At the end of August, I met the fabulous guys of Austrian indie pop rock band Charlywood. The first part of that interview hit Leo Sigh in October.
Today, I’m following up that article with a second one, but this one is a bit different than the first. In that I’m concentrating on Charlywood’s just released second Indiegogo campaign. A campaign the band kicked off a couple of days ago to fund their second album.
Because to me, a huge advocate of Austrian artists, yet one who also sees how most struggle to get the basic attention artists in the U.K. and the U.S. get, the idea that Austrian musicians avoid record labels completely and raise the money they need for their projects themselves through crowdfunding makes a lot more sense.
So I am loving that this is exactly what Charlywood is doing.
The problem most Austrian popular music artists face
After all, let’s face it, even when some Austrian popular music artists do get record deals, the record labels often hold all creative control. Along with that control, the label also barely promotes the artist when the album is released, but then they still manage to take a large percentage of the profits for themselves when the record sells.
That is one reason why it makes more sense for bands like Charlywood to release their own album on their own indie record label, promote their own music their own way (on their website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, Soundcloud channel, through indie concerts etc) and, thus, have complete control over their career.
That way, Charlywood also has more money to roll back into the cost of making music (because they’re not sharing it with a record label), can create exactly what they and what their fans love (and so fans benefit too) and, in the long run, their career is likely to do much better from it than from handing control over to a record label. Both financially and artistically.
This all makes sense too when you consider what Charlywood lead singer and guitarist Andy Charlewood said to me back in August about how it is often German companies that decide much of what music is played on Austrian radio stations, and how that impacts the Austrian people’s perception about their own country’s music in a negative way. (Comments, by the way, Andy Charlewood is not alone in making, as I have heard these exact same comments from every Austrian artist I have spoken to).
“This means radio DJs have absolutely no power on what to play. They play what the German company tells the station they should be playing.
And so Austrian artists are never going to get anywhere with that, because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody hears Austrian artists, therefore, they’re not popular because nobody has listened to them.
And so the attitude towards Austrian music from many Austrians is often not good. For instance, a lot of Austrians really believe that there is no good popular music coming out of Austria”.
As that is exactly what I keep hearing from Austrians since I moved to Vienna in July when I talk about how much I love Austrian popular music, I understand exactly what Andy was saying.
He went on to explain,
“They truly believe that is the case. Because their reality, which is controlled by the mainstream media, of course, reflects that. So it’s not their fault they think this way, because all they are shown is British, American and some German artists.
So they think, “British people know how to make popular music. Americans obviously do. Austrians don’t know how to do it. Because, if they did, it would surely be being played on my radio station. And it isn’t.”
And Andy ended with,
“I’d love to see Austrian’s pride in their music grow a little bit, as there are so many good artists out there. Artists that deserve the attention British and American musicians get almost automatically.”
Charlywood’s 2nd Album Indiegogo campaign
And so we come to Charlywood’s second Indiegogo campaign. A campaign I am highly supportive of for the reasons mentioned above.
And also because Charlywood is just so good at what they do I want to see them raise the money not only to produce their second album, but also to be able to give it the promotion it needs to get it in the hands of as many people as possible.
Because, come on, isn’t it about time more talented Austrian musicians were able to not only become well known in Austria, but also to be able to branch out to the rest of Europe and the world, and show people just how good Austrian popular music can be?
Why you need to support Charlywood’s Indiegogo campaign
As for Charlywood’s Indiegogo campaign, if you are already a fan of the band, you really need to kick in your support.
And, if you are just hearing about Charlywood, but love a kickass indie pop rock band that produces some beautifully written and played songs with some fabulously smart lyrics, then you need to kick in your support as well.
And, of course, if you are Austrian and are as sick as I am of hearing American, British and German artists being promoted in Austria way above your own folks, you need to add your support most of all.
And because Charlywood are fabulous and cool, and sexy, and four of the funniest and smartest guys, and they really do do Austria proud.
Cool campaign perks
As for perks, Charlywood has some cool ones for anyone backing their Indiegogo campaign.
Everything from the MP3 version of their upcoming second album for just €10 of support, all the way up to your very own 90-minute-long private Charlywood concert or your name on the album as ‘Executive Producer’, for just €1,000.
Or, if you have €1,500 to spare, you can pick up Fabian Lewey’s Fender 50’s Classic Player Strat guitar as your perk. It will be signed, and it will have been used to play the songs on the album during recording. Cool, eh?
They also have a very nice video up there where they talk about why they do what they do, and why they would love your support.
And, finally, if you want to hear what some of the music from Charlywood’s second album may sound like, you must listen to the band’s 2nd album demo playlist on Soundcloud.
Not only are all the tracks just fabulous, but ‘Haircut‘ has become one of my favorite songs as you know that is just how guys think.
And, of course, once you have read, watched and listened to everything Charlywood has created for their new Indiegogo campaign, remember to throw them some money (and grab a perk as you do so).
If any Austrian artist deserves it, these guys do. They’re awesome.