Thursday, June 22, 2017

Label services are not the way to go.

Okey we put down our label services 2010 for a good reason,  it doesn't work (we had it 2002 to 2010). So I'm quite annoyed that they are still out there. What's even more annoying is that they are lower in quality then when we put it down 2010 ands it's 8 years later.

Why is not label services work? First if you are gonna give something out by yourself, learn the trade. It's like if I want to be a cab driver, what would I do. Get the cab licence a car and network so people can book me. The wrong thing would be to go put and hire a person to drive my cab and pay that person a higher salary then the income.

Second these label services are built for masses so actually they don't fit the purpose. In reality they mainly serve lazy artists that just want to give out stuff and don't want to put the effort in. So they can't provide the actual tools for success just tools that you can get for free or much cheaper price if you look around a bit.

The idea loojs good and would be nice if it worked. Still the reality is that it never works if you are just an ant in a anthill.

So if you shouldn't use label services what should you use. Right now we see more and more artist development companies witch is like management but wider. Or you just do it yourself and learn the trade by going on music industry fairs listen to panels and learn the trade and get a network.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's a lifestyle

Breakfast in the patio behind our airbnb in West Hollywood. It will be a couple of hours before we have a important dinner with a recordlabel so it's quite nice to relax in the shadow of a the vegetation.


I guess this is the part that people see in my job. Going around the world to exotic places and do funny things.

I can easy tell that it's far from the truth. It's weekend when I write this and I have already been on several business meetings both Saturday and Sunday and has to work from my phone. Also I have at least three showcases that I have do plan and be prepared for the unexpected and try to get the right people down to see the band.

Yes it's more work here then being home at the office. Still it's another kind of work. The part I like is that you meet new people all the time.

So looking at to be on your regular trip to Thailand and just throw in a gig you really don't see what's going on.

Many just say, ohh employ me and I can come around. Yes you would see alot but not the things you think you would see. There is few moments to see tourist attractions or go to the beach. It's more work, work and try to solve things even if you can't acess all your tools. On top of that you don't have the security that many expect today. Vacation does not exist, if you go to a place there will be someone to meet. When you get back home you have three times the work to catch up. And only you to bring it back on track. You will miss all holidays, on this trip I miss midsummer eve and my own birthday. Now I consider that not much to miss, but some people think it's very important.

Still I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love it. My guess though that people would generally love it the first two trips. After that become quite annoyed. This is not a job it's a lifestyle.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Placements is not that hot any longer

I'm going on a brunch soon. I've just arrived to Los Angeles and of course they are hyping this up with having some Supervisors at the brunch. After all its a music industry event and home for the TV and movie industry.

Don't get me wrong. It's good to be placed in a TV serie, movie or commercial but it's not as it used to be.

When I started to place very much 10 years ago it was a different game. The prices was 10 times higher and it was considered to be a "sell out" so we where a bit alone in the field witch made it easy since the the Supervisors was easier to reach and talk to, and not so snotty that some of them can be today. And over these 10 years I have my songs on superbowl 3 times and worked with the biggest brands in the world. It has been great.

Still right now I feel the change. Today if not placed you are not that good. So the stamp on "sell out" is gone. Thanks for that. The backside is that thousands of people try to sell so much shit music that the Supervisors have hidden themselves behind various walls.
Also this have made the Supervisors to belive they are superstars and the only gateway to break an artist. Witch has made some of them more divas then the artists.

The reality right now is more that since it's so many pitching that the prices are down and they will be lower. Why? Well I can do a whole post around that, so we just say it's down to minimum.

The big thing is though that the power of commercials and TV series is much much smaller now. The new technology is providing that you can choose your target. A commercial that before went on everyone and with that forced the music into the brain of many people now goes to a selected group and mainly just once or twice. Good for companies to get direct to a target group. For the music not so good since a very few get to hear the music. So the effects of a placement is very limited as it is today.

There is also so many more channels. The odds that you see the same shows as your friends is kind of small. Before it was more likely that you did. In this case the music even get smaller and the chances that you discuss the music even smaller.

So the price is down and gets to a smaller audience. And for that, Supervisors and supervision is not the hot topic any longer.

Another factor is also that the digital channels is not spilling over to each other. Everything stays in its own channel.

I just feel that this era is over. They Supervisors got a few years in the limelight I guess it will be back to be a bit obscure and some of there jobs will be on the technology side.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What kind of career? Sean Banan?

This is something I really had thought about for a long time. And I really don’t have an answer to it. At least not an easy answer. It is a difference of a career and a career. I meet an artist that really is no household name, but have gotten her a big name in china. Or well she has been in front of magazines. And she has played some really big shows. But when I asked some chinse industry pros they didn’t know the name.

That doesn’t mean anything. I know a hell of a lot of industry people here in Sweden that doesn’t know Arash who is a big star in the Middle East. But both is not household names in either china, Sweden or middle east.

They have a career, they have lived out of their music, done things many artists just can dream about. Still we really don’t consider them to have made it? You can just tell that they are not the ones that are in the gang.

At the same time you would say that Sean Banan ( Swedish stupid artist, see video)


Has a career. At least in Sweden. But these other two artist has done more, but they would never be counted next to this joke to artist.

And when it comes to real artists it’s even harder to say why people think Danny Saucedo (another really bad Swedish artist) has more of a career then these other two? I mean Danny really failed to leave Sweden and make a career abroad. These two has really done it. But in peoples mind they haven’t.

I would guess it has to do if you are a household name. Why a career is real and not real. If you have made it or not made it. Yes in Sweden we know Danny Saucedo and Sean Banan they are household names that never will leave the borders of Sweden. Still many would think they are bigger then Millencolin that has toured the whole world and done all that Danny failed to do? Since Millencolin is not a household name, more a name in certain genre.

Right now I work with projects that really have both sides and I can see it clearly. But I can’t explain what is doing it. I can also see that the more famous artist is really not as good as the unknown artist in many cases, and I wonder why we are so blinded by the mainstream of peoples mind.

In the end though it is that house hold name thing. And that is easier to do in one country. I would guess that every country has their own Sean Banan that never leaves their borders. To be a household name then in several countries, now we talking doing a really heavy task. You just have to admire bands like ABBA and Cardigans.

At the same time, no you don't have a career until you are a house hold name.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

You can’t afford to be an asshole.

It seems like some people are just out to be assholes. If something goes wrong and people try to fix it, don’t just try to put in salt in the wounds. Yes it went wrong and that how it is. But if you are being an asshole around it well, people will not do things for you down later.

I saw a artist seeking a thing that we will be on this summer and just that artist has been an asshole like that. Once a thing went wrong when we put something up digitally. It happen ( and to be clear the artist was not right on the things either). Of course we fix it and went right. Still he put in email telling that ohh this was so bad even after it was corrected. He was making himself a suffering victim.
These things happen all the time, so it’s really nothing to be upset about. Last week a site missed a premiere, well things happens not the end of the world, and you make the best out of it.

Then you have this artist that make fuzz around it, the assholes. So now when we got the list for this summer event I saw this artist’s name. Since I know his history I just took it off. He will never know. Still being an asshole can be very costly for an artist. So never be an asshole….ever.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Taiwan here I come.

Yes I’m going back to Taiwan and Taipei for GMA (Golden Melody Awards) in end of June. It will be fantastic. I had blast last year and meet so many good people over there.
This will really be the jumping for some of our acts in to the Asian market. Now I can follow up some of the leads we got last time and it looks better than ever before.
I have some more festivals going on that I will speak on. It will be a hectic summer and early autumn. Well let’s do the adventure while you still can do it. Don’t wait do it right away. I guess that is one of the driving forces in my life. I want to do it now, not later.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Updates

I have been sitting the whole weekend updating my business cards with the latest releases. I just counted that I have over3000 cards from different showcases I have been to. And every half year I go through then and try to send a personal mail to each of them just keep in touch.

I guess this is what really get the artists something. It’s over 3000 important industry people that get their music in front of them from a person that they really have meet.  That is a very high value. At the same time I don’t think anyone really thinks about it. That this is my biggest asset and the best tool to work with.

I guess many just take it for granted that the management/label/publisher should have a tool like this handy. I will tell you most of them don’t have it, but it’s expected.

And yes it takes a week to get through them all. And also follow up if they have changed position and get then new person on the position.

Still it also brings back a lot of memories and I’m blessed to meet so many great persons around the world every year.


Friday, June 2, 2017

I just love those days.

