From Dreamer to Doer
Another thing to talk about today if you are thinking about getting in the music business and you folks are already in but for somebody of folks around the outside just thinking about getting into it right it's important to know what it is you're getting into so I asked people all the time I said what do you think are the building blocks of the music business and they all go blank little like sandra is going right now and say, well, what do you mean if I ask you what is the music business all about? What would you say, sandra? The business is about selling know what are the core elements of it? The core elements processes are there's publishing there's touring there had been the school too long. Okay, let me tell you what the the music business is the music business in its simplest form in this part the millions of things have changed about the music business. This part hasn't changed one iota it's about great songs it's about great performers in great performances. Michael, would you ...
agree with that? Sure. Okay, that's what? The music business is without those three phase you know you don't have a music business, right? So those great songs, great performers and great performances are the basis for a whole industry right? The music business that's there to support, develop and exploit in a good way those great songs great performances in great performers right that's record labels its managers it's publishers its promoters its music technology companies that are trying to help you make music and promoted right how do you get started in this business is different depending on whether you're an artist or a professional right there's some common elements but there's um there's some things that are unique if you're an artist breaking and I'll tell you from my experience that the easiest thing to do is to start right you get a kn instrument you go in your room you record now when you started michael you had to go to a c studio. There were no garage band there was no pro tools where you can roll up a studio that george martin would have died to have you know george martin made the of the sergeant pepper's what eight tracks? What if he had eighty one of mozart had pro tools? Right? You think about it right? So the level that you can do on your own to start making music has never been easier right? Those decisions you make after you make the music a little bit trickier, right? If you're an artist looking to break into the business in and you take out making the music is not really breaking and that's just kind of getting you in the starting gate your ability to succeed okay if you're looking to do it for a business as opposed, I make music for myself like you and your dark room and you're happy and you drink your coffee and go that was awesome you're making that for you, right? But what happens when you want somebody else to hear it? Michael isn't just about you then no, you invite a whole bunch of characters into the mix and you will have to depend on all those other people to help your dream come true, right? The artist I've always kidded that not kage seriously, if this was the edge of the cliff this carpet which I'm not supposed to go beyond your I'm gonna edge up there was ten toes over the edge and the wind was blowing at your back that's the artist they're the tip of the sword now the manager might be right behind him and I can feel the wind but if this guy's going all right, they always pushed back and fall on the ground, right? So the artist of the ones on the edge professionals breaking into the business different kind of mindset they are all about calculation those of the planners, those of people I'm gonna make something happen if you're a professional, whether you're a marketing person music tech person manager, agent record company, your job is to help turn those songs in performances into money okay, when the artist likes to talk about money but they still have to pay their red right. Michael, you get an exclusion because you're musician did does your landlord I love that song? Screw the red. No, you gotta play ball, right? If you're a music professional, yourjob is about getting your thing is not getting a job to go work from somebody or it's to get a client. If you're a manager or if you're crazy, you go start your own business because you couldn't get a client and couldn't get a job. That was me, ok, it's about learning what it takes to succeed in the marketplace of the managers that professionals have to be in a different mindset, they have to be more practical. They have to look for answers where artist might just look for inspiration. I want to talk about that whole notion of this artist in the professionals because in the music business, okay, the artist can exist on his own at the outset until he wants somebody to hear it. You could be a professional like me wants to be a manager, but you can't be a manager unless you have a client, so these artists and professionals, even though they're coming from slightly different places, have some common ground. And that common ground is they're looking for some destination they want to do something, but I want to play stadiums I want to do something that requires it so they sit, if you will if we were going to draw a picture right? And here is the artist and the pro over here, right here is your artist here's your pro right? And they're sitting on the beach over here thinking about all right, we want to do something here and so they get some destination in their mind that destination is right over here, you know that somewhere we'll call it right the way they get there, the artist is going to provide the inspiration, right? That's what it comes from that comes from somewhere that we don't know you can't calculate you can't plan, you can't power point that inspiration right? The professional here might have moments of empress inspiration, but they're of a different type okay, their game is calculation, right? So with that inspiration and calculation locked on a destination that's what they're looking for, you know how they get there determination, dedication because shit's going to go wrong, sorry phase go wrong so that's where this connection gets made that's where artists and professional share