Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Stop being a information junkie

When yes is yes and no is no and doubt you never hear.

A kind of free translation of one of the most famous songs in Sweden "Öppna landskap".

Nike has the slogan "Just do it" and I guess they would be proud of how many times a day I think that seeing how people have doubts and are choosing between the most absurd things. Sometimes it's such stupid things like, you have to choose to get a fork in your eye or get a birthcake. And they actually start thinking about what to choose! Even worse when they start haggling. What kind of birthday cake is it, you know I'm allergic to chocolate so no Swartzvald!

In many cases, the offer is just the offer it is. It can't be switched or changed and if you start doing that you get this proverb: The one who gaps after much often loses the whole piece.

In many cases, it's too much thinking and they need too much information. With the new information society, so many are addicts on information, like Red Hot Pepper sings, A teenage bride with a baby inside getting high on information. Unimportant information is the new drug.

Start be a bit daring and say yes to the cake instead of the fork in the eye.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Your lack of communication is not my problem!

I just got an email with questions from a manager. The problem is that I answered these exact questions to the artists two weeks ago. It's annoying and just proves that the artist is not professional.

Why the artist? Why not the manager? Well since you have a manager the artist should let this person do their job not go around and make these situations come up. Then, of course, the manager should tell the artist to stop doing it, but as a manager myself I know the artist can be a loose cannon and just do things anyway.

This is the same when you get the same questions from different band members. You send your time sending the same info to the singer, guitarist and the drummer. Well, this I mainly what you did as a manager. And believe me sometimes I have to answer, the manager, the guitarist, the singer and the drummer and by the end realize that it's the bassist that need to get the info.

In so many cases I just want to tell people like this, your lack of commiúnication is really not my problem. Well yes, that will be my answer to the manager.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Spotify don't break careers, stop thinking of Spotify.

I have this conversation at least once a week. Artists or managers or even bookers looking at Spotify numbers and actually think they mean something! Here is some breaking news:


Spotify is good to make some buck out of your recordings. But it's not a tool to break an artist or get fans. Their playlists are utterly useless to break an artist on. Spotify is a good tool when your fan base is growing and it is one of several outlets where fans can listen to your music.

It's not a place where you try to get fans.

So a friend of mine had this conversation today. And I feel it takes up all the things that the artist thinks that Spotify would do for you. And these are normal questions that I get all the time, so I was thinking to once again write the truth around it ( and probably get more enemies in the industry :)...especially old farts that just learned how to pitch to playlists ).

So her is the conversation:
Hello! All good?
If I use a good distribution service, how much is the chance that the song I upload will end up in any Spotify playlists?
Know it's about well recorded and how good it is, but thought if there was any guarantee at other places? I run a collaboration with a guy now this year and we upload through his company in Austria but feel that all we don't get our songs on Spotify. So we are looking for other distribution services to have a better chance of ending in various Spotify lists.

There are never guarantees. But many services are guaranteed to not get in on lists like Spinnup, Cdbaby, Distrokid etc since you can't even get the right links. Spotify picks away amateurs and self-rendered artists and sites that these use. 

On first of October Spotify will change this so you can do it from your artist account, still, that won't work since it's so many releases they need computers to go through all that. We guess this service will just be like a black hole and that they pick up on in old statistics. But hey we will see.

So it does not depend on distribution, but how it is done and how it is shaped. Then Spotify changes from the first of October, making it basically impossible for bands to get in and just bigger companies with a VIP line. So Spotify will make this even harder if you don¨t have a bigger releaeplan.

Ah okay, because we really want to get into "new music friday" or such. We have a PR in Austria but their job is just getting the songs in Austrian radio we needed more than that. At this point, Spotify playlists are so big thing, without it we are underestimated, we try to aim far beyond what we get now.

I can say directly to get into New Music Friday does not help a shit. You must enter more lists. Lists that keeps on going for weeks. Even if you get that it won't take your artist anywhere.  It's some kind of myth that artists have come up with that if you have a lot of streams you have a career. I can point out hundreds of artist that have millions of streams and don't go anywhere careerwise. It's nice to be on the playlists but in reality, won't take you further. It's more like a good review in a blog. It's nice but very seldom break your career. What you need is a more varied pr and Spotify will come to you much later. So, instead, go for a tour and live gigs to pick up fans. These fans will alter help your Spotify numbers and then the algorithms will add you on. So what kind of marketing do you do?