I have been waiting a week for several things to go through. You really get frustrated. And then it happens and because of that you get several other things going on and in the end you have so much crazy good things on your hand that you just smile the whole time.

I have been waiting for Swedish Television to start broadcast Min Squad where Rebecka and Sanna from the Magnettes are participating. And today out of the blue the first episodes came on. Same time the first things around Summerfest went out and Pollstar had put The Magnettes as support act to Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Then I got a mail around another artist and a deal in the UK. Can write so much about that one but that was really great.

It was just piling up, and then the big thing came. It was this message that you just don’t believe that you just saw. Of course it has to be secret for now but it’s really, really great if it turns out as we want.
Well I have a lot of work to do in front to go to Youbloom in Dublin tomorrow shit early in the morning. Still I will smile the whole way.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why do you want advice?

One thing that really is annoying is people that seeks you up for advices and then do the things they should not do anyway.

So just an example (it’s an example of course not true). You seek me up asking what kind of shirt would be best on a show to get people listening. I give you the advice that wearing a blue shirt would make the audience not listening to your music and there are researches that back this up. A red shirt is good, but a yellow shirt is really the best option.

This person then just goes and play in a blue shirt anyway. Because they like blue shirts. That is fine, but why ask for the advice? If you already has decided what you should wear, just stick to that and don’t waste peoples time.

The worst ones is the ones that ask around until they find someone that will tell them that the blue is okay. Or even worse nag you with different theory’s that the blue shirt will work.
If you have that idea go for it, still don’t blame us later when that blue shirt never got you anywhere


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Crowdfunding is like punk not dead yet!

I just got one of those crow founding things in my flow. I thought that game was totally up? I mean the only one that really got something was Amanda Palmer but it was years ago. And to be honest her claim to fame is just the crowdfunding not so much the music.

Also these campaigns really annoy me. Not so much that they want money, that is okay, it is what they are spend the damn money on. Of course much of the crowdfunding is to get cash and then release something. Because of that most campaigns is mostly about getting money to print a fucking CD. A vinyl is ok, but no it’s not okay since when you see their calculations you see that PR is not even get 10% of what that damn pressing is costing.

I went on to look on this page just to see if something has changed, I mean I was part of this seven years ago. Then it was a pretty good solution to presale physical products.

To my surprise they have done it worse now. Oh well this artist has. The thing the artist is give away is shout outs on twitter with your name. Insane prices to get a signed copy of her album.

Then the artist thanked for the support and got on the youtube channel. Oh well let’s take a look on that one. Ohh the support of 65 followers on 26 videos, and under 200 plays on each video and spread out so it’s not even a video a week more like a video in the month. Okey let's check your Spotify history. The last singles has not even over 1000 listnings…some old album has fishy numbers and looks like to be your self-streaming your own songs ( well I would guess this the way the artist use crowdfounding).

Then we look into if she gather fans , nope, no facebook adding and no crossing between the homepage and the youtube channel.

Finally I listen to a song and get the whole problem. The artist can sing pretty good, but has no real charisma, just a urge to be living out of the music so trying all these advices that are on the internet to try to make the dream happens. Even if I write many tips in this blogg, don't follow them all. But one to follow is think twice before crowfunding.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Believe in some other peoples dreams to do your own.

I had a really good meeting when I was in London with a new company that has a new way of synchronizing music into pictures. In that they also have a really cool way to get exposure for music in the modern technology.

They actually launch in October and are just 5 employees. It’s totally brand new and is doing things no one has done before. I just adore these permissions.  Companies in this size are the one you really want to hang on to. They are in the field to do something new and got the founds for it but are still small enough to have a conversation to and get your artists to be in priority.

I have meet hundreds of them and in many cases they fail. But ever third year I meet one t6hat actually succeed. I meet Spotify when they were in this size. I got a lot over that contact. I meet Digmark when they were in that size and we did fabulous things. Now they are Universal Streaming Services and are one of the most important PR companies there is. I meet Music Dealers in that size and they grow to over 200 employees, then sadly disappeared and got bought up, but during the heydays we did some great stuff. You just have to take a risk and a chance.

Still I see so many people not willing to take that risk. There is no point today to try making that relationship with Spotify. It’s gone I won’t play in the league.  So you have to get into the business when they are in the right size and are open to work with you and you are important to them. If they succeed it’s good, yes you will be less and less important to them and that is natural, but hey you got some great stuff going on.

What error people do is to try to befriend them when they are too big. It’s easy to be on the right horse when it’s just 100 meters left of the race. You have to the betting before the race.
So to get people believe in your project, start support other people’s projects and dreams.


Monday, May 29, 2017

How much team?

You can almost never get enough team. Usually the problem is to afford them. Still I meet artist that know how much team there is. Many of them think that all this should be done by the manger /record label. I can easy tell you, no it’s not going to happen.

The Magnettes just released their new single “So Bad” and I will just take that as an example how many people that is involved in a release. This is an indie release so it could be much more. But around this is how many they are.

First is their record label. At their desk it’s two people working with The Magnettes with this release. Then it’s us on the management team and we are also two working on this release. Over that they have a booker in USA, Europe and Scandinavia working around the gigs. On top of that we hired a PR team with one person in Sweden, Two in UK and a third in USA. On the side they also have some sponsors, distribution teams doing some stuff so we can add an extra person since not all of them is working full time with The Magnettes.

Here we have 11 people and of course the band of 3 people so in total 14.

And now we haven’t count in the Mixing guy, the video people, the mastering. They did their job before and, still equal important. Count them in 19 people.

When people say they can handle a release by themselves. They actually tell me that they can do 19 peoples job by themselves. Also people ask me if hire a pr team is enough?


Friday, May 26, 2017

London gig and success checkbox

Are in London for meetings and a showcase with The Magnettes. The bombing in Manchester can been seen everywhere with heavy armored police. Still it's "keep calm and keep going" mentality.

So this will be posted after the show but written before. I can only write what we hope to achieve, when you read we will know.

What we hope here to get people that can book and promote shows for the summer 2018. Yes that is how far ahead we try to work with the artist planning. In most cases it's impossible to plan like this. I guess a measure of success is that you can start planning a year a head.
And it's good it makes life so much easier.

This is the part many thinks happens when they get signed. He truth is that you are just heading into a two year period where it's even more chaos than before. And if you survive that and work hard this is the point when the check box proves that you have moved forward.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

People are just plain stupid sometimes

You wonder sometimes if it even worth it! I work on the side of my normal job for a company doing some work for their artists. Get them out in the press put up meeting with industry professionals and so on. Usually I don’t even get paid for it. Here and there they pay me a dinner or a ticket when I travel. I do it mainly becuse I know they don't have the money. Now they got a big chunk of money to develop their company from the government and they called me up tell me that they are hiring a new person in their office.
- Yes this person we are hiring doesn’t have that much of experience; she is fresh out of school. So we were thinking that she could go alongside you so she can work up her network and get a feeling how the industry is working.

I was kind of stunned. You never paid me for any of the work I have done and now when you get money suddenly I should teach someone to do the job I never got paid for. So I went on.
- How much do I get for that?
- Well our budget is very estranged. We don’t have that much money. We were thinking if she could just follow you on your trip to The Great Escape next week, we can buy her tickets.

Never got to their mind that I had bought my tickets, trip and hotel by myself.

- And then I saw that you were on another conference two weeks after can you fix her tickets to that one so she can follow?

Since their budget only covered the new employee there was not calculation to pay me anything. They also insisted that they will send her to The Great Escape and that I should take care of her, and this is how it works. They don’t think.
I just ended the conversation really saying nothing. I guess they believed that I would take care of their new employee during the first conference and fix ticket to the second one.

The fact is that they pay her to do that job so why should I do that? Just to be nice? Like oh I do all the work and then you can take my salary?

Practical they will be thrown back a couple of years. The things I build up I just take with me, I won’t pass that along. The sad part of this is having seen it all before.

In the evening I went on a show in Stockholm. There I bumped into a guy that they choose for a government project a couple of years ago. Same procedure, I worked to get the project started when they got money they hired a local guy with no connections. The project never become successful, it just turned into that they paid three years this guy a salary. I spoke with the guy for a while; he has now left the music industry and was working in a cloth store. Another waste of VAT money in Sweden I would say.

