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CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND THE DIGITAL DO-IT-YOURSELF ARTIST: THE ROLE PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANISATIONS COULD PLAY IN THE FACE OF DECLINING STATUS OF MAJOR RECORD LABELS

Amalie Roberts Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc IN MUSIC AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES MANAGEMENT

Business Logistics & Information Systems The University of Bolton 19th August 2010


Abstract The recorded music industry has faced unprecedented change over the past decade, in part due to the digitization of the music product. The rise of piracy, coupled with a decline in global music sales, has led to a fragmentation and panic within the ‘Big Four’ major record labels, as they struggle to find alternative revenue streams. At the same time, the rise of the Internet and Web 2.0 has ostensibly enabled independent, ‘do-it-yourself’, musicians to operate within the recorded music industry at less cost, arguably negating the need for record labels altogether. Through an examination of key literature and a series of in-depth, qualitative interviews with leading figures within the music industry and public sector, the research examines whether the major labels really are in decline, by identifying the current major label ‘offering’ to independent artists, and comparing this to what artists can truly ‘do themselves’, through the use of new technologies. The research then explores the potential role that the UK public sector organisations could play in supporting DIY artists. The research identifies four key stages of intervention where public sector organisations could support DIY artists; access to finance, access to industry contacts, access to new markets and supporting and developing creative entrepreneurship. The research offers a valuable insight in to the operations of small music businesses, and proposes that the recorded music industry would greatly benefit from continued public sector support. However, the research also acknowledges the unique role which major labels still hold within the recorded music industry, as well as the limitations of public sector support, especially in light of the current coalition Government, and public sector spending cuts. Recommendations for further research are proposed, including further interviews with digital-DIY (d-DIY) artists and major labels; mapping regional public sector support agencies to compare the current offering; and an examination of music consumer spending patterns. Key Words Major Labels; DIY; New Technologies; Public Sector; Creative Entrepreneurship


CHAPTER ONE: Research Overview


1.0 Introduction to Research 1.1 Research Aims and Objectives 1.1.1 Research Aims 1.1.2 Research Objectives 1.2 Summary CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review 2.0 Introduction 2.1 A New Epoch 2.1.1 Beyond Postmodernism 2.1.2 Talking 'bout My Generation 2.1.3 Culture As Commodity 2.2 Changes to the Offering of the Major Labels 2.2.1 Physical to Digital Distribution 2.2.2 The Impact on Investment 2.3 Doing it Yourself Within the Recorded Music Industry 2.3.1 Self-Publishing 2.3.2 Creative Entrepreneurship: Balancing Creativity and Innovation 2.4 The Role of Public Sector 2.4.1 Defining the Role of the Public Sector Within the Creative Industries 2.4.1.1 Vision+Media 2.4.1.2 Supporting Creative Entrepreneurship 2.4.1.3 Access to Finance 2.4.2 The Problem of Public Sector Reputation 2.4.3 Improving Perceptions of the Public Sector 2.4.4 The Current Political Climate CHAPTER THREE: Research Design and Methodology 3.0 Introduction to Methodology 3.1 Research Design 3.1.1 Flexible Research: Qualitative 'In-Depth' Interviews 3.1.2 Justification of Flexible, Qualitative Research Within the Music Industries 3.2 Data Type and Collection 3.2.1 In Depth, Qualitative Interviews


3.2.2 Interview Structure and Design 3.2.3 Selecting a Representative Sample Group 3.2.4 Obtaining Consent, and Anonymity 3.3 Approach to Data Analysis 3.3.1 Outline of Approach Used 3.3.2 Limitations to Approach Used 3.4 Changes to Research Design, and Ethical Considerations 3.4.1 Changes to Research Design 3.4.2 Ethical Considerations CHAPTER FOUR: Findings 4.0 Introduction 4.1 Stage One: Axial and Selective Coding 4.2 Stage Two: Finding Patterns Within the Data 4.2.1 A Key to Interpreting Analytical Tables Figure 1 A Key to Interpreting Analytical Tables 4.2.2 Impact of the Digitization of the Music Product on the Recorded Music Industry Figure 2 Figure 3 4.2.3 The Future of Records Figure 4 4.2.4 The Importance of Creative Entrepreneurship Figure 5 Figure 6 4.2.5 Doing it Yourself Within the Recorded Music Industry Figure 7 Figure 8 4.2.6 The Importance of Accessing Finance Figure 9 Figure 10 4.2.7 The Future Role of Record Labels Figure 11 Figure 12 4.2.8 Public Sector and the Recorded Music Industry


Figure 13 Figure 14 CHAPTER FIVE: Discussion of Key Findings 5.0 Introduction 5.1 Do d-DIY Artists Still Need Record Labels? 5.1.1 Doing it Yourself Verses Major Label Support 5.1.1.1 Access to Finance 5.1.1.2 Access to Industry Contacts 5.1.1.3 Management and Administrative Support 5.1.1.4 Identification and Development of Talent 5.1.1.5 Taste-making and “Findability” 5.2 The Potential Role of Public Sector Within the Recorded Music Industry 5.2.1 Access to Finance 5.2.2 Access to New Markets 5.2.3 Supporting Creative Entrepreneurship 5.3 Potential Limitations to Public Sector Support 5.3.1 The Problem of Reputation 5.3.2 The Current Political Climate CHAPTER SIX: Conclusions and Recommendations for Further Research 6.0 Introduction 6.1 Aims and Objectives 6.2 Limitations 6.3 Recommendations for Further Research APPENDICES Appendix 1 Example of Scientific Application within Flexible Research Design Appendix 2 Using Reflexivity to Identify Areas of Potential Researcher Bias Appendix 3 Model of Symbolic Interactionist View of Question and Answer Behaviour Appendix 4 Aspects of Qualitative Research Interviews Appendix 5 Questions to Avoid in Interviews Appendix 6 Millers Synthesis of Content Analysis Appendices 7 – 14 Coding Tables


Appendices 15 – 23 Interview Transcriptions Appendix 24 Project Log


Acknowledgements I would like to thank Dr Paul Oliver and Dr Gill Green, for their advice and guidance, and for teaching me that research should be personal, and tell my own story. I would also like to thank my friends and family for their continued support, especially Chris Briden, Steve Rymill and Amy Murtagh.


CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.0 Introduction to Research Topic The recorded music industry has been forced to change considerably, partly due to the digitization of the music product, and an increase in new, affordable technologies, enabling more people to record, copy, distribute, stream – and steal - music files (BPI, 2010; Sandall, 2007; Associated Press, 2007; IFPI, 2010; Music Week, 2010; Styven, 2009; Graham et al, 2004; Albrecht, et al, 2005; Dannenberg, 2006; Duchene & Waelbroeck, 2006; Graham, et al, 2002; Marsden, 2008; Smith, 2009). The major impact of the digitization of the music file has been a decline in physical album sales (Sandall, 2007; IFPI, 2010; BPI, 2010; Associated Press, 2007). Whilst current industry reports claim digital music sales are increasing (IFPI, 2010; BPI, 2010), the revenue earned from digital music sales, through downloads, subscription services and other new business models (IFPI, 2010; BPI, 2010) have not fully compensated for the revenue lost from physical retail (IFPI, 2010; Music Ally, 2010; BPI, 2010). Thus introduces the current state of the contemporary recorded music industry, and, importantly for this research, the state of the major record labels: Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, Warner Brothers and EMI. The major record labels currently hold an unpopular position within public perception. Once seen as the only option for bands if they were to achieve the highest pinnacles of success, labels are now considered to be greedy, only interested in money, out to screw over artists and capitalise on success and often inconsiderate and unappreciative of genuine musical skill or talent (TorrentFreak, 2009). The world's major record labels appear to have lost their footing in the global share price market (IFPI, 2010; Ibis, 2010), and one of the 'Big Four', EMI, has very publicly been lauded as facing bankruptcy, struggling against almost irreparable financial catastrophe (Murphy, 2008). This research intends to examine the future role of the major labels. For, despite the decrease in revenue for labels and publishing companies, there is a new emergent voice, particularly apparent online, that forecasts an exciting, dynamic and opportunistic time for musicians themselves, who arguably hold more power than ever before (Gordon,


2008); and the increase in cheap, accessible home-recording facilities, and the rise of the Internet as a ready-made distribution platform (Kirby, 2009b; Gordon, 2008; Music Ally, 2010) has arguably led to a 'new democracy' (Mallan, 2009)– one in which it is possible, as an artist, to 'do it on your own', and creating a financially viable existence for yourself as a musician, without the support of (and ultimate sacrifice) to a record label. This research aims answer the question posited frequently across Web 2.0 blog posts, newspaper articles, television and radio – do artists need record labels any more? Is their status, as once great power-houses of the music industry, in decline? (Graham, et al, 2004; Graham, et al, 2002; Gordon, 2008; Smith, 2009; Youngs, 2010; TorrentFreak, 2009). Further, the research will add another dimension. The author, as well as being a musician, singer and performer, is also currently employed by Vision+Media, an organisation which acquires money from central Government in order to grow the digital and creative economy within the Northwest of England. The author is employed as a project co-ordinator, supporting a diverse programme of delivery across both the Television and the Music sectors respectively. Therefore, the role of public sector organisations, such as Vision+Media will be examined. It is the aim of the research to identify where, if at all, public sector organisations can best support the independent musical artists in achieving financial viability, without signing away their copyrights to record labels. The keywords of this research represent; the individual, independent musical artist who utilises new technologies, especially the Internet and Web 2.0 platforms such as MySpace and Facebook, in order to sustain a financially viable career in music – the digital Do-It-Yourself, or d-DIY artist; the processes required in order to achieve this – creative entrepreneurship, and managing creativity; and the domain – the current recorded music industry, including the major labels, and public sector organisations.


1.1 Research Aims and Objectives The research has two main, over-arching aims, and six key objectives, by which to measure its success and viability as a research project.


1.1.1 Research Aims The first aim of the research is identify what the current offering of the major labels is to independent artists, in order to identify whether d-DIY artists still require labels in order to achieve success. The second aim of the research is to identify the role that public sector organisations could play in supporting such a 'democracy', enabling artists to remain independent from record labels.


1.1.2 Research Objectives The following objectives will be met in order to achieve the research aims. Research Aim 1: To identify what the current offering of the major labels is to independent artists, in order to identify whether d-DIY artists still require labels in order to achieve success. •

Objective 1: Through a literature review, and in-depth, qualitative interviews, to trace the impact of the digitization of the music file on the major labels, identifying whether their 'strangle-hold' has been weakened, or whether they are still perceived as being necessary for independent artists;

Objective 2: Through the in-depth, qualitative interviews, identify what the current offering of record labels is for independent, d-DIY artists; and

Objective 3: Identify what aspects of the current major label offering can not be achieved by an independent d-DIY artist, through examining responses gathered through the data collection process.

Research Aim 2 : To identify the role that public sector organisations could play in supporting such a 'democracy', enabling artists to remain independent from record labels •

Objective 4: Through in-depth qualitative interviews, to determine what support public sector organisations could offer d-DIY artists;

Objective 5: To determine whether these support mechanisms, which could be offered by public sector organisations, eradicate the need for record labels; and

Objective 6: To identify constraints operating within the public sector, in the light of the new coalition Government, that could prevent the public sector from successfully supporting d-DIY artist.


1.2 Summary The main contribution of the research is to identify key areas of intervention where public sector organisations could support d-DIY artists in the current recorded music industry. The proceeding chapter presents a review of key literature around the themes of postmodernist theory, the current music industries, the importance of creative entrepreneurship and the role of public sector organisations within the creative industries. After the literature review, the methodology design utilised in the research is fully explained and justified. In the subsequent chapter, the author presents the key findings of the data collection. It is revealed that both major and independent record labels still hold? a unique role in the? recorded music industry, and that, despite more options being available for d-DIY artists, there is a gap between what an artist can do themselves, and what a label can offer. This gap is then identified and explored in relation to the potential role that the public sector can offer. However, the limitations and political constraints affecting the success of public sector organisations in achieving this are also explored.


Chapter Two: Review of Literature 2.0 Introduction The recorded music industry has faced huge levels of change over the past decade (Gordon, 2008; IFPI, 2010; Music Ally a, 2010; Styven, 2009; Ford, 2010; Ganley, 2005; Stevens, 2009; Pierrakis, 2010; Graham et al 2002; Graham et al 2004; Hardesty, 2008; Peoples, 2010; Williamson & Cloonan, 2007; Arnold & Edgecliffe-Johnson, 2010; Breen & Forde, 2004). Largely these changes have been due to the digitization of the music file (from ‘physical’ vinyl and CD, to ‘digital’ MP3 download) (see, for example, Styven, 2009; Stevens, 2009; Gordon, 2008; Graham et al 2004). Music piracy is currently still being blamed for a significantly large loss of revenue (IFPI, 2010; Music Ally, 2010). It is also apparent that changes within consumer behaviour has also affected the recorded music industry, with fans ostensibly less willing to pay for music in a digital format (Gordon, 2008; IFPI, 2010; Stevens, 2009; Hardesty, 2008; Pierrakis, 2010). Coupled with these losses in revenue, however, there are also tangible opportunities arising from the digitization of the music file. These opportunities appear to offer artists the chance to ‘compete’ with traditional, incumbent power-holders within the industry (Gordon, 2008; Styven, 2008; Jansson, 2008; Suhr, 2009). Public opinion, spurred on by the ‘global conversations’ heralded by Web 2.0, cries that labels are dead, that their years of exploiting artists are over and that artists are now doing better than ever on their own (Kelly, 2008; Suhr, 2009; Gordon, 2008; Kirby, 2009; Torrentfreak, 2009). 1 Does this mean that the major labels no longer operate a ‘stranglehold’ over the recorded music industry? Are independent, d-DIY artists in a position of equality, through the 'new democracy' of the Internet (Mallan, 2009)?

1

Many point to Radiohead’s album 'In Rainbows'. 'In Rainbows' was Radiohead’s first independent release, and caused much media speculation, as the band allowed fans to dictate how much they paid for the album – with the option of downloading it for free. Accounts vary, but Radiohead have always claimed that they made a very healthy profit: in fact, they argue, they made more by liaising directly with fans than they would have if their label had been taking a cut.


The proceeding review of literature will present a theoretical framework within which to examine this debate, placing particular attention on the role of new technologies, specifically the Internet. It will argue that, through a period of significant historical and social change, we are entering a ‘new epoch’ – an era that needs to be examined and explained in ‘new’ ways. Within this theoretical framework the paper will then focus on the impact of new technologies on the recorded music industry. Is the status of the Big Four major labels really in decline? Or is their role simply “shifting”? (Fitzgerald, 2010). The research analyses the current major label offering in order to identify how realistic it is that d-DIY artists can achieve success without their support. The importance of creative entrepreneurship is identified as crucial if such opportunities are to be realised. The chapter concludes by exploring the potential role of public sector organisations in supporting the creative industries.


2.1 Toward a New Epoch The proceeding section offers an analysis of key literature, each arguing that society is entering a new epoch, one which is no longer best understood within a postmodernist framework (Kirby, 2009a; Kirby, 2009b; Eshleman, 2001; Suhr, 2009). Postmodernism has proved a useful and challenging theoretical framework for the past century (Gloag, 2001; Suhr, 2009; Benjamin, 1989; Adams, 2008). There is, however, a notable absence of postmodernist literature surrounding the music industries (Kirby, 2009; Suhr, 2009; Adams, 2008). Of those that do exist, the central exploration is either musical styles or genres (see Adams’ ‘nostalgic’ exploration of the punk movement) or the demise of the ‘classic’ album format in favour of instant, digital singles (Kirby 2009; Hayes, 2006; Gloag, 2001). The music industry has seen many sociological revolutions; the ‘teen’ pop revolution of the 1950s; rock and roll throughout the late Sixties; the Punk movement of the Seventies; hip hop and rap, growing out of funk and soul, in the early 1980s. This paper will propose that the music industry is now facing another revolution. This time, rather than a new genre or musical style, this revolution is technological in its nature (Briggle & Mitcham, 2009; Wilson & Stokes, 2005; Kirby, 2009a; Kirby, 2009b). Rather than a new genre or style, it is the way that music is produced, recorded and consumed - and the ways in which the music industries are profiting - that have changed, perhaps beyond recognition (Kirby, 2009; Graham, et al 2004; Wilson & Stokes, 2005; Gordon, 2008; Parrish, 2007). The rise of the Internet has led some to claim we are in a ‘new democracy’ (Mallan, 2009), where the traditional hierarchical structures hitherto dominating the music industry are overturned (Graham et al, 2004).


2.1.1 Beyond Postmodernism Lyotard offers a simple definition of postmodernism as being the rejection, by contemporary society, of the ‘grand narratives’ which had hitherto dominated societal thought and belief systems (Benjamin, 1989). The development of science and technology throughout the past two centuries has unravelled the mysteries of science, myth and religion one by one; revealing DNA, exposing new chemical elements, witnessing the rise of computers and technology, and the rapid expansion of capitalist culture (Benjamin, 1989). Human knowledge and understanding is exposed as constructed and fallible; language is questioned and reality is based on ‘signs’ – a ‘hyper-reality’ that permeates societal consciousness (Benjamin, 1989; Jameson, 1979; Jansson, 2008). Of course, as Lyotard points out, the great problem of this cynicism is belied by the fall of legitimacy (Benjamin, 1989). Where can truth lie when we have essentially abolished our understanding of the world as being constructed through human narrative? Lyotard predicts that after such a deconstruction of knowledge, information and data will become as potent as religion has been before it, that as global corporations rise, the traditional powers of the Church and the State will no longer hold world dominance and will in fact fight wars for control of this commodity 1(1979, p14).

1

Lyotard writes before the rise of the Internet; in retrospect nothing could have represented his arguments more fully than this intangible force, connecting global corporations through e-commerce until they become so powerful that they can challenge States, as has happened when Google’s ethics led them to threaten the Chinese Government with a removal of its services from China.


2.1.2 Talking ‘Bout My Generation... For Kirby (2009a; 2009b) a postmodernist framework is no longer relevant to define and understand contemporary culture. The advent of the new technologies, the Internet in particular, have created a generation gap (which he loosely identifies as those born before 1993, and those born after). The new generation have already had a dramatically different life experience to their parents, therefore postmodernism becomes outdated, “Mum and Dad’s culture” (2009a, p.1). Kirby asserts that the explosion of new technologies into the contemporary cultural marketplace, have “restructured, violently and forever, the reader and the text, and the relationship between them” (2009a, p.1). Citing TV programmes such as Big Brother, Web 2.0 social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace, and video games, Kirby identifies that now “one phones, clicks, presses, surfs, chooses, moves, downloads” marking an important shift from the acts of postmodernism ('reading, watching and listening', 2009a p.3). Kirby initially defines this shift as ‘psuedo-modernism’ and later (2009b) ‘digi-modernism’ – a play on 'digital modernism'. The cynicism and irony of postmodernism disappears; in its place we find ourselves in a state of amnesia, characterised by “ignorance, fanaticism and anxiety” (2009a, p.3). Most worrying of all, this new modernism “sees the ideology of globalised, market economics raised to the level of the sole and over-powering regulator of all social activity...consumerist and conformist” (2009a p.3). Culture becomes intrinsically linked to commodity; music becomes a way of making products “cool”.


2.1.3 Culture as Commodity Kirby identifies as ‘pseudo-modern’ texts such as Big Brother, identifying their amnesiac qualities, their emptiness and futility; yet he does not address the ‘why’. Why are these texts being created? Is it simply because new technologies enable them to be so? Jansson (2008) offers a different view of these same texts: Big Brother, rather than necessitating audience participation for some higher fetishization of reader, necessitates audience participation for financial gain. Viewers 'vote' by 'phoning or texting in to the show - increasingly expensive participatory acts (Jansson, 2008). Such micro-payments are becoming the backbone of other media too, such as social gaming, (Develop, 2009); Spotify-style music subscription services (IFPI, 2010) and phone in competitions on radio and television (Kirby, 2009b). For Jansson, the overwhelming characteristic of contemporary culture and society is a “mediatization” of texts. Visual media, particularly, blurs the lines between cultural texts and cultural products – ‘culture’ becomes something that is ‘sold’ or used to sell within a global marketplace, with ‘mediatisation in itself generates commodification’ (Jansson, 2008, p.16). Highlighting the ‘growing importance of the media in supporting the marketing and distribution of novelties’ (2009, p. 23) Jansson expresses similar concerns to Briggle and Mitcham (2004) in suggesting that in such a capitalist ‘techno-society’ the whole world is a market place, where local custom and tradition is the ‘enemy’ of the corporation, and where mass homogenous products are sold online to an ever-increasing global marketplace.