But your artists get on the lists? And tehy gig gigs and cool placements? We want that things and Spotify playlists seem to work well for your artists? That is why we look around in other ways to distribute that had benefited us more today because what we need is to get the artist name out.  I do simple marketing then I need a team behind in some way that could help us to get into different playlists. So right now it's not about making money. More getting out more our names in the face of fans. We have had some bad luck when we used submithub in the three songs we have released but feel strong for the three next to be released and therefore we want to get them out in the best way.

Yes, our artists are on playlists but that has to do with that we do all the other cool stuff. And that stuff comes from the management that brings in opportunities. Nothing comes from Spotify. But Spotify likes that it's a lot of things going on around the artists and for that put them in the playlist. The fact that they are on lists is that they have a good company and have a good release schedule. The distribution channel is totally unimportant, but it's none of them release themselves.

So getting your artist on New Music Friday won't change anything. Basically, you get 10 000 streams which are a pee in the ocean. You need around one million streams the first week to get something out of Spotify. But it won't give much of name and most booking and industry people that are important thinks that's fairly unimportant with the Spotify numbers. The numbers mainly show how much PR was done. And a song that are ten years old can suddenly just get a hell of a lot of streaming numbers if placed on a certain list. The numbers don't tell anything of the status of the artist or how good song it is. Just how many people that have discovered it right now.

What you need is better PR. If submithub does not work, it is either wrong with the music or the story. So the question is how many gigs, showcase festivals have you booked in for these three singles?

Okay, I understand your opinion and both appreciate you taking your time but even so you know what you're talking about after all these years in the industry so trust what you say and who say hugely thank you for taking your time!

There I know is a shortcoming of gigs and showcases, they do some gigs at every release then there's a lack of point for us when we don't have anything to focus gigs round  So what can you if submithub does not hook on any songs?

Then the artists are not working and then it's impossible. Many think a good song will fix everything, but even with a good song, everything else must be there. There must be good social media. There must be around two gigs in a month, there must be several things in the future all the time. . If you miss out of any of it, it will be slow and you will not get out to people to find you.
So what you need are future highlights for this artist.

In reality what my friend is looking for is Santa Claus. Some special person or organization that mysteriously should get this artist a break. It never happens. The break comes when you are around and people bump into you and start looking. They see you work hard and are going places and have good things coming. Then they jump on.

That can never happen on Spotify. Spotify comes later when you have done all these things. So stop looking on Spotify. It doesn't mean anything for the career. It effects of all the other things you do.

Also, many of my more successful artists don't have that many Spotify numbers. They are successful because of all the other stuff.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Feelings and focus, the two traps.

People that do art is usually into more feelings than others.  Or closer to their feelings I would say. Still, these feelings are also one of the bigger problems into a career. Suddenly you must put the feelings aside to do things. The problem is to when to put them aside and when to go with your feeling.

I can count so many times when an artist has had a feeling about something and then later they were so happy that they took that decision. At the same time, I have seen so many lost their feelings around a decision when it didn't happen the way it should.

So it's not just an easy answer. It's like a middle road where you need to check to not being too controlled by your feelings at the same time not losing yourself. Also, the feelings can get you into the other trouble that you want to much things. You want to be in control of the music, the press pictures, the strategies. And also that you want to write a book and paint and so much.

The problem here is the focus. Suddenly you list the focus on the genuine feeling that you had from the beginning. All the other stuff is fun but maybe not relevant. I get many artists that are so unfocused. Trying too many things and run around like chickens on everything.

It's not easy. still, you have to have it in your mind.

Monday, August 20, 2018


So right now I'm doing over seven festivals at the same time on different locations. The next couple of week will be kind of not so updated because of this. After 9 of September, it will cool down and start all the traveling. Of course, it won't totally empty but less long things.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Showcase tip-off part 4, You can drink beer later!

I do this every year.  A couple of posts to prepare for Live at Heart. So if you have followed my blog you probably have read it before. Still, there are changes from the past editions. And as usual, these tip-off works for any showcase festival.

You can drink beer later!

Yes, we know after a really exhausting show it's really nice to get backstage and grab that cold beer that waits in the dressing room. This is really not a good time to drink beer. Just minutes after the show get back out there in the audience and mingle.

I have been both sides my self. I have seen bands and wanted to get their contact information and answers to some questions. Hey in some cases I wanted to book them to Live at Heart. But they never come out again and I need to get to the next show. And since time is going fast I never manage to write to them and in the end that opportunity they didn't know was there is lost.

