Far Out Meets: The Amazons explain the idea of releasing their new album as an NFT – Far Out Magazine

Far Out Meets: The Amazons explain the idea of releasing their new album as an NFT – Far Out Magazine

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Unless you’re an Ed Sheeran or Adele, releasing an album in 2022 when the world is drowning in content is an arduous task. For The Amazons’ third LP, How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?, they have done things differently. Trying to push the realms of modern creativity, the band constructed a non-fungible token (NFT) version of the release, a decision which represents a possible window into the future.
Both of the band’s previous records charted within the top ten in the Official Album Chart, and their latest release is the group’s most mature effort yet. The Reading band have evolved since their eponymous debut in 2017, and the title track from their third outing has tones of Springsteen to it. They’ve progressed from boys to men since early material like the arm-swinging festival-ready chorus of ‘Black Magic’.
The Amazons were in a fortunate position as the music industry ground to a halt in the pandemic. Their second album, Future Dust, had been released in 2019, and they’d just finished their first-ever US tour weeks before we were all instructed to stay at home. Frontman Matt Thomson was left in Brighton while his girlfriend was on the other side of the world, and he used their long-term relationship as the overarching theme for How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?
“We really started writing for the album in 2020, but a lot of that music was scrapped,” Thomson explains to Far Out over Zoom about the origin of the new record. “It wasn’t until we made ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me’ at the end of 2020 that I started getting a grip of what I wanted to say”.
Thomson describes the album’s euphoric opening tracks as the “blueprint” they built the record around. “I was just looking for a sound from a song that could really pick up your ears and pick up my ears and get me excited to write more tunes, and ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me’ definitely was that song,” the singer explained.
Although the song was written at a time when travel was forbidden, Thomson had a lust for the road and used music to transport him to a different place. “I lived in an attic in Brighton, and I was just trying to get back to that place of being on the road through my musical choices, so we listened to loads of U2 and ‘Baba O’Riley by The Who, so this was our go at that”.
Thomson went into the creative process, consciously wanting to make an album starkly different from The Amazons’ first two outings. He refers to the last five years of being in a band as “hyper-growth” and highlights the evolution of The Beatles as a prototype he wants to emulate. “They were growing and changing their sounds like every year. It was a struggle for bands to keep up,” the frontman says about the Fab Four. “We are changing, and we are maturing, and there’s absolutely no way I could even write the first album kind of stuff. Even if I tried. It’s impossible”.
The Amazons recruited Jim Abiss to produce the album, an expert that who was at the helm for Arctic Monkeys’ debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, and also worked on Adele’s first two records. Thomson admits some points of making the LP was “fucking torture” as his ideas were torn up, and adds: “That’s why we went with Jim because the only way that works and you can be open to that is if you love and respect the work they’ve done”.
The finishing touches were put on the album at the start of the year, and since then, it’s been agonisingly sitting in Thomson’s Dropbox awaiting public release.
The Amazons have innovatively approached the release of How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? by creating limited-edition NFT boxsets for fans. The group were approached by Eluvio, who uses eco-friendly blockchain technology. “Their argument was this whole NFT thing with the pixelated fucking apes (Bored Ape Yacht Club) is only the tip of the iceberg of what NFTs will do, and what will they will be, and they are the future in so many different ways that people don’t even understand,” Thomson explained.
“Their idea was that it would be a bandpass where you get the album in physical and digital form, and get this kind of bandpass thing where you can log in, and we do these periodic drops with content that’s too good for social media like handwritten lyric sheets, guitar tutorials to songs, and that type of thing. I hate the narrative of bands being resistant to any sort of innovation. It wasn’t that way before. No one in the fucking 1960s were like, ‘what, LPS? No way, we’re not going to do that”.
Only 100 NFTs were available to purchase, and all were snapped up quickly by fans. At a time when streaming pays pennies and the increasing prices of touring are leaving bands out of pocket, as was recently highlighted by Arooj Aftab, perhaps NFTs can become a service like Patreon that allows fans to directly ensure the future of their favourite bands while getting exclusive content in return.
While the technology is still in its infancy, Thomson’s enthusiasm about its future is infectious and could solve artists’ problems during these uncertain times. The Amazons only released their debut album five years ago, but Thomson has witnessed a wealth of change in the industry during that time. Although he’s adapted, the singer believes many great talents could be left undiscovered because of the obsession with social media.
“I really don’t know if Kurt Cobain is making it in 2022 with the level of self-marketing that you have to do,” he solemnly adds. “Would ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ become a hit if you need Kurt to do 20 Tik Tok’s about it, it kind of kills the magic of it, but if he wasn’t willing to do it, then the label might not support it”.
Thomson accepts that making music is just part of his job, and he needs to be active on social media to find an audience for the album. We are living in 2022 rather than 1992, and whether you believe NFTs are the future of music or not, The Amazons are showing there might be another way which offers a glimmer of hope.
How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? is available to buy and stream now.

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