GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 5, 2012

Band gets 'kickstart' for album, tour

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — GLOUCESTER — Sometimes, it takes a village to make music.

Local band What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? has recorded what its members believes is the best work they have done, and has campaigned on the Internet to raise $8,000 to finish the album.

The band is not signed to a record label, so it must raise the money itself. As of Wednesday evening, 210 backers had pledged $11,553 for the band’s project.

About $3,000 will be used to mix 13 songs, $2,000 to master them, $2,000 to make the CD, and another $1,000 for promotion, said band leader 3rian King (that’s his stage name; there are other Greater Boston musicians also named Brian King). Because the band raised more than its goal, King said the remainder will go toward taxes — “it’s income ... we’re not a nonprofit” — touring and marketing.

The new album features many special guests, including a children’s chorus from Rockport, led by Patti Pike, John Hyde on accordion, and Gloucesterite Leigh Calabrese on the singing saw. One track will be the band’s original composition “Cold Rain,” which was covered by soul queen Irma Thomas on her Grammy Award-nominated album “Simply Grand.”

The band, led also by local musician Nathan Cohen, began recording the new album more than two years ago. The band put all the money earned from gigs into recording sessions with engineer Tony Goddess at his Bang-A-Song studio on Rogers Street. But King said it would have taken another year of performing for the band to raise money enough to mix, master and manufacture the new CD.

After careful consideration, the band decided to use Kickstarter.com to raise $8,000. Through Kickstarter, fans of the band can pledge any amount from $1 and up, using an Amazon account. Amazon only charges the contributors when the goal of $8,000 in pledges is reached.

It was a gamble that What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? members believed was worth taking. For every pledge, donors also get a reward, from free downloads, posters, T-shirts, and CDs to music lessons, custom animation by Harvard animation professor Ruth Lingford, or songs written by King in the donor’s honor.

The link to the band’s pitch video can be found at http://kck.st/VT85Sl, or by Googling: “What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? Kickstarter”

What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? has already booked a CD release party at Club Oberon in Harvard Square, Cambridge, for Feb. 3. The night will feature the band performing the CD, as well as animation, dance, trapeze and other aerial work by local Eileen Little.

The party will kick off a tour by the band to Northhampton, New York and Providence, R.I., King said. The shows will based on the party and include the aerialists, dancers and animation on a big screen; King said the band hopes to add a Cape Ann show, but it needs a venue where the aerialists can work.

He and Cohen, however, will be performing on Cape Ann on New Year’s Eve at the Universalist Unitarian Society of Rockport on Cleaves Street.

Andrea Holbrook may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3456 or aholbrook@gloucestertimes.com.