Monday, December 30, 2019

Don't force me to listen to your songs!

You can't force people to listen to your music! The worst thing is when I'm forced to listen to shows or even worse forced to sit down and listen to some songs of a band. I have to be in the mood to find new stuff.
Like sometimes you just feel like having something simple as a burger and fries. Not a special burger composed by some famous chefs with special sweet potato fries. That is good too but you really want a classic burger. If you then are forced to eat a small gourmet restaurant dish you are not satisfied. Sometimes you just urge for a special thing. Same with music sometimes I just want to hear music that I recognize. Forcing on new music can be like be forced on the food you don't feel like.

So forcing people in the wrong time and space can be very contra-productive. I cringe when i think of the times I had to sit down with an artist and listen to three really crappy songs. Already ten seconds in I can tell this is wrong. Still, I have to sit there and in agony listen to the rest. Then afterward the artist just thinks that I will praise it to something better than sliced bread. And since its most of the time already out on CD or in the digital channels to do some constructive criticism is not to think of, what is done is done.

No, I want to choose what to see and what to listen to at the right moment. If I'm sad I really don't want a bunch of happy songs. Opposit around when I'm really happy to sit and listen to a depressed sad guy on guitar.  I guess it the reason also why you need five times before you recognize a song. Also a good reason for not expecting someone to really love a song after one listening.

People are also some kind of frightened when I say no to their free CD. There is a really big chance that I will never listen to taht CD when I come back. Mostly because I don't have a CD player. And i'm too busy with other things to just sit down and listen to a CD taht I have no clue what it's all about. here the digital links are better. No, don't give me a download card that is so many steps to get that I will not do it. Here you have to get my info channels and then present it to me and I will listen to it in my normal routine.

To find me in the right mode you have to be very lucky. No, it's always better to leave it to me when I should listen to your tracks. If you have forced it on me there is a big chance that I will say no just because I have to say something. Just because I have heard your music is no guarantee that I will like it.

Monday, December 23, 2019

You won't be disappointed

Come by to our show! We have the best show ever! You won't be disappointed!
If I had a euro for every time I get this kind of promise I could buy a small country like Lichtenstein. Yes in most cases they disappoint me.

The reason why I get disappointed varies but I have a theory about it. On the panel I was participating in the last conference we discussed how important it was to get your local market and then work outward. I agree with that. The local market is great to lean back on. The problem is that you start to think that just because you are great in your home town you are God's gift to music. When you then move up a level you confronted with other bands that are best in their town. Suddenly your special show is not top-notch any longer. I see the same pattern in sports. A kid that is great in his home area will not be certain a spot in the country Olympic team.

Because I think they are not over bragging when they tell me that they are gods gift to music. They probably are, but only in their area. Outside there they are just an ok band. What they forget is that just this year I have seen over 500 acts. And I visit a festival a week. With that I become picky. You need to be better than the whole country to start to be in level. 
It's not easy to explain to someone that belive their own press that sorry it's not good enough. You need more practice hours. You need to stand out, have more contact with the audience. The biggest problem you have to perform well without those screaming fans that you have locally.

All this mainly leads down to the acts that I usually find at a festival is not the acts from the country its in. Usually, it's the bands from abroad that shine. Mainly because they are picked among the best bands in their country. The local bands are picked more on connections and favors and they have more space for local acts.  And yes the bands that promise that they are great live tends to be local. Another reason is that they are usually on their first showcase and want it to be successful. The abroad bands already had their success by being chosen from abroad. 

For me personally, the promises usually are a marker of uncertainty. You don't need to add that you have a great show. If you have a great show you just explain the main features and I should be interested just by that. The warning sign is when I ask back what exactly is great about the show and you can't explain why just that its good.

Of course, it's a different story if its someone that has nothing to do with the band or gain from it tells me that a show is great. Then you don't have to explain, that is what you think. And your personal taste. I guess the best promotion is the get other people to talk great about your show.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Here is the secret how to break!

No there is no one that can fix your career. Stop looking! The time where an artist could just be on for the ride and do drugs and just have a party is no longer there. Yes, it was in the 80:s and 90:s mainly because you could write off things as tax defaults. Today that is no longer possible.

There is no secret label that can fix your career. You have to do the work yourself. the closest you get to someone to fix your career is the manger, but that person needs help to keep the wheels turning.

A band that I know was in this discussion. Their friends had been signed to one of the three majors. And my band thought it was cool as hell. I just told them taht it won't make any difference. The band is totally unknown and the major can only operate on their local market. The chances that this will go further is so slim taht I cit's a bigger chance that they get an offer to play on the mainstage of Swedens biggest festival. Still, the band thought it was a cool thing.

Now a year later we have the outcome. The band I had have done gigs in front of thousands of people in both USA, Asia and Europe. They have released four singles with full promotion on everyone just with the help of their management that really cares. The other band just showed up with an application for my company looking for a new A&R. My guess they already have been dropped by the record company. The only thing that happened was that the band was slowed down for a year doing nothing and in the end, the major released their songs without any PR and just some adds on some of Spotifys more horrible playlists with background music and the major labels own playlists with fake users. Okey the playlists get you numbers but in reality, the major signed band has only 500 followers and the other band has 750 followers. Nothing that really affects your career in any way.

The thing that affects you is where you have played and where you are going. Actually, the major signed band is still unknown none of the bookers at my festival did know about them. The other band they had seen in several places and considered a band to reckon with.

The funny part is that when the band was looking for an A&R they mentioned that they had seen the success from the other band as a reason to seek us out.

I see this problem every day. Actually, it was not the major company's fault that the band was failing. They should have kept on going and do the same things as the other band. Instead, they sat on the sofa and thought everything was clear, their job done, they were signed.

I guess that is what people are looking for someone to just fix your career. That magical person that just does everything and you just tag along and become rich and famous. I see this issue every day.

Yesterday it was an artist that wanted to get signed. Why? I asked. Well, he had done all the things himself and could only reach this level. Now he needed someone to take it further. Not bad thinking. But here is the problem. If he was good enough it would actually happen by itself. he has been around so much that it would have hit someone that could do something. The reason why it didn't happen is that he is just ok, nothing more. Is not utterly bad like Eilert Pilarm

And he is not super good as Elvis so a bad Dj twenty years cand do a great remix.