That is also tragically, many of the projects gets bad names since they are unsuccessful. The problem is that the idea is good is just that they never employ people that actually has the education, and no this education you can’t get to be in a school. Still they think if we hire young kids they will fix it.
Then another person came by. It was a person working for a record label doing the same stunt a couple of years ago. Not exactly the same, they mainly wanted me to work for free with no percentage and if I got lucky I would be paid. Back then I always showed a bit what we were doing and helped them in a couple of months. Then of course they fucked up and I left the building and I haven’t seen them in years.

I have seen though that the project went to hell just a couple of months after I left.  Mainly because they thought if they had some people in the network it was good enough. But these people where loyal, they usually are since they know I’m still here and that project is long gone.
I had to ask anyway how it was with the project. And he told me all the problems they got after we left. I just nodded. I guessed that he really didn’t get that these problems came since I left and just let him keep on talking. Then he stopped and started to talk about a new project he had and if I was interested to work with that since I did a good job on the first one.

I’m stunned they really don’t think. Is it even worth to explain for them that they really, really fucked up? And if you fuck up, you’re gone. And if I was the mob I would just shoot their heads off! Luckily I’m not the mob, I’m just a person wondering how stupid people actually can be and how many projects I will see going down because of incompetence?

I just saw a post just like this from a friend, I guess it's life in the music industry.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Here is the secret homepage that makes your career!

I just stumble on a homepage where they have all e-mail addresses and phone numbers to the right people in the music industry. Now you just have to contact the right person.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if a page like that existed? Then everybody in the world could make a living as an artist. Making millions of dollars and tour every fifth year. That would be a great world.
But hey the whole start looks like a spam letter; oh we have a dead African king that left millions of dollars you just have to send your credit card number and security code.  Get real!

Still I bump into artists almost every week that actually keep this illusion real. Instead of chasing fans they are chase people that should chase fans for them. The energy goes to chasing these people that really not exists. Same as in a casino they let you have a small win and then you chase that big win, but it never comes. Instead you should just save that money and build your fortune. It’s pretty clear but easier said than done.

Still the text is just like a spam letter. This homage should just not work. The right person is where you are in your career. The right person is not the same for Metallica as it is for a new indie band from Copenhagen. Just there should you be suspicious about this homepage if it existed.

It really doesn’t matter who you know if your position is not right. Even if I gave you my whole network it doesn’t matter. For example I know the girl who books the biggest arena in London. She is really nice and always says that I can send her stuff and is keen on discovering new bands. Sure I can send her new bands, but the arena takes around 65000 visitors so she can't book them. I don’t have a band that can draw so many people in London. She will be good to have when I have a band in that capacity, but right now I have to wait.

In the world of these bands they don’t want to wait. Send her their demo and hope that she can do something.  There is no reality to it. Back to the lottery, in a million maybe she can do something but it’s so slim that it’s better to build the artist so they have enough fans and then go to her.

I’m amazed that the artist hasn’t figured this out and still wonders. I guess it has to be with human nature, hope is the last that leaves a person’s body, like Adée use to say on her concerts.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

You can’t silence the music.

It happens again that the terror try to get on the music scene. First it was Eagles of Death Metal at Bataclan in Paris this time Ariana Grande in Manchester.  The only thing they try to get I fear. I can’t really see how you can win any supporters by that tactic? Also the latest attack is more against children since Ariana has a younger fan base.

I guess just that is the biggest mistake. This age group is experts on social media. They live and breed it and they can be a very strong asset when it comes to spread the word about how stupid and useless a terror act like this is.

They are told to believe in them self’s and really express their thing and music is one of the most powerful tools to do this. The terrorist thinks they are an easy target but is against a quite big and influential part of the world. These stars have the power to tell their fans to hijack quite much on the internet by cheer numbers.

And I will be part of this resistance with music. I’m going to London tomorrow with The Magnettes who preach the same message to young girls as Ariana Grande. They will tell to stand up for your own voice and don’t let a terrorist try to pull you down.

30 000 views, thank you!

I usually get over 10 000 views each half year, both 10000 and 20000 came with six month time. So being a whole month ahead is really great. I don’t care so much of the statistics, but I was looking through today and saw that I have the same amount of readers as the midsized music blogs.

So I have proven my point? I don’t know if I have written this in the English part (the blog changed language to English from Swedish it has just been English in a year). The reason I started the blog was to prove to the artists that everything can be done if you just put in some time and keep doing it.
The blog is like giving out music. You have to be consistent and you try to write about stuff that people actually care about and yourself care about.  Then you try to spread the things you create. I guess here I have done a bigger step. In the beginning I was just posting to the blogg. Now it is always promoted a week later on Musichelp, Distrosong, my personal Facebook, also adding my personal Twitter account. That and the language change made a bigger audience and I have been experimenting with witch times is the best time to post things.

This is what an artist should do as well with music. See what post works best and mix between songs, live and other stuff.

Back to my point. Have I proven it? Well in a way. I guess you music is actually more interesting than me nagging about different things in the music industry. I also hope it has a better look and feeling then my blog. It’s proven though that I have gotten an audience by posting 443 posts over 1,5 years. By that said an artist should not have that much of a problem breaking my numbers. Also I have a better understanding what should be done on a artist account on social media, when the artist complains that it’s hard to get followers I can just say that if a middle-aged man that nags about stuff get these numbers and you not, then you do something wrong.

I just got a lot of new readers from France even though the biggest countries are Sweden and USA. And it’s fantastic that people for all around the world read what I put out.

One thing makes me wonder but also come to a special conclusion. I don’t get any comments. Over these 443 posts I have gotten 10 comments. Two was spam. One was a guy seeing through my April fools joke.  Three was in a special blog where I promised to send unique information and four has been just people complaining that I suck or can’t write good English.

Still I know people are reading it, they come up to me talking about the blogg when I’m out from the office on festivals, clubs or awards. I ask them why they don’t comment, and they don’t have anything to say since I said it all ( flatter I know). Most of them though gives me likes on Facebook and if they really like it they share it.

In the end I’m happy that they read the things I write and I hope it actually gives something back about the music industry and if I can just inspire one reader my goals are fulfilled.

This is how happy I became for the news of 30 000 views. Also that i got a "Trucker Keps" on the Southern Comfort party at TGE (to the left is Bosse who also likes new hats)


Monday, May 22, 2017

How to mesure a career?

One of the strange part of the music industry is the levels and goals you talk about. I write a lot of these levels and achievements and try to describe them.

If you compare to a sports star it's much easier. First is to reach something like I want to jump this high or this long. Then you can also measure it by competition or Guinness record book and with numbers. And you can see where you are since you are playing in a league. Even the goals themselves are much easier. I aim for the next Olympics for example.

If just start a business it's easier. We were on a course with our company and these questions came up. And when we started to describe our goals the teacher looked confused. He was used to that the companies had goals for money and units. And these goals could be calculated like in sports.
The questions like when has a band broke through or witch level is the band right now was impossible to answer. How long will it take was also impossible. Values like network and friendship was much higher. Also that things like even we had more bands was not equal to more money, could even be the opposite. The course was really intense for us but fun to try to explain our complex world of competing in a no competing environment.

So when sport star talks about been focused or it takes endurance I will laugh. If you have a easy measure system its child games. In reality just try to not be injured.

This makes it frustrating also for yourself. I don't know when I reached next level. Sometimes I feel now I can do this and then when you do it is too early. That leads to that you just wait to reach for something really too late.

Overtime you get better and better to read the situation but it's never easy.

Right now I think just I stepped over a threshold on a thing I though happened two years ago but really happened now. I guess I can tell in my biography if I was right.

I also guess that the new industry will fail around that they try to make figures out of music. The number of streams really doesn’t tell how many who would pay for a ticket to see it live.


Friday, May 19, 2017

The new number one festival

It has been a great days on The Great Escape. Okey to much rain and not that great of a lineup, I haven't seen a whole show at the whole festival.
Still this is the new number one festival in Europe. Here is the new young hungry people in the industry. I had great meetings and good gatherings and made fabulous new contacts. I got offered free tickets to Midem while I was here, sorry France your time is really over and will more be home for people longing for old days.
And I guess it's part of the new landscape that is forming right now in the industry. Time for big changes.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

There is no point to surprise

We are in the studio right now so we don't take gigs, we wait until we have the whole package to deliver and the right time.

Quoted from a manager that clearly don't know what they are doing. If you think you should reveal all in a big splash you are deep in shit. First it's hard to make a noice if no one us knowing that you are working on something. That would be like releasing a movie without trailer or posters beforehand. Second you don't know what the audience really think, if you test the stuff you at least have the chance to tweak any mistakes.

