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Artist of the day: Seven Years Past


(Welcome to Kickstarter week on Soundcheck! This week we’re spotlighting artists with recent or ongoing projects on Today: Sarasota hard rock group Seven Years Past.)

Project: Raise money to record their new album at a state-of-the-art studio in Buffalo, N.Y., with producer Robby Takac, guitarist for the Goo Goo Dolls.

Goal: $7,500

Raised: $3,434

What $5 gets you: A digital download of their song Trip & Fall, plus “A virtual high five from us via Facebook, Twitter or Email and the satisfaction of knowing you made us smile.”

Sarasota’s Seven Years Past have made some noise in local hard rock scene in recent years. They’ve toured with Taproot, opened for Rob Zombie and Three Doors Down, and in 2011 won the Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands competition at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. They’re serious about their goal of recording with Goo Goo Dolls guitarist Robby Takac.

So what’s with all the goofy Kickstarter incentives?

A “virtual high five,” a lock of bassist Bret Calltharp’s hair, from a day out boating with the band, use of a roadie for the day, drummer Allen Pryor shaving your name into his chest hair, even the opportunity to have Seven Years Past write a song about you — what gives?

“While we take the music seriously, we don’t raelly take ourselves too seriously,” said bassist Bret Calltharp. “We’re not doing this because we think we’re rock stars and people should throw us money. We’re doing this because we’re a local band and we need your help.”

The band — Calltharp, singer Lisa Larkin, guitarist Mark Medeiros and drummer Allen Pryor — have banked a bit of money for mastering, mixing and travel; this $7,500 would help them cover most of the recording process.

“Most local artists would be able to tell you that to raise 7,500, you’d have to play 75 shows,” he said. “It’s a daunting task for an unsigned band that doesn’t have that label support, but we have money put aside, and we came up with this as a way to hlep us reach that goal a little quicker.”

Much to their surprise, some of the higher sponsorships have already been sold, including one person who donated $1,250, and will be credited as an associate producer of the album, among other goodies. This, Calltharp said, is proof that there are other ways to support the arts than simply writing a check to your local performing arts center.

“You can spend $5 and help a band from Tampa go take a chance of a lifetime,” he said.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Friday, April 27, 2012 5:21pm]


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