Matt De Mello interviewed Eric Victorino from the band The Limousines about their recent crowd funding efforts on Kickstarter (after several soured relationships with labels). Though the campaign is going quite well for the band, raising over $36,000 with 20 days still left to go, De Mello says he thinks fan-funding is “a shameful way to go about making a record.”

Victorino says De Mello is thinking like “a stuffy business person” and accuses him of living in the past. The interview heats up from there.

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Matt: So I guess my issue is as an investor I would expect to get a return back on my investment. I wonder about the ethical implications that go along with asking for money from fans while they recoup no return for their investment. I strain to find an analogy to this circumstance of giving money while a band profits. Now I understand the dynamics of a label profiting, but again the consumer knows what it is they’re getting.

Eric: Ok so that’s the beginning of an interview? What we’re doing on Kickstarter has nothing to do with investments. These are donations. While that may seem an issue of semantics to you, I’m happy to clarify what’s going on so that you can understand why. Today you might look at a band reaching out to their fans for funding as “begging” and “disgraceful”, a year or two from now you’ll be wondering why it took so long to catch on.

Here’s what a fan gets when they get involved in our campaign. It’s not a return on their investment, it’s a thank you gift, and at the very lowest levels, it’s a chance to pre-order an album from a band they already know they like. If I were on the other side of this, a fan of The Limousines, I would love to be a part of helping them find another way to release their music if I knew they’d been burned by record labels in the past. I would love to get my name in the credits of the album package, proof that I was in on the ground floor. If I had the money I would love to have my favorite band play at my house or write me a letter. I’d love to have the chance to own clothes and props used in their music videos.

You said something to me on twitter like, “At least with a record label the fans know what they’re paying for.”

You think so? You think fans know how their 10 bucks breaks down when they go and buy their favorite band’s CD at a store? Maybe you don’t know either, so let me break it down for you.

Retail Price of a CD: $10

Retailer bought CD from Distribution Company: $6

Retailer keeps: $4

Distribution Company Bought CD from Label: $4

Distribution Company keeps: $2

Label has $4 from sale of CD.

Apply that against what is owed by the band. Much of which could be travel, food, telecom, hotels and rental costs of label employees traveling, sometimes traveling to meet new bands they might want to sign. Maybe the band has a bunch of debt from borrowing gas money from the label. Either way, if all that debt is paid off, which it rarely is but let’s say for argument’s sake the band has broken even.

The label gives $0.80 of the money it made from that one CD being sold at retail to the band. The band takes that 80 cents and gives managers and lawyers 20 cents. The band now has 60 cents (from an album sold, not a single song). The band has, let’s just say two members instead of 4 or 6…Payday! Thirty cents each! No, wait now, let’s not forget about taxes. So I, a band member, have now made 17 cents from the sale of my album at a store.

“At least with a record label the fans know what they’re paying for.”

I think if they knew that they might be open to ways they could actually help their favorite bands, don’t you? With our Kickstarter campaign you can pay 10 dollars to reserve yourself a copy of our next album. Out of that 10 dollars, do you know how much money each band member will make, even after the costs of mass producing the CDs? It’s more than 17 cents.

You’re hung up on the idea of a stuffy business person who wants to know what his yield is gonna be with a nice diverse portfolio. That’s not what this is about. If we raise enough money to do this without a record label getting involved, we won’t have anyone telling us our dreams aren’t possible. We won’t have anyone but ourselves to blame for our failures. We’ll have our friends and fans to thank for every inch of ground we gain. We will own the rights to our music.

I don’t know how your music career has gone, must have been pretty fantastic so far for you to be supportive of record labels, but ours hasn’t gone so smoothly. We don’t like the fact that people we hardly know, people who barely tried when our lives were in their hands, still own the controlling rights to our album for another 13.5 years. That hurts. I’m sure when you signed your really great contract and went on to sell 10 million records and recouped all your expenses, it left you feeling like labels are the only legitimate route. More poser to you, superstar, you got lucky.

I’m in a little independent band. I have $14 in my bank account. I love to make music and I’m fortunate enough to have people all over the world who’d like me to continue making music. I think selling out is quitting music for a cushy desk job. I think rock n’ roll is about doing what you want to do the way you want to do it, not selling ownership of your art to a company who’ll try their best to package and market you to the largest audience possible.

