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Can a 40 year old get a deal?
View Poll Results: Can a 40 year old START in the music biz.
Yes
106 Votes - 41.90%
Yes, but only as a writer
31 Votes - 12.25%
It would take a miricle but maybe.
90 Votes - 35.57%
Hell no.
26 Votes - 10.28%
Voters: 253. You may not vote on this poll

Old 8th February 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Can a 40 year old get a deal?

Is it without question an absolute impossibility? Even if the material is the most catchy, current , substantive cool stuff in years and the band or Singer/songwriter is youngish and attractive.

This is an argument I'm having with friends and I wanted to poll the most informed and professional group of producers and engineer types around.

The results will be used to put my wife and here friends(who have no clue) in their place, so thanks in advance.
Old 8th February 2007
  #2
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juicylime's Avatar
 

THe moment you start beleiving that something is impossible is the moment you start encouraging it not to happen. Of course a 40 year old can get a deal. It might not be the same deal or from the same budget allocated for this quater's poptastic teen but it's possible.
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Old 8th February 2007
  #3
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seaneldon's Avatar
 

i don't really see why "getting a deal" = "success". what do you think a record deal is going to do for you? put money in your pocket? because i'd bet that it wouldn't.
Old 8th February 2007
  #4
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Kris's Avatar
Check out MOFRO.... you'll thank me later! (or not...)

http://www.mofro.net/
Old 8th February 2007
  #5
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LouD.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by juicylime View Post
THe moment you start beleiving that something is impossible is the moment you start encouraging it not to happen. Of course a 40 year old can get a deal. It might not be the same deal or from the same budget allocated for this quater's poptastic teen but it's possible.
"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just gonna ask where they're goin and catch up with them later."

Damn straight you can get a deal at 40. Especially if you can play like you've been at it for 35 years! What about Jazz? Some of those big boys must be pushin 60, no?
Old 8th February 2007
  #6
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Hey, reddog, quit crampin' my style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtGarceau View Post
Look at bands like Pearl Jam...all in their mid-late 30's at least.
Vedder will be 43 or so this year. But he was 27 or so when he got a record deal.

Hey, Epitaph "signed" Tom Waits a few years ago! How old is he? Sounds like he's 204.
Old 8th February 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
Possible but difficult.

IF you really look young, or if the look is older but somehow othewise approriate for the music...
and IF you are doing what young bands also need to do... developing an audience, building a web presence, playing out relentlessly and winning fans, have a mailing list, selling your own CD in susbtantial numbers...

you know.
IF you show them you CAN make it happen, then it's possible.

but if you're sitting in your front room working on your MBox it doesn;t matter if you make Abbey Road, without all the REST of that stuff.

you need to be a WORKING and POPULAR band.


ps although it's often mispronounced like "substanITive", the word is 'substantive'
Old 8th February 2007
  #8
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

you can do anything you want, anytime
Old 8th February 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon View Post
i don't really see why "getting a deal" = "success". what do you think a record deal is going to do for you? put money in your pocket? because i'd bet that it wouldn't.

The question wasn't so much about money as it was about whether an artist can be considered commercially viable BY A LABEL at that age. I realize that a record deal doesn't equate to making money but a label wouldn't sign anyone that they thought they couldn't make some dough on.
Old 8th February 2007
  #10
as long as youre not trying to sell yourself as a teenager.
Old 8th February 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
Possible but difficult.

IF you really look young, or if the look is older but somehow othewise approriate for the music...
and IF you are doing what young bands also need to do... developing an audience, building a web presence, playing out relentlessly and winning fans, have a mailing list, selling your own CD in susbtantial numbers...

you know.
IF you show them you CAN make it happen, then it's possible.

but if you're sitting in your front room working on your MBox it doesn;t matter if you make Abbey Road, without all the REST of that stuff.

you need to be a WORKING and POPULAR band.


ps although it's often mispronounced like "substanITive", the word is 'substantive'
PS. Thanks for the tip.

Incidentally, there is a period that comes after the letters P&S.
Old 8th February 2007
  #12
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juicylime's Avatar
 

I have a question to throw in amongst this. If this 40 year old was going for a mainstream audience should they lie about their age?

A freind of mine had a development deal with Atlantic and the producer they worked (big honcho, multi-million rock album sales under his belt) said that artists lying about their age is par for the course. I always wondered.... In some way it seemed a pretty fake and nasty thing thing to do, but in another way it made sense. What do you reckon?
Old 8th February 2007
  #13
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For the record - and I swear on this - it's a hypothetical question and not for me. I've got kids and stuff and did my time in a freakin' van down by the river.
Old 8th February 2007
  #14
Harmless Wacko
 

As a NEW ROCK MUSIC artist...?

