Read this: Media Masters - Emma Banks
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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard
welcome to media Masters series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media game did I'm here at the creative artists agency in Hammersmith London with music executive emmabanks she co-founded their London office in 2006 and a client list includes Florence and the Machine the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Katy Perry during her 25 year career.
She is one polestar UK agent of the Year 7 times and is about to become the first female executive to receive limits award in recognition of a contribution to the music industry, she's also chairs the O2 silver clef committee, which delivers music therapy Thunderball people across the UK and thank you for joining me.
Thank you for having me, congratulations on the mits Awards honour given to the likes of Kylie Minogue Our Mutual Friend Rob stringer how you had been chosen.
I was actually this town.
Just like I'm showing off but I was in Brazil I was in Brazil with the Red Hot Chili Peppers they were so plain lollapalooza festival and ID David man.
What is the chair of the Mets committee and I've been playing phone tag but he's very involved with nordoff Robbins which is what I do the silver clef lunch for as a result we've got a minute.
You know we kept ringing he was in Canada I was in Brazil that I was on a plane and he finally got hold of me.
I was in the production office backstage and he said oh, we've had a meeting and would like to honour you with the mits award.
Are you ok? And I am generally not stuck for words and I think I look probably like a fish out of water go are you sure are you know surely? There's no there must be someone better than me.
They'll be somebody headaches for big shot.
We want you to receive it.
So obviously it's a huge honour I can't quite believe that it's happening, but I'm very I'm very proud and privileged to be thought of in that way.
And I hope that the event makes a lot of money for charity.
What does your job involved because that you know you said that you only big shots get it but you know you haven't you are a bit of a big shot if you don't want me flattering.
You know it certainly appears that you have quite in a glamorous and exciting job it.
Is it as glamorous and exciting as it appears.
Are you? Are you going to tell us the reality is dealing with problems at the back room person so I don't get my photo taken by her try not to get my photo taken.
You know what is what is glamour.
I'm part of a team that works with hugely talented musicians performers and so I get a little bit of reflected glamour.
I think reflected glory from what they do.
They're the ones that actually are out there.
They're the ones that are putting it on the stage and that everybody wants to see no one wants to see me.
They want to see what they do but I'm a little part of.
Getting them to that point so my job a lot of the time is in an office.
It's sitting at a desk.
It's on the phone.
It's an email in the old days were used to send text to her faxes and write letters, but we don't do that so much anymore until I'm putting together touring proposals for artists strategizing about when they should to where they should tell how big is the Venue is what the ticket price should be how we going to advertise it.
You know if it's all going well.
That's fabulous and even when it's going well.
You know we're doing our best to stop tickets may be going onto the secondary market because most artists want to sell their tickets at the ticket price.
They have designated and that doesn't mean they couldn't make more for them, but they want a lot of people to be able to attend so we're looking at that if ticket sales on so strong with similarly looking at how can we promote the show better? How can we get two more people?
So these are the kind of things that I do I go to the shows.
I don't go to every show it because if I did I wouldn't get any work done frankly and what's much more important for the client said I work with is the time in a head down doing everything I can to help them get where they want to get to and every artist is different.
You know there are some apps that just want to be huge and they want to play two more people and have a bigger show than anyone else and there's other artists that maybe don't want to be that big they like something.
That's a little bit more intimate in her something that's a little bit more carefully crafted.
I suppose in a way so that they're not having to put it out to everybody and then there are people that have a mix of both and you can get acts that headline massive festivals and then another year will do something in a theatre it you looking a Bruce
Christine is on Broadway at the moment.
I think that Theatre holds 900 people so who's playing every night and I think he could play Forever if you wanted to there, but similarly he can play Every stadium in the world.
He can headline festivals so sometimes.
It's about helping clients to think about what opportunities there are beyond what's obvious and then the other things that we do a lot of is across other areas of the Entertainment Business and media so be it brand deals endorsement deals or if they want to go into TV or if they want to go into the movies you know creative artists agency as a company covers a huge range of of different areas of the media business and so we can help them with anything else.
They want to do and how do you balance the commercially creative with your relationships with the Clangers as you've just said you know they are a creative person, but you're there as well to get to pay the mortgage.
Is well I help them do that? This is there ever a conflict between those two goals to strive for there to be no conflict most artists have a manager so in often the conversations between myself and the management team sometimes.
It's one person sometimes.
It's several so often the artist will speak most to their manager and the manager will then be able to summer filter the ideas decide what makes sense.
We then have a discussion figure out with all things sometimes life isn't just about being commercial sometimes the artistry is more important than the commercial reality so so long as you can afford to do something maybe it doesn't matter if you're not making any money on one occasion because you'll make it later and I'm I'm a big Believer that if you do the right thing the money will come it may not come.
