Sammy Hagar's Kid and the Dark Side of Crowd-Funding

Fightclub, the band, is looking to raise some money to finance their first EP. Seems reasonable at first blush. Lots of bands are doing it. I'm sure you heard that Amanda Palmer raised $1.2 million dollars for her next CD (working title: This Is the New CD From Amanda Palmer,You Know, That Woman Who Raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter).

And who am I to turn up my nose at social resourcing? Just last year, my band, Watershed, did a Kickstarter campaign. We raised $7,500 to help pay the cost of printing our new CD — it was already recorded — renting a van for a 15-city book/CD tour that was already booked. The money helped pay for sitters at home, as well. At the end of the tour we had ZERO dollars, but we didn't go broke and didn't have to give our record away to a label for a crappy advance or put a beer advertisement on the cover. It was a win-win, and I can only hope that people who helped felt they got a good return on their investment as well. 

Fight Club is looking to record and release an EP that isn't written yet. Let's take a closer look at their campaign.

 

For those of you who may not know me, I am Aaron Samuel Hagar and I am embarking on a historical journey in the music industry and need your help. I have formed a band of “son’s of rock” of legendary greats. This concept has never purely been fulfilled by anyone that I know of and we are looking to break new ground in a highly competitive industry.

I'm no English major but I'm pretty sure "son's of rock" isn't a proper use of a possessive. Not trying to be a grammar police nitpicker, but when you are asking for one hundred large, that is a little different than commenting on Facebook. Got to clean that up. More importantly, the use of the phrase "highly competitive industry" sounds like banker talk to me. Not inspiring.

 

Unlike the perception you may expect, we do not share in the lifestyle and success of our parents.  We need your help to fulfill this dream.  Our parents have worked long and hard to achieve their “rock” status.  Today, they are well-respected and many were pioneers in the industry.  It only makes sense that we also earn our stripes and our own successes.  So we are embarking on an effort to raise funds for the recording, marketing and distribution of our debut album. 

Aaron seems like a nice guy and I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but I don't think beginning your career asking for money is "earning your stripes." I would feel much better if the band had attempted to perform live or had shown any actual effort other than this fund raising effort. 

 

All of the members of Fightclub have contributed in writing a large collection of songs for this recording production.  Being the sons of rock legends, we understand that there are high expectations for our debut album and our intent is to deliver!  The plan and goal is to record and produce with professional teams from studio to production with management and marketing all striving for the best end product possible.  We are working with teams that are industry professionals, who are mentors that we trust with our talent, our careers and our friendships.  Your support to FIGHTCLUB will be instrumental in the recording production completion which is always challenging when trying to coordinate the expenses of music production, but also the time, efforts and travel of the entire band.  We have all been around the business for our entire lives and understand the sacrifices and are making the commitments that it takes to journey into this arena of music history.

So you guys have a bunch of songs but we don't get to hear anything in advance? I'm supposed to bank on the fact that your dads were successful as my guidepost? Also, why should an EP cost this much? Great records by major acts get recorded these days for less that $20,000. Management and marketing? Is that where the dough is going?And again, the use of the phrase "best end product" is troubling. "Product" is a term that industry douchebag bean counters use. Musicians who use it are on the wrong side of the business.  

 

Built on the dream I had to create Fightclub,  my family, friends and colleagues believe in and are entrusting my vision to procure a successful future in music.  All of the members of Fightclub are students and teachers in the industry, and individually we have all been making our own way — slowly and honorably. It is time for us to take this opportunity to make our own mark in the world of music and step out of the shadows of our parents.  So without further adieu, let me introduce you to this talented and exciting band called Fightclub.

Look, Aaron, I know you don't want to ask your Dad for help; I didn't either. But the fact remains, he is worth $120 million and has his own recording studio. When you write that "family believes in your vision" I would start there. Hardly a band can survive without the help of a family member. I know Watershed couldn't have survived without some financial help here and there. Have you seen  Anvil:The Story of Anvil? Lips's sister gives him $20,000 to help record an album. It's a touching moment. You should check it out. At the very least maybe your Dad could give you some use of his studio if you cleaned and painted the place. 

Introducing, Fightclub - The band

 

 

 

Spearheading FIGHTCLUB is me, Aaron S. Hagar on vocals.  I live in South Lake Tahoe, CA as an owner and operator of a hot rod and classic car shop (Rat Runners Garage), as well as, moonlight as an artist and illustrator. 

Stop right there --- you OWN and operate a classic car shop? That is big, big money and you are asking for my hard earned dollars? May I ask who helped you get that off the ground and where are they now? (I tried to find a web link to the shop but it had been disabled. Very odd indeed.)

My brother, Andrew S. Hagar is on rhythm guitar, vocals, percussion and piano.  Andrew is a full- time trainer in MMA in the style of Muay Thai.  He also teaches privately and lives in Southern CA. We are the sons of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar. Legendary frontman of Montrose, HSAS, Van Halen and currently Chickenfoot.

