Monday, July 23, 2018

The hobby band vs the pro band

It's quite easy to say that you want to do something full time. I have written about it before that I have a passion for cooking. I just picked all cherries and black currants and done liquor and jelly the whole weekend. I love it it's really fun to test new recipes and stuff.

It's quite easy for me to say that I should be a professional chef. I should open a restaurant doing my own menu and all that stuff. But I have one advantage and I know how hard it is to be that chef. You have to be closed in the kitchen for years just to get that restaurant to fly. Overall it is at least ten years of investment in your life.

I'm an amateur chef I don't even know if I have the talent to make it as a professional chef. My friends like my food. Still says nothing how the general market would say. And also standing in the kitchen doing the food I want to do instead of getting orders for what kind of food I should cook is a huge difference.

Here is see many do the mistake when we ask if you want to be the hobby band or be the professional. It would be nice living out of your music. Go on tour and make a lot of money while the fans scream out your name.

The thing is that it's so much more than that. It's the same that you are locked in that kitchen but here you are locked in trying to do new songs all the time. Also the same you don't know if your talent is enough to be one of the biggest stars in the world. Still, when you get the question you still say that you want to do it.

I usually pout some extra questions in for it. Could you be away from your friends for two years? Can you just focus on music nothing else for two years? In overall, they all say yes.
If they say no it's already clear that you can't do it.The funny part even the ones that say not as the ones that say yes want to try. And here is the tricky part. We know that only one out of thousand bands has what it takes to even do a test run. We easily test them by putting some important at the same time as their holiday. If they fail to cancel the holiday they are not in the position to make it. Then we even get harder by putting the thing in all the time. Here if you have ten bands that made it out of the thousand. Nine out of ten will fail. Yes, it's very few that have what it takes and most failures come from that the artist wasn't ready for the amount of work that has to be done to make it to the top or be a hobby band. My calculation is that in my whole 30 years career I will only find around 10 acts that really have what it takes among these ten thousands of artists I meet. The question would I find them and nurture them in the right way?

PERSONAL:
I guess I have exposed that I like to cook food. I actually do quite many strange hobby things where I do some arts and crafts. For example, I do strange garden gnomes. I have developed different technics in doing things in concrete. Over the summer months, I usllay do over three hundred different kinds of garden statues. Usually with a strange twist.
This summer it has been garden gnomes with a certain theme. I have done the Punk Gnome, The Terrorist Gnome, the Weed Gnome and the Gangsta gnome. Here is a gnome with attitude.



Friday, July 20, 2018

Don't overdo the favour

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You just hate them. The artists that really don't in your event and are nagging to get in there. Then you get an open spot and just for sake of it, you let that artist through. Suddenly they start demanding things that no other artists get like free booze and their own dressing room and of course special backline.

Suddenly they are demanding to get all the dates times and stages even though the main act hasn't got it yet. in the end, they are more demanding than your headliners.

It's funny they should get that they just got the spot on pure luck and friendship. Now they are getting that friendship really a lot of tension. Later you get all these asking favors next time on other things but you really don't take them again.

Try not to be such a diva if someone gives you an opportunity. You can be the diva when you get famous.

PERSONAL:

I'm on a University today to listen to songs. It will be fun, most of the time they usually take out other musicians to do this kind of things. In reality, you should take people like me that should actually do the pr for the song. I mean you wont get the guy that put together you iPhone to market that damn thing. No you present the product to the PR team. And over the years most musicians I have had judging things are totally wrong. They like the Iphiobne geek that are excited of a special function that the majority doesn't give a shit about. The best ones to pick out songs in my teams over the year was a guy working in a car factory. He listened to songs in his headåphones every day. He could hear when a song was a hit. Truly a mastermind on that in the end.

This is when musicians try to explain why they have done a bad song that I should market.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Don't do this on social media!

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The biggest no no, in social media that I really see the most artists do is promote their latest single. Someone said that social media is social. So if you were at a concert and saw one of the band members standing in the bar and you struck up a conversation like Hey really great gig tonight!
Yes, buy our latest single or listen to it here on Spotify.
Okay, how many gigs do you do this year?
Oh yes, listen to our new single on Spotify!
I really like your new single.
Yes so listen to it on Spotify and don't forget to put a heart next to it!

