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Tragic Hero Records News - Page 2
Displaying posts 15 - 29 of 29.
03:23 AM on 03/04/11
JoeSledger
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Hopefully TMO leaves this label and finds someone that will REALLY support them. They did get their european tour, which is a great thing for them. but hopefully there is a label willing to devote a serious amount of time to promoting the new record they are working on.

I still can't believe Tragic didn't put them on tour when the album came out (it was like 3 months later, after the "hype" Tommy talked about had already fizzed out). If they were in the middle of their best economic year, and are sitting on an album they believed to be phenomenal (the public's general opinion as well), how do you not promote the hell out of that band? It's a missed opportunity on their part, and an utter disappointment for TMO.
If you notice, despite having post-hardcore bands on their roster now...Tragic Hero doesn't promote any of their bands. Everyone Dies In Utah, We Are Defiance, Armor for the Broken, Eyes Like Diamonds, and Miracle at Saint Anna are apart of this new group of generic post-hardcore that Tommy has signed, HOWEVER not one of these bands has gotten promoted. EDIU released an album on March 1st, WHO KNEW?! Doesn't matter if you don't like them. THR doesn't promote any of their bands which is ridiculous to me how they stay in business. I bet Greeley Estates will not release their next record with Tragic. I don't see Tragic's Twitter retweeting that the band is in the studio, hmmm.
03:26 AM on 03/04/11
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Just come out and say it. You owe your existence to Alesana.
Lol, so true! And then letting A Skylit Drive be bought off by Fearless, too!
05:17 AM on 03/04/11
tragicherotommy
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If you notice, despite having post-hardcore bands on their roster now...Tragic Hero doesn't promote any of their bands. Everyone Dies In Utah, We Are Defiance, Armor for the Broken, Eyes Like Diamonds, and Miracle at Saint Anna are apart of this new group of generic post-hardcore that Tommy has signed, HOWEVER not one of these bands has gotten promoted. EDIU released an album on March 1st, WHO KNEW?! Doesn't matter if you don't like them. THR doesn't promote any of their bands which is ridiculous to me how they stay in business. I bet Greeley Estates will not release their next record with Tragic. I don't see Tragic's Twitter retweeting that the band is in the studio, hmmm.
We are putting out the new Greeley Estates record, its actually coming along phenomenally, and I'm very excited for everyone to hear it, as it gets back to their roots and where they left off with Go West. with regards to promotion (and what people feel is too little), I'd have to say that while growing a business, and doing the best you can for your bands, sometimes the best means of promoting isn't throwing a great deal of money at an advertising campaign, when other things aren't in place (booking, and or management), and you thrust the group into debt. I/m aware that people will draw their own conclusions, and where there's smoke there must be fire (or lack there of).

With regards to Alesana, A Skylit Drive, Letlive, and any other of the great acts that I have been privileged to work with, its pretty obvious to see that the relationships were then and have always been mutually beneficial to the bands as well as the label in regards to growing our brands. which came first the chicken or the egg? The truth is that they symbiotically formed together at the same time, creating a chicken-egg hybrid creature (or is it egg-chicken) that can rarely be seen during the breeding season of the fourth full moon during a leap year, in which the Winter Olympics are hosted in Hawaii. My point is, that saying either side is directly responsible for the other is pretty degrading and success in this industry (however you decide to measure it) is a joint venture.
05:44 AM on 03/04/11
elemenohpe
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very levelheaded answers. tommy seems to have his shit in order and is realistic about THR's appeal (going back to a niche-post hardcore market, not leading on bands to believe they'll be the next successful act for them like alesana was...)

although i'm not really a fan of a lot of the recent signings, there's a few on the horizon that i'm interested to hear more from... and really, has THR ever had a ballin' lineup? no. but, i think when the label focused on NC bands there was a lot more comradery(sp) between bands and i'd dare to say more diversity in the roster. every band was post-hardcore in some way but not this new wave of cookie-cutter stuff. maybe that's just my NC pride talking or me being reminiscent over the scene in NC from 4-5 years ago.

good luck tommy. i look forward to future releases and hearing more from the label. in other words, make shit happen.
05:58 AM on 03/04/11
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ugh no. i remember seeing this posted before.

