Members of Victoria indie-folk group Towers and Trees aren't getting rich from playing music, but that isn't stopping them from donating all their online revenue to charity.
Throughout October, all money raised from online music sales will be donated to the Victoria Women in Need Cooperative - hence the band has dubbed this month "WIN-tober."
Towers and Trees will also donate the funds from digital download cards for their six-song album, Broken Record, which will be sold for $5 at concerts, including a date in Nanoose Bay on Oct. 5. Band founder and vocalist Adrian Chalifour said the decision to donate online music sales for a month was out of both charity and experimentation. He said the band wanted to find a charity that gave back to women in the community, but also wanted to see how the public would respond to the idea in a world where people illegally download music.
"We felt like every one of us has a woman in our lives who has played a really integral role in making us who we are," he said.
"(Also), we wanted to try this as an experiment: If we donate the revenue to a good cause, will that impact people's decisions when they're paying for music?" Also part of the charitable decision - Towers and Trees is one of 20 bands with a place in the $5.29 million 2013 PEAK Performance Project.
Chalifour said the first task of the competition, a viral video challenge, put Towers and Trees off to a strong start.
The band shot the video in more than 40 locations throughout Victoria, and ended by filming an over-the-top dance party with over 50 friends and fans.
"We knew we wanted to make a proper music video for Montreal, and we knew we wanted to do something ambitious, because this was our chance to make a splash," he said.
"We were blown away by the community response to the video shoot. People went literally all out with their outfits and antics."
The video was posted at the end of August and already has over 9,000 views.
Appropriately, the band has also been using hashtags to promote their accomplishments. The group started using the tag #SummerOfAwesome on the web as a nod to a successful summer, which included high profile radio play and spots at prominent music festivals like Rifflandia and Khatsahlano.
But things weren't always so positive.
Chalifour, who founded Towers and Trees as a solo project just a year and a half ago, said the band started as an outlet for him during a difficult time.
"I basically had this epiphany that the only thing I could let define my sense of success as an artist was whether I was creating and sharing music," he said.
"If I could find joy in those two simple things, I could feel successful, full stop."
The band now has six core members - Ben and Andrea Lubberts, Donovan Rush, Dave Zellinsky and Jesse Boland - who share Chalifour's vision of creating joyful music.
Towers and Trees play Oct. 5 at Nanoose Place, 2925 Northwest Bay Rd., with fellow Peak Performance finalist Rolla Olak, at 6:30 p.m.Tickets at Catwalk Fashions or at www.arbutusevents.ca.
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