Everyone wants to know some tips on what to do. Can we start with a couple tips from you on what NOT to do? What are some of the most common mistakes people make?
Musicians/bands, especially younger ones, don’t bother (or desire) to learn about the ins and outs of the business. They think the music industry is just getting into the studio, putting a few songs on iTunes, and labels are just gonna knock down their doors like the publishers clearing house. It’s an imagination that tends to run wild, and I’m not saying that in a way where I’m trying to destroy their dreams or aspirations. But I see a lot of musicians either get taken advantage of by people in the music industry by getting reeled in with false promises and pipe dreams, just to end up losing thousands. They don’t wanna pay their dues or really learn the dynamics of how the industry works, or how they can utilize the industry to benefit themselves the best. And when you try to put some reality onto the table for them, they acknowledge it…but don’t really want to accept. They either wanna cut corners around crucial things that matter in building their career, or just pay someone to do it for them. This kind of lacking of grasping the industry will only make them lose money, head nowhere fast, and in the end realize that they’re not gonna be famous overnight. Another thing is researching people in the industry that you might get involved with. Promoters, A&Rs, Talent Scours, Managers, etc. Some artists just take everything at face value. This industry has A LOT of people in many different fields of the industry that either exaggerate their experience in the industry, or is completely false. And then they end up losing their money to someone who fed you a bunch of tall tales. So ALWAYS verify the things that are being told to you the best you can. Research that person, or people. Just know what you’re getting into, and who you’re getting involved with.
So tell me some more about Artist Reach. What’s the goal and how are you bringing that about for artists?
We have many goals. But overall, we wanna be the go-to guys to jump start your career, take your career to the next level, and be the #1 source for Indie Artists that wanna hit the ground running in music. We are a staff of all musicians, so the “for musicians, by musicians” formula is what really attracts artists to come to us for their needs. We do everything from Artist Development, Tour/Show Booking, EPK design or assistance, Album/EP Review and Publishing, a Elite Promotion on several networks that totals over 250,000+ industry followers/fans/connections, Testimonial writing, Graphic Design, and we also have our own global Podcast Radio show to showcase artists by interviewing them and playing their music. We have many vehicles that can help aspiring artists get a head start, or boost the established artists to the next level. So our goal is to expand, and never stop expanding.
A theme I’ve noticed is the idea of artist development from the beginning. This is such a broad topic, I think it’s easy for artists to get spread very thin. What are the key things to focus on developing?
It’s something that happens naturally, but there are many elements to it: becoming more skilled at your craft, your instrument, etc. Finding out who you are as an artist and what makes you unique. Learning the business of music, the signature songwriting style you may have, things of that nature. It’s a different process for everyone. It’s something that speaks for itself. Those two words, artist development. Learning where your strengths lie, knowing the best role in music you could be pursuing.
You’ve worked with SNL for a few seasons now, what are some of the lessons you’ve learned from working there?
The publicists hate us crew guys and engineers. They think we are clowns. However, these egg heads couldn’t handle what we do for Five minutes. They’re clueless to how hard we work and that without us…there would be no show. They think we’re janitors or something. Meanwhile, they wouldn’t have a single glue how to do our job for even thirty seconds. So the lesson is, don’t trust the publicists. They’re in it for themselves and they are not your friends. Also, I have no access to tickets. And people ask relentlessly. Also, don’t have an ego. The producers can throw you off the season instantly.
I’ve seen a lot of articles recently of people slamming the music industry, what do you see as the future of the industry?
I honestly think indie will be the new mainstream. I even see a ton of major label artists drop to indie labels. Because indie labels are making these artists a priority, as opposed to being a back burner band on Interscope. That’s one of the good things I see. The indie labels are making a great impact. But there’s a lot of bad, and honestly…there’s way too much to list, so I’ll keep the answer to this optimistic for the time being.
In other interviews you’ve mentioned the importance of having a support system. Can you elaborate on that?
A support system is the foundation to ending a band in the first place. You get the confidence, the honest feedback, the friendships, and the people around you theatre gonna spread your name like wild fire. It’s like a family. And if you play the cards right, your support will grow. Need money to record? Get a Kickstarter going. Things like that. Let your support system know that without them, it wouldn’t be worth doing. It wouldn’t be possible to do at all. Do music for the right reasons, and the support will be there. Your passion will become contagious.