First of all, thank you for getting here. We are excited to introduce ourselves. I’m Brandon Higgins, lyricist, vocalist, and guitarist for this band The Visitors; our drummer’s name is Matthias Mandl, and our bassist is Andrew Wolfe. This project is the product of three extremely devoted musicians, and really, nothing more as of yet. And, hopefully it’s clear from the video you just watched, we absolutely love playing music with each other—there is no doubt in my mind that we will continue grooving, regardless of the level of success we find, but there’s nothing we would rather do than make this our full-time commitment. These are our first steps, and we hope that you join us on our journey.
So what are we doing here? Well, after feedback from our first show, we decided that we had something worth recording. But, because of our extreme expectations for ourselves, we agreed that our music needed to be engineered and produced professionally before we would feel comfortable selling it to people. So, we started searching for a recording studio here in Denver that would fit both our budget and our spirit. Surprise, we found one. A home-built studio operated by Geoff Gray: a man with more experience in the music industry than many of us could dream of and an incredible attitude towards the musicians he works with. When we met, he spent four hours with us, just showing us his work and digging into our sound. There is no one else we would trust to polish and expand our creative potential.
We need a jump-start into the music industry; that means multiple radio ready songs, merchandise for our fans, and of course records to share. This Kickstarter is our way of diving in and doing it right the first time instead of half-assing this as a hobby for the next five years. More than half of the goal needs to go to the real-world expenses of starting a business; the paperwork alone for The Visitors Band, LLC cost $600. We have much more in mind than just performance art, though. Our hope for our future in the industry includes the creation of a record label, a promotion company, a music based social network, and non-profit organizations to reinforce the failing music education system in the United States. There is no reason not to dream huge, and with experience in entrepreneurship, business management consulting, software engineering, and musical performance, the three of us have no problem embracing the journey and whatever it brings us.
Of course, we want to have enough money to more than cover the costs to do the minimum, but to do more, well, that's exciting for anyone.
If we make $15,000, that is going to give us the ability to do put a much higher level of time and energy in at the studio. That means more time with a producer to help us polish songs, more time to record other instrumentation, and and more time for simple things like perfecting vocals and harmonies.
If we hit $15,000, we'll let you know what our next stretch goal is.
Brandon grew up in Broomfield, Colorado. He received his first guitar right before he turned 14 years old. While he had been interested in music, and even practiced violin for a short time in his youth, the guitar struck a chord in his soul. He practiced daily throughout his teens, wrote his first songs, and, remarkably, was accepted into the top choir at his high-school his senior year. With no formal music education, he started his first band as high school ended and performed in Denver at the Gothic Theater for a 500 person crowd. Unfortunately, though he believed he had found his true calling, his decision to attend CU Boulder for a Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Degree resulted in the loss of his musical companions. After almost three years of no musical consistency and with the support from his family, he decided to pursue music full-time based on a promise he had made to himself after deciding to attend University. That year was one of the most difficult he had ever experienced, and almost resulted in his surrender, but, he found Matthias and Andrew.
Andrew grew up in Lafayette, Colorado. He was introduced to music at a very early age, starting piano lessons before kindergarten. He went on to learn saxophone, playing in the concert and jazz bands in middle and high school, and then received his first bass at the start of college. Andrew was always a devoted musician, but dealt with depression that would interfere with his ability to access his creative energy. When that depression deepened as he worked towards his bachelor's in Math and Computer Science, the bass guitar is what eased the dread—he could sink into the music and just play for hours on end. Andrew always believed that music was a relevant part of his life, but after settling into the nine-to-five grind of his work as a mobile applications developer, he felt that flicker starting to dim. His joy and hopefulness for music was rekindled in the improvisation that initiated the origination of The Visitors.
Matthias is a drummer, and he’s known it since the beginning. He’s never missed an opportunity to tap out the rhythms that stream from his soul, and that becomes so apparent when you listen to him play. Growing up right outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Matthias was exposed to music through the churches he attended with his family and was influenced by the gospel genre that surrounded him. His formal education came with high school band and he stretched into using video based social media as a way to hone his skills in both drumming and recording. Matthias was torn from his home because his father found a better job in Colorado, but embraced the change, taking on the challenge of building relationships quickly in order to find other musicians to work with. Being the youngest in the group, Matthias has not attended a University, but balances the over-analytical thinking of Brandon and Andrew with pure, fearless action.
There is always difficulty in asking the people closest to you for help; no one wants to show their weaknesses. And in many cases, we drown in our own distrust for ourselves. While the idea for launching a Kickstarter has been exciting, there is an ever lingering pin on the back of our necks as we lay our deepest desires in your hands. We have to trust that we are worth your time, money, and support while simultaneously leading the campaign towards our success. And it’s not like we’re blind to the sociological joke of Millennial anti-independence, we see the memes on Facebook, but we’re striving for excellence and are willing to accept, and consequently overcome, our inadequacies.