common ground right because both of them have to have this determination, this unrelenting desire to do something great that that has them overlook all the things that would talk him right the hell out of it is that makes sense questions for you focused questions from the chat room quiet bunch out there folks ok put your coffee now get your pencil and star learning something okay that's inspiration dedication calculation in determination working together right are is all about that inspiration artists rational thought rarely gets in the way okay now if you're a man that could be problematic if you're an artist you just gotta have an artist right? I hated that artists exclusion of an artist I always used to tell the man well can I be an artist too like what if I forgot to get the money could I be an artist but they haven't they're a different breed of cat you artists ok it's an emotional release it's not a rational thought that they're going through here right there creators artists have to do it was we talked about business all shocked it's about picking a targets by getting a planet's about orchestrating things it's about inspiring or priding or motivating orb or just shove in people in to do is that there's nothing subtle about the business side and that dedication is the bridge between the two something else to think about this notion of getting started getting started suggests a certain bit of fine ality I got started right but the truth of the matter is getting started never stops it's a never ending process it's unrelenting. So if you don't have stamina, you won't be able to deal with it, right? All of us folks here trying to figure out what to do for the rest of our lives our way. And so am I. I've done something for years, thirty six years and now that chapter's over and I'm sitting here today go. Okay. What it's the next chapter. So I'm got started. Senate fixed on a destination locked radar with my buddies knocked it out. Then the tricky part was coming up with new destinations that we could agree on, how we were going to get there, right? But once you get started, you want to succeed. You want to move forward, right? That's, the natural state of things. The first job leads to the next job which might lead to another job which needs to another job which leads you to hear, right? So this getting started notion is the reality of it is is that it's never ending the fairy tale version? I just want to get started. Well, you know, yes. Video there a number of factors that will likely have some impact on your ability to get started in the business. One is location, right, um, let location has been mitigated somewhat because of the internet, in terms of of being able to network and so for the essay on our web page, you I have a little section call asked ren man, where kids can orb kids, people can send me and questions, and I got one. Yes, say, hi. I'm a manager of two acts from east africa, and I'm going, wow, ok, east africa and you want to know how he could get his artist on a worldwide basis, right? So I resisted temptation that you might want to think about moving to the highlight of the fact that we were able to mitigate location in some way. He was talking to a professional, getting advice from somebody who he would have zero chance of me showing up in central africa, that's for sure or him showing up. But we communicated. We connected, so location a little bit lesson. But if you're out in some of these other cities outside the mainstream in the business and want to play that's an issue, is it impossible? No, but it's an issue. Your skill set is a professional. Do you have the skills it takes? Ok, you can be a manager. Anybody can put their hand up and say they're a manager and somebody gonna ask already. Why were you a better manager than others? Well, because I developed skill set. I understood the concert is I worked. I understood record labels. I worked there. I understood the intern. I work. They're okay. I worked with artists. I don't have to theorize about what artist. I lived it. Okay? This is I've lived it so that skill set. If you're an artist, anybody can make music. But extraordinary talent. Extraordinary talent is not something that showing up every day. It's. Why? It's called extraordinary. Okay, I play golf. I have fourteen clubs in my bag. I have a cool looking bag of cool looking nike shoes. But I'm not tiger once. Why? I am not may. I don't know. Okay, but his skill set provides him a different level of access. I'm talking to you here now because lots of people you've actually had a career, michael. Lots of people I've talked to over the years that are forty years old. Wives and kids and they forego they've for go to some point the going out and getting in the music business early and they want to take it up when they're forty or forty five and I just go oh my god because not because I'm trying to be ages I'm fifty nine years old but just because it takes so long to get going right and at a certain level when you were having all those hits you were young you're still a handsome buck here mike but I'm sure you were like, you know, a whole different they probably had old thrown all day, right? Okay, sure. So my point is that age can be a factor in when you're trying to get started in the music business there's any number of past that get in the museum's put that graphic up there if we can well, there we go. Thank you, gentlemen. Any number of pass into the music business here, right? Maybe you know somebody ok that's a good one, okay, you know somebody that will get you in the door but because the music business is such a grind, okay, it won't keep you in the chair if you don't deliver but it could get you in the door how do you dig a path and musically started band or start recording stuff? You guys have all done that now you're in, right? But you started right it's going to be a never ending process, but you started write a song, you songwriter, you know, you're writing songs, you could decide to do it in your room, or you could decide to take it public. But you start by writing a song, right? That's a path into the music business. Sandra, you went to school, right? Where'd you go to school, shoreline, all right? And they were teaching you the