WELCOME TO LAUNCH 2016
A LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR LAUNCH Music Conference was founded with one purpose in mind: RESULTS. Step 1: Put 60+ active, successful music industry professionals- club & festival buyers, booking agents, managers, producers, educators, marketing, publicity, & social media people, etc., together in one huge place. Add thousands of musicians, would-be music industry professionals, and other people working or studying in the music industry, across various levels. Finally, stir it up, and bring it to a boil! LAUNCH isn’t simply about anecdotal recounting of past successes, or some sort of “fantasy camp” for aspiring artists and interns. LAUNCH is Logical Advice & Unique Necessary Career Help. It is about the best methodology & practices. It’s about the freshest ideas, as well drilling in time-honored industry practices. It’s about networking and making things happen. It’s about grabbing a lead, forging a relationship, and/or gathering information that is conducive to moving your career forward NOW... RIGHT NOW. During LAUNCH’s Festival portion, 221 artists, from those known, to those seeking to become known, will grace 18 stages at 12 venues, all within under 10 minutes walking distance of
each other, over 3 nights. The performance schedule is comprised of dozens of genres, and is designed to appeal to all walks of life, and provide the opportunity to perform live to over a thousand musicians, from across the country and around the world. Music fans from all over pack venues to see an artist they love, or the new “what’s next”, or both! This year, we welcome new LAUNCH partners, The Entertainment Institute (Kevin Lyman [Warped Tour], Jen Kellogg [Warped Tour], and Matt Halpern [Periphery]). TEI’s proven business acumen, and impeccable music business education platform are incredible additions to the LAUNCH brand and curriculum. TEI will curate all panels and overall educational content, as well as contributing a ton to the nighttime Festival content and general reach of LAUNCH, through theirs and their legendary subsidiary brands. It would be remiss of me if I did not mention the tremendous support of our gracious hosts, The City of Lancaster, The Lancaster County Convention Center & Marriott, and our stateof-the-art, unique and passionate venues. Further, without the generous support of our sponsors, including Clair Global, Atomic, Beame Pro, Heineken, Wells Fargo, Dark Horse,
Jeremy Weiss, Conference Director, with LAUNCH 2015 panelist Nick Storch (Artist Group Intl)
Seat Geek, Catalyst PR, Springwood, and many more, LAUNCH would not be able to continue to invite thousands of musicians gratis, or provide this event to all, at the lowest possible prices. THANK YOU! Oh, and hey, we have SO MUCH FUN, year in and year out! Welcome LAUNCH regulars, and first-timers alike, to the BIGGEST PARTY and LOUDEST WEEKEND IN CENTRAL PA! Get a badge. Pop in on a panel,
or bring a notepad and throw yourself into it. Drop in on random showcases at night, or plot your entire weekend out in advance on our schedule app. Either way, I officially welcome you to LAUNCH 2016! Jeremy Weiss, Director LAUNCH Music Conference & Festival
LAUNCH MUSIC CONFERENCE & FESTIVAL 2016 STAFF Assistant Director: Elizabeth Maurer Assistant Director: Spencer Carpenter Director of Art & Marketing: Andrew Zell Conference Program Director: Jen Kellogg Asst Conf Program Director: Dakota Gartner Production Manager: Bryan Naranjo Registration Coordinator: Paige Sodano Registration Attendant: Kristen Oles Registration Attendant: Rita Hill Exhibitor Liaison: Tammy Eno Volunteer Liaison: Eddie Nesbit Conference Assistant: Kristen Lutz Conference Assistant: Sam Reese
Production Assistants: Joseph Smith, Skyler Giordano, Carl Hardin, Jason Rhoades, Andrew Pettit, Kyle Fisher, Mike Rogers, Matt Wilson, Vincent Martin, Katelyn Almeda, Alex Mecs, Cody Leaman, Bonnie Brecht, Ashley Huff, Ashley Ventura, Stella Weiss, Rick Shannon, Molly Knepper, Katie Kalp, Mackenzie Sugrue, Kevin Musolino, Troy Rominiecki, Josh Lofties, Titus Irvan, Sandor Mecs, Mike Rogers, Eilish McCaul, Alice Lehota, Tabi Rudy, Leana Smith, Matt Subers, Josh Zimmerman, Alex Luscher, Kurtis Patterson, Connor Binko, Kelly Brubaker, Kathleen Hudson
Contributing Writer: Julia Hatmaker (PennLive.com) Conference Videography: Springwood Productions Conference Photography: Lexi Shannon Conf PR: Jen Appel & Chrissy Borsellino (Catalyst) Travel Agent: Robin Ernst (Bon Voyage Travel) Advisors: Annie Weeks (City of Lancaster), Josh Nowak (Lancaster County Conv. Ctr.), Jennifer Mercandetti (Lancaster County Conv. Ctr.), Marshall Snively (Lancaster City Alliance), Roger Fitzwater (Woodcrest Audio), Bob Anderson (Fastrakk), Diana Obracaj (The Entertainment Institute), Kate Truscott (4Fini), John Halfpenny (LNP), Shaun Clair (Clair Global), Jennifer Baker, Rob Barber (Atomic), Brad Clark (Beame)
BAYSIDE: 9 QUESTIONS WITH JACK O’SHEA Julia Hatmaker | PennLive.com Reporter for PennLive.com
Bayside is a band that’s tricky to define. They tour with heavy rock groups, emo bands and punk rockers. But they’ve never really, truly fit in with any of them, according to lead guitarist Jack O’Shea. But he doesn’t mind not having a set genre. “We haven’t allowed any of that to change the music we’ve been putting out,” he said in a phone interview. Still, if you had to give them a label, “pop-punk” would probably fit the best. The genre-bending music is set to continue in full-force at the band’s show at Launch at 9:15 p.m. on April 21. And again when a new album hopefully drops later this year. Hard at work on said album (Bayside’s seventh!), Jack O’Shea spared a few moments to answer some questions about rebellion, Lancaster restaurants and how you know you have a hit song (spoiler: you never know). You guys have been a pop-punk band for more than a decade. What are you rebelling against now? “There’s a lot of attitude now with music being so easy to self produce.
