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Author Topic: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...  (Read 11145 times)

Nick Sevilla

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2011, 10:18:10 pm »

Bubba Kron wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 17:21

This shit is so depressing!!  The irony is the that the internet should have brought the world together, but it really just puts everyone in groups and weakens the machine that held us all together!!!!

The focus group thing is just a shame, because thats exactly how the fast food restaurants pick their new menus!!!!!

This is seriously like the Matrix movie, literally!!


"there is no hit record"...
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wwittman

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2011, 11:27:39 pm »

jrmintz wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 15:53

Bill, what do you think about the idea of reaching out to older listeners who will pay for music? It always gets groans when I say it, but I really believe they're out there. They're just very difficult to put your music in front of so they know it's available. Everyone seems to get curiously passive at the point of trying to reach boomers or gen-x-ers. Obviously there's no corporate reward in it, but is it impossible or just harder than most people want to work?



it's part of why people thought Starbucks should replace radio... but it HASN'T

it's a big audience if you can tap it, and it's somewhat less likely to download illegally, but it is, as you say, hard to reach.

20 somethings follow each other and get excited.
50 somethings generally don't, to anywhere near the same degree.
50-70 yr olds aren't talking to each other on Facebook and Twitter (in meaningful numbers) telling each other what the cool new thing is to check out.

Carole King and James Taylor are out there touring and filling venues with that audience and doing well on the road.
But will they buy a new RECORD from either of them? I still suspect mostly not.

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William Wittman
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Fletcher

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2011, 09:29:55 am »

Jim Williams wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 11:34

It is typically a 2 year program, either you graduate to something better or you drop out. There are no long term employment opportunities in that field. Those currently employed will find that out as those before them have.


The friend I had dinner with is a 20+ yr. veteran, and definitely a "music guy"... not a "newbie" - not a "hipster kid".  He recently saw an opportunity to "change the world"

I'd never seen him this excited about a band, and when he played their music for me, I have to say I think he was spot on -- which I suppose could be a problem as I rarely like stuff that becomes "mega hits" -- but this was seriously good, and I agree with him -- could have been a "game changer".

I also wonder if Frank Zappa could get signed today.  For that matter, I wonder if The Rolling Stones could get signed today... though I'm sure there is another "Right Said Fred" around the corner much like Lady Gaga is the new Madonna... its a weird world - I'm just glad I have friends who turn me onto stuff like Dark Buster and Swamp Cabbage.

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Wireline

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2011, 10:06:35 am »

On a country side of things, I really doubt people like George Jones, George Straight, Alan Jackson, and the other 'hard core' country singers could land a label gig.  Many of the traditionalists have gone on to form their own indie/private labels (with a pretty hard hit on the airplay side of things) to maintain a degree of musical integrity.

Strangely, you can play these tunes at any dance hall, and there will be mixed reaction.  As soon as "Amarillo By Morning" or "Neon Rainbow" hit the rotation, the floor is absolutely packed.

But what do they know?
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Ken Morgan
Wireline Studio
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Jim Williams

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2011, 12:05:13 pm »

Fletcher wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 06:29

Jim Williams wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 11:34

It is typically a 2 year program, either you graduate to something better or you drop out. There are no long term employment opportunities in that field. Those currently employed will find that out as those before them have.


I also wonder if Frank Zappa could get signed today.  For that matter, I wonder if The Rolling Stones could get signed today... though I'm sure there is another "Right Said Fred" around the corner much like Lady Gaga is the new Madonna... its a weird world - I'm just glad I have friends who turn me onto stuff like Dark Buster and Swamp Cabbage.

Peace.



Imagine a young 20 year old Robert Zimmerman being interviewed by today's A+R person:

Well, Mr. Zimmerman, we find you have a good talent for writing songs. However, you have an appearance and demeanor that we are not looking for right now. We are prepared to offer you a starting staff job as a song writer, under some conditions.

First, you need to drop those funny lyrics and write love songs. You also need to shorten up those songs, about 2:30 is our target. No more long tales that bore the listener.

