Rock band releases entire album on the back of a beer can

Music acts, especially those used to radio airplay, ample non-festival live music venues and album sales, are having a really tough time navigating the modern music industry.

According to Nielsen Soundscan, overall music sales rose 3% last year behind a 75% jump in on-demand streaming. What can a band do when the record store is an antique and they’re just another name in a crowd of streaming options?

The days of hooking fans at the record store are over. However, there’s a corner of the retail market where shoppers are still compelled, by law, to shop at brick-and-mortar locations and pick through shelves based on labels and what they’ve heard from friends.

Yep, that’s right: the beer store or beer aisle. Iconic music acts like AC/DC, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Queen, Megadeth and even Rick Astley (he’s someone’s icon) have slapped their intellectual property on beer or plan to do so in the future.

Last year,  The Lights Out, an unsigned band from Boston, released its fourth album on a beer can. The band collaborated with Aeronaut Brewing Co. to release their album “T.R.I.P. (The Reckonings in Pandimensionality)” with help from an “imperial session ale.” The 7.5% ABV India Pale Ale’s Galaxy came in a can marked with a hashtag that buyers would post on Twitter to receive a link to the album files.

“I know that, at some point, Budweiser and Toby Keith are going to do it, but they won’t get to say that they are the first,” says guitarist Adam Ritchie, who also runs a Boston-based public-relations firm. “We don’t have management, we do it all ourselves, we’re like a startup, and the fact that an independent band and independent brewery could turn something around like this in a matter of months with no hierarchy is just so cool.”

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