There are so many bands that will try to assimilate and be as comparable to another band as possible. I think a lot of people just want to be in a band more than they want to play music… “The image and lifestyle of a band is getting bigger than a band itself…. it’s trying to overshadow the actual act of being in a band, writing and performing music. “Me, personally, that’s fully what I’m rebelling against. I think as soon as you start wanting to be a band more than you want to play music, that’s the beginning of a short career. “But what I do know. I’m just a guy. For us, it’s always been about getting out and playing music for our fans.” What’s your favorite song to perform live? “We have, probably seven or eight that I really enjoy playing. Not that I don’t like playing the other ones. “As a guitar player, I tend to like the songs that have more complicated solos because they are more fun for me to play. ‘It’s Not A Bad Little War’ or ‘The Walking Wounded’ and ‘Big Cheese’ have fun solos to play. “There’s also something to say about playing stuff like ‘Devotion and Desire,’ which I think is our biggest song and it’s the one we get the biggest response to. Do you prefer touring or recording? “It’s very different. I almost think it’s the other one when I don’t do it. When I’m on the road I’m like ‘I can’t wait to get back in the studio,’ when I’m in the studio I can’t wait to be back on the road. I like both. “I enjoy being able to write because I’m at home with my family and I can disappear in a room and put my headphones in and then have dinner with my family… but there’s something
really exciting when you have a bunch of new songs. There’s something exciting about seeing how people react to them.” How do you know when you have a successful song, like ‘Devotion and Desire?’ “We have the same question! A lot of times we put out an album and we’re surprised that this is the song people really like. We don’t really know…” “We’ve had songs where we write them and we’re like ‘this is amazing,’ but you never know if this is going to resonate with people or not. We hope they all do.” “The thing about being in an established band is you are given a certain degree of more freedom to experiment. With a group of friends and people who understand your music and can relate to certain elements of your music, they may be more open minded to you trying things you wouldn’t be comfortable trying in the first or third album.” How goes that new album, by the way? “We’ve been working more remotely on it. This is the first week that has been heavy pre-production, so we’re watching everything come together. Currently, we’re seeing the album come to life, which is exciting because we’re still not hundred percent sure of what we’re getting… we’re kind of putting the songs together as we go.” Is this ‘more remote’ process a winner? Or do you prefer it when you are all together? “It’s tough to say. The process has been slightly different on every album. It’s a matter of where we are and what we’re doing at the time. A lot of it really depends on what’s going on with everyone. We just moved a lot of the Bayside stuff from New York to Nashville, which is where Anthony [Raneri, lead singer] and I both live now. With half of the band living here, we’ve set
up a new practice space… Anthony has a house with a big enough basement where we can put all our gear and practice in.” I love that you guys are headed back to rehearsing in a basement. It’s like a full circle thing, because most bands start in a basement then rehearse elsewhere. “The rehearsal rooms that a lot of bands use are just impersonal and a lot of the time it’s an unnecessary expense. The rehearsal space we had in Long Island was functional, but it was an environment that none of us wanted to be in.” What advice would you oﬀer those attending Launch? “It’s just important to keep in mind what you’re trying to accomplish. I think a lot of time you talk to everyone, but if you have a specific thing you’re looking to do, try to target the people you think are most likely to help… “Most of the connections I’ve made in the industry have been as a result of being introduced to someone and nurturing that relationship… it becomes more of a friendship and then the stuff starts to come from that. It feels more organic than just approaching people and saying I need this, give me this.” Any favorite spots in Lancaster? “I believe the Chameleon Club is the place we’ve played the most. We’re through there a couple of times a year. I love that spot. I always end up at Pho and Billiards down the street and the burrito place [Roburritos] across the street. I’ve had a lot of good times playing in Lancaster.” Bayside performs on Thursday, April 21st at the Lancaster County Convention center at 9:15PM. Tickets are $22 adv/$25 dos, entry is free with a VIP badge, and $13 with a weekend badge. www.bit.ly/bayside-launch
PNB ROCK: NEVER LOSE YOUR FOCUS Julia Hatmaker | PennLive.com Reporter for PennLive.com
But with my new fans, they like the new music I have. They’re still catching up.”
