Why the Biggest Bitcoin Mines Are in China

Hi /r/Bitcoin! We're a Bitcoin Clothing start up, and we could use your feedback!

My name's Marty, nice ta meet ya!
A while back we noticed there weren't any good Bitcoin t-shirts out there, so my buddy and I decided to start a clothing line to fill the gap. Today, were happy to say that Pro Crypto apparel is open for business!
We wanted more than just a loose collection of random Bitcoin designs, so we really spent some time getting the "look" right on these.
*Here are some of our clothes: *
BITCoIN
product shop page
Bitcoin Stencil
product shop page
From Satoshi with Love
product shop page
Mining Corps
product shop page
The Miner
this one is my favorite!
product shop page
Buy with Bitcoin
product shop page
Pro Crypto
product shop page
We wanted these shirts to look good enough that regular people might walk up and ask you about Bitcoin. It's already happened to us a few times since we've been "about town" wearing samples. ;)
Also, the shirts we print on are snug and suuuuper soft.
Why we need your help:
We very much want Pro Crypto (in some small way) to help encourage adoption. In that spirit, we want our content and designs to focus on converting average, everyday people into Bitcoin users. From killer t-shirts to informative (and good looking) info graphics, everything we make has that singular goal in mind. So, in order to make this content, we need to know a few things:
Also, we'd loooove to know your feedback on our designs/website:
What's next?:
We're gonna be adding new garments (hoodies, long sleeves, hats) all very soon. We'll keep you updated.
We'll also be adding clothing in Ladies' cuts, so all the Bitcoin girls won't be left out in the cold.
Also, my buddy is very excited to get back to designing new clothes (he's been stuck doing QA and building the web site for the past few months) so you can expect some cool new stuff on the horizon.
In the meantime, we'd love to connect with you guys over social media. Right now we're only on Facebook and Twitter, but we'll probably open up to new platforms as time goes on.
Connect with us: Facebook, Twitter
Also, can't forget a link to the mothership: http://procrypto.net/
If you guys are looking to buy, we accept Bitcoin through both Bitpay and Stripe.
And if you must, we accept all major credit cards through stripe as well.
Thanks guys! We look forward to your feedback!
-Marty
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List of all my posts on Truthleaks

Exporting/archiving for posterity.

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[Table] IamA Manager of a sex shop/adult boutique! AMA!

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Date: 2013-12-01
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Thank you! I'd absolutely come to you for my next purchase, but 3000 miles is just a tiiiny bit too far. I'm officially a fan of yours now though! Thank you! Get in line! :P Everyone loves me!
That is the number one reason I enjoy getting my toys at my local shop. Nothing beats a helping hand and a few tips here and there. "Helping hand" :P.
I've taken a number, don't worry. Lol. <3 Feel free to contact me if you ever have any quesitons! My main username is somewhere in this post.
What do your friends and family think about your occupation? Do you often see the cliche creepy customers? My friends and family always look down about it, but who cares. They dont pay my bills or put food on my table. Plus, im working towards ownership. So yea. They can bite it :P.
Care to answer the second question please? :D. Sorry friend.
As far as cliche creepers? Yes. Theres a bunch of them, but there are also a bunch of regular customers. Id say 70/30 Normal/Creepy ratio. A lot of people are discouraged of coming in because they think its full of creepers waiting at the door for them to come in so they can be mauled by perv vision lol. Its not as bad as people make it seem. Usually the creepers are LGBT and are looking for other LGBT. Single women usually are not on the checklist for who to hunt down lmao.
How did you end up in your current career? I mean, it's not like you said when you were 13 "I want to work in a sex shop!" ( or did you? ) I personally have been on my own since I was 16, so ive jumped jobs ALOT for obvious reasons. This is my 22nd job in the past 10 years. I got this job (as previously answered) from a friend who asked if I needed a job, I said yes. Done.
Also, what kind of experience do you need for this type of work? I am personally a great salesman. I have a lot of knowledge about relationships and sex. I just needed to come in and up my knowledge on toys. I am a very good people person and have a great judge of character. Its really easy for me to take nervous and embarrassed people and turn them into "FUCK YEA THIS STORE IS AWESOME" and have them tell me their life story (not always wanted).
What has been the funniest question a customer has asked? Lets see, funniest...It's kind of hard. I look at things differently. For example, there have been a handful of women aged 25-35 that don't know how to stimulate their clit or gspot. I had to show a woman on a doll exactly where her clit was and what it does. Some people find this funny, but I find it...I dunno...not funny. Its educational. Poor thing didnt know how to get off.
If I had to choose one...its probably the creepers who come in and ask me if I know of any prostitutes. Even if I did, who the hell says "yea man, heres a number to call".
It's kind of hard. Ha. I see what you did there.
It was you. ;) Hey also, as I read through I saw something about Powerzens. How many come in a pack of them, and how much are they? I'm sure I could google it, but you need more karma. Lol. One pill is 20 bucks for the extremes. (2000mg) and about 15 for the Golds. (1500mg). Everything is one pill, lasts about 3-4 days. Advertised as 5.
That's not bad, if it works as well as you described. Do you recommend? For sure. Once you try one, you will be hooked.