Yeah, he wouldn't know. It's not like it's his site or anythi....
10:02 PM on 03/04/11
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Yeah, he wouldn't know. It's not like it's his site or anythi....
totally read it on AP.net. i'm not going crazy. plus, some other kid posted the link to when it was posted a month ago.
10:06 PM on 03/04/11
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We are putting out the new Greeley Estates record, its actually coming along phenomenally, and I'm very excited for everyone to hear it, as it gets back to their roots and where they left off with Go West. with regards to promotion (and what people feel is too little), I'd have to say that while growing a business, and doing the best you can for your bands, sometimes the best means of promoting isn't throwing a great deal of money at an advertising campaign, when other things aren't in place (booking, and or management), and you thrust the group into debt. I/m aware that people will draw their own conclusions, and where there's smoke there must be fire (or lack there of).

With regards to Alesana, A Skylit Drive, Letlive, and any other of the great acts that I have been privileged to work with, its pretty obvious to see that the relationships were then and have always been mutually beneficial to the bands as well as the label in regards to growing our brands. which came first the chicken or the egg? The truth is that they symbiotically formed together at the same time, creating a chicken-egg hybrid creature (or is it egg-chicken) that can rarely be seen during the breeding season of the fourth full moon during a leap year, in which the Winter Olympics are hosted in Hawaii. My point is, that saying either side is directly responsible for the other is pretty degrading and success in this industry (however you decide to measure it) is a joint venture.
Very cool. Thanks for clarifying.
06:28 AM on 03/05/11
RockVocalPower
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totally read it on AP.net. i'm not going crazy. plus, some other kid posted the link to when it was posted a month ago.

It was a paragraph talking about the Morning Of. The interview hasn't been posted before
01:41 AM on 03/06/11
W/O a Parachute
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If you notice, despite having post-hardcore bands on their roster now...Tragic Hero doesn't promote any of their bands. Everyone Dies In Utah, We Are Defiance, Armor for the Broken, Eyes Like Diamonds, and Miracle at Saint Anna are apart of this new group of generic post-hardcore that Tommy has signed, HOWEVER not one of these bands has gotten promoted. EDIU released an album on March 1st, WHO KNEW?! Doesn't matter if you don't like them. THR doesn't promote any of their bands which is ridiculous to me how they stay in business. I bet Greeley Estates will not release their next record with Tragic. I don't see Tragic's Twitter retweeting that the band is in the studio, hmmm.
and the worst part is that it isn't that hard to make a little effort in this day and age to promote a band. with that little effort you can (as you mentioned) tweet or facebook about it and plenty of people will see it. the whole lack of a tour thing really pissed me off, but, i can understand that aspect of it if you are short on cash. IDK, as much as I want to stress that i'm NOT a fanboy of this band, it just infuriates me that if the head of a semi-major label has a band and thinks their newest record is "phenomenal", HOW THE HELL DO YOU LET THEM GO WITHOUT A MAJOR TOUR UNTIL 3 MONTHS AFTER SAID RECORD IS RELEASED? AND SUCK-ASS AT PROMOTING SAID RECORD AFTER RAVE REVIEWS?!?!?! Just bad business IMO.
02:23 AM on 03/06/11
W/O a Parachute
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We are putting out the new Greeley Estates record, its actually coming along phenomenally, and I'm very excited for everyone to hear it, as it gets back to their roots and where they left off with Go West. with regards to promotion (and what people feel is too little), I'd have to say that while growing a business, and doing the best you can for your bands, sometimes the best means of promoting isn't throwing a great deal of money at an advertising campaign, when other things aren't in place (booking, and or management), and you thrust the group into debt. I/m aware that people will draw their own conclusions, and where there's smoke there must be fire (or lack there of).

With regards to Alesana, A Skylit Drive, Letlive, and any other of the great acts that I have been privileged to work with, its pretty obvious to see that the relationships were then and have always been mutually beneficial to the bands as well as the label in regards to growing our brands. which came first the chicken or the egg? The truth is that they symbiotically formed together at the same time, creating a chicken-egg hybrid creature (or is it egg-chicken) that can rarely be seen during the breeding season of the fourth full moon during a leap year, in which the Winter Olympics are hosted in Hawaii. My point is, that saying either side is directly responsible for the other is pretty degrading and success in this industry (however you decide to measure it) is a joint venture.

