IndieVisionMusic loves Project 86, it’s no secret. Not only were we floored by their last (fully fan-funded) effort Wait for the Siren, but Andrew holds a special place in our hearts for helping us come up with the idea for our band focused “_______ Weeks” that have since allowed us to unleash a week of exclusive content from bands like Demon Hunter, Living Sacrifice, Love and Death, August Burns Red, and many more.
Now, with the recent news that Project 86 has not only fully funded their upcoming 9th studio album on IndieGogo, and had their deadline extended, but are also the ninth highest funded music project in IndieGogo history… we wanted to sit down with Schwab again and get his thoughts on the process, the fans, and the future.
IVM: As always, thanks again, Andrew, for sharing with the IVM readership. So, as of this point, the new album is not only funded, but is reaching stretch goals as well (It has since ended, and then been extended at IndieGogo’s request!). Is there anything initially you’d like to say to the fans who have supported and/or to those still thinking of joining the campaign?
Andrew Schwab: First of all, thanks to everyone who has jumped on board with this campaign thus far. We really tried to make this project unique, both in terms of hard merchandise as well as experiences. I think there are some valuable things in our campaign that appeal to both the casual listener and the really devoted supporter. We have some addition musical content as well, including my side project as well as the acoustic songs which will be available well before the album release for our Indiegogo partners. We are offering everything from exclusive hoodies, T-shirts, signed/limited edition CDs to Skype calls, calligraphic parchments of the song of your choice to secret, daily video blogs from the studio. We are currently #9 on Indiegogo’s all-time most funded music projects, so they extended our campaign for an additional two weeks. So, we are relaunching the campaign due to the fact that many preorder perks have sold out! We will be making signed guitar picks, signed drum heads, guest list for life, and sushi dinners available, in addition to adding more studio visits and show days with the band.
We have worked hard on this thing, and are so excited so many have preordered thus far.
IVM: This is your second (in a row) crowd funded album. How has this time around been different than the crowd-funding process on Wait for the Siren?
Andrew: We learned so much the last time. The first lesson being that when you are your own record label, costs can add up quickly! I don’t think people realize the number of hours or costs involved to do a legitimate release. It goes well beyond just recording the album. You have to pay for all the cds, shirts, vinyl, and hoodies to be made. You have to send them out. You have to pay for a music video, a publicist, artists, web designers, distribution teams. It’s insane. Not to mention the countless hours of thought, energy, and travel that go into making a Project 86 record. That’s why it’s so important that the fans get behind their favorite artists at this stage in the game. Just by getting involved at a minimum level you are making it possible for the record to happen. We are very thankful that you trust us without hearing the music first. And hopefully, there is much reward in actually being a part of our record label!
This time has been different in so far as we are upping the ante in every way, from the concept to the preorder perks offered. And the response-with two weeks left in our campaign-is double our previous effort!
IVM: Are there any details/ possible titles/ themes that you can share for the upcoming record?
I have a roadmap of the overall story/theme of the record, as well as lyrical themes for every song. I feel like I am ahead of the game for this point in the process, which is great. I can’t say a whole lot yet, but I can say there will be a specific journey this album will take you on, and one that will take you to an unexpected ending.
IVM: Each of the previous P86 albums have had a different musical and often conceptual direction. What does the direction on this next album look like? What is its unique fingerprint?
Andrew: I guess the last answer is the same as this one.
IVM: On the last album you incorporated a wider variety of instrumentation to produce some really striking soundscapes. Will there be any further tinkering in this direction? Or, is there possibly a more stripped down sound coming?
Andrew: We are definitely exploring creative instrumentation beyond guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. These instruments will play a major role in the final sound of the album, I can tell you that. I don’t want to promise anything yet because it isn’t recorded, but I am very excited about the fact that we are experimenting with some completely new sounds than any previous release.
IVM: On the last album there were a lot of great names who had their impact on the album’s final product. Have there been or are there any specific people you are or are hoping to work with on this project? Any guest vocals we can expect (even if you can’t say, yet, who they are)?
Andrew: Again, it’s pretty early to make any promises but I have several ideas. Guest appearances are so much fun and I plan to have at least a couple. Any suggestions from the readers? I am all ears ;)
IVM: What books/poetry/bands/albums/etc. are leaving a mark of influence leading into this project?
Andrew: I’ve been listening to a ton of film scores. A lot of classical music, if you can believe that. It’s so much more dramatic, dynamic, and emotional than rock or metal.
IVM: Does having the album fully funded lift a weight off your shoulders, set your nose to the grindstone, or both?
Andrew: It was definitely satisfying to hit our mark early on in the campaign. We are hard at work writing, as the record is a reality. It definitely made the album feel real! I am in “writing mode” constantly now-zoning out in the middle of conversations with my wife as I think of drum parts, etc. She loves it! Ha.
IVM: OK, two “legacy” questions: Back in the day your band did a spot for Sup the Chemist. Any chances we might see you or the rest of P86 guest on a project that is outside of the box like a Lecrae or a Family Force 5 (as simple examples)?
Andrew: I actually wasn’t on that track and wasn’t there when it was made – it was a couple of my previous band mates! There’s always the chance for that, and it would be fun. Definitely open to it.
IVM: Legacy question #2 , and I know this is almost ten years behind the curve, but back on …and the rest will follow you had the line/song “the hand, the furnace, the straight face.” I never did see an explanation as to the deeper meaning of that theme/statement. Mind diving back for a quick run down?
Andrew: It’s just about remaining calm under pressure. Like putting your hand over an open flame and keeping a straight face.
IVM: For a while there were some rumblings of a side project and some possible new tracks around Christmas. Care to share the status on those for the fans who might have missed the latest updates?
Andrew: Indiegogo backers will receive the first single of my side project (name TBA) weeks (months?) before anyone else. I have a two-song single coming later this year.
IVM: Any final thoughts you want to leave your fans, team black, and our readers with to chew on until the inevitable flood of info starts in a few months?
Andrew: Get on board now with the Indiegogo while you still can. You won’t regret it. We promise:
IVM NOTE: As of this posting, there are 13 days left of the IndieGoGo campaign, links and embedded items may change after that point. Be sure to jump on this new project! We gave Project 86’s most recent album a perfect score due to the immense talent, stunning imagery, and varried instrumentation. And that’s not the only album I (Lee) would give a perfect score in their discography, either.
For more news and updates about this album, Project 86, and possibly another Project 86 week, keep plugging in to IVM!