2.2 Changes to the Offering of the Major Labels Graham et al (2004) outline the impact that new technologies, most notably the Internet and the digitization of the music product, from vinyl and CD to MP3 file, have had on the traditional recording industry. For Graham et al. (2004) two major changes have occurred to shake the dominance of the major record labels (now the “Big Four”: Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Brothers); firstly, the shift of the music product from CD to ‘intangible’ digital file (Styven, 2009); and second, the rise of the Internet as a powerful, easily accessible and cheap distribution platform. They predict three outcomes – first, physical distribution becomes less important. Secondly, the stranglehold of the big five (now big four) will diminish, and thirdly, music piracy will continue to undermine the position of the major labels (Graham, et al, 2004). The major labels have certainly faced an enormous back-lash from the general public, with many proclaiming that their ‘days are numbered’ and that artists will simply ‘cut out the middle men, and do it themselves” (TorrentFreak, 2009).


2.2.1 Physical to Digital Distribution Graham et al (2004) posit that, since the major labels have invested time and monetary resources into a supply chain centred around physical distribution, in the light of digital distribution their market dominance is weakened. Whilst the major labels have argued that digital music piracy has lost the music industry billions of dollars (IFPI, 2010; Music Ally, 2010), it is now increasingly apparent to the major labels that consumer behaviour has played an equal part in the demise of physical music sales. Web 2.0 forums, message boards and websites are very loudly ‘anti-label’, with consumers worked in to a frenzy of hate against the “greedy” labels, spurred on by high profile lawsuits against individual consumers. Although piracy battles still rage within the music industry, examining the top ten best-selling albums of 2009 reveal a more telling picture; Susan Boyle’s debut album was the biggest selling hit of the year, in a chart which also boasts U2’s Greatest Hits, Michael Buble and three albums by Michael Jackson (RiiN, 2010). What this demonstrates is a generational shift, similar to the one proposed by Kirby (2009a) – a clear demographic is revealed; those people still buying CDs are clearly of a generation who still buy physical music. However, is it possible that younger generations are simply not as interested in these out-dated products? Other revenue streams are also becoming more important to record labels in the decline of CD sales, including performance rights income (which grew 7.6% to US$0.8 billion in 2009 – no doubt due to the industry’s attentions being turned to it). But, this revenue which only accounts for 4.6% of all trade revenue generated by majors, compared to the drop of 7.2% of total revenue, which amounts to US$17bilion, is clearly not going to offer the same ‘golden egg’ revenue stream as CD and physical sales (RiiN, 2010).


2.2.2 The Impact on Finance and Investment The major labels have traditionally held market dominance by signing record contracts with artists meaning that the label owns the majority share of the copyright to the work (Gordon, 2008; Wilson&Stokes, 2005). Within this global economy, despite the falling trade revenue reaching the major labels (IFPI, 2010; Fitzgerald, 2010; Styven, 2009; Music Ally, 2010), the “Big Four” still arguably operate a ‘stranglehold’ over the market; with at least 70% of all music consumed globally was owned by these labels (Gordon, 2010; Youngs, 2010; IFPI, 2010). Jansson (2008) discusses the impact of a capitalist consumer society, noting that whilst on the surface companies such as Urban Juice and Soda appear to be offering a localised, specialised product, in reality the global nature of commerce is driving more and more power to large conglomerate groups, who maintain a stronghold through mergers and acquisitions (2008, p.16). This appears to be the case for the Big Four, who, whilst trading as individually as EMI, Sony-BMG, Universal and Warner Brothers, also own and control a wealth of smaller, specialist and niche labels.1 Another key role employed by the major labels has been, and arguably still is, the inhouse ability to recognise, nurture and develop artistic talent for financial gain (Seifert & Hadida, 2006). A&R is arguably the most important function of a label; breakthrough acts make up less than 1% of the total number of musical artists and performers in the world yet are responsible for generating most of the income (Gordon, 2008). Therefore, as Seirfert & Hadida note, the majors only generate “ a few ‘hits’ every year, but these hits are huge revenue generators” with EMI revealing that in 2005, a handful of top sellers generated £232 million (Seifert & Hadida, 2006, p.791). Signing away rights to a major label will often lead to an ‘advance’, a lump sum payment to develop the album, or albums, depending on the individual terms of the contract. 1

Universal Music Group, for example, a wholly owned subsidiary of international French media conglomerate

Vivendi, boasts parent labels including Universal Music Publishing, Universal Music Group Distribution, Interscope Geffen, Island Def Jam Music Group, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Group Nashville, Verve Music Group, Decca Label Group and Universal Music Latin Entertainment, as well as its subsidiaries: Show Dog, Fontana Distribution, V2/Co-Operative Music, Polydor Records, Mercury Music Group, Island Records Group, Universal Music TV and Universal Classics and Jazz (Universal, 2010).


However, despite recent break-throughs for the majors, such as reaching new digitallyled markets (Music Ally, 2010; IFPI, 2010) there remains a tangible online back-lash against the major labels, and a real sense of opportunity and liberation through doing it yourself (Montgomery, 2007; Fitzgerald, 2009; Parrish, 2007; Mallan, 2009; Suhr, 2009; TorrentFreak, 2009). The proceeding section examines the notion of artists ‘doing it themselves’ without label support.


2.3 Doing it Yourself ' Within the Recorded Music Industry 2.3.1 Self-Publishing Jansson suggests the media as becoming intrinsically linked to commodity; so Kirby (2009b) points to the ‘self-help’ guides springing up about how to ‘exploit’ the Internet for financial gain. The Internet becomes something that is used, in order to make profit, rather than simply share creative content, or make friends. For Kirby, the fact that anyone can self-publish is actually diminishing the value of being published. Whereas once to be read by many was the privilege of the most successful and talented, now we are awash with ‘stupid’ voices who have ‘nothing to say’ (2009b, p.120). YouTube characterises this, placing, as it does, ‘cheek-by-jowel the highly sophisticated work by career specialists, and the stuff by people who scarcely know how to switch on a camcorder’ (2009b p.120). The importance of taste-makers and other third party intermediaries is crucial: Kelly (2008) emphasises the importance of ‘findability’ within this online market-place, stating that: A, work has no value unless it is seen; unfound masterpieces are worthless. When there

are millions of books, millions of songs, millions of films,

millions of applications, millions of everything requesting our attention-- being found is valuable (Kelly, 2009, p.2). Recent figures identified that MySpace currently has more than eight million bands and artists (Owyang, 2008, p.1). Similarly, Tepper and Hargittai (2009) concede that whilst new technologies have changed the ways in which music is consumed, the ways in which new music is discovered have largely remained the same (Tepper & Hargittai, 2009, p.232). Therefore, d-DIY artists must be able to make their product “stand out” from all of the basically similar products in the market-place (Jansson, 2008); with the ability to self-publish comes the necessity of marketing and self-promotional skills (Gordon, 2008; Jansson, 2008; IFPI, 2010; Music Ally; 2010).


Mallan (2009) discusses the more positive aspects of the technological revolution, highlighting the opportunities for ‘creating [outlets] for self expression, developing new textual forms and social practices that blur public and private… accessing computersupported community networks’ (2009, p52). Whilst Kirby’s is a cynical view, there are advantages and opportunities in the ability to self-publish online. Certainly the rise of the Internet has changed the way in which the world does business, now and ostensibly forever (Pierrakis, 2010). But how realistic is it that everyone has an equal footing in this online world? Is there a ‘democracy’, as Mallan (2009) suggests? Youngs (2010) points to the latest IFPI report, which claims that there have been no “new artists” broken without the backing of a label. The reasons for this are largely financial, with the Big Four estimated to be spending on average $1m (£670,000) on each new act (IFPI, 2010; Youngs, 2010; Gordon, 2008). Is there a true democracy, or are independent artists merely “screaming in [online] space?” (Youngs, 2010).


2.3.2 Creative Entrepreneurship within the Music Industries: Balancing Creativity and Innovation As Jansson (2008) notes, in our increasingly commercialised culture industries, the importance of maintaining authenticity and originality, (and market appeal), becomes a central concern. Wilson and Stokes (2005) align this argument with an exploration of the 'cultural entrepreneur'; for a musical artist's work to be 'distinctive, it must stand out from the crowd' (2005, p.367). In order to achieve this 'innovation' – that is, the successful exploitation of Intellectual Property (IP) for financial return – the artist must become entrepreneurial, proving themselves to have both a creative ability and business acumen (2005, p.366). For Wilson and Stokes, entrepreneurialism is the key to success within the music industries. They identify that, whilst there are more opportunities available for independent artists, the real problem is the lack of finance within the ‘risky’ music business, apart from that from major labels and their subsidiaries. The high levels of risk and uncertainty within the industry still encourage partnerships between smaller music companies and larger, major labels. The authors identify that small music businesses are more likely to tap into the “strong flow of investment that circulates within the music industry itself”, rather than create deals with non-music industry partners (Wilson & Stokes, 2005, p.367). Therefore there is a need for creative entrepreneurs to embrace both the creative and the business side of the music industry; there is a 'dialogue problem' with banks and the music industry 'not speaking the same language' (2005, p. 371). There is a move within the Higher Education and Further Education sectors to support entrepreneurialism within study (see, for example, The Higher Education Academy Art Design Media Subject Centre, and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts Report, 2007). However, research identifies that many enter the cultural industries later in life (Throsby, 2008). Is there an opportunity for some additional support, outside of formal education, that could support independent d-DIY artists to become entrepreneurial?


2.4 The Role of the Public Sector The preceding sections have identified that there is a potential need for public sector organisations to support creative entrepreneurship, particularly amongst the recorded music industry, where there appears to be a real opportunity for artists and small music businesses to achieve financial success, without sacrificing away rights to a label. The following section identifies the public sector support for the recorded and wider music industries within the Northwest of England, with a major focus on Vision+Media, currently the Regional Cluster Organisation, and responsible for supporting the growth of the creative economy within the region. The key differences between public and private sector organisations are addressed, and the role which Vision+Media play in supporting and developing the Northwest’s creative economy is explored.


2.4.1 Defining the Role of Public Sector Organisations Within the Creative Economy Public sector organisations are responsible for distributing public funds for the public good. They differ from private sector organisations in several fundamental ways: firstly, they are ‘owned’ by the country, the public, rather than private share-holders. The overarching aim of public sector organisations is to spend public money in order to provide a public service, rather than to generate profit. Public sector organisations play an important role within the UK economy; the umbrella of public sector organisations covers schools, hospitals, local and national Government, health-care, community organisations, motorway and road maintenance, police, fire-service, as well as specific and localised services and products, including the support and development of education, skills training, and economic growth.


2.4.1.1 Vision+Media Vision+Media are a private company, limited by guarantee. Their relevance to this research, however, lies in their particular remit within the public sector. Vision+Media bid for, and won, a contract to become the Regional Cluster Organisation for the Creative and Digital Sectors, within the Northwest of England. The bid was put to tender by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (RDA), one of nine RDA’s put in place by the Labour Government's of Blair and Brown (1997 – 2010) (see Appendix 1: Vision+Media Report, 2010). Vision+Media previously existed as the Regional Screen Agency, supporting the TV and Film sectors, and partnered with the UK Film Council, another Labour-Government initiative, instated in 2001 to support the UK film industry. Vision+Media acquire monies directly from central Government, specifically ERDF monies, in order to support and develop the creative economy, which comprises specifically of the following sectors: Film, TV, Creative Services, Digital, Music, Video Games, Publishing and Broadcast. Their remit is to support business infrastructure, rather than creative content, and to encourage cross-sector collaboration, as well as creating and safe-guarding jobs, up-skilling the regional workforce, and identifying markets for their clients, the small-to-medium (SME) organisations within the region. At the time of writing, the creative and digital sectors are within the top three UK growth industries as identified by the Government.


2.4.1.2 Supporting Creative Entrepreneurship – Training and Development As Wilson & Stokes (2005) identify, in order for entrepreneurship to thrive within the creative industries, two important areas must be considered. First, the entrepreneur must have sufficient business acumen in order to successfully exploit, or innovate, the creative content. Secondly there must be access to finance. The following section examines the potential role of public sector organisations in relation to these two fundamental areas, offering a case-study of one public sector organisation whose remit is to fulfil these roles – Vision+Media. Vision+Media’s 2009-2010 delivery saw the launch of three high-level, cross-sector programmes designed to educate and support the business acumen of creatives working across Film, TV, Radio, Publishing, Music, ICT, Video Games and Digital sectors. The first two, Accidental Leaders, and Accidental Managers came about in response to an internal RDA research report, which identified that many creative leaders leading SMEs were there ‘accidentally’ – that is, they were initially a creative ???, yet as their company grew they find themselves doing less and less creative work, and an increasing amount of, for example, accounting, management, tax returns, recruitment and human resources. The third programme, Fast Company programme, was inspired by an academic publication of the same name, and was in response to a new Venture Loan Capital Fund (VCLF) being announced, which will launch later in 2010, and will offer access to finance of up to £3m for growth companies within the Northwest region. There was a concern that the creative SMEs within the region were not prepared for investor readiness. At an introductory session, it was revealed that few leaders knew the difference between debt and equity financing, for example. As a result of these successful programmes, the delivery for 2010-2011 was to include, amongst other initiatives, a series of ‘lunchtime’ sessions on various aspects of business, and the launch of the Legal Forum, an online service offering legal support for those within the IP industries.


2.4.1.3 Access to Finance As well as informing companies within the region of how best to apply for finance, Vision+Media also administered various funds, including the Regional Attraction Fund, which awarded recoupable funding of up to £50,000 for company, product and production investment. Each sector head is also at liberty to invest small amounts of money into developing key products, companies or to support key regional or national events. Wilson & Stokes (2005) identify that the stranglehold of the major labels is largely due to the high-risk nature of investment within the music industries; the majors are the only source of finance for many entrepreneurs. Offering alternative sources of funding for music companies could break this pattern. A recent report by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) offers advice specifically for small music businesses on how to access finance (DCMS, 2010). The ‘Money Map’ report highlights the importance of access to finance for music businesses, ninety percent of which are SMEs, facing ‘distinct’ problems which can hinder their growth (DCMS, 2010, p.2). The report goes on to ‘map’ different existing Government funds which can be applied to for support. Under each regional heading the report mentions the various RDAs, as well as Business Link. In some regions, these are the only existing support agencies mentioned.


2.4.2 The Problem of Reputation Within the Public Sector Vilma Luoma-aho (2008) discusses the importance of reputation for the public sector. Unlike private sector organisations, the public sector reputation is built upon a myriad of factors, including macro level (socio-political climate, world and national economy and trends), meso-level (trustworthiness and performance of national institutions) and micro-level (the product itself, namely public services and public servant competence). On the meso-level, it is apparent that, in recent months, public sector reputation appears to have swung dramatically; in the build-up to the general election in May, 2010, the former Labour Government were forced to acknowledge that public sector spending – what former Prime Minister Gordon Brown termed a “culture of excess” would have to be addressed in the light of the UK deficit (Telegraph, 2010). Tabloids called for a ‘bonfire of the Quangos’ – or certainly for pay cuts for quango and council chiefs (Sherman, 2010). The new coalition Government has delivered this, and the country are currently facing unprecedented cuts to public sector services, including front-line services such as the NHS and police force. The mood of the press is beginning to change, with more articles now concerned with the impact that these cuts will have on private sector companies – an impact ostensibly not considered (Tyler, 2010). Luoma-aho further differentiates between two perceptions of public sector organisations; the ‘flexible’ and ‘semi-commerical’, and the ‘bureaucratic’ (2008, p.448). Public sector reputation becomes “a record of past deeds, a sum of stories told, a sector reputation can be defined as a record of past deeds of actors and organisations within a specific sector” (2008, p.450). Of concern to many operating within the sector is that “many characteristics of original bureaucracy (stiffness, slowness and passivity) are still universally associated with public sector organisations” (2008, p.450).


2.4.3 Improving the Perceptions of Public Sector Organisations There has been much recent debate about the potential for improvement within public sector organisations, including improving human resource management and recruitment, and theory which discusses the notion of the public sector entrepreneur (Falk & Dierking, 2008; Dann, 1996; Boyett, 1996). The idea that entrepreneurship necessitates bottom-line profit as a measure of success (Dann, 1996) is challenged by such literature, which argues instead that entrepreneurial behaviour within the public sector can rather be measured through a recognition of and ability to exploit potentially lucrative situations (Boyett, 1996). There is a particular emphasis within the literature that public sector organisations should model themselves on private sector organisations, in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness and staff recruitment and retention (Luoma-aho, 2008; Brown, 2004; Falk & Dierking, 2008; Dann, 1996; Boyett, 1996).


2.4.4 The Current Political Climate At the time of writing, the public sector are facing deeper cuts than ever before (Curtis, 2010). The results could be severe, with fears that the North of England will suffer incrementally worse that the Southern regions, due to a larger percentage of the Northern workforce being employed by public sector (Rogers, 2010). The emphasis will be on private sector organisations to lessen the potentially devastating impact of mass redundancy. Despite private sector employment increasing by 12,000 in the first quarter of 2010 (Office for National Statistics, 2010), the private sector are facing their own difficulties, especially in light of a potential double-dip recession (Taylor, 2010). It remains to be seen whether the economy will benefit in the long-term. The immediate impact for the Northwest music industries are that another potential source of investment may become obsolete. The new coalition Government has already announced the intended closure of the RDAs, with NWDA closing in March 2012, and no more finance available. The coalition Government has also proposed to close the UK Film Council. Both of these are main sources of funding for Vision+Media, which could also close in 2011 or 2012 due to lack of funding.


Chapter Three: Methodology and Research Design 3.0 Introduction to Methodology The following chapter identifies and offers justification for the design and data analysis chosen for this research. Qualitative, ‘in depth’ research interviews are utilised in order to gather factual and behavioural information, as well as probing individuals’ opinions, beliefs and understanding of the selected domain (the music industries) (Robson, 2002; Herbert, 1990; Kvale, 1996; Foddy, 1994; Ryan, 2000; Willis, 2004). Throughout the chapter, the potential limitations of qualitative research methods are explored (Foddy, 1993; Gorden, 1969; Greenfield, 1996; Kvale, 1996; Filstead, 1971; Robson, 2002); yet the chapter presents a sound justification for utilisation of such methods within the field of research – the fragmented, elusive and complex ‘music industries’ (Williamson & Cloonan, 2008). The highly specialised and elusive experiences of those working within this field (Throsby, 2008; Falk & Dierking, 2008), the industries’ intangibility, and the nature of the research hypotheses bring into sharp focus the necessity of gaining individual understanding and insight. An in-depth justification of the selected research design begins the chapter, followed by a further justification of utilising this approach within the recorded music industry. Next the chapter outlines the specific research design and methodology chosen by the author; the limitations of such methods are scrutinised, as well as the interview design and techniques employed. An examination of the selected method of data analysis follows, again focusing on the potential dangers of such an approach. The chapter concludes by outlining important or significant changes which occurred throughout the research process itself, and an ethical consideration for the respondents involved.


