Primus, & Using Willy Wonka to Spice Up Sales

Photo taken from IMDB

Photo taken from IMDB

This one goes out to all my friends that actually appreciated the original version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as well as my friends that acknowledge crazy bass lines from the experimental, perplexing, and enigmatic rock group known to many crazy people as Primus.  It’s great to see a band pay homage to great film, but they also did it with some serious bank account victories in mind.

If you watched Willy Wonka, you’d know that the story’s premise entails a chocolate maker, arguably diagnosable for schizophrenia, slipping five golden tickets respectively for five lifetime chocolate supplies into his brand of candy bars sold worldwide.  If you haven’t watched Willy Wonka to know of this yet, please educate yourself and watch it so this article doesn’t sound like absolute gibberish.

Primus ties all of this together with their new release, Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, which hit stores today.  The reason I gave a summary of the premise to Willy Wonka is Primus decided to, not only pay homage to it with their album title, but employ this concept of golden tickets into their record release.  Yes, there are “golden CD’s” inside random Primus CDs sold at the moment.  If a fan was to purchase a CD and get one of these golden treats, they would be entitled to a lifetime of free Primus concert tickets.  That’s right, a golden CD means you can watch Primus until your eyes or ears give out while your brain kicks the bucket from all the psychadelics you’ve been taking to enjoy the music.

On top of all of this, Primus is now selling Wonka-Primus-hybrid themed chocolate bars at each of their performances.  Titles and flavors of the chocolate bars are designed to pay homage to former Primus releases.  This, combined with the golden CDs, the theme of their album, and the theme of this album cycle’s live shows and presentations, call for one hell of a movie reference that can seriously make headlines.

Now, I’m not sure whether these ideas came from Les Claypool’s… uh, unique school of thinking, or Primus’ management.  Regardless, this whole album setup is a marketing genius move that not only boosts their record sales, but it adds a special element entirely to the Primus experience and discography.  This is a moment that fans will not forget, and certainly something that encourages you to get engaged and maybe look up a recent Wonka-themed Primus show on the internet.  Personally, I’m not a die-hard Primus fan, but I’m 100% behind creativity that marries both artistic expression and marketing success.  This way, the artist is happy with what they created and the management is happy that they don’t have to go bankrupt.  You get a party that can move onto the next big idea with confidence and us fans love that.

Of course, not all bands are all over the place like Primus.  It’s not easy to be this crazy, but that’s what the band specializes in.  They found their niche.  Not everyone has to make a Willy Wonka themed experience.  They just need to engage us fans in a way that suits their band’s style and school of thinking.  You’ll have happy fans and a happy bank account to make happier decisions in the future.  Plenty of happy overload.  Personally, I love it when my favorite bands do this.  So this is my way of saying, I want more.  When can the bands I look up to begin to think outside the box?


Jägermeister, The Defiled, & Icebergs

Acrobatics are still cool!

Acrobatics are still cool!


Greetings everyone!  Nishad here writing from the US, and while we are soon approaching the winter season, I came across a story from a place where it’s winter year round.  Enter Greenland, a place where it’s snow every day and you’d be damned if you think you’re going to have a summer day at your local beach.

The Defiled, an industrial metal band on the rise from England, partnered with their sponsorship with Jägermeister, embarked to the land of freezing privates to play a unique 30 minute set for a few natives and a bunch of cameras.  Did I mention that the specific place they chose to play was a moving iceberg?  Yes, they chose to find the perfect broken off piece of ice from their local glacier to set their drums, amps, and PA’s up for a good old fashioned rock and roll show.  I would imagine that tuning their guitars were a nightmare, and their drums probably got cracked.  But it’s all in the name of rock and roll, right?

Now, I’m not going to get carried away and make jokes about playing outdoors winter all day long.  What I’m most interested in this whole deal of things is that the Defiled are a new unique breed of sub-genre popularity.  Their sophomore album “Daggers” was created completely on crowdfunding.  They didn’t have a label for a lot of years, yet they had the cash to continue their day to day operations as a nonstop touring-recording band.  Record label funding is a thing of the past to these guys.  Their virtues came from their partnership with Jägermeister and likely a future in liver failure.

Ignoring these guys’ penchant for liquor, it’s easy to see that they have a model that’s successful.  They themselves seem extremely satisfied that, at the moment, the backbone of their rise comes from completely independent direct-to-fan interactions and smart financial moves.  I happened upon an interview with these guys over their early days; and yes, they had the whole story of a terrible past of god-awful label negotations and scumbags for managers.  These guys are cautious when picking their intermediaries.  But the one thing they’re most grateful for?  Jägermeister.  And not just the drinking.  In numerous interviews, you’ll find that The Defiled will thank Jägermeister as “their first real source of money.”  Surely, these guys aren’t loaded, filthy rich, careless rockstars.  But they’re damn close.

Think about it: these guys heavily promote their sponsors.  Maybe that’s not true punk rock.  But they answer to no one when it comes to their explosive and reckless live shows and record making processes.  Literally no one.  And their fans love it.  Their sponsors love it.  They get to work their asses off while a liquor company throws them cash while they get hammered.  Is there anything wrong with that?  Look at that picture again.  These guys are playing on a moving iceberg.  It’s a record: no one has ever done this before.  It’s gonna be huge when they release the concert itself.  How often do you hear a low-tier popularity band doing acrobatic stunts like this without going bankrupt?  I’ll say it again.  Sponsorships are the future.  Look at a Korn video and you’ll see Monster Energy Drink wristbands on frontman Jonathan Davis.  Challenge yourself to find a pop star’s music video that doesn’t feature an iPhone or Beats by Dre.  Numerous heavy metal bands are now sponsored by bodybuilding company Musclepharm.  Hell, even Japanese band Crossfaith have a song called “Jägerbomb” dedicated to their liquor sponsor.

There’s nothing wrong with it: find a brand you like, make the connection, you promote your favorite stuff and the company gets spotlighted.  From what I can see, independent bands that have good relationships with their sponsors and their fans seem to be happier than the ones that are tied down to too many people.  Now watch the documentary below and tell me these guys aren’t having the times of their lives.