The TAG new music initiative

ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
edited June 2013 in Rock Band
As everyone here knows every single member of TAG is a huge fan of Rock Band, and of music in general. Every move we've made as a group has been to help get more incredible bands and music into Rock Band, and help grow the Rock Band fan base wherever we could.

However we have noticed, as I'm sure a lot of you have as well, that in the current climate of Rock Band there is an entire subsection of bands and songs being left out of the current DLC landscape. Bands and music that are too big to get on the Rock Band Network as it is now, and too small for Harmonix to take a chance on with the official DLC.

So we, with Harmonix' blessing of course, have hopefully come up with a way to remedy this.

So TAG has reached out to record labels to license music outright. Not how it's done in the Rock Band Network where artists and labels just hand over the music and then we split the profits. We're going to do this exactly like Harmonix does. We're going to say hey we want this song, here's the money for it, let's do this (well that's an extremely simplified version of it, but you get where I'm coming from).

Now I'm sure you're all aware how expensive music licensing is. It isn't cheap. Since TAG is a pretty much not for profit organization (I mean we do make a profit, but it's mostly enough to buy a beer and a cheeseburger once a month...a very small cheeseburger), then this isn't something we can do on our own.

So this is where the entire Rock Band community comes in to play.

I don't know how many times I've seen, and even said myself, "I would pay ANYTHING to get this song/band in the game!" That wasn't just hyperbole (well at least not from me it wasn't), and I hope others that have said it meant it as well.

We're going to use Kickstarter to help get these songs into Rock Band. None of us can do this alone, but as a community we can pull together and get these songs into the game.

So here's how it's going to work. Each time we do this we'll post the songs we're going to license and how much we need for each batch. Not a penny more. We're not doing this to make money, and as a matter of fact any profits we make from the sale of these tracks we're going to funnel right back into this project by donating it to the kickstarter for the next batch of songs. Same if the kickstarter goes over the amount we need. Any amount above and beyond our goal will be rolled over into the next kickstarter and so on and so forth.

Not only that but we will be offering prizes for donations as well. Details are still being hammered out but you can expect something like this :

$10 - Limited edition TAG kickstart sticker

$20 - We'll send you a private link to the song in progress that won't be made available to the public. Plus all lower tier prizes before this one.

$30 - Limited edition TAG kickstarter shirt. Plus all lower tier prizes before this one.

$50 - Random signed CD from one of our TAG artists that has appeared as DLC. Plus all lower tier prizes before this one.

$100 - We'll do an 11x17 inch drawing/poster of your personal Rock Band character. Plus all lower tier prizes before this one.

$250 - A one of a kind plushy made of your Rock Band character. Plus all lower tier prizes before this one.

$500 - Tag will write, record, author and release a song (genre of your choosing) all about you and how awesome you are into the Rock Band Network for you and all your friends to purchase. Plus all lower tier prizes before this one.

$1000 - You get to pick which artist/song we go after in the next round of licensing. Within the reasons that it is a well known enough song/artist that it fits in with the spirit of what we're attempting here and other people would think this song/artist is big enough/known enough to want to pitch in to try and get it into the game. Plus all lower tier prizes before this one.

So that's our big plan. Believe me if we at TAG could do this on our own without asking for 'help' from the community then we'd do it. However I feel strongly that this is a damn good idea on how to get these mid level bands and songs. I know that with as many music lovers that are a part of the RB community we can do this no problem.

It's going to take a bit before we have all the T's crossed and the I's dotted before we can start the first one. We do have some very interesting things in the pipeline brewing. Now I can't reveal song titles but to give you an idea of the types of bands we're going after with this project (and REMEMBER like all things any band on this list could fall through at any part of the process.)

Red
Chevelle
Our Lady Peace
Weird Al
Warrant
Motley Crue
Autograph
Andrew W.K.
Bloodhound Gang
Scorpions

That's just a small sample of the types of bands we're talking with labels about bringing into the game. Once we know pricing for the licensing we'll break them down and say this is the exact songs we're licensing and this is the amount we'll need to do so.

