With their pockets all but empty, the four members of Atlanta’s Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun had to find a way to raise enough dough to record all their new songs.
The answer was Kickstarter, an online funding platform that creates a public outlet for an artist’s fans – plus friends and family, of course – to pledge money for the project.
It took 30 days to reach Today the Moon’s goal of $3,500. And the drive is still going on for another week.
“Lots of bands have been using it to raise funds to make a record – we did it because there’s not a whole lot of money, and we’ve been touring full–time since last August,” says Micah Silverman, the electronic rock group’s bassist. “We all had to leave our day jobs, and we’re just kind of scraping together whenever we’re back in town.
“Staying on the road, we basically make enough to get from city to city. And we have our recording studio, but we don’t have the things we need to make it sound good. We can’t capture good drum sounds.”
Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun is a dance band – kinda retro ‘90s, with electronic keyboards weaved like a tapestry into the big beats and (absolutely live) drums, bass, guitars and vox.
“I think everybody in our band is influenced by different things,” Silverman says. “But our drummer plays live drums, and he plays the electronics as well. We don’t use loops or anything. He’s always been a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails, and we’re all fans of Radiohead. The mix of organic plus electronic.
“We all like to dance, and we all like to see other people dance, so I think that’s where the dance element of the band comes from.”
Silverman’s bandmates are Jeremy Cole (drums and various electronics), Lauren Gibson (lead vocals, guitar) and Cregg Gibson (guitar and vocals).
Life on the road, explains Silverman, isn’t always easy. “It’s hard living out of our van. Sometimes we don’t shower for five days. There’s a married couple in the band – Lauren and Cregg are married – so there’s that factor, too.
“We’re all around each other all the time, so there’s a little bickering. But for the most part, we’re all best friends and we get along great. I think we’ve adjusted really well.”
Three years ago, just before TTM was formed, it was a different story. “We all had our steady lives before this,” Silverman says. “I was climbing the corporate ladder for 10 years; while we were doing our other jobs we were daydreaming about music. Finally, we talked ourselves into doing it: ‘Why are we just thinking about it?’”
The band was featured in a Performer magazine cover story in January; their two EPs were hailed in indie–rock circles from Oregon to Oslo.
And the constant touring – shower lapses notwithstanding – has paid off in dividends: The band now has huge fan bases in the southeast, people that anxiously await their next gig. “You can tour to a million places, and sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn’t,” says Silverman. “And there are a few cities that are just so hungry for new music that whenever we go there, everybody comes out.
“It’s been a different life, but it’s been amazing getting to go to different cities, meet different people and get to play music every night. Just be a musician.”
Savannah, she adds, is always a high point for the busy band – “We’ve met some of the coolest people in Savannah, people who we keep in touch with” – but it’s Norfolk, Va. that has embraced them the most.
“They are awesome,” Silverman says. “So many kids, and they really get into it, everybody dances, everybody makes an event of the night. It’s like a party every time we go there. I know I have to sleep a little bit extra the day before we go there because I know I’m not going to be sleeping when we’re there.”
Norfolk fans, no doubt, kicked in a good percentage of donations for TTM’s Kickstarter fund.
“The cool thing with Kickstarter is that it’s not just asking people for money, it’s not like a beggar thing – they’ll get their name in the credits, or they’ll get the actual album, they’ll get updates along the way.”
Wait, there’s more! “Depending on the pledge level, you get special T–shirts, special stickers, all the way up to ‘We’ll write a song for you about anything you want us to.’ They get something in return for their pledge, and they can know that they’re part of making the record.”
Silverman admits that could get a little dicey, writing a song “about anything you want.” Extreme weirdos can come up with cash sometimes, you know.
“So far, we’ve only had one person at that pledge level,” she laughs, “and he says he knows exactly what he wants us to write the song about. But he hasn’t told us yet.
“It can be about anything, but we did put in a disclaimer that it can’t be about anything too out of hand or too crazy, no sexy, sexy songs or anything too gross or controversial.”
Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun performs at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18 at the Wormhole Bar, 2307 W. Bull St. Admission is free.