I Fight Dragons

A Big Step Forward

Hi guys, Brian here.

So today we share some big news.  If you've been reading our emails / blogs / twitter lately, you've probably been suspicious as to this 'secret announcement' we keep alluding to.  Well the time has come, but I feel the need to explain first.


When we began to work on demos and recordings back in 2008 for what would become I Fight Dragons and Cool Is Just A Number, we didn't have a specific 5-year plan for how things would go.  Personally, I had spent the preceding couple years trying to find the kind of music I most wanted to be making, failing again and again.  For half of the band, this was the first real 'band' they had ever been in, having come more from classically trained musical backgrounds.

I say all of this because at the heart of it, our fidelity has always been to the music.  I think that's how it always should be.  The music comes first.

Then came 2009, and we finally pushed ourselves out in public for the first time, armed only with our newly-minted EPs with their comic-booky art and our NES controllers, clad in Justice League shirts.  We were scared shitless, but somehow it still felt right.

The amount of welcoming energy, support, help, and love we received right from the get-go was simply astounding.  We were completely blown away by the support of people who loved our music, who agreed with what we were doing, who became a part of all of it.  

I say this all because in 2009 things changed for us.  We realized that although the music always has to come first, there is another layer.  The true joy (at least for us) is in sharing it with people who love it as much as we do, and connecting with them, and helping them connect with each other.  It's all one big self-reinforcing exponentially-expanding music-art-emotion-thought network of amazingness.

So in the fall of 2009, we took the big plunge, hitting the road full time across the nation on tour with mc chris.  It was without a doubt the most exciting experience of our musical lives, playing 45 shows in 55 days over 15,000 miles, meeting new fans and connecting faces with people we had only connected with online before.

So far, so good, right?  Well, yes and no.  It was hard to admit for enterprising new-minded folks like ourselves, but during that tour we started to hit our limits.  We were still doing the bulk of everything ourselves, marketing, distribution, web design / development, social media, PR, and more, and trying to do that while driving hundreds of miles every day and playing a show every night was simply an impossible task.

To top it all off, we're a six person band.  In this brave new internet-age, artists like mc chris, Jonathan Coulton, and a handful of others have been able to forge 100% independent music careers for themselves, but almost without fail they're solo artists.  They are self-produced, and more importantly they can tour with almost no expenses, which is where a lot of that living is earned.  We're still just one band, one income, but with 6 mouths to feed.

So we had to admit that we needed to grow.  

This is where the big news comes in.  Since late August of 2009, we've been talking with Photo Finish / Atlantic Records about signing I Fight Dragons and helping us expand what we do and connect with even more people on a larger scale.

They have been amazing throughout the whole process, incredibly excited about everything that we've done already, and very interested in preserving our creative control.  They're also incredibly open to continuing this new kind of connection we have with fans, and helping it grow in new and exciting ways, which is incredibly important to us.  Not to mention the fact that so many of our musical inspirations have been on (and continue to be on!) Atlantic Records.  It's a label with both an incredible history and a desire to grow and change with the future.  Photo Finish is an arm of Atlantic which has acts such as 3OH!3, and they are really awesome with internet-centric cool ideas, which we definitely love.

So, as of today, February 4, 2010, we are officially announcing that I Fight Dragons is joining the Photo Finish / Atlantic Records roster.

Now some of you may know how big a deal this is, but some may not.  So just what does this mean?

Well for one, "Heads Up, Hearts Down" is currently #5 on Denver's top Alternative Rock station, 93.3.  Atlantic's awesome radio team will start to take it to stations all across the nation in the next few weeks, and before you know it, you might start to hear Chiptune-Rock on your radio dial.  Nutso, right?

Another difference is that we're going to record and release our debut full-length album with Photo Finish / Atlantic.  It will be available in retail stores across the nation, and the new singles will also be taken to radio by their intrepid team.  To top it off, they are giving us huge amounts of creative control, and we are incredibly excited about the album.

The final, partially related, HUGE piece of news is that we'll be headed out on tour this spring with our fellow Atlantic Records bands 3OH!3 (Photo Finish), Cobra Starship (Fueled by Ramen), and Travis McCoy (of Gym Class Heroes, on Fueled by Ramen).  The tour is called the MTV "Too Fast For Love" tour, and the schedule is up on our site:  http://www.ifightdragons.com/shows.html.  We are going to be playing some huge rock shows!!

So to sum it all up, this is a big big step forward for us.  We hope you will join us in celebrating, and we're happy to answer any questions you have, since we know this is a lot to take in.  Just post a comment on this blog, and we will answer it.  We sincerely hope you're as happy as we are, and that you'll take this step with us on this crazy road to wherever the heck it is we're going :)

Sincerely,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dragon Fighters,
Brian, Chad, Laura, Bill, Hari, and Packy

PS - we only have a handful left of the 500 DVDs that went on sale 2 weeks ago!  We'll probably run out by the end of this week, so make sure to get yours asap if you want one:  (http://www.ifightdragons.com/dvd)

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15 Comments

scud said:

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Said it elsewhere but want to reiterate it here. This is awesome news and glad something has come from the visit to NYC as soon as it has!

Grace said:

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I agree, that is so great for you guys! I'm hoping that it is only the start of big tours!

Rena said:

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That's amazing!! congrats!!!!

Brian Mazzaferri said:

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Thanks guys!! :)

Len Kendall said:

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Brian,

This comes as no surprise to me :)

You deserve this and I'm very happy for you and your band-mates. Kind of crazy to think you were laying out this plan all along about a year ago while eating Mexican food in Lincoln Park.