I'm quoting you just so you see what i posted above. My apologies for the late quote, but i'm overseas.

I comment on this subject as a student of the music industry.

I would appreciate if you address my previous post (in retrospect, this one as well). You mentioned (from the interview) that you ran into people saying "What happened to TMO? They are the greatest band ever." To which you said something along the lines of (paraphrased): You can say all you want how great a band is, but at the end of the day, if the numbers aren't there, they aren't there.

Maybe the numbers weren't there because you and your team gave a lackluster effort on an album that you and the general (critical) public reviewed as exceptional/"phenomenal". From the outside, I feel that the "joint effort" wasn't really there. And this was in the midst of your best financial year!?!?!?!?! Drives me mad. Put them on a tour during the release of their album and you see different numbers. Social Network it. Recruit. Make it an intern's job. C'mon!

You mentioned that you've gone through phases during your tenure a THR, signing bands you love vs those that will make you money... I understand that, but why not put you're heart and soul behind something you genuinely love and the general public sees as a genuinely good product (The TMO record)? Sell the hell out of it. Be happy with your work as well as the return you were sure to see from it.

Go back to the drawing board Tommy. Yeah, you had your best year, but I feel that this was a serious missed opportunity. This is a young band that branches gaps or "scenes". Give them proper support and watch what happens.




Take your time with this, please. I feel we might all learn from what you have to say on this matter.
07:15 AM on 03/06/11
tragicherotommy
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I'm quoting you just so you see what i posted above. My apologies for the late quote, but i'm overseas.

I comment on this subject as a student of the music industry.

I would appreciate if you address my previous post (in retrospect, this one as well). You mentioned (from the interview) that you ran into people saying "What happened to TMO? They are the greatest band ever." To which you said something along the lines of (paraphrased): You can say all you want how great a band is, but at the end of the day, if the numbers aren't there, they aren't there.

Maybe the numbers weren't there because you and your team gave a lackluster effort on an album that you and the general (critical) public reviewed as exceptional/"phenomenal". From the outside, I feel that the "joint effort" wasn't really there. And this was in the midst of your best financial year!?!?!?!?! Drives me mad. Put them on a tour during the release of their album and you see different numbers. Social Network it. Recruit. Make it an intern's job. C'mon!

You mentioned that you've gone through phases during your tenure a THR, signing bands you love vs those that will make you money... I understand that, but why not put you're heart and soul behind something you genuinely love and the general public sees as a genuinely good product (The TMO record)? Sell the hell out of it. Be happy with your work as well as the return you were sure to see from it.

Go back to the drawing board Tommy. Yeah, you had your best year, but I feel that this was a serious missed opportunity. This is a young band that branches gaps or "scenes". Give them proper support and watch what happens.




Take your time with this, please. I feel we might all learn from what you have to say on this matter.
Sure thing, I'd be happy to expand on this.

I'll start by saying that there are certain ethical lines i will not cross in this post (being things directly involving the band or the band/label relationship) that do apply to some of what you are asking about. I would like for it to be clear that I'm not going to cite some of these situations because i'm worried about how they may make myself, my company or the band look, but because some of it simply is not my business, and it's the band members' places to discuss if they choose to. They are still friends of mine and my family, and I will always act with their best interests.

That being said. I'll start at the beginning. When I mentioned that people asked me about "What happened to TMO..." I was talking specifically to the line-up change, the public's perceived hiatus they were recently returning from, and the shifts and shake ups in Management and Booking that would later come back to have a large impact on the band's career moving forward.

With regards to the Hiatus, I am speaking specifically about the end of the album cycle of the previous record (The World As We Know It). During the release of the record, we all worked very hard together; the band and myself came a long way and by the end of the cycle the band had a prominent booking agent, were being looked at by several different management companies, and had 2-5 regional and national tours under their belt in support of said record. With all this being said, we had to address another issue. At this point, the band had fulfilled their contract with me, and while we all agreed that I would stay as a resource for the band, they wanted to pursue the next step of their career on their own. Fast forward to 6-8 months later, and the band approaches me with concerns about their career, management (and lack thereof), and the fact that due to things slowing down in terms of recording, they were having an issue with their booking agent. We talk about putting out another record (which I am still proud of) and doing it as a joint venture with LAB records (who helped us a great deal, and really contributed to the album cycle of The Way I Fell In), and thus we would rebuild the band/brand name, and move in a more mature direction.

