Wintersun's Groundhog's Day Thread

jvms

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Just posted it on Facebook today: https://www.facebook.com/jari.maenpaawintersun/posts/749357125123132

Reality Update About Crowd Funding, TIME II And Future Albums
I´m very happy to see that we have so much dedicated fans that would be willing to pledge and be a part of funding a studio for Wintersun, so I could make the next Wintersun album without it taking another 10 years again.
I´ve been thinking about this Kickstarter/Pledge crowd funding thing for a while and I´m very confident now that there is enough of you guys that would help us raise the money for the Wintersun studio! This would give me the freedom to make music efficiently and nonstop. It would eliminate lot of the problems I´ve struggled with all my life and still continue to struggle everyday. For example right now I need a studio to reamp guitars for TIME II. And not just any studio, my own studio where I can craft my sounds exactly like I want them. 3rd party studios have never worked for me and I´ve never gotten satisfactory results for the insane prices they charge.
I live in a small shitty apartment building and I have neighbors. It is very very hard to work like this. I can´t record vocals, I can´t practise my singing, I can´t record guitars, I can´t record guitars even with modelling amps, because the electricity is so bad in this shitty building so I get lots of interference, I even play and practise the electric guitar acoustically without an amp 99% of the time in my home, I can´t record drums or basically any acoustic instruments, I don´t have the room or cool space for a big computer farm which is a must for the orchestrations for the next album (the place is too small and hot even for the one computer I have), I can´t mix properly, ´cause the room is so bad and there´s always ambient noise in and outside the building. That´s why I usually turn my sleeping rhythm around and mix at nights, but that causes problems in my everyday life. I can´t do pretty much anything properly in this situation. Building a professional studio for Wintersun would erase all this and give us the freedom to make music nonstop. It would upgrade our album sound significantly and most importantly speed up the album making process significantly. This would even raise our live game. With proper preproduction, able to tweak our live sounds and setup properly we would sound pretty incredible live. We would also be able to rehearse more and that would allow us to be able to play live more often and come to places where we normally have not been able to come. The studio would allow us to have more time for everything.
But the problem is this. I have a record deal with Nuclear Blast. If I would do a Kickstarter with a downloadable album for example, they would come with lawyers and take % share (more than half) away from the money that is your money meant for the Wintersun studio and the album production. Would you even want to pledge if Wintersun didn´t get 100% of the money you´ve pledged for the album production? Then our management would take their % share away. Then there´s taxes of course. The Finnish government would take something like 40% away. This would leave me nothing. I would be totally screwed. I´ve been trying to have a discussion with Nuclear Blast about crowd funding, but they are totally freaking out. They see the crowd funding as a threat to their business and they would rather see Wintersun dead, than me doing a crowd funding. I think this would not hurt them at all, only benefit them, but they cannot see the big picture of Wintersun doing well. They actually told me point blank that I should just stop making music and they will never release Wintersun from the contract. It´s really like this, because they can´t or won´t loan me enough money to build a studio and fund an album, they don´t want other people (the fans) to fund it either… unless they get a crazy big cut of the funding (for doing absolutely nothing).
This is the way a record deal works: The label gives an advance to make an album. This is a loan and they will recoup every penny back from the record sales. The reason why TIME I&II has taken so long to make (and still is taking long to finish TIME II), is because I haven´t gotten enough advances (money) to make these complex albums. Not even close. So I´ve been struggling all these years and sacrificed everything to make these albums. I have never really made any money from Wintersun. All my money has gone to album production, but you can guess who have made tons of money from Wintersun. The point is that I need my own studio to make the future albums, but Nuclear Blast won´t be able to loan enough money to make that happen and then they won´t allow me to do a crow funding campaign either that would make it happen. And even if Nuclear Blast would be able to loan me the money for the studio, our management would take their share of that money and I would get only part of the money, but I would still have to pay back 100% to Nuclear Blast from the record sales. So I would actually lose big chunk of the album production money straight away, which makes no sense at all. And then there´s the taxes. So there´s no point of taking these “loans” either.
This all is stressing me out very badly and it´s slowing my workflow. I´ve got enough technical problems to deal with making these albums. I just want the freedom to make music, but I guess it is what it is. Honestly, I feel like I´ve signed a deal with the devil and I´m just a slave in the system.
I´ve got probably 5 long albums worth of new insanely good material! And there´s no filler material at all! The music is much more refined, much more advanced in arrangement/composition/productionwise. It´s diverse and beautiful, heavy, chaotic and exploring different styles&themes and some new dimensions I feel no band has explored before… The stuff is simply on another level, in a different universe than the debut album and the TIME albums combined. I wrote the TIME albums around 2006 and before, that was a lifetime ago. Think of the stuff I´ve written ever since to this day! And I just keep on writing, I feel like I´m on fire. The music is just flowing out of me. I´m so excited about all this new music and I can´t wait to start recording and sharing it with you… BUT I can´t without a studio, that´s the problem…
Jari
p.s. Should have stayed working in the post office!