No, he is just ok. Not good, not bad. That is the big issue and that is the reason why he doesn't move forward. Nobody can help that position. There is no magical label or person that can fix a mediocre artist.

Then it was the old guy that was asking me if there were a lot of industry people are these days, Midem, SXSW? Yes, there is but not for an artist that only does three shows a year and has a problem to tour because they are involved in so many other projects. There is no reality for a professional to work with an artist in those conditions. It doesn't matter if the band is really really good, they are not in for taking the risk And that is the reason why they never meet any industry professionals. They won't show up for a thing like that.

The secret of how to break is to become better and better. Then surround you with people that can get you opportunities, not big ones, just opportunities in a steady stream. Then take action to these opportunities to collect the people that like what you do. This is how you break. Yes, it's brutally hard work that is on the line.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Podcast Someone has to play it first 2

The December episode of Someone has to play it first. The second show we did around this. Here we present new cool music from around the world.

Here is the first episode of the show

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

What's the point of a producer if you do it yourself.

Back to explain things from the industry again. I seems to bump into this quite many times. Today it's the urge to work with a producer. In all artist's career they suddenly start to think that a producer is a key to their success. Often with no knowledge what a producer really means.

To have a producer means that you handle your material over to another person.

To have a producer is not that a genius comes into the studio and give compliments to all your musical ideas. No, this person is here to take that stuff to another level. And in many of cases, you will not agree on the things they actually change. Yes, they ill take of that long nice drum solo that you like. Literally, they will come in and just change the look of your baby.

 The artist thinks they need to spend a lot of money on a hotshot producer. This is also a cliche that you get really often. The more money or things they have done is better! In so many cases it's not.
Yes in many ways a producer can make wonderful things with the material. The artist can learn from their creative process and discover new dimensions. But that is if the artist is open to new ideas and also have a balance to know what can be changed what can not. If they are not open then you can spend as much money you like around it.

If the artist clicks with the producer they also stay with the same producer. In the end, the producer is just as a member of the band. But then also the around and everything stays the same. In the majority of the cases, the artist goes back and starts to produce themself. And it can be a costly adventure to make that lesson. 

The problem is that the artist just thinks the producer adds some small things to the sound. A bit of echo here and some reverb there. In reality, if they do their job they take everything down and grind it and build it up again. A reason why artists just hate different producers even how successful the producer made them. A good example is Bob Rock with Metallica and AC/DC. Still, they have not got close to the albums Bob did in sales. Still, they will not work with him again.

It is the reason I don't bring in a producer until the artist knows what they want. I have spent too many hours with artists throwing out of the window stupid ideas not letting the producer doing their job and in the end, coming out with something mediocre just to pleas all member will.

More or less if you hire a creative person for projet you need to let them do their work. You hired them for their knowledge. If you try to press their things into a box fitting your idea it won't be perfect. 

Also, don't hire a person that is doing the things exactly as you would do it. If the dynamic is gone you just surrounded yourself with people that say the same. Then you just hired a bunch of friends to hang out in the studio.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Pod cast - Interview with Grace Puluczek and David Silbaugh

This interview I think as many bands and mangers should listen to! We have a talent buyer from one of the bigger festivals in the world talking with managers what to do and not do. How they care about social media numbers, how to get their attention. Also how to network on showcases and why they work in the industry. here is Grace Puluczek and David Silbaugh.

Here on Spotify and Youtube

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Don't surround you with yes-men!

My mom thinks the song is great! Yes, most moms are proud when their babies even just fart so that the source is not that reliable. Sure, you want people to like what you are doing. When you spend hard work and put your soul in there you want people to like it. Still, you need the critics to become better.

I see it too many times artists surround themself with yes-men. Sure, it feels great with people that instantly like what you have. It’s easy you don't need to change anything. At the same time usually, these yes-men can't take you further. Since they already like you, they already spread that in their network or either they lie to you to make you feel good. In both cases, it won’t take you further.

Okay, all critics are not good either. Letting a metal fan judge a folksong might not get the right result. But listening to your mom’s advice before the radio plugger can be a crucial mistake. The radio plugger has the knowledge of what the stations are looking for, your mom has no experience with that.

The best story here is when Paul McCartney plays "She loves you, yeah yeah yeah" and his father thinks it sounds to Americanized and suggests she love you yes yes yes. Luckily, they didn’t take that advice.

The worst is that People are lying the teeth out in front of the artist. I just came from an event where the artist in the usual manner invited some industry people to see a show. They promised that it was worth our time and that we wouldn’t be disappointed. I look at some old videos and was already pretty sure it would be horrible. And yes I would like to claim my 40 min back. It was pure crap. The industry people that were with me had the same experience and we were almost trigging each other to find smart formulations how much it sucked.

The next day the band was in the conference part and was talking to us. Suddenly the answers were "you where ok" "ok show" to the band. It’s like a big shimmer of white lies. And the yes culture has done this. People don't dare to tell the bad news. Instead, it’s the usual stuff that is ok and no feedback. Also, the fear of pissing someone off and later that artist breaks through. But without the feedback, I guess that will never happen.

The worst part is when you speak up and just tell the artist instructive critics and they reply that their yes-men think everything was great. Especially when you know they just told to you that the part needed that improvement. It’s like they want you to find the right criticism that they also were thinking of. I guess here you need to make a choice are you the bad guy that actually brings the bad news or the yes-man that just follows along?

It all reminds me off the expression that Bobby Curtola said, watch out to believe in your own press.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A new episode of Someone has to play it first

Yes the second program of Someone has to play it first comes out tomorrow on Cashbox Radio.

Thursday 5 of December 16:00 Swedish time (10:00am Toronto/NYC time) we got the latest music from around the world.

The program goes on re-run Saturday 7 of dec 13:00 Swedish time (7:00 am Toronto/NYC time) and on Sunday 8 of dec 11:00 Swedish time (5:00 am Toronto/NYC time). You find it on

Send new artist to

The pod version of this episode will be released 12 of December on both Spotify and Youtube.

If you want to listen to the first episode it's here on Spotify and on Youtube.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Thank you for the music Sweden I guess it's over!

The Swedish pop-wonder is now dying. Yes, we have in overtime used it as the Swedish advantage in the music industry. Now I more see how it will fade away.

