The long and short of it all…
Hello friends and fans -- we are Katagory V!
For those not familiar with us, you may read a great many details concerning our humble band on Wikipedia, or continue reading here if you wish. We are a progressive metal band that started in Salt Lake City, Utah near the turn of the century (1999, to be exact). In the beginning of 2001, we released our debut album, "Present Day." It had a limited run of 1,000 copies and sold out within a year. It has never been re-released, nor has it been made available digitally (due to legal issues, much to our chagrin). Today, due to its rarity, copies that end up on eBay sell for anywhere between $20 and $100!
Because of the debut album's popularity, we signed on to various labels here in the U.S. and abroad and released three more albums. Katagory V went on to perform several metal festivals and one-off shows across the U.S., sharing the stage with fantastic metal acts such as Helstar,Tad Morose, Morgana Lefay, Vicious Rumors, and the legendary Anvil. The band briefly acted as a backing band for lead singer Ronny Monroe ofMetal Church on some of his solo shows, and bassist Dustin Mitchell even stood in with the godfathers of classic heavy metal, Riot, when their then-bassist was injured and unable to perform.
It was all going well for several years. The band was on track, and things were looking up, right? Well, not really…this is where this campaign comes into play!
About the "Resurrect the Album" campaign
With the band's preceding success and large underground following of fans near and far, why are we doing this campaign to raise money to get our latest album released? Why is an album from 2011 STILL not released, and why has it taken this long to get around to doing it? Why hasn't a label picked it up yet? Why has the band not released it on their own already? Why should you care? Truthfully, it is very difficult to keep it brief, as it is a very long and torrid tale… with that said, it would mean a lot to us for you to take just 10 minutes and allow us to explain.
Let's start at the top, shall we?
...Here we go!Economic recession, loss/changing of day jobs, divorces, having kids, mortgages, rent, home repairs, loss of homes, health problems, health insurance, medical bills, travel expenses, internet piracy, and, finally, record label hesitation and/or general disinterest due to the current music industry climate. Sure, this all sounds like a bunch of whining, complaining and excuses, but this is the honest truth: no B.S. here. This is why the latest album has been sitting on a shelf (or inside of a hard drive) collecting dust for almost 4 years.
We know what you're thinking: "How is this possible? It shouldn't be that expensive. Just pool your money together, throw down the cash, and put it out already!," right? Contrary to popular belief, most musicians are not swimming in money. In fact, we only keep ourselves afloat with actual day jobs, just like everyone else in the real world! If we had an abundance of extra capital (i.e. disposable income), we would most certainly put it into our music! However, it's been 15 years since Katagory V was formed, and everyone in the band is in their 30's now. At this point in our lives, we have all gone far past our days of working low-paying, high turn-over jobs to supplement our craft. We've grown up and stopped living with mom and dad, and we now have families of our own as well as other responsibilities pertaining to REAL LIFE. Add this to all of the scenarios mentioned in the previous paragraph, and it's clearly obvious why the new album hasn't been released yet.
When life happens, hobbies have to take a back seat, especially ones that cost a lot of money to maintain. We would love for Katagory V to be more than just a hobby. In fact, for years we treated it as much more than a hobby, and we invested thousands of our own dollars into it beyond what the record labels would provide, hoping it would be a self-sustaining career down the road. Sadly, however, nothing fell into place. As we got older, the music industry changed. Technology changed the way that people consume and listen to music. Maybe our timing was wrong, or perhaps the cards were stacked against us. We arrived too late to be considered a "heritage band" and too early to make a sizable impact in an already flooded music scene.
At the end of the day, when you are spending more money to create and release your music than what you make back and you still work a day job, it is classified as a "hobby."
Internet killed the radio star...
There are many myths concerning the music industry as a business, and we should dispel them here and now. Technologists feel that we just need to "adapt and get with the times" by taking a massive pay cut, because today's technology has made it much more affordable to record music than it was 20 years ago. Free Culturalists feel that what we create should be free for everyone to share, that it is just "digital information" on the internet, that "sharing is caring," and that we should feel privileged to pay out of our own pockets to make music because it is a "blessing" for us to have the internet, allowing millions to hear our music without the presence of any gatekeepers. Finally, there are those who are not professional, semi-professional or even musicians at all who feel that it's all about endless touring and selling merchandise at shows to recoup recording, pressing, distribution and promotion costs, not understanding that touring costs money, too. All three of these groups are wrong: dead wrong. None of these business models are self-sustaining, nor are they logical in any economic situation within OR outside of the music industry.