music business. Okay, let me tell you something, folks. Out there it's gonna bum all my friends out of university now say, full disclosure. I'm sending my son to usc to study the music industry, but one of the deans said, steve, I'm not sure what we're going to teach your kid about the music business, right? But they're going to school. When I was starting, there were no music business classes, you tried to get a job, and you learned on the job, and I'm here to tell you folks not to bump my friends out in the university world. You can't teach the music business in a book, you do it by learning by doing, and I actually getting out there, getting dirty and screwing up and getting things right that's, how you learn, but that's a path to get here, but don't think for a second, sandra, that your degree is going to get you anything I'll tell you for full disclosure gin that gentleman. I talked about early cody romney's, my intern from the music industry program, and u s c. He was also a usc football player who was six feet tall, wasn't going to play, decided to volunteer for the kickoff team because he'd rather break his neck and sit on the bench with a clean uniform. And you know why? I never knew and I didn't care if you had a music busy. You know, I hired because the kid had killer instinct. First thing he did was came in and clean out our bathroom, and then he cleaned out our storage shed. I don't say anything I like this kid is that on the prerequisite you gotta do my bathroom, but he did, and it showed me something. Starting a business, you can start a busy. Anybody started busy, could start a management company tomorrow. That's what I did, I said, I'm gonna be a promoter. A few guys that william or take your mail room and shove it man okay I've been back to the mailroom I say hello I'm a client's different vibe but starting a business one of those guys that we talked about that great list of guesses bill silver promoter started a business back in college mark geiger started a business back in college mike karen president of warner brothers record beverly hills high graduate sixteen year old started a promotion business that's how they got their job their kids out there that are starting blog's now identifying bands that they've spine ing on the internet company ever heard neon golden you guys there's a website called the eye gold star they wanted getting a label deal their first job was this guy at his girlfriend from college who got a label deal with columbia not by putting in their resume or showing him their degree they did it by starting a business one of the greatest ways to start in the business is an intern right and I think I tell watch with great interest this whole hoo ha about people well I got to dip erred because the woman in terms of a bubble boban and they're causing this whole who and I'm thinking to this kid who won the lawsuit to get paid in his intern is guaranteed that he never gets another job in the amusement you know why? Because he best before we did if he's showed him value he would have gotten a paycheck but now he's a marked man so you go whoever you are out there, you hold up the flag for all those injuries but understand there's a million people looking for those two seats at the table and people like me are just being cheap they want to know that you have that killer instinct and you can't see that on a resume you got to see it so if you get a chance to be an intern where there's being a manager a promoter or studio assistant right? Going and getting everybody's coffee at henson studios, right? That's what you do take that because you're learning you're gonna prove your value studying? I encourage you all have spent some aside time studying on red man and b but at the end of the day I hope you go out there and you do something and there's always of course getting lucky. Okay, all right. Um let me get through now to our first lesson, okay? That's a big, long set up for dream it do it. Okay, um, all of us have a little dream or in this I know I still do ok, I've never lost that, um I presume all of you have a dream what's your ultimate dream with that studio sell it to somebody, make a big hit record. What you looking to do? What's your dream scenario in the music business? Brad for me, it's just about seeing the music take form and succeed in people of it bringing berthing wonderful music and art into the world. Let's, use a kind of limits. That's. Good stuff. Now I say that being flip a little bit do you care about paying the bills? Oh, that's mandatory. Ok, so that's, part of it. So the dream starts your musician. I love that we gotta go, come and give you a little group hug later. You know that's great, but there's those practical things. So so you want to do some? How about you? One more time? Your name is anthony anthony. Sorry. So I would say, you know the number one thing I want to get out of the music industry is really just be able to be financially sustainable and be ableto do my passion all the time and, you know, be ableto keep my eye on the prize, if you will, you know, be ableto. Devote time and energy towards that instead of, you know, having to take time away from the things that I really want to be doing. I love the fact that you said you really want to make a living out because so many musicians they lower their voice when they talk about money obscene, they're going hey, you know, when you go to the airport, you're traveling, it says on your passport occupation when I was traveling with that, I would say, when you put it on there, is that what you put other put drummer boy? What do you got there? Musician, artist, songwriter but may with it would you put steve, I put artist manager proud of it, and so having some sense, if you want to do this for a living is good, I think go ahead, jess, can I call you? Just, of course, again are the overarching goal, like the thirty thousand foot view is toe build a lucrative community that is financially sustainable as well as creatively still. Jessica man, take care of her bread ok, sandra, quiet sandra, I have to say you're smiling white are already here now I have to say that I guess the dream for me, too, is to just be able to be financially like they said to financially sustained you