Tommy Lee Gets His Fans To Finish His New Album For Him For Free
Tommy Lee's new Methods Of Mayhem album will be completed with a little help from his fans, he said in an interview with Musictoob. But he won't be paying them.
Out in March 2010, his CD will feature tracks recorded by Lee and his producer Scott Humphrey, with parts added by fans.
In the last few months, Lee placed MP3 files online at ThePublicRecord.com and invited musicians to download the tracks and add their own parts before reloading them back onto the site.
"I listen to hundreds of these a day, and let me tell you, there are some talented people out there," he told Musictoob. "One guy in Prague sent in cool distorted accordian. Another was playing bagpipes."
Each day Lee gives direction to potential contributors via a webcam to stop "people playing all over the place," he said.
This process has been dubbed "crowdsourcing." According to journalist Jeff Howe, who coined the term, it means taking a job done by an individual and offering it to a large group of people in an open call. While Radiohead have allowed their tracks to be remixed by fans, no one has ever asked fans to play on their music and released the results before.
Lee is making a charitable donation for every submission to his site and promises a "huge credit" for anyone whose work gets on the album, but he will be paying no royalty. Instead, when a fan submits a part, they have to sign a release.
"Here's the deal," said Lee. "The song is already written, the people who send in tracks are just jamming along. People will be credited. That's their reward for taking part."
It's a controversial move. Lee has been accused of using crowdsourcing as a crude marketing tool. Lee shrugs off criticism.
"When I was younger, I played on my friends records for free," he said.