What these three groups all have in common is that they uphold the views of those who are not the real creators. They are only the consumers; they are the listeners of our creation. As such, it's only natural that they would view music in a way that would solely benefit them, not the artist creating what they enjoy so much. Let's face it: no matter how honest or moral we are as human beings, it's hard to justify paying for something when you can have it for free, right? Outside of our dedicated fans and close friends -- whom we know will support this campaign regardless of the reason -- we would like to give these three groups of people the benefit of the doubt and trust that they honestly don't understand what it takes to actually do this for a living, let alone as a very expensive hobby, and allow them to redeem themselves by putting their money where their mouths are.
By making a contribution -- and if we meet and/or exceed our goal -- you will help us acquire a quality designer to create the artwork and graphic design for the album, have CD's pressed, distribute physical and digital media, and promote the new album. If we exceed our goal by 50%, then we will have new t-shirts made as well! Every little bit can go a long way for this campaign. This album has been sitting on the shelf for years, just waiting for the opportunity to be properly released upon the public, and now is as good a time as any to do it.
What we need and what you get!
We need a minimum of $5,400 USD to make this happen. A portion of the contributions will go toward paying for quality album artwork and a 12-page color booklet for the CD -- and if you contribute enough to reach the first tier, your name will be printed in the liner notes as a huge thank you for helping us!
A larger portion will go toward the pressing costs of the physical CD's. We know that some fans prefer to download the digital version off of iTunes, Amazon, or another digital retailer. However, we also know that a majority of our fans prefer having a CD and a colorful, detailed booklet in their hands. It's not just a reward for us to provide it, but also a reward to many fans that like having the proof of their contribution in their hands. If you contribute enough to reach our first tier, not only will you get your name and a big 'thank you' in the liner notes, you will also receive a copy of the CD as soon as it becomes available!
Do you still prefer a digital version over a CD? That's okay. We've got you covered…when you get the CD, just rip it down, then give it to a friend who you think will like our music. You can even turn around, sell it on eBay, and make some of your contribution money back! In either case, we don't mind, because that's the kind of "sharing is caring" we can get behind 100% -- we just ask that you KEEP IT OFF THE TORRENT AND CYBERLOCKER SITES! That kind of sharing is NOT caring.
A smaller portion of the contributions will go toward the shipping, distribution, and promotion expenses of the new album. We don't want this album to go unnoticed -- we need to get the word out that the new album has finally been released, get promotional copies into the hands of magazines, webzines, and radio, and give potential new fans the opportunity to get the album as well.
So, what are the standard perks?
Tier 1: $15+ gets your name in the liner notes as a contributor and a copy of the new album with shipping to anywhere in the world included.
Tier 2: $25+ gets you the same perks as you would with tier 1. However, if we exceed our goal by 50% (i.e. we get above $7,500), you'll also receive a limited edition t-shirt!
On top of the standard perks for helping us out, we are offering our fans a limited amount of exclusive perks. These exclusive offers include a rare bootlegged live DVD, a drum head signed by the entire band, lessons for drums, guitar, or vocals via Skype, t-shirts made available for the band's two previous albums, and copies of the band's previous albums on CD (including sealed copies of the super-rare debut album)! There's even a perk that's so outrageous that you'll have to read the side bar to find out more! These top-tier perks also include a pre-ordered copy of the album and, if we reach above our goal by 50%, a limited edition t-shirt.
What if we don't reach our goal?
Your money will be refunded! We don't believe in keeping your money if you are not going to get something out of your investment. After all, that is what your contribution is -- an investment! If you want to make sure you get your money's worth, and if you want to see this campaign succeed as much as we do, then help us reach our goal by spreading the word to ensure you get a copy of the new album!
Other ways you can help Katagory V
We know that not everyone has the means to contribute financially but may still want to be involved with the campaign. You can still contribute by getting the word out for the campaign using the Indiegogo share tools -- posting our campaign to your Facebook page, a message board or forum, on a mailing list, or even Twitter is just as good as money, especially if it gets someone else to contribute!