In our age of instant downloading, it’s old news that people steal music. For Nashville-based power pop artist Justin Kline, the wrinkle is, he wasn’t done recording it. Thieves broke into the studio where he was working and nabbed the hard drives containing his next album.
“I had been recording for about a whole year off and on,” says Kline. “We had about 10 songs that were being worked on, and we were tracking the very last one called ‘Skeleton Key.’ We were so close to wrapping up the recording!
Kline has been working with producer/engineer Mark Nash, owner of The Bookhouse studio. Founded in 2004, the facility has been used to record albums for various artists, as well as original scores for film and advertising, and Nash’s productions have been heard on TV shows like One Tree Hill, Everwood, Ghost Whisperer, American Dreams, The Real World, Road Rules and The Simple Life. “He's done some great stuff,” says Kline. “Very talented and great guy.”
While the theft came as a major blow for all concerned, it could have been worse. “They took the hard drives, the Mac computer and monitor and I believe some other small random stuff,” says Kline. “They passed by vintage Gretsch guitars and old mics, and just took the computer gear. It's really silly when you think about it, since used computer equipment really isn't worth much; they could have made more money just taking some of the vintage gear there...but really they hit us the hardest by taking the music. Everything is gone except for the rough mix downs of two songs.”
Mark Nash at the Bookhouse
Kline’s no stranger to the music business, having been in a variety of recording acts over the years, most noticeably indie rockers In Clover, which had a four-album run, two of which were released on Nashville’s Theory 8 Records. Since then, he’s released an EP, Six Songs, and was gearing up to release the now-stolen tunes as his first solo album. Klein is now attempting to make the best of a bad situation by trying to release a vinyl 7” of the two rough mixes from the stolen recordings. “To me, they weren't really done, but I know most people will enjoy them how they are,” says Kline.
To raise the money, Kline’s using Kickstarter.com, a fund-raising site for creative projects, where he’s posted a page with an upbeat video explaining the situation, offering a variety of items for people who pledge money, ranging from the 7” to t-shirts to a Polaroid of himself. The project has a deadline of May 2 to raise $1,200.
“The Kickstarter project has been a lot of fun so far,” said Kline. “The donations aren't looking too good at this point, so I'm not sure if we'll meet our goal. If the goal is not met, no one actually pays anything so it's better that way for the person who pledges. I believe the highest pledge so far was $100. For those out there that pledge $150, I’ll write a song for them!”
Even if the 7” doesn’t come to pass, Kline’s champing at the bit to get back into the studio with Nash and bring his album back to life. “I'm already set to re-record the stolen songs this summer,” he says. “Hopefully, they're have new life this time around.”