Building Community–Shannon Curtis and Jamie Hill

Artists like Shannon Curtis and Jamie Hill are pioneers of the new indie musician community supporter model.

This episode’s featured guests are Shannon Curtis and Jamie Hill. They’re both alumni of this podcast, and were recently mentioned in my article Six Skills All Indie Musicians Need Today.

Shannon is the queen bee of house concerts in my world. She led me to learn more about the house concert scene and is the reason I played my very first house show earlier this year, with Johnny Burgin. Jamie is Shannon’s producer and faithful partner.

My wife and I attended one of their virtual house shows earlier this week, which was more than just a music performance. Shannon and Jamie are working to create an immersive experience both musically and conversationally. This is all part of their devotion to the community that supports every facet of their music business and their lives beyond music. Shannon and Jamie are hosts of the Misfit Stars podcast, which is integral part of their community ecosystem.

Episode Highlights

In this conversation we discuss:

  • The Shannon Curtis 2020 Virtual House Concert Tour
  • The process of adapting to and pivoting for Covid-19
  • The structure and theme of their virtual house shows
  • Recent changes that help them better serve their supporter community
  • The framework of their new patronage model
  • Their open-handed approach to everything they do
  • Honoring the work we do with the words we use
  • What Jamie wants for any artist he works with (as a producer)


I think when you give people an opportunity to reflect for themselves on what the value of something is, they might value it even more than if you tried to sort of second guess the process and arrive in your mind at a median or average value that someone might reasonably be expected to put on it.
–Jamie Hill

Mentioned in this Episode

Support the Podcast

The Unstarving Musician exists solely through the generosity of its listeners, readers, and viewers. Visit our Crowd Sponsor page to learn how you can offer your support.

Click here to visit the Unstarving Musician Crowd Sponsor page.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen On iHeartRadio
Listen on Google Play Music badge
YouTube badge
Listen on Sticher badge

Unstarving Musician Transcripts–Shannon Curtis & Jamie Hill (Ep 168)

Robonzo 00:03
This is the Unstarving Musician podcast. I’m your host Robonzo. On this podcast, I feature conversations with indie music artists and industry professionals. It’s all intended to help other indie music artists to be better at marketing business, the creative process and all the other things that empower us to do more of what we love, make music. Nailed at that time, didn’t I? Love it when that happens.

Welcome back to another episode, how are you doing? How is your family?

Robonzo 00:36
Go to and send me a message to let me know. On that website, you’ll find all my contact info. So you can surely get me a message. I’m at robonzodrummer on the socials. Most of them. The ones I’m on, or you can go to forward slash feed back really easy. You can just leave me a message right there on your mobile device browser, whatever. It’s pretty cool. I’m feeling a little anxious this afternoon, but I’ll tell you what I’m doing about that in a second. My guests are Shannon Curtis and Jamie Hill. They are both alumni. Each of them has been featured in their own episode. I’ll put links to those in the show notes. If you want to learn more about them after you hear this conversation today. I bet you will. They’re pretty cool. I love them. In fact, Hey, would you like to help other independent musicians and indie music fans find the podcast. You can do so by simply subscribing on Apple podcasts or in whatever podcast service you use. We’re in most of them, trying to get more all the time with all the new ones springing up. It really does help though. The unstopping musician podcast by the way, is made possible through the generosity of listeners just like you You You can help out by becoming part of the community at and starving musician calm. It’s easy you can join right there. In doing so you’ll get tips and insights that you can use in your music journey. And not just tips from me, even though I’ve got years of experience, but it actually comes from a lot of the conversations, hundreds of conversations I’ve had with other musicians I’ve spoken to as part of this unstopping, musician, project and podcast. And you also get when you join, you get a free copy of the unstopping musicians guide, official ebook. And that’s all free just for being part of the community and there, there are other ways you can support. You can be a producer or sponsor of the show. Go to unstopping musician comm forward slash crowd sponsor to learn how all that stuff works. So I heard a fantastic interview. Speaking of my earlier mentioned, being anxious this afternoon, I heard of Fantastic interview with photographer David Yarrow on the Tim Ferriss show one of my favorite podcasts and tell some incredible stories in that interview, but you cannot close it off with a word about optimism. And I’m glad I’m reading this little note about it to you today because it’s reminding me that I’m going to work on that, because I’ve been kind of freaked out lately. And maybe you have to, with all this pandemia, pandemia, pandemic going on. It’s crazy. So my guests Shannon Curtis and Jamie Hill. Shannon is in my book the house concert queen.

And Jamie, great guy. He’s her faithful and devoted sidekick. It’s pretty talented. I kind of short sold him there, I think but he’s, he’s pretty great. He’s a big part of what they do. My wife and I attended one of their virtual house cons It’s earlier in the week. I wrenched it up a little bit. I wrenched up the experience a little bit. I’ll tell you about that. But I wasn’t the only one but I gotta tell you about this. It sort of speaks to the intricacy of of what they’re doing on their new virtual tour that they are on. Hey, do you have your artist website, your band website together? Do you have one that you like you have one but you don’t like it that is? Well listen. The easiest way to get that done, or to get it where you do like it is to try out Bandzoogle it’s the easiest all in one professional website platform for musicians and bands. I use it I love it.

And let me tell you when podcasts like this one, management, PR people, agencies, look at musicians. Yeah, they look at your social media. But they also look to see if you have a legitimate website and really does help make you look bonafide makes you look serious because you are if you did that, and it’s one of the two things that can help you control the business of your music, and your fan based community.

All right, listen, all you got to do to check it out is go to And you can start a 30iday free trial and you can use the promo code “robonzo” to get 15% off your first year and plans start at just 829 a month. So seriously, the features are incredible. The support is incredible. It’s easy to it’s as easy as easy gets for this kind of stuff. You don’t have to worry about updates and patches. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Be glad you don’t have to worry about it with Bandzoogle. I’m telling you.

Yeah, go to use the promo code robonzo, R-O-B-O-N-Z-O to start a free trial today. You will be glad you did, and check out my site. It’s, that’s the one that’s on Bandzoogle I need to get in there and tweak it some more. It’s great though. I’ve been getting compliments on it. You’ll like it.

So yeah. The intricacies of a house concert, a virtual house concert by Jamie and Shannon.

How I mucked it up? Well, they decided so they were doing a house. Their years consisted of the business. Their music consisted of putting out an album and be a year and going on a house concert tour to support that album. Shannon doesn’t play clubs and coffee houses anymore. And she talks all about it. In her book, No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender that came up. She decided to write that because she was getting so many questions about house concerts after she started dialing it in. She got them from me too. I think it was Tom Meny on this podcast that mentioned her and led me down the rabbit hole that his house concerts, and I attribute my first own house concert, which happened right before the onset of the Covid 19 crisis. So it’s the only one I’ve done but it was great. It was great. Did it here in Panama with Johnny Burgin, West Side, Worldwide Blues Man. So fun. I have some videos. I’m gonna leave a link [in the show notes] to the video playlist from some shows we did including the house concert. It was fantastic. I look forward to doing them again someday. So yeah, Jamie and Shannon, they decided to go the route of doing the virtual house concerts on Zoom because they are so community oriented. And Zoom was the right solution for them, to be able to see everyone during the performances, to be able to engage with them and after the music performances to do kind of collective share fest.