The reason is politics as usual. You didn't think that a stable country like Sweden could get a national socialist party with charm and intelligence as Donald Trump to rule the country? Well, in the last opinion polls now Swedish Democrats are the largest party in Sweden. A party that was started in Sweden by nazis in The 90:s. Okay, it's two years until we vote next time. But just the mentality in Sweden has changed. Before we where international now we are national and try to find out what truly is Swedish. 

The problem is that the true Swedish identity today can just be described as dorky, geeky and hillbilly redneck. Everything that we have presented over the years in the form of cool artists is now almost dead. 

Now the hillbilly redneck mentality has taken over and people sympathize with this party that will send us back to be one just a small shit country in the outskirts of Europe. How is that possible? If the Swedish Democrats get their things together they want to cut all budgets for the study organizations in Sweden. That is the backbone for us to create, record and get new talents. They also want to take Swedish music back to its roots. Meaning that we only will get Swedish folk music. Nothing wrong with the style, but just that is nothing that we can export. 

Over the years the Swedish music industry has been weakened. Much with a huge believe in the digital will fix things. Now with the fact that Spotify is not breaking artists the rest of the export is gone. Replaced by a lot of people with a hillbilly mentality that proclaims that export is best done in your own country. 

To watch this from the outside, yes I'm one of few Swedish people out there on the international music arena, is rather painful. I have left all my membership in Swedish organizations. It was too painful to see them all getting a low redneck mentality that was going nowhere. 

The Swedish music industry is on such an amateurish level we are run over by even the smallest eastern European country. This we could have changed if we just had the backbone of a good artist evolving in the system. My gut feeling is that with a more restrained economic in the next few years and the very big risk of having an old nazi party dictates the rules and cutting off all cultural aspects will be the nail in the coffin and the end of the Swedish music wonder. 

I'm on a train going off to a meeting where the future of the music industry will is formed. Let say that Sweden is not even part of the plan. I don't feel any belonging in Sweden and rather call me an international citizen. I will get by, don't worry about me. What bothers me is how a country so easily can go from top to bottom. I just hope that people start to wake up out of the redneck hillbilly mentality and start to act. I hope it's before its too late. If you give the nationalists power and start to protest when it becomes a reality. My opinion is that its too late. If it's hard to turn around now it will be almost possible later.

I'm off to the international life where I stop talking about where I'm from. Sweden is not longer a good place to be in.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Podcast - Interview with Alice goes to Motherland

An interview I did during Waves Vienna with the Russian band Alice foes to Motherland. This is the pod version from Cashbox Radio. Here you will find out how the Russian music scene is moving and how you stay sane on a Siberian tour.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Interview with Grace Puluczek and David Silbaugh

This interview I think as many bands and mangers should listen to! We have a talent buyer from one of the bigger festivals in the world talking with managers what to do and not do. How they care about social media numbers, how to get their attention. Also how to network on showcases and why they work in the industry.

On Thursday 28 of November 16:00 Swedish time (10:00am Toronto/NYC time) my interview with David Silbaugh from Summerfest and Grace Puluczek from 3 Notes ( also Balcony TV and # Notes introduce).

The program goes on re-run Saturday 30 of nov 13:00 Swedish time (7:00 am Toronto/NYC time) and on Sunday 1 of dec 11:00 Swedish time (5:00 am Toronto/NYC time). You find it on

The pod version will be released 5 of November on both Spotify and Youtube.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Yes you are a failure!

You have every right to fail. I don’t know why failure is such a high thing in the music industry? Okay, it’s high in the rest of the market but still, I just find it very present that you must succeed. Inside the startup world in some cases, it’s a plus that you have done some failure missions. In the music industry, it’s that you changed the style and didn’t want to be a sellout.

It seems in the music industry or at least in artist sections it seems like a taboo. Things like artists think it’s bad that they post videos when it’s not much audience. It looks like failure to them that is was no audience. That can also be a lack of marketing or other things. Same when their lasts single didn’t go as planned, then they did this artistic thing to not be a sellout. If you have any critic against a song, well then you don’t get it, but my 25 000 spins on Spotify prove you wrong. In the music industry, you never fail. That is so wrong, this industry is a big failure in all. So, come and join the party.

In many cases, it seems like at first failure the artist gives up. Seen many bands split up after just some small hiccups. Just because everything is not going totally straight to the top doesn’t mean you should quit.

Even worse is when they become totally paralyzed doing nothing because failure is not an option it seems better to wait until everything is perfect. Then the perfect opportunities never arrive, and they just wait and wait until it just all fades away.

Also not take the risk or a chance in the chance to become a failure clouds the judgment many times. Ask for too many assurances before talking the risk usually ends is doing nothing and ends in the fading sections.

So, what are you risking? You do a small shitty show in the sticks. Is that a failure? At least you played, at least you got out and got booked. Not so much audience. Not the best sound system or lightning? Still, if you converted the few who were there it was a success. I get a feeling that many artists look at it as a failure.

But even if it was a complete failure it's ok. You learned something around it. And that knowledge is good. I guess there is nothing that is a failure if it doesn’t kill you and you learn something.

I have done many failures and I actually have talked about them in panels. In fact, those panels are the most successful ones. So, if you think about it the failures were just the road to success. Stop thinking everything must be perfect. That is the way that your mental health can get deteriorate. Just shake it off, learn from it. I admit that yes that was not the best choice, but I learned from it and now I move on. Turn the failure to a strength.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

New podcast Interview with Tommy Rehn

And here goes the first Podcast live on Spotify and Youtube. I do an interview with Tommy Rehn in Barcelona discussing his career and his son's career to be a manager to your child and comparison how DIY in the 90:s is not that far from DIY now and what is needed. Yes you can listen straight her on the site.

Or use the Spotify link

On Youtube, it's here and here you can also see the video Tommy is telling about in the Pod.

Here is the link to the playlist

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Interview with Alice goes to Motherland

I'm excited finally the first artist interview of mine is airing on Cashbox Radio. I did this interview in September so it has been a while to get everything in order.

On Thursday 21 of November 16:00 Swedish time (10:00am Toronto/NYC time) my interview with Alice goes to Motherland a Russian band. We are talking about the Russian music industry and about new music and how to survive a tourn in Siberia.

