Friday, May 18, 2018

The Myth

Thinking big, don't let anyone stop you, you can do it. Things you hear from self proclaimed motivation speakers. Yes it's good that you have positive thoughts. But it's not the whole story.

Many of the storys that is going on is very often done by the Pr departments. The story that the artist was discovered on the street and taking on a fantastic journey is true. But many crucial details are taken off just to make the story faster and more understandable.

In reality we are simplify kind of complex things. The problem is that for the reader it looks like it just happens. The hard work from the team is mainly gone or disguised as luck.

In many cases I also see that the artist have no clue what really was going on. So when they get the question they just it happened. Alot was done by the team.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Head first in the wall.

Your friend comes up with the smart idea to run into a wall head first. You tell him that doing that will hurt. Then your friend starts to argue that he has the right to do whatever he wants, and it won't hurt that much, maybe he will even get through the wall.

After telling him a couple of times that this is not good idea and still he wants to do it, you wonder if there is a point in argue on this. In a way let him run into the wall head first and hope for not that much damage.

In the old days I would keept on arguing to save it. Now I know it won't work. It's better to pick up the pieces then try to prove that it hurts to run head on into a brick wall.

It's like small children that also want to have a decision around something. As long the damage is not severe you can let it pass.

I'm in the same stage with artists right now. I don't have the time or the urge to argue about really stupid decisions and how they
will affect things.

The funny part is that the artist want me to tell things so they can argue.

And in the end they get hell of headache after hitting that wall.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The wind of change.

Was on a info thing around Google play and YouTube red and I guess we see some changing. And yes it's almost 10 years since the Spotify launch should be according to the statistic a change around the corner.

So there is writings on the wall. Spotify stopped doing favours for the majors. Warner sold 75% of their stocks in Spotify. The owners has in a way cashed in. The importance of Spotify numbers is more and more being reveled as not that important.

Feel sorry for people putting their eggs in just one basket. And like it always is, it's 99% Indie or DIY artist doing that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Three things to approve.

All the past weeks showcases quite easy put up a problem in the spotlight. The trouble shooting process. I meet people that has trouble find bookers, labels, opportunities, you name it. There is always a trouble to fix.

What I found is how you quite often miss the real problem and spend time fix things that really not matters. The problem is usually very close not in the small details.

I was on a showcase with a manager and saw her artist. She complained it was hard to get Spotify numbers and getting fans and bookings. Quite normal things to complain about.
She had the idea was in how the artist was portrayed. She needed better pictures. I asked how the new pictures would help the Spotify numbers? Her answer was that she was not satisfied with the ones they got.

Well I can tell they where fantastic. Very professional and she had handle me a nice printout with the artist bio and pictures. And it all looked great.

Then the artist start playing. Really boring no stage personal and boring songs. After a while I went for a beer and meet a booker at the bar.

Really boring huh! Was the first the booker said and I had to agree.

Later in the evening the manager was on the booker trying to get her artist to the festival the booker has. Of course the booker was not keen to give any real answer.

Later the manager was again talking about it was probably the pictures that was wrong.
So really, even how hard it is start checking the problem like this.

1 are the songs really good and the music great.
This is hard to check you really need friends that you can trust and don't be angry when they cut down your latest work.

2 the show is great.
Also harder but same here do it over and over and approve all time.

3 does the artist has a great story.

It becomes more and more important to get these stories right. Don't fill them with things that the artist like to dance and born to be on a stage. That is a must. 

Also that the artist like animals and care to donate to good things. A bad childhood is not appealing either. That is not the story. The story has to be with achievement in the musical field. A good review. Quotes an places of performance.

I can tell you that on 90% of the cases not moving forward when the problem laying in these three categories.

The small adjustments are not affecting the big picture. Not in the beginning at least. And nothing will work until the first two are fixed.

In so many cases the hunt is to fix all other small things when the whole is ruined from the essential.

Friday, May 11, 2018

I should leave Sweden

Someone said that I'm really not having a Swedish mentality. And no I really don't. And I hate to just "lagom" a Swedish expression that is so Swedish. I could translate it like everybody else.

The problem to adept to this is so severe I really should move out of Sweden. Put off my citizenship and just leave.

And why not, I should just do it.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stop painful export tryouts

In Swedish I sometimes put in the tag #stoppaplågsammaexportförsök witch means #stop painful export tryouts.
Kind of mean, but there is too many of them.

Like some organizations that just send the band of their own. I just saw that. The meetings with the industry people was the day before their gig. Of course the band has another gig in another city the day of the meeting. So no ground work done. Then they play on a crappy venue on a bad time. Ok that is not their fault, but it makes it more difficult.
What the band do is plaster some posters and hope for the best. Well it didn't happen around 10 people showed up and it was normal audience.
Nice but won't lead to anything. In reality totally pointless and a waste of money.

Here they had needed a person working the contacts they day before. In fact they could have traded their show for just that networking and it would have been better.

This won't lead anywhere. It's bad enough to send crappy music. But here even with good music it will not happen. I see to many of these,  so #stoppainfulexporttryouts it's time to be professional.
Stop think it will magically happen.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Fighting Windmills

I was hanging with a old friend the other day. We don't agree all the time. Still that is refreshing I still has a big respect for him.

