We were very excited (though not surprised) when Deerhoof became one of the first bands to set up a free Bandcamp Live show. “Throughout their 26 years of ‘keepin’ it boxy and harsh,’ Deerhoof has remained a model for resilience, resourcefulness, and reinvention—qualities that make sense now more than ever,” writes Sarah Gooding for Bandcamp Daily.
They livestreamed a listening party to launch their new record Actually, You Can. During the event they premiered several new music videos and invited the directors to take part in a Q&A with fans. We asked Greg Saunier from the band and Ryan Hover from their label Joyful Noise Recordings (who helped produce the livestream) to tell us about the experience.
Greg Saunier: We had already done some really nice YouTube premieres and this was very much the same experience without having to use that corporate big tech platform. Bandcamp is in the sweet spot because it is both not big tech but still quite well known, and rightly so.
Ryan Hover: A huge plus was being able to use my same OBS setup from other livestreams on different platforms—all I had to do was plug in a different stream key. Also, the integrations such as the merch table make so much sense for this kind of stream. The ability to display and sell merch directly on the stream page is something that we’ve been missing before now.
We recently launched a feature called virtual gifts. In addition to buying music, merch and sharing supportive comments in the chat, fans can now buy an array of digital items worth real money during free shows. An all-time 🐴 record must have been set during Deerhoof’s event! We wanted to know how Greg and Ryan felt during the event and what they discovered about the audience.
Saunier: We just played the audio of our record, so it was the most gratifying thing to be able to watch listeners comment and chat in real time to what they were hearing. Best audience on Earth.
Hover: Following the chat is a great time, and it always feels like hearing the album for the first time when you’re listening along with giddy fans. Everyone had a great time with the gifts. Ponies were the hot item this time.
Finally, since this event was quite different to an in-person live performance, we wanted to know if they had noticed any particular benefits to livestreaming.
Hover: The chance to hang around and chat with fans, bandmates, as well as with collaborators that joined the stream, can’t really happen at a live show.