2009.04.23 at 2:28 am #1141
On Monday, SmashingPumpkins.com announced that an online 12-week subscription service will be made available in the near future, that is, if demand is ample for the project. Today Billy has sent a message to those than have shown interest by signing up for updates via an email newsletter.
Hello, thank you for signing up for these updates. Because of the nature of today’s post, and how the different ideas interact, I will be touching on both proposed business models; the archive fan-club and the new ‘window’ into the album songwriting sessions. Around 6,000 of you have shown interest in these updates, so because I am assuming you are on the dedicated side already, I will try to get to the center of the issues without a whole lot of contextual explanation.
Our first concept that we threw out for the archives (300$ for 200 songs) was met by a whole lot of complaining. Because we desire a harmonious relationship with those who would most want a completest approach to the bands history, we have revised this to a 40$ (proposed) fan-club sign up and this has been met much more positively. I think this demonstrates a willingness to work together to find a balance that will sustain over the next decade plus. The average mainstream fan doesn’t give two hoots about that gig in Iowa in 1989, so we aren’t even going to bother them with this kind of stuff, hence creating the relationships with you. We have enough on our hands to get them (the mainstream) to listen to newly recorded work. As you can see, everyone in the record biz these days is having the same problem, so it not particular to SP.
With that in mind, I have additionally proposed something quite unique as far as a ‘window’ into my songwriting processes with the idea of 12 weeks of mini-TV (about 25+ minutes a week broken into 5 updates OR 5+ hours of content). This would dwarf the kind of access that was given for example in the ‘if all goes wrong’ dvd, where one could see me briefly working out some idea. Having seen some of the raw footage from what Kristin shot at that time, there were moments that played out over 5 or 7 minutes that were quite interesting on their own but were definitely too long for a movie that had to hold a plot narrative. One of my favourite moments not shown in the film was the morning I wrote the riff for ‘Sunkissed’. You see me playing some bs blues and I stop, take a deep breath, and then the idea comes out fully intact in one crystalline moment. Even I was surprised, and for the next few minutes you see the song just pour out of me. I realize for most this is not interesting at all, but this is interesting for some and that is the point of a project this is an optional, pay-if-you-want to see it deal. You would get to participate in moments essentially as they unfold. Here however is where it indeed does all go wrong…
‘Take a walk with me
Tell me what you see
Take a walk with me tonight\"
-lyric from an unreleased song I wrote last year
Last night I made the mistake of reading some of the feedback to this proposed idea. To say I was dismayed at some of the comments would be an understatement. The reaction was 50/50 mixed and very negative on the one side. I was so upset that I wrote a very long post in reaction, mocking the arguments made and canceling it altogether. Reading how something as open-hearted as inviting you into my inner-world of creativity turns into a sick, capitalistic manipulation is really disappointing to me personally. I speak not as the head of a multi-million dollar corporation, but as someone who lives and breathes being a musician. (I unfortunately made the vain mistake of asking for 3 dollars and 50 cents a week). The 40$ figure as a ‘all in’ was arrived at because I wanted to insure that those that were interested were going to take the whole ride for the all 12 weeks. I had expressed that this was not a profit driven business model, but many questioned the truth in that and went on to turn into personal attacks seeing it as yet another example of me taking advantage of them. Judging by this kind of feedback I would say this idea is dead on arrival. Which leaves me with 2 choices; cancel or revise.
My heart says to cancel, because the whole thing isn’t worth the hassle for the few thousand that would show up and faithfully engage in something new and exciting and trust me on the expenses involved to deliver such a project to them. The willful part of me says I know this is a really cool idea because it will force a new kind of dialogue between artist and listener at a much earlier stage in the process.
In my last extensive post, I promised love and light moving forward. But I also promised reality as we struggle to find what is going to work business-wise in the years ahead. The Smashing Pumpkins ‘business’ is alive and well (thank you), or I wouldn’t have just completed 165 date tour a few months back. Its laughable for people to think that this is some kind of way to stuff my pockets. One 90 minute concert alone and the profits from that completely blow such stupidity out of the water.
I have found thru the years that when I must become a salesman that this in turn reflects poorly on me as an artist. If I was a good salesman, there would be more than 6,000 people reading this newsletter, and I would be doing everything in my power to tell you why this a good idea and not a bad one.
Right now it’s a bad idea because this proposal has some (not all) accusing me of all sorts of lame things that have little to do with the spirit of the music or the business that surrounds it. I don’t need your money, for I am going to film these sessions anyway. The difference here was if we had an audience and a budget to work with, well then we could make it a whole lot of fun for everyone who wants to ‘be there’ and wants to see-here how the magic gets made. Great attempts would also be made to provide additional content to justify your participation. It would come with the responsibility on us to get the technical end right on a daily basis, hence the extra budget necessities to be able to turn footage around quickly.