To say I’m begging anyone is an insult. To say what we’ve done here is a disgrace? We’ve made a direct bond and partnership with our fans, we’re all in it together and we’re all going to get exactly what we expect and want. Nobody is being lied to, nobody is being taken advantage of, and no one is doing anything that goes against their principles. You want to talk about what’s “not very rock ‘n roll”? I think someone calling me out in public for what we’re doing, meanwhile defending the traditional music business practice of exploiting and abusing artists – man… rock n’ roll is fuckin’ dead.

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LA Limo Service fleet of well-maintained limousines and party buses are great for any occasion. Our attention-getting Hummer Limousine is spacious enough to house 15 to 22 people, making it perfect for small birthday celebrations, as well as prom and bachelor/bachelorette parties. It is equipped with furnishings of superior quality and advanced entertainment and lighting systems that will surely make a party a memorable one. Another type of limo that is ideal for several guests is our Escalade Limousine. It can accommodate up to 22 people. You and your guests will surely enjoy feasting their eyes and experiencing its modernistic and specially-equipped interior.  Our Business Class Sedan Limousine is an excellent choice in transporting important guests from the airport to a business gathering or corporate event. Its state-of-the art leather interior and modern navigational system are just a few of its notable features. Our Super Stretch Limousine can house up to 10 people and is usually rented for weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties or small get togethers. It has a built-in bar that is chock-full of warming cocktails that will appease you and your guests. If you want to fetch a small group of people from the airport and you want to do it in style, then our SUV limousine should be the ride of your choice. We also have Special and Movie Cars for rent; both are popular choices for movies, video/photo shoots and special occasions. Do not forget our trendy Party Bus that is ideal for bachelor/bachelorette parties, prom parties and birthday celebrations. Its slick design, revolutionary entertainment and lighting systems and quality and stylish furnishings make our Party Bus the perfect place to hold your shindig. It can also take you and your guests to various locations, so you can continue the party wherever and whenever you prefer!

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Limos in Los Angeles offers a wide array of limousines and party buses that will make any occasion extra special.  Anything from weddings, birthdays, debuts, corporate functions, to airport transportation services, we have vehicles that will cater to your specific needs. Epitome of comfort and style, each vehicle is built to give our clients a wonderful travel experience. Our friendly, professionally-trained chauffeurs will ensure that our clients are well-cared for during travel. They will also make sure that you will arrive in your destination safely and reinvigorated.  With our valued clients’ safety and comfort in mind, you can never go wrong with trusting your transportation and party needs with us.

Our spacious Hummer Limousines, which are available in different styles and equipped with state-of-the-art entertainment and bar amenities, as well as high-quality furnishings, can accommodate 15 to 22 people.  They are perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, debuts, as well as for get together with friends. Our Escalade Limousines are also perfect for parties. Their sizable interior can hold up to 22 people, and feature cutting-edge equipments and fixtures that will make any gathering as exciting and fun-filled as possible.

If you want to fetch a special person or a dignitary from the airport, we vouch for our Business Class Sedan Limousines. Not only are they capable of making the person feel highly regarded, but the ride will surely leave a lasting impression in his or her mind. Our Super Stretch Limousines, on the other hand, can house up to 10 people. Furnished with modern entertainment system, furniture and decors of superior quality, and a fully-stocked mini-bar, they are perfect for weddings, and small group gatherings.

If you are in need of a vehicle that is capable of carrying a small group of people to the airport or to a corporate event, we have SUV Limousines that are ready for rental. We also have Special Cars and Movie Picture Cars. The latter is popular for movies, videos, photo shoots or special events. If you want to feel like a royalty during your wedding day, you can rent one of our Vintage Limousines. Its classic exterior and elegant interior will surely add a magical touch to your wedding.  If you feel like throwing an unconventional party, you may want to consider our Party Buses. Uniquely designed and equipped with top quality party trappings, an impressive lighting system, modern entertainment amenities, and a complete interior bar, our party buses will make you feel like you are in a high-end club.

If you want to travel in style and comfort and have your precise needs met, make sure to engage the services of Limos in Los Angeles. Our packages are competitively-priced, so you will have a pleasurable and memorable travel experience without draining the life out of your pocket. Our gracious staff will make sure to know your specific requirements, and they will provide the best assistance and most appropriate recommendations for you. Arranging transportation and planning a party have never been this fun! Get in touch with us and be ready to enjoy yourself to the fullest!