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THE PROFESSOR By Jim Price

Being at the right place at the right time can often determine the difference between success and failure. And sometimes, pure luck plays into the equation. Every so often, we hear stories in the music business about the roles of timing and luck in determining careers and fates. One of those stories was told during this year’s Millennium Music Conference (MMC) in late February at the Best Western Premier: the Central Hotel in Harrisburg. During Friday’s keynote presentation, Reverbnation Co-Founder and Vice President of Artist Development Lou Plaia interviewed Crobot’s lead singer, Brandon Yeagley. Five years ago, during the 2012 MMC, timing and luck led to Crobot’s big break in the music business. Lou and Brandon both shared the story; from Pottsville, Crobot was originally slated to showcase at Gullifty’s in Camp Hill that year, but when discovered that the venue was double-booked, their showcase bill was moved to the conference’s host Radisson hotel, in a smaller room down the hall from the primary showcase room. While walking to that larger room, Lou heard something reminiscent of a Led Zeppelin riff as he passed the smaller room, and entered to investigate. It was Crobot – playing before an estimated three people – and Lou was so moved by their performance that by set’s end he had messaged TKO Booking Agency, setting the wheels in motion for the group’s big break. They have since played festival events like SXSW and Rock on the Range, and toured with such names as Motorhead, Volbeat, Chevelle and more, and became another PA music success story. For Brandon, returning to this year’s MMC provided a “full circle moment.” He added, “I’m certainly a testament to the fact that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can come from small beginnings…and if you’re willing to get out of bed and put the work in, you can make it happen…and with a little luck.” Live’s guitarist, Chad Taylor, was the focus of Saturday’s MMC keynote interview, conducted by area musician John Micek. Chad explained the circumstances that led to Live’s split in 2009, and what brought them back together. Growing distant from one another – amplified by the red tape and legalese of the major music business – was what drove them apart. Tragedy – the 2015 passing of their friend, Stone Temple Pilots/ Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland – was what prompted Chad to call bandmate Ed Kowalczyk to patch up the feud and begin anew. The band members came back together older, more experienced and wiser, and Chad explained that he learned to reshuffle his priorities. “In the priority scale, it was probably always that my band was number one…Number two was probably my family (he has a wife and three daughters), and number three were my businesses,” said Chad. “I have managed to get the priority scale changed, that my family would be my first priority, my businesses would be my second priority, and my band would be my third priority, even now as it has reformed. And it has been very healthy…” Chad recommended to the audience of musicians to put their families and friends in that first position, and figure out where band and career should be positioned relative to that. Besides the keynotes, the business conference portion of this year’s Millennium provided lots of activity, from music business panels and sessions to mentoring to the trade show and the acoustic stage. I took in two of the sessions, including Joe Trojcak’s “Strategies for the Freelancing Musician or Audio Professional.” Here, Joe – the owner of Progressive Enterprises Sound Studios in Elizabethtown – advised attendees on the principles of getting ahead in business and life, from planning to networking to focusing and hard work; principles outlined in his book, “Focus on Your Light”. And as a college educator myself, I attended and participated in “Creating a Central PA Association for Music Entertainment Industry Academic Programs.” Here, faculty and student representatives from area colleges with music industry programs networked and took initial steps toward establishing a music industry network among colleges. Attendees discussed ideas and initiatives for this network to explore; including establishing databases for educators, music industry lecturers, internship programs and more, plus coordinating college tours continued on next page...

April, 2017

Pennsylvania Musician Magazine

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PA Musician Magazine April 2017  

The Pennsylvania Musician Magazine is a FREE publication distributed throughout the state of PA. We are THE magazine for not only the people...

PA Musician Magazine April 2017  

The Pennsylvania Musician Magazine is a FREE publication distributed throughout the state of PA. We are THE magazine for not only the people...

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