Immediately, but it comes and that when you chase money is not a never quite get there.
It is that you know but at the end of the rainbow that you never quite reach so if you just concentrate on doing the right thing and often the right thing is doing the right thing artistically then the commerciality of it actually works out now of course if you have a grand idea that you're going to play a stadium and you can only sell 2000 tickets that tricky you know someone will get disappointed in that but I think most people most artists have have a reasonable degree of self-awareness and if they have a good team around them, then we manage expectations all the time and I also I want to be one of those people that goes ok.
Yeah, let's try that it might sound crazy, but let's go for it because some of the some of the best things maybe wear a bit wacky.
When they were first discussed, you know if you look every festival started as somebody's idea you know let's put three bands together and put them in a field and it starts small and it grows and grows and it grows and I think we know with artists often as well.
We know what someone wants to do doesn't mean you have to happen immediately so there are what does It All Roads Lead to Rome or whatever the letter saying is but depends how you want to get there.
You know you could fly there.
You could drive that you could walk there.
There's Wigley Road the straight roads have taken the analogy fair enough, but yeah, if if somebody has an ultimate Vision and an ultimate dream will figure out a way to hopefully get them there.
Do you enjoy your clients music as a punter sometimes you ever just kick on Spotify on a Friday night listen to Katy perrys latest album as a normal personal.
Can you do I always thinking about you know things that could be done differently or ideas pop into your head.
Does it change the way that you enjoy music personally I like the a normal person? I still love listening to music.
It's an important that I think if you don't love love the music then it's quite hard to get infused although often as well.
You love the people in I think I get quite emotionally invested into my clients and so you just want to do the best for them you want to make it work you want them to be happy, but no I love you know you said in a car use it on the train.
You're at home in a music is the soundtrack to all of our lives and you notice it when it's not there and yet when someone's got a new album coming and I'm I'm very lucky that often I Hear Music before it's actually released so I've had a little bit of a sneak preview on things but there's
Nothing better than hearing.
They have your clients new work and you know you can see where they've may be moved on artistic least I still listen and sometimes.
I even listen to expert aren't my clients.
I'm sure you do because of Alistair's an expert in the music industry.
Could you give us an overview of what your job involve him? So what is a typical week or typical month for you my primary 95% of the time job is organising life Tours and that might be headline.
Shows it might be festivals.
It might be corporate or branded events.
It's a mixture of all of those things so I will have conversations with managers where we discuss what the Artists doing when we should tour with Olivia up the year and 80 months of a two-year plan and go OK we need to be in at the album all the single and obviously the business has changed because 10 years ago everything was about album release.
And now with streaming services with peanut Spotify tidal apple whatever People don't necessarily listen to the whole album say listen to tracks much more and so we're all adjusting the way that we look at the business and that we look at how the timing works because almost now the album released is the end of the cycle almost more than the beginning of it, but you know once the albums out and it's on a streaming service everyone can hear it they can pick the bits.
I like they may be ignore the bit that they don't hear some of the time.
They don't even listen to any of those bits are they how do they know they don't like it, but what do I know about that? So we'll figure out you know when do we need to be playing headline shows when's the right time for festivals? When are we going to go to Australia are we going to go to Japan South America all of these things you look at maybe wear if it's not that plays festivals, where do the first?
Fallen the year because you want to obviously make sense of where your touring you don't want to be flying across the world backwards and forwards backwards and forwards a bad for the human beings bad for the planet so we want to try and group tours in logical in a logical progression plus giving enough time to the artist so that they don't go mad frankly because everybody needs time off of particularly when you're in such a high pressure industry, so that's part of the job is figuring out when we should be touring and where we should be touring and that's the same artist based in part of it and then the other bidders talking to the promoters across the world and that so the promoters of the people that actually go and they rent the Venue they are putting their money down for the show so they pay a guaranteed fee to the artist they pay for the security they place the advertising in conjunction.
In with you know what we are suggesting.
We will provide them with the advertising material that they're going to use they adjusted for their territory and then we agree.
We mutually agree where it's going to be advertised in that's a great promotive has fantastic ideas and they understand the difference between a rock band and a folk act and where you should be advertising them how you should do it and say yeah.
We look at putting all of that together routing at all.
So that we can we have to keep in mind driving regulations for instance.
You know if you're in South America there's probably no driving everything has to be flown because of the distances so we know about that and we then present a tour to the artist that are there manager who said yes or no and after that point.
It's about contracting it.
It's about making sure that you know any tax mitigation that we can deal with on behalf of the artist is sorted out making sure that they've got.
Visas in the right work permits putting together the support bill you know the act that plays before the headliner you note for the baby artist that we represent its trying to get them to be the support act on a bigot or you know and looking at other opportunities as well, so that's that's pretty much day today and obviously we doing it over a wide range of clients.
