Following on the heels of the highly successful campaign for the GoCache Card Game, this week we have our second consecutive blog post on a Geocaching related Kickstarter campaign; Pimp Your Cache! – New Geocaching Album by The Travel bugs, which has went live the day before this blog post, Wednesday, October 15th, 2014, and has been chosen as a staff pick by Kickstarter.com. The Travel Bugs released their first album of Geocaching related songs, “Found it”, in 2010, and are hoping to finance their second album, obviously titled “Pimp Your Cache!”, with this Kickstarter campaign. We were able to get Steve Weeks, the man behind the band, to answer some questions for us about himself, the “group”, and the campaign.
OCNA Blog: Where are you from, when did you start Geocaching, and how did you first hear about it?
Steve: I’m originally from the Carolinas and moved all over the US before settling in Colorado. I first heard about Geocaching in 2002 and thought it sounded like the coolest thing. I couldn’t believe how big it was even back then and that I had never heard of it. My kids were little then, so we cached as a family. We used it as an opportunity to explore the back-country and so as a result usually found only 1 cache in a day (and it had to have stuff for the kids to trade). Our numbers weren’t huge, but each one represented an experience that we still talk about.
OCNA Blog: We see you have an account as The_Travel_Bugs on Geocaching.com. Do you have a different player account?
Steve: Yes my family had a different handle. As the kids got older I was the only one caching and only occasionally. Once I decided to create The Travel Bugs, I created a new handle and used that as a separate account. I never re-logged a cache though, I decided that seemed like cheating somehow, so I found all new caches or in some cases re-visited old ones. I still only find 1 cache at a time though. I guess it’s just the way I started. I cache when I’m mountain-biking a lot or when I travel (which I do a lot).
Steve: At the time I was cautious about releasing the Geocaching CD under my own name as I’m a working kids/family musician and didn’t want to confuse my fan base. I also really wanted the project to be fun and collaborative with the Geocaching community. So I thought a band would be a great idea. I wanted to showcase how Geocaching was world-wide, so I figured 1 band member from each continent would be cool. Then I released real travel bugs into the wild to represent the band members with the mission of getting to and “touring” their proper continent. At one point 5 were on their correct continent.
OCNA Blog: Have you recorded and released other music in the past not related to The Travel Bugs?
Steve: Yes. As a kids/family music performer, I’ve released 5 CDs and a few singles. I’ve also produced songs for other musicians and have done some miscellaneous music projects. I’m a working musician in other words. (side note: you can find out about my other music at www.steveweeksmusic.com)
OCNA Blog: We here at the blog admit we hadn’t heard of you before stumbling on your Twitter account recently. You put out your first album of Geocaching related songs in 2010?
Steve: You got it. Since I could only work on it on the side (way on the side), it took two years or more I think from conception to release.
OCNA Blog: We see you sell physical CD’s of that album, as well as MP3’s of any or all songs on CDBaby.com Were you happy with the results, and is that the plan for the new proposed album?
Steve: If this project gets funded, I want to support the backers by making sure they get it before the public. I’ll wait until I’ve fulfilled all the Kickstarter obligations until I even consider releasing it. CD Baby will probably be my choice since they’ve been so good to artists in the past. Honestly, I haven’t thought much past the Kickstarter campaign as it has taken all of my energy and attention. There’s life after this campaign?!?!
OCNA Blog: What genre would you consider the music of The Travel Bugs to be? We understand you had second thoughts about the metal song you put out on the first album?
Steve: This is one of the most fun aspects of The Travel Bugs. “Geocaching” isn’t a music genre, it’s a community of people …a diverse community. So I can explore all sorts of genres. The first CD had Rock, Pop, Bluegrass, Country, Techno, and Blues. It’s an awesome sandbox to play in. And yes, I thought maybe I had missed the mark on “Spoiler” (metal song about spoiler photos), but I just got a message from a Kickstarter backer who said it was his and his son’s favorite song from the CD. Hopefully there’ll be something for everyone, and Kickstarter will allow the CD to be much more fan-driven.
OCNA Blog: We see from your website you will play live at Geocaching events. How many times have you done that? Do you charge for it?
Steve: You know, I occasionally get asked to perform at mega events and have even approached a couple myself, but the fact is that even large long-standing events run on blood, sweat and tears. They pull those things off through the hard work of passionate Geocachers and usually don’t have a budget for music, so it almost never works out. I did perform once for a mega in Wisconsin (West Bend Cash Ba$h) a couple of years ago. It was a little experiment to see what it would be like on both our parts. I really enjoyed it, but given that I tour extensively each year and am away from my family way too much already, I just can’t justify losing money or just breaking even to perform. I reserve those opportunities for charitable causes like Children’s hospitals and benefit concerts. I did enjoy it though and still pursue it on occasion.
OCNA Blog: Nice video for the song “To whom it may concern” from the first album. Was that a lot of work, and were you happy with the finished product? Do you plan on making more music videos in the future?
Steve: That video took me a day or two to make I think. It was very rough and home-made, but I think that was OK for that kind of thing. I’ve always kind of hoped that cachers would get as geeked up about this as me and make their own videos. I haven’t thought about more videos, but who knows?
OCNA Blog: We know from interviewing several crowd funding campaigns (one just last week, actually), that with Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing on the funding. Should you not reach your goal, what are your plans?
Steve: I’ve been so focused on this campaign for the past month and will eat, live and breathe Kickstarter for the next month, that I can’t even think about that. It’s actually a bit scary for me to consider given how badly I want to make another CD. I’m viewing this campaign as a sort of vote of confidence, and honestly I don’t have a Plan B if it’s not funded.
Of course we hope there will be no need for plan B! You can see, with this blog post being a day after the campaign has started, that he’s well on his way. Please consider helping to fund the project. Below are several links where you can find Steve and The Travel Bugs on the internet: