These days, you don't find many independent artists capable of making a living off their music; Dane Schmidt however has done so successfully for the last eight years, without the help of a record label. When you dig deeper into the Jamestown Story, it becomes very apparent why.
The Jamestown Story began in 2003 and since that time has independently sold over 250k songs on iTunes, 25k albums, toured 25 US states, played 350+ shows, including tours in Canada & Japan, and has had over 75 TV placements on shows such as Dr. Phil, Jersey Shore, Snooki & JWoww, Teen Mom 2, One Tree Hill, The Real World, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
With an undeniable work ethic and the ability to adjust and change to the always shifting music industry, you can be confident that the Jamestown Story will be continuing to add more chapters to its tale for a long time.
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A: Yes, I did. I changed the band name back in 2007.
Q: Why did you change your name?
A: There were basically two reasons. One being that at the time I had some labels interested in the band, but were completely thrown off by the name. At that point our goals were to get signed (like any other band) so we wanted to do what was necessary to make that happen. Though getting signed never happened, which worked to my benefit, I wouldn't take back the name change. Let's face it, it wasn't an easy name to say or explain to people, and I was getting tired of saying the name multiple times so that people people understood it. Jamestown Story is a name that's lot easier to understand and remember, which is definitely important.
Q: What's the meaning behind the name Jamestown Story?
A: My grandpa used to take me down to this old apple tree and read to me from a book called The Jamestown Story, so I decided to name the band after that.
Q: Are you the same Dane that played drums for Sing It Loud?
A: Yup, that’s me.
Q: How old are you?
A: I am 30 in human years, but 210 in dog years. Whichever you prefer.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: Collect worms, play poker, clean apartments, and listen to Yanni.
Q: So then do you like, uh, do this as your job?
A: Yup, this is my full-time job. I've been fortunate enough to be able to sustain a living off my music for some time. It's a lot of work and can be stressful at times doing everything on my own, but I'm very blessed to be able to have the opportunity to play music for a living and wouldn't change it for anything.
Q: So are you like, gonna get signed?
A: Honestly, I'm pretty damn content doing things myself. With the music industry being in the state it's in, it makes the most sense to be doing what I'm doing because it's working. If I got to a point where I actually needed a record label, then I'd definitely consider it, but until then I'll keep doing.
Q: So then like, how do you make money?
A: Through iTunes, CD Sales, Spotify, Youtube ad revenue and miscellaneous other music revenue streams. When you pick up a song or a CD, you're helping me pay my bills, rent, and all other costs that go along with being a human! That's why when I say I really appreciate you picking up a song/CD, I really mean it! Though I don't make millions of dollars, I make enough to be able to do this as a full-time job for the time being and that's a dream itself, so thank you to EVERYONE who has ever bought or streamed my music on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, etc! Without your support I wouldn't be able to keep doing this.
Q: When will you be playing in my city?
A: Check out the JS website and click on "TOUR" for upcoming shows. If you don't see your city listed and would like to try and set up a show, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set something up. It's not the easiest booking shows & tours as an independent band so any help is always appreciated!
Q: Will you play my party or graduation?
A: Sure! Email email@example.com and we can work something out.
Q: When will you be coming to the U.K?
A: It costs quite a bit to tour out there so right now I don’t have any plans to play out there. I do hope the opportunity arises at some point in the future though cause I'd love to come out there and play for all you lovely UK folks!
Q: What happened to the other guys that used to play in the band?
A: Sometimes in life people aren't meant to do something they've been doing for a while, and they need to take the time to find and do what it is they are supposed to do. For Brandyn Anderson it was taking a shot at being a full-time dice player in New Orleans. In Pat Tarnowski's case this mean't dancing over at Sugar Daddy's on Monday Nights (Amateur Male Dancers Night) and working towards becoming a full- time professional dancer. Kieren Smith is trying to find the meaning of life while working at a Burger King and Sickboy (Chris Lee) started his own corn husking company and is now a multi-millionaire. Chad Snell (and his wife Mary) currently do all of my artwork & graphic design so definitely check out his company at www.lockandkeydesigns.com! He has also been concentrating on arranging and producing his very own Yanni tribute band so I wish him the best of luck with that!
Q: Are you looking for another bassist/drummer/guitarist?
A: Playing with a full band is fun, but I'm pretty content with JS being a solo project so I am are not looking for any more members at the moment. Thanks for asking though!
Q: Will you use some of my lyrics in one of your songs?
A: Though I think it's great you're writing lyrics and definitely support it, I normally like to try and write everything myself so I can express the EMO side of me.
Q: Why are all your songs so sad?
A: I'm not exactly sure, they just are. What of it?
Q: Do you have guitar tabs or piano chords for any of your songs?
A: Yes I do!! You can now pick up your very own copy of the JS Tabs & Chords Book available www.jamestownstorymerch.com!! It features tabs and chords for over 30 different JS songs, along with piano chords for a few tunes as well!
Q: Why can't I find your CD in any stores?
A: That's just because they aren't in any stores. However, they are available online through my merchandise store at www.jamestownstorymerch.com, and through all the major online music retailers like iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, and Amazon.
If you have questions you'd like to be answered, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get them answered as quickly as possible! Thanks for the support everyone! -Dane