Of course, you would think this member in the band was a bit crazy. In fact, this how you feel when an artist just posts on the latest release, or even worse just pictures of rehearsal or studio recordings. We know these moments are fun for the artist but hell no I don't want to see a post around it. No, I want to see the really bad breakfast you ate in the last town,. Or the funny backstage area or anything personal.

So to be able to even promote something you need to have a normal flow or posts that are about something that a normal person can relate to. Even that you could have conversations around.

So when an artist tells me that they need to get something out just to have something to talk about, you know they are not really good at social media. You should be able to maintain that stream without releases. In theory, you should be able to do that with just one song ever released if you are good at it.

Just release and think that the post will be huge just because you release a song is very self-centered.

PERSONAL:
So I'm I good on social media? Hell no! I just comment on things and then leave the conversation. I have been trying to do the blog a bit more personal and more in a personal touch if you have read the last ones you see me more telling about different memories from the past.

The whole blog is an experiment to show for my artists that you can do things like this if you really put your mind to it. So the next level on more personal.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Do you see the obstacles? Or do you buy condoms with a rockstar?

One of my artists always said, better to do something then do nothing at all. And he also said, see the possibilities instead of the obstacles.

Right now I really like this advice. Just gave artists an opportunity to almost go to the other side of the world to play on a really cool thing. You think they would be happy? No, the response is, how can I get time off from work. I mean this is not until April next year, so you roughly have 6 months to ask your boss for the time off. Tell your partner that you going away for a two month on an adventure.

But these reactions become more and more common. It seems like people don't have the confidence anymore to achieve things? The only see the negative things and the fear of a failure. I don't saw my generation like that? We just took the risk and if it crashed we mainly laugh about it. Like the story, I will tell on the person down here. Yes, I think people are too afraid nowadays even though it's safer than ever. Start seeing the positive in everything, my artist was damn right on that one.


PERSONAL:

My mom worked on the railroad when I was young. With that came a free pass to trains in all Europe for all members of our family. My best friends dad also worked on the railroad so he had a free card too. Our thing was to catch trains and just go where ever we were landing. Of course, telling our parents that we slept over at each others place. Instead, we took the train all over Europe and ended up in a lot of places. And we were young and really wanted to discover things.

One trip we did was to London. My friend really wanted to stand in the cheering crowd of Millwall and be on the football riots. I reall7y wanted to check out the London discos. Especially one called Equinox that had full lasers. So we went over a long weekend.

In London, we meet a crazy Australian guy that claimed that he had all the right connections to get into clubs. We tagged along and we went to a place called Stringfellows. The people who know what it is understood that this is not a place where you come in with a t-shirt and blue jeans. But we were traveling light and that was the only thing we had. The Australian guy somehow got us in even though the place was really crowded and we didn't fit the dress code. Inside the Australian warned us that the prices were very high in the bar. So we mainly just stood there in the crowd looking like two aliens.
I decided to go to the bathroom. I went in and after doing my thing came out and washed my hands. I couldn't find a paper but there was a big black box in velvet on the wall. I thought it might be a hand dryer so I checked it out. There was a big golden button in one of the corners, but not much more, I pressed the button but nothing really happened.

Then some really strange dude came out from one of the stalls. Coming up to me looking as confused as me. We struck a conversation trying to figure this machine out. In the end, we found a small opening for coins on the side. I was of course always broke but my new friend had a lot of pound coins so we shoveled in at least five of them then pressed the button.

The machine went on and just poured out condoms in golden packaging. We were laughing like hell. Kind as he was he gave me half of all the condoms that the machine got out. We got up to tell the funny story to my friend. When we got up we meet the duds friend a small guy that was really strange. He was trying to order a drink but couldn't get any service. Well, he looked like an alien like us so no wonder. My friend warned him about the high prices. He just looked at us and said: I can get you any drinks you want we just got paid. We didn't understand but the little guy just got in drinks after drinks to us. We partied really much for an hour with our new friends. Then we had to get to Equinox. They wanted to go but had to stay for some reasons.

So went to Equinox and was amazed by the lasers. The next day we went into a real football riot among Millwall fans, we almost got tattooed with the Millwall logo, we got out of that and hit the illegal clubs in the Docklands in London.