Major or big Indy...?

I'd say you've got a better chance of playing Jai Lai with the Pope in a burgundy tutu before 9am tomorrow.

AGE PREJUDICE IN ROCK AND ROLL!!!????

There's a new one.

...


Speaking PURELY from the fabric of my experiences in the last 5 years(especially).

I've seen PLENTY of bands get kicked to the curb 'cause everybody's too 'late 20ish'... like... left, right, and center.

Very few label mooks even expend the effort to bull**** ya about it anymore. They just explain/justify the prejudice based upon the old "nobody can/will suffer for the dream NEARLY as hard after 25".

I ain't saying that assessment is necessarily ALWAYS TRUE.

I sure as hell ain't claiming it's particularly FAIR.

I'm just saying it IZ.

And largely HAS BEEN.... for a long, long time.

SM.
Old 8th February 2007
  #15
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

lots of great artists didn't get signed in their 20's... in Canada Jann Arden comes to mind. I'm sure there are many! your not going to see a 40 something battling it against the strokes for the teen and early 20's market... but thats not the industry as a whole.
Old 8th February 2007
  #16
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True North's Avatar
 

I personally know of one 40+ year old who got a decent Rock n' Roll deal, but he was bustin his a$$ full time in the biz for the past 20+ years. Meaning, he didn't have a day job and his full time 'job' was music.

If you are 40 and thinking about a career change I would pretty much say don't bother unless you have a lot of money in the kitty as a back up plan.

All the best
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Old 8th February 2007
  #17
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What if I told you I was standing outside the Vatican in a Burgandy Tutu as we speak. What would my chances be then?
Old 8th February 2007
  #18
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True North's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post
What if I told you I was standing outside the Vatican in a Burgandy Tutu as we speak. What would my chances be then?
I'd say your chances are pretty good for getting taken out by Vatican security heh

Those guys don't mess around
Old 8th February 2007
  #19
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I'd be worried but me and the Pope have a Jai Lai court reserved.
Old 8th February 2007
  #20
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post
What if I told you I was standing outside the Vatican in a Burgandy Tutu as we speak. What would my chances be then?
Better.




Slim. But better.


HOHOHO.




Ahh me.


Good luck with it brudder, BTW... LOVE to see ya PROVE ME WRONG!!!!

Really mean it too... It'd make my year.

And I sure as heck don't mean to rain on ANYBODY'S parade... but I see this 'age discrimination' **** LOTS(as I said, especially in the last 5-6 years), trying to help break(relatively) young rock bands.

As I stated in my first post in this thread, I don't think it's anything NEW in the rock genre. I'll bet a whole lot of AE's/RP's started because they got under the same impression at some point in their lives.

I'm one of 'em.

And I got a slew of guys working here at my shop who have the same "missed my rock and roll window" tale.

Who knows...?

Maybe it's a cop out or a justification for some other shortfall, or series of shortfalls...

I think the operative phrase is now and always has been: DO WHAT YOU LOVE... or suffer the long term consequences.

I was lucky in that I always just happened to really enjoy twisting knobs around on audio crap since I was a lad....

BUT.... If I could ACTUALLY support my 'evil adult agendas' by playing drums rather than mixing records, I'd never even ENTER the control room again... I'd leave it to the professionals.

Always did.

Dead serious about that too... I ALWAYS "picked my poison" as a player/AE. I NEVER tried to do BOTH at the same time on anything serious. Waaaayyyy too big of a division of energy IMHO. Road to ruin.

My approach was always: Find the correct nerds to work with.... THEN... Leave the nerds to their knobs, and just let them know "I'm coming back looking for you... and I assure you... you will pray for death... if it doesn't sound great".

Kidding.

But not really.

Worked more often than not for me back in the day.

Good luck in any case and just try to find that path to happiness if ya can. Life is SO FRIGGIN' SHORT... It's CRAZY.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 8th February 2007
  #21
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True North's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post
I'd be worried but me and the Pope have a Jai Lai court reserved.
Be careful - his holiness has flawless technique and an amazingly accurate Chula shot
Old 8th February 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
...Very few label mooks even expend the effort to bull**** ya about it anymore. They just explain/justify the prejudice based upon the old "nobody can/will suffer for the dream NEARLY as hard after 25".
....

well that's closer to what i was saying, and in fact I think that's unusually HELPFUL, and self-aware, as label advice goes.

