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Tuesday November 25th 2014

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The Suzies Get Pressed

By Hana Frenette

The Suzies’ self-titled debut album is many things: catchy, strangely familiar, and slightly reminiscent of the late ‘80s. The album, which is being released exclusively on vinyl, is funded solely by a Kickstarter account.

It’s exciting that a newer band can even choose to release an album on vinyl, because unlike most famous acts, the band won’t be able to count on iTunes sales and sold out shows to make up for the manufacturing cost of vinyl if the records fails to sell. In short, it’s a risk.

“We believe in the medium,” frontman Luke Buckley said. “I don’t want to think that you have to release music in traditional forms, and we wanted to do something a little different. And records are just cool!”

To make this happen, the band launched a Kickstarter account with a goal of $900, which was just the basic cost of the record pressing and shipping.

“We ended up making $1375 in four days,” Buckley said. “We were like, shit, maybe we should have set the bar a little higher and asked for more money.”

The records were pressed at a company called United Record Pressing out of Nashville, Tenn. The band was able to use the remaining portion of the Kickstarter money to make shirts and posters, which also helped them fulfill their promised gifts in return for the donations made to them via Kickstarter.

United Record Pressing has been pressing vinyl since 1949 and is actually a really accessible and reasonably priced place to get a record pressed. Their site allows you to decide the color of the vinyl, the size, the sound, the dust jackets and sleeves—pretty much every detail. You are also offered the choice of sending in your own artwork to be used in whatever way you like on the cover.

Although it’s still way more pricey than uploading your music to iTunes or just recording your songs to a blank silver burned audio disc, releasing on vinyl is becoming more attainable than it’s ever been. Vinyl has been named the fastest growing music format, and although mp3s and other digital media files are still in the lead, records are pushing for a close second. In the next few years, CDs will be the new cassette, overflowing the bins and tables at yard sales and thrift stores alike.

So, although The Suzies are taking a risk now, with the monetary value of the vinyl on the line, they are blazing a new trail for all small, independently produced bands that want to see their record carried at the local record stores.

The Suzies will be performing at Revolver Records on Saturday, July 14 at 3 p.m. to promote the release of their album, which will be carried at Revolver.

After the midday show, The Suzies will head back to Mobile, Ala. to play a follow-up show that evening with the Underhill Family Orchestra at the Alabama Music Box. Tickets will be $5 at the door.

“The show at the Alabama Music Box will also serve as a voter registration drive,” Buckley said. “A lot of young people aren’t actually registered to vote, so it will be nice to get people involved and do more than just play music.”

THE SUZIES’ RELEASE SHOW
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14
WHERE: Revolver Records, 9 E. Gregory St.
COST: Free
DETAILS: thesuzies.com