Record an EP? Or Hold Out for an Album?


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HillcrestBand
12-21-2010, 02:54 PM
Hey, me and my band have been working really hard on writing songs over the past few months. Right now, we have nine solid songs that we love and are excited to start getting it out there.

Ideally, we would like to start recording next month, but I don't want to have to rush just to "fill up" the album. We were thinking about just releasing our 9 songs as an EP, but I feel like the songs we have are album material.

In the end, does it really matter if we decide to put them out as an EP? Or should we hold off and finish it as an album?

swarley
12-21-2010, 02:55 PM
9 songs could be an album...how long would the running time be?

MattsRichardson
12-21-2010, 02:58 PM
Music is music if you ask me.

HillcrestBand
12-21-2010, 03:07 PM
9 songs could be an album...how long would the running time be?

Right now, I believe it runs to around 25 minutes. (we're a punk band, haha)

Weaponxclaws
12-21-2010, 03:09 PM
25 minutes is way too short for a single album. That's like 2:30 average a song. Worked for the Beatles, may not work for you. Try bulking up the songs themselves to run longer because nobody wants a 30 song album..

AoAXoX
12-21-2010, 03:14 PM
2.30 is hardly to short for a song, if you've got the money go record the songs and just call it a mini-album. los campesinos did something similar with 'we are beautiful, we are doomed'

swarley
12-21-2010, 03:15 PM
25 minutes is not too short for a punk album. Some of my favorite albums are less than 30 minutes. I think it's a real talent to write short, succinct songs.

One of my favorite albums of the year is Tigers Jaw's "Two Worlds" which has a running time of something like 27 minutes and 11 songs.

AoAXoX
12-21-2010, 03:18 PM
yeah, the los campesinos album is 10 songs and thirty one minutes long and that's including a very short instrumental from what i remember. i say go for it. :)

theogonia777
12-21-2010, 03:19 PM
25 minutes could be long enough. as a rule of thumb, i'd say that an LP should be about the same amount of time as you normally play at shows (or plan to play, if you haven't already)

for most bands, 25 would not be enough, but for genres that play exceptionally short songs (such as punk and grindcore) 25 minutes might very well be the whole live performance.

if you decide that it doesn't feel like enough for an LP, then it depends. if you are having it done professionally in a studio (i'd assume not, as you are a punk band) then save off for a whole full length. if you are recording it by yourselves, then go for the EP, as you can most certainly record more songs later and add to it to make an LP, or else rerecord the songs from the first EP if you want.

hope that helps.

Joshua1207
12-21-2010, 03:20 PM
Right now, I believe it runs to around 25 minutes. (we're a punk band, haha)

I would try to get the album length around 30 minutes, but yeah thats fine length time for a punk band.

BrianApocalypse
12-21-2010, 03:31 PM
9 songs, 25 minutes is fine for a punk band.

I'd rather listen to a great, but short record (then play it again) than a long-winded one padded out with filler.

If you were playing any other genre, you'd want to play slightly slower and think about expanding sections.

DanielShaw123
12-21-2010, 07:26 PM
Maybe try and get another couple of good songs on there if you wanted, and make it an album?

Thereisnotry
12-21-2010, 07:31 PM
Add an intro track, an acoustic track, and a skit or an outro.
That should fill out your album.

AlanHB
12-21-2010, 07:43 PM
25 minutes is a bit short for an album for me, and it's short if you're playing live too. Usually you'll want 45mins-1hr minimum to get serious on the original circuit. Would you be disappointed if you saw Green Day and they only played for 25 mins? How will you be able to grab the audiences attention for long enough to fork out money for that album? Doesn't make sense to me.

If you must record a 30 min album, write 18-20 songs to get enough time to play a proper set, then pick the best ones out of that. If you've only written 9 songs together as a band, I can guarantee that some of those songs aren't as great as you think they are anyway.

seeneyj
12-21-2010, 09:37 PM
Hey bro, EP for sure dude, you don't need to record an album until you get picked up by a record label. You just need some tracks to show what ur capable of.

kyle62
12-21-2010, 09:50 PM
DO YOU HAVE A RECORDING OR DISTRIBUTION DEAL?

If not, cut the bullshit and make a high-quality demo.

UnbrokenGlass
12-21-2010, 11:56 PM
2 minute songs worked for Buddy Holly. If they're good, they'll work for you. I'd go for an album, maybe add one or two more songs if you can.

AlanHB
12-21-2010, 11:58 PM
2 minute songs worked for Buddy Holly. If they're good, they'll work for you. I'd go for an album, maybe add one or two more songs if you can.

I wouldn't use these old examples as "proof" guys. Records only held 40 mins of music max.

kangaxxter
12-22-2010, 12:40 AM
I think The Ramones averaged like 2:10 per song across their entire career. Their first album was 14 songs and they just barely scratched 29 minutes with it.

