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1st Album Decision

Posted by Skafish on
1st Album Decision

I promised everyone that I would let them know what I decided to do regarding the re-release of the first Skafish album, and I certainly have been looking forward to sharing my thoughts with everyone. In case you’re just tuning in or only know bits and pieces of the story, here is a brief recap of where things are at: I finally regained the legal rights to my first album (along with the track Sink or Swim), the fans generously paid for the record to be fully re-mastered, and I recently asked the fans to take a survey to let me know exactly what they wanted in terms of the album’s re-release. The last time everyone heard from me, I shared the results of that survey.

I thought long and hard about the best way to deal with the project, crunched the numbers, and did a detailed analysis based on the survey results I received. I wanted to do my best to insure that eventually, everyone gets what they want, yet in a fiscally responsible way.

What I really feel the best thing to do at this time is to re-release my first album (with Sink or Swim) on CD and in digital formats. This will be the first time the record will ever be available digitally and on CD. When I asked the fans what formats they wanted in the fan funding survey, CD and digital received the strongest responses.

However, a vinyl re-release is still in the works – just down the road a bit! At this time, to keep the project costs down, we’re going to hold off on the vinyl portion of the project for right now. In 2020, though, it will be the 40th anniversary of the album’s initial release. Since most people who took the survey expressed their desire to have a deluxe vinyl package, the 40th anniversary would be the ideal time to try to offer that type of package for the fans if the support is there at the time. That could be wonderful!

Regarding the current CD/digital release, right now, I am planning the rewards (and trying to keep things straightforward and simple), as well as getting the final costs and shipping estimates together to be able to launch the fan funding campaign. My goal is to make the release affordable to everyone, while still maintaining the highest possible quality standards. I won’t compromise quality, yet I am extremely mindful of everyone’s financial situations. So, I will do my best to offer reasonable prices for everyone involved. Plain and simple, I want everyone who connects with this record and wants it to be able to have it. Of course, I will certainly follow up on all the new developments and let you know exactly how things are progressing.

It is extremely important for me to try to make all the fans happy. With that in mind, I’ve tried to create a plan that will ultimately work in that way.

Again, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been so generous in supporting this project all along. It couldn’t have gotten this far without you. And, I thank you for your continued patience throughout this journey. I know this has been a long and drawn-out process. But, this project is extremely important to me just as I know that it is to the fans! And, I am totally committed to seeing this record out there again.

Skafish


Back In The Day/Current Events/News

The 1st LP Survey Results Are In And It’s Complicated

Posted by Skafish on

Throughout the 1st Skafish album re-release project’s evolution, I’ve tried my best to keep everyone informed every step of the way. So, now that the fan funding survey has been completed, I wanted to share the results with everyone.

The total number of responses we received for the fan funding survey was 174.

Here are the responses to the question, “Will you participate in the fan funding campaign to re-release the re-mastered first Skafish album (with the bonus track Sink or Swim?”:

  • 137 (78.7%), said YES to supporting the fan funding campaign.
  • 37 (21.3%), said that they would only MAYBE participate.
  • No one responded NO to backing the project.

In order to create a budget and timeline for this project, I was asking for specifics on what formats and products fans were really interested in. In terms of what everyone was looking for out of the project, there was a tremendous disparity in what people wanted.

Here are those diverse responses to the question, “What format would you prefer to purchase via the fan funding campaign?”:

  • 111 (63.8%) respondents said that they wanted the first Skafish album (with Sink or Swim) re-released on CD.
  • 77 (44.3%) indicated that they would like the album on vinyl.
    Of those who participated, 57 (32.8%) said they would like 180 gram weight, while 48 (27.6%) indicated that their weight preference was standard.
  • 53 (30.5%) of the respondents said they wanted digital.
    Regarding those total responses, 51 (29.3%) preferred mp3, 33 (19%) requested lossless quality, and 37 (21.3%) were looking to have both mp3 and lossless.
  • 4 (2.3%) requested formats other than CD, vinyl, or digital.