The program goes on re-run Saturday 23 of nov 13:00 Swedish time (7:00 am Toronto/NYC time) and on Sunday 24 of nov 11:00 Swedish time (5:00 am Toronto/NYC time). You find it on

The pod version will be released 28 of November on both Spotify and Youtube.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How to curate something if you do not see anything?

When I'm invited to a festival as the booker of my festival I feel obligated to see as much as possible of the lineup that is presented. They actually make my job as a curator of my lineup easier. Suddenly I get a lot of artists straight in front of me. I get to see the live show and easier can judge if they would fit my new lineup. What I can't really get is the people who don't go on the shows? They just show up for their panel the rest of the time they just do tourist stuff. 

You see me often write that I need the doer. I want the decision-maker. I don't need the CEO of a festival if that person does not book any artists. Even if they can affect the process,  if they need to go to someone else for permission, well then its that person that gives the permission I need to invite. So my other observation is why does a festival just invite people that okay have some political power but really just reports back what is happening in the industry, not leading it.

The third mistake is that they take on decision makes that are just buyers. The reason why the bigger festivals right now have very bad lineups is because of this. You can see how most of these festivals have paid entrances not curated. A lot built up with hype number then no sense of discovering new things. Getting a festival just because they are big, but not book anything without your export office paying a large fee is just contra-productive.

Just because a festival is big doesn't automatically make it important. Same with people. Too many have the perception that just uses they get the owner of the country's biggest festival you have achieved something. Sorry, too many times I find these persons just jaded to see new artists. They just treat it as a free holiday. More interested to find a good restaurant to have a nice dinner then see new music. 

Yes, it not easy finding the new good stuff. Sometimes I just wish everything was just over. I rather would have been down at the local pub with a beer. Then the band that is special just appar and you are excited again. When you don't have the strength to stay until the interest comes up you can just stop working with it. 

Also, a reason I like shorter showcases like 20 minutes. If it sucks a new artist comes along pretty fast. Also that the showcase end before midnight. Trying to see a band 3 in the morning when your panel is 10 a clock is just bad.

No, it's really not easy to create a good showcase festival. It's not just to bring people and set up good bands. There are things you need to think of both once and twice. A big problem is also how to get things done and also discover how is important and who is not. At the same time showcases now seem to be a standard and a phenomenon that is on the big rise.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Music Showcase Greece and others

Okay, I'm on my way to quite many festivals in the next weeks. First Swiss music in Bern tomorrow where I'm the judge of their competition, will be great.

The week after that is Monkey week in Spain and we will see some cool rock music.

Then we are checking the status of turbo-folk in northern Macedonia.

and finally, in December I'm going to Greece on Music Showcase Greece witch asked for a video. I got them in my normal style.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

New interview going live on Cashbox

I'm excited finally the first episode of interviews is airing on Cashbox Radio. I did this interview in September so it has been a while to get everything in order.

On Thursday 14 of November 16:00 Swedish time (10:00am Toronto/NYC time) my interview with Tommy Rehn is on how to deal with the new music industry, how to be a dad and a manger and various tricks to get noticed. And of course a lot of new and old music.

The program goes on re-run Saturday 13:00 Swedish time (7:00 am Toronto/NYC time) and on Sunday 11:00 Swedish time (5:00 am Toronto/NYC time). You find it on

The pod version will be released 21 of November on both Spotify and Youtube.

And I'm aiming to publish a new episode a week....yay.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sorry USA you ain't cool any longer!

Have you ever gone to a high school reunion? If you have I bet you have experienced that the cool kid suddenly has become an average Joe and the geek or the silent kid is doing amazing stuff. The worst part is when the cool kid still thinks they are cool and try to get everyone back in their old roles. It's just pathetic.

Right now USA is that old cool kid that desperately tries to tell us that their old coolness still matters. Sorry, it's just pathetic.

Austin is not weird any longer. It has become just a suite and ties. Not talking music just startups. NYC has no studios in Manhattan any longer since no one can afford the rent. LA put down gig places for condos. CBGB is now a cloth store. 

So if you think that USA is your gateway to a career or move to LA or NYC to get closer to the happenings you are on a totally wrong road.

USA is losing much right now. Mainly because they don't have support systems for artists or professionals. Right now even the smallest and poorest countries have it. And it makes a remark in the industry. Suddenly these countries take places on showcases and get cool collaborations with the hottest bookers. Connections to the best industry professionals. Suddenly the new cool sound will come from Asia, Africa or some other place.

You can also see this in the evolution of showcases. The rest of the world these are booming. But in USA they are disappearing. 

Another big issue is the visa rules in USA. They are just so imbecile that I rather send bands to Russia because its less BUACRACY! And its costly and to no point. Sorry, just this could put USA in The losing team. Now there is much more to consider that is just bad in USA. 

What happened to put yourself in a van and tour USA to success? Ohh that what is over twenty years ago. Can't be done now. Mainly because media is so scattered. Another reason is that the gig places around USA are in very bad shape. You have a bigger chance of getting good updated sound and light in eastern europé. Much because USA bought in equipment in The 80/90:s and since then had few updates especially in smaller places in the countryside. 

Also, tickets are harder. USA has a big share of poverty and soon you get out of the big cities the money is not exactly flowing.

Still, USA acts like we need them. With new markets opening up with millions of people to be number one market is soon gone and acting like to cool kid when your tupé is not matching and hanging on the side, well you probably have to do something before you can get honky-tonk back on the chart. The American dream has become middle-aged.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Nice or mean?

It is a focus on the hate on the internet. Yes, the algorithms are the focus. They are designed to bring topics that make us react. Since we mainly just react with a thumb up or a heart to things we like and it takes us to be angry to write something the algorithms just give us cute cats and bad decisions made by politicians.

And the same here in my blog. Most of the posts are things I write about are things that I react around. Things that annoy me or I want to change. The opposite is the post where I just celebrate something like it was the best thing since sliced bread. It's never anything in between. Why? Easy it won't get my readers to react. Yes, I'm stuck in the algorithm trap where I have become a react junkie?

I guess I'm not so much a react junkie. I seldom look at my numbers or how many likes or so. Still, back in my head, I feel I'm just here nagging. You can hear me say on panels that I'm an old grumpy guy wrting negative things. I would like to experiment with the things I create. So can I write three positive posts in the blog? Just leave the old grumpy person for awhile?