Fate is a tricky thing. It doesn’t always go about in a straight line. Sometimes, you have to go to prison to find yourself. That was the case for Philadelphia rapper PnB Rock. “I was pretty much at a stage of my life when I didn’t know what I was going to do,” PnB Rock said in a phone interview. “I was in jail upstate and I did 33 months. I was trying to figure myself out.” It was there that he began to pursue rapping seriously, writing his hit “Fleek” while still behind bars. It’s work that paid off, in his first show in the Lancaster-area, he played to a packed crowd at the Chameleon Club. He’s all set to repeat the feat again during his Launch show at 8:15 p.m. on April 22 at the Lancaster County Convention Center. He took a break from his tour schedule to answer seven questions: Last time you were in Lancaster, you sold out the Chameleon Club. Any chance you remember that show? “I remember that show. That show was popping. We walked in there and I wasn’t expecting the turn out to be what it was, because it wasn’t promoted on my end. They had two levels. It was pandemonium in there. I actually got footage in that show.” Do you expect the same turn out for LAUNCH? “Oh yeah. I mean, my core fan base, they’re wherever I go. I have a show and they try to support me wherever they can. It’s going to be lit.”
What’s it like working with Fetty Wap? “That’s my guy! We wasn’t [sic] introduced on the music stuff. We were introduced because the same person who found him, found me. It was more like an introduction like ‘you’re on the same vibe, you’re real cool.’ “We met each other and he was cool as hell… his friends were cool, our friends were cool. We just linked up. [expletive], we stayed in the studio a few hours listening to music… Me and him, we’re cool on things other than the music too. We talk to each other on the regular beat about regular [expletive.]”
“AT THE END OF THE DAY, NOBODY’S GOING TO WANT IT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT IT” Does being from Pa. impact your music at all? “Me being from Philly gives me my edge. It gives my street edge. I’m more from the neighborhoods where there’s a lot of stuff going on in terms of drugs, poverty. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had the same type of energy.” What’s your favorite song to perform live? “Right now, to this date, I like ‘‘Feelin
like Diddy’ because it always gets people turnt up. It gets the energy going.” ‘Fleek is probably your biggest hit so far… “’Fleek’ is definitely a big hit. But right now it’s going to die off, it’s so old. I’m coming up with new music. I mean, I’ll still give it to my hardcore fans. If I go to a show and I know it’s a show where there are fans who have been here with me since the beginning -- I’ll give them ‘Fleek.’
Any advice for those attending the Launch conference? “Never lose your focus and keep grinding. Don’t let anybody deter you from your goals and what you got going on. I never thought I’d be here. Take it from people who have been through some hard [expletive]. At the end of the day, nobody’s going to want it as much as you want it.”
PnB Rock will be performing alongside Yazz ‘the Greatest’ and Freeway at the Lancaster County Convention Center on Friday, April 22nd. Tickets are $32.50 adv/$37 dos. Entry is free with a VIP badge and $19 with a weekend badge. www.bit.ly/yazz-launch
ICE NINE KILLS: EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK Julia Hatmaker | PennLive.com Reporter for PennLive.com
Classical literature gets a metalcore makeover with Ice Nine Kills. The Boston band isn’t afraid to showcase their nerdy side – which they still manage to make look cool. Every song in the group’s latest album, “Every Trick in the Book,” is inspired by a famous book, from “Tess of the d’Ubervilles” to “The Exorcist.” And trust us, it works. Ice Nine Kills is headlining at the Chameleon Club on April 23 for Launch. Ahead of the show, lead singer Spencer Charnas talked with us about the album, the secrets for a successful time at Launch and the song that his mom is too scared to listen to all the way through. How did you choose the books to include in the ‘Every Trick in the Book’ album? “When I came up with the idea to do the album of books, the first order of business was to formulate a massive list of every book that I thought could make a compelling song. There are great books out there that are either too complicated or too long or too much information that wouldn’t make great songs. “I made a list of 30-40 books. I knew that I wanted certain rules to apply for the songs on the album. I didn’t want any two songs to be by the same author, I thought that wasn’t cool. There were a number of Stephen King books that were on the list, so I had to focus on one. So that eliminated a few choices. “Another rule, was we didn’t want any two books that were two similar. We already had ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ ‘American Psycho’ is one of my favorite books, but we thought that was too similar, what with
movie called ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ and that’s based on a true story and the true story that it’s based on -- that’s the audio clip that we used. “I remember playing the song for my mom for the first time and she just had to leave the room because she was so frightened by that. That’s when I knew we had done something right.”
