Looking for a Record Label to get my music out and aboot
wagz
Thread Starter
#1
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 828

Thread Starter
Looking for a Record Label to get my music out and aboot

Does anybody know of any Indie Record labels looking for artists with a kinda lo-fi electro-acoustic sound? I really need some contacts. Any info is welcome.

thanks.
#2
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
initialsBB's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: LA
Posts: 3,556

Who are some similar artists that you like? What labels are they on? There, done.
wagz
Thread Starter
#3
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 828

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Who are some similar artists that you like? What labels are they on? There, done.
lol. ok. I guess i'll try another avenue. The labels (that rep bands i like) seem to have policies that basically state that I'll be contacted by them when I'm awesome and well-known. I may not need them by then...
#4
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
  #4
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

It's a conundrum, ain't it?
#5
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
initialsBB's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: LA
Posts: 3,556

Aim lower. Did any of those bands you like put out stuff on smaller labels before they were signed to the labels they're on now? Can you find other bands who are just starting out who are doing similar stuff and who might be on smaller labels? Or who you can swap shows with? If you can't reach the labels you can try to make contact with other artists and hopefully play shows with them. First off though I would work on getting an online presence besides myspace (soundcloud, bandcamp, facebook, etc).
wagz
Thread Starter
#6
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 828

Thread Starter
thanks for your advice, initialsBB. You've given me some pretty good suggestions. I'd be taking a giant step if I did just one of the things you mentioned.
#7
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,580

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagz View Post
lol. ok. I guess i'll try another avenue. The labels (that rep bands i like) seem to have policies that basically state that I'll be contacted by them when I'm awesome and well-known. I may not need them by then...
get a good lawyer and/or manager (or agent) then.

What happens with labels... by the time they come around and want to sign you, you won't really need them.

You have to remember, everyone takes a piece of your pie. The bigger your pie is, the more people line up to take a piece... but as your pie gets bigger from your own doing, the less you need all these other people.

Instead of looking at it from the perspective it seems you have, you need to look at it this way...

You do not, nor do you ever, NEED a record label to become well known and sell a lot of albums. That is a common misconception. YOU need to grow your brand and your product just like any other company does.

As your brand grows from your own efforts you will need to hire "employees" or "contractors" to help you when you become so busy you can't handle doing all the different tasks yourself. This is where managers, agents, record labels and publicists come into play. they are your "employees" or "contractors". They work for you, not the other way around. But instead of paying them a dollar figure salary, you usually pay them a percentage of what you earn, kind of like a commission. And just like any commission based employee or contractor, YOU set target goals for them to hit. If they don't, they get let go. A label, manager, agent, etc should all have a "goal" (moneywise) that they have to hit for you just like any other sales person. They make their percentage if they hit that goal. If they don't, then their percentage shrinks. IF they go over, their percentage grows (bonus incentives). If you or anyone you know works in sales for a company talk to them about how the commission is structured. You can draw on that for your contracts with your "contracted" employees.

Record labels, managers, agents, etc need artists in order to survive. NOT the other way around. All those people are just hired hands. They are there to make you more money than you can make yourself because whereas initially you were doing every job on your own and splitting your time between them, they are dedicating all of their time to that one task. So therefore you should make more money from having them do it full time opposed to you doing it part time. If they aren't making you any more than what you were bringing in on your own, then you fire them. Since they are contract employees you need to make sure the terms for "termination of the contract" include poor performance. If they aren't increasing your cashflow from what it was before you hired them, then they are out plain and simple.

Once you get in that mindset, you'll realize what you need to do. You need to look at yourself as a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs or a Mark Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg didn't go around to venture capital firms begging for money before he ever started facebook. He started it, made it grow on his own and then hired people as necessary to CONTINUE its growth, including bringing on investors.

That is what artist need to do. Unfortunately, they need to start out as a one man enterprise. And push it to grow and grow until it gets big enough where the artist can't handle doing everything, there just isn't enough hours in the day. THAT is when a manager or agent comes on board to help. As it continues to grow from there, you bring on a publicist. And so on. Most artists would be smart to create their own label and/or production company and then SELL the company to a bigger label after the music is selling well.