Pandering to people for $ has never been my trip. I just don’t care that much. So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna lay it all out there to you as a community. You decide what you want to do, because I already know what I’m going to do. Its your call. I figure to do this right its about 2,000$ a day, or 10,000$ a week which adds up to 120,000$. Boring isn’t it?
3000 subscribers at 40$=120,000$
6000 subscribers at 20$=120,000$
12,000 subscriber at 10$=120,000$
So you see, it is not a profit driven model. It is a content creation model.
If you as a community can self organize and 6000 people want to do this, then its 20$ (for the whole 12 weeks). I’d much rather stuff 20$ in my pockets from 6000 people than 3000! (That’s a joke by the way for those of you who lack the irony gene)
It ain’t gonna happen for 40$ obviously because the negative vibe in the air just makes it all so icky. And I don’t do icky anymore. If 20$ is TOO much for 12 weeks of unique, daily content and the trust isn’t there for me to deliver it, then I might as well just focus on the mainstream fan who I know already doesn’t give care for ‘the art’ and get back to the *yawn* grunge…
So that’s it. We need 6,000 people who are adventurous enough to take this journey at 20$ or I’ll just put it all in a can somewhere and move on. Your feedback is helpful and I thank you.
2009.04.23 at 2:30 am #35220
i kind of feel like a little bitch now. i hope all of us fans didn’t fuck this up with our big fat mouths. and i feel extra guilty because i have bitched too about that stuff. i don’t know if you read this, but i’m sorry Billy!
2009.04.23 at 3:09 am #35221
So, like, is it only gonna cost $20? That would be a rip-off on poor Billy. But hey, I would be \"all in\"!
How do one apply for this?
2009.04.23 at 3:12 am #35222
sign up for the newsletter for starters here.
2009.04.23 at 3:22 am #35223
Thanks, but I’m already signed up for the newsletters (as I understand this is about newsletters?)
I just wonder how to add one self on the list of people who is in the whole idea?
I more + more like this fan club idea, I must admit.
2009.04.23 at 3:25 am #35224
i’m excited about the fanclub. and if you want to show support for the subscription thing being signed up for the newsletter is on thing. then you could post on the o-board in this thread here.
2009.04.23 at 3:27 am #35225
2009.04.23 at 3:35 am #35226
2009.04.23 at 6:26 am #35227
that’s quite lame. billy shouldn’t let posts by complainers influence him and his plans. basically, with the subscription thing, either you are interested and agree that $40 is a fair price, and then you sign up. in all other cases (not interested, convinced that it’s too expensive, or that it should be free, whatever), you don’t sign up.
the complainers are the people who wouldn’t sign up anyway. i don’t see how this should have an effect on the people that were interested.
i myself was still thinking about it. i wasn’t sure if i was interested enough. ($40 seemed fair.)
i think it’s funny how billy is giving it in the hands of the community now: give me 6,000 people or i’ll put it in the archive straight away. he’s a badass mofo. (but has he forgotten that he is about to open the archive for everyone? ha!)
2009.04.23 at 7:12 am #35228
that’s quite lame. billy shouldn’t let posts by complainers influence him and his plans.[/quote:2eqcgdgm]
2009.04.23 at 7:49 am #35229
I agree on that too. Besides, the biggest group of people out there are the non-commenting readers. That group is roughly 10 times bigger as the commenters. A lot of them subscribed anyway (to a total already of 6,000 I guess? I don’t understand that part, to be honest). If I would be in Billy’s position, I would just lift my eyebrow for a millimeter or 2 (max!) to those 75 complainers, and move on.
2009.04.23 at 7:55 am #35230
another very unfortunate aspect of this message is that it was sent to everyone who already subscribed to the newsletter. this is, the people who were interested in these in-studio video streams, no matter what. and they get an angry billy rant in return. not very smart…
2009.04.23 at 12:01 pm #35231
i don’t think it made people mad, but it did shame some, *cough cough*. no one over at the oboard was mad, just upset that some may have ruined it for all those who want this to happen.
i for one signed up, and was ready to pay a decent amount, under 50 dollars, and i would have gotten the money somewhere. $20 is easier for me to get. so i will be getting my twenty and having it ready. if on the chance i get more money i would be willing to help pay for someone who can’t afford it, as i know there are people who can’t. not saying that i can help, but will try.
i am having another yard sale this weekend. so anyone in southeastern ky come by my yard sale and buy something.
i have an awesome rad bicycle, an occ one, that my step son never rode and is now to big for, someone wants it i know.