A year later I was watching MTV and suddenly a new group came along. And there was my buddy from the toilet at Stringfellows. he was playing the guitar like a god.  Here is the video. and three minutes in the video he shows up, my condom buying friend Saul. On Saturday he plays in Sweden again. Sadly we only took pictures of the lasers, not our new friends.




Yes, back there were no obstacles. We just did it and saw where the road took us. I feel that has changed with the new soicla media. Today I have great stories. Sure failure to not change phone numbers with Slash, or even take a picture but hey.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Yes they will go on pictures!

No, don't take a friend that makes great Instagram pictures to take your band photos! No, don't be damn artistic that you can't know what the pictures are portraying! And for f**k sake, if you don't know how to work with colors and lightning make then in black and white.

I got a phone call from a booker that will take out some bands at our festival. Of course, he has no chance to listen to all 150 bands that are on the site. Instead, he went into the band that he knew and after that those that had great pictures and said something.

- Usually, if the band has a professional picture they usually have a full show.

I could see so many good bands just be overlooked because they haven't taken the time to work with the picture. Yes, it needs to be a good photographer that knows about lightning that should take pictures not your best friend with a system camera. This is what gets people to look on your band in a rooster or a poster.

So I will make some examples.



Nice picture? I took it. The Magnettes need a new band picture very fast and they were playing in Visby so we quickly went down to the harbor and did some shots. Yes, I had a flash but only one. This picture you can see is very indie but utterly boring and really the lightning is not good at all. The band looks cool, but they always look cool. Many would consider this a good shot and a good promo picture, but in reality, doesn't hold up the standards. Many bands have just this kind of pictures.


This is more it. A real photographer, real flashes. Also painted with colored light. This tells more about what the band is all about. look on the crisp in the picture. How you can see everything in the picture it's not shaded in the wrong places last the one. This picture had many bloggers as and the press saying "wow".

Also, don't put a lot of text in the picture with the band logo and shit. This makes it harder for people to use it and in the end, you will lose many opportunities for it.

PERSONAL:

My crazy schedule keeps on going just go invited to Japan and to the Czech Republic and Canada this autumn. On top of that, I already have been invited to Spain, Austria, and Luxembourg.  I just love the life I live right now. Meeting so many people with different visions and with the same interest in the music industry. I really made my own path to be where I'm.

Monday, July 16, 2018

This is how you make it hard for people!

Make it simple, don't go and overdo things. Do be too artistic either. I can see it all the time it's the same artists that do these mistakes and they are complaining that it's hard and nothing never works, well, in reality, it's because you have to fit into the system, not the opposite around.

Yes, some rules you can't bend. For example, I think it's okay after a really long night in the pub and you need to pee and you are alone in a park to pee there. The law in Sweden says differently. It is illegal and even if I think it's stupid I have to follow the rules or if someone caught me I will get fined.

rather same here, the rules might be stupid but as soon you break them all sorts of things will start work against you.

The worst thing is to have a name with rather strange signs in them. like when Prince was changing his name to a symbol. Okay, Price was a huge artist and could get away with on some levels, but even him got overrun by people calling him the artist formerly known as prince. And you are not even in the size of Prince and pull this stuff off.

So why are the strange signs so bad? First people will jump them on posters if you start a band called Metällica and you don't have ä on your keyboard people will soon start calling your band Metallica. Then if you are making a hassle around it you will soon be spending more time changing things being a pain in the ass, in the end, people will stop booking you.

´ apostrophes which are very common can even be a pain in the ass. They destroy scrips and other and are frequently taken off.

Still, of course, you can spell your name $tupíd:*** but you have to be open that people will change it. And in some system, it will not even work out. Even to spell your name in capital letters only is REALLY REALLY stupid.

Also, many search engines won't find your name if you use certain letters. Or they need to be so specific spelled that you won't be found.

And don't use a too normal word. I just saw the band MY changing they name to Oh Hey My after being totally unable to be found in search engines.

PERSONAL:
It's fucking cane day. Yes, I have a rare form of gauge that always keeps me in pain in the whole body. Some days are worse and I I'm hospitalized a couple days a year to get morphine.

I try to not use the cane but sometimes I just have to. Of course, I have the most pimped cane there is. A golden skull cane with eyes that can be lit, and of course you can pull the cane apart and it becomes a sword. Well, it's illegal to have the blade inside so I have removed it.

