-In your own words and based on your own experiences, define an "Artist Manager".
An "Artist Manager" is basically the representative of the band. They take care of many different things from touring and marketing a record to just being there when they need things...odds and ends. I usually like to say that I'm the extra member of the band with a whole bunch of connections.
-What are the responsibilities, goals, and tasks of a manager?
Oh man, that's a long conversation right there so I'll try to make it simple. The goals of course are to always get the bands they work with to a level that the bands desire. It's a lot of hard work and you really have to be passionate about what you do in order to even do this job. A lot of my daily responsibilities or tasks would be to make sure that the label is doing their job promoting the bands records...asking the right questions and just being creative with marketing.
-What are some of the best features and personality traits a solid manager normally possesses?
You have to be friendly...my modo is "killing with kindness". A lot of times I can get what I want just because I can relate why things are a good idea to the people I work with but the only reason why they listen is just because I'm nice about it. There are a lot of managers that are just combative off the bat and maybe they'll get their way but the people on the other end hate them for it. I try to take the opposite approach. That's not to say that if I feel that there is a certain opportunity for one of my bands and I get turned down by that I won't try other avenues to get what is necessary to get the job done but I just try to be cool about it.
-What tactics it took to get off the ground and sign with some fairly well known bands (Matchbook, Millencolin etc)?
Well, a lot of people used to know this but might not now is that I started Open Hand (they are on trustkill records now...what's up Josh?) with the original members (justin, mike and alex...who is now in Saosin). I loved being in a band. I toured and toured and toured and really pushed but somehow down the road I didn't feel that was my calling. I eventually jumped out of that band to find myself in a position where most kids feel to this day. I thought to myself, "I love music" but I don't know what to do about it. So I explored my options...maybe work as an agent, a manager, a tour manager...I had already worked at a label before so I knew what that was all about already... Capitol Records. So what I did was just send my resume out to management companies and found one that would take me as an intern working for free. I worked with bands like Motley Crue, Coal Chamber, Yes, and some others like Meatloaf...yes meatloaf. This is where I had found my passion on a whole other level. I liked doing it so i decided to pick up my own bands... my first one was NAME TAKEN and then a few months down the line was SLICK SHOES. I just worked really hard doing it on my own but my passion led me to where I am now. Right after that I got really involved. I picked up Matchbook when they were called The Getaway, I started hiring help, I picked up Plain White T's, Millencolin, Roses Are Red, A Thorn For Every Heart and that's where I'm at now. I love doing what I do but it has taken me awhile to get where I'm at.
-What are the ups and downs managing these bands?
The ups are I get to go to shows all the time, work with my friends (all my bands are my friends) and just do what I love. I always tell people that since I started working in management I haven't worked in awhile.
-Can kids expect to see any of the One Moment bands touring together anytime soon, due to them all being on the same roster?
I mean selfishly I would love to do my own tour with my entire roster...haha, but that won't happen. From time to time you'll see some of our bands going out on the same tour but with the exception of the first few months of this year it probably won't happen for awhile. I tend to just let my bands take out whatever bands they like if it makes sense to the tour.
-Where do you feel the industry is heading, and what changes should kids and fans expect in the future?
That's a great question.
-How do managers go about making money, and how does the financial end of management work?
Usually what happens is that when a band meets a manager and they both agree to work together the manager will ask for a % of their income. Sometimes it's worked out through a contract and other times it's based on a handshake...the percentages vary though based on what the bands and the manager feel comfortable with.
-What do you feel is the key to success in the management side of the music business?
The key to success is working hard and just networking constantly. The great thing about this business is that there are a whole bunch of people trying to push this industry to a bigger and better place.
-What is the best way to get started in the music management business if i am currently a college student majoring in advertising/public relations? Can you offer any advice?
If you know you want to get into management my best advice is to go work at a management company. Ask if you can work for free, pay attention to what they are telling you...it's all free advice and it gives you the opportunity to get the big picture of what it's all about. Internships are great. I'm thinking about starting that soon.
