Senses Fail has been a band for 20 years. They are classic 4-piece bands with post-hardcore or emo sounds similar to My Chemical Romance. Buddy Nielsen is their lead singer and the band’s leading songwriter for the past six years. Band members include Nielsen, bassist / guitarist Gavin Caswell, drummer Steve Carey, bassist Greg Styriades, and guitarist Jason Milbank. Senses Fail is typically played in a room that can accommodate between 1,500 and 3,000 people.
Like all musicians forced to pivot for Covid-19, Senses Fail has begun to find new ways to connect with fans, provide music and generate revenue for themselves. Last year, fans showed a new willingness to buy a live stream when going to a direct event was more difficult than before Covid. Even outside the pandemic, band fans now think that most millennials in their thirties have children and don’t necessarily want to go out. From this lens, the band saw a new opportunity to connect with fans who were reluctant to go out and decided to pivot.
Senses Fail has done something bold lately. They received a loan from the Small and Medium Business Administration as part of the EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) and filmed a live performance at Joshua Tree. The project, The Joshua Tree Sessions, was the most expensive spending the band has ever made. They hired a director to take advantage of a film crew with 12 Blackmagic cameras. The intent was to provide a high quality, one-off single-view event, not just another streaming concert. The intent was to provide more than the viewer expected. For these reasons, the band undertook significant upfront financial risk. Just renting a camera is more expensive than a car. This project worked as intended by the SBA’s EIDL program. The band used the money to create a product, sell it profitably, and buy a live stream about 3,000 times.
For Buddy Nielsen, Joshua Tree, California was the touchstone for many important live events. There he learned that his wife was pregnant with his first child and was the first responder to a terrible rock climbing accident. Witnessing the accident has revolutionized both Buddy’s life change and inspiring him to fully commit to Senses Fail. He has a connection with Joshua Tree and it makes sense to use it to create new art for the many life-changing events that took place there.
But making a concert in the desert is not easy. It has to bring everything. It is often said that there are many holes in the desert. What isn’t often said is that you can’t do much in the hole. Senses Fail had to bring everything from generators to electricity generators, mixing consoles, gear, lights, trusses, and even temporary toilets. This is where art can get complicated. Cristo was used to string miles of canvas across vast lands and rivers, or to wrap floating islands in the ocean. With the right planning and budget, you can carry out any vision.
Senses Fail has planned a spectacle with complete production and complex background to film the live performance of its 2004 debut. Let it wrap you And their next album I’m still looking. They played these two albums perfectly on Joshua Tree. These performances made up the Joshua Tree session and then became available in the stream.
By providing fans with Joshua Tree sessions in a very short period of time, Senses Fail has created both rarity and urgency. The end result is that Senses Fail recreated the community among fans who had to show up in the limited window where the concert was available, or miss it forever. .. The band is not going to play the show. lost. This is very similar to the music festival model that the headliner plays only when playing. On a really large scale like Foo Fighters or Green Day, almost the entire population of the festival gathers and most people listen to live music, but because they’re off stage, they’re basically played on screen. increase.
For Senses Fail or similar bands, there are currently five sources of revenue. A product, publication, sponsorship, or advertisement that includes live performances, streaming performances, or recorded music. Senses Fail will release a vinyl album for their concert, but their plans do not consider future viewing of the video. And because of the quality of the production, Senses Fail was able to sign an album distribution contract. Although the album was recorded on its own label, NAME ***, Senses Fail is now partnering with distributors as a result of livestreaming, while still owning its own content and masters.
The band is currently on a club tour to support Bayside, a band celebrating their 20s.NS anniversary.Senses Fail will release their new album prose Early next year. This album is a more literary project, a contemporary commentary on the fragility and momentum of life, and what it is like to live in today’s society as a parent in these times.Half of the record is from TS Eliot wasteland, The other half is based on Walt Whitman’s poem To think about time..
Their upcoming projects include a new vinyl box set made of recyclable contents that can be placed in the soil and eventually grown into plants. They are also making a version of the album with vinyl pressed flowers. These items represent cautions when Senses Fail creates a service for its fans. They are deeply involved in thinking about possible options. Senses Fail’s product strategy is to build different layers and many choices. With that extra effort, the band continues to build community and engagement with its fans while making money.
Here’s a conversation in both video and audio podcast format:
When I talked about his approach to the band, the process of writing songs, and how Joshua Tree influenced his life, I found Buddy Nielsen affectionate. There is a particular literary aspect to how he composes songs, which is reflected in his way of speaking and the work he produces.
Ultimately, in a highly competitive world like music, the winner is always the creator of the project, which is born of art and who prioritizes art. Senses Fail is a misnomer. A more accurate explanation of how this group approaches their business and what they offer their fans would be Senses Succeed. I’m curious what they will produce next.