-Len

Tyler Slayton said:

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This news is bitter-sweet for me. On one hand, you guys (and girl) deserve all the success and adoration there is and I'm extremely happy for you. But on the other, I Fight Dragons, a band that was popular in their own right and who I told everyone I know about, always felt like it was all mine, which isn't going to be the case for very long. Though I look forward to what the future of IFD will bring, I will cherish the 2009, JLA-shirted, tiny club playing version of a band that, for a little while at least, was my little secret.

Ganon391 said:

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I agree with Tyler.

While I'm super stoked that this amazing band has gotten a foot into a seemingly unbreakable music industry, its sort of sad to see you guys grow up. In fact, I remember when I wrote a piece for my school news paper calling "The Faster the Treadmill" my song of the year, and I Fight Dragons the best band to arise this year.
I'll be supporting you 100% of the way, and I hope all the best for you guys :)

Larry said:

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Congrats guys. I always knew you were destined for greatness. I am impressed it came so soon.

So no more day jobs?

You will always have my full-throated support just like always,no

Larry said:

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...matter how mega-superstar famous you get!

Steeb2er said:

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First and foremost: Congrats, IFD! You've worked hard and earned all the success that comes your way.

I don't understand why Ganon and Tyler are upset because they're losing "their" band. They should be excited that IFD is getting validated and getting the financial, promotional, etc. support they need so that they can focus on the music. Brian lays out how difficult it was to tour, promote, distribute, build the website and be a band while on the road. The backing of a label will allow IFD to focus on their core efforts: writing, recording, performing, promoting. And if the band gets national recognition and following, GOOD FOR THEM! No one has ever formed a band with the goal of playing or entertaining as few people as possible.

Again - CONGRATULATIONS IFD. I'm really happy for you and hope that everything works out the way you want it to. Please keep up the good work.

(I suppose this means no more freebie email list songs? Does this have any impact on the Lifetime Memberships?)

Madragal said:

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I was lucky enough to learn about you when you came to Nerdapolooza in Orlando awhile back. Ever since then I have been hooked. I share your videos with all of my friends, along with your music, and am always listening to you on my iPod! You guys are wonderful, and innovative, and clearly talented, and you should feel proud of what you have accomplished.

Having my Master's in Entertainment Business, I realize how difficult it is to handle all sides of the music industry without any outside help. You guys did an amazing job at it! And my only hope is that Atlanta Records continues to allow you stay true to yourselves, and not try to cater you to their mold, like so many record companies seem to do.

You have dedicated fans, though, and as you get more airtime, I am sure a lot more!

Keep up the great work, IFD! You are loved.

Lynore said:

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I am so excited! Everyone should get the chance to see y'all live and enjoy your music. Hopefully your tour will tack on a visit back to Arizona. If not I may have to make the trek to San Francisco. The Warfield is a really amazing place with a rich history, you'll love it.

I couldn't be more thrilled and I know the IFD fans that have blossomed in AZ will be too.

Keep it up!

Markus said:

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This is superb news and so utterly deserved! Well done for taking the plunge. I am certain us fans will help as much as we can and you will go from strength to strength.
Many thanks for sharing in your great news and I look forward to some UK or Europe gigs appearing on that tour list :)

Brian Mazzaferri said:

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Thank you everyone! I'm trying to pick out if there are any questions to answer, and I see a few:

1- this DOES NOT affect lifetime memberships. Everyone who has one will still get access to any IFD show for free for life. Bam.

2- no more freebies? This is a good question. It depends. we'll definitely be changing a bit on that, but we'll still try to keep things interesting as much as possible, including lots of free type stuff :)

3- I hope we get to the UK and Europe this year!! That would be awesome :)

4- to Tyler and Ganon391, thank you for your honesty, and also for your support. It's all part of the process, as we all grow, and we're happy to have you guys along with us, all the better that it's been since the beginning!

Thank you again for everything guys,

Brian

Patrick said:

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I read this when it was posted and I have finally allowed everything to not only sink in, but also think of how to phrase this.

First off, congratulations on getting a label to sign you, I remember meeting you guys at Nerdapalooza 2009 and your live show was fricking awesome, hope to see you guys again in FL soon.
Now the part that bothers me, please do realize that I do not mean to sound rude in my phrasing, hopefully I won't, but you never know.
I'm excited for your signing to a major label and can't wait to be able to get my employee discount to get your new album when it finally comes out in retail stores, but you are also a part of a throw away society where you may be popular now, but a year from now? Who knows. Just seriously think about this, and look at all the great bands/ groups/ artists from any time that aren't heard from now, all the casualties of our society. Also, I know you said that you will retain creative control, but don't be surprised if they try to give you their feedback, and some "solutions" they have concocted to change you. Remember that any and all labels are only about money, not one's own well being, and once you don't sell as many albums as when you started, when all the little MTV kiddies forget about you guys for the next big thing, or when this whole "Nerdy Is Cool, Gameboy music ROXX!!" thing finally dies, and, unless a "friendly suggested" complete reboot/ change to the sound mentioned by the label happens, you will more than likely lose your contract for the next flavor of the minute. I will continue my support of you guys (and girl) and, like I said, am glad that such an awesome band got this big and has this much happening so early in your adventures, I do not want to put doubt in your minds about this, I just really want you all to succeed in anything and everything you all do.

If you take anything away from my post, just have a back up plan, be it signing to another label, starting your own label and having volunteers help you with marketing, pushing the albums, and booking venues. Everything changes so fast, its crazy, my post is starting to feel very manic and rambling so I'm gonna end now. Congrats everyone, keep being awesome and doing awesome things.

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