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!
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!
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.
I’ve got good news to report. The mastering is almost done! My mastering engineer, Trevor Sadler, and I have been working diligently on this project with the same two objectives in mind that have been there from the very beginning of this project:
First, I am committed to remaining authentic to the original vision and recording of the first Skafish album. Second, at the same time, attaining the highest audio quality and fidelity possible is essential.
Some of you have asked the question of why we were mastering from both never-before-played vinyl and the final studio tape mixes. I’ve had people wonder why I felt the need to master from both sources.
There are several important reasons why we used both. First, we wanted to see which medium provided the best sound. And, it is clear that the tapes offer superior sound quality.
However, the flat vinyl master still continues to provide a valuable purpose. That transfer is the exact record everyone has heard and is familiar with since 1980. It is authentic.
So, with the intention of remaining true to the spirit of the original album, we have been able to compare the new studio tape master to the original flat vinyl transfer. That comparison gives us a solid, objective reference point to keep navigating from. It is a lot of extra work, but I feel it is necessary to get everything done correctly.
While we are putting the final touches on re-mastering, I wanted to let you know about something coming up soon where I will need your input. I am creating a survey. This survey is only for only those who are planning on buying the album (and not for those who don’t intend to purchase the record).
If you are planning to buy the album, I need to know what you want. Would you like the album to be available on vinyl, CD, digital, or in other formats? Are you interested in a limited edition re-release? Do you want signed copies? And, there will other questions as well.
Since this pressing will initially only be available through crowdfunding and pre-orders, I want to make sure that we get the numbers right. Please stay tuned for the survey – I am working on it!
As you may already know, I finally have over 250 followers on Spotify! Therefore, I can apply to gain control of my artist account there. Thanks to all of you who have followed me there and who have spread the word. This means that I will have more control of what I can offer to you on Spotify. Also, please add my music to playlists on Spotify. It is a great help.
In the meantime, please spread the word about my music on social media. Spreading the word about Skafish is a subterranean grassroots movement that all of you are a vital part of.
It is so exciting to finally be able to see that we’re really coming to the end of the re-mastering process. It has been a lot of work — and well worth it for my fans. I will be in touch.
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!