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Young Galaxy Compare Kickstarter-Like Fundraising Websites To 'Prostitution'

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Montreal's Young Galaxy used Rocket Hub, an online fundraising website, to raise money to fly out to Sweden. (JOSEPH YARMUSH) | Joseph Yarmush

When it came time for Montreal's Young Galaxy to record their follow-up to 2011's Shapeshifting, the band was determined to finally take a trip to Sweden and work with long-time friend and collaborator, producer Dan Lissvik. Although the band and Lissvik worked together on the band's last record, they had yet to actually meet in real life -- having done all their work together communicating through Skype conversations and a handful of trust.

"We just knew we had to go," guitarist and co-founder of the band Steve Ramsay tells Huffington Post Canada. So, as an idea, the band and their label decided to go forward with a money fundraising website called Rocket Hub, which is essentially a variation of the popular fundraiser site, Kickstarter. "We had a crack at that, but it didn't turn out so great."

Admittedly, Ramsay and everyone involved almost immediately got cold feet about the project.

"By the time we changed our minds, it was too late," Ramsay explains. "I'm still of two minds about the whole thing.

"We're lucky as Canadian artists to be a band that often gets funded and a lot of bands in our position everywhere else in the world don't have that luxury. So to be asking our fans for money, I just didn't want to do that."

Ramsay says that he was originally intrigued by the idea "to figure out what the climate is like to try one of those things because it seems like the biggest growing way for bands to get funding," but even with fans interested in donating money, Young Galaxy decided to pull the project and eventually reimbursed everyone who contributed to the fundraiser.

"In the end, we fell way short of the goal and those crazy packages [that go along with each level of donation] just become gimmicky no matter what," continues Ramsay. "We're left to figure out a way to reward fans for their money and that's just kind of a backwards thing to do."

What Ramsay is getting at, though, is a valid point -- fans should be paying for a product that they want, not necessarily volunteering their money to help fund something. And in Ramsay's case, he just wasn't comfortable with the whole idea and likened it to a shameless way of bands just selling themselves.

"Some bands will, like, take you for dinner," says Ramsay. "And that just takes it to this far out place where it just really sounds a bit too much like prostitution."

He adds that the band did learn something from this experience, though.

"In the end, we got a sense of the people who wanted to contribute to us and we can thank them in other ways. We know a lot of the people on that list and we know they'll contribute no matter what.

"We got to feel out the new changing dynamic between a band and its fans," Ramsay adds. "But I still don't know what it is."

After all the hassle of the fundraising attempt gone wrong, Ramsay and his bandmates eventually forked out their own money for the trip to Sweden and were finally able to meet up with Lissvik. The band are currently in the midst of completing their new album. When that's finally completed, then they will ask you for your money -- in return for a final product in the form of an album.

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