Rule #1

Rule #1 of releasing an album: NEVER plan an album release party *before* your album is done.
We’ve heard that a hundred times – online, in magazines, from other bands – the horror stories go on and on: Band doesn’t get album done in time, show flops, band feels like idiots, fans kill guitar player.

Back in 2004, we learned that lesson the hard way. We were getting set to release “A Second Chance At Retribution” and we openly ignored the almighty rule. It was August, we were still mixing the album and we thought “Let’s book the show on Halloween… we’ve got 3 months to finish…WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN?” Well, a few challenges and delays later, we were sitting in mid October with no record…

Our producer and friend Kent Matcke was pulling all-nighters and busted his ass up to the last minute (we still worship him for that!) With only days to go, we send the album to mastering (the final “touch” of making a record). One day later, I get a phone call from the dude mastering the album and he says, “something is wrong with the mix of the album, you guys are going to have to get me an updated version. Oh, and I may not have time to do it before your deadline. OH, AND you’ll have to pay me another $900.”

I was stressed. The band was stressed. We had no money. We had no time. And the show was a week away. Well, in the end, he did finish the mastering in time, the manufacturing was complete the day *before* the show, and we spent all night putting all 2,000 copies together by hand.

Again, Rule #1: NEVER, EVER, EVER plan an album release party *before* your album is done.

So, fast forward to today, and here we are again: getting ready to release another album and staring a Halloween/album release show in the face. And guess what? The album isn’t done yet! That’s okay… we’ve done it before… I mean, c’mon… WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN?

Love and rock,
Zack Rivals

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