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Dream it, Do it: Breaking Into The Music Industry

Lesson 9 of 11

Timing and Lighting is Everything

Steve Rennie

Dream it, Do it: Breaking Into The Music Industry

Steve Rennie

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Lesson Info

9. Timing and Lighting is Everything

Lesson Info

Timing and Lighting is Everything

Timing and lighting is everything okay um it's one of my favorite sayings and speaking of brandon boyd if you get a chance go on our website and click on that guest list and click brandon boy there's a great video he did um talking about timing and lighting you know then sounds much sexier coming from a but I'll give you the gist of timing and lighting right and I'll use the analogy of my favorite band the rolling stones that always comes to mind was sixteen years old is it the form for a matinee show with the rolling stones right and this is before video screens this is before all kinds of the rock and roll tricks but what the rolling stones had was they had a whole bank of white champs that was bad ass in the day because used to have a ampere now this was a wall of white ants all you could see was that little red light on and it looked awesome and they had all their stuff and so they come out of place on one of my favorite songs with this song called midnight rambler from the rolling...

talk about anyway there's this little break in the song where it breaks down here and and and yeah and their milk and so milk's got the scarf milk in this moment and then gets down so he takes this scarf often there's a little bit well you talk about the above happen he put that on all those and the lights went red like you were in hell as I mean my baby god, that was just a freaking awesome right? The timing and lighting part of this is that had he missed his mark no take offense boys if the tech guys missed their q he went well and so he's drinking their coffee and miss that this business is tough but it wouldn't have worked the magic would have been gone right? So this notion of building to a moment creating an environment that can highlight your great moment and make it bigger than life is not accidental. Those great moments you see on tour that seems spontaneous when you've done it as long as I have when you see in a million shows when you see van halen play thirty shows in every night david lee ross out there going you know what? Everybody last night I had twenty girls knocking on my door e I did they go what he goes I got out they let him out right? And you thought wow that was just told that junk for may but he told in fresno he told in bakersfield he told it here he told him that actually so these air great moments of calculation that all require everybody be in the right place the right time so what's the punch line here if you are looking to do something great right and you have an idea it it'll only word can get magnified if you have the timing and lighting right so let me give you another example if you had a great idea but your timing was off right? You get a different result the example I use which is horrific but everybody gets it imagine you're one of the one hundred fifty thousand people that landed it d day on june sixth right would you want to be in the first shift or the four o'clock shift one hundred forty five thousand guys made it up that hill five thousand were in the water timing and lighting ok they were going to get up the hill but those guys did so good idea bad time and gone so if you is that example me so it's about getting in the right place at the right time you know I've found we talked about this in lunch you know sometimes if you miss the timing okay you feel dumber then you really are right sometimes you could just be in the right place at the right time be a complete moron and look like a genius for a minute right? Vanilla ice comes to mind his manager was this guy tommy tank right? Maybe that guy tom he's not watching here today could have a whole bunch people hated me but we're told we're gonna have an honest conversation he's, the parking lot attendant in some dive down in miami, been ilyse blows up. And now he's, the biggest manager in the business. Okay, tommy was gone in the years. So it's been a lice. And now he's pounding nails. And I'm reality tv timing and lighting, right? So I great idea at the wrong time, I cannot get you a great example, but if it was a really great idea, all it needed was the right time. Okay, you not giving up on it is important. For example, blackie's they did a number of records before they became the biggest band in the world. Why did they keep going? What changed? What happened? That made them the biggest thing. Wow, did some band that sounded like retro bands that I listened? Why did that happen? Right? I don't know, but it was timing and lighting because I'm betting they were a good band before they became the biggest band in the world here, right artist direct. I worked at a company call artist wrecked in the earliest days of this notion of empowering artists and giving them their channels and being able to talk to their fans. And it wasn't my idea was a gentleman by the name of mark geiger, another one of those smart talented, influential people that we talked with on the web site I'm not name dropping. You should go watch it because it's inspiring stuff from a true visionary about the business we took that company from an idea just like this thirty of us in a room this side on top of each other we were there all day long all night just pounding away nobody was making a break and dime right? And then we wound up taking that company public and raising one hundred ten million dollars and sitting out in the middle of wall street or outside the stock exchange taken pictures in times square and that then and we were the first company where the stock