I feel bad for wasting your time by asking all these silly questions... but, what exactly does it do? What IS male enhancement? Lol. Makes you harder, gets your blood pumping, but the biggest kicker is the recovery time. Once you finish, you are right back up again. Then you finish again...Right back up for some more. The cycle continues for days.
I would imagine your sexy time threshold is very high, being surrounded by sex all the time. Do you feel like you need more stimulation to get turned on? Yes. Its a bit tough when it comes to vanilla sex. I can honestly admit that if it isnt interesting enough, I more than likely go limp in the middle of it, which is a bit of a problem.
Interesting. What have you done to try to mitigate the problem? Find women that arent vanilla when it comes to sex :P Im more of a bdsm kind of guy anyway.
I totally thought you were a chick. Now a lot of your responses make a lot more sense. I'll have to look for you on fetlife. I don't have a fetlife account. Was totally thinking of it though.
Also, what made me seem like I was a chic? :P.
Easier said than done. Im glad me and the wife clicked with that situation lol. Indeed easier said than done. Which is why im single! :P Im glad that worked out for you!
Single dude that is into bdsm that WORKS at a sex shop and you aren't on fetlife??? Come on son! Your opening line is "I can get you cheap sex toys" BAM! Instant blowjob. Works 90% of the time a 100% of the time. Lol. Nice.
Standard retail shit, right? Easy. Been doing that for... far to fucking long. I'm not following. Regarding what? Im trying to imply his first question and your statement. You mean "Hire people just like you would for standard retail." ? Or maybe "Sounds like the job contains standard retail shit, which is easy". Im having a hard time.
Do you get discounts on the items that you sell? What have your past/current significant other thought about your job? I do get a discount. Can't really go on about how much :P.
Previous SO was pretty jealous of my job and she left. I am currently single because every woman I come across thinks its hot, wants a fling, but cant actually be with someone who does this for a living. Too many jealousy problems.
I am so sorry to hear that! I don't see the big issue for you doing that as a living. I would think it is a bigger perk than anything! I'm not a jealous person, so I'm a bit confused. What jealousy issues arise? "You hit on girls all the time"...Its my job. "You get hit on all the time"...Same as getting hit on in the street? "You look at all the girls that come in there because you know they are freaks"...Uhh?
I can relate to that some what I used to bouncer and body guard strippers at one point, I looked at them like clients and money on the table and my ex saw it as an opertunaty for me to cheat due to it being a sex entertainment field... Le sigh. ^ This. All I see that walks through that door is a big dollar sign. Once in a while we get a girl who just knocked the breath out of your body, but picking girls up in here is near impossible.
They are either: 1) Getting a toy, which they dont need you at all for. 2) Picking up something for her and her SO, which she doesnt need you for.
The only time you really "pick up" a girl is when they come in, look around, decide they are broke and slip you their number or hit on you.
How silly. It's quite a shame. If my husband worked at an adult shop, I would just want to know his funniest stories of the night and the weirdest combo of things he sold. (or at least something along those lines). I hope you find someone who doesn't care where you work! =) Help me find her! Ill give you a discount! :P.
Do you ever get people coming into the shop that yell at you or chew you out for working in an "immoral" profession or any BS like that? Conservatives saying the shop shouldn't exist? Protestors? Nope, never.
Also do you have to deal with rude customers like other retail? Any notable examples? Rude customers are just every day retail customers. Nobody is particular. Nothing sex or toy related. Maybe a couple of women who try to chew me out for thinking that I know what feels good for them better than they do. (Im usually right, since they are inexperienced and coming to me for help to begin with. Dont know why they fight it so much.)
Where is the Store located? I know in some parts of the states this can be a big issue... Connecticut.
Where in CT? Eh...Southwestern. Lol.
Ever have anybody ask you for beastiality stuff? Yes, but in my state its illegal, so I direct them to New York.
You should probably send them to Bad Dragon instead. Don't know what that is and I don't think I want to know :P.
It's not illegal in NY? Videos. No.
tilts head Never heard of videos being legal here in NY... TIL. Last I recall, purchasing bestiality videos in particular is legal. Which is why I send my customers there.
Me: "Unfortunantly, that item you are trying to return was already returned once, so we dont take things back twice." Customer: "Thats fucking disgusting, you sold me something that was...oh. Right. I see" Me: "Have a good day". That's very clever. Did you come up with that? Yes. I will indeed take all the credit for that one.
Most interesting story? To be completely honest, that's way too vague to answer. There are countless number of interesting stories that happen. As you can imagine. Getting hit on multiple times by guys, girls, couples. Lesbians coming in and trying to rattle the cages after I tell them that "Nothing surprises me anymore". (They started making out and moaning in front of me and left pissed when I didnt give them what they were looking for.) Tons of stuff.
Ever had to call the cops? Why? Yes. Had a couple of hoodlum kids come in here and cause a scene. They got upset because I asked them to leave after they made the rest of the customers feel uncomfortable. They would point and laugh at things and go "lololol look its a vagina lololol". Once I kicked them out, they started shouting death threats and calling the store non-stop. We close at midnight. One of the girls that works here was scared, so I made sure she was safe.