That's ....ing horrible, Wintersun has gotta be one of the best bands in activity nowadays. But to be fair, I'd really like hear the label's version of this story, for justice's sake...
also, I don't know much about recording and producing, I'm a begginer at it, but what is keeping Jari from getting a good tone on rented studios. Good gear (his Mesas fit the bill), nice acoustics and mics aren't enough to get a good sound? What is missing? and also, what else could he need to record his music? I know it's really complex and has a lot of orchestrations, but isn't a good PC or Mac capable of running a lot of VSTs enough to get a decent production? I'm not trying to be an asshole, or being sarcastic, I'm totally on Jari's side here, as I ....ing love his work, but it would be really nice if you could school me on what he needs so much...
 

p0ke

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Just posted it on Facebook today



That's ....ing horrible, Wintersun has gotta be one of the best bands in activity nowadays. But to be fair, I'd really like hear the label's version of this story, for justice's sake...
also, I don't know much about recording and producing, I'm a begginer at it, but what is keeping Jari from getting a good tone on rented studios. Good gear (his Mesas fit the bill), nice acoustics and mics aren't enough to get a good sound? What is missing? and also, what else could he need to record his music? I know it's really complex and has a lot of orchestrations, but isn't a good PC or Mac capable of running a lot of VSTs enough to get a decent production? I'm not trying to be an asshole, or being sarcastic, I'm totally on Jari's side here, as I ....ing love his work, but it would be really nice if you could school me on what he needs so much...

I've been thinking the same, and I've kind of come to the conclusion that he simply doesn't know what he's doing well enough, so it takes a really long time to do everything. He gets awesome results in the end, but it takes ten years each time :D
What I would do if I were Jari, is that I would get a normal job that pays fairly well (I don't know what his education is though, so it might be kinda hard), and start saving to buy a house somewhere a bit away from the city. Then, once he has the house he can start building the studio slowly, doing as much as possible by himself or with the help of some friends. I'm sure he could get some fans to help out as well, I'm sure there are Wintersun fans working in construction etc. who would be willing to help out :) Then, once everything is done, he can focus 100% on his music. I do of course realize that this would be a project for the next ten years or so, but I'd say it's completely worth it. Also, it doesn't mean he can't keep working on music at the same time, it will be even slower than it is now, but still.
 

dax21

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He should man the f**k up and leave mixing to people who know how to do it properly.

Would you rather take 15 years per album via DIY method or do it like pretty much every functional band does (and there are some bands that also have shitton of layered, crammed-up instruments and orchestrations) and put out those 5 albums of "unheard material that sounds like nothing else" while you are still young and able to play live?

At some point you just have to stop blaming others for your own incompetence. No offense to Jari. I understand the strife for perfection, that belief that nobody can do your music justice like you want, but come on.

Not even gonna comment on the fact that he is bitching about having a record deal with NB.
 

Xaios

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Time II - It's the new Time. :lol:

I kid of course, and I feel bad for Jari. However, I think some of his problems are of his own making. Time I sounded fantastic, but he's not the only person to ever record a fantastic sounding album before. At times he sounds like "only I can do this, no one else could possibly achieve results that would satisfy me." But just look at how many albums have come out of Studio Fredman with absolutely stellar sounding guitars.

EDIT: :ninja:'d.
 

ilyti

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What Jari really needs to solve his problem is to ask from among his fans if any one person wants to volunteer their TIME and ENERGY to help him come up with solutions to his studio space. Not ask for money. Nuclear Blast can't get involved or demand any money if there's no money involved.

Here: the Wintersun fanbase can 'elect' someone who can help him. They can discuss it on the band's official forum, or on Facebook, or somewhere else. The fans can pledge money towards the "fixer's" airplane ticket to Finland. It's all 3rd party.. Nuclear Blast is not involved and can't demand anything. I really think that would work.

EDIT: Yeah I am going to post this idea on FB.
 

Xaios

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What Jari really needs to solve his problem is to ask from among his fans if any one person wants to volunteer their TIME and ENERGY to help him come up with solutions to his studio space. Not ask for money. Nuclear Blast can't get involved or demand any money if there's no money involved.

Here: the Wintersun fanbase can 'elect' someone who can help him. They can discuss it on the band's official forum, or on Facebook, or somewhere else. The fans can pledge money towards the "fixer's" airplane ticket to Finland. It's all 3rd party.. Nuclear Blast is not involved and can't demand anything. I really think that would work.

EDIT: Yeah I am going to post this idea on FB.

Another idea would be to contact a reputable studio who would be willing to partake in a "raise funds so that we can record Wintersun's album for free" type deal. The difference being that the money goes to the studio instead of Wintersun, so Nuclear Blast has no sway, same as above. All the expenses can be in the studio's name.
 

ilyti

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Some people mentioned trying to get in touch with Devin Townsend. I think that's a good idea too. He is really high profile and has a lot of expertise, and I'm sure would help somehow if he was asked.
 