It's negative a complex set of variables to coordinate a thing as usually difficult and complicated job.
What's the balance of creative and kind of the logistics of it.
Do you have 18th can do all of that and you you are just as it just the person with university was deciding the support that weather going to do it advising clients.
Are you have to have all of it? You're not a very good agent if you don't know how far you can drive in Europe before you're going to have to get double or triple drivers into trucks and buses the so unique you need to be able to do all of it occasionally.
And I suspect that this is now anybody that's alive that has a job feels that you maybe don't have enough time to just sit and think and you know there's a lot of stress as a lot of pressure on people and there's an expectation for a very high work rate, so occasionally use it every night.
I call weekends are the time where you do all the work.
You didn't get done during the week and that's often a time where you actually think about things go ok? Is this a good idea or the other time when you can which is great for that is if you happen to be sitting with an artist and often be a particularly on longer towards where you might be in a place where there's not many other English speakers or you know there isn't a big record company there the manager is an around and you just sit after the gig before the gig chatting to your client quality time.
It's quality time where you get to know them better and it's amazing just in ciccia.
What you'll discover about somebody that they may be didn't think to tell you you alright.
Are you don't like that would just tell us and we'll sort it out with bizarrely Twitter is also a place where you sometimes find things out about your clients that you didn't know that you were a huge fan of that all that you didn't like something else, but it is out there on Twitter so in a 20 million people know but you never got told yourself, so are you keep keep an eye on everything? How did you get into this? Lot then? Well? I didn't food science degree Reading University which clearly is the only way to get in, believe me and when I was there.
I started working with the Rags committee.
Which is the charity fundraising cider vinegar be used to sell leader of the rag bugz in the Attic that was to do.
We had a beer festival.
The smell of rancid beer on a wooden floor in just Revolting I can still smell it now the end of the day.
I hope it was only beer frankly for that was very drunk people and weed weeded pretty much all of the concerts as well in the late 80s which is when I was at university with a time when student unions were most of the more bankrupt.
Everybody was very busy marching against Mrs statute who was probably not the friendliest person to students and so are student union at Reading didn't do a lot of shows because they had no money and and they haven't worked out that you could actually maybe make a business out of it and so myself and I by Daniel Richards who was the year above me got very very involved in Rags and we put on pretty much every show that happened at Reading Uni and we promoted some amazing artists, it'll be promoted.
New Order we promoted The Pogues the bunch of others in a long long list and I loved it and I was doing my degree which was as a science degree was pretty much 96 everyday lectures and then being in the lab, and then I'll come out and I'll sell tickets at lunchtime and if we had a gig I make the sandwiches for the rider and then at the end of the night.
I'll be sweeping the whole because it was used first thing the next morning for something else at the uni and it was just it was really it was really fun, but it was really interesting with some of the mix of art and Commerce that you got from it, because this was before the internet a time before the internet is good times as far as I'm concerned that you know what they were parts of it that were great and so you know everything is very dictated.
I mean the business is much more detail detail oriented and that's fair enough.
As it should be an artist control much more back then frankly you would just be told her you can you're promoting The Pogues and then you could make the post that you could do whatever you want because it was so difficult for anybody to actually check it that you just accepted that it would be ok.
So it was it was fun to be able to do that and you don't want a big show like The Pogues we would have professionally printed posters put on some of the things.
We did I was there with the letraset and the photocopier autumn photos in it was real DIY punk rock stuff and that was fun and then just meeting musicians as they're not like us.
They're not you've got to be a very special kind of person to be able to write a song right music.
I sent it's not easy.
I mean if you've ever tried you just stare at a piece of paper.
I don't know how people start it.
I really don't.
But then to be out at you loads of bear your heart and soul on a stage in front of people who might love you and be interested, but who might readily be chatting with their mates are having a fight is it takes a specific kind of person and I'm I met those people and I thought you're really cold.
I'd like to help you and things took off from there.
They did you want to do you start your own business then or did you try tell me? How did it work now? When I saw I knew the people I knew most in the music business for agents because that's how I was booking a client that exact off for the shows that I was doing and I didn't want to be one of them over terrible so I wrote a lot of letters to record companies and publishing companies are quite a lot of interviews and pretty much got nowhere.
You know I think back then it was harder for a woman to get into the business for sure and I don't think I haven't looked at it that way but but for sure.
And you know I think I mean one person said to me when you're overqualified you know you've got a degree and we're not going to be able to help you you need to be from them Mean Streets of wherever and I was from the not quite So Mean Streets of Bedfordshire so I then wrote letters to agents because I was getting to the point if I had I had a decent food science degree, but when you're doing an applied science it becomes out-of-date pretty quickly, so it was either get a move on and get a job in the music business or you'll probably need to think about getting the food science job so I wrote to a lot of agents and I went to a guy called Ian flooks who had a company called wasted Talent and he rang me 2 days after receiving my CV and it took away from it at 3 months between that phone call and him offering me a job and starting but I started at wasted Talent in the early 90s and when.