Lesbians making out and moaning left pissed? wha twere they looking for? why were they pissed whe nthey did that infront of you? They did it in front of me to try to get me...worked up. They were pissed because I wasnt effected at all. Im surrounded by sex, talk about sex and am very sexually active. They are used to making out or showing off in front of regular guys and have the guys be all over them. Not me. I just kept playing on my phone and told them to try harder. Lol.
Kids are allowed in the store? Jeez. Can they purchase products? I was just wondering... It's for my girlfriend I swear. "Kids" being 19-20 Legal policy is anyone 18 and up. Store policy is 21 and up, but its bendable. If I have a 19 year old couple that are mature enough to actually walk in and discuss the needs and wants and not be a child about it, no problem.
I imagine that's a bit like pointing a hair dryer at someone in a sauna. They can feel it, it just doesn't matter. Pretty much nailed it with that statement.
How many people have you caught "testing" out products? Absolutely none. We keep a close eye on that kind of stuff.
I've been trying to talk a friend of mine into opening a sex shop. Any advice for her? Any cool avenues sex shops aren't, but could/should be, pursuing? It's really tough to fight the internet. I honestly wouldn't do it. Unless you have some amazing plan to fight the internet with, then you won't make much money. Retail in general is dying a very painful death to internet prices, which only causes them to jack their prices even more to put themselves deeper.
Ah, yes. We gotta do what we gotta do. What does your username mean? Does it relate to your work? Or is it a toy? I tried to make this AMA on my main account seeekay but it wouldnt let me :( So i made a new one. Also, Seekay is just a nickname IRL. As well as my online handle in mostly...everything. :P.
Have you ever used any of your own products? Yes, I mainly use some of the pills from time to time since they are awesome. (Powerzens, make sure you get a real one and not a ripoff). I usually test out all the new stuff that we get ahead of time. Reps try to push product on us and the first thing I say is send me a tester and we'll talk.
What do they do? Powerzen makes men fuck like gods. No bullshit.
These actually work? And any brands or things I should look for when trying it? Make sure its real. Coloring on the package is pure. The date is on the top right corner of the back. And you see the "Pld" logo in the front. Make sure the image of the woman on the front is crisp and not blurred.
I just googled this to know what it is and this is the top website, I trust you, but this is really funny : Link to www.herbsexenhancement.com. Thats it. But the extremes at my shop (2000mg) Usually run 20 bucks. Anything more than that and you are getting ripped off. Anything that is way cheaper is most likely a fake. Dont buy any online because you cant check the authenticity before hand.
Also anything comparable for women?? I have a crappy sex drive. Comparable for women, i believe i answered this. Try sex shots (liquid) ive been told they work by plenty of women. If not, try spanish fly (liquid or pills) and then you've got max desire and viva herbal.
Agreed. That's how I got him into one once before! Nice! :)
Is it blatantly obvious when people are coming in for the first time, and is there anything you do to try and help them relax? First I give them time. Once they start whispering to each other, I usually start with "You should ask the guy who works here!" for an ice breaker. Then they are either super shy or just ask. Based on what happens, I either joke with them and open them up through laughter or get very professional with them and open them up through the "you can ask me, im a professional" lol.
How many customers is there daily? Per week\month? What about the profits of the shop? Any legal issues? Its hard to put a number on that. Everyday is different, usually in the week (Mon-Thurs) There can be 3 customers a day or 20. Its really random. On the weekend is when we get busier. Usually around...I dunno...I'd say about 20-40 customers a shift. It is starting to kick up due to christmas and holidays. Both for the lonely people and the couples.
I cant go into exact profit details, but the average transaction is about 40 dollars. Some people are cheap and come in looking for what they can get for 5 bucks and some people come in and blow 200-400 in one sitting. Like I said, its -really- hard to gauge.
Legal issues: Nope. We have to be careful when it comes to poppers. (Use google) Other than that, we just have to be careful with window advertisement. (We blacked out the whole store, thats how we deal with that) :P.
Is it even possible to buy something for 5 bucks lol? Hardly. We've got like...sample pills and sample lubes for 2-5 bucks. Thats about it...
Also would like to ask a few more questions: the shop is 24\7? If yes, how are the sales at night? How many people own\work at that place? It's a part of someone's sex empire or just a small local store? And the last one, funny question: do you have to deal with horny teenagers? You know, like asking them to leave the moment they walked into the store? Thanks. Sales in the day are mostly older gentleman with videos. When it gets dark, thats when people deal more with the toy side. Then really late, around midnight, its a toss up. 3 Employees total, including me. One owner. Owner used to own 7 stores, after the economy got bad, he now has just this one.
I deal with immature teens all the time. I simple ask them to leave. If they ask why, I tell them they have to be 21 and up. They throw the "No, its 18 and up". I reply with "No, its what I say it is".
What is your favorite part of the job, the thing that keeps you coming back? The coversations. The connection. I am a people person. I build rapport. When those customers come in and tell me that everything I told them made them a better husband/wife/lovewhatever, it really gets me going. Im all about teaching and learning the ways of relationships and sex.
What's the kinkiest toy you sell? Link to www.amazon.com
In my eyes anyway. Either that or the straight jacket from fetish. Or maybe the dick rambone 14 1/2 inch dildo...theres a lot to choose from :P.
Link to imgur.com I'll just leave this here. Nice.