Anyways, this sounds like an extended Demo more than an album.

Myshadow46_2
12-22-2010, 09:49 AM
If you are ready to record, then record and release your music. You don't need to label it as an EP, LP whatever.

Jason_S
12-22-2010, 02:59 PM
Hey, me and my band have been working really hard on writing songs over the past few months. Right now, we have nine solid songs that we love and are excited to start getting it out there.


My opinion as an indie label owner to the new band. Nine songs or not, it sounds like you are a newer band. You will record in one of three ways: 1) recording yourself 2) a budget recording by a guy who probably doesn't know what he is doing or 3) spend a little money and work in a decent studio.

Now that aside, I can say one thing about the new band that will apply to all three situations. Your band is new, your songs relatively untested in front of an audience, and your songs will get better with time. Trust me when I say this, that nearly every "demo" I get comes with a disclaimer very much like "the band sounds better now that we play out a lot more, so don't judge us by the demo..."

My honest and road tested advice is this. Record 1-3 songs at the most, songs that you truly stand behind as a band. Give those songs away everywhere you can, and gig live for six months. One weekend per month you play at least 3 hours outside your home town. Get your songs into iTunes, reverbnation, last.fm, and dozens of college radio stations. At the end of six months, then record your full length.

Chances are also real good that with six months of solid promotion and even one truly good single, you may even pick up a label or management deal along the way.

HillcrestBand
12-22-2010, 03:55 PM
My opinion as an indie label owner to the new band. Nine songs or not, it sounds like you are a newer band. You will record in one of three ways: 1) recording yourself 2) a budget recording by a guy who probably doesn't know what he is doing or 3) spend a little money and work in a decent studio.

Now that aside, I can say one thing about the new band that will apply to all three situations. Your band is new, your songs relatively untested in front of an audience, and your songs will get better with time. Trust me when I say this, that nearly every "demo" I get comes with a disclaimer very much like "the band sounds better now that we play out a lot more, so don't judge us by the demo..."

My honest and road tested advice is this. Record 1-3 songs at the most, songs that you truly stand behind as a band. Give those songs away everywhere you can, and gig live for six months. One weekend per month you play at least 3 hours outside your home town. Get your songs into iTunes, reverbnation, last.fm, and dozens of college radio stations. At the end of six months, then record your full length.

Chances are also real good that with six months of solid promotion and even one truly good single, you may even pick up a label or management deal along the way.

Hands down the best advice anyone has ever given me. Thank you!

the_perdestrian
12-24-2010, 06:00 PM
whats the difference between an LP an EP and an album? I thought an LP was limited play an EP was extended play, and album meant basically EP.

soundgarden19
12-24-2010, 06:17 PM
whats the difference between an LP an EP and an album? I thought an LP was limited play an EP was extended play, and album meant basically EP.

LP is long playing record, EP, extended play.

Jason_S
12-24-2010, 09:02 PM
Hands down the best advice anyone has ever given me. Thank you!

No problem man, I hope it works out for you!

axemanchris
12-25-2010, 12:05 PM
My opinion as an indie label owner to the new band. Nine songs or not, it sounds like you are a newer band. You will record in one of three ways: 1) recording yourself 2) a budget recording by a guy who probably doesn't know what he is doing or 3) spend a little money and work in a decent studio.

True.


Now that aside, I can say one thing about the new band that will apply to all three situations. Your band is new, your songs relatively untested in front of an audience, and your songs will get better with time. Trust me when I say this, that nearly every "demo" I get comes with a disclaimer very much like "the band sounds better now that we play out a lot more, so don't judge us by the demo..."

WORD!!


Chances are also real good that with six months of solid promotion and even one truly good single, you may even pick up a label or management deal along the way.

Yes.


My honest and road tested advice is this. Record 1-3 songs at the most, songs that you truly stand behind as a band. Give those songs away everywhere you can, and gig live for six months. One weekend per month you play at least 3 hours outside your home town. Get your songs into iTunes, reverbnation, last.fm, and dozens of college radio stations. At the end of six months, then record your full length.

I have a couple of problems here. I would say record 3 songs and use that to secure those gigs you're talking about over the next six months.

But if those recordings you make six months from now are going to be so much better, then those are NOT the recordings you want on iTunes. Reverb Nation, and such, yeah sure. Give them away? Sure, if you insist and if they're just demos you're going to re-do later anyways.

Be careful, though. You want those demos to be good enough that people won't hear them and say, "well, they suck" and then forget about anything you ever do afterwards.

My question to the OP is this...

Is this a product that you want people to buy and to associate with your band? If so, does this product stand up to other products put forth by other bands for the same money? THAT is the question, ultimately, regardless of what you call it.

Too many people think they can record themselves on their PC with their SoundBlaster Live card, a couple of SM57's, and a cracked version of Logic, then burn a bunch of CDR's, throw in an ink-jet insert in the jewel case, and think that people will magically want to buy it.