the duality of man. “We wanted to do one of Kurt Vonnegut’s books -- ‘Cats Cradle’ in particular, because our band name is taken from that book. But as amazing as his books are, they’re so crazy, so weird, so filled with tons of stuff it just didn’t seem like a 3 minute song could do it justice.” Was there another book that you really wished you could get in the album? “We did have one on ‘Tell Tale Heart’ by Edgar Allen Poe, but we ran out of time and we weren’t getting it where we wanted it to be. It didn’t seem like it was turning out to be as good as the others. We just needed more time with it. So we ended up scrapping it. “That was disappointing, but we wanted every song to be really great. But it wasn’t up to our standards at the time. Maybe we’ll be able to revisit it on another album or single.” There’s an actual exorcism in your single ‘Communion of the Cursed,’ right? “I was thinking about how we could make the song even scarier and I thought it’d be cool to include a clip from an actual exorcism. I scoured the internet and found one that really worked perfectly. There’s a
What’s your favorite song to play? “It’s differs from tour to tour, album to album. ‘Communion of the Cursed’ is really fun to play. That’s the real true single from the album. The reaction to that has been amazing.” After being in a band for a decade, how do you maintain the same energy throughout all those years? Is it even possible to maintain the kind of energy you had when you were just starting out? “Honestly, it just continues to get more and more intense. This is what I’ve wanted to be since I was a little kid. I always was into rock music and bands. The idea of being a rockstar was always really attractive to me. “We were never the band that just exploded out of nowhere overnight… there’s the old saying that every overnight success takes ten years and that’s definitely what we’ve seen. It’s been a slow build, but slow and steady wins the race. I couldn’t be more happy with what we’re doing and where we’re heading.” You guys are Launch veterans at this point, having played the conference several years. What keeps you coming back? “The festival is really fun. It’s nice to see a real music festival in a place other
than L.A. or New York or Austin. It’s cool to be part of that and see a lot of industry people that we know. It’s just like a big party. It’s also a great way to rub elbows with people… Launch was the first time we ever got in touch with Mike Mowery [the band’s current manager]. It’s a great platform to make important business relationships and really propel the career of your band.”
What advice would you oﬀer those attending Launch? “Definitely try to hit all the panels, as many of the panels as you can. I know Launch offers some workshops where you can get some one on one time with people who are in the industry… just try to take advantage of all of it. “Make sure they really read through the schedule, if they can’t do everything, write out a plan with the things that are the most important to them. Sit down with these people and get direct advice on their music or their plan for the year.” Speaking on plans for the year, what are Ice Nine Kills’ goals for this year? “Hmmmm, 2016. We have some great touring lined up. I can’t exactly announce what tour we’re going to be on yet... but that was one of the goals that we had set in late 2015. We want to continue to tour the US, to make our headline shows bigger. We want to graduate to headlining larger venues. We have yet to be overseas, so that’s been in the making for a long time and that’s definitely one of our goals. Also to start writing the next album and make it better than the last.” Ice Nine Kills performs at 9:30PM at the Chameleon Club (223 N. Water St Lancaster PA) on Saturday 4/23. Tickets are $14 adv/$16 dos, entry is free with a VIP badge, and $8 with a standard badge. www.bit.ly/ink-launch
PANELISTS CHUCK ANDREWS GOOD FIGHT MANAGEMENT As a member of the management team at Good Fight Entertainment, Chuck Andrews manages the careers of artists such as August Burns Red, Balance and Composure, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Defeater, Spill, and more. In addition, Andrews also spent years of his life on the road tour managing bands big and small all over the world, including Coheed and Cambria, The Bravery, and Further Seems Forever.
TIM BORROR UNITED TALENT AGENCY Tim Borror was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Kennett Square in Southeastern PA. Tim attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where he earned a degree in music business, and started his first booking agency. After gaining the attention of larger booking firms, Tim and his clients were absorbed multiple times over, eventually being acquired in the end by The Agency Group and subsequently United Talent Agency, where Tim is now a senior agent, booking 3000 capacity and up venues.
TERRY “BUZZ” BROWN DARKCHILD ENTERTAINMENT For the past 15 years Terry has continuously impressed label executives and the rest of the world by finding and matching some of today’s most creative talent the music business has seen. He is known for his ability to identify, spot and elevate raw talent. Mr. Brown’s current roster of music producers includes Dennis Aganee Jenkins and Tommy Brown, who were nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award by way of Album of the Year with pop sensation Ariana Grande. He continues to boast a lineup of talented yet humble individuals.
THE INTERNATIONAL DJ CASPER DARKCHILD ENTERTAINMENT Casper stepped into the local DJ scene at age 13. After expanding into the tri-state area, he began touring and opening for acts such as Akon, Young Jeezy, Diddy, and Busta Rhymes. He received his first label credit for the dance remix of Usher’s song “Lil’ Freak” in 2010, before signing with DarkChild Records as the official DJ. Casper has operated his own label, Caspaws Music Group, since 2007. Casper’s international notoriety also led to him to landing 6 tracks on the Maverick Platinum Film, “Ski Trippin Da Movie.”
CORY CROSSMAN CITY OF LONDON, ON Over the last 15 years, Cory has been an active member of the Ontario, Canada music scene, first as a musician and later as a promoter. As co-founder of KOI Music Festival in Kitchener, ON, Cory brought 120-160 bands annually to perform across the downtown core. Recently, Cory has taken on the role of Music Industry Development Officer for the City of London, ON. He works as a liaison between the music industry and London City Hall. This year, London is presenting the 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards.
MATT HALPERN THE ENTERTAINMENT INSTITUTE Best known as internationally successful drummer of the band, Periphery, Matt Halpern is also an entrepreneur, educator, public speaker, motivator, and co-founder of The Entertainment Institute. Touring all over the world, Matt has experience working with a myriad of bands, musicians, and students everywhere he goes. Matt has won multiple awards, including Modern Drummer Magazine’s Educator of the Year in 2014. Matt oversees business and creative development for The Entertainment Institute.
