOU ARE WRONG, SIR. We have several interviews that are not completely focused on the leak. I've posted links for them on our Wordpress blog - suchgold.wordpress.com.
12:13 PM on 11/02/10
#5
PirateSkater182
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YOU ARE WRONG, SIR. We have several interviews that are not completely focused on the leak. I've posted links for them on our Wordpress blog - suchgold.wordpress.com.
Thanks! I know the leak must be hard to deal with, but there's already so much about it that's been said.
12:26 PM on 11/02/10
#6
nate_derby
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Thanks! I know the leak must be hard to deal with, but there's already so much about it that's been said.
I agree - we're done talking about the leak. When this interview came in I was pretty much like..."FUCK...seriously we gotta talk about this more?" But I really enjoyed doing this interview...great questions...we got out a lot of good stuff we wanted to say. Thanks for checking it out, and make sure to check those other interviews out too. We post all our interviews there and announce tour dates there first.
12:36 PM on 11/02/10
#7
PirateSkater182
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I agree - we're done talking about the leak. When this interview came in I was pretty much like..."FUCK...seriously we gotta talk about this more?" But I really enjoyed doing this interview...great questions...we got out a lot of good stuff we wanted to say. Thanks for checking it out, and make sure to check those other interviews out too. We post all our interviews there and announce tour dates there first.
Will be reading these for sure. I seriously hope to see a lot more of you guys in the future. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed you come anywhere near me on tour.
12:48 PM on 11/02/10
#8
Adam Pfleider
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I agree - we're done talking about the leak. When this interview came in I was pretty much like..."FUCK...seriously we gotta talk about this more?" But I really enjoyed doing this interview...great questions...we got out a lot of good stuff we wanted to say. Thanks for checking it out, and make sure to check those other interviews out too. We post all our interviews there and announce tour dates there first.
talk to Keagan about getting "blued" (band registry) for the site...thanks for the interview too btw...
01:53 PM on 11/02/10
#9
Nick Le
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I agree - we're done talking about the leak. When this interview came in I was pretty much like..."FUCK...seriously we gotta talk about this more?" But I really enjoyed doing this interview...great questions...we got out a lot of good stuff we wanted to say. Thanks for checking it out, and make sure to check those other interviews out too. We post all our interviews there and announce tour dates there first.
You gave some really great answers, so I definitely enjoyed reading this.

That sucks so much that it was an unmastered version that leaked and hopefully kids will realize that and check out the finished project. I bought it as soon as you put it up on bandcamp and I'm really loving it. Definitely one of my favorite EPs this year, I was so stoked when I heard Kenny singing, haha. You guys need to make it out to So Cal soon!
02:29 PM on 11/02/10
Thomas Nassiff
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The purpose about this interview and this feature is to talk about leaks, the music industry, and the digital aspect of music. So of course it was about the leak.
02:32 PM on 11/02/10
more heart
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Great interview. I can definitely feel their frustration as a band about this leak happening. Such an awful thing to have happen. All of this reminds me I still need to pre-order the physical copy of this EP for myself.
03:04 PM on 11/02/10
watujim
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hey nate..... shut up!!!
04:21 PM on 11/02/10
starseed
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you wouldn't want to hear someone play a half finished song at a show, i don't understand why people would want to download a recorded but unmixed and unmastered copy of an album.

Not to undermine your point at all, but every time a band plays a new song at a show and the finished version ends up being different than the one you heard that day, you technically just heard a half-finished song. Happens all the time.

I assume people download unmastered and unmixed stuff for almost the same reason why bands will try out new material on the road: people want to get an idea of where a band is headed, what they can expect. But most of the time I figure it probably doesn't even have to do with the band; it's just about having something that you normally shouldn't. It's like people who hunt b-sides or unreleased albums. It's about having a thing that wouldn't normally be widely available. Of course it's a little difficult to call anything that comes from the Internet a "collector's item", but I imagine it works on the same principles.
06:01 PM on 11/02/10
fly_guy
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I downloaded the leak, yeah, but I preorded the album too. Seriously the best EP I've heard all year. If I hadn't listened to Stand Tall over 60 times, I could've held out. Blame yourselves for being too good!
09:26 PM on 11/02/10
route36west1
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Not to undermine your point at all, but every time a band plays a new song at a show and the finished version ends up being different than the one you heard that day, you technically just heard a half-finished song. Happens all the time.

I assume people download unmastered and unmixed stuff for almost the same reason why bands will try out new material on the road: people want to get an idea of where a band is headed, what they can expect. But most of the time I figure it probably doesn't even have to do with the band; it's just about having something that you normally shouldn't. It's like people who hunt b-sides or unreleased albums. It's about having a thing that wouldn't normally be widely available. Of course it's a little difficult to call anything that comes from the Internet a "collector's item", but I imagine it works on the same principles.

This is absolutely true.

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