Then it's about the right time. There is no right time. You create the things around you blend up to the perfect storm. If everything is just calm you won't people excited. And it takes time to build up excitement specially today on social media. You can't just repeat the same message, it has to be tweaked everytime.

Meetings

This week I'm on great Escape in Brighton in UK. I guess the blogs will come a bit strange times. Also doing it on the phone can change words and other things so bear with the language.
I had a really interesting meeting in London today about new income models and pr things on Youtube. It will change fast and this make the artists really confused and I will make the Diy die really fast. I guess the diy died already 2010 still people actually think it work with the long-tail and other smart ideas that now is proven wrong. Today is the team that matters, a team that cares about you not a service that makes everything looks the same for all artists.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Disturbing things in the industry

Late the sinner will wake is a quote they use in Sweden and here is really written on the wall.
I got a really disturbing message from an agent asking “where are the kids going now a days?”. Well pal that is your job to know that. But the live industry seems to be sleeping quite much so I’m not surprised that the message was sent out.

Right now I know several record labels that build in their own network and platform to get the artist the live experience they need. Also they won’t share this with the booking departments. My guess is that the live stages will have serious problems in just two years. And they will cry in the public that it is so unfair to them. I will just referee to this blog post when they do it.

Even more disturbing is that some Swedish official teams are using these old methods when they are doing things. Got a mail that the government hired a firm that really is outnumbered and just famous for heavy cost and no results. The funny part is that the firm takes money from the government to do their shows. Then they ask for money from the artist as well. It’s nothing new and I thought everyone knew this, but yes like the bookers it seems like so many are so after in the Swedish industry right now.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Eurovison song fail.

I was watching the final of Eurovision song contest and congratulations Portugal. Still is this the best we have in songwriting? It feels like in the 90: s when the Ice Hockey championship was held. Since the timing of the Ice Hockey world cup was held in April the NHL was not done so the best players was never able to get into the teams. Because of that it just became pointless. It was the farmer league making up for the world title.

So many other country’s just take in songwriters that I wouldn’t let send in a demo to me write for their country’s. Neither the Swedish ones are the best we have;  it’s more the semi pros that are writing for Eurovision in most cases. If it is a pro it’s usually song that they can lose anyway.
Portugal won but still the songs sucks. Not in the competition in Eurovision there it was the best. But I compare with the rest of the world. This was 26 horrible songs. I didn’t hear the one that was taken out in the semis, but can just imagine how bad these where. The worst part how bad was the songs that were taken out by this bad song in the semifinal?

It’s no wonder a song from Eurovision has a life span of two weeks.


Friday, May 12, 2017

The new gap.

I’m still looking for artists. Well we always do but right now it’s for a special reason. Okey we have many demos in the pile so there might be something there. Still it’s so many that don’t fit in. I feel the gap between where you need to have the artists when you start working with them and where they really can get themselves is way bigger now then it was a couple of years ago.

The demands on the artists are higher and more complicated than ever. Still most artists just think, a good song is enough. Then also they start to invent the wheel all over again.

The worst part is that I see a large part of the industry be on this low level. They can’t really provide what the artist need. In the end it’s just blind leading blind. At the same time the top people are distance themselves from the normal stages and mainly develop artificial artists that really just are fit to sever the music that the big audience demands on the algorithms.

Well today I’m on my way to Musikmakarna a school in Örnsköldsvik (North Sweden) that has a good reputation to educate students to be really good songwriters. And I will have the chance to listen to some new things in the pipe and I’m super excited.

I guess also I’m interested to see how they look on the future and what they expect from the business. It will get a good indication how big the gap really is. This is a very professional school with good people and very attractive students. So it will be interesting to see what they have to say.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

We against the world, collective thinking.

When you work with bands you get this piece of problem quite often. The whole things should work like a collective mind. In reality the most successful bands usually has divided the work tasks to different members in the band. Still with new band it is not that uncommon with this collective mind.
So what I’m speaking of is that the band act like a group. It’s we against the world. Since that is the case you ask us questions and we discuss them together and give an answer. I get it; it’s very democratic and equal. The problem when you get that democratic you also end up with a lot of bureaucracy.

And this is also a kind of a main reason why people leave a band to make a solo career. Suddenly you don’t have to discuss every single detail in the career.

I actually know labels that don’t want to deal with more then to members in the acts they work with, and they prefer solo acts. And this is the headache it actually brings. If you give a simple suggestion around the cover art it has to go through the whole democratic process. You would imagine that this was much worse in the old days. Not really since we got social media it has become worse. Before you could accept that some decisions was taken without you since you couldn’t be reached. Today that is impossible. Everyone is online and should have a saying. And this can take time and leaves us with a no answer which leads to a frustration that you can’t get a simple answer if it should be Times New Roman in the biography.

I guess it’s a bit fear also. As a member in the band you know that Times New Roman is okay, but still you don’t answer if someone thinks Ariel would be better. But since everyone thinks that way no answer gets back to us. Same thing when you tour. They act like they all should do the same things so it ends up that them actually never leaves the hotel. In the groups I have been working with where it’s divided you have the problem that as soon you get out of your transportation all the members are in different part of the city within five minutes.

Still I prefer the latter, less problem to find people then take care of miserable people.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

There is no back door.

I get these messages from time to time that people always think there is a backdoor to everything. Right now it was for a showcase festival abroad where we had booked bands before. Suddenly people think that we know a back door to that festival and start mailing me if I can give the email to a person that could bring in their artists to the festival.

In this case, all we did was applying and our band is that way that they took them on. Maybe they took an extra listening since they know me personally and we have meet during the years, still I took the normal way, even payed the entrance fee.

Sure I could have mailed my friends and pushed it. But I don’t think it would have helped. In most cases there is no back door. There are personal contacts so people listen to what you have to say. But that is not that much of advantage. It comes down to good music and a good product and if it fits in that year.

Same with recordlabels. Time to time people call me up to get the personal address to someone on the labels we work with. Same here there is little point. Yes if I personally send the stuff then they look at it since it’s me sending and they have worked with me for a long time. To be honest most of these people that ask a question like this don’t have their shit together and that is why they don’t get in. Also the reason why I don’t want to waste these peoples time with something that they can’t work with anyway. And it wouldn’t look good if I started to send stuff that is not good, and the person behind it doesn’t have their shit together, that can end in a loss of trust.

Then there is the back door. If you pay money, for example if you want your own stage on a festival there is certainly always a price. Seldom have these people that contact you wanted to pay that price, they just want the favor that never will be returned.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Can you handle the pressure?

Since I look on a career as a long distance running, it’s about endurance. Still when it comes to some part of the race you really have to strengthen and run faster for a couple of miles. Can you handle that pressure?

Most answer yes, but in reality the answer is no. Many times we get artists that complain that nothing happens and they want more tasks and so on. But when the shit really hits the fan and it becomes a reality of how much is really needed they bail out.

Usually the case is that when they complain they actually don’t have anything to do. But when things start to move they are not expecting the amount of things that is really necessary for example a release. Suddenly the photos must be taken, the video done, uploading, biography, ne homepage and so on. And it should have been done yesterday.

In most cases we warn them. Telling them to do the shit while they have time over. In 90% in the cases they don’t listen and ends up with panic towards the release. I guess it’s like when you go to school, you push up that reading until the last minute. I guess it’s human, still can you handle the pressure?



Monday, May 8, 2017

The ground work you forget.

I have just going through 46 blogs, 25 newspapers and 13 radio stations on a Saturday morning. All because The Magnettes and Royal Prospect are playing on Youbloom in Dublin, Ireland first week in June. Also The Magnettes is playing in London a week earlier so I guess by the end of today I have done around the double.

This is the ground work artists forget or don’t realize that it should be done, especially when you don’t have a PR firm doing for you. Actually in The Magnettes case they have two PR firms in UK doing it. Still I’m doing it just to get some extra things going.

If you are going to another city playing. You should contact the local media. That is the groundwork. The funny part is that when I speak to journalists they usually never get this kind of information. I work a lot with Live at Heart (showcase festival in Örebro) and when we book bands to the festival the ones that does questions about how to reach local media are the ones that have professional managers. And I will assume that on Youbloom we might be the only ones that actually reach the press in Dublin out of the 100 acts that actually play.

