I never really thought about it until now, but seeing as how I'm imminently losing my day job, I've started to think about it a lot more.
And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense: I make music a lot faster than even I can keep up with sometimes, let alone the labels that agree to put some of this stuff out. Which leaves records of mine stranded for (up to) years at a time, which is never good.
The old fashioned label system has been on my mind for a little while now. Not that it's inherently bad, or anything like that - just that it doesn't really suit me most of the time. Labels and agents and managers and PR and stuff like that. It's been getting me down quite a bit, because the way the system works is that you constantly doubt yourself and wonder why you can't get what other people have, or what you think you deserve. It tends not to reward work based on anything than either sheer luck or a monstrous amount of connections, so it's expected that you feel like shit on a constant basis.
Whilst a satan Patreon won't solve those things, it will mitigate them and make it easier for me to operate within it. For example, I spent close to 3 months preparing The Pivot for release, only to have a grand total of one review (in fairness, it was a brilliant one, by Ron at Textura), which was a gigantic waste of my time and a huge kick in the pants for my general mental wellbeing. If I could cut-out the middleman, and just deliver things direct to the people that helped fund it in the first place: wow, that would be great, and I could ease up on the constant nagging anxiety that comes with putting any piece of art out into the world.
"how many reviews did you get, gavin?"
I sort of do this already, via my Bandcamp, and I treasure each and every follower sign up as much as anyone can, but in those off days, those off months, those off years, when I don't get around to releasing anything, I'm sort of stuck. I'll think I should be releasing something, which impacts on the time I get to actually make things, and dilutes the eventual release when it does come out as you're all fed up of yet another album, or another EP hastily bundled together for Bandcamp Friday, etc.
In lieu of that, I can flex my muscles outside of just being 'a dude who releases a lot of music'. I want to offer things that Bandcamp won't really let me do very well, like regular sample packs, or remix stems, or advice on your productions, etc. I want to offer you all a look into the process, make videos and do livestreams, give away bits of the (rather vast) unreleased satan archive to people who actually care, not just lob it up on Bandcamp and see what happens. It's a different way of working, and I think it could be really good.
I'm not going to charge the earth, either. You can chip in a quid a month, a fiver or a tenner, depending on what you want to get out of it, and I won't begrudge anyone not having the money or the time or the desire to do any of this - you can absolutely just pick up a CD once a year, or grab a shirt or just stream something somewhere, that's all absolutely fine. I just wanted to open up the option for anyone curious as to how it all works. It's always shit talking about money though isn't it? When on tour recently, everytime I sold some merch I prefaced it with "is that alright?" as I hated taking people's money, despite the fact they'd gone to the merch table to actually buy things I'd spent money on making up. It still sucks though, so consider this me trying to turn something crap into something lovely.
Anyway, I'm just putting the finishing touches to it all now, so will launch fairly soon.