One of my jobs as a manager is to actually go backstage and get my bands out of there to mingle some 20 minutes with new fans or industry people. Sometimes it's the beer that keeps them, but in most cases is that friends of them are invited backstage and keep on talking how good the show is and so on. And it's hard to say to a friend, excuse me I come back to you I just need to work the room. In many cases that are my job to be that irritating person that nags them back out.

Some also go back and then they go directly on the stage taking things off. That is necessary. But if you are not a solo artist, send someone to work the room and the rest pick things off and join in when they are ready.

A band that stayed and didn't drink beer directly after is Royal Prospect. This live clip from Live at Heart 2016 is from their first Live at Heart. They stayed after the show and worked the room and got signed on the spot by a record label. You can see them this year on Live at Heart still working the room.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Showcase Tip-off part 3, Use your stage time.

I do this every year for Live at Heart (2 of September to 8 of September). A couple of posts to prepare for Live at Heart. So if you have followed my blog you probably have read it before. Still, there are changes from the past editions. And as usual, these tip-off works for any showcase festival.

Use your stage time.

A showcase festival will give you 40 minutes to play 20 minutes to change over. Prepare a set that really is 40 minutes, not 30, not 45. If you play longer, of course, you eat someone else playing time and that is not fair. Things like that can fuck up the schedule for the whole evening. So clock your performance.

Playing to short is equally bad. Okay, only you are affected by it. A showcase festival is several artists playing at the same time, during Live at Heart it can be up to 25 artists at the same time on different venues. And yes some people want to see artists at the same time. what you do is that you see a couple of songs from one band, goes to the next one. But if you end your show to early there might be people coming in that wanted to see your performance missing it, even if it was just the last song.

The 20 minutes change over. Practice this, I don't know how many times I see artists do change over and run around like chickens and it takes longer than it really should. Practice it so it goes faster. And another thing as a professional I actually look as much on the changeover as I do on the performance, you want to see how the artist solves problems.

And in all cases, it is line check. And when it comes to line check it won't be that perfect. Don't waste time to find the perfect sound on your snare. Don't try to squeeze in a full sound check into these 20 minutes it won't work. Also, everybody that is professional knows that the first song in the set usually sounds a bit strange since some of the sound checks are done there. We know it is your time to shine, still, we are also interested to see how an artist handles these situations, that is why I love showcases you can sort out the professionals from the beginners just by see the changeover.

Whatever you do don't go over these 20 minutes. It's horrible when you get into a show where you want to see the first two songs and they are still doing the changeover. In severe cases, we have left before it starts. If something is going wrong try to go around it instead of changing the fuse of the amp. One time it was a blackout in the mixer during a showcase with the band Like Swimming. All instruments except for the mics without effects went silent. It was during their last song. They could just have stopped and got off. But they were professional and played their 40 minutes by picking up the gear and started to play the last song totally acoustic, it was marvelous. See the clip at the bottom.

If you have some asshole artist that has gone over the 20 minutes and leaves you with only 10 minutes change over. It's critical to do it all in 10 minutes instead and rather start in time, here the practice comes in handy. If it's so bad that it even has taken off time of your set. Shorten the set to help the festival get the schedule on track. Don't think that you should have your time worth of show that you only contribute to the problem the rest of the evening.

Here is a live clip of the Like Swimming song where they played "Go Buffalo" acoustic on SXSW. Also alesson how even in an acoustic gig go out with a bang.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Showcase tip-off part 2 Bring your music.

This is a part of a series of a tip-off I give in front of the showcase Live at Heart that is going on in Örebro 2 of September to 8 of September. The tip-off is not just for Live at Heart would work on any showcase festival.

Bring your music

Yes, it's kind of usual that I meet artists that don't have their music with them to give me. Sometimes they want me to listen to songs on a phone right there and then. That never works for me. I want to listen in my office when nothing is disturbing me.

But then you have the people that bring CD:s. I remember when I got to showcase festivals in the 90:s and you got a suitcase full of CD:s, to be honest with you, I never listen to CD:s. mainly because of the only CD player, we have now is on the Xbox that is in the living room. I won't have time to get there to listen to a CD. So they are mainly just lying around.

Here is a picture of CD:s that I got the past year. Last year we went to the land fill with the CD:s I got over the past five years, and just dumped them. Now I try to say no to CD:s

So what is better a USB stick? Well better, but today I took one of these USB sticks and erased it since I needed space on it. Did I listen to it? No! Same with all these download cards I get, also very hard to do, you have to go to pages and put in a hell of a long code and then download it. In reality, I'm lazy and there is to many steps to be worth it.

