Saturday, January 30, 2010

Does This Apply to You?

~ Borrowed from Hugh Macleod's book and blog. Check it here:

Kinda cool how this applies to musicians in this new music biz 2.0... in my opinion anyway. Enjoy.


So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years.]

1. Ignore everybody.

2. The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours.

3. Put the hours in.
4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
5. You are responsible for your own experience.
6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
7. Keep your day job.
8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
11. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
13. Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.
14. Dying young is overrated.
15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.
16. The world is changing.
17. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.
18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
19. Sing in your own voice.
20. The choice of media is irrelevant.
21. Selling out is harder than it looks.
22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
23. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.
24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
25. You have to find your own schtick.
26. Write from the heart.
27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
28. Power is never given. Power is taken.
29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.
30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.
31. Remain frugal.
32. Allow your work to age with you.
33. Being Poor Sucks.
34. Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.
35. Savor obscurity while it lasts.
36. Start blogging.
37. Meaning Scales, People Don’t.
37. When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams.

New Music Seminar 2010

~ This coming Tuesday Feb 2, I will attending the NMS, New Music Seminar, at the Fonda in Hollywood. If you see me there feel free to chat me up. Tickets are still available, and here is more info on the event:


DATE: February 2, 2010
LOCATION: Henry Fonda Theater,

6126 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028

From the co-founder and director of the original legendary New Music Seminar comes a seminar for the new business of music.

This low-cost one day event will give you the knowledge and the tools to step into tomorrow’s music business today.

The day will kick off with a keynote speech, followed by four sessions filled with vital information on how to see it and how to do it, accompanied by the New Music Seminar Guide Book filled with important contact information and vital new music business basics.

The Schmoozatorium will have important industry exhibitors and an opportunity for you to network with the other Seminar delegates. Delegates will also receive the NMS Directory, an invaluable guide filled with vital information, including forms, contacts and discount offers worth well over $100.


For sponsorship opportunities contact:


Monday, 1st February

7:30pm: OPENING NIGHT PARTY - The Roxy Theater


Tuesday, 2nd February


Welcome to the New Music Seminar.

10:00am: First Movement

Welcome to the New Music Business: Everything You Know Is Wrong
Setting your targets to the new definition of winning. The Story of 1000 true fans. Fan Relationship Management and an introduction to the new science of The Fan Pyramid and how to maximize revenues from your different types of fans.

12:00 noon: KEYNOTE SPEECH: Daniel Ek, Founder, Spotify

1:00 pm: Second Movement:

Get Arrested! Marketing and Promotion in the New Music Business. New and old ways to expose yourself regardless of genre.
This movement will discuss the best of the old marketing that still works and the best of the new on line marketing that works. How to encourage a quantum event. What are some innovative ways of marketing using new and old tech and methods. What is the story you are trying to tell? Is your marketing approach going to best tell that story.

3:00 pm: Third Movement

The Creative Process and Radical Differentiation:
The creative quartet and how to master it.

5:00 pm: Fourth Movement

Your Live Show and Tour: Simple Steps to Cut Through the Glut and Reach the Magic 300 Ticket Mark:
Why does your act deserve the slot on the show more than any other Artist? How do you make your show hotter and build your touring base while maximizing your merchandising sales and profit per show?

6:30 pm: Conclusion and Closing

Tom Silverman (NMS Founder and Director, Tommy Boy)

6:45 pm: NMS Cocktail Reception

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"No Label Needed" CONTEST!

~ Here is a project I am involved with. If you are an unsigned band, this might be a great opportunity for you...?!

For Immediate Release



The No Label Needed Contest and Series presented by Scion, in collaboration with, will help one band leave labels behind and take on the industry all on their own. The series will show readers how it's done, all while helping one special contest-winning band get ahead in a spectacular way.

From 1/20 NOW EXPANDED through 2/8, unsigned acts can submit demo packages Twenty finalists will be selected and one winner will be voted on by the public and a panel artists, agents, writers and managers who work with the likes of Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Shadows Fall. Voting will run from 2/9 through 3/8. The grand prize winner, to be announced on 3/15, will win all the help and education they need to become a truly self-sufficient artist without having to sign a traditional record deal.

The winning band will receive a personalized, all-encompassing tutorial focused on the secrets and tips needed to achieve success in the music industry through DIY means of marketing. Winners will be mentored by the members of Shadows Fall, record an EP produced by Machine (Lamb of God, Every Time I Die, Suicide Silence), shop for their stage and photo shoot clothing with Maria Brink (In This Moment) and Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Ozzy) and receive advice from the likes of Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Their website will be re-designed, their merch re-imagined and radio and press campaigns mounted to promote their EP by the best in their fields. The series is not only meant to be a learning experience for one band, it is meant to teach any dedicated musician who wants to learn how to properly market their craft. Readers will be able to interact with contest partners and contributing musicians and professionals through the site to get some real insight into specific areas of expertise. For further information, please contact Jamie Roberts ( or Leo Lavoro ( at Big Machine Media at 646-395-2600.

