THE BLOG

Step Inside the Studio With John Doe and Jill Sobule

06/08/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jill: My pal John Doe (of X and Knitters fame, etc) and I have decided to share a band for a day to record separate EPs -- although we will hopefully play on each others' as well. What's even better is that we will do it all in front of a bunch of fans and friends. This idea is sort of a continuation of the fan-funding and participation that I did on my last record (jillsnextrecord.com -- check it out). Except... I have the added bonus of hanging and watching John Doe make his EP. I am fangirl. So, if any of you are interested, and we haven't yet filled up the spaces, go to the website. Also, let me know if you have other good or fun ideas for artists and fans alike. This is, indeed, an interesting time in "the industry."

John Doe: When Jill asked me to be part of the TED conference, I couldn't wait. Hundreds of smart people discussing smart stuff in a kitsch Palm Springs "spa" -- never did that before, I'm in!

This recording that Jill and I embark on now grew from that TED adventure and the collaboration with Don Was and Dave Way. Jill is beginning a cycle of recording different themed EPs, and I'm sort of between full length records. So why not get directly to the people who understand your songs most clearly, and let them participate in creating it? At this recording session people can really look behind the curtain and see the process from soup to nuts. If Jill and I weren't such "show people" we might just wither under the scrutiny of all the eyes upon us as we try to bare our souls and remember the words. Let's hope that it all falls into place. I mean, we are sort of rolling the dice that we'll capture the moment, the technical challenge won't be too much, and that there are few diva moments... (actually, I'm planning one right now, sshhhh).

These days there's a lot of talk about "direct to fan" projects, and everyone knows that the old ways of connecting music to people are quickly on the way out. So here's one method we've come up with where people see and hear the process as it happens, and later will be able to hear the final product when the EPs are released. Another asset of this crazy scheme is that listeners are involved in the DIY methods that we musicians have used for years. It's participation from the beginning. It's not the musicians doing and then offering the result to consumers. The consumers are funding the process from the beginning, and so becoming patrons of the arts. Maybe next time we'll offer a playlist that people can choose from and those will be the songs we record. The possibilities are endless. We'll let you know how it turns out.