Straight in as a booker not as an assistant to anybody particularly, so I didn't know what I was doing but I've turned up and got given a book of venues and told to book a book a tour for this act and I did so only then that's working out the dates offering them looking for gaps.
Just putting the whole thing to get the basic responsibility to say the least ability.
I think I probably would have been help.
I've been given a map as well.
They look back at some of these a couple of the toys the early Doors no seriously I should have known what some of these places were it look like the Star of David that I was trying to design their own anyway the artist did them and you know it's not just me you know I'll do it all but it then goes to a manager and a tour manager will look over it.
So they weren't that bad, but they were.
Just not quite as good as I would have liked them to be and of course many of these tours live to this day on the back of tour t-shirts and I still now I go to Greg's and I will be standing behind someone in authority shirt looking a bit that I did that all goodness.
Who did that that's the worst route to tour I've ever seen and of course at the time when you eat them and you can only get I don't know the Royal Albert Hall on this one particularly day, because it's so busy you explain to the artist why they're going to have to drive all the way across Europe for London and then go all the way back to Vienna or something but by the time that all happens with all forgotten why we did this ridiculous thing and some sterican what on earth did I do there? They're wondering why they've driven through Dusseldorf 7 times and there were more of those tools early on now.
If you are you I'm pretty good on geography now.
It's quite an adventure that busy as you said earlier you get to join a lot of your client on these things I hadn't been to most places.
I've been on family holidays to Spain and Portugal and apart from their own.
I've been to Florida once but apart from that.
I've never been really out of the UK because who does you know you do your family holiday and that's it.
So you start often.
Are you need to go and see your core places in Prestatyn he's gonna see the cool places in the UK and then I'd go to Amsterdam to see the paradiso and if I went abroad at the promoter that was doing the show if they could show me all the other venues in that city.
I get there a couple of hours early and then we would have a with round because once you've been somewhere and you know what it looks like.
It's much easier to go.
This is the right venue for you to play so obviously over the huge amount of years.
I've been doing this.
I've seen a lot of venues and there are some new ones that you go and
But apart from that a lot of the time.
I'm not ok.
Where can I go that? I haven't been too and that's always interesting and fun of you have been to have been to a lot of countries.
I've been to a lot of cities seen a lot of airport there, but yeah you can you get a feel you get a feel for The Wright venue by going in it.
You know there's a world of difference between the kind of show you get at the Albert Hall or at Brixton Academy or at the O2 or at the Shepherd's Bush Empire and that's just in London so you know every every major city has those choices to make and some of them are made depending on how many tickets you're gonna sell and others are made on do we want to play seated we want to play Standing do you want it to be in a does everyone need to be close up or can you have something? That's a little bit bigger.
So it's fun you go you see the show you see the venue.
And you also get to spend some time with the artist you know by the time the show happens.
It doesn't actually make any difference if I'm at the gig or not because if it goes wrong at the gig it probably isn't something that was something that was in my control anyway, and there are probably other people that can deal with it, but it's a little bit about you know showing support and wanting to see the reaction at gigs as well in a certain places in the world have a reputation for having very enthusiastic crowds others may be the crowd of a little bit more subdued and so it is always interesting to see that and to see occasionally that actually where you think you're going to have a huge reaction it maybe isn't so big but a place that historically are a little bit more reserved.
Go absolutely bonkers.
Is it a bit of a nightmare commercial etude to find the right size venue for the town server example.
You know you wanted to sell out you don't want to be empty seats but you don't want have to force the artist upon a second night because they could have played a bigger venue and an unjust on the one date.
How does that work in teams of two years quite a delicate balance of strike isn't it amazing? I was talking someone the other day about Analytics which obviously isn't a huge buzz topic and there so much data around.
I think it's still quite hard to really use Analytics in a in a way that you can really take what analytically looks like it should sell tickets for you and make it sell tickets for you for everything and the value of nothing but strongly data sometimes instinct and just knowing how things are going and feeling it 10 years ago 15 years ago.
It was very
Is literally was a graph and on one axis, it was ticket sales on the other access was album sales and it was that nice straight diagonal line that went up the more albums you sold the more tickets.
That is no longer the case and you have artist that have huge and when I say albums that that could now be streaming numbers it can be what you know whatever however people are consuming music but now you have some artists that have massive streaming numbers that are now officially can become massive album numbers, but they don't sell hard tickets.
They have huge reactions at festivals or events, but nobody will put their hand in the pocket and paid £35 to go and see them on their own and on the flip side.
