For inquiries, press, and new musicians who want their music featured on Linescratchers, contact our STAFF.
Q: What is Linescratchers?
A: Linescratchers is a group music blog. We feature news, interviews, and reviews about musicians who are Latter-day Saints, though everyone is welcome. We do not feature “LDS music” which you might know is a very particular brand of slick contemporary Mormon music found at Deseret Book and on EFY albums. For more devotional-oriented music, try The Cricket and Seagull.
When people hear the term “LDS music” they usually think something along the lines of Deseret Book-approved, EFY-type music. Unfortunately, it seems like LDS musicians have also been cornered sometimes unwillingly into this market. Linescratchers is about thinking outside the EFY box. It’s about LDS musicians who simply write music. To paraphrase Alan Sparhawk, music is by its very nature spiritual. Therefore, our job is the “raise the bar” and create a real artistic and musical culture within the church.
Q: What is the purpose of Linescratchers?
A: The purpose of Linescratchers is…
1. to promote Latter-day Saint musicians of high artistic quality around the world.
2. to “raise the bar” of quality for our musical community.
3. to create a market for LDS musicians to sell music and have shows.
4. to expand the definition of “LDS music” to include musicians who do not write explicitly devotional-style music.
5. to keep our musicians from thinking they have to choose between their art and the church.
6. to create a musical and artistic culture within the church.
Q: How do I get my music featured on Linescratchers or the Linescratchers Podcast?
A: Please send an email with a link to your music, a bio, and/or a couple mp3s to email@example.com. We try to maintain a pretty high standard for music at Linescratchers because we are trying to encourage our musicians to do better. However, we realize this is pretty subjective, so don’t be offended if we turn you down. We try to weight our decisions based on whether an artist has a finished product he/she can sell, whether their music is on iTunes, whether they have a large fan base, and/or whether we like it. We’ve got to draw the line somewhere between our own credibility and being as inclusive as possible. We try our best to be fair.
Q: How do I become a blogger for Linescratchers?
A: We’re always looking for awesome bloggers, reviewers, interviewers, news writers, and musicians for Linescratchers. Get a hold of us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us some of your work.
Q: Hey! Why haven’t you featured _____ ?!
A: There might be a few reasons. One, we’ve never heard of them. All our bands come from us just trying to find as many musicians as we can through search engines, word of mouth, etc. It could be we’ve never heard of that musician before. Two, perhaps we’ve tried to contact them but they never wrote back, or we don’t have reliable contact information. Three, perhaps they don’t want to be featured or don’t want to be identified as Mormon. But send us suggestions and we’ll be happy to check them out!
Q: Is this a page for “clean music the whole family can enjoy?”
A: Not necessarily. Obviously, we want our musicians to avoid vulgarity in their music, and to a certain extent it hurts our credibility when our musicians write offensive music. However, Linescratchers isn’t some kind of policing agency, where we sift through our musicians’ lyrics to make sure they don’t say anything offensive. We have neither the time nor the inclination for that sort of thing. For the most part, we believe we should expect our musicians to remember correct principles and therefore govern themselves. We also want our musicians to be completely honest and have musical integrity as well. For this reason, we think questions of “appropriateness” should be left with the musicians themselves. That having been said, we try to have common sense as well. Musicians that are openly and unfairly critical of the Church, use lyrics that are overly sexual, or just very offensive in general, we will try to avoid. In reality, this will have to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What is a “Linescratcher”? Where did you get your name?
A: A Linescratcher is any Latter-day Saint musician. The name came from a Low song called “When I Go Deaf.” The line invoked images of modern musicians, scratching out their lyrics on envelopes, pads of paper, and cardboard, and also invoked the images of ancient prophets scratching out words on plates.
Q: Do you make money off of Linescratchers?
A: We wish! The website is paid for by donations. We have not made a profit off Linescratchers, and we look forward to the day when we’re not losing money by doing it. Maybe one day we’ll be an official non-profit, but we’re not.
Q: Do you speak for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
A: No, we are an independent community of Latter-day Saint musicians and even one or two non-Mormons. Nothing we say should be taken as pronouncement of Church opinion or doctrine.
Q: Do you have a standard of worthiness for the members you interview?
A: We do not have priesthood keys to make sure our musicians deserve their temple recommends. That is not our job, either. Our sole criteria to determine whether someone is “Mormon” is if they self-identify as Mormon. That’s between them, the Lord, and their Bishops, not us. People are imperfect and most of them are trying their best. The point of Linescratchers is to be inclusive, if they are talented musicians who wish to identify themselves as Mormons (or Latter-day Saints).
Q: Is the purpose of Linescratchers to “out” Latter-day Saints who are musicians?
A: We only feature LDS musicians who wish to be identified as LDS. This isn’t a website for closeted Mormons, nor is it a website to “out” Mormon musicians who don’t wish people to know they’re Mormon.
Q: Who created Linescratchers?
A: Linescratchers was created by Arthur Hatton, a Latter-day Saint from Kentucky. He deserves the credit for everything good about the site, but no blame for anything bad about it.