By now, everyone knows the story of Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah: independent band finances own record, manufactures disks, ships copies, plays Letterman, lands on the soundtrack of an Office episode, and sells 90,000* and counting copies. All without a major label deal. For every record sold, the band is putting major cash in the bank; rather than a royalty after certain costs, they’re getting the whole enchilada after costs.
And that’s before you factor in live performances and merchandise. Now whether or not this band is a flash in the pan, one thing is clear: you can have success without the machine. Other bands are looking at this model, and thinking that DIY isn’t just for punks anymore. As we wrap up our coverage of this year’s SXSW festival, we turn our attention to music, and how the bands are viewing the future.