And it’s pretty cool. I mucked it up because, I mentioned mucking it up because we wanted to watch it on our big screen here at home. So we sat away from the camera, which is on my laptop. And that kind of put us out of view of Shannon, Jamie and the rest of the attendees for the virtual house concert. These things are really small, by the way, and you can attend one if you want to see what I’m talking about. And if you are, if you’re doing any live streaming, and you’ve always wanted to do house concerts, and you want to take a lead from a couple that knows what they’re doing, you should go to Shannon Curtis dot net and check out their virtual house concert tour and ask for an invitation and check it out yourself. And so be prepared to do what I didn’t do. I wasn’t the only one but I gotta tell you, if you go, be prepared to be close to your camera! To be on camera, to be able to talk, they’re not going to like put you on the spot or anything really. They’re not those kind of people, but that’s part of the experience. And it was really cool. And it was the first time I’d actually seen them. I would love to see one of the in-person house concerts, but uh, yeah, another day. I know it’ll happen though. The nice thing about this one is that Jamie’s Shannon’s producer, but because they’re doing them from their home studio now, Jamie can actually perform. Before at the in-person house concerts. He was a like sound guy. So he’s always kind of running around. But this anyway, it’s changed the dynamic of the show. So we talked about a lot of stuff, obviously about this house, these virtual house concerts. We talked about the collective trauma response everyone’s going through, about news fasting, the denial and slow rolling acceptance of COVID-19 that they went through during the first few days that it came came about. It’s an interesting process they went through to adapt. They’re very business minded, but even more so, they’re very community minded their community was already tight knit, but it’s become even more so. They figured out what to do based on a number of supporters rather than dollars which they talked about. It’s really great. They’ve gone to a Patreon patronage model. And they have a really strong belief in what Jamie calls an open-handed approach. And giving everything that they create away, and they offer it as Shannon says, without expectations, and why that works for her and works for them. It’s amazing, they’re really amazing people, I guess, you know, one of the last things we talked about worth mentioning is to honor our work with the words we choose, and that left a real impression on me. Alright, enough of me blabbing. Here is me and Jamie Hill and Shannon. Enjoy.


I wanted to say, Is there anybody out there?

11:04 Jaimie & Shannon
Yeah. So here’s something we’ve learned from doing zoom calls for the last three weeks start the meeting with everybody muted. It’s an administrative option you can do.

11:12 Robonzo
Okay. And then yeah, okay, cool. I’ll do that. What Why is that?

11:16 Jaimie & Shannon
Because otherwise, exactly. That happens if there’s multiple microphones in a room like we have. Well, that’s everyone starts off unmuted. You know, it’s unusual, though, for there to be multiple connections from the same room.

Yeah. We encountered about once every three days. Yeah. So sort of unusual. Okay, say hello.

11:33 Robonzo & Jamie
Let’s stay on that topic for a second. I’m going to fix that right now. Just in case so is that mute microphone when joining a meeting now that’s not it? That’s it. Really, that’s not for me.

No, no, that’s you. It’s in administrative settings, the ones the one that you do on the web. And in meeting settings, there’s an option in there for mute participants upon entry.

Man, that’s bullshit. I can’t do it from my app. Well, you can but there’s a thing inside your app in the in the preferences that says View extra settings and it will just launch the web interface.

Okay. All right. I’ll get to that later.

12:09 Jaimie
How are you?

I’m doing good man I am. I was up really early this morning. I’ve had a couple days where just for some reason my eyes pop up and around 4am and I don’t go to sleep. So I got up and read and then I messed around with the recording I’m working on for a little bit.

Ooh what are you working on?

Just some drums for a buddy here, who does Facebook Lives. He’s done a number of recordings, he plays violin or piano and they put some guitar on his recording and doesn’t sing. So he’s writing some stuff doing these Facebook Lives and he doesn’t really like, he’s doing it in GarageBand. He doesn’t really like the drum sounds [in GarageBand] all that much, and he’d rather… and we played together and he’s like, I’d rather have real drums. Yeah, just sending them over. I haven’t really learned to, funny thing, I haven’t really learned to mix. I just… What I have learned to do is to get the best raw sound I can with the gear I have here and a little bit of EQ, you know, compression, that’s about it.

Jaimie & Shannon
That’s the way to do it. Yeah totally. That’s how everyone does it. Really, you know?

13:13 Robonzo
Yeah, I talked to a kid. I say he’s a kid. He’s like, 32 or something.

Well, he looks so… when I was looking at… when I first saw him online, he looked so young, but then I realized he’s been at this a while. And anyway, yeah, he has a great home studio, and we got to talking about doing drums. So he’s a multi instrumentalist, and he has a nice drum set in his studio. And so I just was asking him some questions and the conversation immediately went outside of my realm of experience, but it was really fun to get it on on tape, so to speak. And so I can let all the, you know studio nerds know about it when the episode comes out for that section anyway, it’s kind of interesting. I think.

That’s great.

Yeah, yeah. Speaking of recordings, I was just listening to Well, two things. We are recording. The other thing I want to say is that was listening to your latest release this afternoon. Congratulations. Sounds great.

Jaimie & Shannon
Oh, thank you.

Yeah, yeah. And I had to go back actually, I’m not sure how much or if I’ve heard any of last year’s, so I was listening to that too. And I’m really… I really liked the opening track on that one, and I kind of want to go back andreally just hear them sit and listen to them both a few times. So yeah.

14:27 Jaimie & Shannon
Oh, thank you. They’re really different records so they won’t feel redundant.

14:32 Robonzo
That’s I noticed that, I mean, you know, kind of opening tracks… They say a lot to me when you’re comparing a couple records, but you gotta get you know, or get a few songs in, but for sure. I could tell they were different. So good job on that.

Jaimie & Shannon
Oh, thanks a lot. Thank you.

Yeah. And that you guys feeling rested this afternoon?

14:49 Jaimie & Shannon
Yeah, I feel really, really good. Yes. We, it’s weird. I thought that maybe being on a virtual tour like we are would be more relaxed feeling you know but honestly it takes just about as much out of me every day yes the being the showing up for the show you know the, the performance… it’s a different experience, because we’re you know on screen with people versus being in person, and even though our like our the time commitment for each day is a less than it would be if we were showing up you know in person… it’s still like the energy you have to put out like when you’re on camera and on screen for the entirety of the time that you’re doing it is a lot of energy, you know, like especially when you kind of know that everyone’s looking at you because you have to constantly be like am I doing something dumb with my face? For me anyway?

Right? I know… you have to remember they’re all watching and you know, I’m I really do try to practice being on the camera like I did a couple of stories yesterday and a Facebook Live, and I did one Just a minute ago and before we came on, and… yeah, I’m like, Alright, I gotta be careful even though this is just a couple of minutes… you try not to do anything you with your nose or whatever.

Jaimie & Shannon
Seriously? Yeah, your nose is never edgier than when you’re suddenly on camera.

16:18 Robonzo
Mine’s usually he first thing in the morning when we walk the dog. Haha. So yeah, back to the performances.

So I was I was imagining the change. I’m sure you’ve done something kinda like that, or you know, at least a live broadcast before just a little something I’m guessing. But even if you have had, I would have to think there was a lot of upfront things you had to do for the first one, but I kind of wanted to ask, so how many have you done first of all,

Jaimie & Shannon
We just finished our 16th show last night.