3.1 Research Design 3.1.1 Flexible Research: Qualitative, 'in-depth' Interviews The success of any robust academic research is determined by its design (Robson, 2002; Herbert, 1990; Rudd, 2005; Siedel, 1998; Scheurich, 1997; Mertens, 1998; Miles and Huberman, 1994; Birn, 2004). Scientific design is defined by Robson (2002) as historically falling into two separate camps – what he describes as 'laboratory' and 'field' research, or 'closed' and 'open' research respectively (Robson, 2002, p.4). Whilst much natural scientific research necessitates the former, commonly characterised by controlled trials which seek to test hypotheses through 'testing' cause and effect (Robson, 2002; Mertens, 1998; Siedel, 1998), there remains much debate surrounding the most efficient and scientific ways of understanding the social sciences (Robson, 2002, Siedel, 1998). This debate is nominally centred around whether quantitative data lends itself to scientific analysis and rigour better than qualitative, or 'soft', data (Kvale, 1996; Robson, 2002). Robson (2002) prefers an analysis of what he describes as 'fixed' (rather than quantitative) and 'flexible' (rather than qualitative) research designs. Citing Anastas and MacDonald (1994), Robson determines that whilst 'fixed' research designs include aspects such as experiments (often viewed as the 'gold standard' of any social science research), they require a certain level of pre-specification – that is, one often knows in advance what one will look for; 'flexible' research designs, on the other hand, are so-called because they are characterised by a more flexible approach. They can often provide richer and more lucrative data because the design evolves and develops throughout the research process (Robson, 2002, p. 5). Whilst aware of the issues and scepticism in some circles of such qualitative methods, the domain in which this research centres - the recorded music industry – remains largely outside the realm of scientific and academic study (Gordon, 2008). As a result, by utilising a 'fixed' design the author identified various problematic areas, including the lack of a scientific 'base-line' against which to measure results (Herbert, 1990; Robson, 2002), and the danger of pre-specification; the author is attempting to identify both factual data and opinion. Provided that such research is carried out systematically, sceptically and ethically (see Appendix 1 for a breakdown of Robson's definitions of


these approaches), there are no reasons why qualitative or flexible research design does not yield valid and useful scientific results (Robson, 2002; Ryan, 2000). It would be na誰ve to ignore the limitations and potential fragilities of such a design (Ryan, 2000; Robson, 2002; Kvale, 1996; Herbert, 1990; Mertens, 1998). There are certainly difficulties to be faced, some of which, including the fallibility of the human in data analysis, the dangers of subjectivity within the research process, and issues surrounding reliability and representativeness, will be addressed in the proceeding chapter. However at this point a further justification of the selected research design will be made as an appropriate method for an exploration of the music industries.


3.1.2 A Justification of Flexible, Qualitative Research within the Music Industries The data collected through qualitative research is rich and textually heavy (Ryan, 2000; Robson, 2002; Kvale, 1996; Foddy, 1994; Mertens, 1998). Robson cites Punch (1986) in his argument that social scientists must demonstrate the 'muddy hands' aspect of research in order to justify their chosen methods; in order to fully understand the field of ones research, one must enter into that field, despite any problems with entering the field, to expose the micro-politics of the site and the role played by ones study (Robson, 2002, p.508). Quantitative data has been used to great effect to explain certain phenomenon within the recorded music industry such as patterns of consumer behaviour (Jansson, 1998) , or take-up of a particular digital subscription service (IFPI, 2010) or the larger impact of piracy upon bottom-line figures (Micheal, 1994; Graham et al, 2003). However, the specific questions posed by this research require a different approach. The author proposes a research design which allows for a depth of response, rather than breadth of response, in order to identify individual behaviours (Willis, 2000; Ryan, 2000). These individual, personal narratives, once analysed, can represent important and useful contributions to the greater field of research. Hamel et.al (1993) identify that it becomes possible to add to ongoing research within a particular field, through building up and contrasting these in-depth individual responses. The 'microscopic' becomes “macroscopic, through the methodological virtues” of the selection process and hermeneutical tactics employed (Hamel, 1993, p.34). It is thus that the “condition of a society may be revealed through the systematic study of an appropriately selected micro-social unit” (cited in Hamel et al, 1993, p.46).


3.2 Data Type and Collection 3.2.1 In-Depth Qualitative Interviews Qualitative data was gathered through tape-recording a series of nine 'in-depth' interviews with a sample group of individuals selected either for their role within the music industry, or within the public sector. Whilst some approaches recommend a baseline of 10-20 short interviews (Robson, 2002; Kvale, 1996; Willis, 2004), 'in-depth' interviews provide a greater amount of data and therefore fewer should be obtained (Ryan, 2000; Morse, 2000, in Robson, 2002, p.199). Such data was selected as identified in the preceding chapter; whilst qualitative data can appear 'untidy, with no clear boundaries' (Herbert, 1990, p.70), it can also produce richer, more lucrative information within a specific field, providing that rigorous methodology is adhered to, and that the analytical qualities of the researcher are of a decent quality (Ryan, 2000; Robson, 2002; Kvale, 1996; Mertens, 1998; Miles and Huberman, 1994). (See Appendix2: Using Reflexivity to Identify Areas of Potential Researcher Bias, Robson, 2002, p.172).


3.2.2 Interview Structure and Design The interview design was constructed using a combination of Foddy’s (1994) and Kvale’s (1996) definitions of qualitative research interviews (see Appendices 3 & 4). The interviewer provided a clear overview of the research framework and keywords in order that the subject understands the framework in which the questions are being asked (Foddy, 1994, p.23). However, the interviewer will also remain impartial, open to ideas and suggestions, and empathetic throughout (Robson, 2002; Kvale, 1996; Foddy, 1994). The questions were concerned with finding 'fact, behaviour, beliefs or attitudes' (Robson, 2002, p.272) and were therefore varied subtly between interviewees, according to their specific role or experiences. In this regard the interviews could be described as 'respondent' interviews (Powney and Watts, 1987, in Robson, 2002); the interviewer remains in control of the discussion, yet the unstructured approach allows for the interviewee to give a deeper response. Within the design of the interview questions, the author was careful to avoid certain types of question for example those which are too long, or which imply certain meanings (see Appendix 5: ‘Questions to avoid in interviews’, Robson, 2002). However, it is worth noting that whilst this was the researcher’s intention, there are examples within the interview transcripts of questions which out of necessity, and out of the natural flow of conversation, become slightly longer than anticipated.


3.2.3 Selecting a Representative Sample Group Due to the nature of the methodology chosen, the selection of a representative sample group was of intrinsic importance to the validity of the research. The population for the interviewees was selected through non-probability selection methods (Kvale, 1996) that is, they were chosen individually based upon a series of pre-determined factors. These are: their accessibility to the researcher; and the nature of their role within industry in relevance to the research questions. In order for this research to become useful as a regional case-study, and due to existing contacts and networks available to the researcher, the core sample of interviewees reside and work within the North of England. The sample group were also selected for their personal experience and authority within the domain – the music industry and public sector respectively. Information gathered from these interviews essentially reflects the opinions of the selected group; rather than offered as ‘fact’, the information is intended to enrich the research questions posed, questions which fundamentally rely upon first-hand experience and to a large extent, personal perspective and preconceptions about the domain.


3.2.4 Obtaining Consent and Anonymity Consent was obtained by the researcher individually contacting each member of the sample group, either face to face, over email or by telephone. At the time of interview each respondent was informed that they would be recorded, and that these recordings would later be transcribed by the interviewer. It was also explained that a copy of their transcript would be sent to the interviewee as a gesture of goodwill (Robson, 2002) and also to ensure that there was nothing they wished to be edited from their comments. The sample group all individually agreed for their names to be used within the research.


3.3 Approach to data analysis 3.3.1 Outline of Approach Used The data was analysed utilising a three-tiered approach called Content Analysis, which is widely accepted to be the most suitable way of analysing qualitative data (Herbert, 1990; Miller 1987; Holsti, 1969; Robson, 2002). Herbert defines this process as asking a series of questions of your data, from the descriptive to the analytical and finally on to the synthetic (Herbert, 1990, p. 72). These 'searching questions' (Holsti, 1969) will lead the analyst to identifying various patterns and themes within the data. In this instance the 'data' will be the transcripts from the different interviews undertaken throughout the research. Miller (1983) breaks this approach down further into three different stages of analysis, where major units of this analysis are “words, themes, characters, items and space-and-time measures� (Miller, 1983 cited in Herbert, 1990, p.72). Miller's synthesis of this procedure, the three staged ??? of open, axial and selective coding, has formed the basis of the design (see Appendix 6: Miller’s Synthesis of Content Analysis)


3.3.2 Limitations to the approach used It is essential for the validity of any data analysis that consideration is given to limiting factors facing the research and analysis process (Miller, 1989; Kvale, 1996; Robson, 2002; Mertens, 1998; Seidel, 1988). The proceeding section outlines some of these key considerations. 1) Time As with any research project, there are considerations of time and necessary resources. The author is working full time, whilst at the same time completing full time study, and working to a deadline. The amount of time available in undertaking the research project was therefore limited, which affected both the amount of data collected (interviews undertaken) and the methods of data analysis. 2) Fallibility of Human Analysts Another key consideration in analysing the methodological approach outlined is that of the limitations of human analysis. Robson presents a checklist of such areas of concern, (see Appendix 3). Whilst there are obvious concerns around the fallibility of such an interpretive and hermeneutical approach, the author felt that the benefits could outweigh the more detrimental aspects, provided the scientific approach outlined by Robson was adhered to. Whilst subjectivity is to be scrutinised for detrimental effects to the validity of the research, it is also the case that “the researcher's subjectivity will intervene, and must intervene, to produce a definition of the object� (Hamel, et al, 1993, p.42). Data analysis in this instance is viewed as a process of exploration, with a conceptual theoretical framework on one hand, and an open, unbiased mind on the other (Herbert, 1990). Thus, analysis of data 'by hand' rather than by machine, can become more flexible (Robson, 2002; Kvale, 1996; Ryan, 2000). Of intrinsic importance, however, is the awareness of bias (Robson, 2002; Seidel, 1988; Mertens, 1998), and of overlooking important areas of data, or outliers (Herbert, 1993; Robson, 2002; Ryan, 2000).


3) Reliability and validity – assessing data quality A process of post-analysis is necessary in order to eliminate the possibility of overt researcher effects – those effects which the researcher has on the research, subconsciously, and that the research has had on the researcher (Robson, 2002). It is proposed also that the researcher ensures that she delves back into the original data format, the transcribed interviews, and analyses the language itself, within the original context – are the words understood in the same way by both interviewer and interviewee? A process of triangulation is also recommended, whereby any claims can be backed up by academic papers, journals, and other forms of research (Robson, 2002; Mertens, 1998; Seidel, 1988). Another area of concern is that of weighted data, the process of placing more emphasis on results which lend themselves to an overarching theory, or discounting that evidence which does not (Robson, 2002). Other testing patterns employed include a full analysis of any 'outliers', and following up any surprise results, as well as actively seeking disconfirmation of preconceived ideas (Robson, 2002). Explanations will similarly be tested, through confirmation with the informants, checking out rival explanations through the literature review, and attempting to identify and discount 'spurious relationships' (Herbert, 1990). The overarching theme of representativeness is also considered; whilst the individual interviews are specific to the experiences of those informants, through rigour it should be possible to generalise from this experience. 4) The Quality of the Analyst Good quality research is therefore as much a test of the researcher as of the data. An awareness of the fallibility of the human condition is essential, yet should not outweigh the benefits of insightful and useful analysis (Ryan, 2000). First and foremost the analyst must demonstrate the ability to be able “to think, to process information in a meaningful and useful manner” (Fetterman, 1989, p.88, cited in Robson, 2002, p.459).


3.4 Changes to the Research Design and Ethical Considerations 3.4.1 Changes to Research Design As the selected research design is inherently ‘flexible’ some changes to the original design occurred throughout the process. One interview was conducted with a respondent based outside of the geographically selected area (the North of England). Such a change was not detrimental to the research, however; rather it added a different perspective to the research, and since the respondent in question who fell furthest from the geographical area is based at a major label (Universal) in London, the deviation was relevant to the wider scope (there not being any similar representatives in the North of England). A case-study which had been planned for analysing real-world affects of Vision+Media support on businesses, could not be included in the study due to external political reasons – Vision+Media were affected by purdah and were unable to run their planned activities between March – May 2010. Further to the general election, and subsequent change of Government, Vision+Media were then subject to drastic cuts and a pay-andexpenditure freeze ensued, meaning that planned activity was rescheduled for September 2010, past the deadline for the research.


3.4.2 Ethical Considerations

A consideration of the ethics of the research process was undertaken; it was concluded that the safety of the individual respondents was not jeopardised by taking part in the research, as each respondent agreed to take part themselves, and each respondent agreed that there was no subsequent threat to their personal or professional wellbeing from excerpts of their transcribed interviews being published. Anonymity was proffered and waived by each candidate. Each candidate was sent transcribed interviews for their own perusal to ensure that they had not been misquoted, and were happy with the representation and interpretation of the answers.


Chapter Four: Findings 4.0 Introduction The proceeding chapter reveals the key findings of the research, and the procedures employed by the author in order to identify these findings. The following chapter details the wider findings of the research.


4.1 Stage One: Axial and Selective Coding – Results As outlined in the previous chapter, the author used selective and axial coding in order to interpret findings within the data. The first stage was to code the interview transcriptions, by allowing the data to naturally fall within nine key themes, namely, 1. Perceptions of the current recorded music industry; 2. Creative Entrepreneurship; 3. Do It Yourself; 4. New Technologies; 5. Labels; 6. Taste-Making; 7. New Business Models; 8. Money and Finance; and 9. Public Sector. Once this data had been organised in to nine key themes (full coding reports form appendices 7-14), the results were analysed in order to, firstly, identify and interpret key trends and patterns within the data - patterns which could then reveal potentially unexpected or hitherto unconsidered results; and secondly, to use these findings in order to answer the research questions posed within Chapter Two.


4.2 Stage Two: Finding Patterns Within The Data Within each of the nine broad themes, there were many contradictory and conflicting opinions, as well as areas of general agreement. The following analytical table (figures 1 - 16) represent more specific opinion within the larger group headings shown in 4.1.


A key to the following Tables is outlined below: 4.2.1 A Key to Interpreting the Analytical Tables Interviewee: States the specific interviewee that was questioned. This enables the author to embed the quotation selected within a deeper context, by understanding both the context in which the quotation was made, and also the wider context of the situation of the interviewee, and what impact their own particular experiences may have had on their opinion. Quotation: The quotation is taken directly from the interview transcriptions. Reference: A full reference, citing the interviewee name, date, and page number (relating to the full transcriptions) is provided. Code: This column relates to the original coding tables (see appendices ‌). Initially nine key themes were determined, and once the interview data had been organised into these broad headings, the data was then sorted into smaller, more specific sub-headings, the details of which are in the tables below.


4.2.2 The Impact of the Digitization of the Music Product on the Recorded Music Industry Figures 1 and 2, below, outline both the negative (Figure 1) and positive (Figure 2) opinions and perceptions about the impact of the digitization of the music product on the recorded music industry.


Figure 1. Negative Impact of Digitization of the Music Product on the Recorded Music Industry Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Jeff Thompson “Generally, it's the physical sellers and the distributors who are suffering”

Thompson, 1a The 2010, p.3 Failing of the Music Industry.

Jeff Thompson “There has been an investigation into CD prices [on the news]. They were sold to us for loads as a ‘premium product’ – but hold on, they only cost 2p to make!? iTunes, the biggest e-retailer, made everything 79p – why? Even on the high street things are different prices…The music industry has always done stuff crap at that kind of level”

Thompson, 1a 2010, p4.

Jeff Thompson “You’re gonna work and be in a band, be on the dole and be in a band, or not be in Thompson, 1a a band! There is a gap now, though, where there used to be a feeding ground to 2010, p.6 move from one side to the other. Economically that’s not viable. Or you have to be a full time live musician. Steve Lawson makes a good living, but has no overheads. [the recorded music] industry used to have to support the whole industry, chrome offices and that, that’s the other reality” Jeff Thompson “It’s very hard to get investment, unless you’re creating hardware”

Thompson, 1a 2010, p1

Pat Fulgoni

“[if the recorded music industry fails] it’s going to cost the economy a lot, a huge amount. I mean it opens doors all round the world, to all sorts of territories. We might laugh about The Beatles and things like that, but that’s what first springs to mind for a lot of people. It opens a lot of doors, it’s a huge selling point, and it gets people a lot of national interest and gigs”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.1

1a

Chris Briden

“I think the best people don’t get through”

Briden, 2010, p.8

1a

Alan Wills

“ I’ve got no time for whingers…. If they’re driving the ship – if you’re driving the Wills, Titanic, you’ve got to at least know how to avoid the iceberg, you know what I 2010, p.1 mean… You know, and these guys [the music industry] have driven right into the iceberg, and instead of being sacked, they’re still in charge.”

1a

Alan Wills

“[EMI] are in trouble because they thought that they could operate in the way a normal business works, and you just can’t because its not like you – you bought a brand like Persil washing liquid, where you can go right, we’ve got Persil, let’s be better than Daz, or whatever the other leading washing liquid is. ‘we’ve gotta ramp up our ad campaign… get a couple of people in them that people recognise, we’ll plough more money into ads and then we’ll sell more, and get our revenue up, it doesn’t work like that with music. You can pump all the money you want into ads but it doesn’t mean people are going to buy it”

Wills, 2010, p.1

1a

Alan Wills

“That’s the trouble, it [the music industry] can’t sustain and that’s the trouble. We’ve had to downsize the industry, which is better, theoretically.”

Wills, 2010, p.6

1a

Alan Wills

“I think the biggest problem you’ve got now is that everyone wants your band to be Wills, really successful… you’ve got to get the economics right. The problem you’ve got 2010, p.20 now is a band who come along who's good, everyone will give them too much money. The first album sells 150,000, it’s seen as a failure, where selling 60,000 on your first album should be seen as a success… you have to balance the economics”

1a

Alan Wills

“If you wrap it all up it’s culture, and culture is moving on really fast, but music isn’t moving on fast. We’re still trying to sell ice – so that’s one of the main problems”

Wills, 2010, p.9

1c (Quality of current music product )

Alan Wills

“Everyone now sounds the same… and it’s to do with bad A&R and lazy marketing… I think those producers produce by numbers… a lot of …metal albums are made by the same guys that do pop shit. To me a producer is someone who oversees a project and …tries to find the character of the band. They’re not producers, they’re line managers”

Wills, 2010, p.9

1c

Alan Wills

“I think what’s going to die off is the second and third tier of indie music, the second and third tier that should never have got deals in the first place…all these people they won’t be doing anything in the future, because they shouldn’t have done anything in the first place… if you’re Led Zeppelin or the White Stripes or The Strokes, you’re still going to do OK. That business will always be there”

Wills, 2010, p.2

1d (implicati ons and prediction s)

Jeff Thompson “There’s people stuck in limbo… I would worry there’s great stuff that won’t

Thompson, 1d


happen because of that gap [of investment or support from labels]. But… it’s a much more exciting time than ever before, it’s just the markets have changed and the industry – old industry – can’t handle it” Pat Fulgoni

2010, p.8

“Income streams have got smaller recently, because I think there’s so many bands Fulgoni trying to get their music in there, they’re happy to give it away for nothing really, 2010, p.4 just so it’s in there and they get the publishing [on getting music into TV and Film}

1d

Jeff Thompson “[the recorded music industry] didn’t do itself any favours by selling itself on the Thompson, 1e (image image of a millionaire! The print industry has a lot of millionaires but it doesn’t sell 2010, p.6 of itself on that. If you’re good, there are ways of making a career, but now £20,000 or millionair £30,000 is a good living. Like in Hollywood. For every Tom Cruise there are a es in million people making coffee” industry) Katherine Melling

“Major labels seem to be going more for the instant buck. I've heard that there have Melling, been directives at a major record company group recently that A&R's can't sign 2010, p.6 anything that they don't think will sell a million albums...I think that sort of talk just stunts creativity.

1d

Katherine Melling

“The major labels have seen a massive reduction in their traditional revenue streams, so there's a bit of panic out there. They're finally trying to find alternative routes to making money by harnessing the power of the Internet, and by doing 360 deals and taking money from publishing and touring revenue, but a lot of acts are wary of doing that, understandably.”