Anyway. that is how you have to look at this. You give away a piece of your earnings to employees that help you do the work you don't have time to do. If you can't make any money, then you won't be able to pay any employees and it's pointless for you to have a label, manager, agent, publicist, etc. in the first place. That is why these labels are telling you to come back once you are selling your music and making money.
#8
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
  #8
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
get a good lawyer and/or manager (or agent) then.

What happens with labels... by the time they come around and want to sign you, you won't really need them.

You have to remember, everyone takes a piece of your pie. The bigger your pie is, the more people line up to take a piece... but as your pie gets bigger from your own doing, the less you need all these other people.

Instead of looking at it from the perspective it seems you have, you need to look at it this way...

You do not, nor do you ever, NEED a record label to become well known and sell a lot of albums. That is a common misconception. YOU need to grow your brand and your product just like any other company does.

As your brand grows from your own efforts you will need to hire "employees" or "contractors" to help you when you become so busy you can't handle doing all the different tasks yourself. This is where managers, agents, record labels and publicists come into play. they are your "employees" or "contractors". They work for you, not the other way around. But instead of paying them a dollar figure salary, you usually pay them a percentage of what you earn, kind of like a commission. And just like any commission based employee or contractor, YOU set target goals for them to hit. If they don't, they get let go. A label, manager, agent, etc should all have a "goal" (moneywise) that they have to hit for you just like any other sales person. They make their percentage if they hit that goal. If they don't, then their percentage shrinks. IF they go over, their percentage grows (bonus incentives). If you or anyone you know works in sales for a company talk to them about how the commission is structured. You can draw on that for your contracts with your "contracted" employees.

Record labels, managers, agents, etc need artists in order to survive. NOT the other way around. All those people are just hired hands. They are there to make you more money than you can make yourself because whereas initially you were doing every job on your own and splitting your time between them, they are dedicating all of their time to that one task. So therefore you should make more money from having them do it full time opposed to you doing it part time. If they aren't making you any more than what you were bringing in on your own, then you fire them. Since they are contract employees you need to make sure the terms for "termination of the contract" include poor performance. If they aren't increasing your cashflow from what it was before you hired them, then they are out plain and simple.

Once you get in that mindset, you'll realize what you need to do. You need to look at yourself as a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs or a Mark Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg didn't go around to venture capital firms begging for money before he ever started facebook. He started it, made it grow on his own and then hired people as necessary to CONTINUE its growth, including bringing on investors.

That is what artist need to do. Unfortunately, they need to start out as a one man enterprise. And push it to grow and grow until it gets big enough where the artist can't handle doing everything, there just isn't enough hours in the day. THAT is when a manager or agent comes on board to help. As it continues to grow from there, you bring on a publicist. And so on. Most artists would be smart to create their own label and/or production company and then SELL the company to a bigger label after the music is selling well.

Anyway. that is how you have to look at this. You give away a piece of your earnings to employees that help you do the work you don't have time to do. If you can't make any money, then you won't be able to pay any employees and it's pointless for you to have a label, manager, agent, publicist, etc. in the first place. That is why these labels are telling you to come back once you are selling your music and making money.
Well, the thing is that all those Bill Gateses and Steve Jobses and Mark Zuckerbergs had money from tech venture capitalists to start and grow their business.

We have venture capitalists in the music business too - you know what they're called? RECORD LABELS and to a lesser degree management companies.

Not saying you can't make it without one - but it's hard enough to make it WITH outside funding - funding yourself raises the difficulty by an order of magnitude at least.
#9
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
  #9
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Aim lower. Did any of those bands you like put out stuff on smaller labels before they were signed to the labels they're on now? Can you find other bands who are just starting out who are doing similar stuff and who might be on smaller labels? Or who you can swap shows with? If you can't reach the labels you can try to make contact with other artists and hopefully play shows with them. First off though I would work on getting an online presence besides myspace (soundcloud, bandcamp, facebook, etc).
Good Advice. I'd amend it slightly, to say "Aim lower initially". It's OK to have ambitions, but everyone has to start at the bottom and work their way up. As Bob Ohlsson likes to say, "It's all about putting asses in seats.
#10
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,580

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Well, the thing is that all those Bill Gateses and Steve Jobses and Mark Zuckerbergs had money from tech venture capitalists to start and grow their business.
Not true. The venture capital firms did not come into play until AFTER the business was already showing signs of success. It was always self funded in the beginning... no different than an artist in the music business. In the end, if your write "good" (subjective, I know) music, or lets say music that appeals to an audience, and you can find your way to that audience, your music will sell with or without a record label. Labels do not ensure success. Look at Valeria (her song "Ohh La La"). She was signed to Interscope and had a very large contract ($ wise). Did it help her achieve success? Nope. Look at Javier Colon. He was signed to Capitol for a lot of $$$. He was actually the largest signing of a new artist up to that point. Did Capitol help him? Nope. That's why he went on The Voice, AND WON! My point being, labels, even the biggest labels in the world, do not guarantee success.