We had to get things rolling on this in advance as it takes an extremely long time to license music the traditional way. In the future we will use the data collected in the what's your most wanted song, and what do you prefer in song choices threads we started here on the forums.

Of course things can and do fall apart at the last minute so we will do our damnedest to make sure that the songs we have listed for our kickstarter are the ones we deliver, but there's always that small chance that we might have to substitute another song from that band or as a last resort another band/song from the next kickstarter that is planned.

And just for legal reasons I want everyone to know that this isn't a Harmonix backed or sponsored initiative. I approached them for permission to do this, and they gave it to us, but they will have no hand in this at all.

Songs we do successfully license will run through the Rock Band Network pipeline just like all other tracks we work on. Then after 30 days they are eligible to port over to the PS3. Harmonix can NOT legally guarantee that any of the songs we are working on here will be ported to the PS3. However if you look at the types of songs that do get ported, and the types of songs you see ported to the PS3 you can probably draw your own conclusions that these songs will eventually port to the Sony side at some point.

I just wanted to say that I'm damn proud to be a part of this community the last four and a half years, and I'm glad that I can help give a little something back in the form of bringing you music and artists you've been enjoying from RBN and TAG. I really hope the labels and community embraces this initiative (and again it's still a while out from getting started), and if this takes off then there is no limit to the amount of songs and artists we as a community can bring to Rock Band. This could be the first time in the history of a video game that the community as a whole has helped to shape and create the content and future of a major franchise.

I'm very excited about the potential this has, and I hope now that all of you know our plans that you are too.

As soon as we have some solid songs locked down we'll get this crazy community driven experiment going!


Sorry for the wall of text >_______________>

I tend to get diarrhea of the fingers when I'm excited about something.

Feel free to discuss and ask questions and I'll answer what I can.

Comments

  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited March 2012
    i really really really feel like going for the $1000 one :D
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    Sweet. Not terribly knowledgeable about Kickstarter, but will research.

    I will definitely jump in on an appropriate donation tier. $500 for a custom song sounds completely reasonable to me.

    Question: Does everybody contribute a flat rate by artist, or do we just make donations and it gets split up evenly amongst the artists that are on the "next cycle" of licensing discussions?

    Edit: I researched Kickstarter. Sounds good to me. Good luck with this project.
  • Meat-PopsicleMeat-Popsicle Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    This is incredibly awesome news. In fact, now I can't imagine the PAX annoucement being any better than this.

    WOW!

    I've already stated I would pay several hundred dollars to get another Juliana Hatfield song listed, I'm ready to go the second that becomes an option. But my girlfriend is a massive Andrew W.K. fan, and he's already on your list, so it looks like my first kicked-in dollars will be for him. I can't wait for this to go live, and to be able to be an active part of getting songs added to Rock Band. Standing by for further details.

    I'm also thrilled to be employed. In general.
  • Cipher_PeonCipher_Peon I don't get it at all
    edited March 2012
    WAIT WAIT, YOU GOT WEIRD AL?!?
    What sorcery have you done?!?!?!?! O:

    And hopefully this would go swimmingly!
  • cwilburcwilbur Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    Freaking. Brilliant.

    I'd give Autograph and Scorpions ten bucks. For Weird Al, oh lord, that's $100-$250 level incentive right there, and I can probably find a couple other friends to go in with me on that one.
  • KemirochKemiroch Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    Wow. I think it's a great idea.

    Yeah I'll definitely donate towards Scorpions, Crue depending on song, and probably others out of this first batch.

