Indie-Funded – Hey Anna

Indie-Funded – Hey Anna

Hey AnnaIn the Spring of 2014, Wordkrapht partnered with ReverbNation to run a contest called FeminINDIE. We chose 30 female artists/bands to feature and offered a free CD sampler of each (still available). Hey Anna was a band I found in that process, and it took all of ten seconds for me to fall in love with their music. I immediately added them to our list of artists for the feature, and selfishly kept the assignment for myself. Working with them was quite enjoyable and, of course we have been following them ever since. When I saw they were launching a Pledge Music campaign to get their upcoming LP, Run Koko, to the finish line, I jumped at the chance to work with them again.

In a world where the internet has given anybody the opportunity to make noise, Hey Anna creates music that invites you to smile every once in a while. Check out their pledge video and the following interview. To contribute, click HERE!

Since we spoke last, you travelled overseas. How was that experience?

It’s hard to put into words. The chance to bring our music across the world to our Japanese fans was a dream come true. They all were singing along and dancing with ear-to-ear smiles. Everyone was just so kind and welcoming. You know when Pinocchio becomes truly alive after being a puppet and exclaims ‘I’m a real boy, now!’ – that’s how we felt, except exchange boy for band. We were invited by ThisTime Records and Spincoaster magazine. They had a great place for us to stay, were on top of every detail, and took such good care of us. We’re so used to doing everything ourselves, like lugging our instruments everywhere, setting up, packing up – and they did it all for us.   Honestly, they treated us like rock stars, but rock stars that are part of the family. It was awesome.

After two successful EPs, what made you decide to go for the full LP this time around?

Go big or go home? We had an album’s worth of new material and we wanted to get it out of our heads and into the universe. We’ve been a band for over four years. As Rafiki would say “It is time.”

What can a long-time Hey Anna fan expect on Run Koko, and will any of the old songs appear on it?

Run Koko is our attempt to discographize the struggle to seek the best things outta life.  There is hope and expectation, pitfalls and disappointment, love and acceptance.   Over the past two years we’ve released a few tracks online, such as “Move Your Body” (available on the FeminINDIE sampler for FREE) and “Tangerine Lightning”. We re-recorded those songs to fit in better with the soundscape of the rest of the album.  Don’t expect songs from Hey Anna EP or Pompette to appear on Run Koko!!!  Though there are some crossovers from the Dance Until Three Deluxe Edition released in Japan.

What has been the hardest part so far about getting the album ready for the fans?

Hard is relative. It’s a labor of love. We are all focused on producing the best quality music but we’re all artists and we often have very different opinions about how a song should sound. We tend to collaborate on ideas every day but this can mean a lot of back and forth, causing endless delays. But truly the hardest part is not having enough time to really perfect everything. Being perfectionists, this is EXCRUCIATING. And the mixing engineers aren’t our slaves… although at times they must feel like we think we’re their only clients and have no personal lives whatsoever.   WHATSOEVER.

The music is already recorded and ready to go. Tell our readers what the money will be used for?

As independent musicians, we’ve been funding this album entirely on our own.  Studio time, engineers, mastering..all that adds up really quickly and well, we’re tapped out! The money we raise in this campaign will pay for the production of CDs, pressing the record to vinyl, distribution costs and other physical merchandise, like t-shirts, temporary tattoos, posters, trips to Fiji…

Were there any incentives you thought of, but then didn’t use?

Shaving Matt’s hair off. Completely. We still might throw it in as a Hail Mary.

So who’s the cook, and what would the “Dinner With Hey Anna” pledger expect to be eating that evening?

For the dinner, we’re envisioning a group of 4-6 friends and the band. We’ll do all the cooking (taking dietary restrictions into account, of course) and cleaning. Jamie is Chef DiTringo. If this music thing doesn’t stick he will follow his slow cooking dreams. Pork shoulder is his game. We’ll have something for everyone. Erin is known for her salads, so folks can expect something summery and healthy as well. And if Matt brings enough wine, you can expect some post dinner music.

Having a musician offer up their first instrument can be a traumatizing experience. What are using to bribe Katie to have her let go of her bass, and how are you preparing for the anxiety attack when it walks away?

A block of aged sharp cheddar cheese.  She can never resist an edible bribe — luckily it also known as a potent separation anxiety remedy. Something to think about that the next time you self-medicate with Cracker Barrel:  if you haven’t heard, cheese has “high levels of opiates, even morphine”…. It’s a casomorphins thing.

If one were to choose between hanging in Brooklyn or the Jersey Shore, which is the better option?

What month are we talking about? If it’s the summer, no contest you have to go to the beach. The air is actually 15 degrees cooler.  Though Brooklyn does bring its A-game with all sorts of outdoor goodies (concerts, exotic wares, bearded guys, etc..), and your chances of strolling by mountains of rotting trash bags go up exponentially compared to the shore.  But then again there’s the occasional ocean sewage leak to enjoy at the shore.  It’s a toss up.

When is the expected release of Run Koko after you successfully complete your Pledge Music campaign?

Right now we’re shooting for a mid-May release. Pledgers will likely be getting the digital album download slightly before the official release date, which is a great incentive to pledge now.

Of all the different crowd sourcing sites available, why did you choose Pledge Music, and what advice would you give to other musicians thinking of doing the same thing?

After we did our research on a few of the major crowd sourcing sites, we landed on PledgeMusic because of their music-centric ethos. We really wanted our fans to know that we were doing this purely to get our music out to them. Because the album is pretty much done, our campaign is essentially acting as a way to pre-order the album. We would recommend the site to other musicians because PledgeMusic has an amazing support system. They’ve been with us since the beginning and have given incredible advice and tips to help make the campaign successful.

And finally, what would you like to say to those who have already pledged, and how would you persuade those who still aren’t sure?

To everyone who has already pledged – THANK YOU!!! It is so wonderful to have this amazing core support system helping us achieve our goal. People are constantly bombarded with emails or Facebook posts asking them to contribute to this or that or share this or that. It can be overwhelming. So the fact that people are taking the time to visit the page and pledge just warms our hearts. We feel the love!

For those who aren’t sure, I think we’d say check out the music. If you dig it, then go ahead and pre-order the digital album. It will be something you have forever.

There you have it! Now go PLEDGE!!!

Artist Name: Hey Anna
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Indie Pop, Alternative
Members: Erin Rauch-Sasseen, Anna Rauch-Sasseen, Katie Rauch-Sasseen, Matthew Langner, Jamie DiTringo