In Search of...: The (not so) Secret Diary of a Band

Friday, 15 June 2012

The robin has flown the nest...

So now it’s out there. Sort of. This week we clicked the button which meant people were able to download copies of ‘This is where we meet’, our new album. Click a button because, in order to get our PR campaign in place, and hopefully start to generate some buzz about the album, we have had it on a pre-order page using the bandcamp site for the last couple of months.

This has allowed us to employ the services of a PR company, as well as a radio plugger. Both will be working until the official release date of the record (the 13th of August – Kieran’s Birthday!) to secure as must exposure for the album as possible. The art of public relations is a dark one indeed, so we thought it best to leave it to the professionals. As and when we’re on the cover of your favourite magazine or in your Sunday Broadsheet Arts section, we’ll let you know!

We are also trying to get on board with a distribution company so that you can pick up a copy in a shop somewhere near you. All of these various ‘label services’ (more on that later) are in return for either flat fees or percentages etc, so it has required yet more meetings and negotiations. In the meantime, we’ve been getting copies of the record to approve, making screen prints and posters as well as playing 3 festivals in 8 days; so a quiet month all in all.

Distribution, PR, Plugging, an offer of publishing, all sounds pretty much like everything you’d get from a record deal, or record company. Only we’ve done it without giving the ownership of the album to anyone, it’s still very much our baby. The modern reality of the industry is that more and more bands are being forced to do so much of this on their own, be more organised and entrepreneurial, while paying their rent.

Whilst at the wonderful inaugural No Direction Home Festival last weekend, I listened to a talk from Richard King, who has just written a book called ‘How Soon is Now’ all about the DIY and independent scene in the 80s. When asked about the modern independent scene, he was hugely encouraged by this new level of drive and innovation from new bands. However, he also accepted that the days of bands getting filthy rich were gone. Somewhere between there and where we are now would do us.

So our baby is out of the nest and in the big bad world. Over the next couple of months, we secretly hope to see it being reviewed and profiled online and in print – fingers crossed anyway. One thing we will need is to once again rely on our amazing fans to spread the word far and wide about the album. We’ll be working as hard as we can, playing, maybe doing some videos(!), festivals etc, but this really has been a cooperative effort from the beginning, and so it must continue.

In keeping with this, we plan to have a party of sorts on the 14th of August to celebrate the release of the album. It will be at the Lexington in London, will be run by our friends at The Local, and should have some special support acts, as well as some goodies and treats for the evening. It goes without saying that we would dearly love as many people as possible to make it along. ‘This is where we meet’ is a literal album title in a way, as the album represents a coming together for the band (and those who come to see us) where we finally got the time and space to ‘be’ Urusen for a concerted amount of time. But we might not be here at all without all of you, let alone have a great album coming out! So please enjoy it if you get it, come say hello if you come on the 14th and, if you feel so inclined, tell a friend about ‘This is where we meet’.

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