“Sleeping With Lions” by The Cold Stares is out today! The first single off “Mountain” has been featured on TNT’s “Animal Kingdom” and ESPN’s X-Games this fall. If you are a fan of Hard Rock or Heavy Blues check it out!
Tracks sent off for final mastering touch up for vinyl this morning. Here’s the song listing for-
1-The Great Unknown
3-Under His Command
4-Friend of Mine
5-Gone (Not Dead)
6-Wade in the Darkness
7-Child of God
8-Sleeping With Lions
10-Cold Black Water
12-If Your Way Gets Dark
13-Two Keys and a Good Book
NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS- AND GOOD NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT-
Ok folks. A bit of a heads up on the WAYS album project and our Kickstarter fund raiser. When we posted about the project a couple of weeks ago we got an outpouring of support and interest in the project. Lucky enough for us, one person that we caught the interest of was our friend Mark Needham (Fleetwood Mac, Imagine Dragons, The Killers). Can’t tell you what how much Mark has done to try to help get us where we are. We spoke to Mark after the announcement and to our surprise he has offered to engineer and help us produce the album. He knows how important this record is, and is determined to help us make “THE” record we need to make. Mark obviously brings a ton of validity into the project. This part of the project is moving from Memphis to Marks Studio in Nashville. The acoustic work will be done in Sante Fe, New Mexico as planned. We are shooting to launch the Kickstarter May 15th, our goal is 20k. This will allow us to record the album, master it, produce the physical cd/vinyl, and our first actual budget to promote the album. Everything we’ve done so far in our career has been 100% word of mouth, part of the project will allocate some money towards PR so that people can actually hear about our new album. Amazing right? This still leaves part of the budget to be covered by the band, but this will give us enough steam to compete with the labels and actually get a rock and roll album in front of some people again.
Questions for our fans. Here’s a list of SOME of the items we are including in the kickstarter campaign that will last 30 days. IS there something else you guys would like to see offered that would help raise the money?
1-Obviously signed cds, vinyl, t-shirts, posters.
2-House concerts anywhere in the continental US. YES we are actually doing this as part of it, and yes if you meet the contribution we’ll bring the rock and roll.
3-Naming a song on the album. (We are reserving one song, and yes- one lucky fan contributor will name it.)
4-Naming our record label. (ONE fan contributor will actually be the one to name our label that our first release will be on, and hopefully some other great albums to come.)
5-Framed WAYS vinyl album presentation boxes for wall art.
6-WAYS coffee table book with images from the making of the album
7-Liner note mentions of some of our contributors
What else? Before we launch this, which is really for the fans, by the fans, we’d love to hear your feedback. Nothing is off the table if you guys are willing to contribute to helping us do this without outside help. Love to hear your suggestions- Reach us by email – firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook – The Cold Stares
A LETTER TO OUR FANS-
The Cold Stares last album “Head Bent” came out June of 2017 on Small Stone Records as most of you know. We’ve had some amazing success with it, including “Break My Fall” and “Head Bent” entering Spotify’s curator playlists. We acquired a new booking agency. We’ve done some amazing shows in the last year with a lot of globally known rock bands and heroes of ours. We recently had our song “Head Bent” featured in Monster Energy’s new film/commercial. We now have a global fan base that we interact with weekly, and have shipped and sold vinyl literally around the whole world. Things are great for The Cold Stares, and in no small part to you guys- our fans that are reading this.
Around Christmas we started thinking about, and writing for the next album. We knew around June we would be a year into the album cycle and would want to put something out after that. We got confirmation from our label that they were interested in putting out another album with us, and we discussed signing with some other record labels. After much discussion, thoughts and prayers we’ve made up our mind on our immediate path forward.
With the current musical landscape, artists really only make money a couple of ways. Streaming is one. Here’s the math for you. About every million streams produce about 5k. It’s insanely hard to make any real money by streaming. We all do it, it is the nature of the beast now, we are not complaining, we are explaining. Good and bad things about streaming, one is that we can see that around 15,000 Brazilians stream our music monthly.
The second way an artist makes money is playing shows and touring. Most major labels now have what they call “360” deals, which mean when you sign a deal with them the label collects money on ALL aspects of your career, including touring, merchandise sales, and publishing. Which means literally you can go on tour, make thousands of dollars, but after incurring the touring costs, come home owing the record company money.
The last way I’ll mention that an artist makes money these days is publishing/licensing. This is a huge deal to us. This is when TNT pays us to use our song “Sleeping with Lions” for their show “Animal Kingdom”. Or Monster Energy pays us to use “Head Bent” for their commercial. This revenue stream is the largest now for most artists, and a lot of us use this money to fund tours, record records and continue careers. Sadly, now almost all record company deals have the record label keeping the publishing for the recorded songs.
Another thing that record companies can do is decide what kind of album you will record, and what songs will obviously be on it. Which means, they can tell you not to have a song like “Jesus Brother James” on the same album with another religious themed track. Or, for arguments sake, could say the same about “Neighbor Blues” and “John”. At this point in our career, I’m personally not willing to have anyone decide that. And again, let’s be honest here- if it’s a million dollar deal we can have that discussion because we are trying to feed our families- but if it’s 50k and the label keeps all publishing, no- you don’t have the right to tell me what kind of artist The Cold Stares will be. Luckily we had none of those issues with Small Stone records and they were amazing on letting us put out the record we wanted. Our decision for the next album not to be on Small Stone records has nothing to do with that, nor do we have ANY complaints about SS regarding artistry.
However, for the following reasons described above we have decided to continue with our OWN label and fund with record with ourselves and with our fans. We will be starting a kickstarter in the following month that will detail out our plans for the next album, with some amazing incentives for our fans, friends and families to help us and contribute and do this on our terms. This will allow us to keep the publishing rights for OUR own songs, keep the budget from being over-bloated. It will allow us to personally hire the team of people we want working with us to record and promote the album, and it will allow us to make the record we want to on our terms with our fans.
What we can tell you now.
The album will be called WAYS. It will be recorded in two halves. The first half of the album will be recorded in Memphis and Mississippi and this half will feature blues-rockers and show the influence that this area has had on us in the last ten years. The second half of the album will be written and recorded in the southwest desert this summer and will feature acoustic based western themed story songs in the vein of “Break My Fall”. The second side of the album will showcase this side of the band that has been a huge part of our success as well. We will have a videographer with us for the entire recording of the album, which will produce a documentary as well as videos from the entire recording process which will be included for all our contributors.
We will have vinyl of the album, world wide distribution, and a larger press and PR presence than all of our other projects combined.
We are very grateful for all of the support we have received over the years from you all. When we look back on the things we’ve accomplished from winning the Hard Rock contest, to the battles with lawyers and labels, cancer, overcoming and retaining our identity, it’s amazing to us. From the Duck Inn to the Viper Room, to the Delta, it’s been an amazing journey for us. We are aware of who we are as a band, where we come from, who put us here, where we want to get to, and the album we need to make to do so. “WAYS” WILL be that album. We have the best fans in the world, and we are very excited to share this process with you, including you, and for you. More details to come over the next month. See you on the road- Please share-