Yes the statistics shows that I will probably get 45 no answer from the blogs, 25 no answers from the newspapers, and the same results for the radio stations. Still 50% of the times it actually comes one back. And that one could be huge for your audience. So even that the number is against you. When you get it in you have a good benefit so wasting a couple of hours doing this is worth it.

Also that some journalists will remember you. We know they see the press release. Okay they will not act on it this time. But when you go back a couple of months later they might remember you and actually put you their paper, blog or radio show.

This groundwork is rarely done by the artists. It’s usually forgotten or pushed over to someone else to be done.

Right now I’m about to send emails to my friends in Dublin asking witch news outlets they think is important, check that to my list, but also ask them if they have some personal insights in these media outlets. Yes you have to do the groundwork but you also have to think twice.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Just keep going on.

No they actually sees you, the thing is that they just don’t know what to do with your talent right now.

I was that person last night, was visiting a talent show in Stockholm. I meet some business persons that of course I had to talk to.  I was really that music industry person that is in the back of the room just talking during the songs with other persons.

As an artist you probably really hate these situations. Still, you should know that I listened to entire artist during the evening and I know all my associates did the same.

Many think we are uninterested of the artist. And if you play on showcases people also just walk out during your show. It’s not the case. They are all looking and listening, but they also have to maintain a lot of other stuff so it can really look that they don’t care but are really looking.

And no one was seeking you out after the show also doesn’t mean a thing. You can have done the show of your life without knowing it. They might have liked you but don’t know where to fit you in the puzzle yet.

What to do then? No one looked you up? You just keep on going. Next time you play these people might be there again or see you name and remembers this show and this time you might fit in the puzzle.

That is why every show counts. The more shows the better. The worst is the persons that put all their power to one show and hope that people will come down and everything would be fixed. It’s never the case. I know an A&R person that saw an artist 36 times before signing the artist.

So how was the artist last night? Actually really good! Still it was quite much work to get them on the full path to stardom. A time that I don’t have right now. Still when they have fixed these minor problems (witch they will easily do by playing more shows) and then they might fit the puzzle in the future.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The way we listen has changed.

I saw this quote from one of my hero in the record industry in Sweden Ola Håkansson saying.
A good song needs the right timing and everything else would fall into place.

It’s totally right, or should I say it was right. Today I’m not sure. The change in the listeners pattern is so changed that it doesn’t really fit. Today is more; build the platform where you have the ability to place the song in the right timing.

Both that everything else would fall into place is hard. Also that without the platform you really can’t do a perfect timing. Of course this was not the problem before when radio and tv dictated what was going through. You only needed a very small network of key people to make it happen.

Today we have to have 10 time’s bigger network or even bigger than that to just achieve 50% of what was done in the smaller network. And many falls off very fast even though they actually put the song in the right timing since the network that use to get things into place is no longer there and spread out.
So the sentence would be changed to: You have to put the song in the right timing several times, then everything would fall into place.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

It’s called social media for a reason, even for artists.

I was surfing around and some new band pages and was struck how bad these pages are maintained. Okey if the artist has a personal page, there it’s all fun and games. A lot of interaction and good stories. As soon they have also a artist page it’s so boring. Even if it is a band the page is very poor with information.

So I decided to make a experiment. I would have to leave a comment on 5 different artist pages, but with some rules.

I can leave a message if the latest post is about an upcoming concert.

I can’t leave a message if the last post was like Thank you Hoboken for last night you were great!

I can’t leave a message if the lasts post is about a song on Spotify, Soundcloud.

I can’t leave a message if the last post is a link to their new video.

So I went into a band that I know looked on their page. From that I looked on the pages they liked and went on to the next band that I didn’t know. I avoided already famous bands like Tom Petty etc.
You know what! It took me 89 artist pages until I have left my five messages. Like 70% of them was a post of a new show. 10 was a thank you of a show. 10% was a new song or video, 10 % was very close to these ones.

I started another experiment. I took famous acts this time, just choosed, Lady Gaga, Talyor Swift, Zara Larsson, Ed Sheeran and Bon Jovi.

Lady Gaga: Just a post of her new single and her performance on Cochella.

Taylor Swift: Talked about Lordes single.

Zara Larsson: A picture with all her dancers.

Ed Sheeran: One funny clip where Ed is working in a recoredstore.

Bon Jovi: Shows Jons backstage outfit.

Actually not that good, but much better than the unknown ones. Sure here it is more gigs, more merch and stuff, still they find to post personal stuff. Only Lady Gaga was kind of crap on this.

It’s called Social Media since it is social. If I just walked into a praty and the only thing I said was
- You know what, I play a gig next Saturday in Stockholm, 8 pm at OBaren.

Well people would be annoyed about me. Same if I just talked about the new single I just released. They would go nuts. And here are the new strategies for artists. You need to have more interesting posts. If you social media suck then I would assume your show sucks. And this is the truth 85% of the meetings I have with labels we just talk about the artist’s social media.

The worst artists are the ones that need to release a new song just to have something to post on their social media. Many of the most famous ones today is using this to their advantage. Like the author Camilla Läckberg. Most of the time she is a phenomena on social media then she adds on when she release a new book. And just a bit of it. That makes her sell so much that she can keep on going being a phenomenon on social media.

Yes social media is about being social.



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The death of the review

I’m sitting and sending out the new album for a band to get reviews. The problem today with this new single driven world we live in is that is it really necessary?

I know that the reviews many times are just like a receipt of the artist work. A good receipt is always good for the ego. At the same time do we need them? I get so many artists using these reviews as a teddybear to tell me that their music is good.

The problem today is that most writers will only write when they think it’s really really good, or it’s very famous.  So in most cases there will not be any reviews since usually there is some famous every week and they usually don’t need that review anyway. And the really really good ones as just ten albums a year.

I guess today we see it more that people write as a good review. And actually it’s not a review is just a short text saying that they like the new song.

The days when someone was going over your music in details is really over. And if someone is doing that it’s usually someone that really doesn’t know the craftsmanship of music and will just be a saying in the flood with millions of other sayings on the internet.

Still we need to do this send out. The dream is still there that you will break through getting good reviews.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Why do I do this?

“If i'm close the end, I say time well spent.” The line is from Adées latest single “Make My Day”. And I guess it’s the essence of why I do this. I work with I love and with so many talent people I’m just amazed to spend time with.

Right now I have worked from 7:30 in the morning and it’s 1 in the morning. I had 35 minutes lunch, and a hour dinner. Still the time just flew away.  This is the great part I don’t have a boring second and it feels more like I want to do more. Still I know I have to end this working day. Tomorrow is meeting with the conference group at Live at Heart in Örebro. More meeting more great people, more things that will my life really exciting and joyful.

No I wouldn’t change it for a minute even if it sometimes seems in the blog that I’m surrounded by idiots. I’m not, most is very brilliant. Still to explain how things work I need to put in these mistakes. Hopefully that someone reads them and don’t need to make them. And can move on and do some other mistakes. Mistakes are the things that drive you forward.

And to the artists that I work with, you are the reason why I get up every day to bring out the wonderful things you create and be a part of it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Manager who is The Damager. Why certain people sucks on this.

I have written several times that you could take your friend as a manger since there are not so many professional ones out there. It’s true but has limitations.

The friend manager is good on gigs where you as an artist have to be on stage and you need someone to scout the room and pick up business cards. It’s actually here I have the first point that you as an artist needs a manager, but avoid the damager.

The friend is perfectly fine to pick up the business cards and buy beer to important people and hand all over to you after the show. Even better take you from the scene and go straight top the important people and introduce you. This person though  is not good to have for representation on larger showcases.

I just meet a person like that on my last trip. After just two sentences you just knew this person has not worked in the industry. This damager started by nagging me to see and listen to a video of the band. I really didn’t feel like it, but hey you just looked it through to be nice. After that the damager talked about how much money they already spent and that this artist was considered to old. Well don’t put the bad things at my front door. Then I have ammo to say no to your band. In the end I just knew the damager would just shoot this band down. Everything that was said was wrong and all around it was wrong. And I also knew that I would have person like this running around if I worked with this band witch didn’t really applied to me.

This person was totally unexperienced and had no education, which she admitted also. Her real job was as a salesperson in retail. A tip here, don’t sell an artist as traditional product. She might be able to go in some sort of education and become manager instead of damager. Still the first bands this person will work with will go nowhere.

