Seattle band with Tri-City roots turns to web for funding

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldNovember 18, 2012 

For creative people struggling to find the means to make their mark in the world, there is hope.

It's called Kickstarter.com -- a crowd-funding site that musicians, artists, playwrights, filmmakers, graphic designers and writers around the world are turning to for funding their projects.

The rock band Eclectic Approach, which has its roots in the Tri-Cities, is relying on Kickstarter.com to gather $20,000 in donations.

The decade-old band recently got a big break after winning the OurStage.com competition in Texas, which led to an Oct. 1 performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

But no matter how passionate the passion, the climb to musical fame can be notoriously expensive. Most musicians don't just create music anymore. They often need to do their own marketing and pay the upfront costs of recording while keeping a hectic performance schedule so fans don't forget them.

It's exhausting and frustrating, said Jowed Hadeed, lead singer for Eclectic Approach.

"But we're determined to succeed," he said. "Right now, we're hopeful we'll be able to gather that $20,000 in donations because the music industry has its eye on us right now and we don't want to lose our momentum."

Anyone interested in backing Eclectic Approach's next project can go to http://kck.st/YeXHY8 to donate. The deadline is Nov. 28.

Kickstarter.com, launched in 2009, allows artists and entrepreneurs to register on the site, request a certain amount of money, describe their goal and post a video. It's up to the public to search for a project of interest and decide if they'd like to support it. Subscribers to kickstarter.com receive alerts of new projects.

"The best part of Kickstarter is that the creators (in this case, Eclectic Approach) have an all-or-nothing platform to seek their goals," Justin Kazmark, a spokesman for the New York City-based company, told the Herald in a telephone interview.

The creator has up to 60 days to gather the funding it needs. If the creator does not reach the goal by the deadline, then the money is returned to the donors.

"Donors use their credit card to pledge a certain amount toward a creator's cause, but the card is not charged until the goal is met," Kazmark said. "Having a deadline provides a sense of urgency for the creators and hopefully gets people to rally behind them."

Kickstarter projects can be ambitious, whimsical, innovative and imaginative, he said. The website also has strict rules and forbids any illegal project to use the site.

According to the site, 2.5 million people have pledged more than $350 million to fund 30,000 projects. Less than 42 percent of the launched projects have received funding.

Earlier this year, Hanford High School grad Erin Faulk used Kickstarter.com to successfully fund her Follow Friday The Film project. She requested $15,000, and 260 backers pledged a total of $24,091.

"Whoopi Goldberg used Kickstarter a while back for a documentary she wanted to make about a female comedian," Kazmark said.

Eclectic Approach is made up of Hadeed, Justin McDonald, Ryan Jander, Chris Lucier and Martin Celt, who all grew up in the Tri-Cities.

As of Friday, the band had received $10,246 from 145 backers. If successful, kickbacks to those who pledge range from copies of the new album, a guitar lesson with McDonald, a painting by Hadeed or a yoga session with Jander.

"Kickstarter is really an awesome solution because it allows us to receive funding upfront from the people who are going to be supporting the release anyway," McDonald said. "Plus, they have the opportunity to get some really cool rewards."

Hadeed says most independent artists are using Kickstarter these days to raise money to record albums because getting signed to a record deal is a thing of the past.

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