Now that you know more about the background of the situation going into the newest record, I'll briefly address the member changes. If you have followed the band (i'm using a general "you" not you specifically), you would know that from the time of the band's inception to the time of the most recent release, the band had changed members roughly 5 times. Now before anyone asks "well why did you continue to work with a band that appeared to be unstable?" I'll go on the record as saying that I believed then, as I do now that the band at the end of the TWAWKI cycle was the best possible band they could be. Sadly, in between the time of the band being free agents and us negotiating a new deal, Abir one of the founding members left the band. Anyone that knows the band, knows Abir's previous contributions in the realms of art, publicity, and administration. That statement isnt meant to take anything away from anyone else in the band, and I believe that Justin, Jessica, Dan, Chris, and Rob, are the heart and soul of TMO. However, Abir's departure left the band with two original members, and while Justin and Jessica have done a great job of becoming the public face for the band, Abir was sorely missed by people in the industry, and fans alike. I'll let anyone reading this fill in the blanks with regards to how the public and industry alike viewed a free agent band (or any band for that matter) that endured so many line up changes, the loss of their booking agent, and eventually their management.

In this business (as I'm sure you'll one day learn, and any others who are looking to get into this business), perception is reality. The entertainment industry is cut-throat and along the way you/your company/band will be tested in ways you couldn't imagine until they are presented to you. Going back to my "Where there's smoke there must be fire (or lack thereof)" statement, the band, myself, and LAB records were all seeing that previous actions regarding time off, changes in line up and in management/booking, were going to be too much to overcome with phone calls/emails/paid lunches, or any other political ploy. You'll also learn that without proper representation in Management and Booking, real financially beneficial touring is near impossible. you almost always need one or the other to get things rolling. I'm not sure what people are perceiving to be the world of indie music, but nobody just calls up a band, and says "Let's go on tour together.." It doesn't work like that usually, and let's face it touring is the backbone to building a band. The band had gone above and beyond with booking their own tours, and we reached out to friends in other bands and at other labels in order to try to get the band on tour. Sadly there wasn't but a handful of opportunities for us, ad most of the agents/managers wanted to see first week sales numbers before committing anything to the band. Even after that, we ran our marketing plan with ads in AP, and a hired publicist who was ready to do anything and everything for the band. It just wasn't enough in any direction, no matter how badly we all wanted/needed it to happen.

I blamed myself for a long time about that (like I said in my interview) and eventually realized that sometimes you have to roll a hard six, and take it on the chin. at the end of the day I know I did what I could for them, and I know they worked hard as well.

So what does all of this mean? How does this relate to you a student? The fact is that the industry isn't a black and white world with defined boarders or marked success, its more of a gray ocean that moves up and down and side to side (and no I dont meant the inevitable shift we all saw coming with Facebook and twitter replacing myspace as the dmonant social media). It doesn't have anything to do with tweets or status updates or street teams (we did all of that). It comes down to the people, and they at the end of the day will choose what makes it. Sure strategy plays a big part in the releasing of a record, and yes of course you can always look back and see things that should have been done to supplement an original plan, but honestly at the end of the day, do you think that everyone that owns a TMO record (or any other record for that matter) went and purchased it? I'm sure that no one admits it, and everyone "waits to see the band live, so I can buy it from them and support them.." but honestly, we all know that's not completely true. this isn't a rant on piracy (although it does look like its turning into one), its a rant on involvement and support of indie music. I don't mind stepping out and getting involved and talking to people about the industry (at least as I see it), and hopefully educating someone on something. I guarantee you all the answers to the questions that you asked are in this post, some of them might be somewhat hidden and they're not written in all caps, but they are in here I promise.