You have artist don't stream.
Hi, they don't sell a lot of albums but so huge amounts of tickets.
You know often that's the difference between a rock band 4 guitar type of band and something that small EDM dance.
See very poppy it takes much longer for those pop artists to really established themselves as live ticket sellers.
So what do we do when we're looking for venues? Well, you know I'm one of the people that having a discussion the promoter.
Obviously is somebody that's also part of that discussion and if we trying to maximize but still sell out Samsung delimited by the venues that are available as well.
We're obviously sitting here in London we've got a couple of great values within almost walking distance your Hammersmith Apollo which is between 3000 5000 pasty depending on whether you sit or stand at Shepherds Bush Empire 1200 to 2000 depending on seated or standing in a lot of other venues in London that mean that all the way up to 16 18000 at the O2 and then obviously the stadia that we have you can pretty much within 1000 capacity find a venue.
That's the right.
Size venue for you it in Belgium you are really struggling in a whole bunch of places up to about 1800-2000 then there's a venue that 6 or 7000 and then the next one is 18000 and that strictly so you do have to be a little bit smarter you have to have good chat with your promoter.
Of course what happens most of the time is we all have long-term relationships with these the artist that we work with and you start new play the tiny club and then you moved was slightly bigger club in a slightly bigger club and you put them on a festival so you can see the incremental growth that you're getting you can see where you sold out that club super super fast you might go a little bit bigger than next time then you would have done otherwise and and so I suppose yeah.
It's a mixture of got of looking at how sales ago.
How streaming numbers are where they're out on social media is the amount of publicity they getting as well, but without always remembering that celebrity doesn't sell your tickets and I think that such as the hardest a hard lesson to learn for a lot of people because you do have some artists who are in the newspapers everyday piano mainly cuz of what they're wearing or who they were holding hands with and that generally does not translate ticket sales, but if you get a whole bunch of person publicity about the album that you made the song you've released the show that you did that will translate so it's in artists commercial interest to be seen as a as a performing artist rather than as someone who just happens to go out with a series of people and be photographed with them on dates absolutely absolutely.
Public house March you know money is hard to earn and very easy to spend and if you're going to spend however much.
It is if it's £8 are the tiny club £100 at an arena or Stadium you want to know that you're going to get something great and quite frankly if you want to just see a celebrity go to a nightclub and look at them In the VIP area United pretty quickly you're probably quite bored of that.
So yeah, it is about it's about the music.
It's about the talent.
It's about the charisma of people as well.
You get lobby by the dinner venues like if I was the marketing manager for Shepherd's Bush Empire I want to make sure that I send you a Christmas card every year and are you know a crate of champagne on your birthday because I want you to remember that I exist I want you to become the marketing manager of Shepherds Bush buy them because they need to read big toe.
We are on my arm a r.
I think all of the venues are on our radar unit there's a lot of act out their touring so sometimes you literally can't get a date within a 3 months window that when you want to play a show so the music industry and live music.
It's quite a young business still when you look at it, you look at the sun of the Godfathers you know the Bob Dylan's and the Neil Young's and those people are still going it's not like premiership football.
Where are now.
I'm going to show I don't know that much about football cos I don't know how many teams there are in the premiership, but whatever 2024 something like that and you don't just because another teams really good.
You don't add them in when you have someone in someone comes out.
So it's always the same size with the live music Poole you.
Just keep adding until somebody dies or they give up and then that does.
Surly mean that they're really old they give up with ya young people go it's not working we're going to go and get a different type of job, but as a pool of Talent it gets bigger and bigger and bigger whilst the number of venues large vases remains relatively static and the number of days in the year hasn't changed for ages which is problem sometimes so looking for more weekend dates if we can but I don't know how that's going to work will actually then that made me think that maybe it needs to be flipped over that you need to send the marketing manager at Shepherds Bush Empire crate of champagne on it on his or her birthday and a Christmas cake is actually you might need to call in favours and so I don't put Paul McCartney on that Wednesday but but Katy Perry on yeah.
I think we all have a very good synergistic relationship.
I know a lot of the Venue managers the promoters because we're all doing business all the time everybody understands that you know what she wants.
Angel the venue you need to have a level of loyalty and an hour contract leaving A verbal contract the handshake is a contract it really should be and so I wouldn't expect somebody to come along and go sorry we know you've got that venue, but someone that has come along so you're going to have to scoop out the way but frankly We're All in This business, and we all understand that you know every venue if they can get a superstar in there.
It only does them good, so we'll always trying actually accommodate and there's quite a lot of straight talking that goes on and honesty to make sure that we can help people where we possibly know where we can and occasionally particularly at the quieter times of the Year venues might have somebody in that they know isn't going to sell out and they may then if you know before it's obviously on sale if something comes along that's bigger and better.
