AR Whiskey & Wine Volume 1

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This is How We Do It.

How does Antigone Rising fit into the music industry?

The answer is very simple. We don't. AT ALL.

What is the music industry (I am actually asking you this question)?

Is it Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke (head)? Cause I have no idea what's happening there or how that even remotely relates to what Antigone Rising does. Unless Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus have ever facebook chatted directly with a fan about the logistics of how to play a house concert on their farm. In that case, we are in the same industry. 

I imagine these 'music industry' people walk into studios with beats already playing, get tossed into 'the booth' to sing, get tricked into thinking 'they wrote it,' believe it's a good idea to twerk on national televison, and then get divorced. 

That is not what we do. 

Kristen & Nini co-wrote My Town with Lori McKenna
What we do is text each other to see what days we have coverage for the kids. Then we email Lori McKenna or Kristen Hall or Michelle Malone or Garrison Starr and we see when they're available to write songs with us. We all go really out of our way to make a songwriting date work out.

Then we sit down. We drink coffee. We get caught up on each others lives.

Eventually, the conversation turns to what type of song Antigone Rising needs for the album or the set. Mid-tempo-ey, ballady, sad forlong song, boot stompin' ass shaker, what are we lookin' for? And then we go fishing. 

Usually, we come out of these songwriting sessions with an amazing song. But we've probably spent a few hudj$$ on gas, tolls, food, possibly hotels, sitter costs, etc. So yes. Sometimes we write via skype. It's much cheaper. We probably spend closer to $150 between sitters on those days. 

'The music industry' is not footing the bill for this, cause we're not using 'a beat' or willing to twerk. So we cover it with whatever money the band made off the run of east coast dates we just finished. You know, where the deals are 40% of the door, club takes 15% of merch sales, but they feed us dinner. Just like how Miley and people in 'the music industry' tour. I'm sure. 

Now we go to record the new song. Nini has a home studio, so that really does help offset some costs. If you don't consider what it cost to build the studio or put equipment in it. But it's also the size of a (really big) master bedroom. And, ya know, sometimes you want to record the drums in a bigger setting...or the babies are napping (real life, people. real life.), so you might track them in a different studio - $500, if you negotiate it hard or call in a favor.

Or, we record the drums at Nini's, cause actually, she gets good sounds - so we rent mics for $300 (and the other half of the time we beg to borrow them).

We track the new song. And we need it mixed. The mix is the magic. So figure we pay around $1,000 for it. Eventually, there are 10 songs that need to be written and mixed. So do the mental math. 

Then we send an email out to our 10,000 person fan list letting them know the song is available for download. We have a pretty good conversion rate per email. 12% of you open it. That's 1,200 of you. 50% of the people who open it actually click on the link to hear the new song. So 600 of you listen. And usually 50-75% of that 600 actually download it from the email. We offer it for free if you need it to be. So 50% of you download the song for free. And 50% of you actually pay more than the typical .99 for  the song. In fact, many of you pay $5.00 or more, in essence offsetting the cost of those who download it for free. By the way. Thank you for that.

This isn't taking into account the various social media promo we do, but I don't want to blog your face off. So I will allow you to mentally incorporate our social media numbers into this equation. 11K Facebook likes, 5K twitter followers, cetra cetra cetra. 

We like being able to offer our music for free. Do not misinterpret that prior paragraph. It actually works better for us versus when we offer it as a paid download. More people download it, and more of you generously pay above the typical .99.

Each one of our songs helps us earn a living. So each song is really important to us. We aren't going to
That Was The Whiskey - Official Video
twerk to make sure people hear the songs, because we hope our songs sound better than what our butts might look like in the air.

The music industry that I struggle so hard to define has basically been smashed to smithereens, at least from my vantage point. So we're just cutting out that whole hot mess piece of the puzzle.

All this does not mean people should not have access to honest and good music, however they define it. Even if you have sung along to  Wrecking Ball a few times in your car. Like I have (just, like, twice).

That's why we are doing a Pledge Music campaign. Our fans, who hopefully believe we make honest and good music, pay a little more in advance for it, so we continue to supply great songs, fun videos, interesting blogs (eh hmm), and tour to towns further away.

But we're not twerking to do any of this. Not ever.


PS-I probably have about 50 more blogs in me on this topic. But this one came out about as long as it took to type it. Welcome to my head.

PSS-And yes, I am aware of the fact that I hot linked the words Pledge Music Campaign directly to our Pledge Music Campaign. I did it again here, too. Hey, how'd that sneaky little banner get down there?



  1. …and this is why I love this band. :) You're in it for the right reasons- to make fantastic music and connect with the fans. Keep doing what you do. For all your sacrifices and hardships, you're making awesome music, and you're making an impact. You girls ROCK. :)

  2. Loved you from the first time I heard you, which was in my basement in West Milford,NJ. The years have gone by and I will always remember "Antigone Rising" even though I am not able to attend the concerts any more, because I live too far away here in New Bern, NC, but you are always welcome to come down and visit. We have many small venues here and would love to hear you play at one of them. Call me or FB or email if you can ever think about playing at one of the them. We are a very artsy town and always have artist playing in our down town area. Good luck always to a wonderful group of ROCKERS!! LOVE YA, MRS O

  3. oved you from the first time I heard you, which was in my basement in West Milford,NJ
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