I have more used my professional life in the musicindustry by adopting to the changing rules and try to make opportunities in a changing world.

My friend has been successful by digging in on the field he is good at. The problem here is that he also have fought the windmills like Don Quiote several times.

I remember we had hughe arguments around the digitalization. He's point was that the artist got too low paid. My point was that the old system was an apartheid system for just a few choosen ones.

Then we both in separate ways got into the live industry making things there. Same argument though, how was the best way to pay the artist. After a few years he gave up and became bitter.

I was really admire his fighting spirit, but also never understood why fight big coperate system that only will die in a Utopia. See if he can find a new field to dig into.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Empty threats

The bad threats are always funny. Like when you get in a demo and a couple of days the artist contact you and tells that it's several labels interested to sign them so you have to hurry up.

Or the band applying to your showcase, but needs to order the tickets at least 8 months ahead so you need to hurry booking them otherwise the time will go out.

It never works I can tell that. The funny part it's very contra productive.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Record calls?

A professor just wrote, how do you know the person is a psychopath? They call you up.

In this case it kind of a joke. Still there is hinch of truth to it. The most unorganized people that I trust the least has a tendency to call. Not once several times in an hour until you pick up. That can be really annoying if you are abroad and really don't want to speak in an hour about nothing or at least a project that is going nowhere.

So you write a message asking, what do you want. And what happens is that you get two other calls in five minutes.

And it is part of the game. The unorganized person will promise you alot and then claim they never promised that. Of course it's easier to prove in a email then in a phonecall that never was recorded. Maybe I should start record my calls?

Friday, May 4, 2018

My usual luck

My usual luck. What's the odd:s that on a whole plane with around 200 seats I end up next to a record label owner that just release Ryan Roxies next single. He is also head over the independent organization for people in the music industry in Sweden.

None but it happened. Start to pump him on information what is going on in Sweden on the runway. What happens, he falls asleep. My usual luck.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

How many tickets do you sell?

This debate is always ongoing how an artist should get paid. Especially with live events. Sure you should get paid since you are doing a job. You are rehearsing and buying your instruments and put a lot of time into it.

On the other hand, how much are you really worth. Of course, if someone wants you to play on their birthday, and do all that work it's one price. If you are playing in a pub and you draw people there so they can sell beer it's another price. On festival, your name should sell tickets, same on a concert where they don't serve alcohol.

Of course, will Metallica get more paid then you on the festival since they sell more tickets? In fact, sometimes even the artist can gain on a slot just because the arranger get a bigger act that many people would see. So would that act play for free then?

Hard to say, you probably have to take the decision form case to case.

The thing I see though is that most artist that takes good decisions usually could get more paid. When I book a headliner they are usually very easy to go with and understanding. The ones that are usually argue around the money is acts that you do a favor and just put in the last slot to be nice. They won't sell any tickets or draw anything special to the event, in reality, you could choose any good band for the slot.

The worst ones are the one that really is not good enough. People that do strange experimental music that very few people would listen to. Still, they want to get paid almost the same price as the headliner, just because they had done some work. It's like the post I did about building a house in the way you like it and then I should pay for it without taking any decisions.

If I would build bicycles without wheels and in cardboard I guess no one really wants them. I can't really expect to get the same payment for my thing like a racing bicycle. Yes, I can go for a very small target group. But I can't go to tour the France demanding that they should use my creation.

I'm really surprised that it is the ones with a questionable product that always screams the most about these things. I guess if you have a good product you can go on with it. But when you are just in one negotiation a year you seem to fall into the trap and lose the whole thing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The highest of stupidity.

I sent a contract to an artist to take a look at. I got it back with a lot of lines just crossed out. In the email, he said I did some changes.

The things he had crossed out was all the lines that said we would earn some % on the song. He had even crossed out lines that are there since they refer to parts in the law. In the end, he had crossed out so much that it was not even legal.

I wrote back and asked why these were crossed out. He answered that he thought that was not good so he had taken off everything that was not for his advantage and all the stuff he didn't know that well since he didn't have time to hire a lawyer.

Of course, this is so stupid that you even with the greatest song you really don't want to work with this idiot. So I just wrote back that ok, well then it's nothing for us.

Now he has mailed several times trying to change different lines in the worst way. The horrible part is that this is not an amateur musician, this guy has his own studio and work out of this and has this low knowledge. It seems like silence doesn't get him to understand he blow it. I'm afraid of this kind of stupidity in the business today.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The small things.

Really, so if the picture of an artist looks squeezed on Spotify you would stop listening to that song? Or if it has a bit of blue tint to it, would you stop then? This is the kind of small things some artist can go too far with. In reality, I don¨t think it matters for the listener anyway. It's just the artist ego in these cases. Also, the people that have to change it has to spend hours on something that really makes no difference.

The funny thing is these artists then leave their youtube channel totally unupdated and there is the picture from four releases ago. Their homepage doesn't even have a press section and neither any press pictures. Things that actually matter when you are sending out stuff to bloggers and other media, who also wouldn't care if there was a bit of blue tint in the Spotify picture.

When the artist has these urges it usually is because they have to much time and that is why so much other stuff is not done. One reason also is that they can't move on until everything they see is perfect. In the end they mainly just annoy people so they won't do many things for them at all.

Just leave these small things until you do a bigger update. Focus to just have a picture at all.