The 71's Raise An Astounding $12K For Latest Album

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Just how viable is Kickstarter in helping an up-and-coming band to raise funds? As much as it saddens us to admit it, it mostly seems to fail. However, for one of our favorite local rock acts, the 71's, it has been an astounding success.

Fans of the band have raised a mind-boggling $12,541 for the recording of the third act of their amazing Rock and Rock Reaction trilogy. How in the name of Fender, Jesus, does a local act raise enough for a new car through just donations?

"I literally have no clue, but I am very excited," says singer Keeton Coffman via email. "It makes me happy people want to hear our songs. Also our fans are the nicest people you will ever meet, and I'm not just saying that. They really are."

We've chronicled the rise of the 71's for going on three years now, watching as they grew from an act with a Christian message to something electrifyingly and unapologetically rock. Their style remains brash. It could almost be called cocky if it weren't so damned good-natured, and they're not above a good cheeky stunt.

Coffman and director Justin Kling invaded a Wal-Mart in the middle of the night to film a video for "Start Again," a move that's notoriety brought them much attention and momentum. A subsequent video for Rock and Roll Reaction, Vol. 2's "Start Again" made our Best Music Videos of 2011 list, the only local act to do so.

The previous two chapters in the trilogy have been solid EPs with a garage-rock approach that kept the music fast, loud and alive. For the final, full-length installment the band decided to go big. They're working at Vinyl Studios in Dallas with Will Hunt, most famous as a drummer for Evanescence, Static-X, and even filling in for Tommy Lee in Motley Crue when Lee had a bout with tendonitis. The goal of the record is to capture as big a rock sound as possible, something they just couldn't do on their own anymore.

"'Rock and roll' is a difficult sound to record and capture," says Keeton. "I don't mean the kind you hear on radio in Houston. I mean older bands like Zeppelin or modern bands like Band of Skulls."

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Sarah Hirsch
Sarah Hirsch

That's awesome!  My band raised $4000 through Kickstarter last year.  We're taking Paypal donation for our new EP, though.  Between Kickstarter and Amazon fees, you end up paying about 10% of your donations to Kickstarter, and you have basically done all the work by motivating people to go to your site to donate.  But...they do have a nice infrastructure and a good way to interact with the people who donate.


Haha...oops. As I was saying...I'd love to hear how your current fundraiser turns out, Sarah. We definitely tossed around the idea of going the Paypal route, but ended up on Kickstarter for the reasons you mentioned. We were curious if the general public would respond the same way to a PP site as a "slick" KS site...


I'd love to 

Sarah Hirsch
Sarah Hirsch

I have a feeling it's not going to be as successful unless we make a video and campaign like we did last time.  The video REALLY helped to push through the other projects and get people motivated.  I'm thinking of just aping the Kickstarter website structure on our own website and putting a video, a little bit of code for a progress bar, a separate section for the rewards, and the customized Paypal button.  

To me, though, the biggest thing that Kickstarter has going for it IS THE DEADLINE.  I don't know how to integrate that into a band website...  I am probably looking at this the wrong way.  Maybe it's worth 10% to get all those people that motivated about donating...  I mean, if it wasn't for Kickstarter, we would have had NO money to make an album.  :)

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