As many of you know, beloved Heavy Blog contributor and well-known metal community member and supporter Brian Shields passed away earlier this year from causes unknown. His impact on our scene is, to be succinct, admirable. He left an incredible impression on many members of the community, even those in well-known bands today, including Between the Buried and Me, Wings Denied, The Faceless, and Sleep Terror.
That’s why as of today, in collaboration with Zach Dresher and Alec Kossoff from Wings Denied, we are launching the Brian Shields Memorial Fund, a crowd funding campaign to help unsigned and lesser known bands go on tour across North America!
While all of this information is available on the IndieGoGo page , the short version is that, by your contributions, we will allocate money to these unsigned bands to help them get their name out there in the wild via tour. The biggest obstacle to any hopefully-touring band is always money, right? And what better way for Brian’s legacy to live on than by helping smaller bands gain success!
What’s the biggest obstacle to any unsigned, unmanaged band trying to tour? Money, 100% of the time. When someone’s trying to go to college but can’t afford it, what do they do? Apply for loans, scholarships, and other financial aid. However, no such thing exists for metal bands. In the spirit of Brian Shields, a man who always made it his priority to do whatever he could for bands, no matter how small, we’re aiming to set up, in his honor, essentially a “fund” for unsigned bands in the metal community.
With the support of heavyblogisheavy.com, if this crowd fund is successful, our goal is to be able to every year, starting in 2015, provide two bands each with a loan for $2,500, to get their music on the road.
After completion of the funding, eligible bands can submit directly to Heavy Blog is Heavy. A selection committee, comprised of members of some well-known and diverse bands in the metal community will pick the top 10 bands from the submissions. Those top 10 will then be voted upon by Heavy Blog readers, and the top two will win the $2,500 funds.
To keep this project self-sustaining, the bands would then be required to return the money to Heavy Blog by March 1st of the following year, after which we would accept submissions again, and continue to allow two bands to tour, year after year!
The Selection Committee
Nine people (so far!) have been chosen to be part of selection committee:
- John Matos (Abiotic)
- Sacha Dunable (Intronaut)
- Zach Dresher (Wings Denied)
- Eli Whitehead (Enfold Darkness)
- Dan Weiten (The Omega Experiment)
- Kyle Gaddo (Heavy Blog Is Heavy)
- Jordan Eberhardt (The Contortionist)
- Michael Rumple (Lorelei)
- Marty DePietro (Fivebyfive Records)
Why We’re Taking Your Money
Goal- $6,500 USD
$5,000- to be used towards the funds. Two bands will each win amounts of $2,500.
$1,500- Perk fulfillment.
$9,000 USD- We’ll add a third band!
$12,000 USD- And a fourth band!
Why This Is A Good Idea
- Because touring is expensive! A typical three-week DIY tour can end up costing over a thousand dollars in gas expenses alone. Food expenses, between five people, even eating on $10-15 per day, can easily amount to around a thousand total as well. Not to mention the costs we all know, of pressing merch, purchasing quality gear, and maintaining/renting a van.
- Because most importantly, we are a community, and this matters. Every single one of us writes or appreciates music, and this in turn makes us appreciate each other. The rest of society may not understand why we prefer a blast-beat or a breakdown to what’s typically on the radio, but we do. We appreciate each other, we create art, and always want to help our friends. Many of us have hosted touring bands or bought them a drink, and all of us have gone to a show, with the hopes of meeting one of these people we admire. We’re always willing to pay a few dollars for a Bandcamp album we particularly like, even if it’s free. But by letting a band tour, we can take that support even further, and honestly make a difference in the world and community we’ve created.
While we have many perks (all listed on the funding page!), the shirts designed by Mike Graziano are true gems.
No Money? No Problem! You Can Still Help!
- Help share this crowdfund! Every voice can reach a new donor.
- Go to your local DIY show! Every dollar that goes towards an unsigned band on tour is a dollar well spent.
So get on over to The Brian Shields Memorial Fund crowd funding page and help out these up-and-coming bands! Spread the word! Brian’s legacy can’t live on without you! Let’s make his contributions to the metal community be remembered for years to come!