Then look at bands like Deep Banana Blackout and Ryan Montbleau Band. No third party labels. No outside funding. All done on their own. All very successful.
#11
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
  #11
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Not true. The venture capital firms did not come into play until AFTER the business was already showing signs of success. It was always self funded in the beginning... no different than an artist in the music business. In the end, if your write "good" (subjective, I know) music, or lets say music that appeals to an audience, and you can find your way to that audience, your music will sell with or without a record label.
You are wrong, unless by "self funded at the beginning" you mean on a very low, serious hobbyist level. Sure, Steve Jobs sold his VW bus to fund the initial run of 200 Apple I kits, but it wasn't until investor Mike Markkula joined the company that they had the funding to incorporate and become a real business. Kinda like a rock band buying their first set of gear or an EDM guy buying a DAW. It takes more than that to be successful. Without Markkula Apple would never have got out of Jobs' garage.

There are similar stories to be found in the other cases. Gates, famously, was able to con investment out of IBM by promising them a product he did not actually own. The myth of the self-funded tech startup is exactly that - a myth.

Quote:
Then look at bands like Deep Banana Blackout and Ryan Montbleau Band. No third party labels. No outside funding. All done on their own. All very successful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia/Deep Banana Blackout
Because the band was reluctant to sign with a large record label, fearing that artistic expression would be undermined by terms and conditions stated within a contract, they disbanded in 2003 for financial reasons. All four DBB albums were locally produced and distributed, with Live in the Thousand Islands selling well over 5,000 copies.
Doesn't sound "very successful" to me. 5K sales is respectable for an indie but it's not enough to turn a profit.

Don't know anything about Ryan Montbleau besides a very sketchy Wiki article that doesn't mention sales. He does appear to gig a lot, though, and has won a local award.

EDIT: Found his website - it appears to me that he probably has serious professional management, which can make up for the lack of a label. You don't get coverage in the N.Y. Times without somebody representing you.

It seems to me that both of these acts are regional. (Montbleau less so than DBB.) Again, not what I'd call "very successful". As a matter of fact, they appear to illustrate my point - both acts are certainly enough of a regional success that with appropriate* label backing they'd have a good chance of breaking nationally. Montbleau in particular seems poised to break. If he's signed to a national management company he could conceivably do it without a label.

I know a number of Northern California bands in the same position. Privately funded (some have investors), very strong regional followings, not a whole lot of traction right now. It's possible that Pandora may help such bands, and placement of music with jukebox companies also looks like something useful, but without national promotion, how do you get people outside your home region to play your stuff on the box?

One of the very important functions that larger labels have is the ability to place newer acts on big tours as opening acts, exposing them to a larger, national audience. In order for self funded acts to get on such tours they usually have to "buy on" - pay the management of the headliner a sum of money to get on the tour. Or be signed to the same management company as the headliner.

Quote:
Labels do not ensure success. Look at Valeria (her song "Ohh La La"). She was signed to Interscope and had a very large contract ($ wise). Did it help her achieve success? Nope. Look at Javier Colon. He was signed to Capitol for a lot of $$$. He was actually the largest signing of a new artist up to that point. Did Capitol help him? Nope. That's why he went on The Voice, AND WON!
Again, you are wrong. As you pointed out, BOTH those artists received significant investment and support from major labels. Having that investment and promotion enabled them to build their careers in a way they would not have been able to do on their own. That they did not recoup for the label but were able to use the investment as a stepping stone to their own success doesn't contradict what I'm saying. It merely illustrates that the labels in question were for one reason or another (probably internal politics and mismanagement - labels of have regime changes where the new bunch suffers from "not invented here" syndrome and drops a lot of the old bunch's investments) unable to follow through and profit on their own investment. Artist wins, label doesn't. This does not mean that the labels assistance wasn't crucial to the artist's success. It just means the label blew it.