They may go you know what can you?
This is not time-dependent.
Can you move your date? Can you do this? Can you do that and it's a lot of jiggery-pokery like that then in terms of like shifting Sands behind-the-scenes.
I mean everything shifts until you've actually announced at or nothing is 100% and you can have it all that you think it's all fine and it's all routines.
You're all ready to go and then suddenly you get the cool that the Graham Norton Show want you or torreta Tower in France want you on their TV show and of course a TV show gets you to millions of people wear as we know one live gig however big it is doesn't so you then have to throw your hands in the air swear a little bit under your breath and reroute the tour.
You know we'll suddenly you hear whatever it might be you know so we have to be flexible.
How does it work in terms of economics of being a support act as for example when you mentioned before about that you involved in that sometimes.
I was thinking of actually.
You know when Tesco's sells baked beans that it sometimes they'll actually charge Heinz a bit more to give them premium shelf space.
You know I want to see Taylor Swift at Wembley Arena a couple of months ago and there's a couple of artists on their tummies is there and I've never heard of them, but I would imagine that if I was Taylor Swift as a commercial value to bring my support act cos I'm going to get you in front of all of my fans.
Does that ever happened wear a support actual owners pay to be another word for the minimum amount because of the exposure.
There's obviously several variables that you need to take the consideration that there are there.
Are there are several ways that it happens most of the time the support for you is not very high at all because it's so expensive to tour you know wages tracking is really expensive fuel is really expensive so the majority of the money have to go to the headline artist which by The Very nature than means of the support gets paid often less than it will cost them to play The Show so there'll
Ring on either a record label, who give them what's called tour support which means that the record label will supplement the money they need to do a tour because it's marketing really that's how they see it or a manager might pay the money or they may try and get a sponsor.
There's more of that now of brand partnerships where a brand will go ok will help you will give you £5,000 but you need to be putting Instagram posts out about us or whatever it might be when you get to the very big tours.
You know there is most of the time artist the pretty good about understanding that you know now you're Taylor Swift but at some point you were Swifty Taylor and nobody had heard of you and you knew how much it cost to play a show so if you're playing a stadium if you're playing in Arena and there is a bit more money actually allocating a few thousand pounds in the big scheme of things does.
Impact on your bottom line very much, but makes a huge difference to the artist so it I always find it very disappointing on a very big show if you can't pay somebody £5,000 then it's quite disrespectful.
Maybe to the artist that you're asking to support you and then you have another situation and it's not so prevalent now, but certainly back in the 80s and 90s used to have what was called by on and literally the support act would give money to the headliner per your Heinz baked bean an allergy to get that slot because there was so many people after those slots that you had to make an appointed difference and potentially it would be putting that money into additional marketing and John Bannon would be on there, but that has happened.
Is it more difficult to break into the music industry now get given that because the Spotify and blogging and Instagram and all these very
Things are different ways to get yourself noticed in one sense.
It's easy to get notice cos there's lots of opportunity, but in another sense.
There's so many thousands of other people using that as well that how do you stand out it in in them nowadays, it like it is the way that you would do with an emerging artists now different from say 20 years ago.
If you're really really good you probably still rise to the top of course some people that don't there are some people that get a chance.
It doesn't quite payoff things go wrong whatever and it's some and I think it's harder to get a second shop now.
I think we live in a culture where everything is to be new all the time and sometimes new isn't what makes it work and there's been a lot of artist that took quite a long time to develop into who they are you know you two are not huge overnight REM we're not huge overnight.
Look at nights like David Grey he had several.
Albums out before white ladder and it was white ladder that made him the ideal always remember.
I think you said a few overnight Sensation so I think it's harder now.
If it doesn't happen quite quickly to make it happen and we have to be very aware of that because sometimes everybody gets very excited about the new thing and it gets pushed very very hard and if it doesn't connect immediately everyone's onto the next thing and actually it takes you know we all human beings develop and we become better at what we do with practice and sometimes.
It's very upsetting when you see a truly talented individual or a group of people who just haven't had enough time and were pushed into the spotlight so early and then the other burnt out so quick.
And everyone's just moved onto the next thing so I think people have huge amounts of opportunities now because of the streaming services because of social media.
I think it's so much easier to get your music out.
You don't have to pay for studio time now.
You can make really top-level music in your bedroom in your garage wherever it might be which can be released as there's nothing wrong with it.
I think you need to be smart about when you do that and just think about it is now the time to do it or do you need to stockpile a few more songs you know be ready have the Look have made a little video whatever it might be because everyone judges.
You as soon as you release something and you know if your getting if you suddenly are getting views and you can't back it up with anything else or streams.
