THE WILDHEARTS mainman Ginger is currently responsible for the biggest-ever fan-funded album campaign via the British company PledgeMusic.
Founded in 2008 by musician Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic offers artists a structure to make projects possible solely by the direct support of their fans, and at the same time helps raising money for charities. Via so-called "pledges," the fans "promise" to contribute to a certain project in exchange for an issue of the product as soon as it is finished. This way, the "pledgers" virtually become A&R managers or record companies.
Breaking all PledgeMusic records within 24 hours, Ginger has just crept past the 400% mark and the campaign shows no signs of slowing down as he begins work on an ambitious triple album.
With the first session/album finished last week, Ginger moves into the studio again for the next two weeks to begin recording the next 10 tracks of his 30-track triple album and for this session is reuniting with THE WILDHEARTS members past and present, including Ritch Battersby, Christopher "C.J." Jagdhar, Willie Dowling and Jon Poole.
The first session featured former THERAPY? drummer Fyfe Ewing.
This has been a remarkable year for the Ginger, who earlier in the summer sold his Gibson Les Paul for a staggering 17,000 ($26,500) on eBay to raise money for the victims of the Japanese tsunami.
Ginger has been making music for more than 20 years, gaining notoriety (more than fame) in the '90s as the frontman of critically acclaimed THE WILDHEARTS, a band whose exceptional talent, songwriting prowess and incendiary live shows were more often than not overshadowed by their rock and roll excess and internal problems.
In the the last decade, Ginger released three critically acclaimed (but publicly overlooked) solo albums and continued to tour.
In 2011 it is a very different story, and it would appear Ginger is making the album of his career, and with his unfathomable success (he met his target amount in just six hours doubling it in 24 hours) causing the worlds music industry to analyze exactly why this unsung U.K. music hero has eclipsed every other band worldwide who have tried to use PledgeMusic, KickStarter, Sellaband or one of the many other fan-funded platforms to raise money.
For Ginger the answer is simple. It's all due to the very special relationship he keeps with his fans. As well as being a regular "tweeter" (@gingernyc) and Facebook user, Ginger also uses Formspring to answer fans questions directly. In the last six months he's has answered more than 17,000 questions, and continues to do so on a daily basis.
The interaction continues with all those that have pledged for the album, as they receive regular (sometimes daily) humorous video updates from the studio.
Ginger's PledgeMusic campaign is still running and can be found (and pledged for) here.
Malcolm Dunbar, MD for PledgeMusic, comments: "It's been fantastic watching the interaction and loyalty between Ginger and his fans. PledgeMusic is designed for expressly this reason and Ginger's campaign shows the effectiveness of this fresh approach."