(The reason that the total number of “format” responses is higher than 174 is because some expressed the desire to purchase multiple formats.)

When it came to boutique formats, a cassette release received the most responses, while a T-Shirt run scored the highest when it came to higher tier rewards. Finally, a group listening party with me received the most votes for a superfan package.

I was the most surprised by the responses to this question, “Do you (or did you ever) own the single ‘Obsessions of You’ B/W ‘Sink or Swim’”?:

  • 37 (21.3%) said they had purchased the single, “Obsessions of You” B/W “Sink or Swim.” I would have thought that number to have been much higher.
  • 137 (78.7) indicated that they had never owned the single. So, the inclusion of “Sink or Swim” offers many fans a bonus track of great value.

Some respondents strongly indicated that they wanted a deluxe CD and vinyl package. Many requested extensive liner notes, never-before-seen photos, extra comments by the band, and anecdotal stories from back in the day. A few mentioned that they only wanted to see the album available digitally.

Many offered interesting suggestions regarding making memorabilia and specialty items available through the fan funding effort.

But, this all brings me to the question of what to do from here. I was certainly hoping for far more responses than I received, especially because a great deal of support is needed to successfully run a fan funding campaign.

Because the number of total responses we received was so low, and of that number, only 137 have said definitely yes to backing the project, it is extremely hard to figure out a way to give everyone what they want. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be near enough interest to do a re-release that includes all the formats (CD, vinyl and digital). To do a low number run on vinyl and CD and still make them in anyway cost-effective for everyone is virtually impossible. Truthfully, there may just not be enough support to re-release the album.

Also, it was pretty clear that there was a big split between those who wanted it available as inexpensively as possible and those who wanted a really deluxe package. Those two extremes are hard to reconcile.

So, at this point, I have to weigh all the options to try to see if there’s any possible way to make this happen, given the responses to the survey. After 35 years, I would certainly love to have enough fan backing to be able to run an affordable, successful campaign to get the 1st Skafish album with Sink or Swim back out there in multiple formats.

To everyone who took the survey, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know what you want and what you think. Also, to those of you who have in any way supported this project, I truly appreciate all of your efforts!

If you have any suggestions other than to just re-release it digitally (that’s an obvious option), please let me know.

I will be in touch once I’ve sorted all of this out.
Skafish


 

 

Back In The Day/Current Events/News

Take the 1st Skafish Album Survey

Posted by Skafish on
Take the 1st Skafish Album Survey

In my most recent entry here, I told everyone that I would be sharing a survey soon. You can read the history and recap of where the first album project is at here.

The survey is now done. I’m asking everyone who is interested in participating in the fan funding of the first album re-release to take the survey. There are a couple of things I want to point out first. In order to put this project out, it will have to be fan funded. If you read the past project updates, I had to spend a lot of money to gain the rights back, so fan funding is the only possible way to do this, particularly because what I’ve heard so far from fans is that they really want a high quality 180 gram vinyl re-release with a high quality pressing. In today’s world, doing that is quite expensive, especially for a limited-edition run. There are also some fans who have seemed to be interested in having the album available for the first time on CD and digital.

The survey is important for several reasons. First, it will be give me an idea of who is willing to participate, and what formats everyone wants to see the debut Skafish album available in. This allows me to crunch the numbers and come up with a package that’s both affordable and satisfying to the fans.

Again, I want to emphasize that the re-release must be fan funded. So, if you really want this record to come out, now is the time to do it. If we’re not able to run a successful fan funding campaign, then the record will not end up being re-released. It is of vital importance to financially get behind supporting this record if you truly want to have it out there once again. So, only take the survey if you are seriously planning on financially supporting the project. In putting together the survey, I tried to make sure that all the possible scenarios could be covered with the sincerest intention of the fans getting what they want.

And, don’t forget that all versions of the album’s re-release will include the Skafish fan favorite Sink or Swim.

Together, we can certainly make this happen!