-This is my favorite question...
How much impact does a college degree have when trying to get into the business ends of the music business vs. getting actual experience through internships and connections? What would you recommend to try and get that experience?
This is a great question. You know, I went to college and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in communications. The funny thing though about it was that when I interned after school there were people there that were my age or younger even who had jobs in this business and were doing well for themselves. They never went to college...they just went straight in and learned. I feel that if you can go to college you should. It's a great experience in developing your life and it can help you grow as a person and develop skills that you might not learn but if you want my advice it would be to intern while you're doing it. If I have to choose though between the two I would say experience wins over a degree in this business.
-When would be a good time for a band to look for management, and how do they know if a manager is right for them?
All bands have different situations. Some bands need management right away to get signed, get them an agent, help them with touring...etc. etc. But there are also those other bands that get signed on their own, get their own agent and get the rest of their stuff taken care of. I will tell you though i would definitely think about getting one after you get signed no matter what to maximize your potential. There are a few bands in particular that have done well but could have done way better had they taken on a manager right when they got signed. Both of those situation I have dealt with. Bands only want one thing...success, so if you feel that a manager is the answer to that right away take one on.
-When you are interested in working with a band, how do you initially contact them, and what do meetings/talks with these bands consist of?
When I'm interested in working with a band I usually will go out and see them play and if I like that then I'll call them and express interest. Usually after that if they are interested in what I have to offer we'll discuss everything in detail.
-Are contracts/lawyers involved in management? If so, what do the contracts usually consist of? Are the bands binded by amount of albums released or by weeks/months/years?
Sometimes there are contracts that will have like a 3-6 album deal or it can be a certain amount of years...usually the managers, lawyer and the bands lawyer will talk and come up with the right fit for both parties. The beauty of management deals is that it's up for whatever people are comfortable with. Note: not all managers/bands do management contracts... simply agreements verbally.
-I often get updates and press releases regarding from you regarding the band's you work with. Is this in your job description? I thought publicists mainly handled that aspect.
I tend to be somewhat of a control freak. The less I can rely on other people to get the job done the better for me. Not to say that I don't need other people but in this day in age kids need to see those bands names out there and I'm usually the person that gets all of that information first so I'd rather just send it out to all the zines so people can know what's going on with us and our artists.
What is a common mistake managers make and what would you say to young managers in hopes of steering them away from this common error?
To all the younger managers out there...just because you have a band doesn't necessarily make you a manager per say. There is a lot of knowledge needed to grow in this business. My advice would be to learn as much as you can with other people that do this for a living before putting a band's career in your hands. The bands look up to you. Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses. I often hear from labels about a lot of young managers that they get fed up with because of the lack of experience. That potentially could hurt a band trying to make it. Just make sure you get the knowledge the bands deserve in order to achieve success for them.
-Anything else you'd like to add is welcomed. Advice, thank you's, shout outs, plugs, etc.
I got into this business to help and contribute to this industry. I'm just putting my own approach on it. Thank you for taking the time to listen to our clients. All of our bands are constantly growing and we have a few tricks up our sleeve still to come. Please add us on our myspace.com/onemomentmanagement profile if you our on there. We will be announcing a few new signings shortly and just wait til you hear the new Matchbook Romance record....I'm already blown away by it. Oh and one last thing, be sure to check out Alternative Press next month...there is an article about us and I try and answer questions for their DIY section so keep checkin on that.
"all you need to know about the music business" by donald s. passman is a book everyone needs to read before they even consider working w/ music.
I suggest "Confessions Of A Record Producer" by Moses Avalon. It's a book dedicated to steering people free of scams and rip offs. It gives sample contracts from labels like Universal and picks them apart, showing where there's hidden clauses and bullshit in them. It rules so much.
I enjoyed "Get It In Writing: The Musicians Guide To The Music Industry" by Brian McPherson. He goes through the scam stuff too, goes through all the parts of a contract, and talks about pretty much all aspects of the music industry. Easy/fun read too.