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 Industry Spotlight

Manager Spotlight - Justin Goldberg

Posted by MMF on Dec 01, 2011 | 0 Comments

Justin Goldberg is an American music industry executive, artist manager, writer and graphic artist. Goldberg is the manager for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and has worked with the group since their album Nothing But The Water was recorded in 2005. He is the author of The Ultimate Survival Guide to the New Music Industry: Handbook for Hell (Crown Publishing Group / Random House). An outspoken critic of the music industry's traditional business model, he is an early advocate for online marketing and distribution.

Goldberg founded the Online Music Channel in 1998, and held key posts at major online music companies such as iMesh, Tonos, and Riffage.com. An accomplished graphic artist, Goldberg has had several gallery showings, including a benefit for the City of Hope at the Patricia Correia Gallery in Santa Monica in 2001. As a music executive and manager, he has worked with a wide range of artists and producers, including Mos Def, Dee Dee Ramone, David Foster, Martin Sexton, T Bone Burnett, Mark Batson, Willie Nelson, Mick Taylor and Rage Against The Machine.

What inspired you to want to be a manager? Meeting Andrew Loog Oldham and being impressed with his swagger and fearless mix of business and adventure. He explained how he and Keith Richards chose new material by the level of "orgasm" reached in the chorus. I thought, "Cool. I can do this - law school can wait."

What was your first industry job and how did you get it?
Sony ATV Music Publishing as an assistant in the International Dept. I had met the President of the company trying to get a record deal and he convinced me to work there instead (I guess he didn't think I was a very talented singer-songwriter).

What determines your desire to work with an artist?
It's just that feeling in the pit of one's stomach, like falling in love. You're in the middle of something else you thought was important, and then all of sudden something hits you and leaves you with no rational choice.

In your opinion, what makes a great artist great?
I suppose sharing a point of view that adds a spiritual kind of value for audiences. Having great hooks doesn't hurt, but longevity is really the true test, and for that being musically fearless and having a dedication to growing AFTER certain kinds of success is probably the key there. As a music executive and fan I've always gravitated towards independent acts but I suppose I'm strangely agnostic in terms of music genre and an artists'  mainstream success. For example, in my mind Martin Sexton is a great artist because he's never allowed a lack of mainstream success to keep him from innovating on his own terms and making his audience feel a unique experience. On the other end of the spectrum is someone like Lady Gaga, also a great artist for the same reason in reverse - she doesn't  allowed her domination of mainstream success to keep her from innovating on her own terms, yet also making her audience feel they belong to a unique group.

How did your business transform over the last several years?
I came into management after being very involved in the digital music business and publishing, so I didn't get into management until after the business had already been transformed by recorded music largely becoming free, which in turn focused revenue flow on the live music experience. Nevertheless, synch fees have gone down, sponsor related fees have gone up, and development money has vanished along with most a&r people. A&R is back to being A&R in many ways; gone are the days when being on the vanguard of the gate keepers was an art form unto itself. Blame Andy Lack and the dual disc.

What is the best advice you have received over the years as a manager? Waylon Jennings was the first person I met in the business when I was just becoming a teenager. I made a demo and he told me "The trick is, you gotta get them to come to YOU not you go to THEM."Still living by that I think. What would you tell a new manager coming into the business today? Go to law school.

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Manager Spotlight - Petri H. Lunden

Posted by MMF on Sep 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Petri H. Lundén is the executive chairman of Hagenburg and also chairman of the international manager organization IMMF (International Music Managers Forum)
Hagenburg is the biggest management in the Nordic region with clients such as Europe, The Cardigans, Peter LeMarc, Neverstore, Anette Olzon and more. Part from artistemanagement Hagenburg also represents many of Swedens biggest TV- and radiohosts and sportstars.  
 




