Here is our big Kickstarter advice and lessons post! I am writing this for two reasons: (1) We get a lot of email requests for Kickstarter advice, so I am writing this piece to have one big article to link to when we get those messages, and (2) I did a lot of research and work on the Kickstarter, and I want to write down the things I learned, because then it feels DOUBLE WORTH IT. This post may not apply to the general Doubleclicks follower, but perhaps some of you are talented musicians and comedians and authors in the early stages of Kickstarter madness and are desperately seeking advice because you feel so alone and stupid and lost—I remember this feeling well. Maybe we can help!
For those who don’t know us: We are a band called the Doubleclicks, and in February of this year we raised $80,000 on Kickstarter to make an album (and thanks for stretch goal insanity, a lot of other things as well.) You can see our Kickstarter project here. Yes, it went very well. People ask us if we were surprised or overwhelmed by the response. We weren’t, really—mostly we are THANKFUL. We are SO VERY INCREDIBLY ENDLESSLY THANKFUL to the people who supported the project, who make it possible for us to pursue music full-time and work on things we’re passionate about. The reception that our fans gave the campaign was amazing and gave us lots of wonderful good feelings. I don’t really know what made people so generous toward us, but I try not to think about it too hard. Mostly we just try to work to deserve the support our amazing listeners give us. We worked real hard and were prepared for the campaign in the abstract, with numbers and plans and orders and timelines, so we weren’t too overwhelmed by the numbers when they happened. But the feeling of “Wow, people want to support us pursuing our dream”—that was something that we couldn’t really prepare for. People are awesome sometimes.
We just got home from GeekGirlCon, a wonderful convention in Seattle full of the most adorable child cosplay in the world. During that convention we sat on a panel called “Women in Nerd Music” with Molly Lewis, Sammus, Shubzilla and Minn from Thundering Asteroids. It was a really fun and productive hour, with some insights about band names, sexism and the new portmanteau “thermomenerd” (meaning the song used by a band to measure the nerdiness of an audience).
The last question in the panel, right under the wire, was “how do you book a tour?” — and we didn’t really get to answer it. But guys, I just have SO MUCH TO SAY!
Collected below is basically every possible thing I thought of when I thought about tour planning. It may or may not help others, depending on what you want to know. Any advice is most likely to apply to bands with an existing online audience.
The post below is not very well organized, and it is not comprehensive, But I think it is a pretty clear reflection of our method for planning tours, with all its benefits and flaws.
And before we forget it all, we’re writing down our best memories from this amazing couple weeks of travel. Here we go!!
We started in Chicago, a show with a cameo by the amazing Patrick Rothfuss with additional insanity provided by Cards Against Humanity… including a fantastically therapeutic bit in which we made smoothies out of magic cards.
Molly Lewis is one of our closest music friends: she was our first whole-long-tour buddy back in 2012, we’re on her live album and her song Beards, plus we just love her as a person.
AND NOW… Molly Lewis has written a MUSICAL!
In the tradition of the great-to-passable TV holiday specials from the 70s and 80s, Seattle’s own ukulele Molly Lewis headlines a Thanksgiving feast of comedy, music, and stuffing. The big show features performances from Kevin Murphy (Rifftrax, Mystery Science Theater 3000), The Doubleclicks, Marian Call, Joseph Scrimshaw, Nicole Dieker, The Mongrel Jews, and many more!
Molly Lewis and co-writer Josh A. Cagan (LearningTown, The Wil Wheaton Project) guarantee 75 minutes of laughter, good times, and a rekindled love affair with Thanksgiving, and personally promise that if you don’t experience all these things, they’ll try harder next year. Probably.
After we released our song about the web series “Tabletop,” the nice people at Looney Labs reached out to us and commissioned a theme song for their very popular card game “Fluxx” and its many variations. This video and song were really, really fun to make. I think you can tell by all the dancing. :)
Our livestream went really well this month (in a weird technical-difficulties way). For the first time, we called in some special guests: Paul and Storm from Paul and Storm and Molly Lewis! This all happened in our hotel room live from the middle of tour!
We were invited again this year (two years in a row!) to perform on the giant main stage at PAX, the biggest stage in nerd music. It was a pretty amazing event, and our show itself included cameos by Patrick Rothfuss AND Paul & Storm. Re-live the magic in beautiful HD video on YouTube!
In February 2011, we emailed Paul and Storm in the middle of the night with a message starting: “Dear Misters Paul and Storm”, mentioning their upcoming show in PDX, and ending with this: “If you are looking for some girls to play a love song about gaming at a show sometime, we may be your gals. It’s a long shot, but I wanted to try.”
What I didn’t say in that e-mail was that their songs, in their current band and their former one, were by far my most-played tracks of all time (especially “Title of The Song”, by their old band Da Vinci’s notebook, which was on a CD of a local a capella group I stole from my sister in high school, and the “Pillsbury Cookie Dough” Jingle). I didn’t say that I’d seen them in concert 3 times, listened to all their podcasts, and watched all their YouTube videos.
Probably a lack of mentioning those things helped a great deal—and though that email SHOULD NOT HAVE WORKED, it did (they even said we had “very funny stuff!”)—and we opened for Paul and Storm in Portland for our largest audience ever, probably still one of our best shows ever, and at that show we met amazing friends and our very first in-real-life geeky fans.
IT’S HAPPENING! Some shows have tickets available online now! Some don’t have online ticket sales! But we encourage you to mark your calendars, set your phone alarms, RSVP on Facebook for reminders & PLEASE invite your friends! We will bring our cat keyboard if you bring yourself!