As many bands know it costs alot of money to properly record, distribute, and market a new album. My next guests did not go to a major label or venture capitalist to get the money to record, they went to their fans. Telling On Trixie is a NYC based band that raised thousands of dollars and gave their fans a music experience that gets them involved in a manner not seen before. Read on as Derek Nicoletto of Telling On Trixie explains this revolutionary idea in which they created the new album ‘Ugly, Broke, & Sober.’
Stoli: How did you five meet up and decide to create a band called, Telling On Trixie?
Telling On Trixie: Brad Small and I were in a funk band called Trixie’s Itch and we wanted to start a new pop-rock project. “Trixie” is our imaginary muse. “Telling on” seemed to be an appropriate precursor, as our songs tend to be narrative in nature.
Stoli: Was the music that you are creating now similar to what you envisioned it would be at the start?
Telling On Trixie: Brad and I wrote all the music on our self-titled debut album. We cast the band afterwards, and have been working with them for two years now. Our lead guitarist Tommy Kessler emerged as the Musical Director and eventually a co-writer. Brad’s and my souful rock foundation now has Tommy’s powerpop-ish sensibilities thrown into the mix evident in “Ugly, Broke & Sober.”
Stoli: How did you come up with the title of your new album, ‘Ugly, Broke, & Sober?’
Telling On Trixie: Democratically, through our Band with a Plan fansourcing project. We gave our fans some options for the title of the album and one of them was the name of a track that would appear on the album, “Ugly, Broke & Sober.” Some fans liked lyrical nonsequitors from our song “Eden (Take a Bite).” But after we put it to a vote, the overwhelming majority preferred “Ugly, Broke & Sober.” When we started to make the album we had no money. We invted our fans to participate in our Band with a Plan program. Our friend Valerie wrote in the abandwithaplan.com website, “I prefer ‘Ugly, Broke & Sober’ as the title because it was ugly how broke you guys were…and that’s a sober fact.” That statement pretty much cinched the vote.
“Crash Me Up” by Telling on Trixie
[youtube ZDGNe4rN9aE nolink]
Stoli: How long did you write & record that album and how are you working to get your fans to give it a listen?
Telling On Trixie: We were playing “A.N.F.O.”, “Ugly, Broke & Sober” and “Eden (Take a Bite)” at shows before the album recording began. Everything else was written or, in the case of “Mad About You,” arranged, after the recording process began in September. We were finished the second week in November. We’ve just now released the album and it’s playing on terrestrial and online radio stations all over the world. We encourage anyone who digs our album to contact their favorite station and request our music. Our album was created at a grass-roots level, and will succeed in the same manner.
Stoli: Where did you get the idea to raise over $20K to record & package this new album? Is this a trend that is picking up with other bands too?
Telling On Trixie: Well, we knew it would cost about $25-30K to make and begin to promote this album and we could cover about $5k-$10 from the work our first album was doing. So, we just put it to the fans. We structured an interactive fansourcing program whereby fans could donate and participate at various levels. The difference with our program is that fans got behind the scenes looks at the making of an independent album. We shared everything with them, the good and the bad. The reason our program succeeded is because we involved our supporters on an emotional and personal level from the beginning. By the time the three-month deadline approached, those people were personally invested in either finding other people to join or upgrading to higher donation levels in order for us to reach our goal. People want to be a part of a winning project, and with us, they were.
The fansourcing trend is definitely emerging. I would caution bands who attempt it that it’s a lot of work to execute successfully. But frankly, if they’re afraid of hard work they are probably in the wrong business anyway.
Stoli: I can see that you have both a Myspace & Facebook page. What site is best in regards to music promotion?
Telling On Trixie: The best promotion comes from word of mouth or through our concerts, videos or songs on the radio or Internet programs. Our MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and TellingonTrixie.com blog are all fun parts of the Telling on Trixie experience. But although some promotion certainly derives from these networks, it’s hard to gauge which site is best. Each fan’s social networking preference comes into play. If you like the music and facts, go to tellingontrixie.com. If you want to laugh, watch our videos at youtube.com/tellingontrixie. Our Facebook and Twitter accounts are relatively young, though. Luckily, I’m a social networking junkie. The other guys in my band don’t share my excitement about it. They want to play music. But I think nowadays it’s important to have at least one member of your band in touch with fans through social media. In Telling on Trixie’s case, I guess I am the social media designate.
Stoli: You have had your songs on various TV shows like The Gauntlet, Real World: Brooklyn, and much more. What effect did that have on the popularity of Telling On Trixie?
Telling On Trixie: Real World and Road Rules have had us on for a few seasons now and it’s incredibly flattering. We’re very grateful to all the shows that are using our music, not just on MTV. I don’t know where the fans come from, though, really. Telling on Trixie supporters just show up. We don’t always get a chance to ask them where they heard us. Maybe it’s from this article; maybe it’s from the fight scene in Gauntlet III. At this point, it could be from anywhere.
Stoli: Where did you find inspiration when you sat down to write this album?
Telling On Trixie: That question is so loaded…I could break it down from you song to song, but the general answer is that my inspiration comes from my own life, other people, and pure fiction – in approximately three equal parts.
Stoli: Telling On Trixie is a testament to bands that the indie route can work. Would you consider a major deal or are you guys happy as is?
Telling On Trixie: I am open to whatever is in the best interest of making this band survive. I’m not going to limit our options. It’s possible that we end up fansourcing every forthcoming album and remain autonomous. Or maybe someone puts “Crash Me Up” on Grey’s Anatomy and we fund the next one ourselves. Or, we may find a suitable indie or major label partner…I have no idea. I like the phrase, “More will be revealed.” I just try to take the next right action and let go of the results.
Stoli: How has being from NYC helped you to create your sound & heavy buzz?
Telling On Trixie: Even though three of us are from the Midwest and two of us are from NY and Boston, Telling on Trixie, as it’s own being, was born and raised in New York City. We’re totally influenced by its people and culture. I wrote “Shooting in 60” after I saw Cabaret on Broadway. Like any restless creature…our band gets around. We love playing outside the City.
Stoli: I love your cover of “Mad About You.” Any other covers coming up we can check out?
Telling On Trixie: Thank you. “Mad About You” will be only cover for the near future. We are an original music band.
Stoli: Where can readers get more Telling On Trixie and what is coming up on the horizon?
Telling On Trixie: All our music is on iTunes, CDBAby, Amazon and scores of other online vendors. And they can get more of us at our shows, for sure. Personally, I can’t wait to play at Six Flags Great Adventure this summer. We’re doing three shows there. To follow our day-to-day, everyone should contact us at their preferred social media site and any of these addresses. http://twitter.com/tellingontrixie, http://myspace.com/tellingontrixie,
www.tellingontrixie.com, www.youtube.com/tellingontrixie or on Facebook. On these sites, we like to keep them laughing and entertained, even between musical releases and shows.