A lot of bands these days start a Kickstarter campaign to finance their new record. We hear a lot of the success stories, about the already well-known bands, or new bands that manage to pull off an amazing campaign. But last week we had a chance to talk to a band that started a Kickstarter, but the campaign failed, because of various reasons. Brothers Dennis and Robbin van de Bor had the time to tell us how you get over such a disappointment and how they managed to still pull of the release of their self-titled debut album.
How is the band doing at the moment?
Dennis: Everything is all right with the band, absolutely! We’re quite busy trying to contact new venues to play in, as well as writing new material. So everything is going very well. Options to play new concerts are slowly adding up, which is good. We mostly try to use the reviews of our record to convince them, which helps a lot.
What is it like to start a Kickstarter campaign as a band?
Robbin: Organizing a Kickstarter isn’t that hard. You come up with a good title, post your messages and everything else you need for a complete campaign. Of course there also needs to be a video to back up your Kickstarter and show people who you are and what they pledge to. That’s the start.
Dennis: Yeah, technically it wasn’t that hard to start a Kickstarter campaign, but it’s the planning and writing songs that makes it very stressful. Making sure the album is done in time is the whole issue during the Kickstarter.
Unfortunately, the Kickstarter failed. What would you do different next time?
Robbin: In the end we would have taken a different crowdfunding organization if we could have done this all differently. Kickstarter is a very good opportunity, but mostly for people in the USA. The failure of our Kickstarter wasn’t really our fault, it was more because of the fact that you needed a credit card to back us up. There were a lot of people who got a credit card, just to back us, which is amazing, but most people in Holland don’t have such a card. It created a huge barrier for people to get over to support us.
Looking back on the whole process, I’d probably dare to try it again. The album is accepted so well among the small audiences, it really gives you a kick.
Dennis: If there would be any other payment methods, or just a simple “click this button to pay” in an app, it would have been completely different. We were told that Kickstarter would introduce these payment methods in The Netherlands as well, but not from the start. It sucked really bad, it made things much more difficult.
Robbin: We started our campaign at the moment Kickstarter was available in The Netherlands. They had a whole deal of promises with things they wanted to accomplish on the site. All the easy payment methods were there, but not right from the start. We sent mails to them about it, but they could do nothing to help us.
How do you continue as a band, after such a disappointment?
Dennis: If your Kickstarter fails, you have to keep moving forward as a band. Lucky for us, most of the backers on Kickstarter also wanted to support us away from the internet. They donated their money again and we could empty some personal savings as well. That way we just got enough to realize this record. It was very tough, but we made it, eventually!
Looking back on the whole process, I’d probably dare to try it again. The album is accepted so well among the small audiences, it really gives you a kick. Maybe in another year or so, if we wrote enough songs to make a new album. But I think I’d try it again, because the album sold so good in the end.
How was the recording of the album itself?
Dennis: For us this was the first time we made a record in this musical genre. Some of us have released albums with other bands or projects before, but not in the metal scène. It was a huge puzzle for us how to tackle the entire recording and what was there to be done. It’s a new genre to us and we had to explore it thoroughly before we started recording.
Robbin: With the organizing of the Kickstarter project we set a strict deadline to ourselves. Of course we had a couple of songs, but during the project we did most of the writing and correcting. A lot of pre-production was needed before the actual recording.
Dennis: We set a deadline and we wanted to finish the project whatever it took. The deadline was past November and we made it! With, or without Kickstarter, we finished in style!
I personally think the scene is quite big here, still!
How is playing in your home region, Zeeland, compared to the rest of The Netherlands?
Dennis: Most of the metal loving people in Zeeland are coming to see us. They can really appreciate what we’re doing right now. It’s pretty hard to give an indication of the metal scene here in Zeeland now. We have played a couple of shows outside of our home province, but not much. It isn’t particularly busier or less busy out there, compared to the amounts here. I personally think the scene is quite big here, still!
Dennis: The Metal Battle in Baroeg, Rotterdam was a huge experience. It was very educative and we got a fair lot of hints and instructions from the crowd and the jury. We played half an hour, just like all the other bands, and the quality was so high. It was amazing to play with these other talented bands. We got to the semi-finals and the best part about it was the new things we could practice. Things like the on-stage chemistry in the band and some structures in the songs that could have been better. You listen to everyone very carefully and try to change things based on that feedback. It’s a slow learning project!
How would you describe the style Fire Within plays?
Robbin: Our music is compared to Stratovarius, Edguy and Dio. I agree on the old-school feel that our music has. The older symphonic hard-rock, so to speak. But it’s quite hard to label our style.
Dennis: That’s also because the influences between the band are strangely different. I listen to a lot of music, ranging from Queen to Rhapsody, for instance. The symphonic metal. Queen is an all-time favorite. Also bands like Mr. Big and, nowadays, Steel Panther. Those guys are absolutely amazing.
But our keyboard player, for instance, listens to a whole lot of different music. From Nightwish to Children Of Bodom. It’s heavy and relaxed, a whole lot of different styles.
Robbin: And quite a lot of classical music as well. It does have a lot in common with the symphonic metal that we listen to and play.
How is the playing shows coming along?
Dennis: Here we gather quite a crowd, yes, but it’s hard to get to different parts of the country. You have to get there some time, get to know some people and then slowly let people know what you’re capable of. We try to collaborate with some bands, they come to us and play here and then we can come to their region and play a show there. It’s something that grows slowly.
Things like the Metal Battle in Rotterdam really helps us get known in different regions. Mostly because people got a cd after our show, so maybe they come to see us when we get back there.
Robbin: There were people singing along to our songs, but I have never seen these people before! It was really special to see that happening. Our cd’s are only available at the merchandize stand at our shows, but if you really, really want one, you can mail us. Then we will sent you one through the mail.
Do you have any plans for the future now, maybe a new album?
Dennis: We’re looking to do a new cd, but not for now. The best scenario would be for us to use this one to do shows for at least another year and then release a new one. New songs will emerge now and then and you keep writing them and gather them. At one point you have enough to fill an album and you start cutting away the lesser tracks. You keep the ones you hold dear, of course.
One thing we really want to do is to shoot a video to support one of our songs. I don’t have a clue to which track that would be, though!
Robbin: I don’t know it either, but we will wait until our manager has sorted out the contacts. It’s hard to say, because we don’t really have concrete plans. We do want to make a video and it will be out this year. That’s our top priority at the moment.
How is Fire Within going to conquer the world?
Dennis: We’re going to conquer the world through hard work, play a lot of venues and show your faces everywhere. We are going to work like hell and give everything we got. If we keep all four of the head pointing in the same direction, I think we can deliver some very good music. One of our personal goals is to play as many places and venues we can find and make the people happy with our music!
That’s something I told the boys in the band as well, you need to give your music a happy twist. Music these days are all about heaviness, sadness and depressing emotions. A bit of a dark theme is always entertaining, of course, but not too much. You have to give people a happy feeling at your concerts at well. That’s also what Fire Within stands for.
Is there something you want to add?
Robbin: Please leave a like at our Facebook and follow it sometimes. If we play in your neighborhood you can come and see us. A lot of info can be found on www.firewithinband.com, you can also find the email address which you can mail to if you want a record.
Please look forward to our clip! It will be there this year, promised!