2009.04.23 at 12:35 pm #35232
i myself was still thinking about it. i wasn’t sure if i was interested enough. ($40 seemed fair.)[/quote:1j78kgk4]
It ain’t gonna happen for 40$ obviously because the negative vibe in the air just makes it all so icky. And I don’t do icky anymore.[/quote:1j78kgk4]
I think Billy’s message made it all very icky. Maybe I should simply conclude not to do icky anymore either, and not participate.
2009.04.23 at 1:45 pm #35233
Maybe I should simply conclude not to do icky anymore either, and not participate.[/quote:26u4yzef]
Are you saying you are just as sensitive as Billy? Hmmm… I had thought you would be wiser than that…
2009.04.23 at 2:21 pm #35234
Maybe I should simply conclude not to do icky anymore either, and not participate.[/quote:y332m7pu]
Are you saying you are just as sensitive as Billy? Hmmm… I had thought you would be wiser than that… [/quote:y332m7pu]
what’s with this icky word
2009.04.23 at 3:17 pm #35235
Why do i not care about this???
To be honest i dont think im going to subscribe this, i have no interest in this at all, im more interested in the fan club archive stuff.
2009.04.23 at 3:46 pm #35236
Same here, I wrote on SP.com somewhere already that I wished the people fun, those who are subscribing to this, but I’m more interested in the end results, as that will define my private moments with SP, listening to the final products… And indeed, I rather spend my money on the fan club -> Archives things too.
2009.04.23 at 4:01 pm #35237
Hey! That’s the lyrics for River Of Deceit by Mad Season, Manilla. Great song. One of their best, together with Lifeless Dead.
2009.04.23 at 5:55 pm #35238
but it did shame some, *cough cough*. [/quote:j0609u2g]
yeah, i was just bitching the other day on tp.net with a few others and coming home and reading this made me feel a little bad for complaining about something nice Billy was trying to put in place for us fans. i just feel bad for being a bit negative about crap. i know one person doesn’t kill the whole thing, but i was being a bit negative even though i was going to pay for it.
2009.04.23 at 7:01 pm #35239
Ever thought he should change his name to William Unpredictable Corgan? Great mind.
This all sounds very promising, I was – and still am – gutted about the Gish Boxset, so when these things happen it makes me a lot.
So long as all Fans/Followers have access to the material, I’m just grateful for whatever’s shared.
2009.04.23 at 7:24 pm #35240
yeah, me too. just thankful. i don’t want to tell him what to release, i imagine over the years most of it will come out anyway, and i’ll be thankful about it.
2009.04.23 at 7:25 pm #35241
LOL, we can finally refer to Smashing Pumpkins as singular, BC now. Awesome.
2009.04.24 at 1:08 am #35242
yup, smashing pumpkin now
2009.04.24 at 5:57 am #35243
It’ll take some time to adjust, but oh well…
I can only hope El Billo doesn’t catch hold of Pips’ Shrooms, party too hard and enter \"Gender Re-assignment.\"
Smashing Pumpkinette, that would take a looong time.
2009.04.25 at 3:09 am #35244
or has he always been smashing pumpkinette?
2009.04.25 at 3:54 am #35245
are we going back to the sexy man in a skirt thing?
2009.04.25 at 3:59 am #35246
yup nobody wears a dress like Billy
2009.04.25 at 2:22 pm #35247
^ Do you think there’s Oompaloompas on Skateboards under there to make them move around like drunk Daleks?
2009.04.25 at 2:44 pm #35248
you never know
2009.04.25 at 9:51 pm #35249
wow Dazey you have wondered what is up the dress of Billy
2009.04.25 at 10:49 pm #35250
😯 wow Dazey you have wondered what is up the dress of Billy
so graphic [/quote:2uf97wmu]
It’s what’s not up there I’m more concerned about.
2009.04.25 at 10:54 pm #35251
2009.04.25 at 11:04 pm #35252
2009.04.26 at 2:00 pm #35253
😯 wow Dazey you have wondered what is up the dress of Billy
so graphic [/quote:a5779n0c]
It’s what’s not up there I’m more concerned about.[/quote:a5779n0c]
um have you seen nothing or something like that?
