Free Last Rites
I’ve been thinking a lot about Last Rites lately in light of releasing Renatus and pooling together my back catalog. It got me thinking about why I do this. I think that when I started this journey it was a mission – I wanted to reach out to folks in the metal community and give them a message of hope.
But as I looked at it as a mission, I started trying to figure out ways to be seen as legitimate so that people would take it seriously. This approach brought into light one of my initial keystones – I believed that the music should be free. One of the arguments for making music free was so that more people would be reached by not having an obstacle in getting it. But then the counter argument is that by offering it for free, it will not be given the same status as other legitimate profitable artists. Furthermore, why would someone offer something for free unless they couldn’t get someone to pay for it?
The Christian metal scene at the time really pushed the latter argument. And, not having much of reason to argue, I followed that logic. For my first Last Rites CD release (Dark Night of the Soul), I pressed 300 CDs and printed 100 posters (which were free – the posters that is). I tried my hand at getting the word out and selling my music and had marginal success. I think that I have now broken even with all of the pressing and mastering costs. By no means did I make money.
Two years afterwards was the release of the catholicmetal.com and Phrygian Phish release Via Crucis. This was my brainchild and I thought that it was a good idea to bring Catholic musicians together to do an album about the Stations of the Cross. I pushed to press 1,000 CDs that I had these grand schemes of getting these CDs sold or out – not for money, but to get them into the hands of others to enjoy. After a lackluster effort thwarted by personal crises, it fell apart and I hardly moved any.
Fast forward four years. I have since absorbed the cost and I look at the boxes of CDs that are not doing anything and then I am reminded of why I did this in the first place. I never wanted to make money. I wanted to make music to share with others. I wanted to make something that would be uplifting, helpful, inspiring – not for monetary gain, but to be a blessing to others. Why am I holding onto these CDs – until someone buys them? Not anymore!
Which leads me to the introduction of the Free Last Rites program. Basically, I am offering whatever I have left in physical stock for free to whoever wants it. This is how it works – I have a request form where you can request Free CDs and posters and I will ship them to you for free. No strings attached. Well, the one string is that it is limited to whatever I can put into a small bubble mailer. And only one request per address (for now). And I don’t mail to Easter Island
Now, if you are an enterprising individual and see an opportunity for more than the 2-3 CDs that I can send in a small bubble mailer – you’re in luck! You can also use the form to contact me about just such an opportunity.
For example, I had someone contact me back in 2013 about having some of my music available to give to folks at his art display in Brazil. Perfectly fine. If you see an opportunity where you can give these away, then by all means contact me and we can work out the details. Basically, I want this music to be a blessing in people’s lives, and it ain’t happening in my garage.
I am often reminded of Acts 3:6 when it comes to Last Rites:
But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.
Christian metal is to help souls. Why should I create any obstacle to someone who needs just such a blessing?
PS – I am exploring digital distribution with the rest of my Last Rites catalog (Divine Intimacy and Renatus) which means that I will be “selling” my music, but since most services are streaming and people are either enjoying for free or paying for this service, why not have it available? All proceeds from Last Rites will go to charity. Again – this is Christian metal – there ain’t much money out there. I’ll announce if I am going that route later.
About The Blog
This is the news blog of Phrygian Phish. Check out here for news on Phrygian Phish projects like Last Rites, Beyond the Dice, and other Sean Bailey projects.