Animal Collective – "Strawberry Jam" Preview – And Why the Album Hasn’t Leaked Yet

Photo by 23bit_grrrl

So, Geologist was nice enough to speak out about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff happening with his group’s upcoming album. This was an interesting read for several reasons — 1) Animal Collective is a fantastic band, and even though I wasn’t so hot on Feels and have a pretty ambiguous relationship with the Panda Bear album right now, I’m always optimistic about new full-lengths from bands of this caliber, and 2) “Geologist” (who calls himself that?) pretty much lays out the whole problem with album promotion and early leaks that us bloggers have been debating ad nauseum for the last year or so. But here’s what he said:

no, they won’t all be watermarked, so don’t worry, you’ll get your leak
eventually. i don’t necessarily think we have to explain or justify the lack of
leaked version because we’d prefer that it wouldn’t leak at all, but i’ll give you a run down of the process. first of all, it’d be impossible to release music 2 weeks after you’re done when talkng about a large scale release. you have to manufacture the cds,lps, and artwork, then there is the time it takes for shipping to distributors, then stores have to decide how many to order and the distro has to fullfill all those orders. but you could probably do it in a month or so.

the 3 month thing is totally determined by print media. they plan the content of their issues 3 months in advance so if they’re going to include a release in their reviews section, or do a feature article on a release, they need to hear it at least 2-3 months in advance. it has nothing to do with just leaving a lot of time to create a hype machine, though there’s nothing wrong with generating some sort of anticipation to get people amped.

i’m guessing that most of you are significantly younger than us and you’ve grown up in the internet/leak era, so perhaps it seems strange to you that things aren’t
available to you immediately, but we grew up in the times when you’d hear about
a release for 2-3 months in magazines and get ridiculously pumped up and then
there’d be this one day and special event that everyone could look forward to
and share together. it just doesn’t go down that way anymore, but unfortunately
the print media, who is directly competing with the internet media, has not
changed their rules, hence promos and leaks happen earlier than artists and
labels would like.

we had to send out promos even earlier than usual this time, but it had nothing to do with domino or any of that. it had to do with the fact that we all live in different places and have different individual schedules and can only get together to do interviews and photoshoots with magazines at a certain time, and that free window of time is kind of early this year. so we had to send out a batch of promos to print media 4 months in advance.

everyone involved thought it’d be a shame for the album to leak 4 months in advance so the initial batch is watermarked. seems like people are being respectful so far but we’ll see how long that lasts. i know how it feels as a fan when it seems
unfair that journalists with less attachment to the music get to hear it first, and it is unfair to a certain extent, but hey, free and increased access to music is one of the perks of their jobs. it’s not like they’re making a lot of money or getting steady paychecks. don’t hate on them too much, especially because it’s pretty much always them who do leak the albums way in advance. they’re on your side for the most part.

Refreshing to see a band being realistic and open about these kinds of things, especially a band like AC that keeps jumping higher on the popularity/record label ladder. But if you can’t wait to get your fix, the band tends to play new material at its live shows, long before the songs ever gets released officially. Here’s a taste of the new stuff.

Animal Collective – “Peacebone” (live): mp3
Animal Collective – “Reverend Green” (live): mp3
Animal Collective – “Fireworks” (live): mp3

(Strawberry Jam is due in September on Domino)


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