Then everyone forgets you it is the money now until ring me in a way that it wasn't say twenty years ago.
I remember reading about live nation and the growth of that how they realise that the majority of the money to be made with there artists is viator ring you now paid £200 to see Madonna or someone maybe like Katy Perry will you look after her, but I'll help a nothing to watch a video on YouTube or are you know Magento get 0.01 pence to for me to listen to one of their tracks on Spotify I'm not an expert on the economics of streaming but certainly if you have high streaming numbers.
There's plenty of money there now and no doubt that the record companies in the trade associations are going to continue to negotiate those deals.
So that artists are properly recompensed for the money.
That is made because you know if if enough of the world are paying £10 a month or whatever the number is to have a streaming service subscription that adds up to a lot.
Money touring is a very immediate way of making money because you literally play The Show and the money is yours and apart from the money that you've spent you get accounted to very very quickly live nation.
Obviously has been a huge growth story some of that growth is by just everyone working harder and Damo shallot large part of it is also because they bought so many promoters so you know when you make the company bigger and bigger and bigger of course you're going to generate more and more money that would be the plan and I think touring there's a little bit of a it's not 100-percent through the all the money is in touring because of money spent in touring as well and I think the expectation at the top level is that you have to have a bigger in a bigger in a bigger show you know.
A pink flies and does her amazing aerial stunts in an over the circus tour and all of the stuff.
She does you still have go with cable.
So what are you gonna do next and people turn up expecting to see some Cirque du Soleil kind of event which keep in mind every day has to be packed up you know you've got tools out there that have got 48 trucks on the road and then you've got all of the Buses full of the personnel.
You've got in your taking a small village on tour with you and that cost a lot of money.
So sometimes you can't look at the gross you got to actually understand.
How much the show cost to put on you know there are shows that cost £5000000 just before they hit the road with the build of the sageset and the cost of the rehearsals you know those dance numbers take a long time to get right if you've got 20 dances, they Gotta Be rehearsed and they go.
Then I got to be rehearsed so I am available at short notice.
If you'd be no a few dancers.
Don't turn up to see you.
I'll be there for you.
I'll be there now so I think touring definitely is a way of making money sometimes.
It's maybe not the way of making as much money as people think they should make but how much money should you make you know it's an interesting question isn't it? Very lucky that when we work in media and entertainment in the music business.
There's a lot of people that make a lot of money and sometimes a lot more than other people do who arguably have more crucial jobs, but having said that if you're pulling the people into the gig you deserve to be paid if everybody is listening to your music you deserve to be paid tell us about a colour.
Journey that you go through without with a client is a meaning for example.
I know that you help develop Florence and machine from light bars to festival headliners.
How does that work? How did you meet someone like Florence Welch and how does it is that a big part of your job is taking them through that journey in developing them are better than being involved with an artist from very early days, and then seeing them headline, Glastonbury or headline Hyde Park or medline Factor or whatever the festival or event is by me frankly it's it but even when they headline their first London show to 300 people.
It's still a bus.
It really is still a bus so I suppose you know we're constantly looking for new Talent and were very lucky as a company.
We have a we've worked very hard and we have a great roster of clients already, so we can't take on everybody that approaches us a lot of the time.
We approach people.
You know we've heard them you hear something on a streaming service a lawyer says something to you you hear it you go this is really good.
This is really interesting she likes scouring YouTube Everyday Food what's up and coming soon to a sometimes, but not so I would say not so much.
There's not enough hours in the day honestly and the A&R guys at the labels and some of the managers are obviously getting involved very early.
That's not so they're out of there Are artist that we've signed before record labels and before management companies, but still never very important to us.
They really are and I think when we take on artists you want to know who the team is that you're going to be working with it.
No we can be really good at what we do, but if everyone else isn't quite as strong.
It's much harder.
It's much harder to get the end result and so you want to put your money on something that you think got the best possible chance of winning because it takes the same amount of f.
But to work on an act with a poor team around it as with a good I have I have some horses in training and it's across the same amount of money for me to train a bad horses.
It does a good horse is the same kind of logic that you want to be able to invest your time and your effort into the best possible people that you can and it's then it's a fantastic journey, because you really get to know people you know when you're starting out there on security people around you so there might be a tour manager, but you have been home in occasionally.
I'll give someone a lift home in my car from a giga whatever it might be and so those are the times where you really get to know them you might get to know their parents or their siblings or their boyfriend or their girlfriend and you book it becomes part of the family which is fantastic and there is no greater buzz than seeing a person who started out when the relatively young Arriva
Relatively young frankly but you know they're starting their enthusiastic.
They've got a dream and to be part of the team that makes That Dream a reality for buzz you can't buy you really can't do you ever get a good feeling this too.