Shouldn't be that hard? I guess it can. In my feed, I see just incredibly stupid things. So much stupidity that I'm reading the book "Ten good reasons to leave social media". I just tried to make five nice posts on Facebook, thinking that if I made five positive posts I can make someone happy. Not hard to do the posts, but to really mean them? So if that is hard, doing three positive posts will be even harder. and would I lose readers if I started to just write ordinary things?

Maybe because a lot of the posts on social media are just a celebration of stupidity. Like one I saw a singer telling the newspaper that he is a rockstar and a boss in a cultural institution. Reality is that if he really was a rockstar he would not have time to work as a grey suit on an institution. The rockstar myth was that he got a friend to release his songs online in USA and went over and did three free gigs!

Yes, I can expose the cracks in that story or I can celebrate it.

I can just write, good work as a comment on the post. Or just like an old grumpy guy just write that he is nothing in reality. Or like I do right now just pass it and think how much stupidity it is and then comment it in a totally different area.

I guess all this leads to my next project. I guess the interviews in the pod will be more positive. In interview situations, it's so much harder to be mean to people taht sit straight in front of you. At the same time will the lack of reaction material stop people to listen to the pod? To be able to listen to something you need to have an interest and the conversation should lead you somewhere.

I guess we have to wait and see. Like always I have some ideas to try out. And like always nine out of ten will fail. And to play around with formats can be kind of tricky.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Someone has to play it first...the podcasts

I got the Airwaves. The first smaller program will test shoot today. A program to discover new music with the catchy title "Someone has to play it first". A show where I play things I just heard or discovered. I will do this show monthly so it will be re-runs of it. Right now the two re-runs are

Wednesday 23 of October - 2 pm EDT (Toronto, NYC time), 20:00 Central European time.
Thursday 24 of October - 3 am EDT (Toronto, NYC time), 11:00 Central European time.

You hear it on Cashbox Radio

Later on, we will have the premiers on Cashbox and then add the podcasts. This time we add the podcast directly. Here is the program as playlists on both Spotify and Youtube. So just click under here and you get the whole show.

In this episode, we actually also reveal the address to send songs it is you need to listen to the show to also get the secret password to have a better chance to be on. Artists that I have at this time is

The Magnettes
Alona Alona
We Bless This Mess
Eleonore Léone
Cheap Tobacco
Royal Prospect
The Callahan

Monday, October 21, 2019

If you write songs about the same theme over and over again. I just can’t stand it.

I was at a small concert today at a startup party. It was a young new artist playing. She played three songs with the same theme. Already half of the first song I was bored. Sure, it was an important subject but the feeling I got was more, deal with it it’s an industrial world problem.

I guess we will be bombarded with songs about the environment in the next years. Yes, a really important issue. So important that it should not be handled by the lonely guy with a guitar that seems to appear at every party. I just see how these guys to get more girls will sing slow ballads how the forest is dying. To be honest, instead of singing go out and do something about it.

Even love songs can be very frustrating. I really don’t care if you have been dumped by your boyfriend. The reason is that your last three songs were about three different guys that dumped you. The theme has been done to many times. You need to change theme.

Yes, I know that Talyor Swift wrote more than half of her songs around her dates going bad. Still, also the reason why her songs probably won’t be that classic. This is also why all rappers only do three albums, after that they run out of rhymes around guns and hoes.  The rapper that survives add themes.

If you have the same theme please also write it in a smart way. With that, you can get around it. Like Have you ever seen the rain? No, it’s not about the weather.

So, write songs with the same theme in a smart way. Even better attack the issue in another way or angel. Mainly because most songs are about love, victory, redemption. And yes, we can get another song like that, but you need to write it smart. Like 99% of the songs are not smart in that way.

I guess that is also the thing that gets a great lyricist from a bad one. Sure one-hit-wonder is okay, but surviving in the long run you need to be able to change the subject or the angle.

Another problem is also if you start mixing in things that are not timeless. All the kids today wonder why Offspring mentions Rikki Lake in Pretty Fly For a White Guy. Or why he bought Vanilla Ice? Don’t he like ice cream? To make it timeless it has to fit all time.

The best is also if it can be interpreted in different ways. Like what is Hotel California really about? A guy taking in on a motel? About a guy getting caught in drugs? Or what the writer said in an interview, about the music industry? The more dimensions you can get in probably the better the song will be.

And for f*ck sake don’t repeat too many times. No, it’s not fun to hear about diamonds.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Someone has to play it first

I got the Airwaves. The first smaller program will test shoot today. A program to discover new music with the catchy title "Someone has to play it first". A show where I play things I just heard or discovered. I will do this show monthly so it will be re-runs of it.

The premier is today 12:30 Toronto time. That is 18:30 Central European time (Stockholm).
You hear it on Cashbox Radio

Re run of the program will be

Monday 21 of October - 7am EDT (Toronto, NYC time), 13:00 Central European time (Stockholm).
Wednesday 23 of October - 2 pm EDT (Toronto, NYC time), 20:00 Central European time.
Thursday 24 of October - 3 am EDT (Toronto, NYC time), 11:00 Central European time.

Yes, it will come out as a podcast. We will announce that asap.

In this episode, we actually also reveal the address to send songs it is you need to listen to the show to also get the secret password to have a better chance to be on. Artists that I have at this time is

The Magnettes
Alona Alona
We Bless This Mess
Eleonore Léone
Cheap Tobacco
Royal Prospect
The Callahan

Thursday, October 17, 2019

In memory of Jay Frank.

Even if it was expected it came as a shock when it happens. Jay Frank's death was not that expected even though he had suffered badly for the last year of cancer. Or yes you sometimes know the outcome, we all going to die. Just this went very fast. And it always happens to the wrong people. It’s always the nice really friendly people that are going away.

I meet Jay by accident, like so many of my people in my network. I was on CMJ invited by Robert Singerman, another friendly and awesome guy. I had You Say France & I Whistle there playing live. I was in a real networking mode and took as many meetings as possible. And in the last hour before I should go to the gig place and just help the band. I took the decision to also visit the exhibition in the basement.