Wow. That’s amazing.

And I bet you feel Like you’ve come just such a long way from show one to 16, based on getting used to some of those things and others that you haven’t even described yet.

Jaimie & Shannon
Oh, absolutely. I mean,

To your point of like, all this stuff we had to figure out in order to do this, like, just from a technical standpoint, I mean, that’s all Jamie. He figured out how to make really great quality, essentially, like a TV mix of our performance going into an audio interface, and then going into the Zoom from that. So people are getting a really great quality sound. But there was so much there was so much that went into planning all that out.

We should note, by the way that we’re not, it’s not just Shannon performing this year, because we’re just performing from the basement and I don’t have to run live sound, I can participate too. So I have assembled myself a tables worth of analog synthesizers, and drum machines and sound treatment devices. And we’re performing as an all live all electronic two person band with… We’ve reimagined arrangements of the entirety of the new record. So it’s not just like a keyboard and vocal going out over zoom. It’s like a full band mix.

Sweet Baby Jesus!

Jaimie & Shannon
Yeah, totally took some doing.

Yeah. So we were planning, putting all that together. And so putting together the technical part of it, and also rehearsing individually and then together for the show, we launched into the first show of this tour. Like, it’s like, we were trying to catch a train. I mean, it was just unbelievable, like an unbelievable pace to get up and running. And so yes, we’ve, since then, we’ve gotten to kind of settle into Okay, now it’s now it’s set up, it’s here. We know what we’re getting into every day. And in the you know, week since then, we’ve been able to then explore the nuances of what performing in this context actually feels like and what we can do things we can explore doing, you know, because at first it was really just trying to try to keep it all together. You know…

yeah. By the second one did it feel like okay, we kind of got this but you’re in the you know, you still learn some things.

Jaimie & Shannon
But what honestly,even by the first one, we felt pretty good only because we did such rigorous beta testing, we had like three solids or such geeks. Well, like it’s just like with theater you do you don’t do the first show the first night or, you know, opening night you do the first show, like a week before in what you call a dress rehearsal. And these were just dress for her. Right. So we did dress rehearsals for the three nights before, and oftentimes revisiting individual songs with our test victims, you know, you know that it wasn’t even that bad. I don’t think we’ve victimized anyone too terribly. We were We were pretty good at the gate, at least from the basics of it. You know, the nuances came later. I mean, that’s, I think what the last couple weeks have done for you is just given me a sense. And this is just this isn’t specific to this tour. This is any tour, like you start the tour with the understanding you have of it then, but then as soon as you start doing it in front of actual humans every night, you know, especially humans, you don’t know… it just totally changes in the narrative arc and makes itself apparent.

20:06 Robonzo
Yeah. How does one from Panama get to see one of these shows?

Jaimie & Shannon
Oh, my gosh, would love to have you just if you go to my website, Shannon Curtis dot net slash tour, or just the tour tab and take a look at what the dates are that we’ve got, left clicking on a date to see its time and time zone, because they vary wildly. Yeah.

So yeah, pick a couple that would work for you. And just email Jamie. And he’ll coordinate with our host to get to an invitation to one of them. Just pick a couple because sometimes there are some hosts, most of our hosts are totally open to inviting outside folks to come. But there are some cases where a host, you know, is having this event, just for a specific group of private people. And so, you know, like a couple.

Or maybe their RSVPs are full because we’re capping them at 30 to keep it an intimate zoom experience. You know, the idea being that we all do this together on the screen. It’s not something we beam at people. It’s something we do with people and they do with each other. So we’re keeping it to a screen full. And this goes, by the way, everything we just said about how does one get to see one of these shows, you can leave this in the episode. And this goes for anyone who’s listening. We welcome new people approaching our community in that way. And so if anyone is interested, just do the things Shannon just said, Send me an email, we would love to meet you and share what we do with you.

I love that. We will put that in the show notes.

Oh, man, you can tell the lack of sleep setting in now…

Jaimie & Shannon
We’ve been there a lot and we got it. We have to all give each other a lot of time every day is potentially really difficult and our brains are doing strange things. We’re all dealing with a collective trauma response and that’s that’s a serious thing.

For sure. You know, and I and that has been something I’ve noticed again, you know, in the past couple days, I mean, I’ve been pretty fine with it, but… Over the last week, probably I’m becoming more aware of like how this is affecting me. Sort of socially, it sounds kind of funny sounds kind of funny, but I think I, you know, I kind of realized like a lot of people’s like, I kind of like spending this time at home, it’s me and Sami and the dog and the cat, and you see a few neighbors. G oing out weird and all that, but I don’t mind not having all the commitments and not being around people, which I know sounds really shitty. And I have a little bit of like being in small group anxiety anyway. But now I think I’m getting a whole new, you know, rash of it from like, Oh my god, I don’t want to be around anyone anymore. What am I gonna do when this thing finally ends?

Jaimie & Shannon
Yeah, I get that. Interesting.

22:42 Robonzo
Yeah. And then of course, you know, everything in the news. It just makes you crazy. So I was like, Okay, I need to do a news fast.

22:50 Jaimie & Shannon
Yeah, that’s a great idea.

It is. It’s hard. I have the same instinct, you know, because I can feel what being on top of the news does to me, but it’s very much Like Schrodinger’s newsfeed, like I can’t look at it and I also can’t not look at it.

23:05 Robonzo
I think you know maybe what I am realizing right now is like there are times of day when I should not look at it, like right before bed.

23:12 Jaimie
Yes and for me it’s right upon waking. There’s no sure way for me to start my day poorly and anxious than to start by reading news.

You’re right.

Yeah, I try to you know, there’s a number of things I try not to do right when I get up, like looking at emails and sometimes I still do some, like really hoping somebody replied to something, but but yeah, news for sure. So speaking of community and welcoming new people, I you know, initially… Wait, first I gotta back up and say thank you to you guys, because I actually orchestrated and played my first house concert this year earlier this year with a guy who came from the states (Johnny Burgin) great blues player. And we actually took a small drum kit into it. The host was amazing, and I followed The playbook that… is it
No Bounder, No Bar…

24:06 Shannon
No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender… Right on!

24:09 Robonzo
Yeah, I followed the playbook as best I could and you know, shared all those things with with my hosts and she was great. She’s a good friend and she’s actually been sort of side note she’s been instrumental in helping me write my first song, because I was attending a writing workshop where she hosts them, at our home, which gave me the, lead me to the idea of using that [location]. I didn’t initially think of doing it there. I started doing something very bad by the way. I was going to try and host this thing myself on the property where we live, and that that didn’t work out and I thought, Well that was kind of stupid. Anyway, I reached out. I had a really short list, and the first person I reached out to was really curious. I’d never done it before. So this couple did. Tt was great. Johnny Bergen had a great time. And we played a couple of the gigs and then you know, and I got to do right before all this madness started.

25:03 Jaimie & Shannon
What a tease. Totally.

Yeah, it was a lot of fun but yeah… I mean I’m sure you figured this out about my interest in you two, other than the fact that I’ve learned that you’re lovely people, but the whole house concert thing and then as I you know, spoken with you more. You just sort of peel back some we’ve, you’ve let me peel back some layers of the onion so to speak and learn how it all works and the things that that sort of help get you there. Which brings me to back to community building. I believe this was the area community building and fan base supporters the area of the article that I was fortunate to be able to publish with recently that you guys got mentioned in.