How long have a band is going to be in the limelight that you think will these guys going to be massive for a few years and then they might fade out cos he seems to me as a as a as a punter that it is a bit random sometimes you gotta be very long standing out.
It's that I've been around for ages and always will be and then there's bands that I was into for a year or two and then have very rarely listen to now and then they seem to have disappeared off the radar.
Do you say that in terms of cos you've been in this game a long time? Do you do see that way you might book them Wembley Stadium one year then 5 years later.
It might be Wembley Arena and it's getting you can see that the scientists even if they still actively got dedicated fans there nowhere near as economic impact as I used to be absolutely.
I know if you can buy a classic trench coat or a you know classic black skirt or a dinner jacket or whatever it might be and that you know you can keep that in your wardrobe forever.
It's not going to go out of fashion in the lapel mic.
Get bigger than Mike but actually if you thought a good one you got no problems and then you might have bought a new one pair of leg warmers that literally were great for 3 months and then you like the great and now I've got to say I'm the headbands nice too, but I think music can be like that as well and if you have a clue about it then yes, you know there are certain artists that I would take a much more slowly slowly approach with those are you there? Are you classy in your wardrobe forever kind of artist that you know that the road is never completely straight and it's very very.
Any artists is continually on an upward trajectory is just impossible and sometimes you just hope that you can plateau out at a level.
That's acceptable to everybody and that makes money and is good is good for a lifetime of a career.
There are other apps.
Where you go this is gimmicky is his would be too harsh, but this is a fashion thing and is hard to see it's going to last beyond two or three years therefore let's try and maximize the revenues for these guys now, so if you get asked to headline the Reading festival takes an opportunity now because it might not be there in two or three years time.
Where is for another artist you might go you know what just wait because you'll have more material.
It'll have more impact if you do it in a little while so as some of that again comes down.
I think to knowing your stuff knowing when to push the button, you know it's hard.
Telling people to say no to money it really is last couple of questions, then, what's the best thing about your job? And what's the worst thing about my job is what is lots and lots of best things about it.
You know being part of a process with incredibly talented people who can do stuff that there's no chance I could ever do is an honour and a privilege.
You know putting together toes when it works and it works big.
There's nothing like the buzz that you get off that you know getting a thank you from the stage occasionally is this is a really heartfelt thing because when you're on that stage.
There's a million things going through your mind and the fact that they remembered the booking agent or their soundman, or whatever is very special.
You know being involved from from you know the conception of an idea to seeing it through really special as the downside the downside is is its modern technology and
Now it's taking over our world.
I think it's the fact that you know the little bleeping lights on your phone your emails.
It's the constant bombardment.
It's everybody having no patience.
It was people sending you an email at 11 on a Friday night and then chasing you on it on a Sunday and you guys seriously it's disrespectful.
It really is disrespectful.
I think to humans and we all need to have a bit more human time you know it's it's an interesting thing I read lots in a 4-day weeks ago finishing at 3 all this stuff.
I don't see how I could do my job if if I did any of those things I just have to give up some of my clients because it just physically takes hours to do it and I don't begrudge it for a minute because I love it, but occasionally I would like to be able to go ok.
Can we have an amnesty I've been talking to a few people about.
Having an August amnesty wear for a week everyone just stopped how we don't just stop and because the American holiday time is different to the UK holiday time.
You know their holiday is a more June early early.
July generally which is busy for us.
That's a busy time European holidays primarily July and August it means that by the time August comes the Americans are freaking out that you haven't done something like butts France away on holiday were all caught up in it though, because I'm I'm as guilty as everyone else.
I I want an amnesty people chase me all the time but when I can actually truly reflect on these things I also expect people to get back to me quickly and a chasing Zeta agree with it is Frankie policy on my partner to life than merely increasing its speed.
And I think is right there last question then what what advice? Would you give to someone starting out that wants to be the next you I think you have to be prepared to work really hard.
You'll have to do whatever is asked.
If you don't think you're too good for something because you're not you know I mean I still pick up litter off the floor.
I still you know a couple of years ago the shower in our office building flooded and I was there getting that dealt with nothing to do with my job really she's not a champagne in Skittles champagne.
It's not all Caviar in your hands dirty.
It's about being honest.
I think if you can be honest and have have a vision understand.
You're dealing with human beings have empathy in a when promoters lose money.
That painful you know that's their bonus sometimes.
That's fair House depending on who it is so I think you know you need to be empathetic in this business because you can win big but you can lose really big as well and when it comes down to it.
You know you have to just get a foot in the door.
There's a huge amount of people that want to be in this business some for the right reasons some for the wrong reasons.
Not everyone's going to get the job that they want that's life so I think to be the next me you know you have to be lucky and then you have to make some of your own luck as well.
It's been a hugely enjoyable conversation.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you in association with big things Media
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