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Hello folks! My name is Devin Townsend. I am a Canadian musician and I have had the great fortune of being allowed to make musical statements for the past 20 years that are based on a pure love of music.
The musical landscape has changed in so many ways over the years, but I’ve managed to keep doing my own thing throughout, happily and productively and I really owe it all to the support of the audience.
Pledge campaigns have been something I approached with caution, why? I hated to think of it being a system that allows musicians to just profit off their audience without any real agenda. What I’ve realized though, over watching the platform rise, is that it’s less about soaking your audience and is truly about being a real new model for musical interaction that benefits both parties in a way that prior systems could never do.
Last year, we did a project called ‘The Retinal Circus’ in London and through immense amounts of work from our management and unbelievable support from the people who helped us make it and people who listen to this music, we were able to pull off an almost unbelievable feat and make a literal circus and massively involved Blu-ray box set with little more than the spirit of those involved to propel it.
It started me thinking…
My goals are pretty simple, and have been since the start: I want to make uncompromising music, and have it accompanied by a visual representation and ultimately a live show that is unlike anything before us in terms of scale and creative freedom.
Ultimately, the audience, the labels, the artists, musicians and performers that help make these visions come to life are together in this. It’s a ‘common goal’ in my mind that we can strive to make things that are awesome, funny, serious, uncompromising and ultimately a compliment to daily life for all of us, the likes of which the standard ‘music industry’ would never ever ever allow.
I’m using the ‘Casualties Of Cool’ project as the umbrella for this Pledge drive. The term ‘Casualties Of Cool’ pretty accurately sums up what this endeavour stands for as well, people strive so hard to ‘fit in’ that ultimately they lose themselves in the process. Let me tell you about this project:
Casualties Of Cool has been something I’ve been working on for years, a real passion project. Not since Ocean Machine (my first record) have I had the opportunity to do music for the sheer sake of the love of it. It represents a fair bit to me. I have collaborated with some amazing people on it, Che Aimee (singer on my album Ki) Morgan Ågren (Drummer extraordinaire from Thordendal, Zappa, Laswell etc) Jessica Cope (brilliant animator,) Jørgen Munkeby, Kat Epple, The Swedish Sångkraft choir, a string section… a ton of brilliant artists.
It’s not a metal album, nor is it meant to be a statement about my interest in metal. It’s a side project from my work with DTP, Ziltoid and my touring band. I love that music, and always will…this is something different. This is something that I would write late at night while working on other projects as sort of a ’release’…a way to make music for myself, without pressure from ANYONE to do things a certain way. It’s an independent release, and it’s dark, quiet, and special. The project has been extensive, and in the coming weeks I will fill you in on the multitudes of things done over the course of its creation, and the truly awesome items that we have found a way to offer and represent the final music and visuals.
However, more even to the point: If we did manage to reach our goal for casualties, which allows us to cover what we’ve put into the project so far and release it commercially (it is independent, there are no labels for this project) ANY ADDITIONAL FUNDS get put directly into this massive next project we have been meticulously planning: Z2… movies, comic, albums and an absurdly over the top live show. Basically, Casualties Of Cool is the umbrella I’m using to make a lot of dreams happen creatively.
It’s hard for me to overestimate the amount that I am overwhelmed, every day, by what the audience that has chosen to follow us on this path has allowed me to do. Throughout it all, there has always been the omnipresent threat of ‘doing what is considered correct’ in order to fit in to it all… but even if I could give in to that, the audience would surely see through it in a second and that knowledge has been amongst my greatest artistic lessons learned.
When you Pledge, we have weekly videos, interviews, live footage of in studio performances that will be available to Pledgers exclusively. Also, we have many limited edition products we’ve made available for the album, including vinyl, regular and digipak versions of the disk as well as digital downloads. But perhaps even more fun, is some of the offers we’ve made available such as Skype vocal lessons with me, hand drawn pictures, mp3 phone messages from me and Ziltoid =) and a ton of other really personalized stuff that I think bridges the gap between what I do and you guys. I think it could be a lot of fun and we’re taking this very seriously! If you pledge and you’re a fan of this music, it could be a one-off opportunity to get your hands on some really cool exclusive stuff.
So let’s see what we can do? I promise you I will use whatever money we raise to make as many of these visions I have, deemed ‘commercially nonviable’ by a dying industry a full, unrelenting reality.
You have my word, my love and my total, absolute respect.
What we are trying to prove with this pledge campaign, beyond raising funds, is to make a statement to the industry at large that we have a killer fanbase, an army of folks that prove the worth of this type of thinking that will tell the industry it is a force to consider. I know we can do it.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to play for you. I feel gratitude beyond words…no bull.
Get the digital download of the Casualties Of Cool album PLUS all the exclusive updates and behind the scenes content leading up to the release!
This option is a downloadable one. I hope people check this one out as well, even though it doesn’t have the actual physical album, because I actually really want folks to hear this record…and you get both.
OK, so here’s the CD option. I wanted this album to play a bit like a movie…without a dialogue or anything too blatant. Travis Smith did the art, and I’m really happy with the vibe of it. This is just the standard single CD and it’ll come in a jewel case with a 12 page booklet.
I always tend to write a ton of material for an album…why? Well I don’t do it in a way to cheapen the final product, but more I experiment with sounds and riffs to see if missing holes in the experience can be filled in a variety of ways. Sometimes people think the best stuff ends up on the bonus tracks and question why it didn’t make the ‘main album’ and the reason is always that I’m after the feeling of a record more-so than a certain song. That being said, the digipak is another 12 songs that together make a very numbing, cool vibe. Some songs here are among my favourites on the album and I hope they don’t get overlooked. This version comes in a 3 panel digipak with extended CD artwork..more pages.