25:47 Jaimie & Shannon
Thank you for that.

Yeah, for sure.

Jaimie & Shannon
Our people love that so much.

25:51 Robonzo
That’s great. You know, you you guys, I there’s a lot of people I could have mentioned and thought about mentioning but you guys always stand out to me in this regard. I guess I’d love to know how that maybe changed in whatever weird way it has or unexpected way with the freakin plague. And, and how it’s evolving. And you know what what…? Is there some pivoting involved?

Oh gosh, yeah, I think we’ll each have an answer. So sweetheart, why don’t you go first? Yeah.

26:26 Jaimie & Shannon
So when, when the reality of COVID-19 became apparent, it was like, it was like a slow rolling realization, you know, of acceptance of this new world than we were understanding and acceptance preceded by denial. Right?

You know, because we went from like, Oh, I wonder how this will impact the house concert tour we’re going to do this summer.

Oh, I wonder if we should be doing a house concert or or you know, like to finally realizing No, there’s no way we’re going to be able to tour around the country going from house to house. Spread… That whole process Shannon just described was in four days.

Yeah, it was, like a long process of… But we came to the realization that that that was, you know, not going to be an option for us, which was a real big challenge because our over the last number of years, our summer house concert tour has come to represent about 75% of our annual income. So it was we had to figure out a pivot there was not an option not to. We couldn’t just say, will take a year off, and, you know, and and pick it up again. And we had to figure out what was… what we could do. And so we we actually had like a five hour long like a whiteboarding session together. And really started, I think, in that in that session of figuring out what we could possibly do to pivot. The very first thing that we realized that we needed to do was to drill down on what are the values that we have for what why we do what we do and how we’ve approached it. And make me really clear what those things are so that we could then start from that place to recreate the experience of those values in this new context. And so, but it was really a values driven approach to designing this pivot. We realized two things that one one thing is that our, our community that that supports what we do, you know, they, they enjoy the music, that is definitely part of it. But it’s not just that, you know, it is the music is one of the doors into this sort of little mini world that we’ve that we’ve constructed. The podcasts that we do is another, the mentoring that that each of us does have other artists. The being friends too and supporting other people in sobriety that Jamie does. That’s a big part of how he’s of service to folks. So there’s lots of doors but like we realized that that our community is, is in this with us for lots of reasons, not just the music. And so, you know, we had constructed every year, an album fundraiser each year, you know, to put out a new record. We realized that we could use that opportunity to pivot from raising a bunch of cash for an album project to directing people to doing more like a Patreon model, the monthly small dollar sort of patronage subscription model, as a way for people to just kind of in an ongoing way support the work that we’re doing. So that was one of the pivots we, because we realized that people want people who want to support us not just for the for making a new record every year. It’s more than that. So that was an important realization. And then these virtual house concerts, you know, we decided to use the Zoom method of doing it, versus beaming it out on Facebook Live or whatever, because we realized that the being together in a space, whether it’s real or virtual, is one of the big values that we had for what we do.

And it’s one of the strengths to the creating of a temporary, sort of autonomous community each evening.

Yes, yes. And the togetherness, that that, that that allows and in this time when people are so isolated from one another, we figured that it might be an opportunity for people to, to meet that need for connection with other people. And it’s the…, you know, it’s centered around a concert. But again, it’s not just about that it is, you know, we have we have time for group discussion at the end of every one of our concerts and my gosh, people stick around forever,

It frequently goes longer than the concert.

Yeah. You know, just talking with each other, you know, but and deeply and yeah, not chit chatting like we set a tone of intentionality at the very outset of that group discussion period. I just tell people explicitly like something we would really love to know is how you’re doing, and not in a good thanks into you way, but in a genuine deep way. And I frame it in context of this trauma that we’re all going through together, because everyone needs to talk about that, you know, whether they might have that at the forefront of their mind or not, everyone needs to talk about that.

Yeah, we’ve learned over the years to get our house concerts that, you know, that that happens in person to, you know, not all together on group level. But, you know, at the end of a concert, we get people coming up to us for, you know, a long time after the show’s over who and they, they need to share something that is going on in their lives or, because I think that a shared experience around art of any kind can do that for folks. They can it can crack people open a little bit or make them feel a little bit more willing to be vulnerable, you know. And so, creating a space for that was really an important part of this experiment for us too. And it’s borne out to be really, I think one of the things that make the events really special. So I don’t even know if I answered your question. Those were some of our pivots, but Jamie, do you…?

I do. So I’ll address the second half of Roberto’s question, which is sort of the the effects that we’ve seen, because of the transitions that we’ve had to make, you know, Visa VR community. And I guess I was gonna say, oddly, I don’t know if oddly is the right preface, but I didn’t expect this but our community feels like it has gotten tangibly more tight knit, and deeper and like the connections that people are feeling with us, but also with each other are feeling palpably stronger in this time. And it might just be because people have more of a need for togetherness in this time of being apart. Maybe it’s just that people need that shared experience around this collective trauma. But whatever it is, like the way that people came around us for what we what we turned our sustainability fundraiser was truly remarkable. And you know, we didn’t do this with a dollar goal in mind. We framed in sort of an unconventional way. So as Shannon mentioned, the point of the fundraiser was that we were, you know, if people supported that they were doing so by signing up for our Patreon, at, you know, a level of their choosing, and there’s like we only had six levels, you know, from like inexpensive at five bucks a month to very expensive at 100 bucks a month, which remarkably like two people did, you know, that was more of an aspirational context. You know, more than anything, but a couple people actually did it, which was amazing. But the the point of it was that we weren’t counting dollars raised in this fundraiser, we counted supporters, and that’s it. And it didn’t matter if you came in at five bucks a month or 100 bucks a month, you still counted as one supporter. And we were, we had three different sort of incremental goals, 50 supporters, hundred supporters, 150 supporters, and like with previous Kickstarter model fundraisers that we’ve done, we had a thing that we would do like if we get to 50 we can do this if we get to 100. We can do this. The top goal at 150 was a sort of our pay it forward goal, where if we hit that goal, then we sort of felt you know, all things being equal, that we would probably be in stable enough a position that I would be able to start donating some of my time as, as an engineer to helping other artists whose incomes have been devastated in this time of pandemic, when they can’t play live shows can’t or can’t do the things they usually do to make money. You know, so I could theoretically help people mix and master their records at no cost to them, to help them have something new to put out into the world and hopefully generate some new interest around your career and some new income from. So the combination of those things, you know, the storytelling around the pay it forward goal and the idea that like, by supporting what we’re doing, our people would eventually be able to help support the art community and the music community more broadly. I think it was, it was a really, really good, at the risk of sounding like a hippie vibe. For this time, like it really felt good to be putting that sort of energy into the world. And I think it felt good for our people too. And the, the way that our community came around us for this fundraiser was amazing. You know, we hit the top goal, we went, like 12% past it, which was amazing. We ended up with like, like, 160 plus supporters, new supporters, and that was remarkable. But like the words of encouragement that we were getting, and the “keep going, guys, you can do it,” just the supportiveness that we felt from our people felt different, I think to us this time than in previous years, you know, stronger, more passionate, more encouraging, you know. It was it was really neat to see. And in the time since then, you know, especially as we’ve pivoted into, quote, unquote, tour. You know, that same feeling has perpetuated itself through the shows and also through our online experience with our people. Everything just seems deeper. And warmer and kind of owee-gooier people seem more willing to and eager to engage in a vulnerable way to go directly to talking about important things in an emotionally vulnerable way, as opposed to just keeping it sort of Facebook surfacey, you know, which I think more could have characterized the time before March. Everybody, every person who supported our fundraiser, and who supports our Patreon, in an ongoing way, gets invited to this private Facebook group that we have. It’s called the Misfit Stars private Facebook group. And that has just become this self-selecting group of people just a couple hundred strong, who have this like, sort of unspoken but deeply held group level commitment to being kind and open and honest and vulnerable and supportive with each other.