    But more importantly I've got to start saving towards that grand ... I'm one of those that would gladly pay anything to get a favorite artist or song in RB, I just have to have the money first!
  • ZemanatorZemanator Rising Star
    edited March 2012
    Cipher_Peon;4679204 said:
    WAIT WAIT, YOU GOT WEIRD AL?!?
    What sorcery have you done?!?!?!?! O:

    And hopefully this would go swimmingly!
    he said types of bands we're going after, not bands that we got
  • Cipher_PeonCipher_Peon I don't get it at all
    edited March 2012
    Oh. Then I misread it o-o

    Then I'm not going to donate for anything yet. I don't see any band I really like or know.
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    Just one question. I'm on a PS3, if I donate money to a song, is there anyway to guarantee that it will be ported over to PS3?
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited March 2012
    lvmathemagician;4679212 said:
    Just one question. I'm on a PS3, if I donate money to a song, is there anyway to guarantee that it will be ported over to PS3?

    that was answered in the OP
    ThatAuthoringGroup;4679168 said:

    Songs we do successfully license will run through the Rock Band Network pipeline just like all other tracks we work on. Then after 30 days they are eligible to port over to the PS3. Harmonix can NOT legally guarantee that any of the songs we are working on here will be ported to the PS3. However if you look at the types of songs that do get ported, and the types of songs you see ported to the PS3 you can probably draw your own conclusions that these songs will eventually port to the Sony side at some point.
  • ZemanatorZemanator Rising Star
    edited March 2012
    lvmathemagician;4679212 said:
    Just one question. I'm on a PS3, if I donate money to a song, is there anyway to guarantee that it will be ported over to PS3?
    there isn't, but as far as stats go, every song that has sold over 500 copies has ported to the PS3 within 60-75 days of its release, so we absolutely can't guarantee it, it is extremely likely.
  • JBlack240JBlack240 Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    I'd pay for Scorpions and Chevelle. Is Scorpions really not big enough for HMX though?
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    Zemanator;4679218 said:
    there isn't, but as far as stats go, every song that has sold over 500 copies has ported to the PS3 within 60-75 days of its release, so we absolutely can't guarantee it, it is extremely likely.

    Fair enough.
  • tdc002tdc002 Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    hmmmm...Andrew WK, eh? I would gladly donate some money for that, but I just moved to NYC, so money's kinda tight. Maybe in a month or so?

    Sounds like a great idea. Get Alkaline Trio or Aquabats on board and I'll gladly donate. I'll just have to cut back on beer for a week or so.
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    It will be REALLY interesting to see what labels/artists ask for in licensing fees for their stuff. It is going to spur delicious amounts of conversation here. Like...is some of this stuff ridiculously within reach...where if a couple of thousand people chip in $5-10 each, we can get stuff like Weird Al or something.

    Lots of fun.
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    JBlack240;4679220 said:
    I'd pay for Scorpions and Chevelle. Is Scorpions really not big enough for HMX though?

    That exchange rate is a killer ;)
  • FairwoodStudiosFairwoodStudios Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    Zemanator;4679190 said:
    lame thread title is lame

    Agreed. I mean, Motley Crue is on this list, and you didn't dub it "Kickstart My Art"? C'mon.
  • cwilburcwilbur Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    I feel weird suggesting this, because it seems obvious, but it's not in your example prize list...

    What about a donation level at which you get a code for one of the songs in the batch (your choice) and a higher level where you get codes for all the songs in the batch? I'd want that more than a plushy, really....
  • HeyRilesHeyRiles Besse's Girl
    edited March 2012
    Interesting

    I am wary, however. You mention that there are some bands and songs that you would give ANYTHING to get into Rock Band, and that much is true for me. Will you be announcing bands you are trying to negotiate with? Will you be posting the total donation money needed raised for a song or songs from a band? Will we get to decide which band to place our money on? I don't have much incentive to donate $10 if I know it's only gonna go to Weird Al or something else I don't care for
  • grumblevolcanogrumblevolcano Headliner
    edited March 2012
    After the list of bands, I felt a bit like Cipher in terms of not knowing most of the artists. The only ones I know are:
    Warrant - due to Cherry Pie on GH Smash Hits
    Motley Crue - as a result of RB DLC, Brutal Legend, GH Smash Hits, GH5 and the release of Girls, Girls, Girls as GH DLC.
    Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane cover on GH3 and 2 of their songs on Brutal Legend.

    The others I have never heard of but I'll check the songs out when they're released.
  • edited March 2012
    Time to resurrect the "would you pay $100 for one song?" thread.