crashed on the first day I got on the plane to freak in new york says worth ten million dollars by the time I got home I was were six you know, a year later I selling my stock three, five hundred grand. Thank god. At least I got enough to join bel air country club and none of my other buddies got anything out of the right but bad timing. Good idea. Because now everything that mark geiger was talking about then his flowered internet connection allows it happened with amazon there was a time when people that there's no way amazon's gonna I was gonna buy crap online he's not buying stuff online too many of you kids that are watching that I don't even remember you weren't there and ground zero I saw it but timing and lighting okay the biggest search engine in the world was yahoo there was fifteen and before that I remember the first time I saw google I go google what the frick and google what can what's with these internet guys how come the kid name a company yahoo freaking going through one of these guys a bunch of kids who didn't have toys what's that all about now they're the biggest thing in the freaking planet right timing and lighting ok so for people and artists out there that are trying to make some sense out of this what it means is is that you have to prepare for your moment and you have to be ready to go when that moment comes okay because that train of opportunity when it pulls in the station they don't toot the horn they don't ask you whether you're ready you either step on the freakin train or you don't I'll give you another story to highlight this I have been in the music business my whole life I worked as a consummate did all these different things I worked at a record I managed a bunch of bands that didn't succeed in commercial terms I went to work in a record company recoiling from that experience swearing I would never ever be a manager again went to work it's sony met a young band called incubus, right and left my big fat job to go to work in the internet business and had the good sense actually wasn't my good sense, mike, I integrate, called me and said, hey, would you be our partners with our manager? Sure you talk to your manager about now, you you have courses, right? And I did that. I left that company here, right? And, uh and so I leave the company in in in africa is going where we go in? Uh, well, I was artist directing the company goes in the tank and I wind up managing and keep us out of this. So as artist direct is going in the tank and services is thing is going off the deep end, I wind up going with the band, and so we sell a million records that scenario I was describing where we sold a bunch of records, we've got no money, but I've worked for four years on the inside of sony, so I know what the real arithmetic is, and we sat around my off my office at my backyard, which we call you know my office is at home, but in the back we have our conference when we're sitting down with the band, I said, we're going to go and get some money out of the label, and they're all going well, how are we going to do that? See if I said we're going to fucking do this because I know what these guys that jenna they don't care about, they're all interested in their bonuses. So is we're leaving mikey idzik returns because you've been waiting for this moment your whole life, and I said, I am not auditioning on not practicing, man, I am ready to go and this is either gonna work or it's not, but there's no auditioning and the point of it is, is that you get ready for your moment because you never know when it's going to come, but in the golf terms, you know, in golf, if you hit your tee shot and you're playing with your buddies and hit the first one crap on the first tee, they'll give you a mulligan in life, there are no mulligans, okay? You get one crack for the money and you better make it count. So for all you artist that are out there, don't spend your time crying don't spend your time sending me notes about how tough it is don't tell me how tough it is in at wood or don't want freaking here out tough it is to me, I get it. Okay, all I'm telling you, if you want to have a chance to succeed in this business, you better prepare like that train to somewhere is coming in any moment have your bags packed and be ready to freak and go because you may not get another crack at it. All right? Um when you're thinking about timing, lighting that how you present yourself in that moment is important to you know, so if you you know, if you haven't done your homework and you haven't figured out all your stuff about how you want to look how you want your music to sound, how you want your just your overall of ivan image of your band, you won't be ready again. So these are the things that you should be thinking about when you think about in context the I manage ten bands before I met incubus and when we talk about yeses and nos and so I went over ten on the first one and only took one great band to make me a big manager. All right, the truth of matter I was the same guy the whole time what I needed was that ride and when we got our ride, even the band guys go, he is scary and I think I am not practicing, I'm not auditioning, I am just like this sniper that's waited three days and you get one for bad and they ever know what happened so that's what? I want you guys to know I want you to be a sniper out there waiting for your moment here okay? We've got another one here, okay? Focusing on the winds um if I said that failure quote unquote is the norm in the music business would you believe that michael I mean commercial failure not qualitative. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, you make you make a cz many records as you can and you know u ah latch on to the ones that hit but you know you're always gonna have there's like darts you know, you you got a home a man as you go and you throw him to get closer and closer and you kind of you know, you get used to your you know, your arch and your your delivery and you make it happen you make account and you finally score. Yeah, same is true in businesses you know you guys are doing over how many studios have failed most of them how coming years is still around we have a good model pain and somebody want is somebody to help you right focused on it yes ok prepared but understand that it could go away absolutely keep you focused yes, sure it does okay, have you had some little failures of course did you learn from him and you move on you sit there and think about him all day long you know why you learn from your failures and take the next step move on exactly is funny when you think about the music business right? And you look at it logically you look at it statistically look at it a scorecard, right? The chances are you are going to fail there's I the nature of the beast is the record business the winners all paid for the losers, right? So if we were a manager and you had a band like infamous that was winning and then the label guys they're telling you they got to pay for all the loser you guy I'm not interested I got one of the winners I need to make this happen here, right? But the truth is getting a successful career in the music business in like a lot of business but particularly true is like winning the lottery because most records don't succeed commercially, you know, you know, so many artists get side to a record deal and they feel like they've got it made when in fact they're just getting started again, right? And so you know most of those label deals won't kill it made up of the pan out and the truth of the matter is there's a million ways for it to go wrong too many to list. I could go on for days. And it's a male invent a new reason thing about those three bands that got signed to a record it that here we go. And then six months later, this new guy comes in advice him in the office, like I told you about my friend lunch and says, they they're feeling right, I'm going over to meet the gm and then, well, you're going to meet the hangman. Actually, now your record deal isn't coming out, so that idea failing is around you all the time, you know, so people ask me, so how do you go through this process without going crazy? And the answer is you focus on the wind, okay? It's something I learned, you know particularly true in the gulf thing where there was a great golfer named ben hogan, he said, the golf is a game of mrs. Everybody is trying to be perfect. I've had artist and I want to make a perfect record will perfect, to quote one of my golfing buddies, bob rotella. Perfect. It is a recipe for disappointment. Perfect is not necessary right? Staying in the game is important right? And so you know the way you deal with all those losses you you try to focus on the winds yes if I said to you each of you you have you had a big member will win when you sit there and say man, we thought that by this is going on and then we did everything right man against all odds we win you have one of those you got one talk about uh so after a lot of ah pursuing with a lot of different labels tryingto really something internationally I had a japanese release in the past in the past year and hasn't hasn't been the best selling thing but you know, it was it was a goal and I went for it tonight I wanted to expand my market and you know, I got it out there so although it's you know it's a win it's ah it's one of those things that took probably one hundred losses before you know I really got to what got you through one hundred young bosses you know, when I got that big parcel in the mail from japan and you know the unwrapping of that nice fancy cd yeah, checking it out and being like, wow, you know, this is going to be in tower records japan or, you know, like, you know, be be in the hands of people that I've never seen before and it's going to make an impact on somebody that I don't know and and, you know, get get somebody inspired to do to do their own things yeah it's interesting here you said because sometimes, you know, it has been my experiences is painful is, you know, failing is the best thing to do is take the lesson from him and get on to the next one because they make you smarter the next time around the next time you come up against a new optical you've started finish, now you're starting again, you're now you're resetting your target again and there's something else that's, what gets you through those knows that's what gets you to ask those questions again and you focus on the winds and it's what what they do in golf and in sports you know, the the great athletes will tell you they have a very short memory if you ask michael jordan, have you ever missed a three pointer for money? I guarantee tells you I don't remember no, I don't you know I played golf with jerry west a little bit jerry west where's he's never three putted the green in his life you know this mr clutch for all you kids, the logo right and it's part of that that winner's mentality that they forget the losses and just focus on the wind. So if you're playing in a big tournament, you're looking for something happened and I'm competing golf and my coach will tell me money when you're getting scared and you get nervous, go back to the fundamentals, but if you have to think about something, I want you to think about the great shot you hit in the moment when everybody was watching that's the picture you need to have in your mind here, you know, it's, if you're a band and you're playing and you're going and playing some crap hole dive bar when you're used to playing somewhere else, you khun grieve about being in a situation it's not quite what you want on, do you have the options to bail and just be a jerk and leave or you suck it up and you make the best of it, right? And so think