What is your finest, most expensive sounding dildo? Seriously sounding? No clue.
Seriously expensive? We used to carry the lelo brand. Once it started to collect dust because nobody wanted to spend 150-200 dollars on a vibrator, we got rid of it. We just picked up Picobong. Lelo makes it, lower end toy, but still up there. Think of a mercedes. Lelo being an S class, Picobong being a C class.
I never knew lelo made picobong. You've given me a bit more to research... Picobong = lelo without being rechargeable. Its battery operated. Same everything else.
Weirdest customer off of the top of your head? Jesse. That guy is weird as shit. He will literally buy the same two toys on the same day of the week, every week like clockwork. He buys a bullet and high intensity massage toy. He never remembers that he bought it and while hes "looking around" he is constantly talking to himself. He walks fast into the store and runs out. Hes nice, just weird.
Some times pornstars will film a small thing in these shops. has that ever happened in yours? Never anything filmed in our store, but we had a couple porn stars come in here and sign our wall and stuff. Maybe Ill get a picture for you guys.
What would you say is your best selling product? Also, can you send me a toy? ;P. Someone asked this question. Answered. And maybe :P.
Well if you're just giving out toys, may I please have one? I don't care what it is, I will find a use for it. :) I was just joking..
Do you except Bitcoin? I wish we accepted it. I personally do :P.
What is the male to female customer ratio visiting your store and buying your products? Its really mixed. One day Ill get nothing but guys, the next nothing but women.
Overall, id have to say about 60/40 Men/Women.
What is your most popular product among men? Women? Or even both? Welcome to the realm of asking the same question that every person asks me as soon as they walk through the door. :P.
Its absolutely situational. Everyone comes in for different things. Its -really- hard to put any type of "guesstimation" of the "most sold" product. There are tons of "fads" and "flavor of the month"s as well. Its really hard to judge.
Some things that sell on a consistent basis no matter what?
Women: Pocket rockets (cheaper versions), Doc Johnson Realistic Cocks and rabbits mainly.
Men: Dr. Joel Kaplan products, delay spray and penis thickening creams. (This is a whole other topic of "it pisses me off". So many guys compare themselves to porn stars and feel inadequate. Women watch porn and think every guy is hung like one as well. Society sucks balls when it comes to penis length. But hey, it makes money)
Couples: Vibrating cockrings, wevibe products, under the bed restraints.
No offense man but as a manager you should know a lot more numbers.. Its not that hard to keep track of how many customers a day, what sells the most/least.. They are all pretty important stats.. No offense, but I try not to tell everyone what the personal business does as far as profit and numbers go. Which is why I try to answer the question with "rough estimates".
Here's an idea. Give me your address, I'll mail you our ledger.
Hey I'm not trying to be mean. If there was a tv show, lets call it Dildo Rescue, with a successful sex shop owner, lets call him Mr Cox, going around, they would tear you a new one for saying 'guesstimation.' I only bring it up at all because you said you were working to be owner. Cool.
Are there video booths in the back? Do they have glory holes? Yes. And no. Just regular booths.
Is it your job to mop up cum? Nope.
Well you do have booths so I'm wondering what pour soul has to clean them? I personally don't. (Cough) Lackeys.
Anyone ever take a shit in the booths? You know...just cause? No. Someone took a piss in them before though. That pisses everyone off. (Pun intended).
You mentioned pills for guys that actually worked, and how to make sure they were real. Best pills (or gels, etc.) for ladies, and how to make sure they're legit? Spanish fly or sex shots. They dont counterfeit those. They work. Or try max desire.
I'm looking for a bullet with a wireless remote. Do you have any suggestions? I'm so lost on what to look for :/ Price is kind of important but not too important. I just want it to work and to last lol. Try one of the cheaper ones first. I know california exotics makes a cheap purple one. Once you decide you like it, go for a fetish brand. Its wireless panties, but its pretty much a wireless remote bullet put in a panty.
How do you explain that on a date? That I work at a sex shop? I usually tell women I know everything there is to know about relationships, sex, and sex toys. If they are intrigued, I tell them where I work. If they look at me like a pig, then I dont get anywhere :P.
How much does one make in terms of a salary as the manager of such a shop? Not much more than an average salary of any other retail store.
Sell any Tenga products? Unfortunately not. There was a wave, we didnt get on it. The sales for tenga arent all as high as they used to. Also, we tend to try to not to carry what regular stores carry. (Like KY and condoms, where people can go buy at CVS or something.)
Do you ever get turned on at work? Nope. Sad to say.
What caused you to become a manager at a sex shop? I imagine that could be a rather awkward job to apply for. Also, do you ever see anything items being sold in your store that make you think "what the fuck?" Already answered, a couple of times.
How do you guys handle product recalls? We haven't dealt with one yet. Im sure if there was a recall it wouldnt be too much of a problem. We order toys every two weeks, so theres not much backstock.
What's your best sellers and what's the weirdest thing someone's asked for? Already been answered. A bunch of times :P.
Have you ever sold gay porn to a straight couple? No but ive sold gay porn to married men.
Would u rather sit on a duck or sit on a dick? Depends on how your mom feels about it.
Talking to women about what sex toys to use to get them off better. Not giving one fuck when two chicks were making out in front of you. Mainly I just wanted to beweeve! Lol. I guess that makes sense.