  Miles Schon is on lead guitar and vocals.  Miles is a full-time music teacher living in the bay area.  He is the son of Journey founder and guitarist Neal Schon.  Between Neal and Dad, they have sold over 250 million records worldwide!  They have worked together since the beginning of their careers, formed HSAS together and currently continue to work together on a sidebar project “Planet US”.  

Neal Schon is worth $30 million dollars.

Ry Kihn is also on lead guitar and vocals.  Ry is a full-time music teacher and lives in the San Jose area.  Ry is the son of 70’s and 80’s pop icon Greg Kihn.  With hits like “Jeopardy” and “The Breakup Song”, Greg has earned his stripes in creating some of the iconic anthems and videos of the 80’s.   Greg, Sammy and Neal are bay area legends, as well as global music legends.  Greg currently is the voice of Bay Area radio KFOX and they continue to jam together at charities and other events.

It's extremely troubling that Fightclub co-opts their fathers' accomplishments as if they were their own. Read the Ry Kihn bio again. One line about how he teaches guitar and then a paragraph about how his Dad had a bunch of hits. What does that have to do with anything? Last I checked, parents and kids are entirely different people. In fact, in the entire history of rock music, has one single son every eclipsed the accomplishments's of their Dad/Mom? Maybe Jeff Buckley but his most noteworthy accomplishments were covering a Leonard Cohen song and dying prematurely.

Trevor William Church is on bass, guitar and vocals.  Trevor teaches music part-time and shares a full-time job as a Redken Master Specialist @ Moxie Hair Studio in Fresno, CA.  Trevor is the son of bassist Bill Church.  Bill was the iconic bass notes of Van Morrison, Montrose and was with Sammy until Van Halen.  They are currently touring together as part of Dad’s “4 Decades of Rock” tour.

Tony Montanez is on drums and percussion.  Tony teaches music at Fresno State full-time and has played with Trevor for years.  Forming a solid rhythm union with Trevor, he is a welcomed member of the band.  Keeping a strong bond between drums and bass is crucial, and although he is not of the same lineage of the rest of the band members, his relationship with Trevor is unbreakable.

Tony is my favorite member of Fightclub and it bodes well that his relationship with bassist Trevor Church is "unbreakable."

AND, as a bonus, we are documenting everything from day one in hopes of sharing this amazing story in a documentary TV show.  As you might imagine, living life with our parents and in the families of rock legends, we have so many amazing experiences and stories to share.  The number one question we are always asked is; “So, what is it like being the son of …”

Do you guys have any songs? Have you guys ever played a single gig?

Now, we will be able to share with our Friends and Fans, a piece of the past and a brand new beginning in this full exposure, multi-media experience.  After the album is completed, we will release it on iTunes, and if demand is persistent, we will release a physical CD and begin a debut tour. 

Whoa, whoa, you guys aren't even committed to releasing an actual CD release or touring unless "demand is persistent"? Maybe you could tour to increase demand? Where is all this money going? Best as I can tell, Fightclub wants $100,000 real dollars to record a digital EP.

 SO PLEASE BE CURIOUS, BE A PART OF A NEW MUSIC LEGEND IN THE MAKING AND CONTRIBUTE TO THIS EPIC PROJECT.   And PLEASE REMEMBER OUR FIRST RULE OF FIGHTCLUB:… TALK ABOUT FIGHTCLUB!  

 Thank you for your time and contribution,

                                                                    Aaron S. Hagar

On a personal note…..

Our mission is important to us and we have a lot to say about the world, music, family and topics that are important in our daily living. As artists we have used music to express ourselves, explore and touch lives emotionally. We ask and hope that you help support this and keep self expression, the arts and music alive in the world. Help US entertain YOU.

                                                                     -Thank you kindly

Uh, Dude, I think that that whole thing was a personal note.

Curious what you get for your money? A sampling follows:

$50 gets you a 2 song digital download and a digital postcard.

$100 gets you a signed signed EP and..."a tasteful thank you on Facebook"

$200 gets you the signed EP, Facebook thank you AND....promo poster

$350 gets the above, and one tee-shirt. Did I mention they don't include shipping in the donation? Well they don't. Tack on $10 and do not pass go.

$500 gets you the above and I quote "drum head poached from my Dad's studio (shhh) they are used and you never know who may have used them. Dave? Denny? Chad? Kenny?"

Who the hell are Dave, Denny, Chad, Kenny? Instead of sneaking in your dad's studio to poach used drum heads from unknowns, why not sneak into record some songs? Or would your dad get a "Red" ass and toss you out?

 I'm not trying to be an asshole, but social resourcing is God's gift to worthy artists and entrepreneurs. It is a privilege, not a right and lazy hucksters like Fightclub ruin it for everybody who could use a new transmission for a Chevy van to get them down the road to the next gig. F- off Fightclub. I will be contributing $0.00.

Fightclub raised $21,331 toward their goal of $100,000. You can check on their progress at by clicking here.

Colin Gawel plays in the band Watershed and writes things for Pencilstorm in his downtime at Colin's Coffee. Just google him or visit colingawel.com for more info than you could ever imagine.