The devoutness of Protest the Hero’s fan base was proven recently when they launched a crowd-funded campaign to help record their next album. Free of label obligations, the band were hoping to raise $125,000by February 14th to record their fourth album. However, the band reached and surpassed that goal in under 24 hours, and it didn’t stop there. As of this writing, the band have raised over $260,000 with over two weeks left. This is totally commendable, and proof that crowd funding can be successful if you’re offering something people want, even if you’re not Amanda Palmer. However, when discussing this with a friend, one question came up that we thought could use addressing: wouldn’t they be able to get federal funding through Canada’s grant programs?
FACTOR (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) and The Canada Council for the Arts are both programs that give federal funding to Canadian artists to create, market and promote their works. In short, they give grant money to artists to do stuff like record albums. While Canada probably wouldn’t give any one artist $125,000, let alone the $260,000 the band has raised, we asked the band why they turned to crowd-funding instead of using programs put in place for Canadian artists. Guitarist Tim Millar got back to us with an answer shortly after we posed the question to him:
There are a couple programs in place that give bands assistance or loans to make their record. In the past we’ve used FLASHAPPLY to help with our record budget but in turn you pay this loan back over time with record sales. Not all bands pay it back and if you don’t sell enough units to make back the loan that’s fine. Still, with any of these loans or grants it wouldn’t have been close to what we wanted to spend on the record and we didn’t want the quality to suffer being on such a tight budget.
That’s a perfectly logical explanation, and given that their Indiegogo campaign was so successful. Now the question is, what do they do with all of the extra money they made? And also, how many other metal bands, Canadian or otherwise, are suddenly rethinking about whether they should crowd-fund their next album?