2009.04.28 at 12:57 am #35254
2009.05.28 at 10:53 pm #35255
NEW MESSAGE FROM BILLY
An update then for the curiouser of you on what’s going on with the art film/album making and the ol’ SP archives…
Presently I am working a whole lot on new songs. At this point I have over 25+ ideas in the air and am just now reviewing everything to try to whittle the pile back down. Part of the challenge of doing such a sweeping concept record is to find some core consistency in the work, feed the bigger story line with some tangential narratives, and have some sense of where it all goes in the end. Having done Machina and Mellon Collie, 2 albums that were in the 50+ song range, I at least have the experience of when that material goes right and how it easily gets lost in the shuffle. I think the current approach of only recording a song at a time will at least address some of those past pitfalls. I personally am quite happy with the work and I feel I’ve found some of what I was looking for when I came back to SP. There is a real vitality to the new work that feels futuristic, and that always excites me. Still am shooting for the end of summer (Aug-Sept) to start recording, so hopefully the first song(s) will be dropping from the sky in October!
As far as the daily album updates go, for the moment that project continues to be on hold…the logistics of putting everyone together to make it happen with the short turnaround to this point is just too much for me to take on on top of writing the material. What was supposed to be ‘fun’ and ‘groundbreaking’ quickly turned into the SOS (translation: same old stuff!). I’ve learned not to let concepts come at the expense of the quality of the writing and so far this has been the case. Currently shooting for a short term window of work (4-6 weeks), which is obviously far down from the 12 weeks initially proposed. I’m crossing my fingers, because I still think that it can inform the work and add a layer to it that it doesn’t currently have. But honestly it also exposes heartfelt work to a vibration that I’m not sure belongs along side it. Jury is still out. See ‘If All Goes Wrong’ for insight into how much the world cares about new music ha ha! Seriously though, thinking up new ideas and implementing them are 2 different worlds as far as creativity goes. I am currently ‘alone’ in all this, and I must be honest with myself to try to achieve the most positive attitude moving forward.
Ok, so some current thoughts on archives…
I have started marching down the path on a ‘one release at a time strategy’ but I am starting to believe this will not work. If I look at what is succesful in other parts of the musick-biz (and it does make me sick), the best examples right now are ones that derive max impact for least amount of effort. A single release at a time, no matter how worthy or illuminating will require us (which is currently only Frank and I) to get your attention each and every time. Let’s be realistic, that’s just not going to happen, nor are there enough of y-o-u to assume that each and every release will be worth the intrinsic effort. If you asked me today which way I am leaning, I’m starting to think that a boxset-type model is the best scenario to keep everything simple and easy. It is still at the end of the day too big a leap to take without being sure. For those that continue to demand music right now, I ask you to have some compassion and quite possibly some common sense. I know my getting involved in the archives makes no common sense to me. Too much hassle. So why am I getting involved? Because it’s my life’s work and I want this stuff available. It’s that simple.
With Lots of Love, WPC
2009.05.28 at 11:10 pm #35256
sounds like billy is changing his mind about the way he wants to do stuff huh?
i bet we won’t get a subscription service…
2009.05.28 at 11:14 pm #35257
i don’t think he will do that either. he does have a lot on his plate though with all of the songs, the archive project, and everything else.
2009.05.28 at 11:20 pm #35258
i think billy tries too hard to please everyone and he tries to take on more than he can handle. at least he can admit that it is too much for him. i respect that. i know he has good intentions, but a lot of people are probably going to be mad that they won’t get what they were hoping for.
2009.05.28 at 11:27 pm #35259
yeah, they probably will be miffed. its not fair though. he does try hard to please everyone, but the fans expect too much. i’m glad he is being honest about this though and cutting back, because i would hate for all of the extras to distract from what’s important- the music.
2009.05.28 at 11:43 pm #35260
yep, the music is what’s important. and billy being true to himself. i kinda feel bad for him sometimes because he tries so hard to make people happy but then they end up getting mad instead. he seems to be very misunderstood by a lot of people
i still wonder if there will be an official fanclub though?
2009.05.29 at 2:39 am #35261
i think there will be. that’s mostly tied to the archive project though i think.
2009.05.29 at 4:09 am #35262
i think there will be. that’s mostly tied to the archive project though i think.[/quote:3c9kextb]
this makes me sad, He’s trying to do this all alone
I want to help him
poor Billy, I mean really I feel for him in this. It is his life work and it’s important to get it out in the best possible way to honor his work. He’s deserves help. I’d help him
2009.05.29 at 11:09 am #35263
i would say that billy is a little like me, i like to do everything myself. even if others are qualified to do it and can do a good job, i am a little controlling like that. it does get hard, and then you have no time, and you get cranky.
but i know how he feels.
2009.05.29 at 12:17 pm #35264
tell me about bullet it almost like a curse to be that way.
But it gets the job done I become psycho obsessed with things until they are done..if it’s mandatory or in his point case you love..ya know
2009.05.29 at 12:23 pm #35265
i am like that too… if you want the job done right you have to do it yourself!
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