A Few Thoughts On Throwing A Release Party
Okay, seriously, this one is going to be a doozy.
It’s not just that we haven’t played a Wish show in over a decade, although that is probably worth mentioning. The thing about our release party for Concerning Time on June 21st is that we decided to take it up a notch. Or maybe ten. We really didn’t want it to be “just another gig”, this one needed some Special Sauce, some Show Biz, some Fairy Dust, whatever you want to call it, we wanted to have an Event To Remember. We’d talked about this on a conceptual level for ages (a luxury afforded to those bands that take seven years to make an album) but when we could finally see the light at the end of the Concerning Time tunnel, another clock started ticking. It was time to plan a party.
A quick checklist for bands who want to throw a record release party;
1) MAKE A RECORD- Okay, we did this. We wrote it, tracked it, mixed it, mastered it, packaged it, dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. Sure it took well over a half-decade, but we did in fact see it through to the end. Plus it’s really good, just ask me
2) PICK A DATE- This wasn’t easy. Paul wanted to get it on the books ASAP, to light a fire and have a date to work towards. I wanted to stall, to make sure we had everything rehearsed up and ready to go before we committed (these aren’t the easiest songs to play, seriously). I think Geoff and Jason fell somewhere in the middle. Plus our schedules, mine in particular, can get pretty crazy. Eventually June 21st got the green light. It was on. Once we had a date I think we had just over two months to hammer out the details. Seems like an ample party-planning window, but in Wish Time that’s just a blink.
3) PICK A VENUE- Early on we realized we didn’t want to have our party in a bar or club. We wanted to take our sweet time setting up, sound checking, getting things just right. Not having to go into Roadie Mode right after the gig was important too, we wanted to pick a spot where we could relax and hang with our peeps post-performance. The idea was to make it more of “an evening with…” kinda deal. Finding a “Showcase Room” became the order of the day. We visited a few, poked around online, found some options, priced it out, and eventually agreed that Third Encore in Burbank was the way to go. It’s frequently used by huge touring acts like Ozzy Osborne and Linkin’ Park when they are rehearsing for their mega tours, really a great facility with amazing gear, the right vibe, just what we were looking for. I was mildly concerned at first that the Burbank location would be problematic, but in retrospect I don’t think it will be an issue. We have lots of friends and fans out in the valley and for everyone else, I’m confident that we can make this an event worth going out of your way for. That’s the idea anyway.
4) GIVE SOME SHIT AWAY- I think this is important. It doesn’t have to be the music, I know there is some controversy on that front, but have some kind of carrot to dangle to reward your friends/fans for coming out. It’s a celebration, a shindig, a party, and parties need gifts dammit. We decided early on to give away copies of our CD to folks who make it out. We WANT people to hear what we worked so hard on for all that time, we really want you to put the CD into whatever device you play music on, listen to it top-to-bottom, get your head around what we were trying to accomplish, pick a couple favorites, you know, get into it. We DON’T want to make money off of you, our potential inner circle. Lend us your ears, not your pocketbooks. Anyway, in addition, Geoff had the great idea to custom order some The Obvious Wish beer glasses and give those away too. Besides being an amazing drummer, he is also a first-class home-brewer and this idea was perfect. Done. First fifty through the door get an awesome beer glass. Also, we decided to supply some GREAT finger food (spearheaded by Geoff’s lovely wife Bev), sodas, wine and the kicker is Geoff will be bringing a limited supply of his home-brewed beers! They are SO DAMN GOOD, come early and sample the goods before supplies run out!
5) MAKE IT A “SHOW”- We wanted some special touches to elevate the evening and make it a bit more of a spectacle. This excellent idea has gotten away from us a bit, in all the best possible ways. Warning: “Let’s get a few lights” is a phrase that hangs over a bottomless rabbit hole that the faint of heart may not wish to explore. Poor Paul has put himself through a master class in Rock Show Lighting and the results are still blowing me away in rehearsals. I won’t go into too much detail about the lights (or the giant video screen that will be playing amazing video production elements throughout the show), but trust me it’s pretty rad. And I don’t use that word lightly.
6) MAKE SURE IT SOUNDS GREAT- As I type this, the hunt for the perfect sound guy is down to two candidates, and both are fantastic options. World-class front of house dudes who are constantly working with A-list mofo’s, from Jack White to Linkin’ Park and many more. The entire band has also been tuning up our personal gear and customizing equipment specifically for this show. If you make it out you should take a peak at the pedal boards that Jason, myself and Paul have put together, the love and obsession is apparent at first glance.
7) INVITE LOTS OF PEOPLE- This seems fairly obvious but of course it’s no fun to throw a party without all your grooviest friends/fans in attendance. We’re getting a great response to the evite and Facebook event so far, looks like we should be right in the attendance sweet spot for the venue and for our supplies. I hope you are one of them, we would love to see you there.
8) WRITE A BLOG POST THAT LOOKS INFORMATIVE BUT IS ACTUALLY A PROMOTIONAL DEVICE- Wait, no, that would be cheesy. Don’t do this last one…
Okay, hope to see YOU on Saturday night, it’s gonna be a fun hang and a night to remember for sure
“The destination is clear, leave your body behind, this is the Meeting Place …”
T.O.W., The Meeting Place