And groups not really about us. It’s really about just creating a space for people who are the types of folks and they’re all all of our Patreon supporters, that’s who that’s how you get into this group but but they’re. The space is really used for people working through stuff together like somebody posted a question the other day in the group. You know, she’s she’s a mom of a couple of teenagers and she’s like, “Hey, I’m just curious to know if anybody here parents or teachers who have heard of schools reopening plan that you feel good about, you know, so far, I’d love to hear your thoughts.” The conversation has been incredible. And neither Jamie or I have kids, nor are we teachers. So like, we don’t really have a stake in this particular conversation, but to see everybody coming around each other and sharing their thoughts and encouragement with each other and supporting each other through their thought processes,

You know, to be able to talk about an issue that you know, if you were talking about this, in like regular social media, could very quickly become just a hellhole of you know, political just whatever. Baloney. Yeah. But instead it’s actually a really thoughtful and encouraging and yeah, we don’t know what’s going on, and what is the best solution. But here, they’re sharing their ideas and they’re sharing their experience. And it’s really refreshing. Like, it’s just like a little microcosm of the kind of world we want to live in, in general. You know, and I think that that’s, that’s really what it boils down to. I think, for us, the kind of community that we want to, to foster in our lives is just like a little mini version of a world we’d like to live in. You know,

yeah, yeah.

It’s a real statement of the type of community that you’ve built. And I don’t recall but was Did you have a Patreon presence? Or were you guys doing anything on Patreon prior to all this new way of doing things?

38:50 Jaimie & Shannon
for about for about two years, but it had come in it’s five times larger in size now than it was pre March. We had it in existence to support our podcast. That’s kind of the structure we had done. We started our podcast in November of 2018. And we set up the Patreon as a sort of a support to that. And you know, at the time, we I don’t think we really knew we, that was another that was another result of one of our whiteboarding sessions where we were like, okay, we feel a need to develop some kind of like umbrella over the work that we do. There’s, you know, there’s my songwriting and the shows that we do under my name. And then there’s Jamie’s work as an engineer, and as a mentor of other artists, and, you know, and producer and all that. And then there’s this, like this middle ground where it’s both of us, but there’s no structure around it.

And that is actually kind of more of what we do. It’s kind of everything together, it’s more different. Yeah, that’s sort of like a bigger presence, even though but we hadn’t, we didn’t have anything to define that. So that’s actually how we ended up with the idea of starting a podcast was to find something to do that would sort of be that umbrella, of the, you know, of the work that we do together. And so we that’s why we started it. And I don’t think we really realized at the at that… We couldn’t have known at that time that we were that we were laying the foundation for a structure that would become much more that would feel much more essential for people come March 2020. You know, we didn’t, we didn’t know then what we were preparing for. But clearly that’s what that’s… this is the time for which that that structure was created back then. That’s right now it’s like we built a container. And this is the thing that needed to go in.

Robonzo 40:33
Yeah. Oh, interesting. I want to go back to the no dollar value approach that you had to the sustainability fund because it it’s something that I took your word on a concept. I took your word on with house concerts, and it worked out really well in that one, you know, that one that I’ve been able to do this far but In this case, what what made you go that route? And I know it has to do with? It’s linked to the decision that it was number of members that mattered more than dollar value. Can you just kind of walk us through the the mindset and the thinking behind that?

Jamie & Shannon 41:16
Sure. And I will each have answers. Sure. I mean, I think that it is it is a similar approach to the open donation house concerts concept that we do, you know, I think when you give people an opportunity to reflect for themselves on what the value of something is, they might value it even more than if you tried to sort of second guess the process and arrive in your mind at a median or average value that someone might reasonably be expected to put on it. Yeah, there’s that. There’s also I think, a much more like, I don’t know what you call it like a metaphysical sort of like Approach like, I like how much do we believe that when we offer open handedly what we have to offer the world that we will, that we will receive in return what we need to be taken care of, you know, and on a purely like personal spiritual and then not religious but you know, personal spiritual level. I can tell you that, for me, the experience of offering without expectation or without a pre determined dollar amount of of, you know, value or whatever, but, but offering what I do, what we do open handedly is a spiritual exercise that’s really good for me. You know, it keeps me on that sort of Razor’s Edge of I’m doing what I’m doing because I believe that it’s what I ought to be doing. And I can offer it with an open hand and an open heart. And it without any expectation, you know, it’s, it’s when when you like when you’re in a relationship with somebody that you love, you don’t love them for the sake of what they’re gonna give you back you do it because you love them. And you you know you offer your love because it’s a gift, but you do get stuff back and the stuff that you get back when you do it open handedly like that, I think is worth a lot more. You know, and it’s a good it’s a good exercise for me to approach something that that maybe ought to, ought to be more concrete like some of you know, finances maybe ought to be more well defined and planned for but it’s a to be so big I ought to be is maybe not the right word. I know Shannon and I each in our own way have sobriety in our in our background in our store. And I think that there’s some principles that I think we’ve each learned in that process that are related to what we’re talking about here. One of them is the idea of not trying to control everything. Yeah, you know, that’s a big one for both of us. And I think that we’ve just both learned very simply that when we try to control things more, it tends energetically and spiritually speaking, for whatever reason in the universe not to work out as well for us is when we just in an open handed way, approach a situation. And secondly, there’s this idea also of like, attracting rather than promoting, right. The idea that if you create a space for people on their own terms, to approach what you do, you know, in whatever way feels best for them, that when when you create a space that that not just invites but requires anyone who might be interested to bring themselves halfway toward you. And then by inviting them and requiring them to do part of that work, you know, you will get more investment from that person because they’re making an affirmative effort from their side to approach what you’re doing on their terms in a way that makes sense to them. And so it’s something they’re doing of themselves and something they’re doing for themselves and of their own volition, which means that it will be more deeply rooted inside of them. Because they’re doing it from a deeper place inside of them. It’s relationship, not consumption.

Robonzo 45:36
Can you? Can you elaborate on how you accomplish that latter part where just to kind of help me understand how it works. The maybe it’s very simple, but it it sounds intricate, so I’m just kind of making some notes here, but I heard something to the effect of you know, in inviting people to be part of something where they’re going to come have fun way towards you?