Whats your funniest or most audacious attempt at someone trying to return an item. Customer: "I want to return this item" Me: "Im sorry, there are no returns" Customer: "What do you mean no returns? Thats bullshit" Me: "Unfortunantly, that item you are trying to return was already returned once, so we dont take things back twice." Customer: "Thats fucking disgusting, you sold me something that was...oh. Right. I see" Me: "Have a good day".
What were they trying to return, if you don't mind me asking. People try to return all types of things all the time. One guy tried to return 2/3 condoms. He pointed out the one he used he didnt like, so he wanted to return the rest.
What is the weirdest thing that's happened to you while on duty. Id have to say the 300lb jacked up muscle head who walked in with a dress, bra and high heels. It was clearly not a joke. He/she had the voice/face/eyes/vibe of a murderer. I was legitimately scared, but he/she was so nice.
You must have some awkward situations deciding whether to say ma'am or sir.. When those times come. I dont. When they obviously want me to say ma'am. I do. When they want me to say sir, I do. Whatever floats your boat, I could care less what your preference is. As long as you leave my store happy.
That's respectful. I try :)
Couldn't care less. You got me. Funny thing is I usually correct people on that. Thats why I found it twice as humorous.
For some reason, there are a lot of muscleheads who are into crossdressing. I've only seen two in my life. Well, in person.
"Ma it's not a sex shop! It's an adult boutique!" That's actually hilarious. Except it doesn't apply to me :P.
Jesus Christ, I read every single comment on this thread. I just wanted to take the second and thank you for a very educational AMA. Your welcome. I said I would stop at 10pm EST. Its not 4:22am. Gonna answer these last batch of questions and head to bed :P.
I've known a few employee's from different chains of stores, they have told me a story revolving around a robbery attempt thrwarted by being beating up the robber with a large fister or a dildo. Have you ever been in that situation or beaten an employee with a sex toy fight. My go to for sex toy fights are the glass toys. Because once you take those out, everyone is like "hey man, thats not fair" and it ends. Lol.
Sorry if this question is stupid but i can just immagin what it would look like if i were a police officer looking at the video tape of the robbery lol. As far as a stories regarding robberies and stuff like that. Sorry. No.
Have you ever had any complaints about TOKO lube products, me and the wife used it for a while and it actually destroyed some of her toys and caused... injuries. It wasnt a heat up lube or flavored or anything which is odd. Some lubes eat up some toys. For instance, silicone lube eats a lot of toys up. Make sure your toys are labeled as "silicone friendly" or something of the sort. We do not carry TOKO ourselves. As far as "injuries" go, feel free to inbox me so we can get to the bottom of this. If you are talking about rashes or skin problems, you can go for "All Natural" lubes which are a bit more watery/less thick/less lasting but have a lot less ingredients for sensitive skin.
Would u rather sniff a penguin or sit on a frog.. Sniff a penguin, they are so cute.
Hey I just want to say thanks for being understanding and non-judgemental. I've only been to one sex shop, and the lady behind the counter was super helpful to my friend. She was also helpful to me, but I couldn't use any of the lubricant due to allergies. No problem. You make it seem like I did something in particular :P But you should totally use all natural lube. It isnt as thick, its more watery, but it practically has nothing in it. If that fails, use silicone lube. Its really messy, but it literally has bar-none in it.
Wow.. this thread needs a NSFW tag, i looked at 2 pictures and im at work, both with dildos in them.. lol. Im sorry :(
Never anything filmed in our store, but we had a couple porn stars come in here and sign our wall and stuff. Maybe Ill get a picture for you guys. Imgur.com/b0z4oHR.
I think I need a pornstar signature wall in my room... It would be a nice thing to have :P.
Do you sell spice and other stuff like that, if you do have you ever tried it yourself? Im sorry, spice?
You know that fake weed stuff and those "bath salts?" I've seen some of the sex shops sell that kind of stuff? Nope. Thats next door. They sell all that stuff.
Suck a big, black dick or a massive, bulging Asian one? Depends on what your mom prefers.
Last updated: 2013-12-05 23:39 UTC
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[Table] IAMA Gravitas Recordings - A music label and creative collective - Ask Us Anything

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-06-11
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
How did you manage to pick up Cryptex? Great question. This was the inception of Gravitas and tells a really great story of how close the bass music community is. I found Tyler Chase, Cryptex, on The Glitch Hop Forum which was started by Dewey DB and run by ill-esha and a few other glitch hop OGs. Cryptex had posted some of his first reglitches on the site and I ended up playing a few when I opened for Skrillex and PantyRaid at the Austin Music Hall. I posted that mix back to the forum and we ended up chatting over instant messenger about his music and our philosophy on music.
What's the philosophy behind your "free music" practice? The philosophy behind releasing almost all our music for free came from a conversation I had with edIT in 2010. Basically, he said, I know some people are going to download our music for free, some are going to buy it from iTunes and some are going to want to buy a shirt, record and CD of the album. It hit me that what all the artists and myself wanted was for as many people as possible to hear the music. Rather than asking people to buy the tunes and see if they liked it, why not give it to them for free and if they enjoy it, they'll likely donate on the next go around.