The most I know people I know in the business prefer to get links. And prefer video links so you can see the band. You get approached by several so you won't remember their names, but if you see them you usually remember who they were.

The trick is to make business cards, cost almost nothing (Vistaprint or similar). Put your contact details there (email, phone, and homepage. Then put a link to your songs (a direct link). Okay, some one says that would be a hell of a long link on the card, that will be trouble to put in for you.
True but do it this way. Do a secret page on your homepage ( yes you need a homepage, if you go on a showcase festival with just a facebook page or Bandcamp page you are out of the game, a homepage with bio and contacts is a most). Then on this secret page, you put in links to secret songs from Soundcloud, better even embedded. So the link would look like Easy to put in.
And yes put videos there as well embedded.

Another thing you should do is try to get the address of the person you speak with and then send an e-mail with the links to that person on the same evening. Don't expect them to answer, but you got the links in front of them.

If you are really good, put your gig times on the card, but also space for changes. Then you have to print cards to every showcase, still, a low cost to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Showcase tip off nr 1.Get the most of a Showcase festival!

I do this every year.  A couple of posts to prepare for Live at Heart. So if you have followed my blog you probably have read it before. Still, there are changes from the past editions. And as usual, these tip-off works for any showcase festival.

Get the most of a Showcase festival.

Live at heart has a conference part to it. Use that! Most showcase festivals have a conference part, most artist never uses it. Okay, some of the panels might seem boring. Hopefully, they will give you new information. But don't think of it just like a panel. It's a chance to see industry professionals. Check them out what can they provide for your career? The best way to find out is actually to see panels. You learn and you find new people that you can easily approach right there afterward or during the whole festival. Not going to the conference is like wasting a good opportunity to find your next person to work with.

Attend the mingles. Yes, mingles can be really boring. But if you have done your homework and seen the panels you will find people at these mingles to ask these extra questions you couldn't ask on the panel. Go up to these people tehy are there to find new artists. Not attend any mingle or afterparty is a good way to not get much done on a showcase festival.

A showcase festival is not just a show. It's an opportunity to get the right people down to see your show. A good showcase festival gig can be for just five people if they are the right five people. To get these people down to your showcase you need to invite them
You are faced against 200 good bands. Probably 20 bands play on the same time slot. So there is no point just to invite everybody. Select the persons you think you can do the most with or the persons you find the nicest when you meet them at the panels or mingles.

Also, the panel is a good way to know what people are doing. Just because they work at a booking agency or record label it might not fit. If you play metal and they work with country music it won't be a match. During the panel sometimes, you find new ways. Maybe this country label has just started a metal division.

Be active. I was on a showcase in NYC a couple years ago where I took care of two bands. One band was the headliner, people loved that band. But they wanted to do some sightseeing instead of going to the conference. The other band I had was unknown but they went to the conference with me. Suddenly I got the opportunity to play two songs acoustically in the mingling part. The band took it. Played a really good two songs in front of all the important people and invited them down to their show. That got them a lot of important people to their showcase that night. The other artist mainly just played on the festival and nothing got out of it.

This method also works quite well even though you are not playing at the festival. The introduction part is a huge part of the success of an artist. I have seen artist being successful just on the conference part, not playing. I have also seen many artists just play and just got a gig out of it.

Think of it as an opportunity to just be chosen, use it.

This gig gave The Magnettes a ticket to play in NYC and their career took off. This summer they played around the world and opened up to KeSha on the worlds largest festival Summerfest.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Use your time

When I look back on many careers I see that you often wait for something. Yes, you are probably young and time seems like something that you have plenty of. At the same time, you hear people say "times flies". And it does.

I lectured on a school a couple of years ago. Essentially you got two years at the school just to dig into your artist career. On top of that, you could apply for the third year. That is amazing I know. You think that it would be an easy task then if you had every day for two years just doing what you need to do for your carrier?

Here is the thing. Almost all of the students didn't pick up working hard with their careers when it was six months left of the second year! More or less they got kicked out just when things started to happen for them just to see that they didn't have the time to nurse their career. Why? Well after the two years tehy need to get jobs to support them and suddenly time was of shortage.

So what did they do the first 1,5 years? Most of them did just nothing. They figured out who they were, what style they like and they also thought they had plenty of time, two years is quite long. I only know one artist that actually took the whole two years and made a career and went big. The rest just faded away or came back with new projects later where they felt that time was against them.

What I'm trying to say is that you should not wait for everything. You need to do it right now. Everything you do will be a part of your journey, right or wrong. Still just do it like a slogan say. There is no time to wait.

