On June 1, Boston-based rising stars Hayley Jane and the Primates announced on Facebook that they had started a Kickstarter campaign to fund their next album. Using crowdfunding to raise money for various projects has become more and more commonplace in today’s culture and using it to help up-and-coming musicians and bands has been wildly successful. For instance, the Vermont based jam band, Twiddle, ran a campaign looking to raise $20,000 for their double-disc album, Plump, and wound up beating that goal with over 200 percent raised. For Hayley Jane and her band, their goal is $12,000 — a goal they are well on their way to meeting and hopefully beat, as well. NYS Music had the opportunity to speak with Hayley at length about this project. The conversation shed an in-depth light on what the band’s plan is for their new album.
Hayley Jane and the Primates are no strangers to using Kickstarter to fund an album. Their first LP, Gasoline, which they released back in 2014, was successfully funded in a Kickstarter campaign. Back then, Hayley was reluctant to ask for help through crowd funding. “I’m way more open to it than I used to be; I used to be scared of it and I thought it was weird,” she explained. However, between the success of Gasoline and the drive to deliver the best possible studio album to the fans, Hayley started to not only accept crowd funding as a source of studio time money, but has even started to get excited by it.
Part of her partiality to using Kickstarter is the number of ways she and her band are able to repay those who are generous enough to donate. She’s really excited about all of the options and when asked which prize package her favorite is, she couldn’t pick just one. First she started talking about the lesson packages. All of the rewards packages have names akin to primates or the jungle, as would be expected from the Primates. Juice of the Jungle, Simian Smitty and Tree Beard Bombs are the lesson packages. They not only come with band merchandise and the donor’s name listed in the “Thank You” section of the album, but they also come with a half-hour lesson from either Juice, Smitty (both guitar) or Tree Beard (bass), respectively to the names of the packages.
Hayley also talks about how a couple recently reached out to talk to her about hiring the band to play for their wedding. “There’s this couple that wanted us to do their wedding and I know that they can’t afford very much, so I made them hip to the Kickstarter. I said, ‘Hey, one of our prizes (The Champion Chimp) is a two-hour live set for this [donation reward],’ and for a wedding you usually charge a lot more.” Hayley finally succumbed and chose her favorite reward, which is called The Giving Gorilla. “I would say The Giving Gorilla is kind of all-encompassing. It has a ton of stuff; tickets to shows, T-shirts and all the goods.” The variety of ways Hayley Jane and the Primates are pledging to reward their donors is a well-thought out and important part of their fundraiser, especially since they are asking for such a crucial helping hand from their fans.
When fans view the Kickstarter page and see the goal they might not fully understand why they are asking for donations to total $12,000. However, with the amount of musicians involved — yes, there will be guest musicians on this new album — Hayley wants to make sure they have as much studio time as they need to realize this dream. “That’s why we’re trying to raise [$12,000]. We don’t want to be too rushed in the studio. We want time. We want days,” Hayley said. She goes into greater detail about the steps that they are taking to ensure that they will be using every dime raised as wisely as possible. More Sound Recording Studio in Syracuse, NY, where Hayley and the Primates will be recording under the expertise of Jason “Jacko” Randall, even has an apartment upstairs where they will be staying. That will certainly allow them to use their time carefully. With help from Jacko and Turkuaz’s Craig Brodhead, the success of their plan is certainly attainable.
The aforementioned dream isn’t to just put out an album with a compilation of songs previously unrecorded (in a studio). It’s to create something that when listened to will be unlike anything the band has ever had recorded, whether it’s a live performance or a previous studio recording. “Where and with whom I make this album really matters and that’s why we’re asking for this money. It’s because we want to make sure that we are working with these amazing people that know how to create an atmosphere and create a sound in order to really embody what we’re doing as a band.” She elaborates further by saying, “We don’t want things to just sound like they do live. We can do that on Archive [with our] amazing tapers and soundboard (recordings). What we want to do is try and create something really different and really magical; something that you could only create in a studio. And that’s what I’m excited about.”
Make sure to check out Hayley Jane and the Primates’ Kickstarter page to see their campaign video (which can also be seen above), read about the variety of rewards for donating and, of course donate to the cause. Being a part of musical history isn’t just being a musician or performer. It’s also about supporting the artists you love and allowing them and their art to grow. As that thought marinates, add this final message from Hayley: “In the end, this is what you leave behind; these albums. So, I really want this one to be a snapshot of where we are right now. We’re at a really exciting time and we want this money so we can do the best job we can; making something that’s going to be an accurate audio depiction of what we’re doing right now.” This Kickstarter is a step to help Hayley Jane and the Primates truly add to their growing legacy.