Down there were some regular tech companies. The usual startups that you never know if they even will survive the next week. But there were also Aileen Crowley. She had a new company called Digsin (short for Digital Single). Their business model was to give away mp3:s for free like a subscription model. The exchange was to build a fanbase with all these people that signed up. It was kind of a crazy idea. I’m a fan of crazy ideas and it resonates a string inside me that this was beyond the normal company. I invited them to go to the show just to see the band and see if we could do something together

That show was really a disaster. Still, it’s one of the most important shows ever for me. It was only visited by six, seven people. All these people became important to me later. And one was Jay Frank the owner of Digsin. I didn’t know since he wasn’t introduced down in the basement. But I was smart enough to say hello to all the people that came and got his card. And even though the show was crap Jay saw the potential and we had conversations about how to work with Digsin.

It’s not very common that I find people with the same nerdiness around the music industry. No, we are not interested in music in that way musicians are interested in what plugin or amp you use. No, we are interested in the powers behind the scenes and the marketing. Suddenly I had found a person that was on the same wavelength as me.

I could talk for hours with Jay around how the industry was changing. Exchanging information and visons. And I started working with Digsin. They signed both Like Swimming and The Magnettes. It gave me really rare opportunities on tour with Jay talking. Also getting close. We have invaded Jay and Lindas house forcing them to have a Halloween party to have the band playing. We crashed at Jay:s parents house on one tour, even, went on Zombie gigs outside NYC.

One really memorable night was out in Barcelona. The band was tired and went to bed around midnight. Jay and I keep ongoing. Seven in the morning waking the band up in our apartment. Jay and I got in singing in full volume “Heeeey Macarena” after spending the whole night in a 90:s music club dancing. Actually, the photo of The Magnettes first single was taking at the same time in that apartment.

I can just ramble on with different strange and cool memories that I have shared with Jay. Or how many people that I have met through him that has meant all for my career. And we are many that have a lot to thank Jay Frank for a lot. You just can see how the internet just filled up with people owning their careers and good memories with Jay when the news of his death came out. He was one of kind and I’m so blessed that I have met him and had a chance to spend so much time around with him.

The photo is when Jay manages to get to The Magnettes show in London this spring. The last time I meet Jay in person. And in Jay fashion, we got to a restaurant eating and discussion until they throw us out, this photo is just after that.

Thank you, Jay, for all, you went away far too early. I will miss you so much. And yes, I will do the thing we talked the last time on the phone this summer. I’m sorry that I can’t take you on the journey I know you would have liked it. Still, thank you for the advice to just do it. I just took the one important step yesterday with that in mind.

"I know this is not goodbye"

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Don’t expect people to like your music.

I got one of those emails when the artist wishes that I should give feedback on their songs. I’m a bit reluctant to do that. You can see in the new situations with bloggers and magazines they have almost all of them take a step to just write about things that excite them. Bad reviews don’t really exist any longer. Instead, it’s like a silent agreement that if you don’t hear back after you got the thank you for sending in the files, if I’m interested, I will get back to you.

But all artist wants that feedback, why I don’t understand, but I’m getting to that. The feedback has become an industry at different sites. When you pay for it, they actually give you some feedback. The problem with this I that it’s just bloggers that in many cases just your average joe sitting and give feedback. Much of the feedback is also nonsense. Here is some feedback from bloggers that passed on The Magnettes track “Shakes (Falling in Love).  See the video here:

1.  I love the beautiful composition of the song. It lacks good vocal energy though.

2. The video looks great! I just wasn't as into the vocals throughout this one. Thanks for sending it our way, though!

3. The track is not bad but I don't feel it was 100% a fit for us.

4. Some really great stuff, loved the aesthetic. Vocals were on point. Unfortunately it felt like it was missing the electronic dance music element to fit with our curation. Appreciate you sending over though!

5. I like the vocal and melody So much energy inside that, your music has a bit of classical mix with modern music.

6. The track sounds catchy, but it was too bright, epic and expansive for us.

7. Thank you for thinking of us! Unfortunately, we weren't as drawn in by the production.

8. Great visuals. Song is pleasant but not something i'm finding v fresh in terms of prod / sounds.

9. Music video looks awesome - wasn't that crazy about the verse though.

Half of them love the vocals, the other half hate the vocals, Half hate the production other half loved the production. The track actually got really good exposure though over 30 bloggers shared it and reviewed it (of course when they do a review, they just write positive). Also, the track had radio rotation all over Europe.

But what is striking even though they are saying no to the track they are still just positive like comment number five. And I feel many times that the artist is just after the kick that people should say how good they are. Just like your closest friends or your mom. Why would you want that feedback where everything is good. Or just random feedback like these ones above here.

When people then seek out my point, I really don’t know what they are after. Just the random hit things that I should like your music, or can I really tell you that your latest song is really shit? I still don’t know I don't hear back from these ones I just told I didn’t like their latest song. On the other hand, the woman in the grocery store didn’t like it when I called her kid ugly either, but that kid was damn ugly.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Please get the gatekeepers back!

No there is no human right to give out music! Even though many crappy musicians seem to think that. I just had a nutcase that really made me think the forbidden words “it was better before”.

This particular idiot wants to change Spotify link system, so it fits his different releases with different names. No, the world won’t adapt to your stupid artist's uncertainty. We have been back and forward with his name change for three months and have changed in at least six different versions. For what? Nothing really. It’s just that he doesn’t understand how to separate things from his account through Spotify artists. Will it change his career? Not really his eight listeners probably will not see any difference.

The gatekeepers were the people that we're keeping these loose cannons of the map. Right now, we have a missive brown wave of shit music that has no existence justification at all. Yes, there are so many musicians that claimed that the gatekeepers were the reason that their great music never reaches an audience. Know what, without gatekeepers, your music still didn’t reach an audience. So now they claim that if they don’t get success is because they don’t get into Spotify’s playlist.

It’s because they really do bad music. In pure English “they suck”. And we would need a tool to sort these worthless people out, so the professionals don’t have to waste so much time with their nonsense.

There is nothing wrong about doing music on a hobby level. The problem is when a hobby person starts to think that they would get the same benefits as a professional hard-working musician get. No, you won’t get the same status, money or att3ention since you are not working as hard as the people that get this kind of treatment.