Then you have the even worse damager. And I have seen MANY of these, the sound engineer/studio engineer /producer. The problem with these in comparison to the first one is that they know a bit about the business, but far too little to be good. Why they are so many has to do that they sit on their job and see artists go by all the time. In one or other way they fall in love with an artist start to promote them and suddenly are “the manager”.

The main problem is that they actually think that the manger job is easy. They know so much about the business and have so many “contacts” that this will be really easy. This is a huge mistake. You won’t hire the PR person to do the mix? Or let the manger produce the songs. And you don’t let the nurse do the brain surgery on the hospital when the doctor is gone. It is separate educations and professions. If you put me to produce a song, yes I would make it sound, it will be a song. But the production will have many faults since I’m not that experienced or have the education. I know the basics and that is what they know about the management role likewise.

To be honest I wouldn’t even try since I have too much respect for the people who is doing this part of the work. The funny part is that everyone thinks that the management part is a piece of cake where I have to say that is actually easier to produce a hit song then do the manger part right.
Usually these are the biggest fuckups in the business. The problem is also that the artist trusts them. They are in the business and what they say seems right. After all this might be the first professional working people they meet in the industry. That is why it’s so hard to get an artist back on track when a damager like this has been around for too long.

To understand the level of these just look on the car industry. You don’t buy a car from the person who installs the seats in the car? Sure this person knows everything about how the seats should be put in. Also knows a lot about different seats and their safety, and probably a lot about the car they put seats in. It’s far from the knowledge that the sales person where you buy the car is. This person knows all about the car, different models, what suites you as a buyer, how the model can be equipped etc.

And it’s here the mistakes is done. These damagers forgets different facts. They don’t have the whole picture. They also take too much time with their own part. When the manger is a sound engineer/studio engineer/producer they are way to the song trying to change things from their perspective. Also many times they think they know best, so when you change the sound and recording to improve the artist they will disagree. In many cases we have seen many really talented artist been put in a crappy box made from these damagers.

This is one of the more hard part as a manger to see when the artist needs a change to be able to make them perform 100% each time in recording and live. To do this you hire the best in the field (or as high as your budget allows you).  Until today I really don’t have seen a sound engineer/studio engineer/producer put their profession aside for the artist career. They still think they know best for the song and production and have a hard time seeing that the project would be much better having things coming from the outside.

Then it comes to these contacts. Usually they have some contacts, but they are limited and they get in a strange position. A sound engineer/studio engineer/ producers network is people they have as customers. Suddenly these should change to buyers. Many times these contacts just take in their artists as a favor but have no intentions to work with it, just keep a good relationship for their other artists work in their real profession.

Then it comes to time. The Manger role is 24/7 and needs daily updates and work. As sound engineer/studio engineer / producer you have that work as your income. And usually the whole thing fails since they really not dedicate their work into this new role. They just do both roles in a poor way. Many times they just sit on their fat asses and just make decisions not progress.

Progress is also a big matter. Their network is limited and they don’t have time to really expand it. They are not doing the 90% of the work witch is to create new opportunities for the artist. Instead they mainly thinks that the manger role is about saying yes or no to emails coming in.

I just spoke to a record label that was really annoyed on their booking firm for an artist. Now they would have a meeting with another booking firm to change and they said, well this is the mangers role, he would have seen that it’s not working with the booking, but he just sits in his studio and never has the time to  any meetings. I guess we have to do it for him. It’s not our job but it’s our investment.

In that case I guess this management loses this artist or the artist loses their label. And since the damager is not doing their job. The artist will lose with the latter option.

Then you have the most annoying damager, the artist. It’s when a person that wants to be an artist becomes a manger and tries to push over their dream to someone else. In reality they really want to be in the limelight themselves. In Sweden we have the perfect example Laila Bagge. She is more famous then her clients. And all the stuff that comes in goes first to her then to the artist. I mean if you fail to break an artist while you have them on a 6 month TV show on primetime, you should consider to something else.

Sure there is artists that are good mangers, but they don’t want to be in limelight, their time is done and they now want to help people. These are good mangers. In many cases with the artist thing are moms trying to get their kids to be artists. I have been in so many meetings with parents that have a dream for their child. If the child shares the dream, well in 95% of the cases, no. These are also the most demanding damagers. All they do is to find people doing the job they should do as a manager. It’s like having an intermediator instead of talking direct to the artist. It seldom works out good. There is a reason why Matthew Knowles not have a good relationship with Beyoncé, or was able to do anything with the total disaster Play with Laila Bagge.

I guess you work with the sound, be good on that. the other role is to get that sound out to people. Don't try to do both.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Let it go.

No everything has not to be like you think it should. Take chances that seems like stupid is must today. I talk to many artists that wait for the right opportunity. There is no such opportunity it’s just to try something that has not been tested.

You won’t get to that festival you want to get into by waiting and do whatever other artist is doing. You need to take your own path and do something no one has done before.

There is no standard way!

Let it go, and just test that new gig place that no one knows. Or let your music be heard in a place where no one’s expect it.

To play hockey you have to let go of the board. To have a career is the same. You have to take chances, and 99 out of 100 will fail but that one will make the difference.

I was told that a export office told an artist that going to showcases was useless. Take the chance was not worth it. I just came back from CMW with new deals and festivals for my artists to play on. Sure it might not been that way. But if you don’t buy the lottery then you won’t be in the raffle.
But no, I won’t go to the big ones first. Smaller is much better when you are new. And stay focused, your band has not to be performing, it’s all about networking. Good networking where you have time to hang. After you got your leads then you can go for the bigger ones.

Does not everybody do this? No really this is a small hack into the industry. Most bands consider that they should play on the festival. When they get there they play and just hope that someone would go by and discover them. THAT is holding on to the board.

Buy a ticket to the conference and hang with the speakers. Also not trying to sell them stuff all the time is much better. It’s rarely seen, but when it happens it can be magic for the band. Yes I have booked bands just out of that.

Still there is thousands of ways to do it and you have to find your way. Start to do something that no one has suggested or do something someone suggested but just in your own twist.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ordbajsare, wordshitter?

In Swedish there is a expression called ”Ordbajsare”. It means a person that just talks but the things they say means really nothing. Usually they also use nice words to hide the fact that it means nothing. Pretty much when you go to the car dealer and they tell you that this car has flexifuel investigator, with double front shitgear and that is really good. That is “Ordbajsare”.

There is a lot of “Ordbajsare” in the music industry, especially new teach companies. But before I start that I found this really strange translation. I really don’t know a good word in English for “Ordbajsare” so I just google translate the word and it came up with “Spokeswoman”…what the fuck?

Well it’s definitely not spokswoman.

I guess you know this kind of people. I was on CMW last week and there is of course some companies that is doing commercial around them and you really don’t get a grip of what they are doing. They are doing contacts in social media with a high tech platform. Or a cheaper way to say we help people understand facebook? The interesting thing is that the more they can’t precise what they are doing the less interested I become.

So if you find a person that really can’t precise what they are doing in the words you understand it. Usually that means something.


Monday, April 24, 2017

The Chicken Dance

- They are doing the chicken dance.
It's a saying that we have to describe artists that just run around without a goal. These artists are changing companies all the time not letting anyone do their job to full scale and needs fast gratification.

They also tend to aim on everything. First is a Swedish tour then a Japanese. One release is on vinyl next just digital.

Imagine that you are talking the bus from NYC to Philly. Then on the bus terminal you jump on a bus when it starts moving you ask them to stop, get off, and enter another. You keep doing that and you are actually not closer to Philly after several hours. You are on the same spot.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Female creation stands back of male conservatism.

Yes I work with a lot of female artists. I like working with them, since they usually have another view of things. But one thing bothers me in the process.

When you find a great female songwriter they usually get pushed down by male songwriter that trys to put them into their conservative boxes. And the strange part is that they usually follow that even since they are very strong and knows their things in other fields.

Many times my hardest process is to free there girls from being hijacked into these boxes. Many times in the office we hear a great song first as a demo. Then the girl goes to form a band or get a producer (often a male ones in both cases) then suddenly all these things that was great with the demo is just gone. Replaced with things that has been done for century’s and sounds almost the same.
You go back and say, okay it’s was better before. But no, now it’s much better because this guy says that these are the  frequencies that was used by Led Zeppelin, or this is how Bruce Springsteen wrote “Born in the USA”.

And many times there is when a star was snuffed.

In some cases they actually break free after a while and go back to that cool stuff they were doing. Still that is a process that can take years and we really don’t have time to have a person find themselves. In many cases they guy just hangs on like a leech that you can’t get rid of.