A new trailer just came out of a TV series they recorded some years ago. Most music is actually from our company and Like Swimming appears as themselves in the series. I'm really happy it's getting out finally.
I was doing my debut as an actor in it as well. Or well, actor, extra is more like t. I was showing up as a janitor cleaning the floor. Unfortunately, that scene was cut off later. I guess I have to wait with my acting debut for now! Here is the trailer.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Don't push problems over.

The worst thing you can ever do is to betray your working people. One of the worst is putting off problems to someone else. I get this from time to time.

For example, I was booking a band, they demanded a kind of a big sum of money. I couldn't agree on that so I just sent it back with the note that I don't have that budget.
Suddenly I get an email from a booker in a totally another part of Europe, saying that they are the booker for this artist.

Hey, wait a minute the band applied to me saying nothing about a booker. I have for six emails talked to the band and they are not telling me they have a booker. Suddenly now when they have to negotiate, they suddenly throw in a third party?

You really hate these things when suddenly when you are negotiating with a "manager" "partner" or something else just pop up like a jack in the box and you have to start everything all over again.
What in hell where this band even negotiating a deal if there was someone else that should do that part?  If you have a signed a deal that is what it's for.

When these things happen, these artists and their people around them go straight into the blacklist of people you should not work with. If they fuck their own like this, imagine what they can do to you.

Let the right person handle the things.


I feel a lot of changes is going on. I wrote it before. And the consequences for these will be severe. I'm not so sure the industry will understand what I'm about to launch. I guess I'm in the position like bands are when you have to drop a member and you know it will be bad but you have to do it to move on and reach what you want to reach.

Well, I have come to drop the bomb.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

It's time to restart! This is new plan.

Usually, I separate my personal things from the other stuff. But today it's about me. So it will be a joint post. First since several of the social media has changed how you can post on your personal pages I have done some changes to how everything is updated.

So first if you want my posts direct in your mailbox Get your email in the box in the top right corner of the blog page.

If you want them in your feed on facebook you need to like my personal page that you find here. My personal one will only get updates when I will remember it, and I'm old and forget all the time.

Then of course if you follow my Twitter account.

And new is my Linkedin profile where I post all the blog stuff now.

Also, I link on Instagram with some nice pictures. There you can follow my hunt for the best ugly sodas in the world.

Back to the post. It's about that I feel it's almost the end of the summer and it's time to start new things for the autumn and the next year. Of course, I know a lot of things that I can't write about: But I can reveal that it will be big changes, really big changes. Everything better for me and I'm excited like never before.

Usually, I laugh around the phrase the next step. Here is the only way to describe this is the next step. We are heading into a new shift as we do every ten years and I fell that late 2018 and start of 2019 will be the beginning of the next ten-year cycle. So follow me on my social media to see the new music industry evolves through my eyes. A music industry that will be global and nothing like the industry you have seen before.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Don't pretend to be proffessional.

You just hate bands that think they are professional but all they do is saying things that just make them look the opposite. To tell you the truth I have much more understanding for a person that tells me that they are now on this and need help then the idiot that pretend to know what they are doing and do it wrong.

And here is why a manager is needed. This person should take on this kind of things.

Right now when I help my festivals booking department I bump into so many of these people that just make a fool of themselves without knowing it. Like the idiot that wanted to book a show on Tuesday ( the festival starts on Wednesday) and thought that we should call up their booker that had promised them a show on Tuesday. First of all, we don't want to book this band. Sec,ond we don't want to call up your booker to handle your mistake. And if you have a booker why are you contactting usd around the gig, isn't that they bookes job?

Or the one that wanted to discuss the contract in detail? What is there to discuss this is a showcase festival, we onlöy give you a slot, take it or leave it!

In all these cases it shines through how unprofessional they are. Sure in the bigger game you can do that. But pretending to be professional can get you sliding a long way down.

And you have to start somewhere. I have been there too. One of the smuck things I did was when I got my first band and we had decided to record a demo. Of course, we thought we where gods gift to music. And now when we were hitting the studio we had to do it in a professional way. The guitarist said we needed to line the whole recording.

I'm not sure anyone knew what lining was, I guess he had picked it up in some music magazine anywhere. Today for you who don't know here is a simple explanation. When you record you can mick the amps and record that sound (called live recording) or you can plug in the guitar in the sound console and then add the effects later. What we did know is that lining took longer time than not. If you line you have to record almost everything separately, with amps you can record in several rooms and get more done at the same time. We know you could do four songs with the mix on a live recording. But with line? We decided on three songs to be sure.

