We the Kings (that band you used to love!) is in the box, recording its fourth studio album, home of its latest singles (“Just Keep Breathing,” “Find You There,” and “Any Other Way”). Sounds pretty standard for an active band, right? Wrong. The band has opted for a change of scenery, dropping the idea of a traditional label and recording the album with the help of their biggest fans.
For those who don’t know what IndieGoGo is, check out this 20 Watts article where Ashley Aron breaks it down for you. Essentially it’s a fundraising tool that enables fans to help fund bands for albums, tours, music videos… or pretty much anything else.
Fans can make a donation through We the Kings’ IndieGoGo. On the site, fans can find not only video and campaign updates, but also photos, a list of “funders,” and good conversation in the comments section. There are seventeen packages to choose from including merchandise, copies of the album, shout outs in the “Thank You’s” section, vinyls, autographs, and wristbands, which range from $15-75. There are also more expensive and intense options like the $100 Instagram takeover, the $250 album listening party with the band, $300 tour bus hang and side stage, or meet and greets. I think the coolest prize is for $3,000; a fan gets Charles Trippy’s bass after this upcoming 2014 tour. Then, a prize that may require excessive auto-tuning, for $4,999 fans can play guitar or sing on the album. And perhaps the most interesting prize, a fan can be an opener for a week on We the Kings next tour for $12,000.
I remember Justin Bieber having fans send in donations so a photo of them could be made into a collage that created an image of Bieber. I found that interesting because the individual photos themselves would be so tiny, how could you even tell which blob was your blob? I personally find the Bieber one to be a bit silly, but this We the Kings idea could be really cool. Having fans more involved in the creation and production of your work or your album is very meaningful for the supporters.
It’s awesome to see a band treating its fans like its boss, rather than just catering to a crowd. We the Kings asked what the fans wanted, gave them prizes, and made this album “for the fans, by the fans,” so to speak. I have wrestled with this pun throughout writing this piece, but I think I might have to go for it: If you’re a We the Kings fan and want to see this next album be successful, you should Check Yes (Juliet).