Welcome to jaggedspiral.com v3.0

Jagged Friends and Fans,

Leave it to Jagged Spiral to NOT leave a good thing alone. Despite the lovely comments we’ve received over the years about the jaggedspiral.com v2.0 website, the back-end needed a serious overhaul. We’ve switched from Blogger to WordPress, which should give the website all kinds of comment and usability goodness.

This doesn’t mean the band will post more often, so don’t get your hopes up.

It also has no bearing on how often they play out, so don’t get your hopes up there either. I can tell you the new album is well under way, with no release date in sight. But check back for updates. The old posts and pix should come back online eventually, if I can get Zero to stop playing Blade Kitten long enough to make the changes…



Nine Inch Nails follows Jagged Spiral into Creative Common Ground

[For Immediate Release]

It seems that Jagged Spiral’s marketing strategy is gaining traction among the band’s more famous peers.

Not just another Heavy Rock/Metal band from Minneapolis, Jagged Spiral (https://jaggedspiral.com/) smoldered in obscurity until their debut release in 2007 – Days From Evil. The album was every bit as avant-garde and eclectic as its method of its distribution. Released by label Miku Darkly under Creative Commons licensing, Days From Evil is free to download from their website, free to copy, and free to distribute. A Donation link on their website allows fans to contribute any price they see fit for the music. (They call it a “Virtual Tip Jar”).

Other groups, notibly Radiohead and Atmosphere made their albums available for free download, although the Radiohead downloads were removed from the band’s website once the CD was released. [Editor’s Note: Atmosphere’s album Strictly Leakage is still available here]

Now, Audioholics.com has announced that Trent Reznor, primary songwriter and frontman for Nine Inch Nails and historically a Trend Setter in marketing, has decided to follow a similar formula with the new release of “Ghosts I-IV”. The first nine tracks from the album are available for free, thanks to Creative Commons licensing. The entire album spans an impressive 36 tracks of instrumental-only work. The remaining tracks of the album are available for purchase in a variety of formats, including progressively more expensive options, including a $300 Ultra-Deluxe Limited Package, of which only 2500 were made…and have already sold out.

While Jagged Spiral could not be reached for comment, the band’s manager, Sugar, was more than happy to expand on the decision to release music for free:

“It just seemed like the obvious choice for an independent artist starting out in today’s market. When a band like Jagged Spiral is just starting out, they have a limited fan base. If they released their recordings in the traditional model, they would have the traditional results – they would sell a couple copies, and they wouldn’t likely make enough to cover the cost of production. Trent Reznor has a large enough fan base that he can give away a teaser, and still make profit on the upsell.

There’s always a compromise between monetary gain and distribution. Higher cost equals limited distribution, lower cost equals larger distribution, No Cost equals unlimited distribution. When you’re starting out, it makes more sense to choose fame over fortune. Now, people around the world are sharing the songs off Days From Evil through bittorrent, limewire, e-mail and blog postings. And instead of feeling like criminals, they can feel that they are helping the band out. That’s not a ‘Street Team’ that’s a ‘World Team’ working for them 24×7.

The money can come later, once you’ve proven yourself. Crack dealers use the same method, and it works if the product is addictive. Trent Reznor is doing it right now. The first nine tracks off Ghosts are free, and if you like what you hear, and you want more, you’ll pay for it.”

While giving art away for free is not a new idea, and neither is Creative Commons licensing, Jagged Spiral’s idea of allowing the audience to pay them via donations through their website is. Sugar explains:

“Having a method for fans to donate money directly to the artist makes them feel involved in the process; it creates a loop between the artist and fans. The fans provide the resources for the artist to continue, the artist converts the resources into art for the fans. Marillion has this business model mastered. They funded their entire last album production costs off fan pre-orders ,and they’re doing it again this year. They’re working directly for the fans. It’s the internet version of the musician on the street corner with their guitar case open.”

Bands like Jagged Spiral and Nine Inch Nails giving music away for free not only fueled the buzz surrounding their releases, but also fueled the fire between the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the entire independent artist movement.

“We gave them years to come up with something, and you can’t possibly feel sorry for them. The RIAA hung themselves every day that they resisted the internet. They pulled the same bullshit when Dolby “C” and HX-Pro noise reduction got built into tape decks. It’s too late for them now, but they struggle to keep afloat with DRM infected songs on I-Tunes. Bands like Jagged Spiral and Nine Inch Nails are showing the rest of the world how the new system works. The record industry has just been outsourced by the internet.”

metal sucks

There’s nothing wrong with modern metal that a little dose of raw wouldn’t fix. Modern metal/hardcore/metalcore/whatever is some of the most homogenized and sanitized music ever created. Digital recording techniques have literally sucked the life right out of hard rock music and, frankly, I’d rather listen to Garth Brooks than anything released in the last 5 years.