Is this a problem, really? Not to compare with the environmental problem we have. In the small scale of the music industry, it starts to be a problem. It’s getting harder and harder to be exposed to new good music. Either you get exposure to the massive brown wave or you had back to old stars that you feel is safe. And in this new world, all music is presented.
I hear more and more normal listeners, not the once that are super interested in music. No, the average joe that complains that it’s so hard to find new good music. Even in the younger ages.
The live industry seems to be the new gatekeeper. They can’t fill their venues with the brown wave shit like the digital outlet can. Here you need to curate your entertainment and get the audience to trust your choices.
If the digital outlet would ever become a gatekeeper again. They need a system like if you don’t get over 10 000 streams the first month, they just take the song off the internet in total. Impossible I know, but still, I can dream about it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The world of empty streams sounds metallic!

Just saw a friend posted about a local band being signed to a bigger festival organizer. Never heard about the band before so I was a bit curious. I had heard about their former band though. It was one of the metal bands that was doing things very fast and very costly until they crashed after a couple of years.

So, they reformed and changed name. Also, that kind of a stupid mistake but usually the aftermath of an emotional poor decision.

Anyway, I saw that they were picked up by the only metal label left in Sweden. Usually, people brag around that but this label even though they are owned by a major is counted as a small shit label with no power whatsoever. And since I haven’t heard a shit around the project, I was a bit puzzled. Why brag and share this shit? As usual, I just went into Spotify and checked the numbers.

Pretty good numbers, to good numbers to be unknown like that. Most songs were between 500 000 to 300 000 each. But they only had 10 000 monthly listeners. Also, they only had 5000 followers. Something strange here.

So, as it is right now you just check the next outlet. YouTube, I mean here is where all the kids are and where most of the development of labels are done for the moment.  And here we go not a video over 25 000 streams. Most just with a just over 100 streams.

Back to Spotify and you can see how they are playlisted by this small company on totally useless metal playlists to get numbers. Empty streams that have no real value. I would love to know who the stupid festival organizer is that took on the band. They are in for a nasty surprise when then band maybe only draw like 20 people for the festival.

Yes, the industry in the lower regions is still pumped by these fake numbers. The bigger section is sobering up. I’m surprised that bigger people are still falling for these pumped-up fake numbers.
What the big players are talking about is how many real fans you can draw live. The digital numbers are totally irrelevant in the industry that is now developing. We are talking real fans and how they can react on stuff. The funny part is that the digital side is totally lost on this. The programmers and other digital gurus that think that we still going to use computers to find the next band is damn too high still. We are going back from digital to the real world and experience to save the music industry. And we are leaving the world of empty bot streams behind in the graveyard of myspace numbers.
I’m also not surprised that it’s a metal band we are talking about. The biggest metal/hard rock magazine in Sweden jus closed. And in this genre, they started late do migrate to the new world and were laughing that they were rising in the sales charts. They were not rising it was the charts that fell and adopted to their low level.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Why I Go to Showcase Festivals, Forget Facebook Time (Cashbox Story)

It's summer and I thought I would do some reruns (yes I have learned well from my years in the TV industry). This is the chronicle I do in Cashbox Magazine Canada and Record World. It's longer versions of any topic I have done in the blog like I wrote with a deeper dive into the subject.

Here is the link to Cashbox Magazine Canada, visit them to find other writers also.

I did two festivals on the same weekend. First Focus Wales where The Magnettes was playing. Then New Skool Rules where Adée and Tale the Rapper where playing. So, during six hectic days I did two panels, two speed meetings sessions, over 30 booked meetings sessions. Traveled to two countries and two cities. Saw over 50 showcases and meet people. Yes, it is a hectic time right now. And it di not stop there. Many more festivals came in May and they all collided. Youbloom in Dublin, Midem in Cannes and Medimex in Bari and of course Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan at the end of June.

Some people ask why I'm doing so many festivals. I guess we can reveal now why. Three years ago I decided to build a network all over the world so I have the contacts myself to evaluate different offers and situations. In the end, I want to have such a vast network that I can break an artist on a global scale. I guess right now I'm pretty close. They have been joking around me in meetings I always answer, well I know someone that can provide that if they asked a specific knowledge or service in a certain area.

The thing is that we are all connected digitally. A rather interesting discussion came up during Enea Springbreak, the importance of the physical meeting. It seems like some people mainly think if you are friends on Facebook they are included in your network.I feel that Facebook is a good tool to just keep up but the real stuff where things happen is live face to face. It is in these situations you find these small but crucial leads will go to something bigger. Just the way people say stuff is revealing. All that is lost in social media. And you can easily see when a person is out networking in a physical world move very much faster than the ones that rely most on social media contacts.

If your manager, booker, record label only visits one event in the year and it's always the same, you probably have hit a dead end. That was the old days when you just needed to go to Midem once a year and do your business. Today that is not good enough. Yes, Midem is a crucial meeting point but the industry is going so fast that if you only do it once a year you will miss out on so much new fast information that is not on social media. They are just in the discussion between people in the industry on these events.

It seems like the industry have seen my work with this network going on and now we are getting more and more projects that are based on this whole concept. Today’s music industry is built on opportunities not a built-in same old system like in the 90’s where if you have distribution and a co-publishing in an area was enough. Times have changed and we need more real facetime not social media time.

Still, a lot of work must be done. Specially to maintain the whole thing. I guess I must wait and see when enough is enough.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Risk Is Part of the Game (Cashbox Story)

It's summer and I thought I would do some reruns (yes I have learned well from my years in the TV industry). This is the chronicle I do in Cashbox Magazine Canada and Record World. It's longer versions of any topic I have done in the blog like I wrote with a deeper dive into the subject.

Here is the link to Cashbox Magazine Canada, visit them to find other writers also.

I often hear from artists that I work with these two questions. #1: Is this good for us, I mean the best we can put our money into? #2 How big are the chances we get something out of it?

It doesn’t matter what the topic is. The only time they gladly spend money is when they buy new instruments or record, sometimes even videos since it’s fun and centers around them. When it comes to PR, traveling, meetings and other activities that cost money, these questions arise. I’m fascinated that it’s only in the creative business I experience this. It is the same in the movie industry, but I never really got that in the normal startup race that is out there.

If you start a company, you must, in most cases, invest money. Let say you have opened a small shop selling clothes not in the center of town but on a backstreet. It goes pretty well. Suddenly you get an opportunity to get a good spot at the top of the busiest streets in town. You also get to double your floor space. It's a great opportunity. Of course, you need to invest in the new store if you take the space. You would have to buy more inventory, hire more staff and with expansion, you must do PR for your new location. A lot of work and risk.You can be safe keep your old shop, just keep going. Or take the chance and start something bigger.