In my experience, instead of saying THAT, which actually makes some sense... they tend to say "well the AUDIENCE doesn't want 40 yr old bands" whcih I DON'T think is nearly as true.

the AUDIENCE doesn't care mostly... they just want to LIKE it, whatever it is.

it's the scared middle-aged A&R weasels who are terrified that THEY are already out of touch with their audience who then pass that fear on to YOU in the form of being afraid to go to their bosses, or the audience, with anything not much younger (and thinner) than THEM.

you know, "the kids like this..."

but, the reasons don't help that much.

the prejudices are still there.

Every band needs to prove they can do it mostly on their own these days in order to get signed.. and you'd have to prove it in spades to overcome the inherent resistance to your age.
They will RIGHTLY believe you don't want to spend the next 3 years sleeping in your van in order to make it.
Old 8th February 2007
  #23
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What about that guy in American Idol, the grayhaired dude? He was also the one the audience voted on no? Should be possible IMO.
Old 8th February 2007
  #24
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juicylime's Avatar
 

Perhaps there will one day be a turn around and future generations will look back and wonder why popular music was seen as the domain of the young. Or maybe not.
Old 8th February 2007
  #25
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Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 

if the music and artist is good enouf i would not know why not, a hitsong would be convenient i must say
Old 8th February 2007
  #26
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
The music industry is changing and in a HUGE state of flux right now. The traditional business model of selling physical product (CD's) at physical stores is dying and being replaced by something new which certainly involves on line distribution but no one knows exactly where this is heading. Certainly, most of the A & R people at the major labels have a youth obsession which is based on the past success of Britney Spears type "artists" aimed at very young people who have traditionally purhcased a lot of CD's and made a quick buck for the labels. But there are a number of cracks in this youth fixation.

1) CD sales to the 18 and under set have recently declined.

2) CD sales to older buyers have increased. Record labels, like any big business, can be painfully slow to adapt, but they will eventually follow the money and will have to cater to the older audience. In doing so, they will likely sign some artists that are older than normal as their older buyers will accept them.

3) By fixating on very young (artistically disposable) artists, the labels are not creating catalogue (things that will continue to sell long after the record drops off the charts, i.e. The Beatles). Catalogue sales are VERY PROFITABLE to record companies and by not creating new catalogue they are destroying long term profits.

4) In the marketing world, there is a traditional belief that if you can get a customer young, you can build "brand loyalty" which will influence the customers buying habits for the rest of their lives. Companies therefore traditionally, pay a huge premium to get at the younger buyers. This may be true for tooth paste, soft drinks, politics, and other products but companies are starting to realize this does not apply too well to music. I seriously doubt that some youg Britney Spears fan will buy her records for life just because they bought one when they were 12 years old.

5) In a wide open ever changing world, getting the "deal" is not what it used to be. Unless you are HUGE and sell millions of CD's, you are not likely to make much money from being signed to a major label. Everyone today is some kind of independent and there is no sign that's changing.

6) I can't stand American Idol. But it has demonstrated that record buyers are more open to artists who do not look the traditional part (gray hair, fat, etc.). This is having an effect.

Being an artist myself who is over 40, I know how tough it is. I have a day job to support my music habit and that limits my ability to tour. Yes, the odds are somewhat stacked against an older artist, but everything is changing right now. No one knows where the next big thing will come from and if you are an artist over 40, your odds are better now than they were even 10 years ago.

J. Mike Perkins myspace.com/jmikeperkins
Old 9th February 2007
  #27
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kittyboy's Avatar
 

Great post, jmike. Thanks.
Old 9th February 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Good point , Mike.
Old 9th February 2007
  #29
Smile

..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins View Post
Catalogue sales are VERY PROFITABLE to record companies and by not creating new catalogue they are destroying long term profits.
so, yes, because of product AND medium,

catalog sales profits are fast becoming a thing of the past.

they have ALREADY been falling dramatically for years now.


......so, juss do wuchuh like........



... donchuh wish your girlfriend wuz hott like me??...




donchuh?






donechuh????

..
Old 9th February 2007
  #30
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
I think the operative phrase is now and always has been: DO WHAT YOU LOVE... or suffer the long term consequences..
i thought it was do what you love *AND* suffer the longterm consequences...

Aaron, age 34, broke AE for life
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