Quote:
My point being, labels, even the biggest labels in the world, do not guarantee success.
Dig it, kid - this is LIFE. There are no guarantees. You want a guarantee, go back to school, become a doctor. Even that isn't ironclad but it's certainly more reliable. And yeah, you'll end up paying off a student loan instead of a recording advance.


*- Note the use of the word "appropriate". Not all label contracts are good contracts, that's why we have lawyers
#12
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
  #12
Gear nut
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 142

John - good to see you around...

While it's comforting to see seasoned profiles sharing their indisputable knowledge, there is, however, a few things that rarely gets pointed out in certain matters regarding the BIG BIZ, and certainly - of this I am sure - you wouldn't mind me correcting one or two things in, what I believe is, your well meant and freely given advice on the matter.

After all, we're all humans, wouldn't you agree? I, for one, say that's A FACT. But I get it if you're of another standpoint. I wouldn't hold that against you. Not me. Not in this case.

And you know it's true.

Maybe I should hold it against you. But I've been known to keep my own counsel. Regardless of what others may think. Or say.

That's just me, right?

However - and this is a big however - I strongly believe you're overlooking a few things. And that's just it: the overlooking. Maybe it's deliberate on your part - maybe it's not. I know these questions are tough. But that doesn't give us the right to quietly pretend they don't exist, right?

Like there's NOT an elephant in the room? I mean hey, who you're kidding?

You're not kidding me. Just sayin'. And that's a fact (if there ever was one)!

Every sane person with just a hint of knowledge would agree with me. However, that's just it. The point of it all - I'm not so sure about you.

And that's the thing. Me not being sure of your intentions. And I just can't keep my mouth shut. Because I shouldn't. It just wouldn't be me. And deep down you know it. If you look yourself in the mirror. Like I have. Like my good friends Bob and John. We've all been there. Together.

Where were you?

You've painted yourself in the corner and now you must watch the paint dry.

That's not cool, but hey, what can I say? You did it to yourself. THAT'S a fact.

And you know it.
#13
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
initialsBB's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: LA
Posts: 3,556

I disagree.
#14
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
  #14
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Jorgen View Post
John - good to see you around...

While it's comforting to see seasoned profiles sharing their indisputable knowledge, there is, however, a few things that rarely gets pointed out in certain matters regarding the BIG BIZ, and certainly - of this I am sure - you wouldn't mind me correcting one or two things in, what I believe is, your well meant and freely given advice on the matter.

After all, we're all humans, wouldn't you agree? I, for one, say that's A FACT. But I get it if you're of another standpoint. I wouldn't hold that against you. Not me. Not in this case.

And you know it's true.

Maybe I should hold it against you. But I've been known to keep my own counsel. Regardless of what others may think. Or say.

That's just me, right?

However - and this is a big however - I strongly believe you're overlooking a few things. And that's just it: the overlooking. Maybe it's deliberate on your part - maybe it's not. I know these questions are tough. But that doesn't give us the right to quietly pretend they don't exist, right?

Like there's NOT an elephant in the room? I mean hey, who you're kidding?

You're not kidding me. Just sayin'. And that's a fact (if there ever was one)!

Every sane person with just a hint of knowledge would agree with me. However, that's just it. The point of it all - I'm not so sure about you.

And that's the thing. Me not being sure of your intentions. And I just can't keep my mouth shut. Because I shouldn't. It just wouldn't be me. And deep down you know it. If you look yourself in the mirror. Like I have. Like my good friends Bob and John. We've all been there. Together.

Where were you?

You've painted yourself in the corner and now you must watch the paint dry.

That's not cool, but hey, what can I say? You did it to yourself. THAT'S a fact.

And you know it.
Yes, but the management has painted the elephant the same color as the room and forbidden us to discuss it (or even admit that it's there). Or the hippopotamus standing next to it.

So I'm not going to say any of the things I would have said to call bullshyte on your nonsense.
#15
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
herecomesyourman's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Phoenix AZ.
Posts: 3,585

The way things are. (Not the way we want them to be)

I own a small record label that currently breaks even.

That means every step we take is cold, calculated, and will abruptly change if we find a way to save money last minute.

I started it several years ago. And it's tough. For innumerable reasons.

I'm not rich, nor am I famous. But things have been getting better.

