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From DIY to Number One: The As December Falls Journey

Published / Fri 29 Mar 2024

From DIY to Number One: The As December Falls Journey

Photo: From DIY to Number One: The As December Falls Journey  /  Credit: Paul Jack

In an era where the music industry often seems saturated with artists following conventional pathways to success, As December Falls stands out as a beacon of independence and determination.

Their journey showcases not just the struggles and triumphs of a band that has chosen to carve its own path but also serves as an inspiration for artists and fans alike. From sold-out tours to major festivals and achieving No.11 in the UK Album Charts without the backing of a label, As December Falls’ story is a testament to what raw passion, talent, and hard work can accomplish.

The Independent Route: Challenges and Triumphs

It’s never been a middle finger to the industry says guitarist Ande Hunter. It’s just been that we never liked any deal that came our way. So, we always turned it down and preferred to do it our own way. I think we can feel prouder having done it independently. We got a number one rock album in July with no label, which was very exciting. 

Singer Bethany Curtis adds: Everything is harder because you don’t have people there to do it for you. But the payoff is so much greater because it’s an accomplishment of our own. It feels like it happened naturally and now it feels like the right thing to do. We’ve gotten this far without anyone.

Bassist Timmy Francis mentions: We have a small team, but it’s amazing because we know every person in that team. I have every person’s number on my phone. I can call them at any time. It’s nice to have those kinds of relationships, all kept within our little team.

The Power of Community

As December Falls’ connection with their fan base transcends traditional artist-audience relationships, evolving into a collaborative partnership. By actively involving their fans in key decision-making processes, the band has not only fostered a deep sense of community but has also redefined the dynamics of music production and promotion in the digital age.

Ande Hunter: Our fans really take our success to heart because they know there is no label and no one bankrolling this project. A lot of bands claim to be independent but are signed to a sub-label of a major label, which is all just marketing. In contrast, our fans are on our Patreon. They see our demos, choose music videos for us, and vote on the edits. This process builds a much stronger community than you could by trying to fake it. They were thrilled when we got that number one record.

Bethany Curtis: We were inundated with messages when we got the number one rock album. It took us two days to respond to everyone, expressing our gratitude. We could not have achieved this without the sheer dedication and loyalty our fans have shown us.

This participatory model, where fans contribute to creative decisions such as music video selections and demo feedback, exemplifies a modern approach to building an artist’s brand and presence. It’s a testament to the power of digital platforms and social media (when used right) in facilitating direct interaction and engagement between artists and their fans. By leveraging platforms like Patreon, As December Falls has successfully bypassed the need for traditional music industry support structures, such as labels, to foster growth and achieve significant milestones, including their number-one rock album.

Primordial General Mayhem

Primordial Radio is hugely excited to announce that the unique and ever-evolving London 2-piece BOB VYLAN is set to headline the main event of the Primordial General Mayhem on Saturday 27th April 2024, with four-piece, loud, unapologetic, rock outfit from Nottingham, AS DECEMBER FALLS confirmed as main support.

Also confirmed for the Saturday event is BLACKGOLD, SAINT AGNES, CALVA LOUISE and NORTH ATLAS with the opening band to be decided by the listeners of Primordial Radio.

Primordial General Mayhem 2024 - Saturday Line-Up

Get Tickets

– The Primordial General Mayhem 2024
– Saturday 27th April
– KK’s Steel Mill: Wolverhampton, UK

Tickets on sale now.

Strategic Navigation in the Music Industry

However, the stance of As December Falls is not one of outright rejection of all forms of industry collaboration. Their willingness to consider partnerships that respect their independence and contribute constructively to their career trajectory reflects a nuanced understanding of the industry. It acknowledges the potential value of strategic alliances, provided they offer mutual benefits without compromising the band’s core values.

Ande Hunter: We’ve had big management companies and labels approach us. So far, nothing has piqued our interest. However, I never want to paint us into a corner by being so fiercely independent that we can’t work with anyone, considering how vocal we’ve been about our stance.

Opting to forego traditional label deals in favor of maintaining creative control and a direct connection with their audience represents a significant deviation from the music industry’s conventional pathways. This decision underscores a broader trend among artists towards valuing autonomy and direct fan engagement over the potential financial and promotional benefits offered by major labels.

Navigating the music industry with such a balanced perspective necessitates an acute awareness of both the opportunities and challenges inherent in the independent route. It suggests that while artists can indeed forge successful careers on their own terms, this approach demands careful consideration of potential collaborations, a solid grasp of career goals, and a commitment to maintaining artistic integrity.

A Welcome Return To The PGM

In 2022, we had the privilege of hosting As December Falls at the Primordial General Mayhem, alongside other incredible new artists such as As Everything Unfolds, Delilah Bon, and this year’s headliners, Bob Vylan.

From our standpoint, the PGM offers more than just a platform for performances; it represents a significant milestone in the growth and opportunities we can provide to aspiring bands. It allows us to personally connect with the bands and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face within the industry.

The significance of As December Falls’ returning to the PGM as special guests extends beyond the immediate exposure. It is a testament to the band’s hard work paying off, within a mere two years, they have transitioned from establishing their presence to becoming a formidable force in the realm of UK Rock Music.

Ande Hunter: It’s going to be amazing, we literally can’t wait to play! It’s going to be the best time. Especially in the new venue as well. We haven’t played, since you guys moved to KK’s Steel Mill, so we’re very, very excited to play in that venue for the first time, it’s going to be great!

Future Endeavors and Aspirations

Looking forward, As December Falls is not resting on their laurels and is looking to aim big for future tours and whilst Taylor Swift may have thwarted them from having a top 10 placement in the UK album charts, the band take it all in good stride…

Bethany Curtis: I would love to tour with the great pop-punk and alt bands; My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, basically all the bands you see on the alt club posters. That’s what I want. Oh, and All Time Low and the When We Were Young Fest would be great. 

Ande Hunter: Although frustrating, props to Taylor Swift. I was just very gutted to miss out on a top 10 by 114 units!

Timmy Francis: A support slot would make up for it, though. It would be wild.

Ande Hunter: We’ll call it even.

Bethany Curtis: I’ll drop her a DM and let her know.

So there you have it; Taylor Swift featuring As December Falls as the opening act. Stranger things have occurred in this industry, so seize the opportunity to see them live now before you find yourself raging in a Ticketmaster queue!

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