(in case anyone forgot what real music sounds like, and where all the bands YOU like got their sound…)


Days From Evil

Now that the album is nearing its entree into the world of the listening public, what does it sound like? Interested parties might check out www.myspace.com/jaggedspiral and give a listen. Send us your feedback. We’d love to hear what you think, not just whether you loved it or hated it, but why. What does it remind you of? Is it hopeless derivative, or a classic sound approached from a different mindset (which is what we like to think!)?

How would Jagged Spiral best describe its sound? Tongue firmly in cheek, we often refer to it as “sloppy metal” or “Northern Rock.” It’s not a raging inferno, but it’s not Nickelback. It’s…Jagged.

Our new material displays its roots in a less abstract fashion, so all of this might make more sense after hearing “Lamented.”


jaggedspiral.com 2.0 is live!

Thanks to Conrad’s tireless work (the guy even worked through lunch breaks…) the new site is up and running. We’ve changed the logo and color scheme – the overall look, really – and it looks polished, pro and rock n roll.

You’ll notice in the corner a countdown to the release of the first track, “Forced Entry.” Yes, even though we planned on releasing the album *last* halloween, we’ve decided to stretch out the release even *further*…one track at a time. 😉

It’ll be worth the wait. We promise. =)


Metallica Again

I liked Conrad's post below, and he's absolutely right: replacing Metallica with some guys who win a reality TV contest and take on the mantle would at this point make absolutely no difference. Hell, if you wanted to listen to new Metallica tunes that don't suck pick up a Trivium album!

Every band wants to “get back to their roots.” And they mean it, they do. They're being perfectly honest. The problem is it's *impossible*for metal bands to return to their roots. They've moved on to a new place in their lives, and so have their fans. They're not scruffy, angry middle-class kids anymore; they're depressed, well-dressed middle-class parents and office workers, trying to figure out what the fuck it all means.

The power of bands like Metallica is irrevocably linked to adolescence and testosterone. It's nigh on impossible to recapture that youthful dream we had when we first heard “…And Justice For All.” The best we can hope for is some songs that aren't godawful, but I suspect that most people just don't give a shit anymore. If I wanna listen to Metallica I'll fire up “Ride the Lightning” or “Master of Puppets” and, just for a fleeting second, feel 15 again. And that's enough. Because pretty soon the real world is going to intrude, and I'll go back to listening to music that means something to me *right now*, at this point in my life.

Just for perspective, there's still a big need for heavy music, it's just that now it's being filled by Hatebreed and Slipknot. They're are this generation's Slayer and Metallica, respectively. And there's still a genuine underground too, in which I still maintain a not insignificant interest.


Sunny Day Real Estate

I think, had I never had the pleasure of hearing them before I knew anything about them, I might not like Sunny Day Real Estate. For instance, there’s this, from their Myspace page: “Around this time, they decided to maintain secrecy about themselves and their music, releasing only one photograph to the public and conducting only one interview; they also never played as a full band in the state of California.” Factor in the numerous, slightly pretentious name changes (‘Thief Steal Me A Peach’?!) and you have all the makings of emo silliness. And we all know how I and the band feel about emo.

Alas, this never happened…and much to my benefit. You see, Sunny Day Real Estate is amazing. Fantastic, even. You see, call it what you want, SDRE played some of the most innovative music ever created. Most called it “emo”, and the members all have punk/hardcore pedigrees, but it is as far removed from today’s faux-angsty, whiny suburban pseudo-punk/metal as Godsmack is from Kreator. It’s just not the same, and it deserves to be judged on its own merits.

I’ll grant that some of the “Diary” material is a stretch for metallized ears, even my own. In the same way, some of “The Rising Tide” is a stretch for ears raised on a diet of sanctimonious punk and hardcore. Fine.

It’s just that, well, it’s so…different. Jeremy Enigk can *sing* man, and it’s one of those times when all these disparate elements come together to make music that is neither punk nor metal nor pop, but manages to be all of them at once. In a certain sense, they remind me of Type O Negative. The hooks are huge, but aren’t apparent right away, like “You give love a band name” or something would be.

You know? Fuck, I don’t! =)


Jagged Spiral vs Home Construction Project

Q: What do you get when you put a professional sheet metal worker, a chef and a guy who works with computers (and plays bass, no less) together in a basement on a wall-framing project?

A: One guy who knows what he’s doing and two hilariously inept musicians with beer and a nail gun. They say the guy who owned the house before you was an idiot, but at least Colin can blame it on us.

Pictures hopefully to come.