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Deakin issues apology to his Kickstarter donors

Deakin w/ Animal Collective at Prospect Par in 2011 (more by VIncent Cornelli)

Earlier this week, we mentioned that fans were complaining that Animal Collective member Deakin (aka Josh Dibb) never got any of the rewards they were promised by donating to his Kickstarter campaign in 2009. He’s since apologetically spoke to Pitchfork about the issue:

“I feel sad, but I’ve set up a situation where that could be the perception and I understand that”, he said. “There are a couple things that are being misconceived.”

The primary misunderstanding, Dibb told me, is the belief that he received any of the $26,000. In reality, all of that money has gone directly to TEMEDT, he says. “I think the [Kickstarter] was up for a day or two before I realized that I felt incredibly uncomfortable about the idea of asking people to fund a trip for me to go to Africa… that’s why the project turned into a charity thing.”

Still, the question remains as to why Dibb failed to follow through on the merchandise promised to donors. Why not just throw together some photos and notes and send them out? The answer can be interpreted as unsatisfyingly simple or as logical and justifiable.

“The gifts were supposed to be based around the music that I had been writing at that time, and when I came back, I personally felt really dissatisfied with it,” he explained, and spoke of the struggles he’s experienced in recording his first solo record and sticking to his self-imposed deadlines. “For me, as an artist– whether or not people can be sympathetic to this or not– it’s just been a much slower process to do things on my own than with the band.”

What Dibb seems especially apologetic about is his failure to provide donors with regular updates about the project, and to ensure that all the donors have received his messages. “I haven’t been the best at updating people in the last two years,” he said.

He also mentioned that he sent an update to his Kickstarter donors in August, but that he wasn’t sure who actually received the message. The message reads:

I am writing to you once again to thank you for the tremendous support that you all gave back in December of 2009. I am writing you now to deeply apologize for the amount of time it has taken to come back to you with the rewards of your support. I have heard from a number of you expressing deep disappointment in the way that I have handled this project…

I also want to be clear so that all of you know that none of the money you donated was used for my trip. Nor is it being used to fund the materials that you will all be receiving (yes, you will!). All of these things are things that I have paid for myself or will be paying for myself. All of the money that you donated is being used by TEMEDT to continue their work to change the social dynamic in Mali…

…The crux of what has held this up is to record the songs that I was working on around that time in a way that I really felt good about. I am sure it seems inexplicable to some of you that that has taken nearly three years. On a personal level I have been coming to terms with my own creative process and some of that has been to accept that things take a long time to work through me.

So despite the fact that I know that I intend now and have always intended to turn this all into something that you all would be psyched about, I know that I have not been good about keeping you up to date and feeling included in the process which you all have the right to feel. I promise that for the rest of year my only two priorities will be to finish this and to be on tour with Animal Collective. I will keep you updated monthly on what is going on. Lastly I would like to speak to all of you directly if that is something that you would like…

Animal Collective will be in NYC soon for their Williamsburg Park show (10/5) with Micachu & the Shapes.

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