This is also why I'm counted as handicapped and has several permits for it. It's kind of strange for people from one day see me walk normally to the next almost not get out of bed. It's invisible so it's hard to explain also that I'm one day from another can be classified as severely handicapped. I usually say I get the permit as mentally handicapped. :).




Friday, July 13, 2018

The death of the rockstar!

I don't know if this is just for Sweden? I guess it could be applied to the whole world. Many of the older A&R:s (read old grumpy men) is blaming the social media to kill the rock star. Many of the old rockstars were assholes, but in media they were nice. I heard so many times that John Lennon was an ass. And maybe he was or not. I don't know since I never meet him and can only tell from the interviews and stuff he has done. These interviews are of course controlled so it won't give the right picture. And it's in this the people now say the social media is killing the star.

Let's assume John Lennon was a real asshole in person. Of course, you can't hide that on social media. It will shine through. Same with the star thing. So many times when you get starstruck and then spend some time with the star and you realize they are just a normal person, very talented, but still just a person the icon and the status is falling.

Is this right? I don't know but what I can see is that interviews are rarer today with artists, especially around their work. What has replaced this in the media is more writings what they say on social media. Not unusual that a whole article is about a tweet of a famous artist. Today the media get the most information from Donal Trump in form of tweets.
Most careers are in very short forms.

I spent time with an influencer last weekend. She posted a picture of her on the street and in 5 minutes she had over 5000 comments. At the same time, she is not famous, she has over a million followers ion different social media. During dinner, we were talking about one of my bands and she was really impressed and told me that this band was really big. I told her that they not even had 20 000 followers on all their social media. Yes she said but they do big things and they write interviews with them. She explained how the followers were not anything that really goes to media until you are a name. And to get the name you need to do extra good things.

I guess the social media is not killing the start it's just harder to see where the breaking point for an artist is really on.

PERSONAL:
They are playing Eurythmics on the radio. Great band and great songs. I actually worked with Dave Stewart once which was one of these strange larger than life experience I'm getting involved in.
In this case, I got involved by a supervisor on a big project that Nokia was doing. They were building a game which contained music along the clues and should have been launched to a certain phone and work with GPS. In the beginning, I was placing some of my songs in the game but the crew understood fast I had some greater knowledge around everything in licensing so they called me on consultant things now and then.

This was in the middle of the summer. I had a short vacation in the archipelago north of Stockholm. Out there the coverage is not that great, but when you where in the local grocery store you had a tiny bit of reception. That was the great thing people couldn't reach you and you could really have a vacation.

One day we where down doing some groceries and out of the blue the Nokia team contacted me and wondered if I could jump on a Skype call about a thing. I wrote back that my line was not that good but I could try.

Out in the parkinglot I got on the call. It was not easy since the reception sucked. I got introduced to a bunch of people and they had a big discussion around different ways to get the music in the game. I mainly listened. After awhile a guy adressed a question to me...so Peter I heard you had good experience of this. And yes I had, the last project I did had the same problems and I knew how we solved these. So I gave them a pretty good and safe plan solving the problem. The guy that asked was impressed and continued, that is great Peter, your line is kind of bad but I want to ask you some more. Can I call you after the call. Sure I gave him my number. The conference call went on for awhile more. I bought a ice-cream because it was hot and keept trying to keep up.
Then it was finished and Ulrika wanted to go back with the grocery. Then my phone rang. I answered and a familiar voice said, Hey its Dave Stewart really good input on the call. I have some other projects that I would like to get your opinion on.

I was not sure. Was this that Dave Stewart? The guy from Eurythmics and the guy who did all the keyboards on Ramones Too Tough to die record. Can't be?

The call went on and I explained the different ways of placements and what could work. My ice-cream melted and Ulrika was annoyed over the time it took.
Over the whole call, I was trying to figure out if this was Dave Stewart. In the end, I managed to get in a question about his music and there he mentioned Eurythmics. I was standing in the parking lot of the local grocery talking to Dave Stewart. It was totally surreal.
In the end, I got to ask around the recording of the Ramones album. He had no real memorys around it. He was mainly hired to do the electronic sounds on the single Howling at the moon. He laughed that was the question I had.

I got some more calls from him. And I just looked in my phone and I still has his number in my phone book as Dave S. I wonder if he still answers if I called?