This isn't a blame game either. I love TMO, they have been with me since I slept on couches and when I moved into a real house, they were with me before I met my wife, they dedicated a song to my son. I have a love and respect for that band that not very many labels can say they have for their bands. Hopefully this makes sense to you, and helps to convey a message that there is no right way to push a record. Does this mean I wouldn't change anything? No, if I could I would go back and do almost everything different with regards to the last record and the last album cycle too, but we can't so hopefully someone can learn from what we did (or apparently didn't do) and be better because of it.
11:48 AM on 03/06/11
JoeSledger
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and the worst part is that it isn't that hard to make a little effort in this day and age to promote a band. with that little effort you can (as you mentioned) tweet or facebook about it and plenty of people will see it. the whole lack of a tour thing really pissed me off, but, i can understand that aspect of it if you are short on cash. IDK, as much as I want to stress that i'm NOT a fanboy of this band, it just infuriates me that if the head of a semi-major label has a band and thinks their newest record is "phenomenal", HOW THE HELL DO YOU LET THEM GO WITHOUT A MAJOR TOUR UNTIL 3 MONTHS AFTER SAID RECORD IS RELEASED? AND SUCK-ASS AT PROMOTING SAID RECORD AFTER RAVE REVIEWS?!?!?! Just bad business IMO.

i agree 100%.

now...i'm reading Tommy's reply to you.
12:02 PM on 03/06/11
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Sure thing, I'd be happy to expand on this.

I'll start by saying that there are certain ethical lines i will not cross in this post (being things directly involving the band or the band/label relationship) that do apply to some of what you are asking about. I would like for it to be clear that I'm not going to cite some of these situations because i'm worried about how they may make myself, my company or the band look, but because some of it simply is not my business, and it's the band members' places to discuss if they choose to. They are still friends of mine and my family, and I will always act with their best interests.

That being said. I'll start at the beginning. When I mentioned that people asked me about "What happened to TMO..." I was talking specifically to the line-up change, the public's perceived hiatus they were recently returning from, and the shifts and shake ups in Management and Booking that would later come back to have a large impact on the band's career moving forward.

With regards to the Hiatus, I am speaking specifically about the end of the album cycle of the previous record (The World As We Know It). During the release of the record, we all worked very hard together; the band and myself came a long way and by the end of the cycle the band had a prominent booking agent, were being looked at by several different management companies, and had 2-5 regional and national tours under their belt in support of said record. With all this being said, we had to address another issue. At this point, the band had fulfilled their contract with me, and while we all agreed that I would stay as a resource for the band, they wanted to pursue the next step of their career on their own. Fast forward to 6-8 months later, and the band approaches me with concerns about their career, management (and lack thereof), and the fact that due to things slowing down in terms of recording, they were having an issue with their booking agent. We talk about putting out another record (which I am still proud of) and doing it as a joint venture with LAB records (who helped us a great deal, and really contributed to the album cycle of The Way I Fell In), and thus we would rebuild the band/brand name, and move in a more mature direction.

Now that you know more about the background of the situation going into the newest record, I'll briefly address the member changes. If you have followed the band (i'm using a general "you" not you specifically), you would know that from the time of the band's inception to the time of the most recent release, the band had changed members roughly 5 times. Now before anyone asks "well why did you continue to work with a band that appeared to be unstable?" I'll go on the record as saying that I believed then, as I do now that the band at the end of the TWAWKI cycle was the best possible band they could be. Sadly, in between the time of the band being free agents and us negotiating a new deal, Abir one of the founding members left the band. Anyone that knows the band, knows Abir's previous contributions in the realms of art, publicity, and administration. That statement isnt meant to take anything away from anyone else in the band, and I believe that Justin, Jessica, Dan, Chris, and Rob, are the heart and soul of TMO. However, Abir's departure left the band with two original members, and while Justin and Jessica have done a great job of becoming the public face for the band, Abir was sorely missed by people in the industry, and fans alike. I'll let anyone reading this fill in the blanks with regards to how the public and industry alike viewed a free agent band (or any band for that matter) that endured so many line up changes, the loss of their booking agent, and eventually their management.

In this business (as I'm sure you'll one day learn, and any others who are looking to get into this business), perception is reality. The entertainment industry is cut-throat and along the way you/your company/band will be tested in ways you couldn't imagine until they are presented to you. Going back to my "Where there's smoke there must be fire (or lack thereof)" statement, the band, myself, and LAB records were all seeing that previous actions regarding time off, changes in line up and in management/booking, were going to be too much to overcome with phone calls/emails/paid lunches, or any other political ploy. You'll also learn that without proper representation in Management and Booking, real financially beneficial touring is near impossible. you almost always need one or the other to get things rolling. I'm not sure what people are perceiving to be the world of indie music, but nobody just calls up a band, and says "Let's go on tour together.." It doesn't work like that usually, and let's face it touring is the backbone to building a band. The band had gone above and beyond with booking their own tours, and we reached out to friends in other bands and at other labels in order to try to get the band on tour. Sadly there wasn't but a handful of opportunities for us, ad most of the agents/managers wanted to see first week sales numbers before committing anything to the band. Even after that, we ran our marketing plan with ads in AP, and a hired publicist who was ready to do anything and everything for the band. It just wasn't enough in any direction, no matter how badly we all wanted/needed it to happen.

