Dear friends, supporters and fans!
Twenty months have passed and we are very happy to be able to look back on a successful Patreon campaign, with the outcome that our third album will be released next August. Six songs, including three with a running time of over 10 minutes. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without you – the 200 patrons who have maintained your loyalty and financial support over the years. We will be grateful to you for all eternity! You are incredible!
State of Things
This concludes our campaign, “Album No. 3,” but what happens next?
Well, Andy will concentrate on mixing the album in the coming 10 weeks and then return to normality and his ordinary life. The end … doesn’t sound so good, right?
But that’s what would happen if we closed Patreon and our platform right now.
We have spent the past few months together with a lot of music making and pooling of ideas. We’ve been working very hard to make the album a big, and even epic experience for you and every other potential listener. That it does indeed sound like Disillusion really is the climax of Andy’s work – who after all is the centre and focus point of Disillusion. This project is what he has been tirelessly pursuing for the past 500 days – always with the goal in mind to achieve the best possible result for us and for you. Of that, we are convinced that we succeeded to achieve!
Besides the making of the new album, the wrestling with ideas and in fact the struggle with every single nuance, we have – and this is thanks to your support – been able to massively build and better position the band for the near future. Starting with the comeback album, ALEA, and for all this time up to today, possibly the most significant part of the puzzle at this point is that we have managed, again, to convince a label to take on Disillusion so that this album can get the attention it truly deserves. We will be signing a deal with a label in the coming days! The album will be released internationally, and there will be a good amount of promotional work to support this release – so hopefully many people will be reached.
And we’re looking even further ahead: Bookings for the time after the release are on the way and some secret surprises, we do not yet want to reveal, are taking shape. All of this does not just happen by circumstance, but is clearly part of the campaign “Album # 3”. Otherwise, even the most beautiful album will not be recognized – there are (unfortunately) enough examples of this.
Furthermore, we are looking forward to keeping our promises! In other words, every Patron will be getting the rewards he or she was promised on or shortly before release (more information on how to do that in due course).
There will also be vinyl and a really nice special edition of the album. Bandshop discounts are also noted. We will see some of you at the Special Patreon concert.
Most likely, the album will be released in early August 2019, after about a three-month head start to facilitate the necessary promo campaign after production is completed. The release show in Leipzig will take place in early September.
However, at this point we must point out that Disillusion will not generate any (and I mean zero) revenue until then. This is drastically opposed to the fact that there is still a lot to do for the release and the band still has a lot to invest in music videos, promo material, equipment etc. We want to build this band up and we have the energy and the faith to do that!
In other good news; during the past 20 months – besides this great album – there have been many very promising ideas that couldn’t make it onto this album, yet have great potential as future songs or are already almost fully developed pieces of music. So why wait?
A glimpse into the future
When Mixing and Mastering is completed in March 2019 (and apart from live preparation and promo work), we could (and want to) continue with Album #4 immediately and further continue to develop the band.
However, the hard truth right now is that Andy must go back to his regular day job in March to financially support himself and his family (which has been the case for the rest of the band, and it works as long as Andy can manage to keep an overview of everything so that we can always use the resources specifically to meet our goals).
As a result, we have legitimate concerns about losing the momentum we’ve built up over the last few months and as a consequence, having to accept qualitative losses in important preparatory and promotional work; and, secondly, not proceeding to the next step of tackling album # 4 directly.
In addition to the lack of revenue until the release, a realistic (not pessimistic) consideration of the music market is that it is almost impossible to finance a new album OR ourselves solely from the sales of the album. Sure, it might go through the roof with 25,000 plus albums sold, of course, but even if it is going very well, we won’t receive a significant portion of the profits either way. We also agreed with the label to put the bulk of the revenue into promotion, because we do not just want to focus on this album, but want to better position ourselves for the future! And that means investing. The same goes for our live shows and/or future touring plans: they will cost a lot more money (if you want to have a more detailed insight into this, have a look at the campaign by Ne Obliviscaris).
