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.

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