Specifically you tunesmiths of the psychedelic variety - here is your chance to collaborate with Dark Lord Rob (the humble helmer of this website).
I'm sending a kaleidoscopic bat-signal to the skies, calling to all you space-rockers, dead-jammers, floyd-spawn; all you prune-wranglers, barrett-heads, watchbanders; yes, all you quicksilver butterflies and jefferson zepplins. Join forces with me, and let's melt some minds! Here are the facts, presented as faqs:
What is the Electric Druid Project?
Briefly put, it's a dream, it's a phantasm, it's an adventure. I, Dark Lord Rob, master of space, dissension, and mime, intend to launch myself into worldwide collaboration with a veritable army of psychedelic musicians and to create a cosmic cornucopia of conceptual rock; uniting my skills with word, image, melody and story with the instrumental and compositional talents of mind-melting musicians from every corner of the globe. For more about this (and to read this paragraph again) go to the Electric Druid Project FAQ. For more about Dark Lord Rob and the DLR worldview askew, go to the Dark Lord Rob FAQ, or surf the site. For more info about collaborating, keep reading, for here are the FAQs:
How would this work?
Simply. Musicians send me sketches, on tape or CDr (and we can work directly on-line if I ever get broadband again). These can be as simple as a riff or a bass run. I give the sketches song structure, then lyrics and a melody, at the same time tying them together with a conceptual structure, and aligning them so there is a strong flow from song to song; if I see the need for a certain type of piece at a juncture in the project I may ask the musicians to come up with an idea or just write it myself if a strong enough idea strikes me. I then record my ideas and send them back to the musicians, at which point they would work up their arrangements of the pieces and record them. I write a textual piece to go with the music (see Doctor Hoffman's Magical Bicycle Ride), whip together a website, and post the whole thing online, free to read and with the music downloadable for a nominal fee.
What type of music are we talking about?
Psychedelic rock, of all variants. Could be space rock, stoner rock, psych/garage, psych/pop, you name it. Not sure what psychedelic rock is? Go to my Psychedelic Veil zine for an overview. If you're not sure if your style fits, send me a tape or cd and let me decide if there's somewhere we can go within the context of the Electric Druid Project.
Are you specifically looking for any styles outside of psychedelic music?
I really need a good surf band. And some wyrd (dark) folk.
My band has some great lyrics and concepts of our own. Why do we need Dork Lard Rob crapping things up?
You don't need DLR's help to make great music (I assume), and I'm not going to stop you! However, the Electric Druid Project has the potential to be something incredibly cool and artistically stimulating - and could potentially bring in a decent amount of royalty dollars while at the same time introducing a wide range of people to your band's name and sound.
Can't I write songs based on Dark Lord Rob concepts? Why does DLR get to write the songs?
At this stage, the main reason that fans will download the music is because they are interested in DLR's thoughts and lyricism; taking that out of the equation renders the whole concept kind of pointless.
I have a killer riff but I want to be the one to write the song that goes with it - I'm leery of possibly wasting it on this project.
You are welcome to use any riffs, hooks or chord progressions that you give to this project on any other project you want. This is guaranteed in the agreement you make with DLR. (And in case you think using the same riff in two very different songs can't be done, listen to Pink's "Feel Good Time", which is built around the very unique bass run from Spirit's "Fresh Garbage" and yet which is a wildly different song).
I have a great instrumental band, but we don't have a singer.
No problemo. Happy to add vocals, I am.
My band is interested but we don't have a studio.
You don't need a studio. This is a conceptual, lyrically based project, aimed at listeners who are interested in music that is skating the creative edge. We aren't competing with any of that slick corporate sh*t. Our fans will accept the music as it is, without frills. Fans of psychedelic music, particularly, are accepting of recording limitations; for a perfect example, listen to Blue Cheer's classic "Parchment Farm". For more info go to Step-by-step studio-free recording with Dark Lord Rob.
How will the money be split?
The first dollar of every download will go to The Company - this covers bandwidth and credit card fees (and The Company reserves the right to raise this if costs go beyond the amount cited). Any money from that dollar that doesn't get spent on fees will be spent on site promotion. None of it goes in my pocket. Documentation of expenditures and income will be available online. Now, the rest of the dollars will be split 50-50 between me, Dark Lord Rob, and the musician or musicians. However, as an incentive to the artist to help promote this project, after a sales figure of 5000 has been reached the split will become 34% Dark Lord Rob and 66% to the artist.
How much will we be selling the downloads for?
I envision $5 as an acceptable base price - low enough to be affordable and offer a great value compared to major label downloads, but still enough to make the royalty arrangement fiscally attractive. Once the site gets going, and once there are several concept projects offered, a reduced rate will be offered to entice fans to download multiple offerings - probably $5 for the first download, $3 for each after that.
Won't that lower rate hurt my royalties?
No, because at that point there will be so much stuff available here that the artists will benefit from making it more affordable for the fan to download more of the projects. A $1 royalty on ten downloads is better than a $2 royalty on zero downloads.
What about people with slow modems?
The projects will also be available as "no-frills" CD-Rs at the same price. And I mean "no-frills". No packaging, no labeling.
Why "no frills"?
I'm not set up for printing CD labels or inserts. We will make CD case inserts available as a download, however. Print 'em yourselves, folks.
What about making these available as "real" CDs, and selling them through record stores, or even striking a distribution deal with a label?
Manufacturing CDs requires a significant up-front investment. Hopefully, some projects will sell well enough to make such an investment feasible. Working through another label is also a possibility, one that we will consider, should the opportunity come up.
What about copyrights?
We will, for now, be using the "poor man's copyright" - we will copyright the entire project en mass, rather than each individual song. Because there is a conceptual structure involved this is feasible; and each element of the overall structure (ie, each song) is protected thereby.
Will there be any advances on royalties?
No. Royalties will be paid quarterly, though this might be amended to monthly if sales warrant.
Where do I send materials?
The Electric Druid Project
Materials will not be returned.
I want more information!
Okay, write to Dark Lord Rob with all your questions, concerns, and queries.