So I went down to the people who had the studio in the same house as we had our rehearsal studio. Went straight into the office and went up to the recording engineer.

- We want to record three songs and wonder if we can do it next weekend?
- Yes, the studio is empty next weekend.
- Ok, we are going to line the whole recording.

The guy looked on me a bit strange.
- Well, are sure you can do three songs and mix. It goes faster to record it live.
- No, it should be lined. We want to do a proper recording.

The guy smiled.
- So you want to line the drums as well?
- Yes, we should line everything, I said confidently.

He just smiled and said we were on. Of course, you can't line the drums, well today you can since you have pads and stuff, but this is the age where you have only normal analog drums. You just have to mick them. He was just testing if I knew what I was talking about. And I hadn't a slight clue.

And it took much longer, in the end, we just managed to record down two songs over that weekend. And the mix had to be a weekend later. So we were even in the mist around that.
The guy though later become my teacher in recording and had always fun to ask me if I wanted to line the drums.

Today you can hear me asking bands if they want to line the drums as well. Usually, it means you said something really stupid that makes you look like an amateur. Unfortunately today the joke doesn't work that good since you can actually line drums quite well.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tell me about your future!

One of the more fun things to do is to ask very simple direct questions to artists. Usually, the come up to you and describe their music in the way of...we are a band playing psychedelic pop like Kim Karnes and Sonic Youth had a baby that looks like Pete Dorothy.

Of course, that will tell you nothing and it's not even interesting either. I mean I will listen to the great songs later. What I'm interested in is where are you going. and let's pretend this is an elevator pitch ( a fast one you don't have much time). The conversation would be like this:

- So what is your plans?
- We want to release a great song, we are very good and we think we would suit the market.
- Yes, I will listen to the music later, but what is coming up next?
- We gonna start to record an album...
- No one needs an album, besides the music what is the next things with the band?
- What do you mean?

They are so focused to tell me about the music, which I rather hear on later if they are interesting enough to listen to. So this pitch is mainly to tell me what is the key points to get me to be interested to listen to the music. And I can tell you that in 95% of the cases tehy can't tell me anything.

So what is it that I'm after? The music has to be great but that is a later question. The problem is that I assume that you have a great music if you don't have that you are a hopeless case.
I want to know what key steps are you doing put the music aside. Like...

*Are you doing any live shows, any tours? This is nothing you wait for the music to get out to get.
*Taking any new pictures?
* Doing any new videos?
* Any special social media campaigns?
* What are you trying to achieve, what are the goals for the next year and your way to reach there?

A problem that I very often bump into is that people take all these things comes after your releasing music. But in reality, they can be done ahead so you won't be delayed.

Heatwave over Europe and I'm inside with all fans I how stashed over the years. When I can't walk I have almost not been out of the house. So still with all this sun, I look like a Tylenol. And it has been not much of festivals this summer either, just things abroad. Still got some cool stuff off eBay so I'm waiting right now for packages.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Another demo review!

Okay, last time I had a demo review it was on the worst kind and funny. I just got one that is more the normal stuff, but I guess it's interesting how we react to different things that the artist think we should go off on. Of course, I have taken off the markers from who it is. They are at least trying to send in stuff so they are actually better than the majority of artists. So I'm not making fun of them I'm more humble that they actually send in music, but there are certain traps you should avoid.

Hi. My name is ***** and I would be very happy if you wanted to listen to BANDNAME. BANDNAME is a rock band with classic DIY vibes, we like to work and to do things "our way".
*** First with style,  if they had read our social media we have been pronounced the death of this genre for a long time. And yes everything with garage rock, punk, metal, hard rock is really dying. Why just because they don't have any new growth. Yes, many plays the styles but the old stars are hanging on and the new bands are mainly a shallow copy of the original. And after seeing their video I can just say there is nothing new about it at all.
Then the line, we like to do things "our way". That mainly just gets me to feel that they are hard to work with. If a band like this would make it you need really big changes, but since they are doing it their way, which seems to look and sound like something from the 90:s rock scene and totally uninteresting I guess it will be hard to work with this band.

For the past 3 years, we have done over 60 gigs in Europe to collect live experience and we now feel that we are more ready than ever to take on the bigger stage.
*** Oh god this cliché is killing me. There is no bigger stage. There is no next stage. the reality is that you get to bigger things when you deserve it. And in this case, you are not ready to get to these things. You are just a mainstream DIY rock band.
60 gigs on three years! Oh my god I know artists in Nashville that do 60 gigs in a month. My normal bands that are pushing is doing around 60 gigs a year. So 60 gigs in 3 years are actually pretty low. Nothing to brag about and nothing that would get me to think it's good live.

