In a time when the independent creative spirit is often stifled by soaring costs, SVLEM, the Australian Alternative Goth Metal quintet, is harnessing the power of community and crowdfunding to manifest their debut album. Their unique approach to fundraising, featuring tantalizing perks and a sense of camaraderie among supporters, promises to breathe life into their haunting, dark melodies.
SVLEM, your crowdfunding campaign has introduced some fascinating perks, from ‘Satan’s Spit’ hot sauce to Metal Burlesque classes. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind these unconventional rewards and how they connect to your music and artistic vision?
“Cheers and thanks for having us! Creativity fuels SVLEM and this goes far beyond music creation: From our own merchandise, to our stage decor we conceptualise and create everything we can ourselves.
When it came to brainstorming ideas for perks in this campaign, on top of the traditional band merch and of what we could offer ourselves, we thought it would be just sick to collaborate with our friends Claire from TIME+BRINE and performer Betty Bandit to expand our universe in a more sensory and sensual direction. They were both fully on board, which was thrilling, and this collaboration resulted in the two unique perks you mentioned: “Potions” and “Seductive Spells” have always been integral to the witchcraft universe, and we’ve added our own unique twist based on what we, as fans ourselves, would love to receive through an album crowdfunding campaign and what our Coven might find exciting!”
Your music is often described as dark and haunting. How does this theme manifest in your upcoming debut album, and what can fans expect from tracks like “The Witching Hour,” “Nevermore,” and “Let it Burn”?
“Well, it’s going to be all about capturing that raw live energy and infusing it with a nerve-wracking abundance of details, such as vocal harmonies, haunting keys, and mesmerizing effects onto the record haha! We’re also gonna intensify the heaviness and the eerie atmosphere. It’s still early to say for sure, but that’s the goal.”
Crowdfunding can be a challenging journey. Can you share some of the highs and lows you’ve encountered throughout this campaign, and what keeps you motivated to press forward despite the obstacles?
“Insecurities, such as the fear of rejection or the fear of failing, are one of these challenges. It’s a matter of silencing those negative voices, believing in your art, and pushing through. In life, nothing happens if you don’t move forward or if you adopt a defeatist attitude.
The second challenge, which might be the biggest one, is communication. Since there’s no minimum donation requirement, the key is reaching your audience and ensuring your message cuts through the noise so they are actually aware that there’s a campaign going on, even before getting them on board. To achieve this, you must be fully committed and create engaging content that conveys your passion, allows your community to connect and feel invested in your project. While we create music for ourselves, it’s ultimately the ears and souls of our audience that give it meaning.
For our first crowdfunding campaign, we didn’t even have a single song released with SVLEM’s new lineup. Cecile had just joined as the vocalist, which is always a significant change for a band, and Shah had come on board as the rhythm guitarist and keys player. This was quite a leap of faith as we essentially asked people to follow us blindly into creating our live session. The pressure was intense, and it marked a turning point for the band.
The current campaign does have its challenges, particularly given the current financial climate and the difficulties many have faced, including us, in the past year or so. However, we are confident that we will reach our goal since everyone can contribute whatever they want or can afford.”
The debut album is predicted to drop in 2024. How will the funds raised through this campaign be utilized in the production and promotion of the album, and what do you hope to achieve with this highly anticipated release?
“In conjunction with the band’s investment in this debut album project, the funds raised will contribute to various aspects, including recording, mixing, mastering, creating music videos, and conducting some PR work to promote the result to new audiences, thereby helping our Coven to expand.
During our last crowdfunding campaign, we exceeded our goal by reaching 157%, which was simply incredible. This not only enabled us to record our Live Session but also invest in an in-ear monitor system that has significantly enhanced our live performances. Any additional funds we raise, should we surpass our goal once again this time, will give us the breathing room we need to go a little more in-depth during the recording process and produce music videos with fewer compromises, among other improvements.”
As the crowdfunding campaign is set to conclude on 15/11/23, what message would you like to share with your supporters, both old and new, who have contributed to SVLEM’s journey and made your music dreams a reality?
“We do not take their support, investment and involvement in SVLEM lightly or for granted: We’re fully aware that they don’t owe us anything, and we’re just thankful. We will continue pushing and challenging ourselves to create music that moves both their bodies and souls and to deliver live performances that take their mind away from whatever bullsh**t they could be going through in this sick world when they take the time to come and see us live.
We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to those who have contributed in the past and are supporting us through both crowdfunding campaigns or this one. You may not realize how much this means to us and the tremendous impact it has for a band of our size.
Lastly for those of you hesitating, no matter what you can contribute, join us “We have such sights to show you”!
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