I blamed myself for a long time about that (like I said in my interview) and eventually realized that sometimes you have to roll a hard six, and take it on the chin. at the end of the day I know I did what I could for them, and I know they worked hard as well.

So what does all of this mean? How does this relate to you a student? The fact is that the industry isn't a black and white world with defined boarders or marked success, its more of a gray ocean that moves up and down and side to side (and no I dont meant the inevitable shift we all saw coming with Facebook and twitter replacing myspace as the dmonant social media). It doesn't have anything to do with tweets or status updates or street teams (we did all of that). It comes down to the people, and they at the end of the day will choose what makes it. Sure strategy plays a big part in the releasing of a record, and yes of course you can always look back and see things that should have been done to supplement an original plan, but honestly at the end of the day, do you think that everyone that owns a TMO record (or any other record for that matter) went and purchased it? I'm sure that no one admits it, and everyone "waits to see the band live, so I can buy it from them and support them.." but honestly, we all know that's not completely true. this isn't a rant on piracy (although it does look like its turning into one), its a rant on involvement and support of indie music. I don't mind stepping out and getting involved and talking to people about the industry (at least as I see it), and hopefully educating someone on something. I guarantee you all the answers to the questions that you asked are in this post, some of them might be somewhat hidden and they're not written in all caps, but they are in here I promise.

This isn't a blame game either. I love TMO, they have been with me since I slept on couches and when I moved into a real house, they were with me before I met my wife, they dedicated a song to my son. I have a love and respect for that band that not very many labels can say they have for their bands. Hopefully this makes sense to you, and helps to convey a message that there is no right way to push a record. Does this mean I wouldn't change anything? No, if I could I would go back and do almost everything different with regards to the last record and the last album cycle too, but we can't so hopefully someone can learn from what we did (or apparently didn't do) and be better because of it.
well explained. i do agree, there's no "perfect" way to promote/push a label or band.
07:06 PM on 03/07/11
W/O a Parachute
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Sure thing, I'd be happy to expand on this.

I'll start by saying that there are certain ethical lines i will not cross in this post (being things directly involving the band or the band/label relationship) that do apply to some of what you are asking about. I would like for it to be clear that I'm not going to cite some of these situations because i'm worried about how they may make myself, my company or the band look, but because some of it simply is not my business, and it's the band members' places to discuss if they choose to. They are still friends of mine and my family, and I will always act with their best interests.

That being said. I'll start at the beginning. When I mentioned that people asked me about "What happened to TMO..." I was talking specifically to the line-up change, the public's perceived hiatus they were recently returning from, and the shifts and shake ups in Management and Booking that would later come back to have a large impact on the band's career moving forward.

With regards to the Hiatus, I am speaking specifically about the end of the album cycle of the previous record (The World As We Know It). During the release of the record, we all worked very hard together; the band and myself came a long way and by the end of the cycle the band had a prominent booking agent, were being looked at by several different management companies, and had 2-5 regional and national tours under their belt in support of said record. With all this being said, we had to address another issue. At this point, the band had fulfilled their contract with me, and while we all agreed that I would stay as a resource for the band, they wanted to pursue the next step of their career on their own. Fast forward to 6-8 months later, and the band approaches me with concerns about their career, management (and lack thereof), and the fact that due to things slowing down in terms of recording, they were having an issue with their booking agent. We talk about putting out another record (which I am still proud of) and doing it as a joint venture with LAB records (who helped us a great deal, and really contributed to the album cycle of The Way I Fell In), and thus we would rebuild the band/brand name, and move in a more mature direction.

