Madhatter dropped a bomb today. Scrub Club Records is closing up shop… or is it?
After exactly 13 years Scrub Club Records will cease to be as we know it, taking it’s place will be the Scrub Club Legacy. What does this mean exactly? In short it means that Scrub Club will stop being a music label, instead it will provide the tools and know-how to build collectives and promote artistic endeavours as an open source resource.
Label head Madhatter explains in his own words in this video and check out the official statement below. Madhatter will be joining me for an interview podcast soon, more on that as soon as we can hook up a time and date.
Scrub Club Records will officially drop the curtain forever on May 21st, 2015. This will be the ending chapter of our incredible 13 year adventure together in the name of change and the power of independent artistry.
The End Result
Over time, Scrub Club has gradually transformed from a music label into an open entertainment collective. The next step in the evolutionary chain is to become even more accessible and customizable – We will release our structure as an open source project called “Legacy” that takes our best practices, knowledge, and tools of the trade to be used as a template for artists to create and help run future collectives of their own, and to excel as independent musicians.
Legacy will consist of two pieces:
1. The “Scrub Club Framework” that will help a new collective start from scratch or existing collectives to utilize the advantages that we discovered and used throughout the years. The Framework will be presented in text and video format on the Scrub Club site and will be updated periodically with improvements as the future bears new tools and opportunities for musicians. Aside from instructions and guidelines, there will also be tips on how to succeed with recording, producing, websites, writing, social networks, performing, booking, SEO, merchandise, and more.
2. The “No Dough Pledge” that all artists (no matter their medium) can use to give their word of service. Musicians, visual artists, writers, game designers, poets, software developers, and more can take this oath to honor and carry out the ethics and core beliefs of Scrub Club in order to use and display the No Dough logo. They will do this to signify that they have promised to give only the best to their supporters and are doing what they do primarily for the love they receive and not just for the money.
I truly hope that the usage of Legacy will increase over the years until the Scrub Club spirit becomes bigger than we ever could have imagined through the work of others – Bettering themselves, bettering music together – and the No Dough logo becomes a symbol that is easily recognizable world-wide as a sign of trust and quality.
We will still offer our website in its current form as a perfect, final archive of our history and music. All content added and posted to the site before May 21st, 2015 will be forever curated and maintained, and I will be keeping track of album download numbers in perpetuity.
By the time our collective departs, all of us here at Scrub Club will have gathered the tools and skills we need to venture onward as fully self-sufficient artists. Only time will tell if we will stay that way or start / join new collectives. One way or another, we will still be here for you. We will make amazing music, perform with intense energy, and honor the values that made us your brothers and sisters while we were all banded together. Nothing can change any of that.
Scrub Club has accomplished everything it was created to do – Evolve and elevate independent music past the shadow of the industry as we once knew it. It was made to usher in an era of change, and to be on the forefront of it – To create a model completely different from any other entity that equally represented not only the musicians, but also the supporters that kept them thriving.
The obvious signs of independent music prevailing, digital downloads taking over, and self-sufficient bands without the need of money-hungry labels or promoters wasn’t just a theory I came up with back in 2001 when I first started performing. It has become reality in the last decade, and it continues down that same open path. The future I predicted then is here. Right now. It is the perfect time to pass on what we have learned and the changes we have made – We must continue to lift up independent music as high as we can boost it.
There are six things I would love to accomplish before we release the Legacy:
1. A dedication album made from our peers covering their favorite Scrub Club artist tracks, as well as our current roster covering each other’s songs.
2. A gigantic celebration and concert including any current and previous musicians, models, and members of the label that will make the previously awesome, soul-amplifying SCR60K party look like a week indoors with the flu. An experience that is a tribute to the our supporters and to the future of our upcoming solo efforts.
3. A final merch drive with the rarest of loot – Literally the last Scrub Club merchandise ever produced.
4. All who have reached Knighthood status by the end of May, 2015 will receive an equal share of what’s left in the donation pool before the central pot is closed for good. Consider it a last thanks and send-off from you directly to our hardest working musicians for their outstanding service, hard work, virality, or a combination of these three to achieve their 10,000+ total album downloads.
5. All of our artists will make one last wish – A location we would only be able to perform at in our dreams. A piece of equipment that is premium in our genre. A party we would die to attend. I will work with our listeners to try our best to make that wish come true before the year is up. That, of course, may tie-in to our Knighthood shares.
6. One other thing I’ve been toying with is making a documentary that covers our entire Scrub Club history and has interviews / performance footage from all of us, spots from our supporters, and highlights from the party mentioned above. We will have a Kickstarter-ish campaign for it.
What happens now, leading up to the end?
Don’t think this is simply a cooldown period before a shutdown. I want this to be our biggest push ever for Scrub Club and all of the artists that helped to make it what it is today. This is when we show exactly what we’re capable of. We prove ourselves. We work harder than ever before, because we’ve got one true deadline to meet together. Not only do we continue on the way we always have, but we fight harder. Level up more. Reach critical mass!
The current roster is the core group I believe in the most, and you should, too. We all are 100% Scrub Club / No Dough soldiers. Even though there are new faces around, they have already shown their drive and worth, or I’ve known them for years and what they’re capable of. I know we will all take up this final year with nothing but fierce pride.
How will you become a part of our history? Our Legacy? How will you contribute in the next 358 days to end this 13 year experience with a bang? We need you now, quite literally more than ever.
The end of an era? How do you feel knowing that this source of great, free music is coming to an end in just under a year’s time? Let us know.