Jamie & Shannon 46:01
Hmm, sure. You know, I think the biggest part of it, you know, just in terms of concrete applicability, maybe to another musician or to any other music career, we make a real point of giving everything we do away. Anyone who wants to listen to any of our music can do so freely. I mean, right at Shannon’s website or on Bandcamp. All the stuff that we do to engage our community is just, it’s not paywalled. It’s all just right out there in the open. When we friend people on Facebook, we don’t give them a business page, we give them our personal Facebook pages. And we make a real effort to engage with people and to see them as much as they see us. You know, it’s about it not being unidirectional. It’s about us just being part of a community of people. And we bring what we bring, we happen to be artists, so we bring art, but we also are, it’s not just all about us. We’re also super We’re interested in what other people have to offer into brain and yeah, we’re we’re constantly looking to surround ourselves evermore with people who put energy into the world that helps us feel better about the world. And you know, in that spirit, we don’t view our music careers in a transactional kind of way. You know, I do a ton of work as a producer and a mixer and mastering records for free. And it’s, it’s funny, anyone, anyone these days who asked me what my rate is, I always just tell them at sliding scale. It’s kind of pay what you can. And I always tell them, here’s what, here’s what my ideal rate is. And if you can pay this, please do because some people paying my full rate enables me to work for free for other people. But in absence of any other influencing factor if there’s something in the world that I want to see more of, and I can help encourage it by putting some of my own labor into it, I’ll do it. And I think we just generally approach everything in our careers that way, this idea that we do what we do, and we want to Share it with you, and we hope you get something out of it. And that’s all that we can control that’s right up to our edge of the side of the street. Any further or subsequent response to that, that’s out of our hands and out of our control, right. If we give open handedly we just have to let go the results. But paradoxically, I think by letting go the results in that way, and just being open handed about what we do, I think we invite some really good energy back into our lives. So he’s that’s how it feels being on the receiving end of it. Yeah. Because I think that the people who then who do who do accept the invitation to think for themselves, Oh, is this something that’s worthwhile to me, then it then they get to take a step forward to actually engage in supporting it, which makes them invested which when we invest a parts apart parts of ourselves, whether it be money or just emotional energy, you know, we become connected, you know, and it’s not about someone having purchased a ticket and saw a show and you know, like a A consumption model, it’s a people got to have an experience that they were given with, you know, an open hand and got to have an opportunity to decide, is this something that I want to see more of in the world? And, you know, and if so, how much do I want to? How much I want to support that? How much can I support it? You know, and what’s really interesting, I think, to both of us is that like, we can there’s, there’s like a meta level to this. And Roberto, I’m sure that you’ll see this as you do more house concerts once we can do that, again, like with the open donation model, we know with a certainty and we can actually see this really explicitly with a virtual tour we’re on because every single donation doesn’t go anonymously into a vase or a jar on Shannon’s keyboard. It comes in through PayPal or Venmo. So we know exactly how many people are giving and how much each and only about a third of the people at any of these virtual concerts are actually making a donation right meaning that two thirds of the people see the experience here and we talk at some length at the end of the show about what does open donation mean? What does it mean to name your own ticket price? How do you how what does it mean to engage with art in an open handed way? You know, and even with that framework, two thirds of people just kind of go. Yeah, I’m not doing that. Oh, except for some of those people are also the category of folks who don’t have an income right now, and was very explicit about the fact that if anybody’s in a tough financial situation, you know, because of Coronavirus, or any other reason that we don’t want them to donate for the experience. So that’s a that’s an explicit part of this model is that folks can come and enjoy it as a gift to them if they aren’t as That’s right, when, where they can’t afford to contribute financially. I’m glad you said that. But that aside, you know, still there’s a whole bunch of people who come to these experiences and have done certainly throughout the entirety of the time we’ve been doing house concerts, and just like take it and don’t contribute back and then go and like that’s fine, and it’s fun. for a couple of reasons, one, like we play the averages, right. So for every person who doesn’t feel like they need to support it, there’s somebody else who feels the need to support it incredibly generously, and it averages out in a way that seems to work out okay for us. So that’s one, two. It’s so important for us. And Shannon just alluded to this, that anyone who is at one of our concerts and is experiencing financial difficulty or distress, be able to have that with no feeling of regret or guilt and really, for it to be explicitly said that this is our gift to you, because people need grace when they’re down. And third, also, and perhaps most importantly, what we’re doing is really unusual. And like we recognize that and by modeling this behavior for people and by giving them a chance to engage in an open handed way with no strings attached, like they might not engage the first time. And like we said, that’s fine, but a seed has been planted right? Like maybe these people have never once before in their lives been asked to place a value on an artistic experience or more broadly on the idea of art in the world. Maybe they’ve only ever been forced to deal with art in a transactional way, right? You go to a concert, you pay a ticket, you go to the museum, you pay a ticket. It’s a quid pro quo, where you put down a fixed amount of money that you can see on a website somewhere, and you decide in advance, yes, this is going to be worth X dollars worth of entertainment to me; right? And it’s ticketing makes it not be about art, but about entertainment, really, because that’s what transactionality does. It forces it away from that pure artistic experience. But by putting an experience right in front of people in sometimes a slightly unexpected way, where they all of a sudden are confronted with the ability to really just make whatever decision they want to about what this is worth to them. They might not make a financially based decision the first time but I know that that experience is going to resonate within them. And that I think is it’s really important for the world. You know, like music didn’t used to be about money. When I was a kid. It wasn’t about money. You know? Just about expression and trying to find my people, you know, you know, community and expression and feelings. Like I think that all the capitalist stuff that gets put on top of that as we’re adults is really destructive in some ways.

Robonzo 53:15
And certainly distracting Yeah. distracting you know, I’m it’s funny I recently took on a writing project with kind of a, you know this model we’re talking about pay money you just pay what what you what it was worth to you. I want to do this for you. And it’s, I’m almost completely done with it. But the feedback has been really great. The experience has been really great. I really enjoy the individual I’m working with. They’re very they’re, she’s a special person. And yeah, I I guess I brought it up because I wasn’t… Now I feel like maybe you know, and hearing you talk about the model that you pursued, that maybe I wasn’t really sure of all the reasons why I was doing it that way. But it was something I wanted to try. And I’m trying to remember if I had this same open donation, you know, concept from, from the house concert model that use in the back of my mind, and it certainly, you know, I’ve seen it around elsewhere. You know, when I was thinking about it, about, you know, offering this to her. I thought, yeah, it’ll just be like a tip jar. You know, so it’s been, it’s fun to do it that way. And it’s something I’m looking forward to experimenting with. And you gave me some nice things to think about. So the…

Jamie & Shannon 54:50
Can I jump in on something? Really quickly?

Robonzo 54:53

Jamie & Shannon 54:53
You touched on something there, which is you referred to in passing as sort of maybe being like a tip jar. And I just wanted to underscore the idea that in our world that’s that’s a word that we don’t use and indeed discourage people from using. He’s read the book. I want to say this for people who are listening, though, yeah. When you refer to something as tips, it devalues what you’re doing, because it implies that the thing you’re doing has no intrinsic value, and that any money is being given to it is ancillary to and outside of that, because that’s what a tip is a tip is adjacent to proper compensation, right. And theoretically, if done properly, donations can be proper compensation is just compensation, where you’re not telling someone what it’s worth, you’re asking someone what it’s worth.

Robonzo 55:38
Yeah, that’s a good point.