Then you say, well give these girls female producers and bands? Not that easy. A large quantity of the post are taken hostage by feminists that just do it as a gender issue. And many of these are just there because of their gender not that they are good. We have even organizations and camps here in Sweden that don’t take in the best female musicians, works, producers just because they don’t have the right “view”.

Of course this is just a generalization in the top levels are equally good men and women that are really good producers and musicians. Unfortunally you can’t reach these people with a fresh talent. In those early days in a career in the dark water lures both equally bad men and women to drag these down.

What I have noticed is that it’s more women to get into the trap. The guys are standing up and just say fuck these frequencies and I don’t care what Bruce wrote. They girls just take these dragging down people to their hart and just let these people be fault free. Everything they do is “right”. Until you can point out years later, that this was not the case.

I don’t have an answer why it is this way. I just can see that it’s very common.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why it takes three albums?

Yes it actually does. Of course I know there are bands breaking through on their first one, but it’s rare. It usually takes three albums because the network is not there to reach a massive audience. Has nothing to do with the album, I actually see many first albums very good.

Also the first album is mixture of old song that the band has tried for a while. Played live and writer of a couple of years. Here is a very common fault that they are not able to follow up with a second album fast because they are slow writers.

So the second album is very often not as good as the first one. It’s produced and written fast (they are some that has written so much they have two albums ready, then this rule doesn’t work then they break on number four). This make a stress on the band so album number two is usually strange because they band doesn’t know their direction and needs to do things faster.

The third album is the one where they have taken out their path. Know most of the mistakes and can relax to do what they should have done on the first and second. Also since they have survived this they have also gained an audience and can spread it to larger audience fast.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You need a story

This is one of the most common errors artists do. When it comes to release a new thing they always forget the story. The truth is that the music is actually no story at all.
I get so many press releases where they tell how the recorded the album in a cabin, their grandmothers kitchen, the most fancy studio in the world, even Abby Road. Do you know what? No one cares. The normal reader doesn’t care where the song is recorded, this is not a story. And it won’t get them to listen to the song.

We worked with this producer. This is also a common thing. Sure a good producer name is good. But doesn’t relay tickle the bloggers or the readers. I had really really big names that didn’t went anywhere. And to be honest the producer is not that of a story.

The song is about something that the artist cares about. Yes that is probably why you wrote the song. I at least hope so. Still it won’t get any press or any listeners.

So what is a story? It needs a conflict or dilemma. If you went into Abby road with Rick Rubin recording a great song and everyone was happy. It’s not the thing I would like to read about. It’s more, good for you and if I like your band I might listen to the song and see what Rick did to it. But then I need to be a fan and know your old songs.

Often artist thinks that the press doesn’t read your prerelease, well they do is just it doesn’t reach their attention. I send out at least 10 to 15 press releases a month. And 99% of them are not interesting. Mainly because it’s just about a band releasing a new song or album. You try to find a good angle. So I will you one of my best ones.

I work with Adée and she was going to SXSW witch is the biggest showcase festival in the world. Only around 10 acts from Sweden go every year. That is a good story? No it’s not , the local media in her hometown of Kalmar react on that, but the Swedish press didn’t care.

So we added that she where going to produce a song with a Grammy awarded producer in USA. Actually no one cared about that one, not even locally.

So we added to release a new single when she was on SXSW in Austin Texas. Dumb idea, making promotion things when you are handling the world’s largest showcase is never good.
All this is mainly the things people comes up as news for press releases. I did too. The reaction was kind of small.

Then her guitarist got bitten by a scorpion. It’s painful and we had some panic and got him to a doctor and so on. In the afternoon it was fine. Okay he was in pain but got some relief.  I was sitting by the pool and thought. We should do a press release on this. I can write it in my phone, access the send out, but only part of the mailing system.
Her friend Bosse asked me
- Should you not talk to Adée before if someone calls for a interview?
- Nahh. It’s 3 in the morning in Sweden and we meet her in 40 minutes I can tell her then, I replied. And I only gave my cellphone number in the press release.

Wrote a press release “Swedish Guitarist bitten by scorpion, Adées tour in danger”.

So here you have some components. The weird factor being bitten by scorpion. Nothing like that happens in Sweden every day. The conflict, since the guitarist was bitten he couldn’t play the last two gigs, so they had to do it with backtracks. In reality that was not an issue, still in the press it looked really bad for Adée to lose her guitarist like this. In the end I put in, new single out.

After 20 minutes Ida called me. Then the biggest newspaper in Sweden had picked it up found her number and called her. So I had to explain the whole thing. Then my phone started to ring. In the end this news was on over 100 different media outlets in Sweden.

This is what the PR departments on record labels was good at. I have seen so many crazy stunts that have pulled off just to have a weird crazy conflict. Even cutting the breaks on the artist tour bus to create a crash.

And it proves they read it because I was only sending to half my system and still got more out than any press release that. In the end it’s all about the story.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monkey buissness

If you had a company would you just let your employees just do boring things? Of course sometimes they have to do things that I not that fun. Still if you just leave all shit that you mess up to the employees they will not be happy.

Even worse is when it’s things they should do that are really not part of their job description. You just treat them like your personal butler to pick up your personal mess. Would you do that?
I bump into so many that works in the industry that have got into that mess from an artist. And every day I hear voices in this office about stupid stuff that the staff has to take care of because the artist is just lazy or incompetent.

Right now I’m sitting doing a list of festivals in Europe with contact information. This job is just a monkey job, really anyone in the bands can do it, find the festival see if they have contact info. Still no one is doing it and if I shoot it out I know it won’t be done. They are so damn busy (with what I really don’t know). This information would be in their own interest.

The thing that bothers me is that this time I wasting on this shit I could take and just follow up my business cards to find new good opportunities for them. In reality they are not take the advantage of my strong sides.

Yes if you had your own business you have to these things. Same when you have a career, come up with things to do and explore if you sit on your ass nothing will get done.

And on the companies after a while they stop doing the monkey buissness the artist is not in the focus and then they goes out and complains that nothing happened on that label/publisher /whatever.

I funny story though was a friend who was an intern on a record label. His first thing was just to sit near a phone and wait for Kid Rock to call. Back then Kid Rock was the big thing. He’s instruction was “whatever mr Rock wants he gets”. He was pulling so much money to the company that everything was possible. So my friend sat there and just waited. Finally it rang.

- Hello this is Kid Rock.
- Hello what do you need Mr Rock.
- Well we are in Ohio and I need half pound cocaine and 20 dwarfs. Fix that.
*klick*

My friend was only on that job for a week, let’s say that.

Toronto next

When you read this i'm on my way to Canadian Music Week for some really fun meetings and see cool new acts. I hope to do a follow up on it here in the blogg.

http://cmw.net/conference/speakers/speaker-details/?id=115719&confyear=2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Good music vs Bad music.

This discussion I have had so many any times it hurts. I was sitting down with an artist after a show and was talking about music. He compared his music with good music. So I was curious what was bad music?

Well he couldn’t describe that. Well Taylor Swift was not that good. I was asking what was not good with that. She is very successful and have many listener and probably the best team in the world of songwriters.

Yes but she was a sellout. I wonder how. I would guess that in her case she is very involved in all the decisions since she owns her own label. Of course she tries to fit in to the climate for the moment. I would she would need a good reason to make a jazz album and put the same PR money behind it as she does with her normal album. Still if she really wanted to do the jazz album she could but not put so much PR behind it.

In fact several of my friends in Nashville have worked with her and they tell the same story that she is fantastic person that cares about all details. When she won a CMT (Country Music Television) award. She called up the director and asked him to pick a time when she could come down and thank the people on the station. He answered; well the board is here on Tuesday. She replied, not just the board, I mean all people. Then she came on Tuesday and shake hands with all employees down to the janitor to thank them for her award. That is a dedicated artist not a sell out.

So after hearing this well, then the bad music was the music that was on the top lists not specially Taylor Swift. The argument was still that they didn’t do what they wanted.

I guess this is always like this. It’s a scapegoat. Sure you want the audience to listen to your songs. So you cherish the ones that really do that and if they are few, well then they have a good taste.

At the same time some genres is just rubbish. I would gladly walk up on the stage on the fusion jazz dude that harassed me playing for two hours during Midem. I would take the damn guitar and smash it to his head. It was that bad and no one can convince me that it is good. It’s not and it will never be. It’s like your childrens drawings, precious to you but not to someone else.