    This does sound amazing though and I would be surprised if you didn't get a few HMX employees as backers.
  • FairwoodStudiosFairwoodStudios Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    cwilbur;4679230 said:
    I feel weird suggesting this, because it seems obvious, but it's not in your example prize list...

    What about a donation level at which you get a code for one of the songs in the batch (your choice) and a higher level where you get codes for all the songs in the batch?

    I can answer this one!

    A while back we discussed a Kickstarter with HMX to digitize the masters for The Dismemberment Plan's Emergency & I, with the intent of doing a few songs for RBN as well as having the remaster. I planned to use our stock of point codes as rewards, but was told that we can't as that would be too close to selling the codes for legal acceptance. So, TAG can't do it either.
  • ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
    edited March 2012
    The plan is to offer the songs in a three pack (if it is financially feasible).

    Like here's three songs from three different artists in this kickstarter, then we'll move on to the next.

    As to the question about bands we have asked and are actively looking into the bands listed above. Nothing is set is stone yet which is why I didn't say we are getting this bands right here.

    But just know that this is the level/quality of bands I want to pursue with this project.
  • Meat-PopsicleMeat-Popsicle Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    jibjqrkl;4679198 said:
    i really really really feel like going for the $1000 one :D

    Yeah, I already know what I want for my birthday now - I'll kick in half, my friends and family pay the rest, the entire world benefits! I'll notify them now so they can have it all saved up by November ;)
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    FairwoodStudios;4679228 said:
    Agreed. I mean, Motley Crue is on this list, and you didn't dub it "Kickstart My Art"? C'mon.

    :) :) :)
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    HeyRiles;4679231 said:
    Interesting

    I am wary, however. You mention that there are some bands and songs that you would give ANYTHING to get into Rock Band, and that much is true for me. Will you be announcing bands you are trying to negotiate with? Will you be posting the total donation money needed raised for a song or songs from a band? Will we get to decide which band to place our money on? I don't have much incentive to donate $10 if I know it's only gonna go to Weird Al or something else I don't care for

    If you get in at the Platinum Donation level, you have more say over what they go after next round.

    But I agree...perhaps they can collate some like acts together for each block of discussions. Like say..."this block, we're going after a couple of 80's hair metal bands". Then at least you'd have some idea of what kind of genre you're contributing (directly) towards.
  • ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
    edited March 2012
    HeyRiles;4679231 said:
    Interesting

    I am wary, however. You mention that there are some bands and songs that you would give ANYTHING to get into Rock Band, and that much is true for me. Will you be announcing bands you are trying to negotiate with? Will you be posting the total donation money needed raised for a song or songs from a band? Will we get to decide which band to place our money on? I don't have much incentive to donate $10 if I know it's only gonna go to Weird Al or something else I don't care for


    Yeah we'll try to keep it to a group of three artists if possible per kickstarter. That way you know your money is going towards a band or bands you like. When we do the kickstarter we will list the exact song from the band. That way it's not like you're paying to have a song from that band. So we won't do the kickstarter until everything is finalized with the licensing. However things can and do fall apart even at the last minute which is why I said we might have to sub for another song from the same artist, or even one of the songs from the next batch.

    Hopefully that never happens but I want to make sure it's known that it could happen.

    And yes we will post the exact amount we need to get the songs, and the amount that was raised when it's all said and done. Any leftover amount will move on to the next batch of songs to keep the whole process moving.
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    Where can I find more information about Kickstarter?
  • cwilburcwilbur Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    lvmathemagician;4679248 said:
    Where can I find more information about Kickstarter?

    http://www.kickstarter.com/

    If you want to see an example of how bat**** crazy one of these drives can go when the fanbase really rallies, check out the Order of the Stick Reprint Drive*

    * disclaimer: I backed the Order of the Stick Reprint Drive
  • whypick1whypick1 Headliner
    edited March 2012
    I'm guessing Kickstarter would be a good place to go for info on Kickstarter. Just a hunch.
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