Jamie & Shannon 55:39
It’s a very small verbiage change. But you know, it’s something we’ve really had to work through in our own life, you know, because it touches on feelings of scarcity, right? Like, it’s hard at first when you’re doing donation based concerts, to say in a confident way, my work has value and yes, I’m doing this in an unconventional way. But I want to honor With the way I talked about it, you know, and it’s really easy to be like, Oh, it’s just tips. Oh, it’s just crumpled ones. Oh, I’m not worth anything I don’t need. I don’t need money. But of course we do. We live in a society where we have to pay for things. You know. So I think it’s really important to honor the work that you do with the words you choose to talk about it.

Robonzo 56:16
Yeah, thanks for the reminder. Actually, I was very careful about that. When we did the house concert, and we and I think it served us well and serve the host well. And yeah, I’ll have to think about that. Interestingly, I don’t think I use that language with my friend who for whom I’m doing the project, but I used it when I was thinking it through in my head, and but you know, has a similar impact, right?

Jamie & Shannon 56:39
Yeah, yeah.

Robonzo 56:41
So, you know, and I have to tell you a quick, quick story, but I’m an amazing singer, songwriter, I know moved from San Jose, California to Austin somewhat recently, and we were catching up. She was actually one of three or four artists that helped me in some research for the article that you guys were mentioned in, and. We were just talking about Austin and she’s really feeling a lot of, you know, sadness over the number of musicians that are out of work and she’s in a really unique position. She has a has a job, she really likes, first time in a long time, but she decided she would do that. And she can actually, you know, like she told me said I can I don’t have to play covers anymore unless I want to I can start doing what I want to do. But all these other people she was very, she’s very worried about. But she had said that, you know, “I was seeing money on the streets,” and well, no; The thing I wanted to say is when the shocker to her when she moved to Austin was that a lot of the pay is done on tips, she said, and I’m like, well, is that a good thing? Because No, not really. So it you know, I guess it echoes what you’re saying at least in that in that One story that, you know, she came from a world where she was playing, you know, she wasn’t doing… I don’t know how much, you know, open, open handed donation stuff she was doing. But she was playing for agreed upon guaranteed fees at venues, you know, and a lot of a lot of nice gigs, right. She was working really hard has been for a long time. And she went to this different ecosystem. And yeah, she she didn’t she didn’t think that part of it was great. But obviously, if you, you, I’m sure you hear all the good things about about music and Austin. So there’s a lot there that she loves. So but it does speak to it does echo what you’re saying, Jamie? All right. Let’s see. The new release “And Her Whisper Becomes A Storm,” did I get it right?

Jamie & Shannon 58:49
You did.

Robonzo 58:51
Did I understand correctly that the writing for that began in January of this year?

Jamie & Shannon 58:58

Robonzo 58:59

Jamie & Shannon 59:00
Yeah, that’s pretty standard for Shannon. Wee’re on an album cycle of one album a year.

Robonzo 59:06
Yeah. That’s amazing. Well, I remember remembering now as I asked the question that it was pretty sure it was with you, Shannon that we talked about habits, or things that you do to sort of set yourself up to accomplish all the things you want to do. And you I believe it was you. Or you were one of the people that said, you schedule, you know, time for yourself to write. And that’s just, like, non negotiable time. And yes, every minutes not necessarily spent writing, but it’s the time that you’re supposed to be doing it.

Jamie & Shannon 59:32
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, just given this sort of cycle that we’ve put ourselves on in terms of releasing an album every year. It I mean, the deadline is, it’s barreling toward me. You know, and when that when the New Year happens, that’s always like, Oh, okay. Yeah, in six months, there’s gonna there’s gonna be a record out. I better make it. You know, and that’s not to say that I haven’t been seen Previously, you know, before the actual writing starts, I spend a lot of time just in, you know, private thought moments mulling over what it is that I want to write about, I tend to write albums on themes. And so it’s just a it’s a great way for me to sort of at album length explore whatever sort of ideas are, seem most important to me to explore in any given year, you know? And so yeah, when when album writing time happens, I do like, Okay, this is writing day and I’m gonna get up there and make something happen or see what happens or, you know, because the deadline looms always.

Robonzo 60:42
And you guys are pretty much a self sustaining self contained operation when it comes to writing, recording and releasing an album right?

Jamie & Shannon 60:53
Totally, completely. Yeah, I write the songs I record like demo versions of The arrangements. I would almost more than demo call what you do wireframes because they are out there. It No seriously. Like, Shannon wouldn’t she’s not one to brag on herself, but I’ll brag on her a bit. When we first started. She was just bringing me like literally demos, like in GarageBand just for keyboard and her voice and we would have to redo everything from the ground up. Over the years, we’ve built her up her own little Pro Tools studio, and she’s gotten really, really good at Pro Tools and a drum programming and synthesizer programming. And she these days, I mean, for this record, the way the record sounds, she brought me something that sounded a lot like this. It just sounded like a more like, remedial, not as polished, not as full version, but the ideas were very much there and the ideas are hers. And like that’s, that’s ideal, and that’s on purpose because I mean for anyone I’m working with, I always want to get as much of their artistry and what’s inside their head in their heart as possible on tape. Like I don’t want it to be filtered through me, I don’t want ideally Shan to be going, Okay, I’m hearing this kind of sound, I hear it doing this kind of thing, but you got to do it. I just want her to do it. Because you know, cuz she’ll the way that someone’s like inner voice filters through their own abilities and their own way that they relate to instruments and stuff like that it’s going to make something completely unique to them. And that’s what you’re hearing here. So that was just a total side note, but I really want to lean on that idea that like Shannon’s got her own studio and she’s kind of a badass. Yes, I did the writing and I and that wireframing of all the songs and then I bring those to Jamie and he we do additional production together. And he mixes it and masters it and we years ago started our own little record label really just for the purpose of releasing our own music. And and it has distribution through the orchard and so yeah, we it’s a it’s a one stop mom and pop shop around here from beginning to end.

Robonzo 62:59
That’s cool. In, you know, not tha we can’t do an album or a song without what you have there, but how nice and especially with the timeframe that you give yourself to do to do an album. So you got all this stuff done and you released your It started in January for the most part, and you release it in little little after mid June, the latter part of June. That’s pretty amazing. And that’s a regular deal, right? Regular deal every year. It’s amazing. I love it. So in the in the couple minutes we have left here I have to tell you about something in case you don’t know about this, I think it will be very meaningful, could be very meaningful to you moving forward, or at least something of curiosity but so… The next article I’m working on is on the on the world of online collaboration for music and you know I started asking the Unstarving Musician, sort of inner outer circle about it I was hearing about, well, I use, you know, this DAW, and I use this file sharing service. And that’s kind of it so and so then I discover a couple of well, I actually ran across a lot of different things. But one thing I’m seeing, and I’ll just mention one app. Right now. It’s called SoundStorming. Have you heard of it? I have. Have you tried it? I don’t know much about it. But I have heard. Well, it’s interesting. So the idea is this is, I don’t know, maybe… You basically record ideas on your, on your iOS device? Generally, I think phone not definitely not, you know, intended for the laptop user. Maybe not even the iPad user, but on your iOS phone, and I’m sure soon coming to Android, and you share that with the community. But at first I was like, Oh, that’s pretty cool. You know, and I’m hearing some stories about some things that have happened on there. But I did discover. So there’s another side of this that I’ve discovered, which is another example. There are a few players in both of these types of platforms, but the other one is So this is kind of more what I consider, like a player’s platform. So, guys like me, you know, acoustic drummer, I went on there and found a bunch of people who’ve uploaded some ideas and they’re looking for maybe drums, vocals, guitar, you know, certain styles of backing vocals, lyrics, whatever. So I run across a guy, just one example, I run across a guy who’s got this great keyboard tune he does on keyboards, and it’s in a like a prog rock style, and I’m like, Oh, I’d love to put something on that. So, you know, you can kind of see the potential for this…, they invite people to submit tracks, and you know, some other drummer might do the same thing. So there’s that. But back to this other one. The first one I mentioned like the SoundStorming type model. I was in a discussion with their founders, one of a couple I’ve had, and they’re exploring this new facet of artists, communicating with their fans and letting their fans into the creative process. And I know that you you to do this already, but it’s a new way to let fans many of whom who are musicians, and that may also be part of your world into the creative process, and a super easy way for artists to have daily communication with their fans, their people, their community, I guess that’s the better word right with their community. And I still use them a bit interchangeably but I know it’s not not exactly how you guys do, but so with their community and letting them into the process, and it just kind of becoming… The expectation is is that this type of thing will become a new part of You know, how the making of music happens and even enable musicians to spend a little more time actually creating music. Because we have to do so many things now there’s no way around it, right?