What goes into your decision to pick up an artist and/or release for Gravitas? Is it a sound, a type of artist? Something else? Also a great question.
The short answer, we know it when we hear it.
Long answer, it all happens very organically. The music scene and business is really just a bunch of personal connections and friendships. Having a crew of talented DJs and producers helps so much. We are always sharing music, checking out each others mixes, doing A+R, and looking for the next dope sound or producer. Myself, Psymbionic, ONE4ALL, Galvanix, Jason Torres, and The Digital Connection review demos.
In the end, I make the final decision because I personally invest money into each release that comes out.
Our goal is for the label to be something like a Ninja Tune or Warp Records. Less of a genre or sound and more of an esthetic.
Is the money for mastering and advertising? Artwork.
Mastering.
Promo Email to artists, blogs, and friends.
Email Marketing to fans.
Marketing / Promotions.
There's a lot of over-saturation in the industry, particularly among social media. How does this impact your social media presence and marketing campaigns, and which ways have you found most effective in reaching your fans and potential fans? Of course, we have a social media presence, but really, our focus is building our email list so that we can have a direct connection with the people that want our music. Email isn't going to go away and isn't a trend. It may change over time, but pretty much everyone I know checks their email at least once a day.
Facebook and twitter are more for a conversation. We don't want that to be our sole means of promotion. We want those channels to be funny, interesting and list, in a smart way, the most important events that we are involved in.
Can you tell us about how releasing most of your catalogue free is working out for you business-wise, and what went into making that decision? Thanks! Answered this question a bit already but I'll give you some more details. We're finding that the "Pay What You Want" model is absolutely brilliant. Of course, the music has to be good and it really helps if the artist has a solid fan base. Since it's "free", people don't feel bad about sharing the music and we don't have to spend a bunch of time, money and energy trying to lock it up. For anyone on our email list, which is something that we've worked really hard to grow, they will get pushed to our bandcamp and get the music for free.
We still send our tunes to iTunes, Beatport and all the rest of the digital retailers. We want the music to be ubiquitous. But with the retailers taking anywhere from 30-50%, it's just makes better sense to take donations from Bandcamp at 10-15%.
Overall, Gravitas is making money and most of the artists that have had releases with us have nothing but good things to say and have seen their bookings increase because of the exposure.
Do yall have some big studio where I could come hang and puff? Sure, let's puff tough at some point soon.
What happens at Flipside, stays at Flipside ;). Saw you bring the heat at Lava Lounge! Things got sufficiently weird! Lol. I've seen some truly bizarre things at Flipside. LOVE IT!
Really love what you guys have going down there. MAD respect on the home bass love and respect. 'Gravitas Fest' perhaps ;) ?? Im pretty sure pple would come!! :) I can say enough about The Do Lab and what they have created. They are one my big inspirations. The true spirit of events like Burning Man and Burning Flipside (Austin's regional burn) are really important. Participation vs. Spectator. Being a part of something is so much more fun and rewarding then paying $80 to walk up to stage and watch a real life movie.
If we were to do anything like that, it would be way more participation based then a typical festival.
You should do something like the Mad Decent block party. One day! We've still got a lot of work to do before we get there.
Maybe if I produce MIA's new album and have a worldwide hit, everyone follows my every move on twitter and I do a blackberry commercial, then we can do it.
Where do you think Glitch-Hop is headed in the future? It seems to have stayed underground for the most part with only a few artists getting major recognition. With the downslide of dubstep, do you think Glitch will be able to find a wider audience and compete with explosive movements like trap or do you think it will remain in it's niche? The lines are really blurring for me. We're definitely not 100% glitch hop label. A lot of us love that sound but there are parts of the crew that only play house or are all about future beat / drum and bass. We want to avoid getting labeled with any one genre.
To answer your question, I think Glitch Hop will continue to thrive and evolve. Acts like Tipper have cult like followings. I don't think it's going to blow up like trap but I do think it will have a healthy scene around it for a good long time.
Marvel Years! Love your sound man, just curious why you changed your name from Wonder Years...? He's getting online shortly. I can answer this. There was another band called "Wonder Years" and they had the copyright. It would have been a bad situation later down the road so he chose to make the switch before he took off which seems like is about to happen any day now.
Questions for any/all of you: When did you guys start/how long have you been producing? When did you start actually liking your art/getting exactly what you wanted? Advice for new producers? I'm 32, about to be 33, and I've been playing music and working in the industry since I was 15. Honestly, I'm still not happy with my production as I don't dedicate the time to it that I would like to. That said, I have a ton of fun doing all the other parts of the music industry. I think there is a lesson there. There are lots of roles to play if you want to be in the scene or business and maybe don't click as a producer. Also, life is long, you may be a producer or DJ in your twenties and then want to own a studio or do mastering in your 30s and run a label in your 40s.
Yeah man...more originals please! Always like what you put out...you know this. :) Thanks! I'll have a new one on Virtus in Sonus Vol. 2. Comes out on July 2nd.