Now, can you work with us, Mr. Zimmerman?

Recently, oldtimer Brit-rocker Dave Mason did a show here in San Diego. Famous for many Brit rock outfits, he's probably best known for writing "Feeling Alright" for Traffic, stints with Fleetwood Mac and playing acoustic guitar on Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower". It was easy for old Dave, he lives up the coast in Santa Barbara. He did an interview in the local UT. It was very enlightening.

Dave offered some insights into the "record biz". First, he said he's given up on the "industry". He no longer plays in the record biz. He does not intend to release any new material, ever. He said he didn't leave the record biz, the record biz left him.

Still, he has his studio and records constantly. Dave says he still gets together and records with friends for FUN only. He said he only does it for himself, not the fans or public. The tracks are to never be released except to those close friends and the participants. It is on it's own enough for Dave, but not enough for the rest of us.

For Dave Mason, recorded music as art is now a private family affair. I personally understand Dave completely. There is a freedom that comes from unshackling the chains we attach around ourselves. Dave is now a free man, free to pursue his dreams and loves, unhindered from outside forces and influences.

As such, the man is at peace with himself. I can only hope to be able to hear his unencumbered work some day.
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Jim Williams
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compasspnt

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2011, 06:10:26 pm »

Wireline wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 10:06

I really doubt people like George Jones, George Strait, Alan Jackson...could land a label gig...



I know what you mean, but in these three cases, each of those guys is a very powerful person, each with massive talents. And in at least two of the cases, most people regard them as very good looking.

Sometimes there are people that just could not be stopped.
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jrmintz

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2011, 06:35:00 pm »

So we know it's bad, we know it's weird. Then how do we, as people who love making records, go into the future? Out of necessity we've all learned to make good records with much lower budgets than in the past, that's a good thing. The necessity for artists with undeniable charisma, talent, songwriting ability, and looks hasn't changed much. I'm used to handing off the finished product to someone else. That's over, and maybe that's the biggest difference for people in our niche. The ability to be passive after the record's done has ended. Do we need to become manufacturing, marketing, distribution and promotion people all in one? At some point we have to stop mourning the passing of the business we loved and make a plan. What's the plan? Let's make one now...
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QUEEF BAG

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2011, 07:08:02 pm »

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Edward Vinatea

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2011, 08:36:46 pm »

Jim Williams wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 12:05


Still, he has his studio and records constantly. Dave says he still gets together and records with friends for FUN only. He said he only does it for himself, not the fans or public. The tracks are to never be released except to those close friends and the participants.


Very interesting story, Jim. Who knows what the future brings and what the shape of the music industry will be. However, Dave's pursuit of 'creative freedom' with all his friends today may have built a foundation for a big copyright dispute among all future assignees tomorrow.

FWIW and YMMV,

Edward

EDIT: Obviously, if nothing is copyrighted then it's up for grabs.

McAllister

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2011, 10:40:59 pm »

In my interactions with A&R (only a few, but still) they all claimed the same thing. To quote one, "We don't want a band to sound just like Guns 'n' Roses, we want a band to sound like themselves." But then they went and signed six bands that sounded like just like Guns 'n' Roses.


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Bubba#$%Kron

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2011, 10:49:27 pm »

Hey edward-  Are you the guy in this video starting at 1:26??  Nice work!!  I knew I knew you from somewhere!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-kzviMGhRk
Smile

Edward Vinatea wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 17:36

Jim Williams wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 12:05


Still, he has his studio and records constantly. Dave says he still gets together and records with friends for FUN only. He said he only does it for himself, not the fans or public. The tracks are to never be released except to those close friends and the participants.


Very interesting story, Jim. Who knows what the future brings and what the shape of the music industry will be. However, Dave's pursuit of 'creative freedom' with all his friends today may have built a foundation for a big copyright dispute among all future assignees tomorrow.

FWIW and YMMV,

Edward

EDIT: Obviously, if nothing is copyrighted then it's up for grabs.