JEN KELLOGG THE ENTERTAINMENT INSTITUTE Jen Kellogg is currently the tour accountant for the Vans Warped Tour, co-founder of The Entertainment Institute, controller for Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival and instructor at Columbia College Chicago. Jen was instrumental in developing tours in minor league baseball parks with artists including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Def Leppard, Bryan Adams and the Counting Crows. Jen is not only an expert in large outdoor concert productions but has produced and settled shows in every type of venue imaginable.
JEN APPEL CATALYST PUBLICITY GROUP South Florida native Jen Appel graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelors in Communication and Culture and Barry University with a Masters in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. Jen’s dream was to open her own PR firm, and in 2012 alongside partner Chrissy Borsellino, The Catalyst Publicity Group formed. Catalyst PR assists both emerging and established artist/brands to offer a unique blend of consulting in the entertainment industry. Notable campaigns include Cartel, Matt Skiba, Our Last Night, and more.
CHRISSY BORSELLINO CATALYST PUBLICITY GROUP Building a meaningful career in the music industry is something Chrissy has been striving to do for nearly a decade. Chrissy graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2008 with a B. A. in Music Industry and has worked in nearly every facet of the industry, absorbing as much knowledge and experience as possible. From artist management to music publishing, working at indie labels and with concert promoters, Chrissy found that the integral role of a publicist in an artists’ career is where her passion truly lies.She has been a partner at Catalyst PR for 3 years.
JB BRUBAKER AUGUST BURNS RED JB Brubaker is the lead guitar player and primary song writer for the Grammy nominated metal band, August Burns Red. He has over a decade of touring experience and has been heavily involved in the business decisions surrounding ABR since they formed in 2003.
SPENCER CHARNAS ICE NINE KILLS From fronting one of metalcore’s stand-out acts, Ice Nine Kills, to owning & operating Kleaver Klothing, Spencer has perfected the art of strategic marketing, fan interaction, and infectious songwriting. His band has taken part in numerous national tours with heavyweights such as Motionless In White, Suicide Silence, and has appeared multiple years on the Vans Warped Tour. Their last album, “Every Trick In The Book,” landed a #1 slot on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #3 on the Hard Rock chart.
VINCE EDWARDS METAL BLADE RECORDS Vince Edwards has been at Metal Blade Records since 2007. Currently, he works to create content for social media, promotes releases to radio, functions as A&R for several artists, in addition to serving as one of the publicists for the label. You can also hear him on the official Metal Blade Records podcast.
DAVID IVORY IVORY PRODUCTIONS David Ivory is a producer, as well as a Grammynominated and multi-platinum engineer. He is a trustee for the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Science’s Philadelphia chapter, and is co-chair of their National Membership Committee. Among others, his gold and platinum RIAA awards include The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Pattie LaBelle. Ivory is also an adjunct professor at Montgomery County Community College and belongs to the Communication Program Advisory Committee at MCCC as well.
KYLA LOMBARDO RIOT FEST Kyla started her career managing music and sports sponsorship programs at DBB Chicago for some of the world’s largest brands, including McDonalds, Discover Card, and Anheuser Busch. Currently she is the Marketing Director for Riot Fest, a music festival with dates in Chicago and Denver. The Riot Fest Mission is to bring together the best elements of music and entertainment infused with an independent spirit. Riot Fest also books and promotes concerts year-round in Chicago.
BIGGIE GOOD FIGHT MANAGEMENT “Life is easy. I love my family. I work with my friends in a career I enjoy greatly.“ Biggie is a partner at Goodfight Entertainment, where he manages the careers of artists such as The Story So Far, The Acacia Strain, Circa Survive, and more. In addition to management, Biggie also owns and operates SHOWStubs, a VIP experience and ticketing company; Pintone, an enamel pin manufacturer; and the Common Vision tour, an annual summer tour now in its third year.
DEREK BREWER OUTERLOOP MANAGEMENT Derek Brewer is an artist manager for Outerloop Management and has worked in the music business for the past 15 years handling several different clients coming from several different countries. His bands have sold several hundred thousand albums worldwide. He has successfully overseen 75+ tours in his career that have taken place in six continents. His current clients include Crown The Empire, Veil of Maya, Volumes, along with a handful of new acts that have recently been signed to the top independent labels in our genre.
JESSE CANNON NOISECREATORS Jesse Cannon has worked in nearly every aspect of the music business—notably, recording bands like The Cure, The Misfits and The Menzingers. He authored the definitive music business guide, ‘Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The Music Business.’ Jesse has produced and managed Man Overboard and Transit, in addition to working at iconic music business like Go Kart Records, and WFMU. He currently co-hosts the music business podcast Off The Record and is a founder of the music producer marketplace NoiseCreators.
MIKE CIPRARI SJC CUSTOM DRUMS Mike founded SJC Drums with his brother back in 2000. He now serves as CEO and Creative Director for the company, dealing with artists on a daily basis, designing out of the box drums for trade shows and setting the long term vision for the company. Through the years, he’s learned a lot from handling the day to day of a small startup business, to how the endorsement side of the music industry works. He has toured with his band No Trigger since 2000 and worked with bands like Rancid, Jimmy Eat World and Green Day.
DAKOTA GARTNER THE ENTERTAINMENT INSTITUTE Dakota Gartner is creative director for 4fini inc. and Artist Relations Manager for The Entertainment Institute. Dakota started playing music at an early age and at age twelve he set up his first concert, which laid the foundation for his specialty in booking and creating authentic live experiences. Dakota is able to apply his skills to all aspects of the music industry from production and marketing to performing. He has expanded his creative reach through helping to develop educational content for The Entertainment Institute.