What inspired you to want to be a manager?
- I´m not sure that it was necessarily inspirational but rather a necessity and lack of professional management available for artists I was booking at the time. It was simply a matter of learning by doing, a punk ethos that I still strongly live by.  
What was your first industry job and how did you get it?  
- My first steps we´re as self-employed promoter some 30 years ago, however after a few years I was headhunted to become the talent-buyer for Sweden´s then biggest music festival “Hultsfred”, a job that I got stuck with for 10 years.  
What determines your desire to work with an artist?  
- In my book it´s simply to add value, the artists are artists but they are not runners of businesses which is something that I have skills in so when the two skills meet and are optimized that creates an opportunity to succeed, it´s very hard to do one without the other in the music-industry. If the question is more related to a specific artist it´s like mentioned above, the question I ask myself after the initial meeting(s) is “can I add value?” – if yes and the artist has ambition then it´s worth trying.  
In your opinion, what makes a great artist “great”?  
- It´s different artist to artist however I´d say that a healthy dose of egoism is very useful, they should want to succeed, they should crave to be loved by the potential audience and they should be able to move people with their music and presence. If that’s nicely packaged then you get a shot to succeed.  
What is your greatest professional challenge today?  
- That’s a very broad question but I see it the other way actually, what´s the great professional opportunities out there today, and my answer to that is “plenty” actually more than I have ever experienced before. The control has moved closer to the artist and now we know more, can do more and actually, if we´re reasonably good at what we do and have an artist that is willing to challenge the old models, we´re actually even making more money to the artiste and consequently ourselves.  
How did your business transform over the last several years?  
- An UK based colleague of mine, Cerne Canning who manages Franz Ferdinand amongst others, said it very well: “if we used to do 5 things we now do 50” and that’s basically down to that most of the labels we used to be signed to are in comparison understaffed, and the things that need to be done still needs to be done and at the end of the day it´s the managers responsibility to get it done so there you go…  
Where do you see this business 5-10 years from now?  
- Preferably from behind sunglasses, slightly tipsy in a reasonably warm place J  
What is the best advice you have received over the years as a manager?
- Oh there´s plenty but some sayings that I still use, are “it´s not a matter of if you´ll be fired as a manager but rather when”
and “the only way to make someone truly understand what you´re doing for them is by stop doing them”  
What would you tell a new manager coming into the business today?  
- Don´t do it J Jokes aside, be prepared, find knowledge and remember who you work for, but that does not make you a slave for your client, you´re the manager and that involves managing, not carrying guitar-cases nor drumsticks unless your client is armless.  

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Manager Spotlight - Paul Geary

Posted by MMF on Aug 01, 2011 | 0 Comments

Paul Geary always gravitated towards management. Even while drumming for multi-platinum Grammy Award nominated rock juggernaut Extreme, Geary pulled double duty by immersing himself in numerous managerial duties for the group. In many ways, the Boston native was eternally meant to guide the careers of artists, and he continues to do so with a prescient perspective, inspiring work ethic, and infectious passion.In the early 1970s, Geary became obsessed with rock 'n' roll. Influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Pink Floyd, he got his first drum kit at 13 and dove headfirst into learning the instrument inside and out. Diligently crafting his percussive style, he formed Extreme with his friend Gary Cherone out of a Medford, MA garage. Extreme quickly became a fixture on the local club circuit as Geary assumed the roles of the band's manager and drummer. Through his knack for networking and deal-making, Geary raised the group's profile on a national level, and they eventually signed their first record deal with A&M in 1987. After that, he sought outside management for Extreme, but he never truly left that role throughout his stint in the band.For Geary, success as a musician intrinsically informs his management style. "In my years of recording and touring, I learned a lot about the music business," he says. "While we were a local band, I completely supervised our career. Even after we did sign to proper management, I was always the guy who dealt with business on a daily basis. I absorbed so much at that time, and that's where the roots of it all began."Geary saw Extreme rise from the garage to stadiums. During his time in the band, Extreme performed live in 35 countries and sold over 9 million records worldwide. Their iconic single "More Than Words" became a #1 hit in 30 countries, and the band spawned 5 top ten rock hits and 2 top 5 hits at top 40. However, after recording Extreme's fourth album Waiting for the Punchline in 1994, Geary made the jump to management full-time.He goes on, "I realized that I was more interested in orchestrating deals, posturing the band to be in a better place, and planning than I was in playing so I had to make a break."While running a providence rock club called The Strand, Geary formed PGM—Paul Geary Management—and commenced working with Godsmack in 1997. He secured them a deal with Universal Republic Records during early 1998, and the group became a dominant force in hard rock, completely taking the genre by storm. Geary brought the band to local Boston radio station WAAF where their single "Whatever" quickly infiltrated airwaves and eventually swept the entire country. Godsmack's self-titled 1998 debut exceeded 5-times platinum status as Geary's company morphed into Global Artist Management, which would become a home for other gold- and platinum-sensations such as Cold, Fuel, Afroman, and many more.In 2005, everything evolved once more for Geary. Global Artist Management attracted the attention of industry pioneer Irving Azoff. Geary folded Global Artist Management into the Los Angeles-based Azoff Music Management, and he partnered with Jared Paul. Together, the two signed alternative rock legend The Smashing Pumpkins. Given how quickly the company collectively grew, a new division was born in 2008 called AGP Management—Azoff, Geary, and Paul. Between Geary handling Creed, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Godsmack and Paul working with New Kids on the Block and touring productions of Glee and Dancing with the Stars, AGP proved to be a multi-genre powerhouse representing some of the world's most successful and important acts.Geary's personal approach to management ultimately separates him. "I work for each artist and take direction specifically from them," he reveals. "The goals differ for each act, and I try to hear them in order to help achieve their version of success. I was an artist, and I can empathize with their experience. You learn what each artist is looking for and you work together toward actualizing their dreams."Geary continues to help make dreams come true. To date, Godsmack has garnered four Grammy nominations and sold 12 million albums worldwide. The group also had more top 10 active rock hits than any other band in the history of BDS. The Smashing Pumpkins are firing on all cylinders, pushing boundaries and paving their own path with unique online releases and sold out shows worldwide. Alter Bridge is a burgeoning international phenomenon, while Creed packs arenas everywhere. Another AGP client, Steel Panther is in the throes of breaking into TV in a big way while the firm has expanded to include Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind, and Fire. Geary also fervently seeks new fresh talent, hoping to give the world even more quality music.The future looks just as bright. Geary concludes, "We're focusing on company and brand building. A big part of our business is being a content provider for venues. We're looking to diversify even more." That's been the name of the game for Geary since day one, and it's why he's so crucial to the ever-changing musical landscape.— Rick Florino, July 2011

