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.