It’s pretty much every super fan’s dream: Having access to your favorite band/artist’s private line — the ability to pick up the phone, call up your idol and pour your feelings of adulation into his/her most revered ear. Well, Young Guns is affording their fans that opportunity — with a twist. They’re giving fans access to their digits, and any message fans leave will be posted on the Web for all the world to see — er, hear.
The campaign — which was dreamed up by Wind-Up Records and Eyes and Ears Entertainment with help from Verizon, SoundCloud and Twilio — lives on a dedicated website, which features a number for the band. Obviously, the site isn’t doling out Young Guns’ private digits — simply a designated number for this promotion, which is 310-773-3547. After dialing up, fans will able to listen to a recorded message from lead singer Gustav Wood, after which they can leave a message or listen to a preview from the band’s new album, Bones.
Those messages are then posted to the band’s website for anyone and everyone to listen to (each message also features a transcript, which is often a garbled mess). The most creative messages will net concert tickets, merch, and, of course, a callback from the band.
The idea, which is certainly befitting our “Most Extreme Fan Outreach” category, reminds us of a similar campaign launched by Hoodie Allen, who promised to call each and every fan who purchased his EP All American. Allen did, indeed, give those fans a ring — all live on Ustream. We hope Young Guns will document their callbacks as well, because some of the messages posted to the site are pretty damn amusing.
Read on for our Q&A with Wood:
Why did you guys decide to ask your fans to call you?
It was initially something we set up at home in the UK around the release of our album Bones and the first headline tour of that cycle. We’ve always been really passionate about establishing and cementing a strong and two-way relationship with our fanbase, through social networking and plain old face-to-face conversation. That’s how we behaved when we first started the band and has always been something we wanted to continue. We thought the idea of a phone line was an interesting, new, and most of all fun way to keep that idea going. Also, seeing as it was a novel idea that no other band (at least, that we were aware of) had done, we thought it would get people talking!
Have you listened to all the messages?
It’s been pretty successful, which is exciting. We’ve listened to them, but we keep receiving new messages, which is great. It’s nice that the idea has worked so well in the USA, where we’re a much newer and perhaps slightly less known quantity. It’s good to be able to get off the ground already connecting with people that like our music, as we did at home.
How will you choose who to call?
It’s tough! We won’t limit ourselves too much. If someone makes us laugh or seems cool we’ll just call them back and have a chat! You never know what people are going to say and that’s the exciting thing about it. Funnily enough people have also been using it as an official way to get in touch with our band, for example we have had voicemails from people that work in television looking for a way to reach us to talk about using our music and so on.
If you were able to call any band, living or dead, who would it be? What would you talk about?
I’d love to talk to the Beatles when they were in full flight. I’d love to hear firsthand how it felt to be in the middle of such an incredible — and at that point — unique experience. Especially seeing as they always seemed to down to earth and amused by it all.
Are you freaked out by any of the messages?
Ha! No, not really. There’s obviously the occasional drunken message or person that calls but gets stage fright and doesn’t know what to say, but that’s fine! We’ve had nothing too full-on or weird. We’re actually a bit disappointed by that!
Why do you think it’s important to engage with fans this way?
Fundamentally I just think it’s very important to give people the time of day that have done the same to you. Establishing a connection with our fans is a big part of the reason we’re in the position we are today. This is a novel and fun way to do that.
What’s next for you all?
We’ll be back in the states a bunch of times over the next few months and we’ll be writing a new album as well. We’re always busy and the next year looks to be no different. We can’t wait to tackle 2013.
Image courtesy of Facebook, Young Guns