But I did have to raise some money to get where I am now. =/ Nothing in this world is free, that's for sure. I just try not to be anything but grateful about where things are and to make every record I do better than the last.

I think though, with the next few LP's I'm gearing up to release I will have more continued success on the college charts. So I'm going to start saving money towards hiring a good publicist for bigger bits of ink next.

If an artist submits to us. We listen to it, if we can help them, we do. But honestly, we're a small outfit, with only a few acts signed. I know a guy who signed over 20 acts in a two years span and the majority of them went unfunded while he cheated engineers with promises and the like getting some recordings done.

Almost all the money he was making went towards an artist he considered his flagship. But she's not really doing all that well either. (Never liked her stuff personally, long, drawn out boring folk without any hooks, but the artist in question is an attractive female, like half of his signings...so...you see where they're at)

I'm from Arizona, there's maybe four or five real record labels here on an indie level. Who do you know of locally who's working hard the same way, but who isn't cheating people? That'd be the group I'd try to ingratiate with.
#16
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
  #16
Gear nut
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 142

Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
I disagree.
Moi non plus!
#17
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
  #17
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Jorgen View Post
Moi non plus!
Huh? You're not making sense. BB expressed disagreement with what you said. Then you said "Moi non plus!", which means essentially "Me not either", an agreement with a negative. So you're disagreeing with yourself?
#18
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
initialsBB's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: LA
Posts: 3,556

Je t'aime John.
#19
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
  #19
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Je t'aime John.
Merci beaucoup.
#20
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
initialsBB's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: LA
Posts: 3,556

#21
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,580

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Doesn't sound "very successful" to me. 5K sales is respectable for an indie but it's not enough to turn a profit.
DBB used to make over $300K a year. They hold the record for selling out the wetlands (three times in a night I believe, beating phish's record) and the Hammerstein ballroom.

They sold over 10K units of each album them put out, not to mention the merch. I know them personally, the band I was in with Javier Colon (originally called EmcQ, then Bomb Squad) used to open for them. Whatever you read in wiki is wrong.

They didn't disband because of financial reasons. They disbanded because Jen, the singer, started touring with Bernie Worrell and then she joined the Bomb Squad after Javier left (Bomb Squad went on to win best unsigned band in American Music Awards '03). Eric, the drummer, started touring with John Scofield. Fuzz started a new band and was putting more energy into that. DBB was huge, but they continually turned down deals from major labels because they would have made less money than they were on their own. After a while they all just started going their separate ways and moving in different directions musically. With everyone going in different directions there were only a couple original members in the band and they couldn't draw the crowds like they did with the original members. Even to this day, when DBB does a reunion show with all the original members, whatever venue they are at sells out several times over.

Quote:
Don't know anything about Ryan Montbleau besides a very sketchy Wiki article that doesn't mention sales. He does appear to gig a lot, though, and has won a local award.


EDIT: Found his website - it appears to me that he probably has serious professional management, which can make up for the lack of a label. You don't get coverage in the N.Y. Times without somebody representing you.
I've known ryan throughout his entire career. He got appendicitis on my couch here in LA during his first US tour. I can tell you for a fact, he didn't get a manager THEN get success. He got a manager BECAUSE he was successful. His first US tour and his first several east coast tours were all put together by him alone.

Quote:
It seems to me that both of these acts are regional. (Montbleau less so than DBB.) Again, not what I'd call "very successful". As a matter of fact, they appear to illustrate my point - both acts are certainly enough of a regional success that with appropriate* label backing they'd have a good chance of breaking nationally. Montbleau in particular seems poised to break. If he's signed to a national management company he could conceivably do it without a label.
In this paragraph you just proved my point. No label is going to touch you until you can SHOW that you can do it on your own. Every famous international act started out as a regional act. And by the time you get to the point of a DBB or Ryan Montbleau, you are making enough money on your own that you don't really need a label. That's why a lot of these artists turn down label deals. They make more money for themselves being independent.


Quote:
One of the very important functions that larger labels have is the ability to place newer acts on big tours as opening acts, exposing them to a larger, national audience.
Most of the time its the manager, not the label that does this. The label will give "tour support" to help keep them on the road. But 8 times out of 10 its the managers that negotiate the touring deals, not the labels themselves.