The vicious cycle; to put our time and efforts into other avenues in order to earn money to finance the band and consequently having very little time for the band OR focusing solely on the band but having no source of income to sustain oneself. We must break this cycle!
The financing so far
We would like to mention one more important point on the subject of financing, which you might want to keep in mind in order to fully understand the problem. The current campaign consisted of two components:
1.) Financing Andy with 2000 Euro (before tax) and
2.) Financing to pay for a producer with 800 Euros per month.
You know that Patreon pays in Dollars. However, we work in Euros, which was not a problem in Feb / Mar 2017 because the Euro and the Dollar were almost equivalent at that time (1 € = $ 1.05), but in the following months, we were a little short as the Dollar sometimes dropped in value (1 € = $ 1.25), so although $ 2600 – $ 2800 arrived each month, it translated to “only” 2250€ or sometimes even 2100€. This was also deducted to pay for Patron goodies (T-shirt print, cups etc.), the Patron concert and organisation costs. This is why the producer’s share was unfortunately never actually present.
Of course we have adapted accordingly and there is still enough left over for the next two months of mixing by Andy, which was not the original plan, but perhaps for the best. Then there is the topic of mastering, that we can definitely do externally (ergo costs). Then there are guest musicians (cello, tablas), a music video, as well as the extremely important live preparation and a long-term upgrade to our equipment (Andy’s Peavey amplifier, for example, is now 20 years old … and switching to newer digital systems is expensive).
In March, Album #3 will be completely finished! Then it moves on with a heavy promo campaign and live preparation – and our eager desire to continue working on Album #4. There is a lot going on, which is not only expensive but also very time consuming (my typical day for example consists of my 9 to 5 job, then coming home, play the guitar and do Disillusion admin work. Andy’s day is an entirely separate dimension …). This is, however, something that we want and truly believe in but we need your help!
How do we continue?
Our suggestion, our wish
First of all:
The current campaign “Album # 3” will be terminated formally on 29.12.2018.
But we won’t be shutting down our Patreon page.
From 01.01.2019 we are converting our Patreon campaign into a basic band support campaign with the goal and ideal scenario to allow Andy and Disillusion permanent support of 2000 Euro per month to ensure that continuous work on the band, music and Album #4 is guaranteed!
We are fully aware that this might sound presumptuous. You don’t even have Album #3 in your hands and ears and now we ask you for further support? This is entirely understandable. No question! Nevertheless, we hope that the comments above detail this step of the rebuilding. So first of all; Thank you for your understanding!!!
We appreciate every Patron who chooses to stay with us, but of course we also understand if some of you are waiting to have the Album in your hands before deciding whether you would like to continue supporting us in this way. If so, we would appreciate it if you would kindly complete your patronage before the end of the month so that you are not accidentally charged in the future (alternatively, it would also be great if you would reduce your contribution to a symbolic value of $1 instead, to allow us to stay in contact through the platform!!).
Please be aware that without your help the album would never have come this far and that we can now think about a viable future of Disillusion.
Many Thanks! <3
For your interest: CAMPAIGN INFO FOR ALBUM#3
UPDATE (March 24th 2017)
Friends! We are stunned by your huge support and the fast reaching of Goal 1. We honestly did not expect this. With so much positive energy we promise: With your ongoing support the 3rd album will come within 12 months!
As you watch our Patreon page you might think: “Well, they reached their goal. Perfect.” And you are totally right! So we decided to take out all previous further goals as we think we can stem the rest of the production costs by ourselves!
But there is just one more thing that would mean a huge support for us:
Maybe it sounds confusing to some of you but It would help us a lot to have an external producer with us. You know that Andy is also producer. But doing it for other artists is not the same as doing it for your own music. Just think of painting a picture. In the end you look at it and ask yourself: is it good? Even if it is your 100th drawing and all the others have been great so far there is still this little human tentativeness. Therefore it is always good to have an experienced external person who adds and backs up ideas during the process. Of course it will also work without an external producer and we promise you to deliver great music. But after this huge support of you guys we just want to make sure to deliever you the BEST possible music with the best sound! So please just check out Goal 2 on the left side and help us to reach it. We are already close!
