Protest The Hero made waves in the metal music industry this year by opting to crowdfund their upcoming fourth release instead of going through the traditional means of producing music through a record label. They not only hit their goal of $125, 000 practically overnight, but they currently have raised almost three times that amount. Since then, plenty of other bands have jumped on the crowdfunding bandwagon (Huntress and Battlecross successfully funded their tour support for Mayhem Fest). But the PTH album, which will feature Chris Adler of Lamb of God fame on drums, really gave crowdfunding a new life in the metal world.
So the album raised a ton of money for production through non-traditional means and will feature one of the best drummers in metal. Cool. But until now, it was unclear exactly how the actual release process would work. It’s one thing to raise all the money they need for production, but handling marketing, PR, and distribution, particularly in foreign markets is a different beast entirely. This is why the band joined forces with a variety of record labels to handle the business end of their forthcoming fourth release. More specifically, Razor & Tie will be handling the U.S. release, while SONY Music will deal with Canada and Spinefarm will handle everywhere else.
The official statement released by the band is as follows:
“Our successful crowd funding campaign allowed us a new level of both artistic and business minded freedom. We had the pleasure of recording an album with budgets and deadlines created only by ourselves and we think the project benefited the world over because of that. We can’t thank our dedicated contributors enough for putting us in the driver seat. It has been an arduous process because we have had to create two completely different packages for this album. One will be the exclusive release which will only go to people who contributed to our campaign.
The other is going to be the more standard release which we hope everyone will see on record store shelves (and digitally, of course). We realized pretty quickly after recording that we were going to need some help with the distribution of the traditional release. We knew we wanted our album to be available around the world in as many formats as possible. With this in mind, and with our new found sense of control we have teamed up with some new pals. All of which are completely on board with our non-traditional view moving forward.
No advances, no multi-record deals, no hidden agendas. We hope you are able to get your hands on at least one of these versions of our new album, regardless of where you are in the world. It’s scary, but wonderful to say…this album absolutely would not have been possible without the generosity and support of those who contributed to the making of our new album. We will forever be in your debt!”
Protest the Hero are indeed quite the savvy businessmen. They were successfully able to produce an album without having to sign any deals with a label and without using advance money that they’d have to pay back, but with still being able to use the resources of the record labels for the release, but without any contract. Whether this new business model will continue to proliferate and be used successfully by other bands remains yet to be seen (unlike Tim Lambesis, concrete details about the crowdfunded Austrian Death Machine album have yet to be released), but for now, Protest The Hero is definitely onto something.