Quote:
In order for self funded acts to get on such tours they usually have to "buy on" - pay the management of the headliner a sum of money to get on the tour. Or be signed to the same management company as the headliner.
Happens the same regardless of if you are self funded or signed to a major label. The only difference is who is cutting the check. But with a label, the money paid out is recouped from the record sales before the artist sees any of it.


Quote:
Again, you are wrong. As you pointed out, BOTH those artists received significant investment and support from major labels. Having that investment and promotion enabled them to build their careers in a way they would not have been able to do on their own. That they did not recoup for the label but were able to use the investment as a stepping stone to their own success doesn't contradict what I'm saying. It merely illustrates that the labels in question were for one reason or another (probably internal politics and mismanagement - labels of have regime changes where the new bunch suffers from "not invented here" syndrome and drops a lot of the old bunch's investments) unable to follow through and profit on their own investment. Artist wins, label doesn't. This does not mean that the labels assistance wasn't crucial to the artist's success. It just means the label blew it.
Wrong. First of all, what success? Please enlighten me! Second, I love how you try to talk about things you know nothing about. it's actually quite comical. I'm sure we can go back and forth about this all day. You telling me I know nothing about what has happened to my friends and people I work with in the industry (I know Javier, Valeria, Ryan, and DBB personally) and that I'm wrong. And me correcting the false information you scavenged off web only to have you try to tell me I'm wrong again and the web is correct. LOL

In the end it doesn't matter. you can tell the original poster to sit on his butt and do nothing and just wait for labels to find him. and I'll continue to tell him to go out there and do it on his own and that will ultimately attract the labels.
#22
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
  #22
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
...
No , sitting on one's butt is not what I'm advocating.

What I'm advocating is BUILDING AN ORGANIZATION You need people to handle the different tasks for you because you CAN'T do it all on your own once you reach a certain point.

The key concept is the microlabel. That may consist of yourself and a couple of friends in a bedroom office (Bedrooms generally do better as offices than as studios) with a couple of computers and phone lines (or dedicated business cellphones.)

There are always possible exceptions to any rule - occasionally you might find a multitalented hyperactive genius who is equally good at promotion, booking, making records, fundraising, and playing music, but most people aren't him. Most BANDS aren't that, either.

Are you trying to tell me that your friends had NO ORGANIZATION AT ALL? Because I find that impossible to believe. In the heyday of DIY punk back in the late '70s and early '80s pretty much every band I knew (and I knew a lot of bands) had some sort of organization - some of those organizations eventually turned into real companies, like Jello's Alternative Tentacles and Black Flag's SST.

Some people assume that when I talk about labels and management I'm talking about majors. That's wrong. What I'm mostly thinking of is small indie organizations. The majors don't pick anyone up anymore who isn't already doing something with an indie, anyway, unless you're doing commercial pop of some sort.

I would LIKE to see the industry regain enough health so that significant* (not necessarily conglomerate owned "major") labels would start developing new talent again. What's probably needed to do that is some new labels, because the old ones have dropped the ball.


By "significant" I mean labels like Motown, Atlantic, Stax/Volt, Folkways, Verve, Fantasy, and others BEFORE they got gobbled by the corporate behemoths. Motown, for example, was started in Berry Gordy's house.

Quote:
I've known ryan throughout his entire career. He got appendicitis on my couch here in LA during his first US tour. I can tell you for a fact, he didn't get a manager THEN get success. He got a manager BECAUSE he was successful. His first US tour and his first several east coast tours were all put together by him alone.
I'd bet that was when he was solo, before the band, right? It actually can be a lot easier for a solo singer-guitarist to pull something like that off if he's a good businessman because the logistics are much easier than for a band. It's still less than ideal. If some promoters know they're dealing with an unrepresented artist they'll try to pull stuff.
#23
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,580

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
No , sitting on one's butt is not what I'm advocating.

What I'm advocating is BUILDING AN ORGANIZATION You need people to handle the different tasks for you because you CAN'T do it all on your own once you reach a certain point.

The key concept is the microlabel. That may consist of yourself and a couple of friends in a bedroom office (Bedrooms generally do better as offices than studios) with a couple of computers and phone lines (or dedicated business cellphones.)