What would YOU buy? No, don't just pull something off the top of your head. Look at your track record. How many blank-burned-CDR albums have you ever purchased? Now how many professionally packaged CDs have you purchased? How many recordings have you purchased that sounded like they were recorded with a ghetto blaster, or with a couple of SM57's plugged into a Soundblaster card? Now how many have you purchased that sound really and truly great?

You have your Green Days and Offpsrings and Foo Fighters out there offering products that look great and sound great. (not discussing the subjective quality of the content... just the look and sound) They're charging either $0.99 or $1.29 per song on iTunes, or between $12 and $17 for the physical CD in the retail stores.

How does your product stand up against those, in terms of content, quality, and quantity? If people won't buy those, why would they buy yours?

So, my advice is call it whatever the heck you want to call it. But in the end, make sure it is a product that looks great and sounds great before you ask anyone to spend money on it.

And if people won't spend money on it, then don't release it publicly. It doesn't look great. It doesn't sound great. It isn't ready. If you could buy a batch of a dozen cookies for $3.00, would you buy a batch of half-baked cookies for $1.50? Would you even want a batch of half-baked cookies if they were free? Would you tell your friends how great they are, even if you did?

CT

asator
12-25-2010, 01:00 PM
DO YOU HAVE A RECORDING OR DISTRIBUTION DEAL?

If not, cut the bullshit and make a high-quality demo.
Bullshit. "Demo" makes me think "shit quality, don't care enough to listen". If I go on a new band's myspace and see "*song name* DEMO - NEW!" then other, older songs under it, I'll listen to the old ones first. Demo is not a word you want to be using.

If they're just sending it to labels then fair enough, call it a demo all you like. But it's an EP if you're giving it to the public.

And there's no reason not to do an album if you don't have a label, suggesting the opposite is silly. If you have enough tracks and the money to make them sound decent, and you have enough of a fanbase, then why not? He's in a punk band, remember. If we were talking mainstream radio rock then maybe, but we're not.

You normally post such good advice, I'm confused with this post man :confused:

Jason_S
12-25-2010, 02:24 PM
Thanks for the input Axeman and Asator. My post was very condensed, but you guys are definitely speaking the same language here.

The old advice was to get a good "demo" and be done with it. Truth be told, I get so many "Demos" that I am lucky to be able to pick and choose. And if a tiny unknown label like myself can turn down a crappy demo, what do you think Sony will do? The only way I believe recording quality is not an issue is if someone captures and AMAZING live performance on youtube that goes viral, but that is rare.

To me, even for the hobbyist band you deserve the best. You don't want to end up with a CD that 10 years from now you are embarrassed to even share with family. Also a good studio does not mean big budget. A decent studio with the right engineer will be very affordable, and much more worth your time and money then buying a few mikes and an m-box. Besides, you can't be critical of your own production. The band recording themselves is going to hear a mix or arrangement and say "hey, this was better then we've ever sounded". Your friends will say it sounds good because they are your friends. Then I am going to laugh at you when I hear your mix and give you the six month homework assignment all over again.

So as this thread turns into a lot more than the OP bargained for, I hope you guys can sort through all the opinions and make something useful to your situation.

HalfDose
12-25-2010, 03:14 PM
Record the best of them; the ones that are 100% done and represent you right now.

Use the remaining songs to do the same thing again in 6 months with the other songs that, by that time, may be filled out better or have been changed. Or add them to a full length later.

This will ensure that you:

Don't burn out your songs
Don't release anything that isn't ready
Don't rush yourself

CL/\SH
12-25-2010, 08:12 PM
25 minutes is a bit short for an album for me, and it's short if you're playing live too. Usually you'll want 45mins-1hr minimum to get serious on the original circuit. Would you be disappointed if you saw Green Day and they only played for 25 mins? How will you be able to grab the audiences attention for long enough to fork out money for that album? Doesn't make sense to me.

If you must record a 30 min album, write 18-20 songs to get enough time to play a proper set, then pick the best ones out of that. If you've only written 9 songs together as a band, I can guarantee that some of those songs aren't as great as you think they are anyway.
Agreed.

My band has about two hours worth of material, about 22 songs.

JDizzle787
12-28-2010, 01:13 AM
This is all very relevant to my interests. Hopefully this thread will still be alive when I'm able to form some good questions relating to this, as my band is in a very, very similar situation.

axemanchris
12-28-2010, 09:42 AM
Go to the top of your page and click "stick for me" and you won't lose it.

CT

JDizzle787
12-29-2010, 12:19 AM
I did sticky it. The situation my band is in now is pretty much the same thing, except we have less songs (but ours are longer). We do know we're going to have to keep writing, it's just whenever we talk about it, no one seems to be on the same page as far as where/ how we will record (on our own or in the studio), which tracks will be recorded (we have planned on choosing from a good amount of songs) and how many.