Good morning (or whatever time of day you’re viewing this) All! If you’re reading this then you’ve made it to August, and the band you’ve come to know and love is very likely losing their minds, perhaps a bit more than usual.
Surely, Paul, you’re hyperbolizing a bit much, right? Well, maybe, but this month it’s going to be warranted. Buckle up, Beta Testers!
You’ve probably heard the very exciting news about out upcoming project, unless you fit into one of the following categories:
- You live under a rock, in a cave, or somewhere else there is little to no internet presence.
- You have sworn off all things digital and/or social-media related, to which I say I cannot blame you. It’s been a bit overwhelming of late.
- You’re extremely new to Open Beta, at which point I’m super interested to hear how you found us!
So yes, it’s true: Open Beta is going to record an album at a live concert! Why did we choose to do this, you ask? Well, why not? Some of the best times we have is with our fans, and it seems quite fitting to have them as part of the process.
So far the process of setting something like this up has been… educational.
First, we had to sort out “Where.” You’d think we could just have our pick of locations; there are plenty of places we already play, but it turns out as not that simple. Sure we had a few venues that would have fit the bill in one regard or another, but when it came to the balance of scheduled availability, preferred acoustics, atmosphere, and how responsive they are to answering emails and phone call just to have the discussion… Yeah, I’m still a bit salty about that, as one venue still has yet to even reply, despite us confirming in-person that we had the right booking contact info multiple times. As a professional, I do not name-and-shame, but I’m likely to give the location a squinty glare when I pass by. However, as luck would have it, we heard back from a lovely place that could use the patronage, and is fairly neutral ground in that we didn’t have to pick one pub over another. Not to mention that I feel a bit better about the contracted proceeds going to this particular venue. We’re keeping the location undisclosed to everybody but ticket-holders at this time, but as we get closer to the date, we’ll make sure to give them the praise they so deserve.
There was also the “When” to sort out. This involves looking at availability for the venue, the recording engineer, our stupendous Support Team,and ourselves. We had a few dates in mind, and lost a few due to the aforementioned venue-response issue, and settled on one that was not too soon as to not afford us time to rehearse adequately, and not too far out as we could lost momentum going into what looks to be an already busy booking season.
“What” are we going to put on the album? Good question! Of course we make it difficult on ourselves, because we each have an attachment to all our pieces; yes, some more than others, but that just means we were able to cut several hours of material in half, which still made it a discussion on what pieces did and didn’t make the cut. There was also a lot of soul-searching and realisation at that point. As an example, Person A had not considered a piece they arranged and featured on to be an option, to wit the other members voted it onto the album. (Fine, it was me: I’m Person A.) There was a lot of cutting down and adding in, and we’re still contemplating an edit or two as of this writing.
“How” are we doing this has been a learning lesson. We had what we felt was a great model for getting the news out and tickets sold. The internet had some other ideas. Within minutes of our announcement of the live recording event and opening of ticket sales, we found that there were some unscrupulous individuals claiming to have tickets already they were selling. Issue is that since all sales were gated via our team, we knew this not to be the case. I suppose we should be a bit flattered by the attention, but having several someones attempting to defraud our genuine fans seriously pissed me off. Thankfully I was able to salve the irritation with replies to their spam-in-comment’s-clothing, followed by a swift report and banning. If any of our fans happened to get a glimpse of my commentary before it went unviewable, I really do hope you enjoyed it. As that was going on, we went to an alternate means of handling the orders to keep our fans safe and the feckless fraudsters foiled.
“Who” and “Why” have pretty much the same reason: Our Fans. We could again retreat to the studio for a couple days of tracking, but that removes the element we all enjoy most, and that’s the interaction we share. Recording not only the performance of a piece, but the interaction as well, just makes sense.
Which brings us to where we are now. I’m writing this right after we just closed pre-order sales of the event t-shirts, and we’ve had a somewhat decent turnout of early-bird ticket sales. There are still some tickets available, so if you’re interested, I’d highly recommend you act soon, as once we hit the total tickets for the venue capacity (including ourselves and staff), all sales will be closed at that point. We’ll be placing the t-shirt orders soon so they will be available on day of show, and rehearsals are going really well. We’re looking at two solid sets worth of material, with beginnings of “hey, what about a surprise track or two?” bubbling to the surface. No, we’re not going to tease any more info than that, other than to suggest that you really don’t want to miss this show.
I think I’ve covered just about everything so far, albeit sure that I’ll read this again in the next few days and tack something else on. Meanwhile, go ahead and hit our Facebook and get your tickets (should any remain when this post releases), comment away with ideas on how to make the process smoother or what Brian should wear for the show, and with all that said, I’m going to go level up my rogue.
Love You All,