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?


Thursday, July 12, 2018

It's cool when you are there.

It's funny to hear artists bitching around certain things but then change opinion in a second. I saw a poster about some band doing an anti Summerfest gig in Milwaukee. And as long they are not playing they will be anti-Summerfest.
Then suddenly they might be booked to Summerfest and suddenly the festival is cool to be on.

And it's the same with everything as long you won't get it, the thing sucks.
This star sucks, that gig place sucks.
And when you suddenly reach that goal it's okay with the stuff.

PERSONAL:
Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated, Nothin' to do and nowhere to go I wanna be sedated.
The song just hit me. It came from a really bad cassette bootleg recording of Ramones that my cousin had bought on a trip to Stockholm.
At this point in time, it was really hard to get this kind of music in my hometown. The record stores there was not an uplifting story and I can easily say I just hated the main shit they where carrying.
But this was new. The sound was really bad but you could hear what a great tune it was.
My lifelong relationship with the Ramones had begun. Today I have my own personal Ramones museum with Dee Dee Ramones birth certificate as the odd one.
I loved the music.in reality, it was old. That song had come out at least 10 years earlier but of course, never reached me. I have been quite obsessed with Ramones and still, think many of the songs are one of the best ones.
Why I don't mention this when people ask for my favorite music is because then they think I look for a next Ramones. There will only be one Ramones so I don't look for it or want music that sounds like it. The only thing I want is memorabilia around them.
It's my collector's thing here in life.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The impossible criteria.

I'm looking for an artist with these criteria.
Under 25 years of age.
Open to form their career and find the things that work, meaning not doing a style where you have to look or act a certain way.
Ready to work hard. At least put in four hours of work every day with their career.
Be interested of the business side but still trust other people to their job.
Be positive and see things on the positive side.
Have no attachments to partners, kids, places etc.
Have some sort of sponsor, so not the smallest amount is an issue.
Writing good songs.
Look good and be good to be a star. But not be a diva.

Won't happen I know. But this is how impossible the list is when people ask for me when I should find them business partners.

PERSONAL:
Waiting on another airport. Quite much time waiting and thinking.
I'm kind of impatient. I want everything to move forward, if not I'm losing focus on it. When I was home a couple of days I saw many of my projects standing still. I have this huge project about my ancestors. I'm building a huge map and things around it and I saw it in my computer and realized I haven't opened it in seven months.
Then I was fixing a thing in the garage and found my box of coco clocks that I should fix.
All my plants have nowadays automatic water systems otherwise they will die since all my time home is to fix things in my work since not all can be done on the road.
My friend just wrote he was leaving for three weeks vacation. I wish I could have a week. Or just a weekend. And maybe someday I will have the chance to do that.
When I get home after traveled for over 27 hours I get 10 hours home until I have to get back on the road. I just love to hear how the people complain how hard they work in their 9 to 5 world.



Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Take the decision!

I feel more and more that people are afraid to make decisions. Playing with all doors open and a big fear of Fomo (fear of missing out). In the end, there are no commitments done and everything is kind of lose and really nothing happens.

Yes, it can be scary to get along a path but not taking decisions and just float around is maybe easier but doesn't lead anywhere.

And all paths can be altered and lead to a lot of new places.

I also feel that people want me to have all the answers to impossible questions to be able to take these decisions. It feels like being a fortune teller with an all success guaranteed attach to you.

People are more and more insecure. Has it always been this way or is it coming along recently?

In the end, it's better to do a bad decision to learn from then no decision at all.

PERSONAL:
No, I don't play an instrument. And with that, I'm kind of unusual in the business. Most people working on the administration side is usually failed, musicians. I won't lie that I'm a failed one too, it's just that I failed so early it won't count.
In reality, I got it pretty clear that people liked to have me in their bands since I was good shuffling papers and getting things done. But playing was just a necessary evil to have me. I got the point and got myself a degree as a recording engineer. Same here I know the technical skills, but I'm not good on sounds or the knowledge how to get to them. I was good hearing when a song is good and have potential to be marked. And I became obsessed with that for the past 20 years. And I still don't know how to tune a guitar, but I can easily say if your recording will work or not. Even more, I can see if your setup will hold for something bigger.


Monday, July 9, 2018

A leader or a dead fish?

Yes, you find inspiration in people, but try to copy their career is not that smart. I get quite much that this person played on this festival was on this radio show etc. Just because of that we should do the same.