know right now part of my troubles with my challenge of my challenges there you go is that I work sixty hours a week I come home and I look at my guitar and I go guitar sleep I don't want to make that choice I want to like pick guitar because I want to have time to sleep all right? So you've got to find a way to turn that into you and david closely calling for this business is tough graphic guys were having coffee back there michael what do you look that you've kind of dunce a lot of these things being a part of great music really I mean that's what it's about for me I just want to be a part of making great music great news and you don't care if it sells you're covered in it well it's not about that and I have to be honest I you know my secondary goes yeah if if if it's sustainable if I you know yeah that's that's a big deal but more important than that for me is um you know, we all know how years after now this is dead they go like everybody else searching for sugar man right? You just want to be a part of making really good music I loved it the thing about it if it really is sustainable, I swear to god twenty five years after you're dead somebody's going to go did you hear about vertical man? They made some excuse me but great shit there everybody is trying to get in that bad boy to play that stuff and all the cool cats with their man and you know it's like, you know, studios in the harlem renaissance and and sun records and that is really why I'm making music it's just you know motown you know, uh, sound of philadelphia I mean it's like america we have these stories of these people who came together and they just made this incredible music that we all love that's that's really well, what it's about and that is what you know, this whole idea of dream is everybody's got something itching in there you know, um and this idea of chasing your dream for me has always been is what gets you out of bed in the morning, right? And it's it's all about something that you're passionate about because life goes by very fast, you know, I've found you know, and when you're young, you're you're in a race to grow up and then you get a little bit further along and you start to see things a little perspective a little bit more strangely enough use your moving on maybe that big picture of you because you know we're heading or hopefully on dh but if you can make your passion into a living that's great but it's tough but it's worth the effort if you can do it here's the thing about dreaming you know that I've always found when I talk to young people and try to squeeze this romantic at him a little bit dreaming is easy right uh the endings air perfect right? You're not at risk in a dream that's what that's what it makes it a dream if you you know they had a bad ending to be a nightmare right? The dream just to have the dream in your head doesn't require any work right it's perfect there in some people want to keep it perfect they're okay but it's the doing that's what's tough right and it's the doing that separates the dreamers from the doers it's the people you know human muskie says you know I made all this money with paypal so you started one thing and finished you I can only imagine he was sitting there gun she's ok, so I got a billion dollars now what? I'm starting over again right? So can you imagine this guy go hide? So we're kind what am I going to do it she's uh well shit, I'm goingto I'm gonna start a rocket ship company yeah, that sounds got this our rocket ship company well, governments do that cos I'm doing it right and then if that was enough, you sat around goes on well, ok, I got a little extra time that rocket ship thing I'm going to start a car company I'm gonna build it from scratch. I'm going to talk to those guys from detroit so this craziness of doing it right is a cz freaky animal because it invites all kinds of things into the mix here, right? Editorial from friends and family most parents would be supportive of the kids, but they'd much rather they be doctors and lawyers or professionals and musicians because it's not because they don't want to deny you your moment because they know how tough it isthe okay? And they don't want you to be the fifty year old rocker on sunset boulevard with the spray on jeans and his black died here that's not going to ever make it right it invites one of my favorite things you touched on earlier. I call it the fifth faction that slide gentlemen, here is the three ball and chains and dreaming right here baby fear insecurity in paranoia anybody let's be honest and you guys ever felt those last night I was gripped with fear and security impairing away going why my upi I'm driving myself crazy what am I going to say to all these people? And now we're in here it's group because we're having a conversation with fear in security, fear of failure? Do you worry about failing I still d'oh. D'oh. Do you sometimes worry? Are you good enough? Have I just been bullshitting my way for thirty six years? I just the luckiest guy on the planet. Do I really have what it takes? I've kind of worked through that thing. Okay, thirty six minutes alive. Thirty six months. Thirty six years is stretching. But every day I'm gonna insecure wreck. Ok? Paranoid didn't somebody keeping me from doing this. The man's holding me that all this crap, right? Fear, insecurity and paranoia. That's what doing invites into the mix. So for all you people are thinking about treatment and then doing and that scared the death out here, I just remit so ok, you don't have to be a do or, you know, you don't have to invite all that stuff in the reason I tell you. That is because the one thing that you guys already know is it. This business is really freaking tough. Thank you very much. Okay. Your chances of success are very slim. You got a better shot of winning the lottery than you do of being successful in the music biz is the most reasonable people. I wouldn't do this if they were just calculating the odd. So why do you do it right? Um, I'm going to tell you a story for me. One of those mentors I had early on in my career was a guy by the name of bob gettys. He was a former nfl football player and a great business guy, so I would always go into his office, and we talk about the business