Renatus is now officially released. As mentioned before, and I'll say it again, it is free to download. I have it in a couple of different spots for you all....well two really:
Bandcamp - I have a new Bandcamp site. You do not have to pay to download the album - however - I only have 200 free downloads per month, so, if that gets exhausted then folks will have to pay. I don't mind folks paying, I'm donating all proceeds for Last Rites to charity, but if you volunteer to pay, then it saves on the number of free downloads for other folks. So that you don't feel pressured - I doubt that I will use up all 200 free downloads in a month!
SoundCloud - Here is the set of Renatus on SoundCloud and you can download every track if you want.
Now, if you want an actual physical copy of the CD, that is not free. I did not press CDs to give out for this release, however, there are two spots that you can get a copy:
Oh but wait...THERE'S MORE!
As I mentioned earlier in the Lenten season, I was going to release the Last Rites back catalog for free. I am proud to announce that I have gotten all of it out there in some form or another, but not all in one place. If you haven't checked it out already, check out the Discography section of Last Rites to find where you can download each of Last Rites' releases for free.
Also, for those into physical CDs, I am offering to ship for free Last Rites CDs in the Free Last Rites Program. Just sent me an address (I don't even need your real name...I kind of relish sending to Lord Vader in Alaska) and I will ship it. Simple.
Anyway - thank you all for your support and I hope you all have a blessed Easter season. Stay tuned though....I have two new psalms in the works that will probably be released within a month or so!
Just when you thought that I could only talk about Last Rites, I'm throwing a curveball at you. Just the other day I realized to my horror that my album Fractals - the one and only worst selling album of ALL TIME - was no longer available by mp3 on Amazon. Knowing that most folks buy mp3s and stream music (and amazon mp3 is not at the top of most folks radars in that regard), I figured I had to do something about it. Which leads me to the next part.
I am test driving a free digital distribution service called Routenote. I by no means am getting paid for saying anything about it, but I thought that it would be good to give an open an honest account of what this service is like just in case anyone, like me, finds themselves in the need of digital distribution.
So basically, the service touts itself as free digital distribution so that means nothing paid up front. This is in contrast to CDBaby which I have used for digital distribution for my other releases. Some services charge upwards of $29 to do distribution. So why does Routenote do it for free?
The only reason that I can see is that the free service has a 15% commission on all royalties, which really doesn't bother me - 15% of zero is still zero right? Well, hopefully there will be someone out there buying it. They do offer a Premium service where you pay a fee and you keep 100% of your royalties, but even that is less than what other services charge with a commission.
So, which means the difference must be in service and how well they do their job which is why I am writing this post. I don't know how well they do their job and so far, I can't say yay or nay. When I compare to using CDBaby, it feels less put together. It isn't as polished as I think that it could be. So far I don't see any evidence that it has made it to any shops except iTunes which is usually quick. I'll give you all an update as I go along.
I am eyeing this service for my Last Rites releases Divine Intimacy and Renatus. On the one hand, I want to have my music available for free - which it is if you go to the bandcamp or SoundCloud sites - but I am thinking about trying to increase exposure particularly through streaming services like Spotify. I could end up with some residual income from Last Rites going that route, but I am giving all of that to charity. If people really want it for free, it is available.
Anyway, as Fractals becomes live and I get more exposure to how well Routenote works, I'll let everyone know.
I hope everyone has a good Holy Week!
Howdy all - this is the last free track before I upload the rest of the album into SoundCloud for you all.
So this Psalm is basically in two parts. The first part is a lamentation as to why God has been absent and asking God to come to the psalmists relief for God's own glory. This is characteristically minor (G minor) and makes use of mixture so that, save for the F major chord leading into the "chorus", all chords are minor. It is acoustic with some "noisy" guitar accents that I threw in to stylistically imitate black metal guitars (but not as lo-fi).
There is a little interlude to illustrate that in the Psalmists' sorrow God does here the prayer. This then leads into the second section which is also in G minor. Stylistically is more "metal" and harder hitting as the Psalmist cries out for God's help in the midst of his enemies. There is some nice back and forth between the guitar and trombone towards the end. The intensity grows and then falls away to the last acoustic section which illustrates some improvised guitar work.
This is my wife's favorite of the six Psalms on Renatus, so hopefully you all enjoy it. The only song more grandiose than this is the finale from Renatus which I will reveal next week when everything is out for Renatus.
Have a Blessed Holy Week and I will see you all in Easter!
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.
Here we are rolling along. Today is the fifth Sunday (or weekend in Lent) and that means that Psalm 5 is released. It feels weird calling these things Freebies because the whole thing will be free soon enough. But anyway, I like to think that you are getting a gift from me.
OK - onto the Psalm. This psalm had a very peppy feel when I read it so I decided to keep it tonally in G major (natural major to the often overused E minor). Major keys are happy keys - they teach you that in Music Theory I, although I can make a pretty melancholic major. Anyway, moving on....
Its got a little bit of variety to it and really is a fun piece to listen to from beginning to end. You can find it below. Free to play, to download, to enjoy, and to share.
Watch out for next week - this is the last of the Psalms and features my mad tromboning skills.
So until next week...
Hey, hey, hey - check out the new layout. I'm reshuffling the website hoping I get dealt a better hand. I'm not quite done, but you can click around and see some of the new stuff.
Anywho - yes, this is the fourth Sunday (or Saturday...I'm trying to get done earlier) of Lent of 2016 meaning that we have a new Last Rites track from Renatus for you all. It feels weird actually releasing these during Lent during a time of penance and austerity. Then again,,,anyway, moving on!
This weeks song is what I would like to call a miniepic. It is only four minutes and change in length but it has some major mood swings and style shifts. It starts out with a doomy type feel similar to Black Sabbath then goes into a thrashy type feel which is more typical of Last Rites into a hopeful last section. Vocals vary along with it. But instead of coming across as three mere juxtaposed sections, everything flows easily from one to the next.
Well, it's down below, free to play, free to download, and free to share :)
Here it is week 3 and I am already running late. Sheesh! Well, who said running this thing and keeping a family happy would be easy. Anyway - on to the song.
I'm not going to say much on this actually. It is one of the busiest pieces of music that I have ever produced - there are little bits here and there and everywhere - and everytime that you listen you will hear something new. It really is a fun piece of music and is what happens when I let my imagination run wild.
Anyway - I am now officially done with the album (mastering) so I am going to try to get the next one up so that I don't end up late again :)
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.