For Jesse - As CEO at Gravitas, how do you view other crews/groups in the industry? Is your experience more of competition or is there an element of a "co-opetition" or collaboration? I don't think of them as competitors. There is loads of people, ears and music to go around. I think we've carved out a really cool niche for ourselves. I know the owners of labels like Muti, Simplify and Street Ritual. We share knowledge and a lot of artists work with us all. It's crazy what a small scene it really is. I can think of a couple situations where we chose not to do something because we didn't want to step on anyone's toes. We're the new kids on the block and know enough to respect those that came before and to try to set an example for those that come later.
We still going? Integrity Above All Else.
Question for Gravitas - Gravitas is one of the latin virtues. It literally means Importance, Weight and Meaning.
What values is the record label based around? Link to en.wikipedia.org
What's you guys relationship with the bloom series? it's amazing,, have you any plans to collaborate with the project in the future? The Digital Connection is up in Denver and will be playing Sonic Bloom. He's hooked into their scene. We know and respect them and I think you'll see more Gravitas artists there in the coming years. Somatoast would be my bet for the next artist to get their nod.
Jason, i haven't got to see any of your projection mapping stuff yet. Where can I view this? Jason is a BOSS with the visuals. The stuff he was doing during SXSW was truly unreal.
What's with the infatuation with bass these days? Music should not only be heard, but felt. Deep bass tones seem to literally put your mind and body into a specific state.
@Brede, who is the sexiest talent on the roster? Male or Female?
I'd have to say ill-esha is by far the sexiest. :) It's not even about looks either, confidence and talent are what make a person "sexy". Watch this and you will know exactly what I mean: Link to www.youtube.com
My cat is pretty damn sexy too.
On the off chance you return, i have a question. That is awesome that you say that. That is truly where our heads are at. I mentioned this in a few ways already but I want artists that can stand on their own two feet without a label. We come in and back them up with marketing. In return, they bring their fan base to us and the other artists benefit and earn new listeners. It's also, not a demand, but a gentle rule that you will support your fellow artists in their social media and real lives. In that sense, we are a creative collective and crew.
What does it mean for a label in this digital world of downloads and online distribution, when anyone can make their own bandcamp page and release music themselves? In regards to being a brand, yes, that is what Gravitas is. It should speak to you and in some way convey meaning, thought, depth, and integrity. Those are hard things to totally lock down in language but I believe you can hear that in our music. If people even get a whiff of that vibe from us then I'm a happy man.
Do you become more of a form of branding, unifying different artists under one sound? Or is it more like a way to get artists to collaborate and share ideas? In regards to free releases, I'm a student of the Internet. I have worked in tech jobs as an account manager, online and email marketing and webmaster. I love the Internet and there are new models of business that have never existed until the advent of digital media. Files can be shared and copied with a simple mouse click. We're not going to fight that, we're going to take advantage of it. We believe that the free sharing of the music is the first step of any relationship with a potential person / fan / customer. We want you to dig our stuff. We want you to share it. We want to play shows, collaborate, travel and see the world. And we ask that if you like our music, donate to help pay for costs and tell your friends about us.
I'm really curious - because you release so much for free, and it seems to defy the definition of what I thought of as a record label. Thanks for your question. I had a blast answering.
I feel like I'm on the Truman Show. Am I in control of my actions right now? Like I said, this scene is small. We are all connected via social networking and forums in some way. I probably share 2 or 3 friends with you on Facebook or something.
ARE YOU CONTROLLING THIS ENTIRE AMA. And yes, I'm controlling this entire AMA. :)
What festivals will you guys be hanging out at this summer, and will there be a gravitas tent/dome anywhere ever? I'll be at rootwire and gratifly, anyone gonna be there? There is talks of putting together an official artist management and booking agency. Both those ideas need to be separate from Gravitas though for legal reasons and to avoid conflict of interests. That said, the idea is to really back and artist from start to finish. 360 deal for independent artists.
You guys have a great label -- I love your music! I think ZEE's album is my favorite album of the year so far. Mr. Bill, when is the next Electrocado album coming out? (I know it isn't on the Gravitas label but shhh.) ZEE's album was crazy good. More people need to check it out. I'm pretty sure Zebbler is an alien and Encanti is the nicest, realest homie that knows so much about audio and sound design.
How is your management structure set up? i.e. CEO/President, director of A&R, etc... We're really just a group of people who love music. If we had to give titles, I'd be Owner / President, Psymbionic is VP and helps almost everyday with strategy and A+R. Jason Torres handles all things visual. ONE4ALL, Galvanix, Kendall Clark, The Digital Connection, Mike Abb and others help a ton with A+R and promotions. We're a big team and very "flat" as far as structure goes.
Thanks. Is it a full time operation for any of you guys? A few of us are doing music full time. I run Gravitas and another business full time from my house. Others are working day jobs and putting as much time into music as possible. ill-esha gave me some great advice recently about this, you'll know when the time to jump full time into music is. It's scary for sure, but there is nothing else like pursuing your dreams full on.
Agreed. I've just started up a label and have some uneasiness about some future situations, particularly generating revenue for the label to be self sustaining. Definitely hoping to be in a similar position in the future. For sure. When I started Gravitas, I was working full time for a technology company and making a healthy salary. I put a lot of money into each release. I was laid off from my job and we were forced to take a look at the costs and cut back. Honestly, that was the best thing that could have happened.
I'd say this, there is definitely an initial investment needed to get the brand of your label out there. You need to be consistent with quality, especially right at first. Paying an established producer an upfront fee, can help to get the label's name out there more and earn some credibility.