HurrDurr

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Yeah, If a third party come up with the idea and raise the money to have Jari produce his music somehow, NB can't have anything to say about that aside from take their share of album sales from releasing his material under their label. Or, he could take NB's advice and stop making music... as Wintersun. They said they don't care if he makes more music or not, but that they were not going to relinquish their rights to the Wintersun brand and its catalogue, so 'disband' Wintersun and release those 5 albums of material under some other name as a different name and crowd fund that as your own project, free of the labels and as a DIY venture.
 

mgh

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do we really believe that NB wouldn't fund a couple of weeks in a proper studio with a proper engineer/producer? we're not talking a bedroom label here. Jari really needs to get the band together, rehearse the songs, go and lay down the actual played instruments and vocals in a week and then worry about the orchestral stuff.
it makes you wonder if he actually has the songs ready at all...it sounds more like he's one of us, dicking around and adding riffs as they come to us...
 

ilyti

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I really don't think that's true. I do think he is whinging quite a lot but I don't think he's lying.

Remember when Time I was still being written/recorded years ago (circa 2006-7)? Jari's computer broke and a bunch of fans gave him some money for a new computer. He didn't ask, he just explained his problem. And he avoided accepting the fans charity back then - what he decided in the end was to accept the money but to give those contributors something special, like autographed stuff and t shirts IIRC. It seems he's kinda in the same boat as last time. But I'm not sure exactly, he may not have been with NB in those days.

In the end I'm sure the fans will come to his rescue somehow, but it does feel a little stupid. He probably avoided posting this thing on FB for a whole year because he was afraid people would think badly of him. But he really thinks he has no other choice. The fans love him and want his music.

He just needs to get out of that NB contract by whatever means necessary, and stay independent. Crowdfund your albums, and sell the music directly to the fans.
 

spawnofthesith

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The easiest solution is to just release the rest of his music independently under a different name than Wintersun
 

Adam Of Angels

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^ Yeah, if the new material is so much more evolved and sophisticated than Wintersun, call it something else. I would welcome such a thing, honestly - good music is good music.
 

ilyti

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Of course his problem goes deeper than just troubles with being locked into a contract. Just getting out of that won't solve the problem of his crappy apartment and inability to record properly.
 

Zalbu

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What I'm wondering right off the bat is how/if Nuclear Blast are going to respond to this post.

I´ve been trying to have a discussion with Nuclear Blast about crowd funding, but they are totally freaking out. They see the crowd funding as a threat to their business and they would rather see Wintersun dead, than me doing a crowd funding. I think this would not hurt them at all, only benefit them, but they cannot see the big picture of Wintersun doing well. They actually told me point blank that I should just stop making music and they will never release Wintersun from the contract. It´s really like this, because they can´t or won´t loan me enough money to build a studio and fund an album, they don´t want other people (the fans) to fund it either… unless they get a crazy big cut of the funding (for doing absolutely nothing).
That's a really f'in shitty thing to do, assuming that Jari isn't lying. I wonder if NB would change their minds if this post manages to generate enough backlash against them or if it'll only screw over Jari even further?

And besides, can NB even demand to take money from a potential fundraiser? Can't Jari just collect money without mentioning Wintersun and put that money towards a studio?
 

TedEH

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Some people mentioned trying to get in touch with Devin Townsend.

So far this seems like the smartest thing to me. Not only does the Dev have good production skills as far as I can tell, he's certainly no stranger to cranking out tons of material in a timely manner.
 

Petef2007

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Its a long read, but THIS

http://www.thatsnotmetal.com/2013/01/taking-forever-to-produce-material-ha.html

sums up nearly everything I wanted to say about Jari's post.


Yes its shitty of NB (assuming this is true) to be doing the things they're supposedly doing, and its shitty that Jari is in the position hes in, but as others have said i'm not sure how NB could touch a kickstarter if Jari starts on in his own name with nothing whatsoever to do with the Wintersun name.

Also, i'm sure if he just cut down on stuff he'd get things done so much faster. Anyone watched the project demonstration video for "Sons Of Winter And Stars"? I'd say a good 80% of the background layers - especially in the vocal section - you can't actually hear on the damn cd anyway.

I get perfectionism, but come on. Know your limits. Jari gets a pc now and I almost guarantee in 5 years it won't be enough for what he wants, somehow.
 

Chiba666

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I'm sure I read that when his Laptop broke, a record Label paid for a new Alptop but Wintersun had to tour some of teh festival sos they could recoup theitr costs. I could be wrong but I'm sure I read that somewhere.

More than happy to donate if it measn Time 2 will see the light of day. Spent alot of time in hospital listening to Time 1 and watching the DVDs.

Saw Jari at Tuska this year in the VIP tent he was with is it MArcus from Ensiferum, (show I saw on the Fri adn the Sat) but as they were chating and with freinds I decided not to go all stalker on them adn left them to have some fun.
 


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