MICHAEL KEALEY MOTOR SCOUT MUSIC Michael Kealey is the founder of Motor Scout Music, an independent music publishing and rights management company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that specializes in placing music in all aspects of media, including film, television, advertising, web and video games. Prior to starting his own company, Michael worked for ten years in New York for Billboard rated Top-10 publishing firms, Ultra Records & Ultra Int’l Music Publishing as well as The Royalty Network, holding senior creative and administrative positions.
KEVIN LYMAN VANS WARPED TOUR Kevin is best known as the producer and creator of the hugely successful Vans Warped Tour, the longest running traveling music and extreme sports festival in the world today. In 2007, Lyman partnered with John Reese to present the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. In addition to production, Kevin is part owner of Side One Dummy Record Company. Kevin also acts as a consultant on multiple corporate branding projects.
FINN MCKENTY CREATIVELIVE Finn McKenty is the executive producer of music and audio at CreativeLive. A survivor of the 90s hardcore and graffiti scenes, Finn channeled his passion for DIY culture into business and entrepreneurship, landing him a marketing position at Abercrombie and Fitch and product development jobs at Motorola and Procter and Gamble. Finn has written for MetalSucks, Substream, and others, while running The Punk Rock MBA. His secret mission is to build an army of hardcore-kids-turned-CEOs to take over the world.
MIKE MOWERY OUTERLOOP MANAGEMENT Mike Mowery is the President and Managing Partner of Outerloop Management. With a home base in Silver Spring, Maryland, and an office in Los Angeles, Outerloop manages 40+ artists and employs 6 managers, support staff and has a show promotion company and a marketing firm. Mike graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is also a Chapter Advisor of the Washington DC Chapter of The Recording Academy. In 2014, Mowery teamed up with Fearless Records to start Outerloop Records.
NIKHIL POTDAR OUTERLOOP MANAGEMENT Nikhil Potdar is a creative director, primarily for the artist management firm Outerloop Management, producing sponsored campaigns for tours, content and album releases for the bands, producers, and more. Nikhil’s network includes the comic book, animation, and video game industries. He was responsible for MetalocalypseNOW, a campaign that enlisted the help of Marvel Comics, Metallica, Mark Hamill and many more. He also sits on the Advisory Board for Hope for the Day, an IL-based suicide prevention organization.
DAN ROZENBLUM CIRCLE TALENT AGENCY Dan has been booking tours for bands since the mid 1990’s. Dan initially started booking his own band, running his own DIY venue, and buying for local clubs in Tallahassee, FL. Dan closed his own booking agency to work for The Pantheon Agency, which led to him working for The Agency Group and eventually United Talent. Dan moved to Circle Talent Agency in late 2015 to head the development of their new “live music” division, where he aims to expand the company’s roster to meet the strength of their presence the EDM industry.
HOLLY SKIADIS IHEARTMEDIA Holly Skiadas has been in radio for 20+ years, starting at WRFY and currently working for iHeartMedia, serving billions of listeners through apps and ‘regular’ radio. She has worked up and down the east coast, for all the big companies and a select few smaller ones as well. Holly operates Mon-Fri between 10AM and 3PM on BOB 94.9. She passionately believes that radio has the power to ask people to listen to your music, turn coffee shop singers into main stage acts, and connect fans with their idols.
RYAN SOROKA THE SOROKA AGENCY Ryan began booking shows in 7th grade at firehalls and local venues in New Jersey. Now, he is the owner of the Soroka Agency - a boutique creative artist agency which offers full tour booking services to independent and established artists, such as Hands Like Houses, Our Last Night, The Story So Far, Sworn in, and more. As an independent company, the Soroka Agency is constantly searching for new and innovative ways to develop an evolving roster of diverse clients.
ERIC TOBIN HOPELESS RECORDS Eric Tobin is the Vice President of Business Development and A&R at Hopeless Records and Sub City Non Profit. He began his tenure at Hopeless over ten years ago as the label’s in-house booking agent, drawing on his experience of several years of touring as both tour manager and live sound technician. At Hopeless, Eric currently oversees three core business areas: domestic sales and business development, international strategy and sales, and A&R and artist development.
JONATHAN WILSON TKO AGENCY Jonathan began his journey in music booking tours back in 2006. Instantly, he knew being involved in music was something he wanted to do. Jonathan began buying and promoting small tours at American Legion halls and small clubs in metro Detroit, Michigan. Jonathan made the step to become a full time agent in 2011, starting his own company representing acoustic/rock acts such as Chase Coy, Alex Goot, Backseat Goodbye & more. In June of 2015 he moved to New York and began working as an agent for TKO.
CHRISTIAN MCKNIGHT LIVENATION NYC Christian McKnight books shows. Christian McKnight has been booking shows since 15 and he is now 40, making that an insanely long time to book shows. Christian started booking shows in his native Long Island, but expanded over the bridges and tunnels into the big apple over 15 years ago, where the majority of the shows he books now take place. He has been the talent buyer on multiple festivals, such as Bamboozle, Skate and Surf, Saints and Sinners, and more.
