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Musicians Intoxicated By Geocaching

Raise your glasses to American band Firewater, the newest celebrity members of the geocaching fold …

Three of Firewater’s TBs.

To celebrate the launch of their new album International Orange! on September 11, the gypsy-punk pioneers are releasing eight trackables – known as Firebugs – into eight geocaches worldwide before they go on tour.

The musicians hope that fans will help move these TBs closer to their hometowns of Brooklyn, New York; London, England; Milano, Italy; Istanbul, Turkey; and Tel Aviv in Israel. In return, everyone who finds a Firebug will receive a code for a free MP3 from the band’s album.

The promotion was the idea of Bloodshot Records’ publicist Jenny Pfafflin (GC handle: Bloodshot Records), who was introduced to geocaching by her family. “Bloodshot is a definitely a successful indie label – but we’re still just that: an indie label, so you have to think outside the box when it comes to promoting a new release, since we don’t have those major label budgets.

“Firewater, in itself, is an international band. The brainchild of the band is Tod A, a nomadic former New Yorker now residing in Istanbul, who collaborates with musicians from Israel, Turkey, Italy, the US and Britain to record, what can simply be called ‘gypsy punk’.

“Tod really wanted to get across the international-ness of the record (of course, with an album called International Orange!, it’s no doubt he’d want that!), so I started thinking about different ways to ‘launch’ this record with a campaign that focused on that.

“It just kind of clicked one day, to use geocaching to promote the band, since, in a way, it’s about being without boundaries – a theme I believe Tod A executes on his albums.”

Pfafflin herself comes “from a family of avid geocachers (shout-out to my parents, Team Sundancer)” – a hobby she says was “born out of our summer vacations travelling through the US National Park system, hiking and camping”.

Firewater’s Tod A

However, she laughs when asked if any of the band geocache: “Ha, nah, I don’t think so – I had to explain to Tod A what exactly geocaching was but he’s on board now. He seems pretty excited to see how it all plays out as well.”

To distribute all eight Firebugs, Pfafflin sought the help of Bloodshot fans who geocache. “Our fans are very cool folks – a lot of them are travellers and bring us with them on their adventures; we’ve been sent pics of Bloodshot bumper stickers on bunkers in Iraq, in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and on a telescope in Alaska. So, I wasn’t at all surprised that when I made a ‘casting call’ on our Facebook fan page for some geocachers, I got a ton of responses.”

Since then, she’s sent Firebugs to volunteers across the States, her parents in Salt Lake City, her sister in Los Angeles and a friend in St Louis. “I’m headed to Thailand and Hong Kong next week, so I have one I’m bringing as well (is that cheating?). Right now, the only one that has been planted is currently sitting in a cache in Connecticut.”

While Pfafflin would love to have a Firebug reach one of the five destination cities by September 11 but says “as long as the bugs are out there and travelling, I’ll be happy”.

You can follow the progress of each trackables on Geocaching.com or on Bloodshot Records’ Firewater Geocache Challenge website.

*Firewater’s new album, International Orange!, will be released in the United States on September 11. It should be available in New Zealand and Australia that same week. In the meantime, you can hear a free copy of Borneo from the band’s last album, The Golden Hour, below.
[audio:http://www.notaboutthenumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/mp3_firewater_borneo.mp3]

 

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