Here is the survey

Skafish


Back In The Day/Current Events/News

The Re-Mastering Is Done (And, There’s A Bonus Track)

Posted by Skafish on
The Re-Mastering Is Done (And, There’s A Bonus Track)

I am so pleased to be able to announce that after nine months of consistent, diligent work, the re-mastering project for the first Skafish album has finally been completed. I want to give a big shout-out to mastering engineer Trevor Sadler for his meticulous attention to detail and his unwavering support for the project. He has been instrumental in making the re-mastering a success.

I am thrilled with the results and I hope you will be, too. If you like the first album, I believe that you will love the re-mastered version. I stayed committed to the original vision of the album. Trevor and I didn’t do anything foolish like make the entire album a brick wall of loudness, as some do when they re-master a record. Instead, we kept all of the dynamics and nuances (including the soft passages) intact. At the same time, we worked hard to gain the highest possible fidelity, clarity, power, fullness and richness of sound. We made every effort to achieve the best possible balance and enhancement of the overall production and final mix that we could.

Throughout the years, I’ve gotten emails from people who had discovered the album, stating how much they loved what they heard. Since this is the first time the album will ever be available digitally and on CD (as well as a new vinyl re-release), the record can hopefully reach a whole new generation of fans who can connect with it.

Yes, There’s A Bonus Track:
I also have some exciting news to share: The track Sink or Swim (originally the B-Side to the single Obsessions of You) will be included as a bonus track on all formats of the album’s re-release. Since Sink or Swim has been a fan favorite as well as one of the band’s and mine, I thought it would be a fantastic addition for everyone.

There were two factors that determined whether I could include Sink or Swim. The first was that I was able to successfully legally terminate the rights of the record company. Since the first Skafish album and the single Obsessions of You b/w Sink or Swim were two separate releases (and therefore, two separate sound recording copyrights), I had to terminate both the sound recording copyrights for the album and Sink or Swim. Also, I had to make sure that there would be enough time to fit Sink or Swim on a vinyl release without losing fidelity.

A Brief Timeline Of Events:
Here is a brief timeline for the 1st Skafish album re-release project and how it has unfolded so far:

  • December 18, 2012: I sent the termination notices to EMI, the record company who owned the sound recording copyrights in order to legally regain my rights to the sound recordings to my first album and Sink or Swim.
  • May 15, 2015: Thirty five years after the date of publication, I officially regained the rights to the sound recording of the first Skafish album.
  • June 1, 2015: Thirty five years after the date of publication, I officially regained the rights to the sound recording of Sink or Swim.
  • Mid-February, 2016: On my blog, I first extended the invitation to my fans to contribute to the cost of re-mastering the first album project.
  • February 25, 2016: The first donation came in.
  • May 1, 2016: The estimated cost of $1000.00 for the project was fully funded by my fans.
  • May 24, 2016: Mastering engineer Trevor Sadler began the re-mastering process.
  • February 24, 2017: After nine months of day-to-day work, the re-mastering project was completed.

Once again, I want to extend my deepest heartfelt gratitude to all the fans who have donated to re-mastering the album, everyone who has shared online posts, followed me on Spotify and helped to spread the word. This project couldn’t have gotten this far without you!

What’s Next:
As I’ve mentioned before, I will be sending out a link to a survey to get everyone’s input before I finalize the crowdfunding and re-release plans. If you’re not on my mailing list, please sign up to be notified about this project and future developments.
Skafish


Current Events/News

The re-mastering project is 100% funded

Posted by Skafish on

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The project to re-master the 1st Skafish album has been fully funded. Words cannot begin to express the gratitude and appreciation I feel for everyone who has been so willing to donate, spread the word, and offer their support.

For years, people have been asking for a re-release of the first album. Now, the support of everyone who has so generously contributed to getting this done is helping to be able to make that a reality.

I am excited to take the next steps toward a proper re-release of the first Skafish album on vinyl, CD, and digital.

I will now be moving forward toward getting everything ready to go to the mastering engineer and begin the process of working with the source materials to get the best and most authentic sound possible.

I will be keeping everyone posted of the project’s progress. Again, from the bottom of my heart and spirit, thanks so much for your generosity and support!
Skafish


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