1d

Chris Briden

“I think… people like having physical things. Like having actual products, they can Briden, buy, because.., you can’t just listen to that sort of thing on your computer all the 2010, p.5 time, that’s just not going to happen. And the audio quality is not good.”

4a Impact of New Technolog ies

Chris Briden

“We got a quote for £1000 to do a 3 month campaign. You think, well, I’d rather Briden, just pay £1000 for a radio plugger, or I’d rather just buy another guitar – you know, 2010, p.7 there’s plenty of things that a band would rather spend £1000 on”

4a

Chris Briden

“You could have a zillion fans, yeah, then – who comes to your gig? Your mum! Briden, It’s not the same really so if you just ignore – well, don’t ignore the online, but take 2010, p.7 it with a pinch of salt”

4a

Jeff Thompson “I don’t know how ticket sales are going, but certain ones are knackered, the £5-£6 mark tickets market [for example]. People spend on iPods rather than CDs. Madonna rather than a local band. But the upshot is everyone is really optimistic. More bands making more music, but their career will be shorter, on average.” Figure 1. (Cont.)

Melling, 2010, p.7

Thompson, 4a 2010, p.8


Figure 2. Positive Impact of Digitization of the Music Product on the Recorded Music Industry Interviewee

Positive Impact

Jeff Thompson

“Things have changed. Retail is different. Distribution is different. All Thompson 1a the supposed p2p stuff is a huge opportunity for us. People are finding , 2010, p.3 stuff that they wouldn’t have heard otherwise”

Reference Code

Jeff Thompson

“A lot of myths are being exposed. Everyone has always lost loads of money, and people are still losing loads of money. Breakfast TV and TOTP might make a bit of money but in reality most people lost money and bled dry. It’s not money for nothing and chicks for free!”

Thompson 1a , 2010, p.5

Alan Wills

Fleet Foxes are a good example because “their deal was structured in such a way that there wasn’t a lot of money upfront… and they’ve ended up selling 700,000 records and they’ll be a band that will…be around for a bit”

Wills, 1a 2010, p.20

Dan Parrott

“A label needs music videos… a band doesn’t have to be on a label to Parrott, have a music video… and hopefully the new website [the New 2010, p.2 Mancunian] will become a new platform, and people can get their videos up there”

Jeff Thompson

“Ruth and I, and a chap we know from London, we’re developing Toolcore, a tool for the live music industry, around booking agencies and venues and artists. [It is] a boring online thing, a way of administering the live music industry”

Thompson 4 , 2010, p.1

Jeff Thompson

You can half-hear about a band and you can listen straight away.’

Thompson 4 , 2010, p.2

Jeff Thompson

“the main effects [of new technologies] have been – if we make a record, there isn’t anywhere to sell it – the bigger [music] industry haven’t managed to sustain the distribution… but we’re marginal anyway. Ironweeds album was out at the end of 2007…well into the p2p debate, and it sells here and especially well in America. Say in a month if we sell 100, if you go to a BitTorrent site and look up the numbers, you’ll see 7 to 800 on BitTorrent. Have we lost that many sales? No! We’ve sold more because more have heard it…. Arguably digitally we’re better off…”

Thompson 4 , 2010, p.3

Jeff Thompson

“We can [now] give it away and we don’t have to pay loads of wages [unlike the majors]. Break even. This is much more likely than it was pre-digital models”

Thompson 4 , 2010, p.4

Jeff Thompson

“Overheads now… you can release an album for - £20!? Cheaper than Thompson 4 that – probably free! …[you] can record an album in a weekend. I bet , 2010, p.4 I’ve got more technology in my back bedroom than Jimi Hendrix had in his whole studio!”

Jeff Thompson

“This is a much more exciting time than ever before, it’s just the markets have changed and the industry – old industry – can’t handle it.”

Chris Briden

We had a mailing list, that was PHP Mailing List, they were really Briden, good unlike my band… a mailing list programme where you could 2010, type in, just a database, that you collated and you could do people you pp4-5 met at each gig, the date… and by area… we just wrote in ‘area’ and ‘date’…when we went back there we could email them and tell them… it’s free. And then we had a website… we had MySpace and Facebook. When we first started out MySpace was quite new, so that was good, we got quite a lot of buzz…“The best thing about MySpace and Facebook is you’ve got free streaming… When we first started out streaming was quite difficult, whereas now it’s very easy… Anyone can upload a song and stream it, which is very good.

Alan Wills

“there’s a lot more option online…People have a lot more choice… Wills, 4b online You go to the newsstand and you’ve got Kerrang, NME, RockSound 2010, p.6) marketing or whatever, you can go online and there’s a whole load more places you can get information because that’s all there is, so I’m guessing that in the future it’s going to be a really really good place. And also that information is instantaneous, if you’ve got a really, really hot band, and you get it going online, it can spread like wildfire, and in 45 weeks it can be everywhere”

Alan Wills

“All the industries will have gone in to one [in the future]… a lot of what you do will be based on having this incredible live show.. that

4

Thompson 4 , 2010, p.8 4b online marketing

Wills, 4c new 2010, p.10 business


live show will be able to get filmed… because there’s two things, you can watch the gig live on TV, but I’m not being funny, you know you’ll never replace the experience of being at a gig, and most people will still want to be at a gig, but once the gig’s sold out you’ll be able to watch it on television, or what it on your mobile.. and all these things.” Katherine Melling

“I really wish I knew more about web design, and how the Internet Melling, actually works, as that is probably the most valuable thing right now 2010, p.4 in terms of getting a job in the industry”

models

4c

Figure 2 (cont)

The sample group identify that the major labels have suffered a “massive reduction” in their traditional revenue, (Melling, 2010, p.7) and that as a result, they are perhaps not taking as many risks, and “stunting creativity” at the higher levels (Melling, 2010, p.6). Wills agrees that there is an apparent lack of creativity at major labels, as producers and marketers are simply “producing by numbers” (Wills, 2010, p.9). It is acknowledged that the recorded music industry will be forced to downsize (Wills, 2010; Thompson, 2010). However, the sample group identify some positive aspects of new technologies, and the digitization of the music product. Firstly the results demonstrate that there are tangible benefits for both smaller, independent record labels and d-DIY musicians. Thompson identifies that P2P file-sharing, lamented by the major labels as driving down digital music revenue, has become “a huge opportunity” for Fat Northerner, his independent record label (Thompson, 2010, p.3), as it enables more music consumers to hear and access the music they release. Thompson also identifies that, due to the reduction of production and distribution costs for digital music, smaller labels can actually lose less money than before, as they have fewer overheads to pay, unlike the major labels. Fulgoni offers an insight into the opportunities within the recorded music industry for independent musicians, stating that more bands are finding access to market through synchronisation deals within Film and Television. The sample group also identify that there are advantages to marketing a digital music product. Thompson notes that you can “half hear about a band, and then listen straightaway” (Thompson, 2010, p. 2). On-line consumers have “more choice” and a really hot band can “spread like wildfire” (Wills, 2010, p.6).


4.2.3 The Future of Records The sample group, whilst confirming that physical retail and distribution have been hit by declining record sales, still identify that records will play an important role within the future of the music industry, suggesting that the recording industry will still have an equally important role. Figure 3 demonstrates some of this thought:


Figure 3. The Future Role of Records Themselves Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Alan Wills

Records are still going to be very, very important in the future...you know, Wills, 2010, p.3 I don't know anyone that has got into a band because of a gig, or a piece of merch[andise]...you get into a band because someone says 'check this record out' – so records are still going to be this fundamental tool to break an artist.

5a Future role of records

Alan Wills

...there are an awful lot of skilled people, in the music industry, that..are Everything skilled; they are there for a reason. There's no reason why they are Everything, suddenly irrelevant or obsolete, just because they could be. They can do 2010, p.6 it...I mean, someone has to physically press the records!...For a little while longer, anyway [laughs]. Someone's got to master them, for at least the next five years. Or 'upload' them!

5a

Chris Briden

“People like having physical things. Like having actual products, they can Briden, 2010, buy, because… you can’t just listen to that sort of thing on your p.10 computer all the time… and the audio quality is not as good.. so I think that distribution is important…because they’ll get your records in to shops”

5a

Pat Fulgoni

[It was] ..a bit of a wake-up call, there were thousands and thousands of Fulgoni, 2010, kids there, with their glo-sticks, all raving to Drum'n'Bass! That was a lot p6 bigger than I remembered. So I've been...watching the trends and it all seems to be about vinyl...through DJs

5a

Jeff Thompson The idea that physical is dead has reached every level, but we could still Thompson, do five hundred vinyl to a niche market, and make more money out of 2010, p.6 that than we could out of selling five hundred downloads on iTunes

Code

5a


The sample group identify that records will still play an important role, even within the digital future. For Briden and Everything Everything labels – or someone who can “physically press the records” will also remain fundamental “at least for the next five years!” (Everything Everything, 2010, p.6). The sample group also identify what is perhaps a growing market for niche, physical products, with Thompson and Fulgoni both recounting examples. Interestingly, the sample group also identify wider changes in consumer behaviour, which demonstrate that there could be more involved with declining record sales than the shift from a physical to a digital music product. Figure 4, below, outlines some of these comments:


Figure 4. Wider Changes in Consumer Behaviour Contributing to Decline in Record Sales Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Alan Wills

“If you wrap it all up it’s culture, and culture is moving on really fast, but music isn’t moving on fast. We’re still trying to sell ice – so that’s one of the main problems”

Wills, 2010, p.9

1.c Oversaturation of music products

Alan Wills

“Everyone now sounds the same… and it’s to do with bad A&R and lazy Wills, 2010, p.9 marketing… I think those producers produce by numbers… a lot of … metal albums are made by the same guys that do pop shit. To me a producer is someone who oversees a project and …tries to find the character of the band. They’re not producers, they’re line managers”

1.c

Jeff Thompson there’s only a million pairs of eyes that will go and see a gig – there’s not suddenly two million! They’ve put prices up, so people are paying more seeing less, or the same”

Thompson, 2010, 1d New p.1 technology; new business models

Jeff Thompson “There’s an argument that people are spending their money on other stuff, and they do. I would never spend £400 on albums a year, but I spend in on the iPod. Then games, DVDs, obviously. People have other things to spend their money on… and live gigs. If you’re spending £250 to go to Glastonbury, you wouldn’t buy 30 albums – that year, anyway”

Thompson, 2010, 4a p.2

Pat Fulgoni

Fulgoni, 2010, p1 7 New business models

It's died, that whole retail side, well certainly in certain genres. They all wanted to write dubstep, and I cant see where the sales are! So you've now got these tracks, unfortunately you seem more interested in it sounding better on a mobile phone than a studio, so that's another shift, the production value. It's almost like it's got to sound better on a mobile phone than on a stereo.

Jeff Thompson ..in the past, recorded music was the format. Orchestral music was Thompson, 2010, 7 mainstream when everyone played in theatres. It's what's p.14 culturally popular that ends up getting made, because there's a market for it. So I think there will be music for music's sake, that doesn't make money, there will be bands that don't sound like the mainstream that get through, and there will be mainstream music that changes, depending on the market


4.2.4 Analysis of the Importance of Creative Entrepreneurship The importance of demonstrating entrepreneurial behaviour within the recorded music industry is apparent in two clear ways. Firstly, the sample group offer their own examples of individuals who have shown entrepreneurial behaviour, and Alan Wills also notes the lack of entrepreneurship within the major labels as being detrimental (see Figure 5 below). Secondly the author has, throughout the interviews, identified examples of the sample group themselves demonstrating entrepreneurial behaviour (see Figure 6, below). Interestingly of the sample group of nine respondents, all demonstrate such entrepreneurial behaviour.


Figure 5. Specific Examples of Creative Entrepreneurship Within the Music Industries Interviewee

Quotation

Alan Wills

“The whole problem with the industry is very, very simple. When I Wills, 2010, p.3 started it was an entrepreneurial business, which is why the computer business is fucking flying… they’re an entrepreneurial company… they keep the entrepreneurial spirit, where [as] that’s gone in the music business. And that’s why we’re in so much trouble. That it hasn’t got any elements whatsoever of entrepreneurialism, all the guys at the top, are guys who have never taken a chance, they’ve got a job, gone in and then they think “ooh I’m safe here, I’ll rise through the ranks”…

Jeff Thompson

Reference

“Bands have to be business minded...it’s not like being an accountant or Thompson, any other creative industry, even. There are no jobs that say “Wanted: 2010, p.6 Singer in Band, £30K per year”. It doesn’t work that way. You work your job and gig on a night. The problem for artists now is that advances have gone. You can’t hold down a job, or find an employer whose going to let you go and tour. Without an advance… it’s chicken or egg. Unless you’ve got some money from somewhere magically appearing that isn’t an advance, how do you do it?”

Code 2.1.c (who doesn't demonstrate entrepreneurial behaviour)

2.1.b What bands have to have/ demonstrate

Chris Briden

CB: I think most musicians that you see are doing something like that Briden, 2010, [working lots of different jobs to get different revenue streams]. You p.9 can’t just do music

2.1b

Chris Briden

CB: I think that the best people don’t get through. Briden, 2010, AR: Who do you think does get through? p.8 CB: The best entrepreneurs! The best entrepreneurial bands, the most productive bands get through.

2.1.b

Alan Wills

“All the people I know, who are really good, are all really hard working, Wills, 2010, whether they’re doing music or not. They just get it together, and they’ll p.18 be successful in some form or another. So you can’t take the success gene out of music… I hate that American analogy of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. But it is right. It’s just that I’d rather call it the success gene… as in people who are destined to be successful, you can’t remove that… you know it’s not like ‘hey, he’s really great at playing guitar’ – well if he is, you know, if he hasn’t got the success gene he’s not going to fucking get there!”

2.2 Examples of entrepreneurial behaviour

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson talks about Steve Lawson, guitarist who organises ‘home Thompson, tours’ across the States, as being “a really clever, intelligent, witty bloke 2010, p.4 – most bands I know aren’t any of those things! They are good at writing songs… but you’ve got to understand the new environment – not claiming we understand it! But [with a team] you can do better than some bands on their own.”

2.2

Pat Fulgoni

“Like Gary McLarnon. Blimey what a success story! You know, Mr Pat Fulgoni, Scruff is incredibly talented and a lot of his [McLarnon’s] artists are. But 2010, p.7 would they be where they are now, without someone like that, who had quite a ruthless business head, and a passion for music at the same time? And certainly…he represents his artists with a lot of love… Without these kinds of individuals the industry just falls apart, probably!”

2.2

Alice Morrison

“It's very important to get the right people, with the right attitude. Your Morrison, own personal attitude is really important....For me you've got to be open, 2010, p.6 you've got to be investigative, you've got to be interested, you've got to care, you've got to be pretty energetic. So I would say they are the things. Hugely important

2.1b


Figure 6. Demonstrable Example of Entrepreneurial Behaviour Within the Sample Group Interviewee

Example of Entrepreneurial Behaviour

Dan Parrott

“It’s difficult in the current climate trying to get another job, and I was worried Parrott, 2010, about how to stay creative...I wanted to carry on doing production stuff, but I p.1 didn’t want to work for a bigger company, because I’d been spoilt a little bit [at Channel M]. I had my stamp over everything, not in an egotistical way! …to jump into producing documentaries at the BBC, for example, I would have probably had to start at the beginning. And anyway, I really wanted to work for myself, and create something that had my stamp on it.”

Reference

Code 2.2

Dan Parrott

“I don’t think Manchester has an aspirational record label. And I’m not Parrott, 2010, pretending to be that at the moment, because obviously that’s a long way away, p.4 but there is a gap in the market – a need, there”

2.2

Katherine Melling

I got the job [at Universal Publishing] through someone I knew who'd just started Melling, 2010, 2.2 there...I was previously working on an industry magazine...and I got that through p.2 doing work experience after University...I think, despite all the courses around now, that work experience, or setting up your own thing, is still the best way to get into the music industry. Showing initiative is key”

Alan Wills

[Talking about his friend, Simon Duffy, an industry expert] – “he’s just a hive of Wills, 2010, information about the boring shit you don’t want to have to carry round with you. p.13 … I can kind of speak to him in the morning, and say, how does this work, and I can apply it in the afternoon, and do it ten times better than he can – he’s not very good at applying it. Where I don’t really need to carry the information round, I’m just good at applying it”

2.2

Alan Wills

“We’re [Deltasonic] basically gambling. It’s like gambling on horses. When you Wills, 2010, gamble on a horse and you know what you’re doing, you’re increasing the odds. p.16 It’s like gambling on music. The more knowledge you’ve got, you increase the odds… People like me, all have a predisposition to sort of take risks in their lives… I think as you get older you have a natural disposition to sort of not take risks… well, I haven’t come across that yet [smiles]… t”

2.2

Pat Fulgoni

“I don't work with the most commercial music on Chocolate Fireguard, so I've been getting a lot of music into Film and Television...by chance, by being at the right place at the right time.”

Kevin McManus

Ken Nelson, who is a producer, who I just knew anyway, which probably McManus, helped...he came to us [Merseyside ACME] asking for a bit of money...to put 2010, p.2 together a showreel, and on that basis he got the job doing Coldplay – he went on to produce the first two Coldplay albums

2.2

Kevin McManus

On a strategic level... Sound City was something I came up with, successful entrepreneurs will do stuff like that...what I wanted to do was bring the industry to it, as well as the gig side, and that initial drive”

McManus, 2010, p.2

2.2

Alice Morrison

“I got hired as a researcher and then I progressed quite quickly. At that time I went freelance, I worked on Sky, BBC, Channel 4 and ITV, and then got a job at BBC World Service..they said...you'll get promoted, which I did, so I got fasttracked through the BBC, which was great...”

Morrison, 2010, p.2

2.2

Chris Briden

“CB: when I was taking a lead [in Light Syndicate] I’d spend 3 nights a week Briden, 2010, rehearsing…and at our busiest we’d be doing two gigs a week as well…and then p.7 we’d always be online updating things, making sure things like press releases went out, and checking reviews, that sort of thing. Just always doing something. AR: Would you say it became a second job? CB: Yeah, yeah definitely. I think I put more effort into that than my job, really. It’s not so hard if you have the time to do it.”

2.2

Jeff Thompson

Sees something menial and strategic that is missing from the current live scene – Thompson, developing a software that allows specs, stage times, etc for each participating 2010, p.1 venue to be automated and stored in a database online: “…especially with medium level touring bands. You’ve got a lot of repetitive information that you need to send out every time; technical specs, stage times, so it’s about

2.2

Fulgoni, 2010, 2.2 p.3


centralizing the data so it’s always there. You can use to organise a single tour, saves you having to send or receive 60 emails all saying the same thing!” Everything Everything

[Discussing the re-mix they did of a Delphic track for Love&Disaster EP 1] “We Everything organised it...we just sent Delphic a Myspace thing, just saying, do you want to Everything, do a remix...and it turned out kind of being 'an event'. It was pretty good 2010, p.3

2.2

4.2.5 Analysis of “Doing It Yourself”Within the Recorded Music Industry The following tables demonstrate the sample groups' positive and negative experiences of 'doing it themselves', as opposed to working with a major, or independent, label within the recorded music industry. Figures 7 and 8 (below) demonstrate the positive and negative experiences of 'doing it yourself' of the sample group.


