In a massive groundswell of support, Ne Obliviscaris fans have rushed to pledge money to pay the band the equivalent of minimum wage so that they can afford to continue touring and making music.
The Melbourne extreme metal act recently launched a landmark Patreon campaign – essentially a kind of membership program where fans receive perks in exchange for helping to finance the band on an ongoing basis – after revealing that they’d lost around $60,000 on touring costs.
And it seems that their belief in their fans has once again paid off, with the NeO faithful so far pledging $6,858USD per month, which equates to a salary of $109,000AUD per year for the group.
And with their target of $12,703USD a month – or the equivalent of the minimum Australian wage of $17.29AUD/hour for a 38 hour working week, times six members – the band are more than halfway there.
What? Hair metal is metal too, you guys.
And it’s not the first time that NeO have utilised the shit out of crowdfunding. The sextet smashed the Aussie record for fan-funding a musical project after raising $40K for a world tour back in 2014.
And with the music industry steadily becoming a place where it’s increasingly impossible for anyone bar the most internationally fapped-over artists to make bank (you may recall ex-Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ McMahon breaking fans hearts last year when he quit the band because the financial toll was too great. Hell, even Kanye West is torrenting shit on Pirate Bay these days), Ne Obliviscaris are helping to innovate a new way forward for bands working hard to keep their art alive.
Unsurprisingly, the success of their Ne Obluminati fan membership scheme has already caused ripples around the world, with Opeth‘s manager Andy Farrow calling their results “Very inspiring”, and Lindsay Schoolcraft of Cradle Of Filth – with whom NeO are currently touring the US – offering the following words of praise:
“The Ne Obluminati is an extremely inspirational approach to surviving as an artist in the current state of the music industry.Why wouldn’t I want to contribute to get exclusive interactions with my favorite bands and artists?
It’s about time artists found a way to make their earnings directly and can intimately interact with their fans. What Ne Obliviscaris have done is revolutionary and what it boils down to in this industry is ‘evolve or die’.”
According to the band themselves, their experiment with the membership program was inspired by similar programs that Aussie sports clubs have used for years.
A press release from the band reads:
Sport is the dominate recreation culture in Australia, and it’s fans support teams in similar ways through club membership programs and various donation methods.
NeO have simply applied that methodology to the music scene, an industry that’s largely been left to fend for itself with no corporate sponsorship or mainstream media coverage and little government funding.
This is not a hand out, every cent the band received up front goes back to the fans. It’s pre paying for your music in a way. Major bands have had fan clubs for years, Patreon takes that idea and amplifies it to its maximum potential.
Ne Obliviscaris’s Patreon campaign has been live for less than 2 weeks, with the band interacting constantly with fans via social media since in a bid to maintain total transparency.
On the Patreon platform, fans can donate as much or as little as they want to the band on an ongoing basis, and in return can expect exclusive benefits like pre-sale ticket options, exclusive live chats with band members, special merchandise and access to unreleased material.
Check the campaign out for yourself here or find out more in the video below.
Watch: Join The Ne Obluminati