Haha, I'm actually in a eerily similar situation. Glad to hear things are working well for you! I really appreciate the feedback; I've looked to Gravitas multiple times as an example to follow, and I really appreciate you taking the time to do this! For sure, feel free to hit me on twitter or here if you have questions. @jessebrede.
What are your thoughts on G Jones? He's a G.
Why do you insist on making music that everyone wants to practice making babies to? The world needs more smart, talented people. Get busy.
Can I get a free Gravitas t-shirt? We're working on a system to grow money on trees. Until then, shirts cost money to make so, sadly, no.
We will send you some stickers though. Link to gravitasrecordings.com
You guys are in Austin as well, eh? Where are all the glitch hop shows here? That's my question. I see ill-esha/psymbionic comin through on sxsw but that's about the extent of it. We've put on a fair amount of shows. ChrisB, ill-esha, Russ Liquid, Nicoluminous.
We do a monthly every 2nd Wednesday (tonight) at Barcelona. Like our facebook page and get on our newsletter and you should know what the happs is.
What are your main sources of revenue? Giving away music for free doesn't generate much. We all play locally or tour nationally. We've done some paid projection mapping gigs for brands as well. Also,you would be surprised at how much people will donate when given the chance. Rough stats, 1 in 10 people usually donate and when they do it's at least a few bucks and sometimes $20. It's a really interesting psychological experiment.
Anyone catch the Opiuo show in Hollywood? Soulular maybe, he's out in LA. Psymbionic is playing with him this Thursday in Chicago.
When will you start accepting bitcoin? I'm a bitcoin noob. Is this a serious question? I'm down with the idea.
Cryptex is siiick! How long have you been involved with this genre of music? Username fail.
Just wanted to say you guys are my favorite label, not only is the music kickass but the price structure and quality is also top notch; keep doing what you guys do! Thank you, that means a lot to us. All the artists work so hard on their music and truly just want to share it. We love to hear that you are into what we are doing.
The scene in Austin is probably pretty similar to most fairly large cities in the US. Proggy/electro house is the norm for most clubs. I feel like we have a larger than usual bass music collective, most likely due to the college students and burners that reside here. Ill-esha is AMAzing. :) Austin is great. It's a true scene at this point. The city is maturing and so is the scene. Loads of great things happening at this point. Disco Donnie Presents had the scene hostage for a number of years, they kept a lot of smaller promoters out and down while losing tons of money and booking the same 30 djs. Those days are over in Austin. We have several independent promoters that are doing solid shows on the regular. The most unexpected thing to happen was having people respond so positively and for projects to take off. We're in our little bubble so seeing people truly get excited about a Mr. Bill remix contest or ill-esha album puts the biggest fucking smile on my face.
We also have our pockets of drum and bass enthusiasts, dungeon style dubstep, and my personal favorite, UK garage.
I always thought it was to distinguish yourself because whenever I googled wonder years, your music is obviously not the first thing that came up haha. Anyway, thanks for doing this AMA! I am always posting your music in /electrohiphop, /under10k, and /listentothis. I can confirm this. Starkey has mad love for ya.
This dude is absolutely killin' it in the weird GlitchJuke Purp-Fusion realm. Hope he continues to push the boundaries. Thriftworks is on a whole 'nother plane, though. We need more of this sound in Tennessee :[ Thrifworks is on another level. His field recordings and "found sounds" are probably my favorite of anything in that style. Absolute boss status.
Hell yeah. I was so stoked/surprised to hear he was touring with Lorin. But goddamn, there's nothing else like his stuff that I'm aware of. Hyper-dimensional uncertain shroom-hop. The way he processes vocals is untouchable. I believe he studies at Berkely. He's posted some pictures of places where he's working. His process looks so cool.
Psymbionic handles the majority of the mastering for the label and every once and a while I will master something for us. Sugarpill has done a good bit as well.
Lidsky is a friend of mine, and I absolutely love his music. He's pretty new to the label but he is the shit. Yup Yup!
Spoiler alert bro. Whoops.
Dinostep was a project 50 million years in the making, I did not expect to hear any mentions of it in the AMA. I sampled all of the audio from Jurassic Park and chopped up my favorites bits creating a dark journey through the aural landscape of Jurassic Park. Life...finds a way. Link or it didn't happen.
Started in Garage band in 05. Switched to Ableton in 07. Made a lot of terrible terrible music. But I was having fun and that helped me keep at it. Just remember what Ira Glass said: Link to behance.vo.llnwd.net. Absolutely bizarre that you posted this. Our very own, Nikki Hampson, designer of the Gravitas logo and Virtus In Sonus artwork, made that poster. It's for sale in our merch shop. Maybe that's where you got it but doesn't look like it.
Link to music.gravitasrecordings.com
Yeess. I keep forgetting that quote. I need to frame it in... everywhere I go. Get it here: Link to music.gravitasrecordings.com :)
Hit up [email protected] to book him ;) [email protected] please.
Just in case one rips, that is a great idea. I keep a spare in my car as well.
We'll see. That remix really surprised me with how much it took off!! Link to soundcloud.com
Last updated: 2013-06-15 13:43 UTC
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