Creating a New Genre is a Serious Gamble
Sometimes it frightens me what my fans give me the courage to attempt.
I’m trying to stay calm and collected about this whole High Orbit Saves The Pandas thing, but underneath I’m chewing my fingernails down to the cuticle. What the hell was I thinking trying to cram science fiction, rock music, and comedy into an album when everyone keeps telling me albums are a dead medium in the first place?
Let me back up a bit. To Nashville, in fact.
Spending five years in the Music City taught me some very important lessons, most of which aren’t flattering.
- Talented songwriters are everywhere.
- Talented performers are everywhere.
- You get more attention and management/booking offers if you’re under 25, blonde, and have tits.
- 23-year-old blonde singer-songwriter chicks are everywhere.
- No one will ever write a story with the headline “Male Singer-Songwriter Releases Excellent Album”.
It took me a decade to figure out how to overcome the limitations of being male (boring), over 25 (too old), not into shock rock (Manson is just weird), and stuck in a category as overcrowded as “Rock” (seriously, they put everyone from GWAR to Foo Fighters to Imagine Dragons in that one-word genre). I knew I had to do something to stand out, but with no connections and limited resources it felt impossible.
A Cosmic Leap of Faith
Nobody’s ever heard of Sci-Fi Piano Rock before, but my fans have given me the courage to take a chance on something new. After all, I’ve gotten to know a lot of these people and they’re definitely not fans of the Same Old Shit They Play On American Idol genre. I can’t stand 90% of what passes for pop/rock today, and yet I can’t bring myself to go full-on punk. There has to be a way to reach the people that like to party, play Borderlands 2, and watch Doctor Who.
My current Kickstarter campaign is an experiment to see what kind of support those people will give a totally new idea. Booking agents don’t seem to get it yet, management companies sure the hell don’t, labels probably never will, but I’m betting everything that my fans will get it… and that they’ll believe in it enough to spread the word to others like them.
The experiment isn’t without precedent; there have been theatrical bands in the past, some of which even got their own TV shows. For the time being, though, I am doing this with only one source of support:
I have no management (yet), no booking agent (yet), and somehow I don’t feel like I’m totally alone out on this limb. There’s no one holding us up but ourselves. We’re like a band of revolutionaries standing up for a brand of entertainment that isn’t market-driven, focus-tested, and auto-tuned. Something that brings genres together rather than forcing compartmentalization.
In a way, it’s about making the world a little smaller by making the horizons a little broader. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it doesn’t have to.
All that matters is that we work together to create something truly unique, something that will float above the sea of 23-year-olds with guitars at open mics. Am I disadvantaged because I’m not a pretty young girl? Of course I am.
But there’s nothing that can stop the Robot Army when they want something different.