Wednesday, February 22, 2017

You can’t do things wrong!

Whatever I write in the blog you can’t do things wrong. Okey they are easier ways and yes you might not spend money on things that leads to nowhere. But you know what; if you do the world won’t go under. Everything is fixable, it’s not life and death, this is fun music.

Actually one of the bigger problems is doing nothing. I get more and more people relay terrified to release something. They might steal my copyright. Maybe I don’t get the best deal. Is this really the best way?

You will make errors. And in many cases you really can’t get the best deal or things because you are not there in your carrer yet.

Okey so you sing a shitty deal and they take control over your song. What the hell, write a new better one. The only mistake you can’t do is that you give that one away as well. If you don’t learn from your mistakes well then you are in deep shit.

But most learn, and they actually do things fine as long they do somethings. So the two death rules are, not do anything, do the same mistakes all over again. Part of that everything is fixable.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It’s not in the studio it actually happens!

I was talking to a band the other day and they were so happy since they will go and record in USA.

- We gonna record with *** a producer name***.

Thinking to myself, who the fuck is that? Okey this is not my style so maybe this person has done things I don’t know. But for one thing sure, this is not a household name. On the other side mention a producer who is? I guess Max Martin, George Martin, Dr Dre.

But even legendary producers like Rick Rubin are to the bigger audience kind of unknown. Most my friends that are not in to music don’t know Rick Rubin, Mutt Lange or Bob Rock even though they did classical albums.

I looked up that producer afterwards, and yes the producer has done some famous names. Still probably not one of their more famous work. Still I guess it’s probably someone that will do a good job making the recording sound good.

So my next question was:

- Cool, how are you gonna release it?

The band just looked at me. And I could see that they didn’t understand what I asked.

- Well we gonna release it through our label!

Duh…I know that. But since you spend hell of a lot of money traveling to USA. Recording with this producer (I guess the producer cost to hire) and hire studio time. I was more interested how you got to get it out to the audience. What I was seeking after was to see if they knew that a producers name is usually worth NOTHING. Yes it’s a teddy bear for some journalist to write about it. But it becomes more and more irrelevant. If you spend all this money you should have some darn plan to release it. In this case the artist is signed to a small shitty indie label that just discovered the word internet. They still care more about the physical copies then streams and lives quite much in the old world. Sure you can pull some stunt tricks in local media about the producer. But over all, hell no, it won’t drive any fans or sales.

Okey in this case they will blame it on the style. That this is harder for an audience to find, to listen to and they are smarter then the other. Yada Yada Yada, I hear this all the time for artists that fails. The error will be that they spend all this money and have no plan how to get it out. When it gets out it will crash.

If I had only two dollar left, I would spend one dollar on PR, said Bill Gates. I can just see this project spending four dollars on the recording. And here it is, I see it so many times before. You put your trust in the recording, not the PR. Because that is what you as an artist think is fun. Still that is not what breaks an artist. Actually I would rather talk to the PR team of a famous album then the producer. The strange part that never happens. All the TV shows is about this band and producer describing how they made a certain sound. In the end of the day it was the PR team that made that sound famous. If you didn’t have them it would have ended up in that large majority of “great” recordings that no one has heard of.

And yes, whit a higher PR budget you can get a lousier recording to get more heard. Just look below.

Monday, February 20, 2017

It's not hard to release music!

This will maybe not be the nicest post I have done. Still it needs to be told.
I was on a talent competition a couple of years ago (read in the age of CD). We were hanging in the green room since I was part of the jury. In this jury was also an artist who has done quite much do it yourself releases. And the artist said:

- It’s really complicated to give out a record. All these forms from NCB (mechanical rights) and how the layout measurements and all you have to know.

- No it’s darn simple to give out music, the other guy in the jury said. You are just lazy not putting yourself into something that is written on the homepage quite easy.

And the room went silent. But it’s true. It’s not at all complicated to give out music. Sure one or two forms with the PRO and some info for uploading (and back then some measurements for the cover). And today it’s even easier to get things out.

Still that same question comes over and over again; it’s so hard to give out your music. And then the person only thinks about the recording process and filling out the formula at the digital distributor (which is usually very simplified if they go to an armature distributor, they should see the forms on the real ones).

