Leo has set a goal of $85,000 for the new album, with fans' contributions granting him complete artistic freedom on the project. "Taking control of the process of bringing my work directly and rapidly to those who want it," Leo said in a statement. The musician hopes to release the album in September.
As with other crowdfunding efforts, Leo's Kickstarter offers a batch of unique incentives for fans that contribute to the $85,000 goal, which must be reached by March 24th. Perks include an hour-long mixtape of Leo demos that span decades and exclusive versions of the new LP accompanied by non-LP B-sides on seven-inch vinyl.
Leo is also offering "a 30-minute Skype or other video chat session. Can play a couple of songs if you want, or can just talk about anything, as long as I can change the subject and/or hang up!" Fans in select cities can also score a sitdown vegan meal with Leo ($500), while $1,000 scores you a personalized Leo song and, at $4,500, a private Leo concert.
Leo also offered up a five-minute album preview to give fans a taste of what they were investing in:
"I've been making music for a long time, and have built up a really amazing and engaged group of followers over the years. I want to be able to offer what I have to offer them beyond industry constraints that I don't need to be constrained by, and not beholden to concerns that aren't my concerns," Leo said in a statement.
"My connection with the audience has always been one of the most important parts of this whole 'life as a working artist' thing that I try to maintain, and Kickstarter has taken a situation that worked AGAINST that connection and flipped it on its head, allowing me an even more direct channel through which the rewards of interaction, art and audience, audience and artist, can flow more freely, and enable empowerment and sustainability to hopefully keep it going for an even longer time to come. I look at it as achieving autonomy via the support of the community, and I'm very excited for the future it portends."