WinterSongs is a label set up and run by the WinterStrain organization. It is dedicated to the release of WinterStrain albums, and all other projects the members of WinterStrain participate in. WinterSongs might, at a later date, take on other bands. The nature of the organization dictates that these will mostly be bands and projects incorporating people we know personally.
We don’t aspire to become a big and famous label, because that would be against the whole idea of the label. Instead, we hope this label can inspire other bands and groups of friends to set up their own labels and organizations. How does this work, then? -Well, first and foremost, the organization does not include a single employee. It is made up of people with enough passion for the music to do all the work on their spare time, for little or no pay. As the operation grows and gets going properly, it will be able to cover the costs everyone faces in working for the cause, and provide a small compensation for the services rendered.
Another big difference between WinterSongs and the usual record company, is that the company is only there to release the music of the bands, and not to make money. The label will only earn what money is absolutely necessary to pay for the expenses of producing and distributing albums. A small cache will be built up and maintained, so the label can, in the future, carry the costs involved in producing an album. As soon as the costs are covered by the sales, the rest will go to the artist. In other words: On the one hand, the artist will not get an advance, but on the other hand, the artist will be the one making money out of the music the artist creates. Many music fans have pointed out that they would be more likely to buy music if their money actually went to the artist. Now, that is the reality. At least with WinterSongs.
The first release through WinterSongs is WinterStrain’s second album, “Shifting Sands”. This album is cost-covered already by the band itself. Every time an album is sold by the label’s webshop, somewhere around 90% of the money is paid to the band, instead of the usual months of waiting for a maximum of 10% of the retail price. WinterStrain has chosen to let WinterSongs administer an account for the band, in Scotland. This way, WinterSongs can pay all the bills that will come in, throughout the production of the third WinterStrain album. Paying British enterprises (backing vocals, mastering and so on) for their services, from Norway, is much more expensive than paying them from within the UK. Moving money across the border, back and forth, is just an expense that we can now eliminate.
The fans, who want to support the artist, can buy the album at a gig (or otherwise in person), or from the web shop. This is an operation with no middle men, really. But even if you do buy it from a retailer, be it a physical shop you walk into or a web shop, the artist will get many times more per CD than has been the case for as long as there’s been a music industry. Maybe half of what you pay, or more. Yet, the music is cheaper than most new releases, so no ripping off going on. WinterSongs will probably forever harbor only small acts with low sales figures, so every sale counts. And must count, if we are to do anything at all to spread the word.
First and foremost, we’ll let the music do the talking. One day, the whole melodic underground will be aware of the fact that WinterSongs brings quality Arctic Prog and other associated directions. If an album is released, it’s because the people behind the label believe it’s good music, and we’re not easily satisfied. But maybe we will have to spend some money on advertisements, in the mean time.
To visit the label’s web page, read about the other acts, or order albums, t-shirts and other merchandise, click here: www.wintersongslabel.com It is a free service, so there’ll be ads on the page. We will go into a paid service as soon as there is money enough in WinterSongs to carry the cost.
This is our way of facing a new reality - with a new reality. I hope you appreciate the initiative.
Thank you for reading this.