and stuff. So, you know, one day I walked in his office. I had some freakin wacky idea about something, right? And he listens, and then he is let me tell you something, steve. You know, in life, steve there's, a million things that whisper at you that we spread me. You know what I learned, steve? What? Bob only listen for the screams, man, and that ain't screaming at me. I am doing anything about so that's a whisper. I need some screens, get out here and find me a screen right now. So I think about that all the time, because if the music business and being an artist or being a music professional isn't screaming at you, okay, you should get out, but if it is screaming at you, then you've got to go out and do it right. You got a dream and then do right but this notion of dreaming the romantic notion don't count dreaming about iran I'm dreaming I'm going ok well great dream in alone and enough you need to have a plan okay you need to dedicate yourself to that plan remember the thie the dedication and all that stuff that's that's really because you will think the plan will go awry here so you have to have dedication you've got to be able to go out and build a team around you whether it's a studio whether it's an artist to help you get your stuff done you have to be the person that figures out problems that means doing your homework instead of going which kills me with today's youth and I'm saying it all of you stop going around everybody thinks you're gonna google answer that gives you an answer understanding is deeper right so to get understand you have to experience you have to theorize you have to get into you have to fail right for that to be real so you've got to go out and do your homework right you need to have a target right if you just shooting blanks out there you might do some damage and it'll be by action you need to have a target why do you need a target? You need a target because it focuses in your efforts here right? It provides you with the measure of how you doing? I aim there and I hit over there okay I need tio move a little got back okay miss yeah boom so and so that idea of getting a target something specific nuts in general thing is important because it focuses your efforts in golf we talked about you know, pick your target making his small as you can don't say well I'm just going to hit it out there somewhere that's not good enough okay, so getting a target the tighter your target is whatever it is, the easier it is you've got a question thank you for asking a question here that was scaring you guys you're covering this concept of failing quickly is kind of what I'm picking up what you're saying like learn from your mistakes but don't take don't dwell on it don't spend a bunch of time on it how does an artist learned to reiterate and learn quickly to fail and then move forward? You know I'll say this it's I recognized that it's tougher for artists and it's part of that difference in mindset we talked about when people ask me when I'll be playing golf my buddies well what's what's the deal with these musicians right? And I said, you know what? They just think a little bit differently saying it's good that they didn't just think differently right? So failure is tougher because it's more personal right um you put your heart and soul into something and it's a stiff and people have busy all right it was a staff right that hurts where his business people are slightly removed from that right so I think for for artist that's why and we'll talk a little about this whole idea of getting a team around you having I think for artists its managers to but artists more to need to have a support team around them that can remind them of these things they don't worry about it right you go give me a class example you think this is selling out the hollywood bowl seventeen half the house over the top and one of the guys in the band is worried because you know we never get great reviews really I said bring you got the review seventeen and a half thousand that's your review but you keep focusing on some little pimply I geeky didn't have a job nobody invites into the party so he's going to get his rocks off by talking about your stuff I haven't happened on my website right some kid get an interview with this guy bob last season funny guy music business you know wag you know by by his own admission is an insecure wreck well blah blah blah so we do this interview and so some kid writes on my on the comments well it's clear that steve run is an insecure control freak right as I read this and a little bit of me like the artist got stung a little bit but then the manager me response all because I'm concerned customers and you're still not going down well wracked with fear insecurity apparently some guys having morning I'm glad you love bob, you know and I'd lightened up so he sends me back and it goes well, you know what? Um I just made comments on video because I don't have the guts to put my own videos out there because you're a better than better man than me, right? So the point I'm making is that for the art is having a support team around having some validation of what you're doing it's not just your mom and your dad this and professionals that can give you perspective member big picture again okay, some of the most successful artists in the world in days gone by not so true today. First record okay, second record a little bit better. Third record bang blackie's classic example everybody thinks black keys just showed up how long the black he's been around long time putting probably put out three or four hours before they were the next big thing so did they sucked on those first three maybe they did that they kept getting better and they got their moment so I hope that answers your question but having some people around that can remind you are is subjective. Commercial scorecard is not ok. Don't measure your value by the score card, okay, you might have to be dead for somebody. Look back, go you, that was the greatest wreck. I don't know how that record didn't sell. I get it all the time. People go by ut jailing of dude, this is crazy. I have ever seen this is better than college. Now, on money, I pissed away on college, how come or people don't know about this? Same thing, right?