Q: Why is something like Weathered Pages needed?
A: There aren’t a lot of nonprofit arts organizations out there for musicians the same way there are for artists. First, there are arts grants for musicians, but this only provides the funding, not the assistance to walk step by step through the process of recording their music. Second, there are programs to support traditional music like jazz, classical, or folk. While this is greatly needed, it leaves much of contemporary music and songwriters out.
Q: What are you looking for in an artist?
A: We are looking for songwriters and bands that have not had the chance to record in a studio yet. Maybe you’ve just recording some songs on your phone or webcam, or you’ve played some house shows or open mic nights. If you have just one or two songs, or an EP or album worth of material we can work with you.
There’s no shortcut to success, but we can help you produce a professional sounding record (with a full band recording, even if you’s a solo singer/songwriter) and provide you with career guidance and mentoring from industry pros, along with help marketing, promoting, and distributing your music, along with promo photography, merch design and sales, and social media management.
We want artists who know they aren’t perfect but are willing to put in an effort, learn and be mentored, and build confidence.
Q: So what don’t you do?
A: We aren’t artist management, so if you need a manager that’s not within our scope. As part of our services we give guidance on how you can be your own manager or agent, or you can have your own.
Q: How will you record my album/EP/single?
A: We will use a hybrid technique. The means some things, such as vocal or drums, will be recorded in a major studio. Other things may be recorded in a smaller studio, and overdubs will be recorded with our own equipment. The tracks will be mixed by a professional mixing engineer and then mastered.
This hybrid technique will allow us to be very flexible and work with a number of different project budgets but always producing a professional sounding product.
Technology and software have revolutionized the recording process, but more important is having access to recording, mixing, and mastering professionals who are passionate about the mission of Weathered Pages.
Q: How are you different from other record labels?
A: First of all, we’re a federally recognized nonprofit arts organization whose goal is to assist young and upcoming bands and artists. We provide a wide array of services to bands and songwriters, from recording to promo images, video, and mentoring from industry insiders.
We will never ask artists to sign exclusive contracts and artists keep the publication rights to their music. Our goal is for artists to “graduate” from us to a larger indie or major label.
Q: How much will I have to pay out of pocket to record with you?
A: Nothing. Our goal is to fund recording projects via crowdfunding, donations, presales, and other methods. This means we may need to be flexible in the scale of the project – if there’s difficulty obtaining funding for an EP then we may record a single and use it to try to secure additional funding. If there aren’t funds for a whole album, we can scale it back to an EP. If there are more funds than expected, we can shoot a video or add more media for distribution. As a nonprofit, we have a number of avenues available to us to secure additional grants and tax-deductible donations to fund our mission.
Q: Why shouldn’t I just crowdfund my project and pay a studio to record it?
A: Our advisors already have experience with successful crowdfunding campaigns. If you go with recording everything in just one studio you often will not get the best value for your money. Not only do we have the ability to record some tracks on our own, we have lined up a number of different recording, mixing, and mastering engineers so we have flexibility no single studio can provide.
In addition, we offer full label support – merchandise design and sales, album art, band photography and videography, PR and publicity, duplication and distribution, support and mentoring from industry insiders, and much more. We take out the stress and hassle so you can focus on what’s important – your music.
We will offer mentoring and guidance every step of the way so you will be prepared and have the knowledge and experience to record your next project with a bigger label or on your own.
Q: Why are you a nonprofit record label?
A: Our goal is to promote music, and to help young and upcoming songwriters and bands, not make a buck off of them. As a non-profit, we can apply for arts grants, tax-deductible donations, and get a better rate from crowdfunding sites such as IndieGoGo. Going through the process of forming a Board of Directors and qualifying for 501(c)3 status demonstrates our commitment to professionalism and putting the artist first.
Q: Are you competing with other indie record labels? Aren’t there enough of them already?
A: We aren’t competing with other labels. In fact, we want to work with and promote as many other labels as possible. We see our role as a songwriter and band incubator – working with young and upcoming artists to flesh out their music, help them gain experience of recording in a professional studio, and connect them with mentors so they can “graduate” from us to another label. We also serve as talent scouts for labels in a way, since our artists will be free to sign with other labels at any time.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Weathered Pages?
A: Some of us are artists ourselves, and we realized there was a gap in the industry. To get noticed these days you have to have a catchy hook, or marketing campaign – all of which takes money and resources, and often produces a very “commercial” sound. We want to help up and coming artists have access to what they need in order to put their music out on the mainstream. The goal is to bridge the gap between talent and labels, so that more quality music can be introduced.
Q: What genre of music do you focus on?
A: We are open to any all styles of music and will approach it on an artist by artist basis. Our goal is to work on building a community via music so if you play well with others and have an open mind about working and networking with artists outside your own genre then you’ll be a good fit.
As a nonprofit we are free to produce songs that would over wise be overlooked – songs that tell a story by voices that need to be heard.
Q: What are your long-term goals for Weathered Pages?
A: Our goal is to set up a fund that will be used for grants to new and emerging songwriters and bands to record and produce their original music. Initially, our funding is coming from crowdfunding campaigns because we need to show we can deliver on what we promise (plus a good amount of money donated by the board of directors).
Once we have several projects under our belt we will have the experience needed to begin grant writing and looking for corporate sponsorship to help fund the artists grands, which will still be supplemented by presales and crowdfunding. We will also start looking into the possibility of underwriting and monthly pledges not unlike how our local NPR stations operate.
Q: How can I get involved?
A: Send us an email and let us know what you have in mind. We’re volunteer-run so we could always use some help, mostly with getting the word out about what we’re doing. No, we don’t currently have any paid staff positions available. We will also need help promoting our initial crowdfunding campaigns in 2017.
Q: I’m a songwriter/band, how do we apply?
A: Send us an email! We’d love to talk and see if it’s a good fit!
Q: Are you accepting donations?
A: Yes, as a 501(c)3 nonprofit record label all donations are tax-deductible. We also accept in-kind gifts and donations, and we have a list of needed equipment here.