Reddit Asked and We Answered! Top Questions from /r/NewJersey (and a few from elsewhere)

reddit_logoLamplighter posted an AMA on the /r/NewJersey subreddit, so the community could ask us questions about our organization and our campaign. We’ve also been asked a few questions privately that we think deserve to be acknowledged publicly. So here’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothin’ but the truth:

Does Lamplighter focus on particular genres? Do you focus on particular clubs or locations? How do bands catch Lamplighter’s attention to get mentioned / reviewed / booked / promoted?

We don’t focus on any particular genre, though some genre-associated scenes have been more in touch with us than others (hardcore bands seem to dig us). But we’ve written reviews and features for bands and artists from every genre I can imagine — folk / acoustic, punk / hardcore / metal, indie, electronic, experimental…I think country too. We have a rap feature coming up in our September issue, too!

As far as gaining our attention goes, the truth is that our Music Editor gets A LOT of e-mail. Every day. He only just finished organizing the full catalogue of music he’s had backed up in his editorial queue, and we’re working on getting through the bulk of it. The only way to get in touch with him is e-mail: Music@LamplighterNJ.com

Be sure to send full information about your band, including member names, websites and social media profiles, album art, and your music (of course).

As far as getting booked for a show with us, that depends on a big range of factors. We do need to know your band in the first place. If you post on our Facebook page, we’ll probably see that first, but you can also e-mail our Promotions Director: Promotions@LamplighterNJ.com

We don’t prefer covering any venue, and ultimately think it’s empty to write about shows– how many times can we say a show was great and well-attended? Or…the opposite? It doesn’t accomplish much. We do like to go to shows and, if our photographers are free, we’ll send them out! Facebook event invites work really well.

Can you talk about the pros and cons of being an artist in New Jersey? And, how you envision Lamplighter helping NJ artists?

The pros/cons really depend on your perspective. Some think it’s great to be close to NYC and Philly as an artist, and to a degree they’re correct. In the “con” field, I think there is a lot of negativity within certain scenes, especially in some realms of the music scene. The fact that NJ is so densely populated means we aren’t in a position where, if we act positively and promote the arts, everyone isn’t in direct competition. We can have shows and events all over NJ all the time without it hurting anything or anyone.

It’s worth mentioning that NJ has a fantastic history and association with the arts, and being a part of it now — creating, promoting, encouraging it — is to be a part of that greater history, which is really something to value.

One of Lamplighter’s biggest goals as an organization is to make all of this art more accessible to the community. We want to lower the cost for events (free is our ideal), and break down the barriers between music, art, and literature with events that cater to all these audiences. More than just shows, we want to host workshops, meet ups, and other events that bring these communities together to start conversations and interact.

With the magazine, we hope compiling these different communities into, what’s essentially going to be more like an arts journal, the artists and fans in the community will see the value of these things as one fluid entity and not separate “scenes”. Promotion, communication, and collaboration. That’s our biggest goal.

If you wanted to hold a political concert/rally for a democrat in NJ, who would you book as your guests?

Simply, we wouldn’t. We’ve never discussed politics at or through Lamplighter and the beautiful thing about art is that it doesn’t need to be political (which has become such a divisive and ugly term lately). We know that bands we deal with align with different sides of the aisle, some with third-party groups, and even members within bands differ politically. To ask any band or musician to take part in a rally would be wholly assumptive of their stance and…to what gain? Nothing for us, nothing for them.

I haven’t talked to the staff at Lamplighter about it, so I’m speaking for myself, but I feel that if we’re to be a generation that does something significant in how we organize ourselves, we need to do it by seeking commonality and strong modes for the acceptance of new ideas. We’ll never see eye-to-eye or reach across the aisle. Art, music, and literature can allow us to do this, but it won’t if we imbue it with petty gov’t politics.

This also isn’t to say political art is invalid or that Lamplighter is going to save the world. It’s just a perspective.

-Patrick

Not sure where you guys are based out of, but if you’re in need of xxxxx, I could offer my services.

Lamplighter is made up of volunteers, so we totally understand the unpaid aspect. But it’s totally worth it! Most of us are located around Passaic / Bergen county, but some of our editors are in Morris/Sussex county. We’d definitely like to hear about your ideas! You can fill out this volunteer application if you’re interested in helping out: http://lamplighternj.com/volunteer-application/

I’m part of xxxx organization and we like what Lamplighter is doing. Would you want to collaborate?

Yes! We’re all about collaborating. As long as our goals seek mutual ends, and you aren’t trying to scam us or someone else, let’s work together. It could be an event, an art project, sharing writers for articles, maybe even the next magazine! E-mail Patrick@LamplighterNJ.com to get the ball rolling!

I want to donate to your campaign but I don’t want it to affect your consideration of my writing submission / album review / art / personality. What should I do?

Don’t hesitate! Donate! All our literature submissions are reviewed anonymously and nobody from the editorial staff is reconsidering the value of your work based on your contribution. Every dollar counts. So whether it is $1 or $100, we value your support equally.

Where is all the money from your campaign going?

Immediately, we lose 4% to Indiegogo if we meet our goal. If we don’t meet our goal, we lose 9%.

Then it goes to paying for all our contributors perks and the September magazine. We know right away that the magazine (this issue will be between 140-200 pages) will cost us close to $2200 to have printed and shipped to NJ. Paying for all the perks and mailing the packages out will most likely put us at spending decently over $3000.

With the 5th issue costing approximately the same, we’ll figure then $5200+ is tied up in magazine printing.

The rest will go to hosting events and promoting the organization so…well, so more people can know about and attend the events we’ll be hosting. This includes paying for the website ($20 /3 months) and a hosting solution for our charting system.

This doesn’t pay for equipment rentals, gas for our cars, tolls on the Turnpike, coffee at our monthly meetings, or any of the hours that the people working for Lamplighter use up. It’s not even reimbursing the costs from promoting the campaign! Everything we do is volunteer. Whether we meet our funding goal or not. Whether we’re accepted as a nonprofit or not.

So we’re really hoping the community will support us in our venture, because without the community’s support…it’s almost impossible to do any of this.

If you’re interested in contributing, visit LamplighterNJ.com/indiegogo