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"When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point."  -Alan Watts

Edward Vinatea

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2011, 12:20:36 am »

Bubba Kron wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 22:49

Hey edward-  Are you the guy in this video starting at 1:26??  Nice work!!  I knew I knew you from somewhere!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-kzviMGhRk
Smile

Edward Vinatea wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 17:36

Jim Williams wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 12:05


Still, he has his studio and records constantly. Dave says he still gets together and records with friends for FUN only. He said he only does it for himself, not the fans or public. The tracks are to never be released except to those close friends and the participants.


Very interesting story, Jim. Who knows what the future brings and what the shape of the music industry will be. However, Dave's pursuit of 'creative freedom' with all his friends today may have built a foundation for a big copyright dispute among all future assignees tomorrow.

FWIW and YMMV,

Edward

EDIT: Obviously, if nothing is copyrighted then it's up for grabs.






Laughing seriously out loud.

Edward.

MagnetoSound

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2011, 06:50:10 am »

QUEEF BAG wrote on Fri, 07 January 2011 00:08

zappa had some thoughts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZazEM8cgt0




Such an insightful guy, a real shame he's no longer with us.


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Music can make me get right up out of my chair and start dancing or it can get me so pumped up I have to walk around the block.
It can also knock me back and make me sit there and cry like a little baby. This shit is as powerful as any drug!!!
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Silvertone

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2011, 08:19:48 am »

One of my long term clients Sean Rowe just got signed to Epitah/Anti Records. They contacted me to generate new masters for Europe and Japan.  In talking with the A&R guy who signed Sean it seems that the Anti label has a pretty good model for the independent artist. They pretty much give the artist the right to put out whatever they want... however, you as the artist pay for all production cost and if they like what you do, then it goes out.

Sean had his album done and out on his own label for about 6 months (btw, this is his 7th album I mastered, so don't think this is his lucky break out of the gate).  This actually gave me some hope that good music is still being signed.

In talking with Sean I was curious as to what the label is offering in return.  Did they buy the record out right (like the Jazz and Classical albums we would cut in the 80's and sell to the labels for 20 or 30K when done)?  Did they pay for the recording cost he had incurred on the album?  Any tour money? Any advance,  etc?   Nope, none of that... the only thing they gave him was world wide distribution and a means to collect monies from any albums sold world wide.  That's it. So there you have it... what a deal.  But guess what, Sean is happy (so far), he has control still of his vision and the record company can support sales for him.  

Since then I've struck up a rapport with the Epitaph A&R guy and he has asked me to send other acts for consideration.  I told him I always thought it was funny that A&R guys didn't pick the brains of the mastering engineers.  I mean after all we hear such a wide variety of music from so many different genres and really hear the progress of some artist as we do multiple albums over the years. I know of at least a dozen acts that should be signed today and if I had the money and energy anymore I'd sign them myself... but I don't. He actually agreed and thought it was great that I would be willing to spend the time to send him some acts to consider.

I now have 3 different A&R guys I can send material to.  I don't take advantage of this and will only send acts that I believe in... "cream of the crop" type stuff.  I really think this model should catch on since we (mastering engineers) are the first bastion of the public that gets to hear all this new music. We are exposed to so much variety, of such varying productions and talent we can hear "what stands above the rest" right away.

Anyway I'd been thinking of this for a while and about a year ago started asking the labels I'm dealing with what they thought... guess what?  They like it as well... at least the ones I've approached anyway.

Thoughts?
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Larry DeVivo
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To see some of our work please click on any of the visual trailer montages located at... http://robertetoll.com/  (all music and sound effects were mastered by Silvertone Mastering).

pete andrews

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Re: ...so I have a friend who is A&R with a major label...
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2011, 09:24:14 am »

Quote:

...I always thought it was funny that A&R guys didn't pick the brains of the mastering engineers. I mean after all we hear such a wide variety of music from so many different genres and really hear the progress of some artist as we do multiple albums over the years.


this is a good point!
club and bar owners would also be worthwhile resources.

-pete
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