About Scion
Scion, from Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., was developed with a new generation of youthful buyers in mind. Scion's mission is to provide distinctive products, the opportunity to personalize, and an innovative, consumer-driven process at the retail level. The Scion brand features three groundbreaking models with a wide array of standard features: the xD urban subcompact five-door, the iconic xB urban utility vehicle, and the tC sports coupe. The brand often applies new practices in all aspects of its business and pushes the creativity envelope with non-traditional advertising and marketing to engage young consumers. Scion also supports originality through its programs in the artistic community. For more information, visit

About is a metal music industry blog, reporting news, gossip and analysis from every aspect of the metal biz. Metal Insider explains and analyzes everything from record deals to marketing strategies to weekly record sales and radio charts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Income $tream$

~ I grabbed this from

The artist music business model has been in flux for years. The record deal dream that most artists sought is no longer the viable alternative that it once was. The leveling of the music distribution playing field by the Internet is virtually complete. Terrestrial radio is on a path towards destruction that even the major labels can’t compete with. People now access and download music from multiple sources, usually for free. D.I. Y solutions are everywhere, but for many artists hard to integrate into their daily lives.

Where does this leave the average independent artist? At the beginning. Every artist wants to know how they can make music, make money and survive to write and play another day. Here, in no particular order, is a list of possible income streams.

• Publishing
• Mechanical royalties
• Performance Royalties from ASCAP and BMI
• Digital Performance Royalties from Sound Exchange
• Synch rights TV, Commercials, Movies, Video Games
• Digital sales – Individual or by combination
• Music (studio & live) Album – Physical & Digital, Single – Digital, • Ringtone, Ringback, Podcasts
• Instant Post Gig Live Recording via download, mobile streaming or flash drives
• Video – Live, concept, personal, – Physical & Digital
• Video and Internet Games featuring or about the artist
• Photographs
• Graphics and art work, screen savers, wall paper
• Lyrics
• Sheet music
• Compilations
• Merchandise – Clothes, USB packs, Posters, other things
• Live Performances
• Live Show – Gig
• Live Show – After Party
• Meet and Greet
• Personal Appearance
• Studio Session Work
• Sponsorships, and endorsements
• Advertising
• Artist newsletter emails
• Artist marketing and promotion materials
• Blog/Website
• Videos
• Music Player
• Fan Clubs
• YouTube Subscription channel for more popular artists
• Artist programmed internet radio station or specialty playlist.
• Financial Contributions of Support – Tip Jar or direct donations, Sellaband or Kickstarter
• Patronage Model – Artist Fan Exclusives – e.g. paying to sing on a song in studio or have artist write a song for you
• Mobile Apps
• Artist Specific Revenue Stream - unique streams customized to the specific artist, e.g Amanda Palmer
• Music Teaching – Lessons and Workshops
• Music Employment – orchestras, etc, choir directors, ministers of music, etc.
• Music Production – Studio and Live
• Any job available to survive and keep making music
• Getting Help From Other Artists and Helping Them - Whatever goes around come around. – e.g. gig swapping, songwriting, marketing and promotion

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Write or Wrong?

Well here I am in the wake of recuperating from NAMM 2010. I probably logged in more hours than any previous year. No complaints though. It was great connecting with with friends and fans! Nice meeting and seeing you all.

Anyway, so getting caught up on my RSS feeds and I ran across this little tidbit from

"There are a lot of holes in the music business. A hole is something you see that the mainstream does not. If you want respect, if you want instant accolades, entrepreneurship is not the right road. You’re betting against the mainstream. But the mainstream is so calcified in the music world that the landscape is ripe for innovation.

But your best avenue is to come up with hit music. It’s the cheapest way. And hooky, melodic songs sung by people with good voices never go out of style. That’s the huge hole in the music business today. Exploit it."

The entire article is much more epic and you can check it out here:

So, maybe he is right? As simple as it sounds, the future of the music biz are great songs? What a concept! Sounds easy enough, right? Well it isn't! Unfortunately for most, writing a great song is not something that comes all that naturally.

The bulk of my music career has been playing other people's songs. I have zero regrets for that being my path. I do not claim to be a song writer, and early on I realized that playing great songs live that were written by musicians that I highly respect was ultimately more gratifying than anything else I had previously experienced while being in a band. That's just me though.

So I guess all musicians that want a fulfilling career in this business really need to be honest with themselves in terms of ability and talent. Just because you know the difference between a pentatonic scale and a paradiddle does not by default make you a song writer, it makes you a musician, and there is a finite difference between the two.

So, my question is why do musicians feel the need to boast at the fact that they write their own material, and mock the ones that don't? If you feel that you are not reaching the goals that you have set for yourself, or that you are finding your motivation has plateaued, be honest with yourself and don't blame other bands and circumstances around you for your perceived failures... maybe your songs just suck? Maybe you need some outside writers to assist you in crafting your sound? It happens in the publishing world all the time... they are called "ghost writers".

Maybe the record biz wouldn't be in the shitter if they had decided to release a lot less mediocre music? No wonder why all the record stores are closing and the new generation just wants the shit for free... maybe that is all it's worth?