Crowdfunded Metal Band Responds to Fan Outrage
In 2015, San Diego prog-metal act Corelia crowdfunded over $33,000 to record their debut album. A year later, however, the band virtually disappeared and stopped updating their fans and fundraiser contributors. Now, after an Internet troll forced them out of hiding, the group has responded to angered supporters.
Loudwire covered this developing story Tuesday (April 21) after the similarly named Facebook page Corelias drew the actual group's first update in four years. Initially presumed to be a former band member, the imposter later revealed itself to be the work of a musician otherwise uninvolved with the act.
But the Corelia impersonator stoked fan ire enough to compel the real band to issue a lengthy apology to fans following Loudwire's story. In it, the group cites mental illness as a contributing factor to the would-be album's collapse and indicates that the unfinished recordings might eventually be released.
Moreover, Corelia's latest statement says the band will be "figuring out a plan to give all remaining funds back to contributors. We only ever spent funds on things or services that were directly for the production or release of the album. None of us ever received income or used any band funds to enrich ourselves personally."
Elsewhere in the message, Corelia apologized for the "poor communication about how the band was doing overall. We failed to communicate the progress we were making on the album and our album's marketing plans. We failed to let everyone know that we were still working on everything."
The group added, "We are immensely sorry we made these mistakes."
Read the full statement below.
To our fans, friends and family, and everyone else who supported us over these many years,
We have been incredibly naive and wrong to stay quiet about things that were happening in the band, which were affecting the production of the album. For the past 4 years we have been trying our best to manage severe mental illness issues within the band, and because of this, we didn’t feel comfortable talking about personal conditions publicly or how it was affecting the production of our music. We realize now that we handled these issues very poorly, and for this we're extremely sorry.
We are also very sorry for our poor communication about how the band was doing overall. We failed to communicate the progress we were making on the album and our album's marketing plans. We failed to let everyone know that we were still working on everything regardless of how long it was taking, especially considering we raised money for the album by crowdfunding it. Since the beginning, it was important for us to make decisions as a band unanimously, and this as well ended up affecting how slow we were to fix anything. We are immensely sorry we made these mistakes.
We started writing the album in 2012, and it took us about 3 years, which we privately named: 'New Wilderness'. We launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money and help us produce as close to a professional album as possible. We recorded drums, vocals, and the guitar parts. It was around this time that we started to really struggle with mental illness issues within the band, inhibiting our ability to make progress and post updates. Eventually we were able to come together and collectively agree that we needed to keep our fans updated on the progress of the album, although this was short-lived. That was in 2016 when we posted about having the bass parts recorded. Work then began on a large-scale viral marketing idea which would keep fans entertained and reassure everyone that we were still working on the album. This campaign was designed to keep going for about a year or so and ramp up, culminating into a big release of our album, which we had hoped would be by the end of 2018. We worked on this intensely while producing and editing the album until eventually, we decided that the marketing campaign was done, and needed to begin immediately so the fans could finally start to see something. That was when the communication started to break down. There was a point when a band member stopped all interaction with us and we couldn't move forward. We repeatedly reached out to them hoping to get back on track, but to no avail. Then we waited, feeling that it wasn't the appropriate time for us to make any statement, hoping naively things would get better. Eventually we came to terms with the fact that this person may never speak to us again, and that the band would have to break up.
It crushes us that we aren't able to follow through with a big album release including lots of artwork, promo and marketing, and all of the online interactives we had planned that we were teasing on our website and social media. We’re so sorry we let everyone down.
When we saw that a Corelia page with a different spelling had suddenly appeared saying they would release the album, we took it seriously because of the current circumstances within the band. Having already discussed making a public statement in the past, we decided to address the situation and move forward on our plans to make things right, regardless of who this page belonged to. Going forward, if we cannot get all band members involved, we will do what we can to release the most current state of the 90+ minutes of our album that we have access to. We will also be figuring out a plan to give all remaining funds back to contributors. We only ever spent funds on things or services that were directly for the production or release of the album. None of us ever received income or used any band funds to enrich ourselves personally. Since 2010, we all agreed- all money was only going to be used for the band's purposes, and all the work we each put into the band as band members was donated freely. We genuinely worked very hard over the 3 or so years following the crowdfunding event, though in a disorganized way, to record and produce a 90+ min album that we hoped everyone would love and we would be proud of.
We've only ever wanted to do what was right by the fans even though we constantly fell short of that goal. From the beginning, we never intended to hold up fans' hopes and contributions for so long without much of anything to show for it. We never intended for any of this to turn out this way, and for all the hurt we have caused our fans that have been waiting so patiently for anything to come out: We admit that it is our fault, we were naive, and we are very sorry.
We will be coming up with a plan to settle everything as best as we can. Our goal is to at the very least, make sure that each contributor is sent a digital album, then put the whole album up for free on bandcamp for anyone to have, and give back the remaining funds.
Our sincerest apologies to all our fans, friends, and family,
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