ERIC OSMAN BANDS WITH MANAGEMENT Eric Osman is the sole Artist Manager at his management company, Bands With Management, which he started in 2015. Eric manages Modern Baseball, Cayetana, Beach Slang, The Superweaks, and visual artist Perry Shall. Eric also co-owns an independent label, Lame-O Records, which he started in November of 2012. The label is home to The Superweaks, Thin Lips, Lithuania, Three Man Cannon, and Modern Baseball amongst others.
JOHN RICCARDI SEATGEEK John Riccardi brings over 15 years of music industry experience to his role as SeatGeek’s VP of Music, where he currently oversees business development in the music space. In addition to actively producing events in over 20 countries worldwide, he has overseen marketing, sponsorship and/or ticketing for several thousand combined concerts, festivals and special events in more than 130 markets, including some of the most successful tours of all time.
MARK SCHULZ THE RECORDING ACADEMY Mark Schulz is the senior executive director of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy. His experience includes time spent as the Project Manager of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, adjunct professor at Drexel University, business manager of Studio 4 recording, the Chair of the Advisory Council to the Philadelphia Music Alliance, & a member of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Songwriters Project. Schulz is also an avid cyclist, spinning and TRX instructor, and coffee addict.
DEBORAH “ZUKE” SMITH ZUKETUNES LLC Deborah “Zuke” Smith is the founder of zuketunes LLC and a vocal coach & artist mentor based in the NYC metro area. She has worked with many types of artists including Frank Iero, several finalists on The Voice, X-Factor, American Idol, and America’s Got Talent. Zuke gives back to her students by sharing everything she has learned and coaching them to be not only great performers but to make a difference with their talent. Her studios are located in northern NJ and NYC.
CONOR SULLIVAN ICE NINE KILLS Conor Sullivan resides in Rochester, NY and is the drummer of metal-core band Ice Nine Kills. The band has been touring full time for the last 6+ years including on the Vans Warped Tour, headlining tours, and supporting acts such as Attila, Motionless in White, Crown The Empire and more. Along with drumming, Conor also takes on a substantial portion of the band’s business and necessary tasks involving merchandising, tour routing, designing/constructing stage/light shows, day to day tour managing duties and much more.
KATE TRUSCOTT 4FINI Kate Truscott is one half of the dynamic duo that makes up the 4Fini Nashville office where sponsorship strategy is handled from introduction through activation. Kate works with clients to create and execute key programs that allow them to access all that the 4Fini properties have to offer including social media and digital integration, artist relations, onsite marketing, and management of all staff each summer on the Vans Warped Tour. Kate grew up in New England and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
MIKE ZIEMER THIRD STRING PRODUCTIONS Mike Ziemer is the founder of Third String Productions, Third String Records, and Evolve Music Management. Over the past 12 years, Ziemer has made a name for himself through the growth of both his concert production business and his festival business. Ziemer’s flagship festival, So What?! Music Festival (formerly known as South By So What?!) entered it’s 9th year as a festival this year, taking place over a weekend in March in Dallas, TX. Ziemer is currently producing over 300 concerts a year in more than 6 states.
JASON MCMAHON SUBSTREAM MAGAZINE Jason McMahon began his musical adventures at Quad Recording Studios in New York City. An intern-turned-assistant engineer, Jason worked with many recording artists and gained an understanding of both the creative process and business side of the music industry. Shortly after returning to his home state of Ohio, Jason became an early investor in Substream. In 2009, Jason took ownership of the company, creating new distribution for the magazine and increasing the circulation. Jason remains president and CEO.
LOU PLAIA REVERBNATION Lou Plaia is the Co-Founder / EVP Music Industry & Artist Relations of ReverbNation. The company operates worldwide with customers on every continent and more than 10 million unique visitors every month. Prior to ReverbNation, Plaia worked 16 years at Atlantic Records and imprint Lava Records as the Head of Marketing & Artist Development, where he worked with Kid Rock, O.A.R., Simple Plan, George Carlin, Mike Stern and many others. Plaia was also responsible for negotiating partnerships with Nascar, Schick and Disney.
KEVIN RIFE FREELANCE TOUR MANAGER Kevin Rife is a freelance tour manager who has actively toured the world since 2009. In addition to tour managing, Kevin also has experience as a guitar tech, merchandiser, and production assistant. He is a graduate of Millersville University, and worked for Atlantic Records after earning a bachelor’s degee in business management and music. Kevin has toured with The Rocket Summer, Every Time I Die, Matisyahu, The Jonas Brothers, and currently tour manages Ingrid Michaelson.
DAVID SILBAUGH MILWAUKEE SUMMERFEST David is a co-founder and co-producer of the Yellow Phone Music Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A boutique conference that presents programming featuring numerous industry luminaries and showcases with emerging and unsigned talent. Silbaugh is best known as a Talent Buyer and Production Supervisor for Summerfest, which books over 800 artists of nearly all genres, featuring international headlining artists as well as emerging artists. He is also currently serving as an A&R Consultant for GMR Marketing on a synch licensing project with a SXSW tie-in.