Jamie & Shannon 67:12

Robonzo 67:12
But anyway, I just wanted to mention it to you, because I know you’re always exploring new things, and may not be for your world, but I thought it was worth sharing, because you might know others, for whom that’s so

Jamie & Shannon 67:25
That’s so great to know about. And you so for our world, you know, we have a thing that we do, and we do it together. And you know, it’s interesting, like, we’re very transparent about what we’re up to, but also at the same time, like, we never let anybody hear any part of anything until it’s mastered and finished and out into the world very well, and it’s very simply because we have a thing that we’re aiming at, ya know, and we’re just and we know, we’ll know when we have it, and then we’ll share it. But I could see this being so valuable in another way for even something that we’re working on right now. Yes, I was thinking yeah, so Shannon. I are working right now on a remix album, but we’re not doing it. We’re crowdsourcing just from a bunch of musicians that we know from all over the world. I’ve made stems for the entirety of this new album. And their complete stems. I mean, every single thing effects returns everything. And so it’s really, really flexible. And we’ve got people from Germany and Brazil and a couple people in Florida, someone in New Jersey, someone in New York County, California, someone from right here in Tacoma, a rap guy, who’s from, he’s from Mississippi, but he lives up here now. He just took the hook, just the chorus from bending the atmosphere, and he wrote all his own verses for it, and it’s amazing. And so we’re putting together a remix album for this new album, and we hope it’ll be a full length thing. But the idea of just like putting a vocal up on one of these things, and then just inviting the entire world to be like, add one thing to this. Yeah, that’s that’s a cool idea to be amazing and then just do the editing and refinement. Like putting your process on our end? Totally. Yeah. My wheels are turning. We’ll check it out for sure.

Robonzo 69:06
Yeah. And I know there’s I think there’s another platform to like, I haven’t looked at it, but Endless which is sort of in the same world. I believe that SoundStorming is. So yeah, let me I would love to hear how that goes. Thank you both for for spending time with me. Again.

Jamie & Shannon 69:25
It’s always a pleasure.

Robonzo 69:26
It went really fast.

Jamie & Shannon 69:28
Yeah, it always does. You know, thanks for being willing to get deep with us, you know?

Robonzo 69:34
Oh, for sure. Yeah, you know, and we may have to do it another time. I was gonna say, and do you guys get to talk about how you’re doing?

Jamie & Shannon 69:44
Aw, yeah, you know, we’re doing fine in 2020 adjusted terms I think we’re doing as well as could be expected. I mean, days different, you know, and I think that’s true for a lot of folks. I deal with some anxiety some days, you know, and we We’re both really sensitive empath type people, and we’re surrounded by a very large community of freaked out humans. You know, we take on some of that. It feels really good to be involved in doing work that feels like it’s allowing people, a place an outlet for what they’re working through, you know, this record that we made this year, is about, you know, the idea of doing the next right thing about, you know, getting still listening to the inner voice and then making that first little whisper of intention and a step in the direction you want to go. And I think that those are these are tools that I’ve had to use every single day in the era of COVID-19. You know, those practices of getting still and listening and finding strength with others and figuring out what you can and can’t control. Yeah, I mean, these are things that have I’m so glad this is the record we made this year because I’ve needed it, but it feels really good in this time to be able to offer this work to people who are also potentially in need of these kinds of tools. You know, for for navigating this, this time that we’re in, so it feels good to be of service. I feel like that that’s, that’s what we’re able to do every night when we show up for a virtual concert is, you know, ideally that we can be a place of refuge for people, and maybe give them some encouragement about how they can move forward in this time. And so how that affects how I’m doing it just makes me feel good to be able to contribute in that way. That’s always something that brings me up if I’m even if I’m having a down day. Yeah, Same, regardless of how I’m feeling at the beginning of the day, I never feel better than right after we’ve done the show. I just feel super free, very filled up, you know, really

Robonzo 71:41
The podcast when you refer to the show.

Jamie & Shannon 71:43
Oh, the show the virtual concert. Virtual concerts.

Robonzo 71:46
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Because you have the big Well, you have the performance and then you have the big share fest.

Jamie & Shannon 71:51
Yeah, it’s wonderful. Yeah. And then getting to just, you know, immerse myself in this material and this thought process every single day. is

Robonzo 72:00
What great idea. All right you guys. It’s been a blast.

Jamie & Shannon 72:05
Thank you so much Roberto

Robonzo 72:07
You’re the best man have a great rest of your week.

Jamie & Shannon 72:09
You too

Robonzo 72:11
All right, cheers. This episode was powered by ConvertKit which is more than just an email marketing company ConvertKit is focused on landing pages to giving beginner creators everything they need to start building their email lists. I’ve been using ConvertKit since early 2016 and I love it. Their new free plan allows creators to make unlimited landing pages and forms you can choose from multiple templates, add personalization and design and much much more. The support is great, which is super important. You can learn more about ConvertKit and how they can help you connect with your audience, so you can make a living doing the work you love by going to or the Show Notes for this episode.

Hey, thanks for listening. If you have feedback, comments suggestions or questions about the podcast my guests me, visit You can leave me a quick voicemail right there on that page, right from your browser. All my other contact info is there too and I would love to hear from you.

You can find links by the way for just about everything mentioned in this episode in the show notes at Thank you again for listening. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate you sharing it with your musician friends and fellow indie music fans. Peace, gratitude and a whole lot of love.


Visit my Resources page for more musician resources.

Pardon the Interruption (Disclosure) 
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I make a small commission, at no extra charge to you, if you purchase using those links. Thanks for your support!

Bandzoogle - Musician Websites that Work

This episode is brought to you by Bandzoogle.

From garage bands to Grammy winners, Bandzoogle powers the websites for thousands of musicians around the world.

Plans start at just $8.29/month, which includes hosting and your own free custom domain name. Go to to start your 30 day free trial. Use promo code “robonzo” to get 15% off the first year of any subscription.