Thursday, July 9, 2009

Real Time

So many companies/projects/YouTubers love the “I’m working on something big, but I can’t tell you about it just yet” routine. Eff that. Today, DFTBA Records is launching this new blog, which we’ll use to keep you as up to date as possible about what we’re working on.

Some posts may be about releases that are weeks or months away though, so if you are of the impatient variety, maybe it would be best if you don’t subscribe to our shiny new RSS feed. Also, life changes things in real time, so nothing previewed or discussed here about future projects is set in stone/guaranteed.

We have an insane release schedule for the next 35 days. Four new titles will be released between now and August 15th, giving us a total of ten titles available for sale. We know this is a lot. We know you can’t afford all of them right now. After Aug 15th, we plan to relax on the new releases to then focus on tours, t-shirts and posters, streetteam missions and other giveaways. With DFTBA Records being a two-man team (myself and Hank Green) currently, we just can’t do it all at once.

We decided to focus on releases first; to have a strong offering once summer rolled around and there was weather and time for tours. Tom Milsom is about to hit the States for a month long tour, he’ll be playing songs from his upcoming studio album Painfully Mainstream, along with a few cuts from our recently released EP, Taking Leave. And Driftless Pony Club will embark on a month long tour of the West Coast shortly after their new EP “drops”.

Last week DFTBA Records tested the t-shirt market, and boy did you guys respond. Six hours after Hank’s video went up, in which he mentioned the shirt briefly, we had sold out of the 200 copies we printed. Our plan at this point is to print one new design each month, limiting them to 300 or so.

The limit is done for two reasons. First, t-shirts are expensive to order up front and stock and store at my house. Second, limited runs create demand. If the t-shirt were infinitely available, there would be no rush to order, and inevitably, that would lead to people who would have ordered putting it off and just never getting around to it.

And last, we have the giveaways, contests and streetteam missions. We still have a brand new iPod to give away. Our last contest winner won a pair of custom Chameleon Circuit chucks. If you have prize or giveaway ideas, please let me know about them in the comments section. Companies should exist to serve their customers, so if there’s something you want, that we’re not providing, let us know and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

I know I say this often, but only because I really really mean it: thank you. Without you guys supporting our artists via video comments, album purchases, attending live shows, none of this would be possible. We know this above anything else, and aim to never forget it.

We charge as little as we can to keep the project running and our artists paid. We offer free shipping when we can. Bundle deals when it makes sense. Etc. And we constantly shop around for the best prices on packaging materials and manufacturing fees, while maximizing the royalties we pay to artists, so we can be as responsible with the money we earn as possible. Stable longevity is our goal, so that we can continue to offer opportunities to new artists in the future, and of course, continue to provide you guys with music that doesn’t forget to be awesome.

Thanks for the support, and I’ll be sure to check back in here again real soon.

-Alan Lastufka, President of DFTBA Records LLC.


  1. I think it's fantastic that DFTBA Records is so open about it's plans, ideals and future projects. YouTubers can sometimes get a bit "high and mighty" when they start to smell even the tiniest bit of "mainstream" success, but everyone involved with DFTBA Records have proven time and again that they are very down-to-Earth. Not wanting to quote a J-Lo song, you guys know where you came from ;)

    Also, I'm loving the article labels :P

  2. I think it's wonderful DFTBA records is doing a blog, and as a frequent customer I appreciate being kept up-to-date on what's being planned.

    Really looking forward to the new albums. Also love the t-shirts and posters idea, as you have some amazing logo & artwork commissioned.

    One suggest for merchandise I would like to put out: those fantastic little buttons you had made - for things like Chameleon Circuit, Hank Green's album, DFTBA had a button - people love them and for a while they were being included with album purchases, until stock ran out. Now sadly they're no more. My suggestion, is to create little packs of buttons we can buy, like Johnny Durham did here;

    I bought those, and I know I'd buy up a pack of your button designs. Plus they're easy to package and easy to ship.

  3. I agree with the above comment. My DFTBA button got stolen off my bag! So, while it's great that there is obviously demand, I would appreciate the ability to purchase a new one. :)

    And I too think it's great that DFTBA is so customer oriented. That is not the case with a LOT of companies, and it makes the overall experience so much more positive.
    Thanks Guys!

  4. I loved the idea of DFTBA records right from the start, and I can't think of a better person to run it than you, Alan. You and all the DFTBA artists really inspire me to go out and make things happen for myself, rather than waiting for others to create opportunities for me, and you give me hope that there is such a large number of people dedicated to producing good music with good values and that is such good fun to participate in!!