We would like to let our music handle our action 
*** Yes I saw the video, you are mainly busy trying to do cool rock poses.

and I have therefore sent a link to one of our newest songs that are not released yet, which means that the song is not mastred yet. 
*** This is really good though. Not released and also in a stage where you can do changes.

We are playing DATE in Stockholm and on DATE in Gothenburg, two gigs that I would like to invite you to get a feel for how BANDNAME is alive and even meet us. The personal relationship is the most important for us.
*** What happened to "our way". Well yes, the personal relationship is very important. It's like point out that to practice an instrument is important to be able to play.

So what is more wrong? The things I have been posting about the last days, the future! Nothing that is going on just two gigs that are like two weeks away (and in holiday times no I wouldn't attend) and that they have an unreleased song. So should I spend time and money on someone that have two gigs and a song? No.
If they at least had written that they had 60 gigs booked in Europe the next year I would be a bit impressed. And what do they want? A record deal, a publishing deal, a management? Where are they heading, what is their plan to get to these "bigger stages" and first of all what are these stages? This is mainly just the past, get me the future.

Okey then I got this letter, I love this:


My name is NAME and I’m from Sweden. I write a lot of music and I wonder if you are interested in listening to some of the material I have on my soundcloud page?

Let me know if you’re interested.

*** You are not doing it easy for me? So I need to shoot an email back to you to get the link. The problem is that I don't know if I'm interested since I haven't heard it. And why not send the link in this mail, I mean the form you are using contains a field to put a link in.

So to be on this stupidity level no you can be the next Mozart and I will not care. No, I won't send you an email.


I'm I always this mean? Not really but it is to take candy from a five year old when they put up things to smash in all the time. Actually, my job is to present my bands in the best way and these letters over the years have taught me what to write and not write. And at the end of the day, these bands are up against people like me that knows what to write.

Still, do I need to be mean, can I just be nice to people? Sure but it wouldn't be so much to read about. Yes for the artist it would be but nobody else.

Would it be funny to get this about yourself, yes in a way not if my name was there but the critic is interesting. That is how you learn to do it right. I don't get so many mean comments on my blog. I guess that is because I'm pretty good to shovel them back up the ass on the person who writes if they are wrong in my opinion. Then sometimes it stands something mean but it's correct and then I look into it. The only thing I don't care about is people that say that I should be only nice. These are the people that grooms children to become egocentric shitheads.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Who do you thank?

Yes, it's easy to put your name on the front as long as it goes well, but soon you will find you in the back. I guess people many times forgets who to thank and why. Especially if you work behind the scenes. I guess that is why we look after each other and mainly see the artists like something coming and going. The persons behind usually stay.

This is a reality that artists usually forget. The connection is more important than your career. That is why the most successful artists usually have a great ability to see all the people in the room. All from the boss to the secretary to the cleaner. They know that these relationships are more important than their stardom when it comes around and keeps them all seen.

Forgetting a lot of people is a very risky business.

When I worked on a Tv station when I was very young the guy that handled all the artist that came to the program said, it's much better with the old artists that have been around the new shooting stars. The old know how to be humble and nice and that is why they got a long career. The young shooting stars will be just around and usually since that the stardom get to their heads.
And while I was working there he was totally right, the young ones were mainly the divas. The old that was divas they knew about and avoided if it wasn't really necessary.

The monkey in the corner in the office (see picture) has its own story. When we were promoting the band "You Say France & I Whistle". They did their shows with the whole stage full of stuffed animals. It was really cool and full of colors. Still when they were going to a USA tour flying with like four trash bags full of stuffed animals would be crazy expensive. So we thought to buy the animals at a dollar store when we got there. Still, when we got there it was just very small animals for a dollar and we needed a lot to have the big show off that we needed to do. So we found out a stuffed animal importer in the harbor in Los Angels and when we got there drove there and bought stuffed animals. And you could get assorted boxes with animals but you could also put them together in a box, like a pick and choose.

And there was a crazy amount of things so we just took all the stuff that looked weird and where big. In the end, I found the monkey, and if you pressed the belly of it farted. I knew the bass player would love that one obne so we took that as the last animal.