Figure 7. Do It Yourself – positive experiences Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Alan Wills

“you have to have an ability – like I said, everything is interdependent. You Wills, 2010, know a lot of bands, they’re full of people who have egos, who don’t think p.18) they need other people. And the truth of the matter is, to get on stage and play, it’s a fucking group thing. And now because technologies got to the point where you’re ‘oh I don’t need to rehearse and play in the studio I can get a drum machine to do this – it’s got these people who’ve got this – think …they can do it on their own, and they really can’t. They produce this vacuum, where they don’t have anyone around them, don’t have any… peers to tell them – to argue with them. So they just disappear up their own arse, even faster…”

3 (Doing it yourself/ Doing it together)

Chris Briden

“if you’re in a situation and you’re a band where you’re very lucky and can Briden, 2010, record your own records, press up your own art work, pay for it to be set p.6 up… if you can do that yourself, then obviously… distribution is fine. Then, you have to be in quite a lucky situation to do that”

3

Chris Briden

“At our busiest we’d be doing two gigs a week as well [as well as rehearsing 3 nights a week]. And then we’d always be online updating things, making sure things like press releases had gone, and checking reviews, and that sort of stuff. Just always doing something”

Briden, 2010, p.7

3

Pat Fulgoni

“I just feel a bit safer if there’s another person… I mean… representing yourself, you tend to undervalue your own music”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.2

3

Pat Fulgoni

“This is one of the benefits of being an independent - … I’m in a situation where I own my own publishing, and my own master… if you’ve got a publisher and a label, and all these different people– supervisors lose patience…. So that’s really one of the benefits of being an indie, and keeping it all in house.”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.3

3

Pat Fulgoni

“I’m still not sure we’re exactly going to experience world domination! But Fulgoni, 2010, we did this daft tour of the US and had a good time. It was all self-booked p.3 and self-managed… and it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise”

3

Jeff Thompson

AR: What are the main opportunities for a DIY artist being signed to a label, that they couldn’t do on their own? JT: One answer is nothing, the other is everything! There are great bands doing it without a label – Enter Chikari, Steve Lawson; he makes a full time living putting out music for free, and building up a fanbase, doing house gigs, lecturing and teaching… just because you’re good at writing songs doesn’t mean you’re good at everything. Steve Lawson can do it, he is a clever, intelligent, witty bloke – most bands I know aren’t any of those things! They are good at writing songs… but you’ve got to understand the new environment.”

3

Dan Parrott

“Everything Everything were on Zane Lowe the other day, and requested a Parrott, 2010, Dutch Uncles track to be played, which gave them loads of great exposure. p.2 They are basically being a little bit of the glue, you know, we’ve got a great little thing going on here, and you need to not forget your peers, basically. It’s just about trying to build an infrastructure, basically, as opposed to a load of ‘flash in the pan’ bands”

3

Dan Parrott

Dan mentions that lots of bands would collaborate after meeting on the channel M music shows “Like Stateless, did a collaboration with a NY band called My Brightest Island, and I was like ‘ how did they…?” and it was like, oh they were on the same show, that’s how they met…they sit there and listen to each others’ music.”

Parrott, 2010, p.2

3

Dan Parrott

‘I mean, the music scene that’s happening at the moment, looking from the outside in, it’s probably really, really clichey, but it’s just like, all the bands sound very different, and they’re all very supportive…. There are all sorts of people on the periphery as well,.. people doing art, to the venues, the

Parrott, 2010, p.2

3

Thompson, 2010, p.4

Code


promoters, and stuff…” Chris Briden

“Essentially if you're in a situation [as] a band where you can...record the Briden, 2010, songs, get the artwork done, and then press them, then obviously p.11 distribution's fine. Then, you have to be in quite a lucky situation to do that. But then...that gives you total control, doesn't it”

3

Chris Briden

“Most of the Manchester bands who went big quick had been in bands that hadn't broken. But when they reformed in new bands, they had the contacts and had been fairly big, and could just go ahead and do it, pretty quickly”

Briden, 2010, p.15

3

Everything Everything, 2010, p.3

3

Everything Everything

“It feels good to be part of a thing, anything that's happening really. We definitely feel an affinity with forward thinking bands...it's great to be in a group that's co-operative and appreciative, with each other, but not derivative of each other” (Figure 7 Cont.) Figure 8. Do It Yourself – negative experiences

Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Jeff Thompson

“There is a gap, now, socially. Of the number of brilliant musicians I know, some do alright, but live in squalor, no pension… Either stop doing it, and get a job, or they stop doing it… most of them teach, actually. I don’t know that has always been the case”

Thompson, 2010, p.7

3

Pat Fulgoni

I think there’s so many bands trying to get their music in there, they’re happy to give it away for nothing, really, just so it’s in there and they can get the publishing

Fulgoni, 2010, p.3

3

Pat Fulgoni

“when I started Chocolate Fireguard Records, I tried to get a UK distribution deal, and they’d go ‘oh, where are you from?” and I’d say ‘Huddersfield’ and they’d laugh!… so then I had to go to Cannes, Midem, to make it look like I was professional enough, to get an international deal. They take you seriously because you’re there. But they’ll not see you if you’re from Huddersfield”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.5

3

Pat Fulgoni

“They’re able to generate this idea that they’re really successful, because they’ve got a nice tour van. But they’ve probably got a nice tour van because they’ve got a 9-5 job. Or their parents live in Surrey, or something. And it has the air of success, but in reality it’s all bull. They’ll be operating at a loss…”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.11

3

Everything Everything

“I think [the idea of doing it yourself] is quite optimistic...you've probably Everything got to have some money from somewhere...that's the thing, you have to Everything, have some money from somewhere...there's only a certain amount of time 2010, p.6 that you can exist just doing a job and trying to do a band. Quit your job, try and do the band, you know, you'll just very quickly run out of money”

3

Katherine Melling

“Long-term, if you're a successful writer with good people working for you...you'd definitely be better off not signing away any rights...However...it's tough doing everything yourself. A lot can be blagged, initially, I'm sure (studio time, PR, etc) but any well set up company has clearly got resources that can be invaluable”

3

Melling, 2010, p.6


Overall, the group identify that there are positive benefits of 'doing it oneself' and certainly of 'doing it together' with like-minded musicians and other support networks. The group identify that the major problem for bands attempting to 'do it themselves' is the lack of finance (Briden, 2010; Everything Everything, 2010; Fulgoni, 2010; Wills, 2010; Parrott, 2010). Melling also notes that whilst in theory, well-established acts can benefit from owning their own rights, the reality is not so easy for bands who have not already 'broken': “it's tough doing it on your own� (Melling, 2010, p.6).


4.2.6 The Importance of Accessing Finance The below table, Figure 9 (below), demonstrates the dominant opinion amongst the sample group, that major labels are no longer perceived to be the only source of finance available to bands. However, Figure 10 (below) demonstrates that the sample group reveal few positive examples of finding other sources of funding, suggesting that, whilst in theory bands no longer 'need' labels, little success has to date been achieved without that support.


Figure 9. Access to Finance for Bands Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Dan Parrott

“DP:– basically for bands, you're at stage one, and if you don't get picked Parrott, 2010, up at stage one, you can give up, or you try and get to stage 2, [pause to p.5 read phone], so um, so at the moment we're at stage 2, and I think we need to get them to stage 3 basically... AR: And is 'stage 3' getting signed? DP: It's just getting some money. Which could mean being signed or not. I don't think, even if they get signed, they're going to get any money.

8

Chris Briden

“Realistically now I don’t think labels are gonna give an advance, cos, I think you said earlier on in your title, about like you say recording software and stuff, is probably much cheaper, and then people going to do it themselves, and so you can actually if you’re a record label and someone’s got that – that’s actually a plus, you don’t have to actually put out any kind of um, loss, any capital at first, and lose it, probably, because you can sift through all the chaff of bands, there’s thousands of bands, and ten of them are good, and then three of those are actually gonna make it, so you just watch, wait, and then go for the top three. It’s like a pyramid thing, isn’t it. And that, and that’s – so I think a label doesn’t even necessarily have to offer money”

Briden, 2010, p.2

8

Chris Briden

“If you were starting a business, you’d easily invest - if everyone in the Briden, 2010, band gave a thousand pounds, over two years, it’s only £500 a year, to the p.6 band.you know, and there’s four of you, you’d have £4 grand, and that would give you more than enough, to record, write and press up a record”.

8

Alan Wills

Bands don’t need labels they need money. So it doesn’t really matter Wills, 2010, where it comes from. It’s money and experience. Or money and the ability p.13 to focus on the job. So whether you’re called a bank, or whether you’re called a record label, or whether you’re called a rich arab, or a drug dealer, I don’t really think it matters.

8

Kevin McManus

Certainly in this transition period there is a need for – gap funding – to replace the bits that used to be there. I mean when I was managing bands, you'd get like, demo money and things, if you went in and signed a deal you'd get money for certain things, and you get money to go touring, and all that sort of stuff

McManus, 2010, p.6

8

Jeff Thompson

“Overheads now, I mean, you could release an album for - £20? Cheaper than that – probably free!”

Thompson, 2010, p.9

8

Jeff Thompson

“I think the only genuine way to make it, is to have a very rich boyfriend or girlfriend! Being in the music industry isn't like being an accountant...There are no jobs that say 'singer in band for £30K a year'...The problem now for artists is that advances have gone. You can't hold down a job...you're not going to find an employer who'll let you go and tour. Without an advance, it's chicken or egg...how do you do it?”

Thompson, 2010, p.11

8

Everything Everything

“This is the thing, you have to have money from somewhere...Then you Everything could probably do it,it's just, there's only a certain amount of time that you Everything can exist doing a job and trying to do a band...”

8

Jeff Thompson

“...the lack of advances means there are people, who could be really good, but there's nothing for them until they tour. Either tour for 11-and half months of the year, or you operate at a loss”

Thompson, 2010, p.8

8

Chris Briden

“Yeah, well you can get a loan from a bank cheaper than you can get a loan from a record label, couldn’t you”

Briden, 2010, p.4

8

Alan Wills

“I'd much rather be interdependent with someone with a lot of money, so Wills, 2010, we can afford to make mistakes...that's why it was really, really good when p.18

8


we were with Sony for seven years, and that's why we will definitely next year do another deal...[with Sony BMG]”

Figure 10. Difficulty of Securing Finance from Other Means Interviewee Quotation

Reference

Code

Dan Parrott “The band need money, and I haven't got money, basically...[they need money] to record, and pay pluggers, and tour, because it's so expensive...To work for six years, to this point, and not have the money for a plugger is ridiculous. I mean, they're probably going to have to get a loan, but if that means they have a couple of grand's debt each, then, you know, it's worth it”

Parrott, 2010, p.6

8

Pat Fulgoni “Because it's cash-flow, that's the issue. It's really hard for – if you look at a new model, you know, some artist that goes right, i'm going to release myself, I mean he needs help, really. It's so hard. They'll make so many mistakes otherwise, they might just give up. But if they had a bit of investment from the outset, and they were taken seriously as a business, not looked upon as a criminal. And I mean you do get this. You go along to some of these meetings and you're a musician, they're all like, oh what do you do, you just party all night! Get in in the early hours! Not really a proper business!”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.5

8

Pat Fulgoni “If you go to a bank, are you going to get a loan, as a music business? Probably not, Fulgoni, you know. I mean what does your business plan look like? And you need a bank 2010, p.5 manager that's willing to give you an overdraft. It took me years to get an overdraft. And that with RBS, who are actually better than most banks at supporting the music business. And you can't blame them. I mean, I know the label is called Chocolate Fireguard which doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But you know. They can look at the bank account, they can see money going in and money coming out, and eventually, I was allowed an overdraft. But initially no fucking way anyone was going to give me one”

8

Pat Fulgoni “I've got to go to Liverpool Sound City, and Great Escape. You know and you've got hotel bills, you've got travel, it's an expensive business. Costs of getting into these places. Before you know it you've spent £600 and it's beyond a lot of these labels to afford it. Or artists.”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.8

8

Chris Briden

If you were starting a business, you’d easily invest - if everyone in the band gave a thousand pounds, over two years, it’s only £500 a year, to the band.you know, and there’s four of you, you’d have £4 grand, and that would give you more than enough, to record, write and press up a record

Briden, 2010, p.6

8

Kevin McManus

Rob Swerdlow, he’s one of the top managers in the country, but even so he still looks like, when he was taking a band over to SXSW or just trying to get a record out early one – it’s a lot for a manager to invest himself, and it’s there where public sector can step in – in the old days, when I was managing bands, you could always rely on a record label to support stuff like that, but the record companies don’t do that any more. So there is a little bit of a gap there for the development stage.

McManus, 8 2010, p.2

Kevin McManus

It’s difficult to self finance and it’s – there are areas where public sector money is really useful and you can’t – whereas someone like a bank would see it as too risky.

McManus, 8 2010, p.3


The sample group identify how difficult it can be to access finance as a musician, or small music company. Firstly, labels are not offering the same level of investment to independent bands. Risk-taking by other investors, however, is something that McManus, Fulgoni and Thompson identify as being difficult, largely due to the perception that the music industry is just one big party (Thompson, 2010; Fulgoni, 2010). Fulgoni's experience of getting an over-draft appears typical “no fucking way was anyone going to give me one!� (Fulgoni, 2010, p.5) Interestingly, it is only Briden (and arguably Parrott) who sees that perhaps investment should come directly from the band themselves.


4.2.7 The Future Role of Record Labels The sample group had conflicting views and attitudes toward the future role of record labels, how they had managed to adequately change to reflect changing consumer behaviour, and what they could potentially offer artists that such artists could not ‘do themselves’. Figures 11 and 12, below, summarise some of these attitudes, both negative and positive, toward labels:


Figure 11. Negative perceptions of the role of major labels Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Katherine Melling

“Lawyers can play publishers off against each other to get a better advance in a hot deal, but this rarely helps the writer long term, because if we’ve paid too much and the band fail we can’t stick with them for a second chance, however much we want to”

Melling, 2010, p.5

5 (Perceptions of record labels)

Katherine Melling

“90% of the time it’s not a good idea to sign your rights away for a tiny advance to a company you’ve never heard of, as that can cause more problems long-term should you wish to sign another deal later, even if they’re promising the world”

Melling, 2010, p.6

5

Katherine Melling

‘Major labels seem to be going for the instant buck. I’ve heard there have been directives at a major label company group recently that A&R can’t sign anything that they don’t think will sell a million albums… I think that sort of talk just stunts creativity”

Melling, 2010, p.6

5

Katherine Melling

‘The major labels have seen a massive reduction in their traditional revenue streams, so there’s a bit of panic out there”

Melling, 2010, p.7

5

Alan Wills

“[The music industry] can’t sustain, and we’ve had to downsize the industry, Wills, 2010, p.6 5 which is better, theoretically. If you’ve got good people in charge, you sack all the idiots, but if you’ve got all the idiots in charge, you sack all the good people”

Alan Wills

“Everyone now just sounds the same – and it’s to do with bad A&R, lazy A&R, and lazy marketing…I think those producers produce by numbers, they’re not producers, they’re just line managers”

Wills, 2010, p.8 5

Kevin McManus

“When I was managing bands you’d get…demo money and things…you’d get money to go touring…you can’t do it now, how can you go to your record label and say, “we want this tour, and we’ll reach this number of people, and sell this many records…people aren’t gonna buy records now, so where is the benefit for the label or publisher?”

McManus, 2010, p.6

Alan Wills

“If you’re driving the Titanic, you’ve got to at least know how to avoid the Wills, 2010, p.1 5 iceberg…you know, and these guys [the major labels] have driven right into the iceberg, and instead of being sacked, they’re still in charge”

Alan Wills

“The answer [for the major labels] is to get into utilities, have something people need, because people don’t need music”

Wills, 2010, p.3 5

Alan Wills

“What [the major labels] will have to do is find a new business model. I don’t think they’re going to find a new model and that their share price will go back to what it was”

Wills, 2010, p.3 5

Alan Wills

“Half the people are going away and trying to market the Arctic Monkeys and Lamar in the same way and…it’s a totally different thing. And they don’t…get it…because they can’t differentiate between culture – all they can do is say, this is a product, a music product”

Wills, 2010, p.4 5

Chris Briden

“I think there’ll always be people making fantastic records, but that’s the Briden, 2010, music industry isn’t it. The business don’t care if they’re good records, just p.8 as long as they sell. Like any product. Just because it’s music, why should it be any different to them? But it’s different to musicians, and consumers. I think they [labels] just want to shift units.”

Alan Wills

“Don’t forget that most A&R people don’t speak the bands’ language…most Wills, 2010, p.4 5 of them are what I technically term shitbags”

5

5


Alan Wills

“EMI are in a lot of trouble…that’s because the guys that came into that Wills, 2010, p.3 5 business who didn’t know what they were doing, thought they could operate in the way a normal business works, and you can’t because it’s not like you bought a brand, like Persil…it doesn’t work like that in music, you can pump all the money you want into ads, but it doesn’t mean people are going to buy it [music]”

Alan Wills

“A major label will only come down on you if you’re not selling enough Wills, 2010, records…when we were selling loads of records at Sony it was always fine” p.12

5

Alan Wills

“The whole business fails on one thing – the guys who are M.D’s of these Wills, 2010, companies have got three year contracts. And in that three years, they have p.13 to have success…the best guy to get a deal with is the guy who [has]…come to the end of year two, of his contract, and hasn’t had a hit. That guy will pay you fucking stupid money if you have something hot”

5

Alan Wills

“The music industry is a male-dominated, old-boy network anyway…it’s “jobs for the boys”, and for years and years and years people who should have been sacked have just been moved sideways, because they’re mates with so and so, or went to school with him”

Wills, 2010, p.13

5

Chris Briden

‘They asked us what labels we wanted to be on…well, none of us really knew a great deal about labels, really…well, you don’t really…I certainly didn’t know how labels differed from each other…labels don’t necessarily come out with creativity, the artists do …the labels cash in on the artist’s creativity…the labels have always…done that”

Briden, 2010, p.2

5

Chris Briden

“Yeah, well, you could get a loan from a bank cheaper than you can get a loan from a record label, couldn’t you”

Briden, 2010, p.4

5

Dan Parrott

“They [Dutch Uncles] could go to the majors, but I’ve seen what major labels have done to bands in the past, basically. It’s like, make or break. There’s no long term career, they’re quite ‘flash-in-the-pan”.”

Parrott, 2010, p.5

5

Figure 11 (cont.)


Figure 12. Positive perceptions of the role of major labels Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Alan Wills

“I’d much rather be interdependent with someone with a lot of money, so we can afford to make mistakes…that’s why it was really good when we were with Sony for seven years, and that’s why we will definitely next year do another deal”

Wills, 2010, p.11

5

Alan Wills

AR: Is there a certain level of activity that you would expect a band to have reached on their own, before you sign them? AW: No, we’d go in right from the grassroots”

Wills, 2010, p.14

5

Chris Briden

“I guess a label has to offer a service to a band…they need to tell them what Briden, 2010, they can do…guarantee them this much airplay… I think that they’re just pp.2-3 contacts…they’ve got the pluggers, they’ve got online media people… working at it”

5

Chris Briden

“They [labels] can press the records for cheaper because they’ll have their own pressing plant… so the cost for them is minimal. And they have their own in-house designers, so they can just bust out copies…they can do it all and it’s cheaper”

Briden, 2010, p.3

5

Chris Briden

AR: And what about independent labels, what can they offer? CB: Again, contacts. And kudos, I guess…they’re kind of taste-makers”

Briden, 2010, p.3

5

Chris Briden

“I think for a new label to start they’ve to … initially be well connected, with good bands, and bands that are willing to stick with them. … I guess for the first five years, the label would have to offer the bands fantastic deals, cos why would a band want to stick with a label that no one’s ever heard of?”

Briden, 2010, p.4

5

Chris Briden

“And management…they [labels] could give you a plan. Lots of bands Briden, 2010, don’t have a plan – so if they could give you contacts, and give you a p.7 schedule and a diary and go, 'this is where we wanna be in a year, and this is how we’re gonna do it', all you’ve got to do is play. Any band would go for that”

5

Pat Fulgoni

“A lot of labels are seeking cuts of all kinds of income streams…you’ve Fulgoni, 2010, now got these 360 degree deals where people sign up an artist for a cut of p.1 the music, a cut of the recordings, the gigs, the merch, the publishing, you know…a few years ago I would have thought ‘oh, that’s outrageous’ but now I’m thinking, no!…the landscape has changed so much that actually, in some ways, it’s still a good thing for the artist…I mean, the new model of the label will probably go and get concerts for the artist, in addition to their more traditional roles…”

5

Pat Fulgoni

AR: So where would you like to see money invested? Fulgoni, 2010, PF: …I’d like to see the labels get it, to be perfectly honest. I mean, they get p.6 slagged off so much by artists, but…the ones left in the game seem to be the people who really love music! And they’re putting the hours in. I don’t know if they’ll be called labels, they’ll be music companies, music businesses, super-management companies…”

5

Dan Parrott

AR: So do you think predominantly Love&Disaster have a taste-making role? DP: Yeah, yeah I think all record labels are, really”

Parrott, 2010, p.4

5

Dan Parrott

AR: And do you think that bands need somebody working on their behalf, ‘outside’ the band? DP: Oh yeah, absolutely, and I think that it’s by getting the right people involved, and I think that A&R people have their specialisms.”

