Monday, August 13, 2007

Split EP... a Lost Art?

It seems to me that at least 50% of the indie albums coming out today are EPs. I don't have any hard evidence to back up that claim, but I do know that at least half of the indie releases that come through my hands as the Managing Editor of Austin's INsite Magazine are between 20-30 minutes long and only contain five or six tracks. In other words.... an EP.

Now... for those who don't know the term..."EP" means "extended play." This is a little misleading because an EP record is shorter than most (A full-length release is called an "LP" for "long play" by the way).

For many bands, It used to be that bands would come out with an EP because studio time was so expensive that they could only afford to cut a few songs before pressing a CD. Fans could buy the record quicker, they make a little money faster and everyone was happy.

I don't think that's the case anymore. I think with the advent of iTunes and live streaming and digital downloads, the fans are able to get the music at their leisure. Now, I feel bands are coming out with EPs because they need to get something out to put up online for downloads... and to make it feel like a real release they put it out on a CD... for people like me who like the packaging as much as, if not more than, the music.

OK...Back to my point. It seems that there are a lot of EPs coming out these days. Now, what I'm seeing here, is 1/2 of a waster album every time one of these comes out. I propose a way to end this gross misuse of a blank CD. Let's have a resurgance of the split album.

It's friggin' beautiful if you think about it.

1. You are getting your album out.
2. You are being promoted to someone else's fans.
3. You are making great friends within the scene by helping promote each other.
4. If they make it big... you're totally coattailing!
5.My favorite thing You can split the cost of printing/promoting down the middle. Double your run for 1/2 the money.

Examples of bands who released a split album/single?
Nirvana and The Melvins
Bright Eyes and Neva Dinova
Fall Out Boy and Project Rocket

Lets just say... this is not a new concept.

I recall seeing it a lot in the hardcore/punk scene. It's a damned solid idea.
If you use this idea after reading it here... just thank Sean Claes and Trevor Lane of The Outlaw Gang in the credits... then mail me a copy.

1 comment:

De Infami said...

Split EP.... new buzz word..... CROSS OVER promotions. In my humble opinion, no one has mastered that art, yet. All of your points are huge in a day and age where exposure is key (and the SIZE of your fan base).

Like you said, "How big is YOURS?"

All of the efficiencies and economies of the Split EP are a concept yet to be mastered by any Jedi. I would argue that the reason for this failure by the labels, producers, promoters, and artists is the one thing that stops the success of any project....... frickin' EGOS.

This observation is huge. And damn, when did you find time to write all of these damn articles.... Oh, yeah.... you write for a living.... duh!


Trev (aka De Infami)