If you're into Blues you won't get around these two guys from the Netherlands. Gritty Delta Blues is what The Damned And Dirty stand for. They've just started their Sellaband project and I talked to them about it and why they give their music away for free ...
50K MUSIC: Who are The Damned and Dirty? Where do you come from? What are your roots?
TDAD: We're a duo from the Amsterdam area. Micha Sprenger plays the guitar and Kevin de Harde does vocals and harmonica. We've played together for a while now in the Chicago blues band BluesMotel. In the summer of 2012 a lot of our bandmates went on vacation and that left us with ample time to write material. Since we both have a deep love for delta blues we decided to try something else for a change and turned our writing efforts to creating a, at the time, one-off album featuring some acoustic blues songs. That all changed when people started noticing the music and wanted to book us. The album was very recently nominated for an award by the Dutch Blues Foundation.
50K MUSIC: You've just started your Sellaband project. Please tell us something about it.
TDAD: Well, we already released the album back in September 2012, but there's been this huge demand for a physical version. Apparently not everybody is as internet-savvy and we've had to spend some time burning our album to cd-r's. A while ago we decided we wanted the whole deal: a cd and a nice booklet to go with it. That’s why we’re also offering a cd to anyone that invests in us on Sellaband: just one part will get you a cd as soon as we’ve reached our goal, so you’ll really get something for your money. Anything we have left will be invested in a new album.
50K MUSIC: Why did you choose Sellaband?
TDAD: We felt that the way Sellaband works is pretty transparent and it's a well-known name here in Europe. They also offer some non-creditcard ways of payment, making it easier for friends and family to join the project.
50K MUSIC: How are you going to convince people to invest in your project?
TDAD: Well, the digital album is already out there, for free. You want it on a cd with some nice artwork to go with it? Invest! As said, buying just one part will get you that cd (when we reach our goal) and we think we have some nice perks for people that buy more parts. We’re also hoping that getting a nomination for “Best Dutch Blues Album” will create the necessary buzz. At the moment we’re competing with two other nominees and we’ll get the final verdict in April. Fingers crossed!
50K MUSIC: You've already released your album as a free download under Creative Commons. Most artists are afraid of giving their music away for free. Why should they consider your approach?
TDAD: We're not sure if they should consider our approach. That's for them to figure out. Here's why we did it: we thought The Damned and Dirty was just a one-off project. We just wanted people to hear our music without too much hassle. We figured that, since we weren't planning on doing any gigs, we wouldn't sell any cd's either. As a musician you just want your music to be heard and this was the cheapest and easiest way to get the record out.
Another reason was that we thought to use it as an opportunity to make some noise about outdated copyright laws and such. But in the end giving it away for free means you’ll make no money. So will we do it again? Who knows.
50K MUSIC: What are your other plans for the next few months?
TDAD: Writing some more songs for the next album. We’ve got some great material ready but we need more. We should be ready to record the next one within a few months. We’re also doing gigs which we didn’t plan on in the beginning and we’re sort of juggling with gigs for our ‘regular’ band BluesMotel. But people really want to see us live, and we’re giving them what they want. We’re also proudly playing support for the cd release of a friend of ours, Ruben Hoeke, at Paradiso in Amsterdam. Playing there was a long held wish for the both of us.
50K MUSIC: And last one: Anything you want your fans and believers to know?
TDAD: We’d like everyone to get that album (just go to http://www.thedamnedanddirty.nl/download/), simply because we want to get heard. Get it for free, buy it on iTunes, whatever you like. And if you dig it, let us know what you thought. And of course support us on Sellaband!