Parrott, 2010, p.4

5

Jeff Thompson

AR: How do you make your label stand out?

Thompson,

5


JT: we’ll carry on because we love doing it, so will Humble Soul…

2010, p.7

Everything Everything

“There are an awful lot of skilled people, in the music industry, that do stuff, and are skilled, they’re there for a reason. There’s no reason why they are suddenly irrelevant, or obsolete. Just because they could be. They can do it, aswell

Everything Everything, 2010, p.6

Katherine Melling

Over and above the contractual niggles [and the advance] we’re offering, Melling, 2010, firstly, a UK company…with a very approachable A&R team…who can pp 5-6 make things happen with their connections…plus we have an administrative team dedicated to collecting your money efficiently from around the world and a big sync team actively looking for ways to exploit your music creatively and in the way you’d want it to be. Secondly we have great relationships with all our worldwide offices that will promote your music wherever you go…[We offer] the advance, and the connections within the industry, and across the world, we have a company that is difficult to replicate on your own”

5

5

(Figure 12 Cont.)

Interestingly, both Wills and Melling have cynical opinions of the major record labels, accusing them of ‘lazy’ marketing and production, going for the ‘instant buck’ and generally ‘stifling creativity”. Overall, however, the sample group demonstrate that labels can still play an important role within the music industries – as Wills states, the music industry is essentially “gambling”, it can be a benefit to have someone that knows what they are doing. Briden and Parrott also identify that labels can play a ‘tastemaking’ role, helping to propel bands further along in their careers. Everything Everything and Melling both identify some of the key benefits of signing with a label that has good industry contacts and a skilled staff base. Management, in particular, was mentioned by several members of the sample group as being a major benefit to being signed, and several of the sample group suggest that in the future, labels will be called management companies, or super management companies (which would seem to be supported by EMI’s recent structural shifts). Thompson and Fulgoni also highlight that, after the essential down-sizing that has occurred within the industry, those labels who are ‘left in the game’ are passionate about what they are doing, and genuinely seem to love music.


4.2.8 Perceptions of Public Sector Support Within the Recorded Music Industry The sample group reveal contradictory and conflicting attitudes and perceptions toward public sector organisations. Nearly forty per cent of the sample group agree that public sector organisations could play some part in supporting the recorded music industry, although fifty per cent express negative opinions about the quality of public sector organisations, and only thirty per cent offer any positive experience or perceptions (interestingly both Jeff Thompson, through UnConvention, and Dan Parrott, through an investment into Love&Disaster EP 1, have had investment from Vision+Media, and yet neither mention this in their opinion). Figures 13 and 14, below, demonstrate the positive and negative attitudes toward public sector experienced by the sample group. Figure 15 identifies areas where the sample group believe the public sector could support the recorded music industry.


Figure 13. Positive Perception/ Experience of Public Sector Intervention Interviewee

Positive Experience of Public Sector Intervention

Reference

Kevin McManus

Ken Nelson

McManus, 2010, p.2 9 (public sector support)

Code

Kevin McManus

“Rob Swerdlow, he’s one of the top managers in the country, but even so...when he was taking a band over to SXSW or just trying to get a record out early one – it’s a lot for a manager to invest himself, and it’s there where public sector can step in… So there is a little bit of a gap there for the development stage”

McManus, 2010, p.2 9

Kevin McManus

“[T]hings like, the NW package for SXSW only makes sense as a public sector thing, because you can’t make money from SXSW unless you write a clause in the deal that says that if you get a deal as a direct result from SXSW we get a cut”

McManus, 2010, p.2 9

Kevin McManus

“I think there’s areas where it’s really legitimate stuff, like the international stuff, not just SXSW but people agin, supporting, it’s one of those areas like helping people into new markets, it’s difficult to self finance and it’s – there are ares where public sector money is really useful and you can’t – whereas someone like a bank would see it as too risky.”

McManus, 2010, p.3 9

Kevin McManus

I think the trick of it, which is what I learnt with ACME, is to not look McManus, 2010, p.7 9 anything like a public sector organisation. Everyone thought ACME was an independent agency, which had managed to score some money which they distributed, which er, and it just seemed much more like approachable and flexible and stuff. The trick is always to be – you know, the criteria, you do need criteria because it needs to stand up to scrutiny and stuff, but you're also need to be as flexible as possible

Pat Fulgoni

Penny, she managed to get some funds off UKTI, I think one of the Fulgoni, 2010, p.7 companies that we referred over to Joe, and the Crooks were able to go with a 50% subsidy, and I think Penny was able to get some money from the UK Trade Mission, to go, you know and help along. I think she's come back absolutely buzzing… And would they have been able to do that without funding? Probably not, you know. I remember the Wild Beasts. We put them on last year at the Yorkshire showcase (at SXSW) and again they were struggling with funding. So again, I worked quite closely with the management, and the band, and got them some funding from UKTI. And again, without that you wonder whether bands like Wild Beasts would have [made it]... And I'm a bit worried, as we said, that there's a 25% slash happening in this country, and there is going to be problems. There should be more of these missions, you know, getting it out there, not less”

9

Pat Fulgoni

PF ...I've been getting a lot of music into film and TV and been getting a lot of money from that. AR: And how have you broken in to that market? Have you established those contacts yourself? PF: From UKTI trade mission

Fulgoni, 2010, p.2

9

Pat Fulgoni

“I've done loads of things, I ended up singing on some tracks through Subliminal Records, AR: So did they contact you? PF: No, not that's another example of going out and meeting people at a trade mission, this time it was Popkomm in Germany. I met the A&R man, Melvin Moore, there

Fulgoni, 2010, p.4

9


Pat Fulgoni

UKTI have been really helpful. I've got good links with the International Trade Advisors, AR: And youv'e been on the sync missions? PF: Yeah, Phil Patterson's been really encouraging, and i've worked very closely with him to make sure there was a Yorkshire showcase, which was badly missing from the British scene abroad

Alice Morrison AR: Do you think that there have been any significant changes to people's reactions to Vision+Media, since you've been here? AM: Yeah, huge change. Huge, huge change...we professionalised...”

Fulgoni, 2010, p.6

9

Morrison, 2010, p.3

9

Figure 13. Negative Perception/ Experience of Public Sector Intervention Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Dan Parrott

“Public sector shouldn't put money in to bands. Specifically. They're not going to anyway, they never have done. But in terms of, infrastructure – but it's got to be the right people. And I think, i've seen things in the past where i've just been flabbergasted, basically. Where they've invested in the wrong people and the wrong ideas, and – but then how do you say what's right and what's wrong?”

Parrott, 2010, p.6

9

Jeff Thompson We shouldn’t have orchestras [because people don't want to go and see them. Thompson, The people that are in orchestras should technically] go and work in a book 2010, p.6 shop. [It's] cultural rather than economic. And people are split around that. If you want to play music, or play five-aside football, or write poetry, you can’t expect that someone will pay you to do it. If you want to sustain or prolong it, like the Government want to sustain the music industry somehow... there’ d be some scope there, subsidizing artists, and then you’d be a curator, which doesn’t seem right. You’d be A&R. That’s all that labels were

9

Alan Wills

A music conference is, it’s something to support all the people in the business Wills, 2010, who don’t generate profit, so – you’ll have PRS, you’ll have MSPRS, you’ll p.5 have all these people – you’ll have the things that you’re doing [at Vision+media] you’ll have all these things, but none of them are profit generating, parts of the business. They’re all what I’d call ‘bolt-on’s. and I’m afraid they’ll be the first things to go. because the industry has to build from the inside out, and the inside has to be – where is the profit, where do you make the profit, so where’s the cutting edge of this business

9

Chris Briden

“I don’t know if [the public sector should] support or not. Obviously, I don’t Briden, 2010, know. Once you have given support you want crediting for it. It’s not support p.9 for supports sake, it’s to support their own business as well. If you’re a fund? that supports musicians releasing albums, you want credit on the album, so you can keep claiming funding from your source. Thus employing more people. AR: Do you think that devalues the support? CB: I don’t know if it devalues, it, I just think, there’s plenty of ways to get funding if you’re a musician. Like, you can get interest free credit and all that gubbins if you want to buy instruments, you can barter with studios now because they’re so... I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s not like it’s bad or anything is it. I don’t know that’s my answer”

9

Pat Fulgoni

I'm not getting paid for it but I end up doing loads of mentoring, people ring me up on the phone and say, 'oh can you do this, how do I do that,' and I think, well, if I'm getting asked this, where is the music mentoring?

Fulgoni, 2010, p.11

9

Dan Parrott

A lot of people working in the industry know what they're doing, but there seems to be this massive push, to train even more people, whereas actually, I think the general idea of everyone can do it, and stuff, just ends up with a load of pissed off, sort of disillusioned hopefuls, basically. And basically, all the ones who have made a continued success out of it, are the ones that have got off their own backsides and learnt their trade, as opposed to , oh there's this session on doing this, that and the other. I'm sure they can be very valuable, by the very nature of the music industry it's all about networking anyway

Parrott, 2010, p.8

9

Pat Fulgoni

In my battle with Kirklees, I put this course on for kids, that I mentioned earlier, to train them up in Reason. And it was great, you know. They sent down some social workers, to have a look at what we were doing, and the Youth Service bought 6 copies of Reason, and rather than give us the funding to run courses, they expected the youth workers to train the kids! I mean, I

Fulgoni, 2010, p.10

9


reckon I know a bit more about Reason than those youth workers... and subsequently there were no courses! Dan Parrot

I think everyone needs a business plan, but I think they need to dig around a little bit more and not just give to the first people that come knocking, you know

Parrott, 2010, p.7

9

Dan Parrott

I think it's the same problem at university with teaching and stuff, and TV and Parrott, 2010, I'm sure everything. There's probably a reason why they're not working in the p.7 music industry anymore, because they're out of touch

9

Pat Fulgoni

I think artists are quite fragile, and it's quite hard on people if projects don't Fulgoni, work. Musicians in their mid 30s or 40s are quite depressed, they've put their 2010, p.11 life in music and quite often you see them go on these courses and get spat out, dragged through and spat out of these courses, and mentoring, possibly given crap advice, who have probably done less than they have, and who are also harbouring their 5 minutes of fame. And you kind of worry about the negative impact that public sector is having on musicians. You know it does worry me. AR: And do you think that is public sector decision makers, who don't understand the realities of the industry? PF: it's the use of the music industry that worries me, you know. Quite often you see these courses that are there for the good of the organisation that are delivering the courses, as opposed to the good of the student, or the musicians or whatever. That's really worrying

9

Alice Morrison

[There's] this weird attitude that people have to people working in the public sector. The hatred. I find it really odd. I mean, in my first month... I got death threats! I was accused of things... accused of being a racist!... I mean, I still haven't quite got over that. Mad people”

Morrison, 2010, p.3

9

Alice Morrison

“I just think the public sector is so hard to work in...the politics are vile, the language is obscure, you're subject to all sorts of vagaries...you're forced into bureaucracies which are abhorrent, I just think the public sector is unbelievably difficult to work in”

Morrison, 2010, p.11

9

Alice Morrison

AR: Do you think that the 'strings' attached to public sector funding can sometimes be detrimental to the growth of a business? AM: Yes, I do! I really do...I think some of them are crazy. Some of the money is hampered. I think...we've been good at giving people what they need...we've translated that into viable, reasonable products. But it make it unbelievably difficult for Vision+Media. So yes, 100 per cent.”

Morrison, 2010, p.10

9

Morrison, 2010, p.6

9

Alice Morrison

AR: Do you feel it is your duty to avoid being seen as “taste-makers”, and being seen to decide what is good or bad investment? AM: ...that's interesting...I think one of the real pitfalls is you get people who are dead good at applications and ...they're not necessarily the best investment...public sector organisations can never be taste-makers, because...the taste-maker is the audience... but I think the danger is that people are good at applications, at playing the game and the politics and..that's a true criticism, and one which you have to try and find a way around” (Figure 14. Cont)


Figure 14: Areas where the Public Sector Could support the Recorded Music Industries Interviewee

Quotation

Reference

Code

Chris Briden

“I think that interest-free loans would be good, or lower interest loans, cos that would take – or if you could have someone that could take care of a bands finances. I suppose once you get in to that kind of thing it’s quite hard. The trouble is you’d become a manager If you had that service. And they’re a bit slimy.”

Briden, 2010, p.9

9

Chris Briden

“I think if you could help musicians and bands get their music on TV and film Briden, 2010, that would be brilliant because there’s a lot of money in that., then you’d p.10 obviously be increasing the general wealth of the area. And they’d have links with the company or game. I think it’s hard for bands, because – maybe dealing with composers and established artists – I don't think bands necessarily would want to put their music in a game… but advice would be good, TV producers...that would be great”

9

Pat Fulgoni

“I think there should be more money available for grants, for music Fulgoni, businesses, definitely. Because it's cash-flow, that's the issue. It's really hard 2010, p.5 for – if you look at a new model, you know, some artist that goes right, i'm going to release myself, I mean he needs help, really. It's so hard. They'll make so many mistakes otherwise, they might just give up. But if they had a bit of investment from the outset, and they were taken seriously as a business, not looked upon as a criminal”

9

Jeff Thompson

“So [there's] scope there… [this] gap between bands who are successful and have massive fan-bases and generate a good SME but [whose] cash-flow is stone dead”

Thompson, 2010, p.5

9

Kevin McManus

I mean, another reason public sector is useful – there are little pots of money McManus, out there and there are bigger pots, like VCLF, and most of the music 2010, p.5 companies I know are not gonna know what the VCLF is, and even if you sent them the email saying what it was, they're not going to – I mean, a useful role for us is to sign post, and act as a translator for the bureaucracy – there's absolutely no reason why they should have to deal with that. And if they want the money, they've got to go through it, but we could be there to make that easier and encourage them

9

Kevin McManus

“I used to get asked to sit on panels,[and] particularly with bands, sometimes managers… it was always like ‘can we have some money’ –but all the successful people I know have never benefited from grants or anything… so in some ways I’m opposed theoretically in principle! But – stuff I wish I’d known was just dead basic stuff, it’s like, knowing the way into industry and who to speak to, which came through networks and meeting people, and also experience…for me the key thing is having an understanding and an empathy for the industry, for the sector – but it does also help if you’ve got small bits of finance.”

9

Kevin McManus

“I think a part of our job, a lot of our initial conversation are going to be McManus, people saying they want money. And we have a translation job to do, which is 2010, pp2-3 not always money – it’s just – why do you need it, there’s other ways of achieving those things”

9

Kevin McManus

“...where there's a useful connection, or you think there's a useful connection... I'll say, Alan Wills you should meet this person here, and do an email introduction, that's a useful thing”

McManus, 2010, p.5

9

Kevin McManus

“Until that all settles down, which might be the next few years, there is a need McManus, for that development stuff” 2010, p.6)

9

Kevin McManus

“[we need] to educate the next level of managers or promoters, whether a workshop or one to one mentoring or things that companies might not have

9

McManus, 2010, p.1

McManus, 2010, p.6


the money to do. I think the industry is so important to the economy, but it has still got big fractures in it, and we need to support, otherwise we'll end up with the same people just getting the money” Kevin McManus

I think if we had a pot of investment money, that could be recoupable, you could do a load of really interesting things. Tightly managed, not just given away to anyone, I think there could be a real need for it...It's just that – developmental stuff I suppose – stuff that in the past labels have covered.

McManus, 2010, p.6

9

Kevin McManus

I think that we need to make the paperwork as simple as possible. Keep it simple for them, and impress upon them, that it's the same as a deal with a record label, that you have to do the best you can with it. It's about getting those messages across, and when you do that people are ok with it, and we either have to play along, or they don't get the support or the money or whatever.

McManus, 2010, p.5

9

Pat Fulgoni

Unfortunately we've got 10% of the population voting BNP, and at the moment we need more diversity and more and more events. Unfortunately after 10 years the mailer has been axed, we no longer have a mailer, and you think, where is this going? We need lots more community music festivals

Fulgoni, 2010, p.8

9

Morrison, 2010, p.5

9

Alice Morrison

“Creative businesses are often very conservative, so one thing public sector can do is... help them take risks...I think the three things that companies need are access to finance, access to markets and access to skills. And this is where the public sector, used intelligently, can intervene. Either by preparing companies to get finance, or giving it to them sometimes; skills, by training people up...placements, mentoring schemes..so important. And then access to market – our contacts, bringing people in... I think we can have a helicopter view that individual companies can't” (Figure 14 Cont.)


Chapter Five Discussion of Key Findings 5.0 Introduction The proceeding chapter relates the key findings outlined above (in chapter four) with the research questions posed through chapter two. It outlines the changing role of major labels within the current recording industry, identifying the unique position that labels still hold. Next, the chapter moves on to discuss some of the benefits, and potential disadvantages of ‘doing it yourself’ as a recording artist, without the support of a label, and finally discusses three key areas where public sector organisations could offer alternative and viable support mechanisms. The chapter also discusses some of the limitations of public sector support within the recorded music industry, including the current political climate, and the negative reputation that public sector organisations still hold within the wider consciousness of the sample group.


5.1 Do d-DIY Artists Still Need Record Labels? This section examines the changes that major labels have had to undertake, and, despite acknowledging both negative perceptions and attitudes toward labels, identifies the five key ‘offerings’ of the major labels. The proceeding chapter then outlines how independent d-DIY artists can ‘match’ these offerings, highlighting potential ‘gaps’ that are still hindering the progress of independent musicians.


5.1.1 Doing it Yourself, Verses Major Label Support 5.1.1.1 Access To Finance Gordon (2008) and Wilson & Stokes (2005) identify that the 'stranglehold' of the Major Four is not simply due to their investment into the physical supply chain, from production and manufacture through to distribution and retail. Rather, Wilson & Stokes claim, it is to do with the fundamental lack of investment into bands and small music companies from other sources, stating that the music industry is dependent upon “strong flow of investment that circulates within the music industry itself” (Wilson & Stokes, 2005, p.371). Wills' story is perhaps demonstrative of the benefits of this “strong flow” of investment. When Deltasonic were approached by Sony BMG to sign The Coral, Wills managed to secure a deal which was directly beneficial to his smaller label, resulting in an annual fee being paid to Deltasonic, on the condition that they sign and development four more break-through acts. This is indicative the “strong flow of investment” from major labels to their conglomerate, smaller partners (Wilson & Stokes, 2005). Despite the fact that, the majors are unlikely to raise their share price to what it was (Wills, 2010, p.5), Wills also acknowledges that no labels are truly 'independent' – rather, they're all 'interdependent' (Wills, 2010, p.18). Further: I'd much rather be interdependent with someone with a lot of money, so we can afford to make mistakes...that's why it was really, really good when we were with Sony for seven years, and that's why we will definitely next year do another deal...(Wills, 2010, p.18)

Interestingly, there is a recurrent theme amongst the interviews that “bands don’t need


labels, they just need money” (Wills, 2010, p.9). Whilst this is a popular lament, and one which is picked up on by interviewees across the board, from the public sector (McManus) to labels (Wills), there are very few positive examples of either labels or bands having accessed finance from any other sources. Fulgoni, for example, describes the difficulty he had with label Chocolate Fireguard Records in securing an over-draft (“initially, no fucking way was anyone going to give me one”, Fulgoni, 2010). Thompson and Fulgoni attribute this to the lack of understanding around the music industry, an industry “which has done itself no favours by selling itself on the image of millionaires” (Thompson, 2010, p7). Fulgoni also discusses the negative attitude that many potential investors, such as banks, have toward the industry, that it is frivolous, risky and all ‘staying up partying’ (Fulgoni, 2010, p.8). As a result, bands are still heavily reliant on investment from labels. However, the sample group do note that there needs to be more ‘transparency’ within such offers. Whilst signing a deal can give bands the necessary influx of cash to help them tour, buy equipment and pay for pluggers (Parrott, 2010, p.9), it is essential that the “economics” of any deal are considered (Wills, 2010, p.33). Wills is vocal about the problems that misinterpretation can lead to: “You have to balance the economics...You've got to look at lawyers and...managers as two of the biggest problems [because they want the money up front]. People in bands, they're...strumming away... and now everyone wants a piece of [them, and they think] 'fuck it, I'm gonna get as much money as I can...and then the record company goes, 'well, where are your hits?” and they go “well, I haven't got any – you fucking c*nts, you want hits!?” “Well, we've just given you three thousand quid, what did you think that is, a fucking art grant!?” (Wills, 2010, p.33).