Thanks to all patrons in advance that this all can happen. You are the best!!
You probably know this from other bands: It is kind of tricky to make a living from music these days. As you can imagine, we are no exception. To give you some insight: We are so happy that Alea has been played more than 50.000 times on Spotify. On the other hand, we only sold 500 CD units (around €4000 revenue) of the song, which barely covers the cost of production (time for writing, recording, mastering, layout, CD press). Of course, we know this is just a Singe/EP and does not compare to a full-length record. But for us it marked an important milestone on our way back and let you know we are still here. Additionally, we intended to raise enough money for writing our third full album. To be honest: This idea did not work out. This is the reason why we are here now.
Disillusion from a business perspective
To give you an idea from the past: Back to Times of Splendor and Gloria both together sold more than 20.000 copies worldwide. This might sound like a huge amount to you and we are really really grateful for your ongoing support over the years. But keep in mind: we only received a fraction of these sales. Our former label kept the bulk of revenue as we also had to repay advances (which is of course reasonable as we received a lot of support of Metal Blade). If we put everything into perspective, such as time for songwriting and production, it is actually close mere subsistence.
Now, one could say: Make a living with touring. But even this does not work anymore. In our country, it is way too expensive even as a headliner (support shows are mostly pay2play or play4free).
Let us talk about the little Alea tour: despite the well-attended venues (around 150 people each show), one must take into account room rental, travel expenses, sound and light engineering, overnight stays, management, and of course food. In the end, we were happy that we did not end up with a loss. But there was no money left for any of the band members and, above all, for necessary investments like new band equipment. Of course, we make music out of passion so this aspect is of secondary importance. All these things we just told you are something we try to put aside since we really love what we are doing. But there comes a point where we need to ask ourselves whether it is possible to continue this way.
The situation today
The situation today is that everyone in the band has a regular job. The remaining time is a balancing act between family and Disillusion. Our songs are not written in five minutes or after work. Alea grew over several months and had a lot of up and downs. Of course, this contradicts the basic performance principle but arts should not and cannot always be about economics.
As you know Andy is mainly responsible for the creative output of Disillusion. His main job is working as a freelance producer. Unfortunately, this leads to a dilemma: time for writing songs or earning a living for him and his family. Both are just not possible at the moment. This is the point where YOU can step in and support Disillusion.
We often get asked about the progress of the new record. To make it very clear: our main goal is to release the third Disillusion album within the next 12 months. And for that Andy needs your help: to have the time to fully focus on collecting ideas and writing new songs without facing financial destitute.
Goals and Rewards
Here we are talking about our main goal which is a monthly net amount of $2000 ideally (which really means $2200 as Patreon gets its fair share of 5 % and transfer costs of 5 %; Patreon.com shows the net amount). From this, Andy needs to pay rent for this home and workplace, insurance, gas, and providing for his family.
We have assembled different rewards what we will give you for each amount of your support. Just have a look at the right column. We are grateful for ANY support, however small.
Now let us start dreaming: If we reach more than the targeted $2000, we will invest everything in the production that follows immediately after finishing songwriting. From experience, we calculate with $20.000 ideally. This includes an external producer in a world-renowned studio and a professional video. Of course, DIY is possible and can lead to great results but we want to create the best sound possible for our music, which works much better with an outside perspective from a producer.
If this goal is reached, and we really reach more than $3700 per month, we need to celebrate this together! For this we will organize a special pre-release concert of the new album in Leipzig for all patrons (tier $15 or higher). Besides that, we will invest all revenues in new band equipment (e.g. projectors). Our goal is to perform tremendous live shows for you WORLDWIDE. If this goal can be realized, we will keep you updated about all the investment and planning.
Important: Even if we do not reach our main goal, every pledge helps. $1000 per month means half a month will be available to focus fully on songwriting. The only limitation will be that we cannot guarantee finishing the album within 12 months but it will come!