The show was a smash hit and the audience did something that not the Swedish audience did, they went up and started to grab the animals and had a pillow fight with stuffed animals. This was in a bar and animals were flying in the air into the bar, it was really a mayhem. Here is a short video of the whole.

So we lost half the animal there. But the band became the talk of the town and the second show and the show in NYC became legendary. In the end, when we just had a half a box of animals left when we should go home we donated them to a children's hospital. But before that, I rescued the monkey that got a home in the office.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The hard truth on showcase festivals

For fuck sake, you are not that important.

So read what is a showcase festival. Okay, so this is an arena to get your career forward. You are here to showcase not play a festival gig.

So complaining that it cost you money to go on a showcase festival I can inform you that there are bands taking their career serious enough to go to the other side of the world to play a showcase festival. So you complaining about going a couple of miles in a car are just pathetic.
Also if you start a company (which actually an artist career is) you spend at least the first three years just spending money on PR. Why would this be different just because we are dealing with music? If you don't want to spend money on your career, well stay at the local bar and play there, but don't complain that you don't go anywhere.
And never, never ask the festival how you should find your money.

Also when you only can play on weekends since you much take off time from work. Well just that you won't take time off work is a good sign you are not a proband more a hobby band. And on a Showcase festival, you try to get just pro-bands since the hobby bands are more just a hobby you are not calculating to become something you are just happy to play. That is good but don't bother people that want to take you somewhere with it. Here is more around that theme.

It's hard to fill out to apply for a showcase festival so I rather send a mail asking if I can play.
Oh good, the forms are not tricky, yes they will be tricky since you don't have your shit together. In the field to show a live video and you don¨t have one, well if you don't have one your probably not ready to be on a showcase festival. This is why these fields are there.

On a normal festival, you usually deal with booking agencies that have all this for you. Showcase festival deals with the new ones and a good sorting point is to give some simple questions like, do you have a bio, a video a Spotify link can take off quite many artists that shouldn't play on a showcase festival at all.

The backstage passes have also their own story. It started very very long ago that a band that we had on the record label was collecting backstage passes and we compete with them to have the most. They have quit now but we kept going. Over 30 years of career yes we have been on quite many events. The fun is that every pass has its own story and I can just put them in front of me and I can tell you a special story around just that one. After 2010 I have also picked up all pins and other stuff and added on the badge I'm wearing at that festival so in the bigger ones I really look like a Christmas tree.
No, we have never counted them, but they are in around the order we actually got them. These will be a pain in the ass to move when we changing office.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

As fast as possible is usally the wrong answer!

Suddenly they come and have a song ready, usually a song that should have been ready two months earlier to fit the schedule.

Why is it delayed? Well, the graphics person's rabbit died and he couldn't do it faster. The recording engineer had to go on vacation with his girlfriend and couldn't do it faster and the mastering took time since they hadn't got the right files. All reasons that I really don't care about.

Since it is already delayed most of the chances the PR team dug up is all gone you ask for a new time.

- Do it as fast as possible since we are delayed!

- Well, the delay is your own fault, also there are not real PR options so it's better to push this.

- But we need stuff to market on social media!

- It's the middle of the summer you should be touring and making shows?

- Yes but we where recording so we didn't have time to book the shows! So now we need something to promote.

This will really be an expensive facebook post. Making a song to make a post. Well do a song every post you make, no kidding there is an artist doing that with quite many followers. Still, this is the typical hobby level that you see and probably why bands don't make it later on. When you work in the pro-industry up further a realize is not just put out. It's weeks of preparing and doing stuff, waiting for the right moment and so on. The problem is that the artist is used to just throw things out without any thinking and when it takes the time they become like 5-year-old kids that can't get candy.

Oh, I got my new shelf up where I put all my silly stuff I find on tours. Yes if you read the blog of my birthday where I bought a present in form of a puking elephant, here it is. Actually, the whole office is full of kind of rather strange memorabilia. Yes, there is the hand-carved mask with Bob Marley. We bought it in some strange market somewhere? The crocodile with the hats a Ramones skateboard. The skateboard is part om my Ramones museum, the hats are from different showcase festivals. The Viking helmet has a special story from SXSW when we found a whole stash of liquor and got a real party that ends that we take pictures with the police in Viking hats. Southern Comfort is from The Great Escape party and the cowboy from Midem. Yes give us a hat and we will do crazy things. And in the roof model planes and of course riding with Crazy Frog. The planes are presents to people who spoke on early Trigger things, yes you see me do the T when we meet people from these early conferences. We are a discussion to change the office so I'm really thinking about how we would bring these strange things on?