TERRY “TRU” SNEED FINAGLE ENTERTAINMENT “Tru Dat” is an American Grammy nominated record producer/songwriter currently signed to Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) under “Goooooooo!!! Music”, which consists of super producers Pop & Oak who are the masterminds behinds hits such as Nicki Minaj’s “Your Love”, Big Sean’s “Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay” and was a part of the magic behind Usher’s smash 2014 hit “Good Kisser.” Tru has been in the studio with many artists from the likes of Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Rowland, Ty Dolla Sign, & many more.
CHAD SZELIGA BREAKING BENJAMIN Best known as the powerhouse behind the kit of Multi Platinum recording artist Breaking Benjamin, Chad Szeliga has forged a name for himself in the music community as a highly skilled professional with a variety of playing styles who does more than just “slam the skins.” Chad has toured worldwide and has been seen on the throne behind the kit with the likes of Scott Stapp, Zack Wylde & Black Label Society and most recently, filling in for the late AJ Pero with Adrenaline Mob.
CHRIS WALTERS GHS STRINGS For the past 9 years, Chris Walters has helmed the Assistant Manager of Artist Relations and Marketing postiion for GHS Strings & Rocktron. He determines which artist to work with and organizes marketing efforts for the company including tradeshows/events such as SXSW and NAMM. Currently he works with 100s of bands spanning a variety of genres including Country, Rock, Bluegrass, and Metal. Based in the Midwest, Chris continues to grow his roots in the music & musical instrument industry.
LAUNCH SPOTLIGHT • 2016 CONFERENCE PROGRAMMING DIRECTOR
JEN KELLOGG: IT’S ALL A JOURNEY Jen Kellogg got her start on a college concert committee before building a resumé that boasted stadium touring, talent buying, tour accounting, and show production. Jen co-founded The Entertainment Institute and continues to share her knowledge with the next generation of concert industry professionals. This year, LAUNCH & TEI officially partnered to curate the most exciting and immersive learning experience at LAUNCH to date. We caught up with Jen to talk about her past, present, and future with LAUNCH and TEI. 1. 2015 marked the ﬁrst year that TEI (The Entertainment Institute) curated a day of panel programming at LAUNCH Music Conference & Festival. Since, TEI and LAUNCH have partnered oﬃcially in LAUNCH Music Conference & Festival 2016, and the LAUNCH brand as a whole. TEI has participated in so many festivals throughout the country. What is it about LAUNCH that lead to this ultimate oﬃcial pairing? LAUNCH has such a great vibe, and the right speed for really connecting with people. That is one of the core values of TEI, so it’s a perfect fit. Plus Jeremy is awesome and is a lot like the independent promoters I learned from coming up, so I felt at home right away. Kevin has enjoyed LAUNCH for several years now, and I think it is one of the events that helps him stay connected to his love of live music. And Fireball. Kidding. 2. What is it about educating would-be music professionals and musicians that appeals to you most? I remember when I was learning about this business. I had to find mentors and then really proactively get as much info out of them as I could. Not the easiest or convenient thing to do. I always wanted to find a way to pass on my knowledge
feels right to add on more – and when you can handle more. And it’s all a journey the day you feel like you’ve “gotten there” is the first day you’ll start working towards the next thing. And you forgot Co-Chair of the Special Events committee at my kid’s school – the latest addition to my resume! As far as being a female, or any minority in a situation, here’s my take: Don’t ever let it be the reason you don’t get what you’re after. Fight for it. Make people give you a real reason if they are turning you down. More will be expected of you to prove yourself. That’s your opportunity to DO more, LEARN more, and end up BETTER. 5. What is your vision for LAUNCH Music Conference & Festival, moving forward? I want to form a year-round, ongoing dialogue where LAUNCH is the goto resource for the attendees. One weekend a year is not enough!! TEI has some great stuff in the works that I can’t wait to share with everyone soon – it’s going to be a game changer.
in a more accessible way. I get the same intrinsic reward when teaching as I do when putting on events – it’s very fulfilling to help people on their career journey. 3. What are a few of the LAUNCH Conference panel programming elements you are most looking forward to this year? The Rotating Groups! I think this is going to be a really great way for people to get more specific advice that is aimed at what they are trying to do. I’m also excited for the new “Can You Handle The Truth” which focuses on band image and marketing. I think everyone will get some tangible tips they can apply in their own situations – whether they are in a band or not.
4. So you’re a professor, a festival consultant, co-director of an online music education platform, a touring administrator for the Vans Warped Tour, and now a LAUNCH Music Conference & Festival Director. How do you ﬁnd this with respect to family life (touring, speciﬁcally), conventional expectations from family, and/or what have your experiences been as a woman in what are seemingly largely male-dominated areas of business and the music industry? Come check out my satellite session, it’s going to be all about this stuff! My number one tip, is don’t think you have to do everything at once. Focus on one big thing in life at a time. You’ll know when it
6. What is your favorite part of orchestrating and participating in events, such as LAUNCH? Late night panelist room hangs where I talk the director into taking us to the secret beer stash and we steal candy too. Actually: Networking, Fun, and Education are my three favorite things, so being somewhere that embraces all of that in every event is super FUN. And educational. And Network-y. You can learn more about Jen Kellogg at The Entertainment Institute online at www.thinktei.com. Jen and members of her staﬀ will be on-site at LAUNCH 2016, speaking on several panels and mentoring throughout the weekend.
Senses Fail: Wyatt Clough
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