When I first was introduced to this band I knew them by their original name, Chucky Danger. Years ago at one of my first music business industry functions a fat old man told me Chucky Danger were going to be the next big band to come out of Canada. Like most predictions of fat old men, he was wrong. But the band definitely had a lot of momentum.
In 2008 Chucky Danger changed their name to Paper Lions and in 2009 encountered some difficulties. They wrote about it on a recent blog:
In August of 2009, we raised the money to rent a studio, hire a producer, and record Trophies. A few months later, we were approached by a record label that wanted to release Trophies on our behalf. After a period of negotiation, we signed a deal with that company. They released the record in September of 2010, and everything was dandy.
Fast forward to the present: we have yet to see a paycheque for a single record sold by them. If you bought our record on Amazon or iTunes, or even at a record store, we didn’t get that money. We don’t know why. We don’t know if it’s being held somewhere, or if it’s been spent.
We asked ourselves, what do we do now? Hire a lawyer? That would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. Ultimately, we just want people to hear the music. And in reality, this experience has given us an excuse to do something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.
So we’ve decided to give Trophies away in exchange for your email address. And we feel pretty good about it.
….PPS. If you ever bought Trophies directly from a band member (at a show, from the back of the van, etc.) we did get that money. It was used for gas. (via PaperLions)
It sounds quite literally criminal, what’s happened to Paper Lions, but I’m sure they’re not alone in their situation. But thanks to the internet Paper Lions have a chance to create a number of new and true fans.
Fans want to be part of cool event like this giant “Fuck You” to the Paper Lions old label. Fans care about the music not the label, and fans will be more willing to hear from you again and again, if you provide them with something cool…. like your free new album.
So although this isn’t the most perfect situation for Paper Lions, it will give them more emails, more eyeballs, and more fans than they ever could get via a traditional label route.