There are always possible exceptions to any rule - occasionally you might find a multitalented hyperactive genius who is equally good at promotion, booking, making records, fundraising, and playing music, but most people aren't him. Most BANDS aren't that, either.
Well then it sounds like you and I are talking about the same thing. Except I am looking at the OP as being at the beginning stage and maybe you are looking at it from the perspective that the OP is already at that point where he needs to bring in outside help?

Like I said in my original post:

Quote:
As your brand grows from your own efforts you will need to hire "employees" or "contractors" to help you when you become so busy you can't handle doing all the different tasks yourself.
and

Quote:
And push it to grow and grow until it gets big enough where the artist can't handle doing everything, there just isn't enough hours in the day. THAT is when a manager or agent comes on board to help. As it continues to grow from there, you bring on a publicist. And so on. Most artists would be smart to create their own label and/or production company and then SELL the company to a bigger label after the music is selling well.
Which you echo'd when you said

Quote:
You need people to handle the different tasks for you because you CAN'T do it all on your own once you reach a certain point.
But what is that "certain point" a person reaches when they finally need to bring on more people to help? Usually, it's once you start to become recognized locally and regionally, no?

Ultimately it always starts with the artist. The "when", when other people come in to help can vary based on how quickly the artist starts making money or at least showing the potential to make money.
#24
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,580

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Are you trying to tell me that your friends had NO ORGANIZATION AT ALL? Because I find that impossible to believe.
That is EXACTLY what I'm telling you. DBB was started by Jen Durkin and Fuzz. They managed the band and really put the band on the map until they were so busy they finally had to hire a manager to help them.

Ryan did EVERYTHING on his own. Eventually managers started approaching him once he started making really good money with his band. And speaking of band, originally it was just Ryan and an acoustic guitar. His first US tour was solo acoustic and most of his gigs were just him. Then he put together the band himself and was booking gigs for them up and down the east coast while also booking gigs for himself solo/acoustic in the midwest. He ran the website, the mailing list, dealt with promoters and booking agents, everything. After doing that for a couple years, he finally hired a manager to help him. But yes the band was all his doing and the success of the band and the gigs the band got were all from his doing. He then "passed the torch" to the manager.
#25
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
  #25
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Well then it sounds like you and I are talking about the same thing. Except I am looking at the OP as being at the beginning stage and maybe you are looking at it from the perspective that the OP is already at that point where he needs to bring in outside help?

Like I said in my original post:



and



Which you echo'd when you said



But what is that "certain point" a person reaches when they finally need to bring on more people to help? Usually, it's once you start to become recognized locally and regionally, no?

Ultimately it always starts with the artist. The "when", when other people come in to help can vary based on how quickly the artist starts making money or at least showing the potential to make money.
Yeah, I think we've been saying the same general thing from two different vantage points.
#26
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
  #26
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Posts: 14,543

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
That is EXACTLY what I'm telling you. DBB was started by Jen Durkin and Fuzz. They managed the band and really put the band on the map until they were so busy they finally had to hire a manager to help them.

Ryan did EVERYTHING on his own. Eventually managers started approaching him once he started making really good money with his band. And speaking of band, originally it was just Ryan and an acoustic guitar. His first US tour was solo acoustic and most of his gigs were just him. Then he put together the band himself and was booking gigs for them up and down the east coast while also booking gigs for himself solo/acoustic in the midwest. He ran the website, the mailing list, dealt with promoters and booking agents, everything. After doing that for a couple years, he finally hired a manager to help him. But yes the band was all his doing and the success of the band and the gigs the band got were all from his doing. He then "passed the torch" to the manager.
Well, some people are capable of doing that.

There's a story (don't know if it's true but if it isn't it should be) about the late, great country player Jerry Reed.

He's booked to play this club somewhere in the south, maybe Texas. In the afternoon this guy comes walking in wearing a t shirt and hauling an amplifier and say "Hi, I'm Jerry Reed's roadie. Where's the stage?" So the bartender points him at the stage and goes back to work. Half an hour or so later the same guy comes back, wearing a different shirt and a suit coat and says "Hi, I'm Jerry Reed's manager - where's the office? We need to go over the contract." So the bartender points him at the office and goes back to work. Showtime comes around and this same guy, wearing a much fancier shirt and carrying a guitar walks on stage, steps up to the microphone, and says "Hi, I'm Jerry Reed!"
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
over-man / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
12
Waylon / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
13
BLueROom / Music Business
19
The Frito Pundit / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
0
jakromm / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
14

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.