Parrott, too, demonstrates that bands are not as likely as perhaps they once were to jump at a record deal, without considering the implications. Parrott discusses how Delphic, another Manchester-based band, were offered a deal by a German label after appearing on a television programme: “They [Delphic] were offered a five-album deal through a German label, which they didn't want, it was five albums! But after they [the label] saw a second session on Channel M [local Manchester-based TV station] they were like oh, what about a one-album deal, where you can


sign away nothing, kind of thing” (Parrott, 2010, p.4)

There appears to be a contradiction between what Wilson & Stokes identify, as being a “strong” flow of investment from major labels down the to smaller, independent labels, as the sample group appear to believe that independent labels, and even major labels, no longer offer advances. Despite asserting that bands do not need labels, they just need money, a rhetoric found across the sample group, it is interesting to note that none of the sample group have any clear idea about where this finance may come from, and only Briden (and arguably Parrott) sees that perhaps that investment should come directly from the band themselves: “...if you were starting a business, you'd easily invest – if everyone in the band gave a thousand pounds, over two years, that's only five hundred pounds a year – to the band... and there's four of you, you'd have four grand, and that would give you more than enough, to record..and press up a record. And bands don't see that (Briden, 2010, p.11).”

For Wills, Thompson, Melling, Parrott and Briden, bands need to become much more “business-minded” (Thompson, 2010, p.6). As Wilson & Stokes (2005) note, in doing so there they lower the risk of signing an ‘unfair’ deal, and both the business and creative sides of the music industry can benefit. However, it is important to note, culturally, that labels are essentially signing acts for financial gain, in order to make the most money that they can. This fundamental difference between a label, and, say, a blog site or fanzine, is important. The sample group reflect wider, societal attitudes, posed by Jansson (2008) that culture is becoming increasingly monetized, and ‘sold’ to consumers as content. However, the recorded music industry has arguably ever been thus. Arguably anyone who is interested in financially investing into a band will be expecting a financial return, which is something that bands need to consider before lamenting the loss of advances. If they are not happy with selling a product, perhaps they should give it all away online for free, as Briden notes “you need to work out what you’re doing it for” (Briden, 2010, p3).


5.1.1.2 Access to Industry Contacts Another recurring benefit of major labels, as identified by the sample group, are the contacts that such institutions can provide. This was a recurrent answer to the question posed about what labels could offer bands, that they could not do on their own. Chris Briden identifies that: “I think they're [labels] just contacts. They can offer them [bands] their contacts. That's all really [that] labels can do!” (Briden, 2010, p.4)

Similarly Melling emphasises the importance, and global reach, of major label contacts for artists that they sign: “Over and above the contract...we're offering...a very approachable A&R team, committed to promoting your music, who can make things happen with their connections...set up writing sessions with the best writers and producers...put you in contact with press, radio, etc...Second we have great relationships with all our worldwide offices and will promote your music wherever you go” (Melling, 2010, p.5).

Whilst initially “a lot could be blagged,” Melling is adamant that “it’s tough doing it on your own” (Melling, 2010, p5). Quite apart from the daily financial struggles, “someone physically needs to press the records” (Everything Everything, 2010, p4), which Briden (2010) notes is much easier for a record company to do with all of their contacts. Everything Everything also comment on the benefits of signing to a label that is well connected, emphasising that there are “skilled” people working within the industry, and that just because bands can do it on their own, these people can “do it as well – there’s no reason why they should suddenly become irrelevant, or obsolete” (Everything


Everything, 2010, p.7). For Melling, Everything Everything, Parrott, and Briden, the key industry contacts that can be gained by signing to a label include press agents, radio pluggers, writers, co-performers, top producers and global music industry professionals. Interestingly, the notion of labels holding market dominance through their extensive, global networks is not considered by Wilson & Stokes (2002), or Graham et al (2004) who assume that the labels ‘strangle-hold’ is more to do with their financial support and their connections with the physical music supply chain, rather than their links with press, radio and online marketers. Whilst the sample group go some way in confirming Graham et al’s predictions about the weakening of the labels’ dominance in the light of declining physical distribution, nearly sixty percent of the sample group cite the continuing importance of records themselves, identifying both smaller, more niche markets emerging for physical products such as vinyl, and the continuing importance of records for breaking bands within the current recorded music industry.


5.1.1.3 Management and Administrative Support Melling highlights one of the benefits of signing to a major publishing company as being “an administrative team dedicated to collecting your money efficiently from around the world, and a big sync team actively looking for ways to exploit your music” (Melling, 2010, p.5). As Thompson and Briden both emphasise, such qualities are very often lacking in bands, who might be fantastic at playing their guitar, but who are not necessarily the most 'business-minded' (Thompson, 2010, p.10). Another important, and recurring, idea throughout the sample group is the idea that labels, whether major or independent, are all going to become “super-management” companies (Briden, 2010; Melling, 2010; Thompson, 2010; Wills, 2010; Parrott, 2010). As Briden points out: “That's the thing, musicians are quite bad at management, normally. And I think it's quite boring, as well, if you're a musician, you might just want to play music...Like, they [labels] could give you a plan. Lots of bands don't have a plan – so if they could give you contacts, and give you a schedule and a diary and go this is where we wanna be in a year, and this is how we're gonna do it, all you've got to do is play. Any band would go for that” (Briden, 2010, p.13).

As well as offering finance, contacts and management, both Wills and Melling identify the importance of understanding new technologies and especially on-line marketing. Melling states: “I really wish I knew more about web design and how the Internet actually works, as that is


probably the most valuable thing right now in terms of getting a job in the [music] industry” (Melling, 2010, p.4).

Wills also mentions that: “I said to...the chairman of Sony, `'you need to sell now... to Microsoft, or someone. Someone

who understands technology, Apple, someone who...is going into the future,

[otherwise] it's like a blind man driving a car” (Wills, 2010, p.16).

Wills also notes that there is something totally new, and exciting, about e-marketing: “It's a different medium, does that make sense? And people have got a lot more choice...you can go online and there's a whole load more places you can get information...And also that information is instantaneous, if you've got a really, really hot band, and you get it going online, it can spread, like wildfire, and in four to five weeks, it can be everywhere (Wills, 2010, p.10).”

Wills appears to acknowledge that labels will have to change the way they operate, within a dramatically changing online landscape, but that the same benefits of emarketing and online campaigns exist for labels, as well as independent artist, and in fact, labels may benefit more from such tools, as they have more resource, both human and financial, to maximise impact. Whilst some bands can thrive on ‘doing it themselves’ such as Steve Lawson (Thompson, 2010), and would be no better off with a label, others will simply never move up ‘that rung of the ladder,’ without some external support. However, the idea of bands surrounding themselves with ‘good people’ (Parrott, 2010) does not necessarily mean signing to a label. External support could be simply a good manager. Melling cites the example of two bands who have remained independent, yet have a great manager (Melling, 2010, p.6). They would however, she asserts, still ‘jump’ at a good publishing deal, or record contract.


5.1.1.4 Identification and Development of Talent Perhaps not surprisingly, the notion of labels as nurturing and developing talent revealed contradictory opinion. Thompson sees that, for bands: “...if labels want you, you probably don't need one any more, [that whole argument]...that's never been more true than now” (Thompson, 2010, p.8).

Thompson even identifies that Fat Northerner will advise bands against trying to find a label, if they think it 'for the best' - “we might just email them and say, rather than waste time getting a label, here's a list of things you can do yourself” (Thompson, 2010, p.8). Briden, similarly, does not see labels as offering anything particularly 'creative' – rather, they monetize off the back of the acts that they sign (Briden, 2010, p.4). Wills, however, despite claiming that the idea of placing funding into artist development, which he sees as “just someone talking to someone else and just developing ideas” is “fucking stupid” (Wills, 2010, p.28), is certainly not so cynical about labels' role in identifying and managing talent. In fact, Wills offers an insightful analogy of signing bands as being like “gambling on horses”: “[and] when you gamble on a horse, and you know what you're doing, you increase the odds. It's like gambling on music. The more knowledge you've got, you increase the odds” (Wills, 2010, p.26).

The analogy of gambling is also an important one, suggestive of a particular kind of understanding and experience, exclusive to labels, who hire specialist staff to spot and nurture exciting new acts. Melling indicates that this is still important, even at the top


labels, identifying that they have had “directives to get more deals done early, and think less about ticking boxes, more about gut instinct” (Melling, 2010, p.5). This reference to ‘gut instinct’ immediately recalls Seifert and Hadida, who recognise this “intuition” as an “important role in artist selection.” (Seifert & Hadida, 2006, p.798). Similarly Seifert and Hadida liken “selecting and developing local artists [as] tantamount to investing in ‘strategic human resources” (Seifert & Hadida, 2006, p.796). Interestingly, the authors also discuss the increasingly common situation of major label company groups acquiring artistic talent through “purchasing another music company renowned for its own artist selection system” (2006, p.800). Such was clearly the case with Alan Wills’ experience of Sony BMG ‘acquiring’ Deltasonic, and represents more strategic ways in which the major labels can still hold market dominance through acquisitions and mergers. Wills and Melling are clearly passionate about the music that they sees as having potential, and flatly contradict Briden's assumption that labels will simply “watch and wait” for bands to emerge, thus avoiding any capital losses, or taking any real risk (Briden, 2010, pp4-5). Wills identifies instead that Deltasonic will go in “right from the grass-roots” if they feel a band have something to offer (Wills, 2010, p.26). The conclusion to be drawn is that labels still play an active role in identifying and developing talent, regardless of whether the band have reached a certain stage on their own, or whether the label goes in “from the grass-roots”.


5.1.1.5 Taste-Making and 'Findability' The sample group also identify a new role for labels, that of 'taste-makers'. Where Kirby (2009b) and Kelly (2009) identify the problem of over-saturation, especially in a selfpublishing, on-line model, there is a potential role for labels identified as taste-making. Kelly highlights that even the best works of art will have ‘no value’ unless they are found (2008, p.3). Parrott, for example, sees this as a key role for his label, Love & Disaster (Parrott, 2010, p.6). Parrott thinks that is the role that all labels should adopt. Interestingly, however, Briden only sees independent labels as potential taste-makers. When asked whether he saw major labels as being taste-makers, he disagrees; however when later asked what he saw independent labels as being able to offer, he comments: ...again, contacts. And like, kudos... If you're with someone like Warp – ...people that like music, supposedly like them. So they're kind of taste-makers...the cool underground people, you know, if you're on Warp, their ears prick up and they'll listen to you...Whereas if you said 'oh they're on Universal' people go, 'Mm. Oh.' So Warp are a good label (Briden, 2010, p.6).

The perception is that major labels are perhaps not successful as taste-makers, and are in fact stifling talent by only signing acts that will 'sell a million albums' in the first place (Melling, 2010). However, it is possible to identify that, as outlined above, major labels are simply investing ‘invisibly’ into smaller labels, and actually reaping the benefits of smaller, niche audiences, as Thompson suggests, those labels that have an opportunity to sell “to such a niche market that they sell whatever they make” (Thompson, 2010, p.6). This resonates with the arguments put forward by Tepper and Hargittai (2009) that in fact, new technologies have changed the market for cultural products, creating more “diverse options” for consumers (Tepper & Hargittai, 2009, p.227).


For both Kirby (2009b) and Kelly (2009) the importance of ‘findability’ becomes intrinsically important, and can be directly linked to the perception of labels as ‘tastemakers’. In an ‘over-saturated’ market-place (Fulgoni, 2010; Mallan, 2009; Owyang, 2008) Parrott and Briden both point to independent labels as providing an important role, adding ‘kudos’ to acts that may otherwise fail to gain press or public attention. As Tepper and Hargittai highlight, “discovery in culture is a key, if under recognised, source of cultural currency” (Tepper&Hargittai, 2009, p.228). And in a market-place increasingly concerned with monetizing from culture, such “cultural currency” is essential to financial viability. Record labels can still act as important “maven”, those “opinion leaders” who can “play a prominent role in the circulation of information about new products (Tepper & Hargittai, 2009, p.231). And, the fact that consumers are still using the same methods (mainly recommendations from taste-makers, or ‘mavens’) in order to find new music, coupled with the ever-increasing amount of unrepresented, self-published music appearing on MySpace and Facebook sites, labels may well find that their online presence (through websites, blogs, and mail-outs) become more important than ever in the discovery of new acts. Consumers will rely more and more on ‘trusted’ opinion-makers. Even with the rise in P2P file-sharing, and the abilities of sites like MySpace and Facebook to enable streaming of music, Owyang (2008) identifies that MySpace alone has over 8 million musical acts and artists, and that this figure is only set to rise as more music industry hopefuls enter the arena. For Kirby, the fact that any one can self-publish has had a negative, diminishing impact, especially online, where, as Youngs (2010) identifies, people are simply “screaming into online space”. For independent acts, therefore, as Wilson & Stokes identify, the only option is to ‘stand out from the crowd’ (2005), or as Parrott suggests, to get “picked up’” (Parrott, 2010).


5.1.2 Identifying Gaps Between Label Support, and What Bands Can ‘Do on Their Own’ The research identifies the following ‘gaps’ exist between the traditional and current ‘offerings’ of major labels, and the abilities for independent artists to ‘do it themselves’: access to substantial capital investment, in order to maintain the cash-flow of small music businesses or independent artists; access to relevant music industry contacts; long-term, professional management and administrative support; professional or ‘expert’ artist development and ‘talent selection decisions’, and the opportunity for high impact marketing and ‘findability’. The research identifies that whilst bands can ostensibly do this themselves, to a certain extent, the reality, as Melling suggests, is that “doing it all yourself is tough” (Melling, 2010, p.6), and that bands are still reliant on ‘getting picked up” (Parrott, 2010, p5). Whilst the rise of DIY culture amongst musicians has had a positive and optimistic impact on the attitudes of independent artists and small music companies, it is increasingly difficult to sustain careers within this potentially lucrative market place, one which is currently the UK’s third highest export.


5.2 The Potential Role of Public Sector Within the Recorded Music Industry 5.2.1 Access to Finance Morrison (2010) cites the important role that public sector organisations can play in granting access to finance for small creative companies. For Morrison, as well as directing and signposting creative companies to sources of funding, such as the soon-tobe launched Venture Capital Loan Fund (VCLF), public sector organisations play an important role in acquiring and distributing monies themselves. McManus (reference year?)cites examples where Vision+Media could step in to bridge the gap that has appeared within the traditional ‘finance stream’ of the larger music industry. Whilst they once provided finance for tours, gigs and recording, now, in the face of declining record sales, labels appear to be more risk-averse and will not invest in areas that are difficult to recoup. Vision+Media, therefore, could play a role in supporting industry professionals, such as managers of independent acts, to go on tour and raise their profiles. He also cites the example of Merseyside ACME supporting Ken Nelson, a producer, to put together a show-reel, which resulted in Nelson securing the job of producing the first two Coldplay albums. However, whilst there are clearly opportunities for public sector to become involved in ‘risk’ financing for small music companies, there are still factors which need to be taken into account. Firstly, as Seifert and Hadida (2009) outline, those working within the music industry are specialist professionals who identify and develop talent for financial return. The idea that public sector could support the recorded music industry requires, as McManus outlines, “a sympathy for and understanding of the industry” (McManus, 2010). Here, the idea of public sector recruitment is essential. Morrison and McManus


both support the argument posed by Dann (1996) that major reforms within public sector human resource management are implemented. Morrison highlights the dramatic changes in public perceptions toward Vision+Media after the recruitment of industry professionals such as McManus (Morrison, 2010). However, whilst the employees of major labels music companies are recruited on their ability to secure financial return on their artists, public sector organisations, even when they recoup on their investments, are primarily concerned with achieving different outcomes, usually economic viability such as jobs created or safe-guarded. Therefore there will be different ‘strings’ attached to public sector investment, which should be considered. As Morrison outlines, such ‘strings’ can sometimes have detrimental effects. Therefore, public sector employees must have an understanding and sympathy for the music industry, but also understand and ‘translate’ the implications of any potential investment. Perhaps one of the key roles for the public sector, as well as making investment directly to small music companies, is to signpost and translate the music industry to other sources of investment, such as banks or venture capitalists (Morrison, 2010; McManus, 2010), and also encourage independents operating within the music industries to focus on their business models, and support their business acumen.


5.2.2 Access to New Markets The sample group identify that public sector organisations have played a key role in introducing independent music companies and d-DIY artists to new markets. In the light of the decline of record sales, the music industry, both independents and major labels alike are focusing on new revenue streams, including the potentially lucrative synchronisation market. UK Trade & Investment run ‘LA Sync Missions’ each year taking thirty independent music companies to LA to meet with music supervisors at production houses such as CBS. As a direct result of these missions, Fulgoni (2010) has managed to do some major deals, which have enabled Chocolate Fireguard Records to continue in business. Fulgoni also discusses the benefit of being funded to attend music industry conferences such as SXSW, in Texas, and Midem, in Cannes, which enable independent musicians an ‘equal footing’ amongst other industry professionals. As Fulgoni states, trying to get a distribution deal as a label from Huddersfield, nobody took him seriously. Attending Midem, however, enabled him to do lucrative deals (Fulgoni, 2010). Vision+Media work closely with UKTI on delivering regional support around events such as SXSW and Midem, directly funding the ‘North West’ regional presence, and paying for the Northwest stand, enabling Northwest acts to perform, whilst UKTI offer bursary support for the individual companies to attend these expensive events.


5.2.3 Supporting Creative Entrepreneurship The sample group confirm the theory posed by Wilson & Stokes (2005), that in order for independent musicians to achieve success within the industry, they must become more ‘business-minded” (Thompson, 2010, p4). Similarly Gordon (2008) poses that independent musicians must understand the implications of major deals, which will lead to more ‘transparency’ within the recorded music industry. Public sector organisations such as Vision+Media are committed to supporting ‘back-end’ business skills, enabling musicians to become more entrepreneurial through an increase of business and management skills. Whilst FE and HE organisations call out for such management skills to become incorporated into creative courses, many people working within the music industry often embark on such careers later in life, suggesting that few enter the industry directly from FE or HE courses. The sample group are indicative of this wider trend, with Parrott, Thompson, Wills and Melling all admitting that they ‘fell’ into working in music. Similarly, Melling notes that whilst there is an increase of music industry courses available, few people working within the top tiers of industry have had formal training: rather, they have ‘worked their way up’ and generally display ‘maverick’ behaviour (Melling, 2010). Fulgoni also voices concern about the wider responsibility of public sector organisations providing music industry training courses, when there are very few jobs.. As a result, it would appear that there is an identifiable need for some skills support for those people joining the industry past University or college level. Vision+Media, and other public sector support organisations, could therefore fill this gap, providing core business skills training, whilst also understanding the specific industry and its unique challenges . The sample group also recognise the importance of what Boyett (1996) terms “the


public sector entrepreneur.” Whilst Boyett recognises that public sector organisations are not driven by bottom line profit (Boyett, 2010, p.36), therefore challenging the traditional concept of an entrepreneur as someone concerned with maximizing their profit levels within a given market (Boyett, 2010, p.36), it is possible to identify entrepreneurial behavioural traits within public sector staff. For Boyett, public sector entrepreneurs must demonstrate the ability to identify market trends, and increase the profit of their clients; “to perceive worthwhile opportunities and act upon them” (Boyett, 2010, p. 39). Morrison offers her own interpretation of such qualities, describing a particular attitude (Morrison, 2010, p.3). Boyett also encourages public sector organisation to “imitate” private sector in terms of its business practice (Boyett, 2010, p.38). Certainly Vision+Media operates within such a remit, as Morrison describes the “professionalisation” of the organisation through improved human resource management (Morrison, 2010, p.4).