If you think this part is hard and consume time, you should not give out music. Don’t release music if that is the case. Actually nowadays there is more information what to do than ever. And it’s not hard to understand or get a tutorial of. No it’s because that you are in the part that person in the jury talked about, lazy.

I usually check out with bands telling me that it’s hard how many internet courses they have paid for to find out how to market the product. Usually it’s zero money; occasionally they might have spent a small sum on something. Then I ask how much they spent on gear. Well that is usually ridiculous high and sometimes they have also spent a large sum of money in the studio and spent much money on a producer. And don’t get me going how much they paid for the damn video. But marketing, no.

It’s really not complicated. It’s just that you don’t want to pay for what you need.

Friday, February 17, 2017

There is no walls!

I just saw an education program flash  that you would meet industry people in thier program.. This myth is still here? Yes you probably have read about Madonna who used gaffa to stick her demo to the windshield on the A&R:s car. And yes back in the 80:s there was hard to reach these people. They employed people in the reception who only job was to say no. Today they are all out there. You reach them on facebook, linkedin, twitter, e-mail and even telephone. It’s really no wall to protect them now.

Of course when you reach them you have to have a good message. There is no point contact the CEO of Universal with a new artist. It’s not that persons job go to the A&R recruit. And when you are there, have what they are seeking for.

Most of the times when I not answering is because the question is put in the wrong way. You try to sell me an artist that you can easy see that is not ready yet.

And the opportunity’s to meet industry people has never been greater. There is a showcase festival, industry convent every week around the globe. Of course you have to buy a ticket and spend some money but you will find interesting people all the time. It’s really not that hard.

Actually the educations programs are not really optimal for networking. So paying money for that is waste. If you need to learn rules and other stuff they are ok. But networking, spend the money somewhere else.

And know what you want to talk about when you meet these people, I never seen any education teach that out so that just have to be a lession to be learned in real life.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

You will betray old friends!

This problem you almost every time encounters. It’s not a pleasant problem and can lead to quite much pain. Many artists take in friends when they are small to do things for them, like taking the Promo Pictures, design the cover art and shoot the video. Sometimes it even that close that it’s someone’s girlfriend/boyfriend who is doing the production, or even the band doing the production.

A part of the silence deal is that these persons will shine when the artist make progress in the ranks. Unfortunately it will never work. The higher you go narrower it gets. I know at least three repressing in our catalogue that was an extra cost since the cover was made by a girlfriend/boyfriend in the band that didn’t know how to deliver things in the right measurements. Money we then lost on PR. And all these countless hours we have waited for someone to deliver a thing and when it turns up doesn’t hold the normal qualifications.

And it’s hard. Suddenly you someone has to go home to their partner and just tell them, well you are not good enough, and we have to choose someone else.

We actually see the same pattern when we sign bands. It’s not unusual that right when we sign the band a member jumps off. Usually it’s because it became real, before it was on a hobby level suddenly the demands on you are so much higher.

You always come to the step where it becomes too big. If it is a real friend they understand and works on shine that they did these early works and get other stuff to become bigger with. Sometime it’s just becomes nasty, the super fan becomes the big hater. This part is never easy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Old people and labels.

I just got a message from an older person in the industry. A tip off seeing a band that plays in Stockholm next week. The whole message end though with that the band is signed to a label like asign of proof that they are good.. Yes the label was something to recon with in the 80:s. Now they are just a shadow of a powerhouse. In fact most artist does a better job themselves then being on this label. And looking on the numbers anyone does a better job and this. I just feel sorry for the artist

But that is usually what I look for when I pick the team around an artist. People that talks about finding other people to do the job, or worse just talk like the job is done when you are signed to a record label. Then they are not for me. I’m looking for people that actually talks about that they can do something concrete for the artist.

It’s frustrating to have these older industry people around. Since they give artist a hell of lot of false information. They are so disillusioned about the record deal like a 5 year old and Santa Clause. Yes it is like annoying that you would have a friend that is 50 years old and for real believe in Santa. First it might be cute, second you really start to worry about their mental health.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day

Yes, music is really a powerful thing when it comes to love. You always hope that you can connect to your fans in this level, if you do you have them forever.

Here is some cool love songs. Yes you can see my picks that i'm old.