Auditions solicited, received exclusively through YouTube
Band members were selected from the 452 American entries, received exclusively through YouTube auditions.
Potgieter says that the aim of the project is “to reach out to the masses, accept auditions from completely unknown (but completely epic) musicians, choose and connect with the people that inspire me and that I have chemistry with, fly them to Los Angeles for a few weeks, and write and record an album.”
“It has become clear through my experience of this project that true and sincere music is perhaps the most powerful form of expression and inspiration the world has ever seen, that there is NO substitute for hard work, and that musicians are incredibly sensitive to honesty and integrity in an industry where it is almost non-existent.”
Four members announced
After watching each audition three times, Potgieter shortlisted 14, finally choosing BJ Bryant (guitar) from Nashville, Tennessee, Evan Collins (bass guitar) from Anderson, South Carolina, Bear Rose (guitar) from Troy, North Carolina as well as Justin Hicks (vocals) from Georgia. Potgieter will lead the band on drums.
“I went into the project with a very open mind and decided beforehand that the players themselves, how they mesh and fit and combine, will determine the final band,” explains Potgieter.
“It became clear early on that we are excited about creating things that have real meaning. A common theme in our discussions is that we're normal dudes with the desire to communicate hope,” he says.
Producer announcement imminent
While the producer is yet to be confirmed, Potgieter says that he is very close to selecting the producer and that the producers to whom he has spoken to are “very excited about the project”.
Funding for the project was raised through Kickstarter, the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. Remarkably, the project exceeded its goal by $17,000 and reached $52,000 in less than two weeks with the support of backers throughout the States and further afield including Potgieter’s home country, South Africa.
“I really managed my expectations when we launched. You have to keep in mind: Kickstarter projects ask people to pay for an idea. They are paying for something that does not exist yet.That's a big favor to ask of any supporter. It was encouraging beyond measure to see how excited people were about enabling such a far-out project and seeing it come to life.
Technology tools being used extensively
Potgieter says the “landmark project has shown that new age technology tools can be used to create a band.
Now technology is going to be used to record music and distribute it outside of the main stream music industry which I trust to be powerful liberation for a new generation emerging artists.”
Potgieter is also committed to keeping his backers and others updated through the album’s recording and production.
He says that weekly webisodes will be broadcast via Cobus’ main YouTube channel which is watched by over 60,000 viewers daily. Followers will also follow developments with the Live Studio Cam, sponsored by Drum Channel with more information available from www.myyoutubebandproject.com.
Documentary to be made produced
A feature-length documentary, telling this amazing story from start to finish, will also be produced. Ultimately, the project will be packaged as two CDs and three DVDs.
The drummer, who has a built a following of 355,000 loyal fans across the globe and is supported by millions across the globe, is to record the album with his new band in Oxnard, California, just kilometres from Los Angeles.