Would you expect the landlord of the new space to get you the store free from rent in 6 months? I mean you take a risk by moving there! Of course not, and most people don’t think that would work. In the first place, the landlord doesn't give a damn of your risk. He has space and takes a risk by not having it rented out. And you are a risk too. If you fail in your expansion you might quit, and he must look for another tenant and that can make him lose money.

This is pretty simple stuff, huh?
Why on earth is the same concept so hard to grasp around a creative career? Yes, you need to invest to make your career bigger. The more risk the faster things go. No risk at all and you keep it on the same small level.

Think about the big store as a showcase festival. No, they don't want to hear your whining on investment. They can easily replace you like the landlord can choose another tenant. Yes, if you are important it’s a different story. If it is an apple store being opened the landlord probably can let it go free in a couple of months for longer tenancy. But you are not, you are the small store getting an opportunity.

Can the landlord tell you that it will be risk-free to move in? Or if it is the best choice?
Of course not. It's a risk that you can never calculate. Maybe the city makes some changes in the plan out and suddenly this busy street becomes quiet. Maybe other stores move in and the area is not hip right now and people go in other directions. Or people are buying things online and they won't visit your store. No one knows if it is worth it, it's a gut feeling. Best choice? Well, maybe you get an offer from an even better location pretty soon. But it has taken you four years just to get this offer, so it's not likely that it will happen. Same here, you must have a gut feeling.

Same with a showcase festival. No one will know in advance what the outcome will be. You must have a gut feeling, a mind to take a risk and be a doer to get something done. In all these cases to minimize the risk you must work hard. Hard work will always bring the risk down. A good way to not take a risk is to not do anything special and just go with the flow.
No, we don't care that you take a risk. The days when you have grown bigger the less risk you have to calculate. But stop whining about it. You don't hear shopkeeper going around complaining around the risk they have to take. To them it's natural. It should be natural for people in the creative industry too.

Risk is always part of the game.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Taking Down a Song Online (Cashbox Story)

It's summer and I thought I would do some reruns (yes I have learned well from my years in the TV industry). This is the chronicle I do in Cashbox Magazine Canada and Record World. It's longer versions of any topic I have done in the blog like I wrote with a deeper dive into the subject.

Here is the link to Cashbox Magazine Canada, visit them to find other writers also.

We received a message last week from an artist that we have with our distribution. “We are going to release some new songs and we want to clean up a bit on our Spotify list, can you take down some songs down before Wednesday?” (we received this request on Tuesday)
Please note that this is not a professional artist and doesn’t have many streams.
With this behavior they will never get anywhere, at least I hope they don’t. One of the critics in the early days of digitalization was just that song you might like will disappear from your collection. And by doing this you fulfill that fear. Before this was much more of a problem since you were giving it out in physical form and harder to erase. Today people seem to think that releasing a song is like making a Facebook post.

Another cliché you get from artists all the time is “this is the best song I have ever written”. The new stuff is always the best. If it was up to the artist, they would in many cases just take everything down so you could only listen to their newest creation “that is the best”.
The fact is that most of the fans would rather listen to that old hit instead of this new song. If the best always was the best, an artist's career would just go straight forward and every new release will be bigger then the last one. Never seen that happen.

Is it unusual that artists hate their old songs? No not really, most of them do. Mainly because they genuinely think the last, they have written is the best. Also they are tired of them (performing as well as hearing), but in some cases the artist is thankful that the song became a hit. I was touring with Motorhead and Lemmy explained in a very sober way his hate/love relationship to “Ace of Spades”. “It’s not the best Motorhead song, but I know that many of the fans are there to hear “Ace of Spades”. I would be stupid to exclude that song off the set list”. Depeche Mode has the same relationship with their breakthrough hit “Just Can’t Get Enough”. It has been on the set list for years, though the band has grown now with totally other styles of music.

The most usual comment on takedowns is “This song is not our style anymore”. If Depeche Mode did that only their last album would be up online. By saying that it’s not your style is also kind of stupid. You can hear if it is Depeche Mode but the style has change with it and people love to follow how an artist develops. There is always a difference between the artist's first product to the last, it would be very strange otherwise.
Then if people like the song it will come back online, if it’s missing it’s always someone that will provide it and it won’t benefit the artist on any monetary level. We have seen stupid attempts to take things off. Remember when Beyoncé found not so that flattering picture of her from Superbowl and tried to ban it from the internet? Suddenly everyone wanted to see the picture and for awhile you could only find that picture of Beyoncé. Even today, if you Google Beyoncé Superbowl you get that picture in the top searches.

Then it can be things that you might don’t want people to see. As a huge Ramones fan my favorite clip is a very early show, it might even have been the first one on CBGB’s. It’s far from the well-oiled machinery that The Ramones became. Still for me as a fan it is still really cool. Look just how Dee Dee are trying to do some cool moves and get lost in the song and smash the mic on the floor. Joey is more of a poser then a singer. How un-tight the playing is. How in the second song, they start arguing what song they are supposed to play. No, you can’t imagine this act doing over 2000 shows and would become one of the most influential bands in the world. I guess the band wouldn’t have been that keen on this coming out. It’s a documentary and you can find small parts that later became this cool things like Dee Dee’s shouting 1,2,3,4 which he actually screws up in this clip.

For me this is the start of the journey, if they don’t want me to see this because they want to be cool all the time, they won't go that far. Still what is cool today will be out of style tomorrow. Just look at pictures from 15 years ago and you are wondering what you were doing. Why that haircut, why that style of clothes? Because its was cool then not now, but there is no reason to go in and destroy all those pictures.

Luckily the reason why songs stay up is usually that the record label or partners around the artist has a say in what is going up and down. Taking down songs is a kind of amateurish move.

In my case, if any of my artists just suddenly want a song off it’s a very clear sign of that their career is over and it’s time to drop that artist. By taking down songs you know that you might have several difficult things ahead of you. This artist does not have what it takes to be a career building artist so just drop them. They are just releasing songs not thinking if they can up to their standard in five years.

No, keep the songs online, the audience knows you are developing. And don’t your best fans deserve to hear your old stuff? Or are you afraid not to look cool?