The guy did his show, and was kind of curios what kind of music that was better than most other music that sells. He was the worst. Not musically, but the label I put on these artist. He was mediocre. That is the worst. To be bad can be cool, to be super good is to prefer. Just being a mediocre of all, well you can just quit. It’s not the audience fault it’s you that sucks.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Measure the intrest through the bio.

I have a thing to measure when an artist has gone far and sometimes too far. I write a hell of lot of biography’s for different artists. And as an old writer for a music site I know the agony when you get an artist on your table and it’s really nothing to tell.

And with that you can easy measure how far an artist has gone in their career by writing their PR with bio. If you have to make up, or get things from a really strange angle (like the artist is second cousin with Barry Manilow). Or they have been number one in some small African country you really didn’t know existed. Or center around a certain thing, like mention that you played Woodstock in four different ways in the text. Too little is done.

On the other hand if you can put up thing after thing after thing but really not moving forward, the band is probably too old and really not that interesting. Usually also these things is smaller things like they played on this festival 10 years go. Or was on a TV show 5 years ago. Also that they have changed record label several times with the same results.

The perfect scenario is when you have to erase stuff because it becomes too much. And that you can almost just add on big things and the new stuff that you want to tell. Yes it takes band around 5 years (of serious work) to get to that.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

It won’t be alright! Don’t live in the past.

You have to look into your things while they matter. I just bumped into a guy that let a manger take care of all his business 10 years ago. This manger I know is not the sharpest knife in the box. She didn’t’ really know the business and was very hard to make a deal with because she said one thing one time and another thing next time. In the end I know that people in the office forced her to just write e-mails so they can prove backwards that she had changed things. People like this usually want to speak in the phone. They agree to something and when you later do it then they come and say that was never said. If you like to talk on the phone but a company all the time force you to write e-mails , then you know that you might be one of those people.

 Usually they are not mean, it’s just that they don’t take in the info or make their own conclusions. Also these are the people that you often see on facebook getting in trouble in certain situations and it’s never their fault and they are whining about how stupid this company is.

I had a friend like that. She always got into shit and it was always someone else’s fault. One time she was arrested for a bank robbery. Of course that was the banks fault. What she had done was walking into a bank wanting to put in money to her account. She took a note where you fill in the number, account etc. She filled it in and then she saw that someone had written on the back of the note “This is a robbery”, probably a kid making a joke. She thought that, well she looks so innocent and doesn’t wear a mask so the cashier can’t take it seriously. She waits for her turn and handle the note, of course with the side where is says “This is a robbery”. What do you know, of course they pushed the button and the police came and arrested her. It took her 24 hours to get out of the situation. But of course it was the banks fault that they hadn’t checked that some didn’t had written on the notes. And second they could see that she was not a bank robber.

Back to my guy. This manger did a lot of things nobody know. After a couple of years they guy left her. And was not doing so much artist stuff any longer. Then now 10 years later he wants clear things up. Money that never went through. Deals that might be still ongoing. The problem is that some of the labels he did deals with are no longer existing. Some records went along with buy ups and many don’t keep the records for ten years. Like IFPI and Stim they only hold they money for 5 years. And in Europe it’s usually just 3 years so it there were things abroad it was even shorter. Now he has spent over a year tracking down different things claiming that he should get out the money or getting the information where it might have gone.

I asked him why? It’s just started over write some new stuff and forget about that old catalogue. He likes his old catalogue so much that he wants control over it. He was totally stuck in the past and this took all his energy understand all deals this manager had done and all the consequences it made. I guess my advice would be not to be stuck in the past. It usually not working out. The deals are done and the papers are signed and nothing really you can do about it. The second is to deal with the shot direct. In this case he should have done the work when he parted with that manager. But I see this all too often when bands split up and we get member wonder about things several years later when things calm down. Even if it hurts take action direct. But in many cases, just look forward it’s much better.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What we need is a…

What we need is a , then you choose these three, Record company, Booker, Manager ( funny they never ask for a publisher, maybe they really don’t know what they are doing, well takes that another time). If I have gotten a dollar for every time I hear that phrase I would have been rich.

Then you ask why do you need that? Then you get the story that they need the booker to book more gigs, the record label to get the music spread more and the manger to get them the first two.

If the mountain won't come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain said Francis Bacon. And here it’s real. Often they complain that these people are hard to reach. I just know how visible they are when an artist is in the hot air. So the problem is they are not in the hot air.

In many ways this hunt for these people takes more time than doing the things that actually get these people’s attention. Because the record label needs a good product and a good ground to their job. It’s not that they just can take anything and make it gold (in our mix console it said: You can’t make gold out of cowshit). The booking agency needs a demand to start book, it’s almost impossible without a good story or a demand to get gigs.

Yes I know during the happy 80:s these was the companies that could pay money to get that ground done. That was possible that the gates back then was very few and very clear. Today the market is much, much more complex and it can’t be done that way anymore.

And my opinion is more that is the lazy artists that tends to ask these questions. Yes it won’t be easy to book gigs, and it would not be easier for a booking agency. And spread the music is really the artist problem in the new market and can’t be easy done for a record label if the artist hasn’t done their homework. And push over this problem to a manger is just plain stupid, it won’t be easier for a manager to find these people if the product doesn’t fit the criteria.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Your career is like a company.

Running a band is actually like running a company. Yes I know so many artists always say things like, oh my music is art and that can’t be bought. The truth is yes it can.
A friend of mine had a workshop in school and was talking about that music is a commercial thing. And there was many in the audience that was in the field of no it was just art. In the end a student asked the question

- Are you not allowed to do music that no one wants to hear?

And that is the point. Sure you are, but then you don’t need to market the music. If it’s made not to be heard well then you don’t have to make any effort for people to hear it. I would guess that in 99.99% of all people creating art to spread this art to an audience is the goal. Then you are commercial. Yes you are commercial even if you just give it away for free. You still want as many people as possible to get it.

Then it it’s the size. So if I start a local restaurant that only serves vegetarian food in a smaller town with 4000 habitants. There is a certain limit to it to calculate with. First I really don’t expect that everyone in the village would now stop eating at the other restaurants and go to min. Like suddenly since I open this I would get all the focus.

Same when you enter a deal in the music industry, could be a booking deal, record deal, publishing deal. They won’t stop doing what they have done and just focus on your music. Sure they are happy to work with something new that they like, but still there will be others with bigger priority.

In the restaurant, sure there will be people coming to try this new restaurant. At the same time it won’t be everyone that is appeal about it. The restaurant is only open on evenings, not for lunch. Of course there are many people that eat lunch but want to be home in the evening. So I will miss those costumers. The other way is to open for lunch make some changes that you also do home delivery with the food.

So when the industry says that you might change things is that to get these people for lunch or home delivery. It’s not changing the concept of the vegetarian restaurant adding meat. It’s just changing to reach more audience. Many artist fight this battle like “they are changing us”.

People will try the new restaurant; still I don’t think everyone would like it. Especially if you just cook food that is bland boring but you can eat it. It has to be really good, appeal to people to succeed in a small village like this.

And that is why you can’t just do 12 minutes long ballads about dead cats all the time. This part is actually the most reason why people don’t get anywhere. The music is bland, boring and we have seen it before. Yes you can listen to it, but it’s nothing that stood out.

And working with a small restaurant I really don’t can do the marketing or the efforts like a big restaurant chain can do. There is no point thinking that I can get people from all around the world to get to my restaurant direct. Sure if you put it into be so cutting edge and being very cool. That takes time. Just a restaurant like that was Oaxen close to our office. It took them 17 years to build up that reputation. Then they could move to a better location in Stockholm and after 4 years there they now got two stars in Micheline guide.

The same amount of time would count into an artist career. If we say that they two stars are the top 50 of the artist in the world. The same amount of time would be used. And they kept their location for over 17 years. So working with the same company in the industry in 17 years. Jumping around with companies is like changing location of the restaurant. Yes it can get different opportunities, but you lose many options by changing.

Also marketing the restaurant is a two way communication. If the restaurant sends out letters about the menu but you never goes there. In the end they will take you off. Same if you try to hide the restaurant so it will be hard for the customers to reach it. It will affect that no one is going.

This is the most usually problem, communication it has to be done right. If the company tells you to get in to the office just for a cup of coffee. Well don’t ignore that, they are your work colleges.