A few weeks ago the band Eisley launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund touring they’ve planned for the album cycle of their upcoming release. Two music sites I follow pretty closely, Property of Zack and Absolute Punk both put up posts about the campaign. I was reading through the comments and shocked to see the almost unanimous backlash against the campaign. Eisley is trying to raise $100,000 and the general consensus is that it’s too much money, the rewards aren’t good enough, and that they should go and get real jobs. I’ll admit I’m an Eisley fan and have been for many years, I’m also a fan of Kickstarter and bands using it, so I may be a little bias, but I have a few comments on the backlash.
One of the main reasons Eisley is trying to get to $100,000 is because four of the five members now have newborn children and they want/need to bring their kids with them when touring. Therefore the cost of touring, transportation/accommodations is going to be more. Sure, if they don’t have the means to tour in that capacity they could not tour or find someone to watch their kids. They obviously want to be with their kids so the latter is not an option and I don’t blame them. On the other hand if they stayed home, fans wouldn’t be able to see them live. So as I see it, what Eisley is saying to their fans is, this is how we need to tour and if you want to see us out on the road we’d love it if you could help us out. If fans don’t want to see them live then they don’t have to donate. Whether their fans come through or not to raise the $100k remains to be seen, but I don’t think Eisley is doing anything wrong by simply presenting this option to their fans.
To address the idea that the members of Eisley should got out and get real jobs, they do have real jobs, that’s to say, they have alternative sources of income outside of Eisley. In some cases these sources of income are rather creative. They’re not just sitting around expecting fans to pay for their life style. Again, they are saying to fans, we want to bring our music to you, help us out, or not. And yes they’ll likely make money and these tours, but it’s not unlike a business asking for an investment. Sure the business makes or will make money, but sometimes businesses need people who believe in what they do to help them get started or take them to the next level. It’s not a one to one comparison, but the concept is the same.
I do agree with a couple of the criticisms of Eisley’s campaign. I feel like the rewards should have been more closely related to the tours. For example they could have offered admission to the show nearest your town or a variety of VIP packages. They did however recently add more rewards, so as a whole I think what they’ve offered would be exciting for most fans. Additionally I think they could have been a little more transparent about how much it costs to tour, how they arrived at $100k, and given a breakdown of how they would use the money. That being said, this is the first time they’ve done anything like this, so a few slip ups are to be expected. And they did give the option to contact them with any questions.
Eisley’s been in this business a long time, working hard, and giving fans good music and great live performances. Also, they honestly seem like great people. I’ve personally met and talked to Kim and Boyd DuPree who are the parents of four of the members of Eisley. Boyd also manages the band and does design for them. He’s a super nice down to earth guy. There’s no question in my mind that Eisley put a lot of time and thought it into the planning of their Kickstarter campaign and have no intention whatsoever of taking advantage of their fans.
As of today Eisley’s campaign has 13 days left and they are a little less than half way to their goal… I’m not sure if they’re going to make, it’s going to be close. So, if you’re an Eisley fan and you’ve enjoyed their music and have enjoyed their live shows and would like to see them continue to play live, show them some support and contribute to their campaign! Also, go out and buy their new album Currents which comes out May 28th… I think it’s going to be really good!