Long story short, FOTW is taking a semi-hiatus. Recession sucks. Capitalism sucks. Our printers have completely broken, and that sucks. Having money stolen sucks.
We're not going away forever, we just need to sit down, catch our collective breathes, and figure out how to come out of this swinging. We're going to be down for a couple of months and not be taking orders.
IF YOU'VE ALREADY ORDERED SOMETHING BUT HAVE NOT RECIEVED IT YET: You will be getting an e-mail with-in a week with a couple of options including complete refunds, digital files, and etc.
In the meantime: DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING NEW.
Stick around. Here's an update of some of the stuff we're going to be working on while we figure out our financial situation:
We are planning to redesign our website. Our website is now three years old, and while it was sufficient for its time - FOTW has grown out of its shell and the website is now cluttered and could use some serious tweaks. We plan to completely revamp and redesign it. We are planning for the new website to have the ability for bands to update their own pages and information directly (posting videos, music, etc.) and posting show dates directly on our website.
Buff up our distro and put out publications. It has been a long-term goal for FOTW to improve its distro - and, on top of that, to deal with other forms of media (including the written word, video, and etc.). We are going to take this time to do some serious research, outreach, and organizing to make sure FOTW is doing a lot more of this. It is also our secret wish to start releasing zines and books.
Faster production of albums and orders. We are planning to better organize ourselves so that we are able to get orders and bands' albums out quicker. With the repairs of our printers/recorders, a second (and much faster) paper-cutter, and the weekly production of releases - our turnover time will be vastly improved.
Possibly opening up or duplication/ablum making abilities to others. We are considering opening up our machines and skills of CD duplication and album making to outside groups and people. This would mean that money wouldn't stand in the way of getting something done as quickly as it did before. It would also mean opening up the possibility of "financial aid" to other groups, organizations, bands, etc. to work with that don't have the resources. We are still weighing the pros and cons of this option.
Thanks for the support from everyone. We're sorry this has to happen, but we're going to figure out a way to make it work for the better.
Three Important Points About
Fall Of The West Records:
Not-for-profit. This means that all of the "profit" (if there ever is any) goes back into Fall of the West itself. All of the people involved in running FOTW do it without any monetary compensation. We do it because we enjoy doing it and we really think that music has the potential to change the world.
Collectively-run. All decisions are made by consulting other members involved in running FOTW and by reaching a consensus. While everyone involved acts independently to complete whatever it is they volunteer to do without "supervision", there are no unilateral decisions made.
DIY. Everything that we produce is made in our homes and with our own hands, with a very few exceptions. When there are exceptions to this, we always make it publicly known that something was not made by us. (An example of this is something like pressing for a vinyl release, which we do not have the capability to do ourselves at this point - yet we still print and put together the rest of the packaging.) If there is something that we cannot do ourselves, we try to find another DIY group that can fill that role for us, thus establishing a mutually-supportive relationship.
How We Work With Bands:
We'd also like to take a minute of your time here, if you don't mind, to explain a little bit about how Fall Of The West works. Our about page explains that we are a DIY label that presses the CDs, prints the artwork, and puts together the packaging ourselves (with the occasional exception). However, as you are the person receiving what we create with the bands – we feel that it would be wise to take a moment to explain to you exactly where your money goes. Obviously, one dollar from each release goes to a Non-profit organization of the artists' choice. However, money from each album purchased from FOTW also goes directly to the bands (this has an occasional exception if a different process has been worked out with the bands – such as with Captain Chaos). In fact, with these releases, we only take as much money or less than the band receives. This is not necessarily the most financially viable way of operating, we recognize, but we believe it to be the most ethical way that FOTW is in the position to operate under. That means when you receive an album from Fall Of The West Records, you are directly supporting that artist whose music you are enjoying. This is important to us, and we would be ready to speculate that it is important to you as well. This is about working together – for the people who make the music, for the people who help get it out there, and for the people who it touches. So while our prices for albums range anywhere from between 4 to 7 dollars, just recall that a major portion of that is going to the band – and the part that we receive is enough to make up for the amount we put in. While we maybe don't make much of a "profit" when it comes to money - we think this is the best way to support all bands that work with FOTW, and the most ethical way for us to do so.
And remember, FOTW loves you.