I’m getting some posters made for Casualties… It’s a good quality one.
A very special limited edition Casualties Of Cool t-shirt, only available via Pledge. We tried to make them ‘wearable’ as opposed to just advertisements.
This is a 1 gig USB stick that includes some bonus songs that didn’t make either of the full albums, as well as some bonus information and reading for you…plus, you can just copy those tracks and nuke it, then hey! …USB stick! The theme of the record includes a planet of bones, so we made a USB that was bone shaped…bone-us! =)
The official Casualties Of Cool lyric book, done by Travis Smith, that includes artwork, pictures and YOUR NAME in the credits!
Note that this will be printed AFTER the campaign ends and thus will be shipped a few weeks later than the rest of the items.
So sometimes when we’re touring, people ask me to do answering voice mails, so when people call you, they get me instead =) or a ringtone even…basically, give me your name and a short description of what you’d like and I’ll record myself doing a mailbox greeting for you and then send you the file.
So here’s where it gets a little different from the normal, everyday ‘music product’ trip… I really want to make this special for folks and maybe if you have someone with a birthday coming up, if you want to send us their names, I can sing a birthday song for them and send you a file of it? Could be fun maybe =)
I called my buddy at D’Addario and asked if they would be able to produce some Casualties Of Cool guitar straps for me… and they are nice. Brown leather with the logo printed on them. I will use them for Casualties shows myself. The straps are Planet Waves and good quality.
Basically, some people ask me to name their animal for them…if you send me a picture of your little pal, I’ll think of a name and draw a picture of him for you. Feel free to not use the name, but you’ll have a weird drawing to remember the ill-fated name nonetheless!
JAYS is a Swedish manufacturer of high-end headphones and turns out that they’re big fans of anything Devin does. They’ve kindly donated 20 sets of headphones from their v-JAYS range to help us raise some more funds for Ziltoid’s plans for World domination. Normal retail price is around $69.99 USD so here’s your chance to get these cheap! More information found here: www.jays.se/products/v-jays
Theres lots of folks who love vinyl…I was never one until I heard a Daft Punk album on vinyl and realized theres a really cool vibe from it…however, most things aren’t recorded with Vinyl in mind. We went out of our way to make sure the dynamic range would be good for vinyl. The album was specifically remastered FOR vinyl, and it includes different artwork, speck to Vinyl as well as being a double disc (its only the main Casualties disk we could do…but even that is 72 minutes long, so it’s a whopper of a project)
Note that the inside booklet will be signed, not the sleeve itself.
These are more collector oriented prints of the album front cover, classy and bigger.
So for this option, I’ll hand write lyrics for you. I’ve got 25 records out there, so if there’s lyrics to a song that you maybe like, send me the song title and your name and I’m happy to write them out and sign it. Do me a favour and pick the ones that aren’t novels =) (though I will do any one you’d like)
While I’m recording, I keep notepads all over the place…in the studios, in my bag, in my car, carry on luggage etc… the notes on them are all things that I’ve written down during the mixing, writing and lyric phases. I have a whole bunch of those papers and I can put together a few pages for each person. I know it may seem like it’s ‘just paper’ but I’ve always kept them as it reminds me of a certain period. Sentimental like that I guess…
Someone online (Mark Gibson) did a really cool picture of me with charcoal and sent it to us….The YouTube video is online, and I’m happy that with his permission, I’m able to sign it and dedicate it to someone.
Check-out the time-lapse video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Foq7Of48J3I
You and a friend can come to sound check, the show, meet Devin and receive some nice goodies.
Note: There will only be a very select number of Casualties of Cool gigs so this Pledge will also apply to any other club show (DTP, Ziltoid, acoustic, etc) that Devin might play around the world.
In trying to figure out products that are personal, I went through all sorts of junk at the rehearsal space and quickly began to realize that using a Pledge campaign as a way to get rid of clutter seems a bit weird, so I though a more personal thing would be to do a hand drawn picture…so basically, if you send us your request (nothing distasteful please) I could make a cool picture…or funny, and then sign it and send it to you. I’m cool with weird things or silly stuff, but no racist, sexist, homophobic stuff…etc
The original white label test pressings of the album.
So we’re working on making a nice package that is exclusive to the Casualties Of Cool record…it will be limited and there are no plans to reproduce it in the future. I cant give you specifics yet as we’re still working out the goodies, but it will be a really cool thing.
Includes the digital download of the album.
I was hesitant to do this, but again…its a way to make this more personal. I will do 10 half hour Skype guitar lessons. Half hour each… basically, I’m happy to answer whatever questions you may have…I’m certainly not the best guitarist in the world, but I have a few tricks I could show you perhaps?
Same as above. I taught myself how to sing, so theres a good chance my ‘techniques’ are just working for me…but whatever I can do to help, I will definitely try!
This guitar is my personal production model of the signature Peavey DT model that I’ve been playing for 4 years. I only recieved one of the production models, and this is it. Its a very special guitar to me and means a good amout to me. It’s a baritone 7 string Flying V with a mahogany body, and a maple cap. EMG pickups, Sperzel locking tuners and a custom DTP inlay on the 12th fret. It comes in a groovy coffin case and is just a beast of a guitar.
Note: this is not the exact same guitar as seen in the picture. We’ll upload a correct one soon.