Manager Spotlight Q&A

What inspired you to want to be a manager?

As a young drummer, I helped form a group of musicians that were each very motivated and committed to get to the next level as professional performers. I was not a gifted writer or musician as my band mates were, and none of them were really interested in engaging in the business side of what we were doing, so I stepped into the manager role which became a way for me to make a contribution to our goals beyond playing drums. Simply as a necessity at that time, but it led me on a path of learning and experience which made the transition to full-time manager a natural one for me after reaching many of our goals as the group Extreme.

What was your first industry job and how did you get it?

Our group Extreme landed a recording contract with A&M Records in 1987 by building a loyal fan base in New England and attracting the attention of several labels.

What determines your desire to work with an artist?

That answer has changed over the years. In the early days of full-time management I was seeking out a developing act that I felt had all of the core ingredients to be successful, but lacked the organization to make that happen. One of the first acts I signed in 1997 was a local Boston group, Godsmack, that fit that bill completely. These days as part of a much bigger organization, it's more likely that we'll take on established acts that require the broad level of resources and service that we have to offer.

In your opinion, what makes a great artist “great”?

There are obviously many forms of greatness; sometimes it's just the shear awe that one inspires when they've mastered their instrument to a stand-out level. I'm most impressed with melody making and creativity. The Beatles are the premiere example of an act that did not have extremely technically advanced players, but they inspired many through their prolific songwriting, undeniable appeal, and their ability to evolve creatively.

What is your greatest professional challenge today?

Breaking new artists is a bigger challenge than ever. With consistently declining record sales, the record labels have reduced staffing and have much smaller budgets than they did 10 years ago. Most of us complained about the old record company model because the artists were given such a small share of profits; however, the system did provide for the next artist in line to be developed and the general public was consistently discovering new music.

How did your business transform over the last several years?

Consolidation. One of the upsides is that it creates a union of sorts; the leverage of many artists being housed under the same roof allows us to negotiate better deals through high volume/low margin deals... Also, with the decline of record company staffing we've had to staff up to plug those holes, and consolidation has helped to provide those resources to acts that may not otherwise be able to afford them.

Where do you see this business 5-10 years from now?

Ask Irving Azoff :)

What is the best advice you have received over the years as a manager?

Most of the best advice I've been given has come from reading self-help books. One bit of advice that comes to mind is not to make decisions during emotional states. If I become really angry (or really happy) about a particular situation, I try to wait a day before responding. I usually regret the decisions I've made otherwise...

What would you tell a new manager coming into the business today?

There are several ways to break in if you have talent, but I have witnessed several entry level people at our company graduate to assistants, then day to day managers, and in some cases senior managers with their own roster of clients. If you have smarts and are motivated you have a very good chance of being recognized and promoted. So don’t be put-off by accepting a low level job (or even internship) if it puts you next to experienced managers.  

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