about the great gig had and in that if you're going to build the touring business to what we were talking about earlier, trust me, every band that's played to a thousand people, particularly on the way up where they've had a win, you they could be two or three cities away from being in there with twelve people, right? We'll be like you guys, so I o r into miss you know you know what they're doing where it literally could be conversation I've been to a few those which are painful but when everybody gets in the spirit it can kind of work you know, um those are the things that I think about, you know, one of my friends had a great bit of advice, you know? It was again it was in the golfing context but I think it's particularly true even in the in the music business he goes steve, you gotta love winning more than you hate losing okay? You gotta love one putting more than you hate three party you've got to just live for the great moment and flush the bad ones down the toilet because otherwise he will freak and go crazy, right and it's true okay and s o it's the same kind of thing that's helped me on the music business and you know, again I use these golf and as I do that because I love the golf but I think but it's two to highlight the point again that when I started off dreaming about being doing something for maybe in iraq there was being a golfer and it didn't work out so many of the lessons I learned there have application and what I ultimately want being successful and I want you folks out there to think about that as well, ok, now I'm almost done with the gulf analogies okay, we're going to give you one final what it's called stay in the scoring zone okay? And, uh we talked about that. You know, this idea of staying in the in the scoring zone assumes that life's not perfect it assumes that there's mistakes um and it assumes that the only way you get to play another day is to survive your worst day makes sense so far so the golfing analogy is that great scores don't happen from the bushes they happen from being in position relative that's not to say that you might hit one off course and then accepted. Ok, this is going to change my path here a little bit I might need to make another shot in position but the idea of stringing together ah bunch of planned moments okay gets you where you want to be, what you want to avoid okay is the show stopper the career killers is what I used to refer to it then why would talk to the band after years we would say you know, what should we do this your man should we not do this and I go well, you know it's not a career killer, okay, so we'll give it that but, you know, people used to call me and say, well, this it wouldn't be bad for the man I go well you know, I got to yardsticks, is it a career killer? Would be number one, but number two, I'm not in the business of trying to figure out wouldn't wouldn't hurt the band. I'm trying to figure out what would be great for the band, right? So all of this gets out this notion of being in the scoring area and in in keeping yourself in the game, so that means, you know, instead of spending twenty thousand dollars on your record, you might take my advice and spend a thousand thousand put that one out, let it build that people talk about a feeling, and what you're trying to do is keep from knocking it into the career killing zone. Would you spent the whole twenty? Because you were believing the dream? And now you did your whole thing in the game's over, and you didn't get where you are because you just didn't think about it, right? Um, a great career is about connecting the dots, okay? It's, not a singular act, okay, it's not one punch that knocked it out. It's, the old mohammed ali who pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop for ten rounds and then bang and everybody sees the big banger, but they missed all the lead ins, okay, he just kept setting up, set up, set it up, and then bangle. Big george foreman falling like tree. Okay, no career killers, that's, what you want. You want to stay in the scoring zone and understand that from here to, there is connecting a bunch of dots, and I'm not going to all go to your straight, true north. Some. We're going to go left and right, so good. But if you look at it from the biggest picture level right he got from here, he or she got from here to there and that's staying in this goings on.

Class Description

Breaking into the music industry is the dream you share with pretty much everyone else on the planet. And there is a whole infrastructure designed to keep you out. But you don’t have to obey the gatekeepers. Steve Rennie is here to show you how to carve your own path to success.

With over 30 years in the music business as a concert promoter and former manager of platinum-selling rock band Incubus, Steve draws on his experience to coach and mentor the next generation of artists and music pros. In Dream it, Do it: Breaking Into The Music Industry, Steve is going let you in on what it takes to get your foot in the door and where to go from there. You’ll learn how to find a way over, around, or through anybody, or anything standing in your way. You’ll get straight-shooter insight on what separates winners from losers to how to strike when the iron is hot.

Talent is common, but having what it takes to make it in the music biz is an entirely different set of skills. Steve is here to teach them to you.

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Hands down the best music course I've ever seen. I couldn't have asked for a better "realistic" explanation of how the music industry really works. The analogies and stories were awesome! Thank you to Steve Rennie and the CreativeLive team for an awesome production, straight teamwork! -SkyPoint

a Creativelive Student

Awesome, hope to see more in the future.

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