You know (Joey Ramone always started with), playing at CBGB:s was not cool when The Ramones did it. Sure all these years bands have been nagging they should play there since it went well with the first bands playing there like The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads etc.

In reality that was what came out from CBGB was these first bands. They took a chance, they were the leaders, the rest was just dead fishes that followed the stream.

I feel many are afraid to do something early. They want to wait until someone else has done it and they can follow. In the end, they are just chasing the next thing instead of creating it.

Go back to the iconic photo of the Ramones of the brick wall. It was not thought thru it just happened. And I bet you haven't seen the picture after that iconic one when Dee Dee is scraping dogshit from his shoe?

How many bands haven't been inspired by that picture? Instead, they should have done their own brick wall photo. Try to be the leader, not the dead fish that follows the stream.

PERSONAL:
I wrote about facing your fears a couple a days ago, also I wanted to write a more personal blog. And here I have to face the fear. I know what is interesting to write about, but it's hard personal and not pleasant. Still, that is what you want to read. I just noted myself going back to just write in the personal things that I'm excited about but can't say anything about yet. Pretty boring to read about. When I was changing I thought of giving out more anecdotes around me, but it's hard to write about it. You have to face the fear.

Oh well so here is a kind of strange story that I know is a bit untold and I usually never talk about.
If you ever visit our office you can't miss our pinball machine. And I know early in the blog I have revealed that I'm a keen enthusiast of restoring pinball machines. Nowadays I don't have so much time for it. But I really like to dig in around pinball machines made between 1992 to 1998 with digital displays. And that has been something I been told quite often in the interviews of odd facts about myself. What is lesser known is that the pinballs are there because a court settles after I was kidnapped.

Yes, it is true. I was kidnapped after a night out in Stockholm. We where celebrate a friend's birthday and was going from one restaurant to a bar. Suddenly a guy came up to us and pointed a gun at me and wanted me to follow him up the street. You really don't argue with a guy pointing a gun at you so I followed along. We went up to his buddy on the other side of the street. I guess they just wanted to mug me but also knew I didn't have any cash on me so it could turn ugly.

At the same time my friends was calling the cops. When we reach his buddy you can just tell both of them was high as fuck on some drug. The friend just laughed and said it was just a joke to get someone to follow them along. Okay I said turned around and walked back over the street to my scared friends.

A minute later the cops swarmed the street. A guy waving with a gun is not taken lightly and a block away they arrested them.

Since the forced me over the street it was counted as kidnapping and the damage money for that is kind of high. So before it went to court I decided if I got any money I would buy a pinball machine.

And there you have one of the two pinball machines I bought from the kidnapping money. The guy was as I thought high and had no idea what he was doing and got a longer prison sentence.


Friday, July 6, 2018

A showcase is not a gig.

I just saw one of my friend's bands, they were posting on Facebook about a gig they had done. I checked out and they were still doing the same old gigs as they did five years ago when I meet them.

They play gigs all around the world. But never more than 200 people. The fanbase is around the same as before, no growing. Their name is not getting bigger. In a nutshell, they are on the spot as five years ago just some shows done in other countries.

In their beginning, I invite them to some showcase festivals which they played. They played, they just used the festivals as a gig. They didn't do any meetings. Didn't go to the conference,  they played their gig drank some beer and went home.

This the worst way to miss out on an opportunity. Don't do the groundwork and just treat everything like another festival in the roster. A showcase is more about the opportunity to meet new people to work with then play a gig. The gig is just a chance to get people to see the show. Not audience, professionals from the business. So if you don't do the groundwork it will be a kind of crappy gig.

Well, my friend's band won't go anywhere and maybe that is fine for them. But they are taking up space for artists that really want to get somewhere and that annoys me.

PERSONAL :
This episode is why my job is so hard. I look for the artist beyond this band. Yes, of course, they asked if I could work with them. In their case, I thought the music was not good enough. Later on, I discovered that they were totally useless to develop. They were thinking that hard work was to do the same gigs over and over and really never aim to be bigger.
So I know that they want more but don't get how to get the things. It's like they do half of the job.
The hard part is to single out these artists from the really serious ones. The ones that will work with you to reach a global audience.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Make more with the spending money.

People love to spend money. Spending them on content on social media is often like throwing money in the fire.

People record songs in expensive studios make costly photoshoots and videos. But the quality is not the reason why people will check your things on social media.

Social media is more about getting many things out during a long time. Spending it on one post is not a wise thing.

