for those of you who haven’t heard, the new caedmon’s call record raising up the dead is now available for pre-order at www.caedmonscall.com (the official release is sept. 14). for those who don’t understand why i’m mentioning this, a little context. i was with caedmon’s from their founding in 1992 and spent 10 years with them as singer & songwriter. although i left the band around 2001 to pursue a solo career, they have always been my great friends and we have collaborated several times during these more recent years.
and caedmon’s call, as it turns out, is very much like hotel california: you can check out anytime you’d like, but you can never really leave. several of us have tried to leave over the years but we seem to keep coming back. why is that? i have a few theories. mainly though, it’s because they’re my family. i jumped right out of high school into this band and spent more than twice what would have been my college experience traveling all over the country with them, very literally living out some of our wildest dreams. these individuals have been formative to me in my life, and there’s a version of myself that i only am when i am with them. so we keep finding excuses to make things together. and that’s what happened in the case of raising up the dead.
now, there seems to be some misunderstanding surrounding the pre-sale for the new record that i’d like to try and clear up. let me start by saying that i love this record. the band honored me with their trust in letting me produce it, and i believe it to be among the band’s best records (if not their best). and the reason is because i consider this the first real caedmon’s call record. this is the first time you’re hearing songs and stories not just from one or two members of the band speaking on all of their behalf, but from nearly every member of the band. danielle young (singer) single handedly wrote half of the record. todd bragg (drummer) wrote a song, cliff young (singer/guitar player) wrote a few songs, jeff miller (bass player) wrote a few songs, and sandra mccracken and i wrote some as well. but the point is that none of these folks had written songs for caedmon’s before. on raising up the dead (and maybe for the first time on record) you’re getting a real sense of who this band is.
secondly, i love this record because it’s completely unfettered with outside consideration and influence about radio/retail/etc. the band’s focus here was to make the best record possible, wanting to primarily impress the fans who have supported them for these almost two decades. the band has admittedly made well-intentioned creative mistakes over the years, caring more about these various means of promotion more than the fans that it ultimately hoped those things would connect them to.
but those days are over. this is a band reborn, with a new creative energy and sense of camaraderie that i haven’t seen since the days of 40 acres, but without the trappings of the arrogance and short-sightedness of youth. it’s a rare and special thing for a band to come back around to such a moment after making music together for so long. and raising up the dead is the documentation of this moment.
and that’s what i’m afraid you might be missing in all of the conversation over disappointments about the structure of the pre-order.
so, with the band’s blessing, i have one thing to say and one thing to announce.
first, the pre-order was NOT designed in any way to manipulate anyone into buying a higher priced tier. it was not designed in any way to punish the band’s hardcore and loyal fans by withholding an immediate download from the two least expensive tiers. and the fact that raising up the dead is a digital only release (while it may eventually release via itunes and other digital distributers, there are no plans to release it as a physical product) should not be taken as a sign of anything to do with the band’s future.
everything from the making to the distributing of this record was done with the band’s community of fans in mind. caedmon’s call has always done its best work when we’re thinking like an indie band (we were an indie band for many years before signing to our first record label), and one doesn’t have to look hard to see the strange condition the music industry is currently in. INO records (the band’s record label, and mine as well) has been so supportive to allow the luxury for both caedmon’s and me as a solo artist to live and operate like indie artists.
and what would a smart indie artist with a good fan base do in this climate? limit physical product (and therefore limit unnecessary financial overhead) so that only the band’s most fervent fans can get it (we’re only make 1000 copies, and each will be numbered and signed by the band) then only release it DIRECTLY to the fans digitally, with as much additional digital material to incentivize those fans as possible. so with this pre-sale, that’s exactly what the band has done.
now in terms of the limiting of the immediate download to the top two pre-order tiers, this was not an easily made decision. there was some disagreement at INO as to whether we should immediately deliver the record during the pre-order seeing as though the record would only ever be a digital release (otherwise, it isn’t really a “pre-order” so much as an actual “release”). the compromise was made to allow for some tiers to include an immediate download and to have the others digitally deliver the record on release day.
but since the focus with this record has been and remains on the fans, we have heard your disappointment and have decided to change the pre-order options. as of this posting, ALL PRE-ORDER TIERS WILL INCLUDE AN IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD.
what does this mean if you’e already pre-ordered? if you have already pre-purchased a tier that didn’t include immediate delivery, you will receive a download code via email within a day or so to get your immediate download as well. and if you pre-purchased one of the top tiers and want to reconsider which one to buy in light of this change, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will take care of you.
for those completists who really wanted to have a physical copy of the record for your collection, you have a decision to make (but a much easier one with new tier structure). you can either buy raising up the dead for $10 and now receive an immediate download, then burn it onto a disc (maybe draw something on there with a sharpie, make it one of a kind…) or pre-purchase the top tier which includes the super rare physical copy (again, only 1000 will be made, will be numbered and autographed by the band, and will include complete lyrics and additional photos).
so in conclusion, we hope you hear and love raising up the dead. i’m as proud of this work with my great friends as anything i’ve ever done. go pre-order it now (www.caedmonscall.com) and tell us what you think. we are listening.