Now that you know more about the background of the situation going into the newest record, I'll briefly address the member changes. If you have followed the band (i'm using a general "you" not you specifically), you would know that from the time of the band's inception to the time of the most recent release, the band had changed members roughly 5 times. Now before anyone asks "well why did you continue to work with a band that appeared to be unstable?" I'll go on the record as saying that I believed then, as I do now that the band at the end of the TWAWKI cycle was the best possible band they could be. Sadly, in between the time of the band being free agents and us negotiating a new deal, Abir one of the founding members left the band. Anyone that knows the band, knows Abir's previous contributions in the realms of art, publicity, and administration. That statement isnt meant to take anything away from anyone else in the band, and I believe that Justin, Jessica, Dan, Chris, and Rob, are the heart and soul of TMO. However, Abir's departure left the band with two original members, and while Justin and Jessica have done a great job of becoming the public face for the band, Abir was sorely missed by people in the industry, and fans alike. I'll let anyone reading this fill in the blanks with regards to how the public and industry alike viewed a free agent band (or any band for that matter) that endured so many line up changes, the loss of their booking agent, and eventually their management.

In this business (as I'm sure you'll one day learn, and any others who are looking to get into this business), perception is reality. The entertainment industry is cut-throat and along the way you/your company/band will be tested in ways you couldn't imagine until they are presented to you. Going back to my "Where there's smoke there must be fire (or lack thereof)" statement, the band, myself, and LAB records were all seeing that previous actions regarding time off, changes in line up and in management/booking, were going to be too much to overcome with phone calls/emails/paid lunches, or any other political ploy. You'll also learn that without proper representation in Management and Booking, real financially beneficial touring is near impossible. you almost always need one or the other to get things rolling. I'm not sure what people are perceiving to be the world of indie music, but nobody just calls up a band, and says "Let's go on tour together.." It doesn't work like that usually, and let's face it touring is the backbone to building a band. The band had gone above and beyond with booking their own tours, and we reached out to friends in other bands and at other labels in order to try to get the band on tour. Sadly there wasn't but a handful of opportunities for us, ad most of the agents/managers wanted to see first week sales numbers before committing anything to the band. Even after that, we ran our marketing plan with ads in AP, and a hired publicist who was ready to do anything and everything for the band. It just wasn't enough in any direction, no matter how badly we all wanted/needed it to happen.

I blamed myself for a long time about that (like I said in my interview) and eventually realized that sometimes you have to roll a hard six, and take it on the chin. at the end of the day I know I did what I could for them, and I know they worked hard as well.

So what does all of this mean? How does this relate to you a student? The fact is that the industry isn't a black and white world with defined boarders or marked success, its more of a gray ocean that moves up and down and side to side (and no I dont meant the inevitable shift we all saw coming with Facebook and twitter replacing myspace as the dmonant social media). It doesn't have anything to do with tweets or status updates or street teams (we did all of that). It comes down to the people, and they at the end of the day will choose what makes it. Sure strategy plays a big part in the releasing of a record, and yes of course you can always look back and see things that should have been done to supplement an original plan, but honestly at the end of the day, do you think that everyone that owns a TMO record (or any other record for that matter) went and purchased it? I'm sure that no one admits it, and everyone "waits to see the band live, so I can buy it from them and support them.." but honestly, we all know that's not completely true. this isn't a rant on piracy (although it does look like its turning into one), its a rant on involvement and support of indie music. I don't mind stepping out and getting involved and talking to people about the industry (at least as I see it), and hopefully educating someone on something. I guarantee you all the answers to the questions that you asked are in this post, some of them might be somewhat hidden and they're not written in all caps, but they are in here I promise.

This isn't a blame game either. I love TMO, they have been with me since I slept on couches and when I moved into a real house, they were with me before I met my wife, they dedicated a song to my son. I have a love and respect for that band that not very many labels can say they have for their bands. Hopefully this makes sense to you, and helps to convey a message that there is no right way to push a record. Does this mean I wouldn't change anything? No, if I could I would go back and do almost everything different with regards to the last record and the last album cycle too, but we can't so hopefully someone can learn from what we did (or apparently didn't do) and be better because of it.
Honestly, that was very beneficial for me and anyone who will read that. And I will have to apologize for the textual tone I took in my post that you quoted.

It seems you did put your heart into their product, and clearly you're proud of your effort. It's a shame it didn't work out. I know its been difficult for all in the biz. Thanks for the insight.
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