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.

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.

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.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Go to the right level!

The highest entry point is not the right entry point. If you are going to the top of a skyscraper would you hire a helicopter to get you there? And even worse when the helicopter is above the skyscraper you realize they don’t have a landing dock up there! The smart way is to take the elevator to the top floor, right?

Still I see it all the time that people try the stupid way. I was on a conference and there was a boss over a big record label there speaking. The interest for the panel before the boss was not that well attended it was about how to do PR or something. The interest when the boss was speaking was overcrowded.

All these new mangers and bands wanted to go up to the boss and speaking about their latest music directly after the speech and it just went crazy.

Later on the VIP dinner I sat next to him and we got into the subject that everyone wanted to meet him and talk about their music.

- But they do it wrong, he said. Yes I love new music but I really don’t work with that on this company. My job is to develop the whole company with all the artists that we have on the rooster. I’m not the guy that picks the new music that we need on the on company. That is handled by the person that was on the panel before meon PR, but no one was approaching him with new music.

It’s a common problem that people try to get to the very top of the company and thinks that is where it sits. Taking a shortcut and go for the grand prize.  That is like hiring the helicopter. Yes the boss will talk about you and your music, when you have climbed the ranks inside the company. Still you have to go the front door knocking before you start riding the levels. If you don’t get through the front door, well then your product is not interesting enough or it’s the wrong building.

Later on that evening I was talking to a band that got the card of the boss and was so happy about it. They now had a real “connection” straight to the top.

The boss ended our conversation on the matter with.
- If they send it to me I just send the music to our music department. I think though they put this music in the bottom. They really don’t like to work with people that tries to run them over.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Westway Lab Festival

 Yes i’m on Westway Lab in Portugal and I hope I have something to write about next week even though it’s easter holidays and stuff.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Difficult choice

You are picking out the best team in football with a couple of friends to make the best team. Price tag is not a limit. You suggest Zlatan, Messi, Ronaldo. You friend suggest some players from the national league in Sweden.

You are confused; would it not be the best team in the world? The national league is okay but not that good.

Then you suddenly see that your friend can actually not visualize that you can get the best team so goes for the best in their brain.

You try to talk them into these professional players. They hear what you say but you can see that it doesn’t get into their brain. They are still in the national league in Sweden.

When it’s like this you have a choice not an easy one. I have this question right now.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Take care to inform the whole team.

I was writing about the next level the other day you can read it here

Well many people see the career with steps and levels. One of the worst mistakes you do it treating it like that. I have done this mistake many times over the years. You work with a team and suddenly a new opportunity with a new team comes up. You leave the old team to get full focus on the new team that is doing new cool things.

Of course the old team gets uninterested since all the focus is getting to the new team. And after a while they stop serving the things they were doing and the new team feels that they don’t get the support that they actually took you in for. Suddenly you have burned the candle in two ends.

Sometimes it is like a step. The old team has to go for you to evolve then it’s good to burn that bridge. The mistake is that sometimes that old bridge is needed to get to the third team you need.
This is the reasons you should not see all as steps or levels. See it more like engenies that works for you. Even the little enging is need to get the whole machine to work. Then is it totally malfunction then you throw it off. But first you check if can be fixed.

To achieve this you need to put a lot of time to update everybody about plans and information. Here I have done so many mistakes by not take the time to inform the whole network about what is going on.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spotify strikes a deal, independent goes backwards.

This is gossip I guess but I got it from several sources and I don’t know if it’s out yet, could be. Spotify seems to have stroke a deal with Universal so they have saved their catalogue. Unknown if they got Universal to lower their cut of each stream that was the goal for Spotify. I guess they got more shares and lower the payment for each stream, so the rumor says.

Congratulations if you are on Universal as an artist (not on Spinnup or just distribution services, but on the actual label). But how can I say that, the artist will get lower paid each stream?  Yes but at the same time Universal is first out so Spotifys crew will focus on their catalogue more. I guess Sony and Warner will follow very soon, but for time being Universal unlocked so people can work on their catalogue. So that means that if you are a focused artist on Universal you can do things fast right now.

Overall now everyone has to join so it will be a lower cut on each stream for all companies even if you don’t get shares or not. That will save Spotify for this time.

What happens in the independent world? Well they are most discussion radio to be not Spotify.

Been on several meetings where the topic is just radio. The thing is that national radio in Sweden plays lower than 2 % music from independent companies. Yes you read right they only play music from Universal, Warner and Sony. For commercial stations that is okey, they can choose. National radio is though paid for playing all music and a paid by the government to do so.

Yes we know they have a hard time to keep their listeners on national radio but playing whatever the other is playing is not make things better.

To add to this the government license program (the program that holds every license for the frequency they use) has to be negotiated this autumn. Today it’s a big cooperation owning most of these and rent them out to the commercial stations. So it can be a bidding war and the cost for the commercial stations might be so high that they close stations. Or it can be more secure for them to broadcast so they make a more impact on the listeners and national radio gets even less listeners.
My opinion though is why bothered with radio? The discussion would be how the independent should get into the closed world of Spotify. No we are mainly discussion a format that is already dying and try to get them the play the music. I guess to be a frontrunner as the independent used to be we now just seems to focus on old goals.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Too limited, time to break up!

Have you felt too limited? You want to do that great big thing, but there are too many things that hold you back? You are not allowed to write that cool rock anthem because the singer only wants to do calm ballads. Or try to experiment with a new stage look but the rest of the band just want to hold on to their plain old clothes. That sponsor deal you got for the band with that cloth store is not going through because the drummer doesn’t want to be a sellout, and it might happen that they actually have children working in their factory’s you never know.

I feel the blogg is this way right now. It’s like the whole damn Swedish music industry is afraid to tell something negative. No way that I’m allowed to write witch companies that actually fool their artists, since they can be costumers on our other department. And actually tell in the feed on social media that this idea really sucks and has been done 20 times before and failed, just that you are too young to know that. No way then you can’t be on the board, people are allowed to have their dreams.

Get the word out that some organizations really don’t do the things in the right way is impossible too. The only thing that happens is that they try to not get their customers to see the blogg.

Yes I’m limited and to change that I need to be more independent. It’s time to quit working for other organizations. Time to quite working in a dependent field. I really want to start things over, quit being a manager, quit giving advices, quit being on a board, quit be limited.

To be really honest most of the industry right now sucks, and is so damn amateurish that is no point being in it. The worst part I’m not allowed to write about it to make a change.

I guess when it is this way, the band usually breaks up. I guess it’s the same with business relations. It’s time to break up and do something new.