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

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


 

 

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