Then, of course, you want it to look good. And yes the biggest stars hire professionals to even take their Instagram pictures. You can't compete with that until you have the same amount of followers. To get followers you need to be consistent.

The key is to make it into a story. The audience wants to see the next thing and that has rarely anything to do with the quality of the content, rather what the content contains.

So plan your money in a longterm thing instead of trying to make a big thing when you don't have the massive following.

PERSONAL:
Kind of excited about everything that is going on. Yes, I have to go back to the start again but it feels alright just as I can find the right material to work with.
I just got offered to join a new venture and it will be fun working on an international project and see where it goes.
As usual, I'm a bit impatient to get things to get started


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

It is about what is comming,

I have just been through many biographies while we are booking the festival. It strikes me that they bios is often very badly done. I guess you really don't know what to write so I will give you a trick. Write about what is going to happen.

Most write about what has happened but really in most cases the person that is reading very often search for the future.

Don't write about things that we don't care about. That the first line up of the band was with this person and then we changed to that person. As long as this persons are very famous we don't care. it's enough writing the lineup right now.

Don't describe the sound too much. It's okay to write that you re a rock or pop band or EDM or reggae. Only to give a hint about what I expect to hear. Because you really don't need to describe the music like "if Freddie Mercury had a child with Kate Perry and starting doing electronic music". Things like that seem to take overhand. And also many describe their music totally wrong so when you listen you wonder if it was the same band that wrote the bio or some deaf ghostwriter.

What about the future? Well, most of the time we look for things that will happen with the artist. Actually start with a block where you tell what is happening in the nearest future with gigs, giving out music etc. Of course, this can't be on a static homepage since it changes all the time. But if it for a festival you can tell things going on after the festival. One thing, don't forget to add the things to the bio when they have happened.

PERSONAL. I'm usually finding things to slow down in July. But over the years it just has become more and more of everything and now it's busier than ever. It really takes its toll, you are really never off it just keeps going and going. So right now I haven't had a chance to even keep up with my mail. I have over 150 unanswered emails. I guess I have to take care of that before I go to USA tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Face the fear

You have to face your fear. This last conference I held a speech for 10 minutes about Live at Heart. Then a one and a half hour panel debate. Both in English and both with Chinese interpretation. Yes, the interpretation makes it a bit more difficult. I would estimate it was in total around 150 listeners. Also very professional and knowing people from the music industry.

Do I like these speeches? Now yes, but I was really not a big fan of doing presentations or panels when I started. And from time to time I'm still very nervous. But with experience, I'm getting better and better.

It's all about getting exposed to the fear. My travel has taught me a lot of things that before was a fear now totally ok to do.

And it's the same in an artist career. Many say no to things out of fear. It's not stage fright we talk about. Can be other things that are much harder and can stop you from taking that final step. It's not easy, but start facing the fear.

PERSONAL: Today I leave for the USA and touring a bit with The Magnettes on Summerfest in Milwaukee.



Monday, July 2, 2018

The new way to send demo!

Before we start you can get the latest post in your mailbox just by putting your email in the box up in the right corner.

Showcase festival is the new demo listening. Today the live element is so important that it's on these showcases you find your new artists. Sending demos has almost disappeared. It was years since I found an artist that way. The past ten years it has been through live performances or tip-offs that I have found stuff.

This makes the showcase festivals more and more important and also more and more of them are held.

To build your team you have to start performing on showcases.

PERSONAL: Yesterday's theme was around special days and missing out on things. Even though I live in the way I like I have to sacrifice things. Yesterday I sacrificed a birthday party. That is not that hard really. Still, I know people thinking it was awful that I had to do that.
To do what you really want to do, most of the time you must sacrifice much more.
I get artists crying that they can't be on their partners birthday. The career has taken them on a journey somewhere else and now they are missing out.
If you really want to do it, tough decisions have to be made. I pushed my mother's funeral for a showcase festival I needed to be on. Thankfully my dad got it and changed the date so I could be at the funeral in the end. Still, yes I would skip it, the festival was too important for a lot of other things. Here it was solved, not easy but solved. After that, we usually tell the artists that the only excuse for missing out is your own wedding, children's birth or your own funeral.
It is how many bridges I'm willing to burn to be where I'm now. Yes, it would have been easy to just do the easy choice and skipped the festival. At the same time, I wouldn't have done the things I'm so much wanted to do that the festival got me. It was doing something easy to save a conflict or get the later rewards and take the bumpy road.