Addison-based Hand Drawn Records has taken another step forward in bringing more opportunities for bands who want to press their music on vinyl.
Launched Monday, Hand Drawn’s Line-In service is similar to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo but with better options and a human touch. Partnered with the company Bandwear, Line-In is another way to help people, especially DIY artists and labels, make a 12-inch LP.
Co-owner Dustin Blocker started Hand Drawn first as a label in April 2011, and then it became a broker in late 2014. A year later, they were a fully operational pressing plant. With a state-of-the-art, fully automated record press, the place has been busy for months, making vinyl for labels based in North Texas, Austin, Houston and Nashville.
The label was started as a way of bringing a community together, giving them options that can be hard to find elsewhere. Line-In is another extension of that goal.
“We’ve taken that into manufacturing, and it’s really built a lot of great partnerships,” Blocker says. “So what this is here is exactly that. When you do a Kickstarter or an Indiegogo, if you don’t fully fund, it gets turned off and everybody gets their money back. The caveat here is, essentially, if they get 60 percent funded, say 60 that want your record and you’re $200 out, you have the option to jump in and finish the project. Either you can get your project fully funded or people can get their money back or you can choose to keep going.”
Working with Bandwear, which does merchandising for local and regional bands and is located a mile from Hand Drawn’s plant, artists fill out a form and pay a $99 setup fee. Hand Drawn walks the artist through everything step-by-step in a transparent way.
Blocker, who’s had a lot of experience working in the music industry for the past 20 years as a musician and a label owner, stresses the importance of answering emails and picking up the phone. The human touch gives Line-In an advantage over the best-known crowdfunding sites.
“We try to over-communicate on every step,” Blocker says.
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If you want vinyl, as well as CDs and T-shirts, the cost depends on what all you want to do, and where you want the amount earned from crowdfunding to go. A presale is set up on a web page created for the client, and a campaign can run for however long the client wants. When the presale ends, the online store goes further than other sites.
“After [the] crowdfunding presale ends, [the] artist store stays active to sell not only vinyl, but any other merch items an artist wants to add,” Blocker says. “Those items don’t even have to come from us or Bandwear. Artist[s] could sell their old CDs, etc.”
This service helps out the small guy, Blocker says. People who want to put out something on vinyl and not have to fight off the big bands and big labels that want to press vinyl. As in, getting a record made in four to six weeks instead of waiting six months.
“It’s just another element,” Blocker says. “How can we take the model that’s really helped a lot of people and do something that can help our community a little bit more?”