5.3 Potential Limitations to Public Sector Support 5.3.1 The Problem of Reputation for Public Sector Organisations Despite the opportunities identified for public sector support within the recorded music industry, the sample group outline some of the difficulties faced by public sector organisations in relation to wider public sector reputation. Luoma-aho (2008) distinguishes between two conflicting public sector reputations: the flexible and the bureaucratic. McManus mentions the importance of being ‘flexible’ (McManus, 2010, p.5) describing the “trick” as being to appear like a private sector creative organisation, and ‘translating’ the bureaucracy, as “private companies just don’t need to be bothered with that” (McManus, 2010, p.7). However, members of the sample group also identify feelings of mistrust toward public sector organisations, voicing concerns their interventions into private sector are often ill-judged, or more about ticking boxes and gaining further funding than actually supporting industry needs. Parrott contends that he has been “flabbergasted” by some examples of public sector support, lamenting the “fucking waste of money” that occurs when the “wrong people” secure funding (Parrott, 2010, p6). This raises a thorny issue within public sector support. How can the public sector ensure that they are making the correct investment and support decisions? Parrott suggests that public sector employees are often misinformed and simply give money “to the first people that come knocking” in order to satisfy their own objectives, as Briden notes “they invest just so they can get more money. So that devalues it? I don’t know…”.. The problem that the public sector support “the first people that come knocking” is disputed by Morrison; the real problem, she acknowledges, is that sometimes the money goes to


those who can ‘play the system’ and complete the best applications forms, rather than the most deserving cases (Morrison, 2010, p6). The importance of good recruitment in the public sector is essential, therefore, in order to disprove this particular perception, which agrees Morrison, is a “valid problem, and one that needs to be addressed” (Morrison, 2010, p6). 5.3.2 The Current Political Climate There is another thorny issue surrounding the role which public sector organisations could play bridging “the current gap” of investment into the recorded music industry (McManus, 2010, p.3). At the time of writing, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government, headed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg, is in the process of drawing up a spending review, the impact of which on public sector spending is unlikely to have been seen before. Already, cross-departmental Government cuts of up to forty percent are being suggested, and it is likely that minimum budget cuts of twenty-five percent will be enforced. The two main funding bodies that support Vision+Media, namely the UK Film Council, and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (along with the other eight regional development agencies instated by the previous Labour Government) have been closed. Morrison voices concern about the future growth of the creative and digital industries (heralded by all three major political parties as one of the key growth sectors for the UK economy), in the face of these cuts, and the potential closure of organisations such as Vision+Media.


Chapter Six: Conclusions and Recommendations for Further Research 6.0 Introduction The aim of this chapter is to relate the key findings back to the original aims and objectives laid out in Chapter One, in order to measure the success of the research. This process will also synthesise the key findings from the literature review and primary research, in order to present the main contribution of the research within current academic thought surrounding the recorded music industry. The chapter concludes with an acknowledgement of some of the limitations of the research, and recommendations for further related research, which could further support the findings.


6.1 Aims and Objectives The overall aims of the research are firstly, to identify whether d-DIY artists can achieve success ‘on their own’ or whether they still require support from record labels. The second aim is to identify any potential ‘gaps’ between what labels currently offer, and what d-DIY artists can do on their own, in order to determine whether public sector organisations could potentially support the independent artist.

• Objective 1: To determine whether the ‘strangle-hold’ of the major labels has been weakened by the digitization of the music product, or whether they still hold value for independent artists Through a literature review, and in-depth, qualitative interviews, the impact of the digitization of the music file on the major labels was traced. The digitization of the music file has reduced the revenue earned by the major labels, through fewer consumers buying records, and through an increase of piracy. It was also acknowledged that the public perception of major labels has diminished, with online support common for artists ‘doing it themselves’. Less artists see labels as ‘the only’ route to market, and more identify that they can reach their own fans online. Therefore, in public perception at least, the strangle-hold of the major labels has been questioned. However, the indepth interviews revealed that, whilst labels are unpopular, some of the services which they offer are essential. It was identified that these services could be offered by other sources; but at the time of writing the sample group were unable to identify clear alternatives.

• Objective 2: Identify the current record label ‘offering’ Through the in-depth, qualitative interviews, and the literature review, the following ‘key offerings’ of major record labels were identified:


i) Access to finance: Labels, as Wilson & Stokes (2005) identify, are still the most likely sources of revenue for bands, with more traditional sources of investment, such as banks and private equity investors, seeing the music industry as too much of a risk. However, the sample group also identified that revenue streams flowing from the major labels were diminishing, leading to concern about the future of ‘the second and third tier’ of independent artists who may no longer be able to afford to sustain their careers. ii) Access to industry contacts: The sample group identify several aspects of the major label offering that are not acknowledged by Wilson & Stokes (2005), or Graham et al, (2004) in their discussion of the weakening strangle-hold of the major labels. Graham et al (2004) for example, predict that the major labels have invested too much into the physical supply chain, which will result in their declining status. However, the major labels have invested time and financial resource into developing contacts with online digital media agencies, and other digital media partners; whilst not maintaining the same level of revenue, they are making headway into new markets through their digital offerings (IFPI, 2010). Similarly, the sample group highlight the importance of major labels for their contacts within the industry, whether other artists for collaborations, online media agencies, off line, traditional media and press, such as radio and industry magazine, and even contacts within physical manufacture and distribution. iii) Managerial and administrative support; The sample group also identified that labels offer managerial and administrative support for artists, something which many musicians can not do on their own, or at least, not as well as if someone were to do it for them. There is a recurring theme which arises about culture and commodity, as outlined by Jansson (2008): musicians feel that success should be measured through financial reward, and yet many consumers feel that music should be free. In this muddy middle ground, many artists fail to develop strategic business plans, or become ‘business-minded’ enough to sustain their career, resulting in them having to either give up, or get a day job to sustain themselves. Some musicians show a natural aptitude for both the business and creative aspects of their craft, and


these are the ones who manage to make it. More education could be available for musicians wishing to do it on their own, but who may fail due to their lack of industry understanding.

iv) Talent spotting and development: Whilst labels are lamented for restricting creativity and exploiting talent, so it is identified that labels do have an important role in being able to identify artistic talent, and turn that into financial revenue. v) Taste-making: Perhaps one of the most important roles that a label can play within today’s digimodern society, is that of ‘taste-maker’, enabling acts to be ‘found’ by consumers, particularly in the over-saturated online music market. Where MySpace is an ostensibly ‘democratic’ (Mallan, 2009) platform, allowing any one to upload songs for a potentially global audience, the reality is very different. MySpace currently cites over eight million musical artists, each vying for the consumer’s attention. Labels that manage to identify and market to a loyal niche following, therefore hold a market advantage for artists, who can ensure that their work will reach a pre-determined market.

• Objective 3: Identify any ‘gaps’ between what labels offer, and what artists can ‘do on their own’. Therefore, the research identifies that independent artists attempting to ‘do-itthemselves' can be restricted by lack of finance, lack of contacts, lack of administrative or managerial support or skill, and the inability to ‘stand out from the crowd’ resulting in them not being ‘found’ by their potential market.

Objective 4: To determine what support artists feel the public sector could offer

The results from the literature review and the interviews with the sample group identify that there are areas where public sector organisations could support independent artists,


namely, through supporting access to finance; through forging links with industry contacts, and through supporting and developing entrepreneurial skills to better equip the d-DIY artist to sustain their career. However, it is also revealed that some aspects of entrepreneurialism ‘can not be taught’ and that a certain aspect of maverick behaviour, and doing things in a different way, will prevail within the music industry.

• Objective 5: To determine whether public sector support could further eradicate the need for major labels That public sector organisations can potentially support d-DIY artists, and revealing these key points of intervention, form the basis of the contribution of this research. However, it is worth noting that the unique position of the major labels within the industry, which is anything but a ‘formal’ industry. Whilst the public sector can support the development of personal and business skills required by musicians and small music companies, the industry is still driven by talent, and the public sector can not become ‘taste-makers’ – the market will identify what it wants. They are also more likely to offer artists a wealth of industry contacts and experience that would be hard to match within the public sector, even with excellent public sector recruitment.

However,

through recruiting top industry professionals, public sector organisations could potentially build lasting partnerships with major labels, in some way developing appropriate support for d-DIY artists.

• Objective 6: To identify potential constraints faced by public sector organisations that could prevent public sector support

The research identifies areas in which the public sector are limited in their ability to support d-DIY artists as well as the major labels. Firstly, despite calls for an improvement in recruitment within the public sector, due to the nature of the funding, it is difficult for public sector organisations to offer large enough salaries to attract key players from the private sector. This results in the perception of those within the private sector that the public sector is simply full of ‘has-beens’ who can no longer survive


within the private sector. The wider problem of public sector reputation, discussed within the literature review, is also apparent throughout the interviews, with the sample group exposing far more negative attitudes toward the public sector than positive. Even those operating within the public sector reveal a distain for the bureaucracies involved, and admit that a large percentage of their role is concerned with ‘translating’ public sector language to private sector clients.


6.2 Limitations Time constraints were the most limiting factor. The author was undertaking research whilst working full-time, and as a result there was a clear limitation of how many interviews could be undertaken. The research could benefit from a wider sample group, in order to discover further attitudes, opinions and experiences of both artists, public sector support organisations and those working within major labels. Whilst the music industry remains an informal and largely ‘ad-hoc’ industry, personal experience and attitudes are crucial in understanding the mindsets and real opportunity for those operating within the sector. However, the author acknowledges that because of this, widening the sample group may have resulted in different findings.


6.3 Recommendations for further research As identified in the previous section, 6.2, the author acknowledges that further interviews could be conducted with both digital-DIY artists and those working for major labels, in order to determine whether a wider sample group, perhaps those working outside of the North of England, expose differing attitudes and opinions toward the major labels, and their current offering. Further research could also be undertaken into the amount of money invested, or not invested, into artists development, to question whether Wills is unique in supporting an artist from the ‘grass-roots’, or whether labels will expect artists to have reached a certain level of success by their own merit, before committing to financial investment. Research could also be undertaken to determine the regional locations of those signed to major labels, to identify how important an artists’ regional location is to their prospects of becoming signed. Are those operating within the North of England in the same position as those living and performing in London? The author also recommends further research be undertaken into the spending patterns of consumers. Are consumers spending an equal percentage of their annual income on music products? And if so, are these products still in the form of singles and albums, or are they subscriptions or downloads? If not, what other forms of entertainment are consumers willing to pay for – or are they concerned, as Kirby (2009b) would suggest, in spending money on new technologies themselves, rather than content? A debate currently rages, particularly online, as to whether consumers will pay for content which they are used to acquiring for free – a concern not just within the music industry, but also the publishing, film and television industries. The research could also benefit from analysing a wider range of public sector organisations concerned with supporting the music industries, and subsequently through mapping the different regional support for musicians across the UK.


Appendices Appendix 1 Example of Scientific Approach within Flexible Research Design (Robson, 2002, p.18) Systematically means giving serious thought to what you are doing, and how and why you are doing it; in particular, being explicit about the nature of the observations that are made, the circumstances in which they are made and the role that you take in making them. Sceptically means subjecting your ideas to possible disconfirmation, and also subjecting your observations and conclusions to scrutiny (by yourself initially, then by others). Ethically means that you follow a code of conduct for the research which ensures that the interests and concerns of those taking part in, or possibly affected by, the research are safeguarded.


Appendix 2 Using Reflexivity to Identify Areas of Potential Researcher Bias (Robson, 2002, p.173) Robson outlines the following 10 point framework for attempting to identify areas of potential researcher bias. This is an important and challenging area for the author, as the potential bias of researching public sector impact on the music sector, whilst currently employed in such a role, could lead to outside scepticism on the validity of the research. The following checklist was therefore adhered to and considered throughout the process ;

1. Write down your personal issues in undertaking this research, the taken-for-granted assumptions associated with your gender, race, socio-economic status and the political milieu of your research. Finally, consider where the power is held in relation to your research project and where you belong in the power hierarchy 2. Clarify your personal value systems and acknowledge areas in which you know you are subjective 3. Describe possible areas of potential role conflict. Are there particular types of people and/or situations with or in which you feel anxious/ annoyed/ at ease, etc? Is the publications of your findings likely to cause problems with a group of people? Consider how this possibly could influence whom you approach or how you approach them. 4. Identify gatekeepers’ interests and consider the extent to which they are disposed favourably towards your project. This can help you prevent potential role conflicts 5. Recognise feelings that could indicate a lack of neutrality. These include avoiding situations in which you might experience negative feelings, seeking out situations in which you will experience positive feelings 6. Is anything new or surprising in your data collection or analysis? If not, is this cause for concern, or is it an indication of saturation? On occasion, stand back and ask yourself if you are ‘going native’. 7. When blocks occur in the research process, re-frame them. For example, is there another group of people who can shed light on this phenomenon? Would an additional form of data collection, such as document analysis or diaries, give a greater insight? 8. Even when you have completed your analysis, reflect on how you write up your account. Are you quoting from one respondent more than another? If you are, ask yourself why? 9. Consider whether the supporting evidence in the literature really is supporting your analysis or if it is just expressing the same cultural background as yourself. 10. A significant aspect of resolving bias is the acknowledgement of its outcomes. Therefore, you might have to reinterview a respondent or reanalyse the transcript once you have recognised that bias in data collection or analysis is a possibility in a specific situation. It is also worth remembering that even if preconceptions and biases are acknowledged, they are not always easily abandoned.


Appendix 3 Model of the symbolic Interactionist view of question-answer behaviour (Froddy, 1993, p.22)

Interviewer

Respondent

Encodes question, taking into account own purposes, and

Decodes questions, taking into account own purposes and

presumptions/ knowledge about the respondent, and

presumptions/ knowledge about the interviewer, and perceptions

perceptions of the respondent’s presumptions/ knowledge

of the interviewer’s presumptions/ knowledge about self (i.e. the

about self (i.e. the interviewer) • Respondent

respondent) • Interviewer

Encodes answer, taking into account own presumption/

Decodes answer, taking into account own presumptions/

knowledge about the interviewer and perceptions of the

knowledge about the respondent and perceptions of the

interviewer’s presumptions/ knowledge about self (i.e. the

respondent’s presumptions/ knowledge about self (i.e. the

respondent)

interviewer).


Appendix 4 Aspects of Qualitative Research Interviews (Kvale, 1996, pp.30-31) The purpose of the qualitative research interview treated here is to obtain descriptions of the lived world of the interviewees with respect to interpretations of the meaning of the described phenomena. Life World: The topic of qualitative interviews is the every day lived world of the interviewee and his/her relation to it. Meaning: the interview seeks to interpret the meaning of central themes in the life world of the subject. The interview registers and interprets the meaning of what is said as well as how it is said. Qualitative: the interview seeks qualitative knowledge expressed in normal language, it does not aim at quantification. Descriptive: the interview attempts to obtain open nuanced descriptions of different aspects of the subjects’ life worlds. Specificity: Descriptions of specific situations and action sequences are elicited, not general opinions Deliberate Naivety: the interviewer exhibits an openness to new and unexpected phenomena, rather than having ready-made categories and schemes of interpretation. Focused: the interview is focused on particular themes; it is neither strictly structured with standardized questions, nor entirely ‘non-directive’. Ambiguity: interviewee statements can sometimes be ambiguous, reflecting contradictions in the world the subject lives in. Change: the process of being interviewed may produce new insights and awareness, and the subject may in the course of the interview come to change his or her descriptions and meanings about a theme. Sensitivity: different interviewers can produce different statements on the same themes, depending on their sensitivity to and knowledge of the interview topic. Interpersonal Situation: the knowledge obtained is produced through the interpersonal interaction in the interview. Positive Experience: a well carried out research interview can be a rare and enriching experience for the interviewee, who may obtain new insights into his/ her life situation.


Appendix 5 Questions to avoid in interviews. (Robson, 2002, p275) Long questions: The interviewee may only remember part of the question, and respond to that part. Double-barrelled (or multiple-barrelled) questions: e.g. “what do you feel about current pop music compared with that of five years ago?” The solution here is to break it down into simpler questions (“what do you feel about current pop music?”; “can you recall any pop music from five years ago?” “How do you feel they compare?”) Questions involving jargon: Generally you should avoid questions containing words likely to be unfamiliar to the target audience. Keep things simple to avoid disturbing interviewees; it is in your own interest as well. Leading questions: e.g “Why do you like Huddersfield?” it is usually straightforward to modify such questions, provided you realise that they are leading in a particular direction. Biased questions: Provided you are alert to the possibility of bias it is not difficult to write unbiased questions. What is more difficult, however, is not (perhaps unwittingly) to lead the interviewee by the manner in which the question is asked, or the way in which you receive the response. Neutrality is called for, and in seeking to be welcoming and reinforcing to the interviewee, you should try to avoid appearing to share or welcome their views.


Appendix 6: Miller’s Synthesis of Content Analysis 1) Open Coding Firstly, a simple list of eleven topic areas was developed, relating to key themes within the research paper. Whilst there may be arguments against this form of pre-determining categories, as Robson notes, it is inevitable that any patterns formed will relate back to the researcher's own understanding and inference. The process is about interpretation (Robson, 2002, p.493). As well as this, the initial list of topics developed organically by the researcher reading through the interview transcripts, and drawing out recurring and important themes. These initial eleven topics were: 1. The Music Industry and perceptions of the Music Industry; 2. Entrepreneurship; 3. ‘Do-it-yourself’ or ‘do-it-together’; 4. new technologies; 5.record labels; 6. taste-making; 7. new business models; 8. money or finance; 9. public sector, and perceptions of public sector; 10. reputation of the public sector; 11. generational differences and opinions. 2) Axial Codimg Next, data was collected underneath these topics, identifying what each interviewee has said on each. This ensured that all of the information relating to different topics was in one place. Once the data was grouped in this way, the researcher went back through each individual interview, to ensure that the flow of arguments was not misrepresented, and the meaning was as the interviewee intended. During this process the researcher also contacted various interviewees and asked for clarification of any contradictions, to further understand the interviewees intended meaning. From this stage patterns can be identified, and it is also possible to identify those areas which are 'notable by their absence' (Robson, 2002, p.73). For example, ‘new technologies’ were discussed surprisingly infrequently; however, this could perhaps be due to the rather intrinsic nature of such technologies: they were perhaps too obvious and too important to mention individually. ‘New business models’ were also discussed relatively infrequently, perhaps suggesting that those within the music industries are still grasping for business models that could work. Mertens argues that this stage is about re-formulating the data out of its original context (the transcribed interviews) (1998, p.352). Questions are still asked of the data, but these questions are now directed at the relationships between the categories, rather than the individual transcripts (Mertens, 1998; Robson, 2002; Miller, 1989). 3) Selective Coding Finally the author drew up these overarching patterns and identify the points at which the topics link together – “the method of constant comparison” (Pidgeon and Henwood, cited in Robson, 2002, p.74) and these are then clustered. Themes appearing from these clusters form the final stage of the analysis (Miller, 1989; Pidgeon and Henwood, 1996; Robson, 2002), until a conceptual map is drawn up which demonstrates the core “central phenomenon” (Robson, 2002, p.495). This central phenomenon was then directly related back to the overarching research questions, and form the different subsections of the findings and discussions chapter which proceeds this.


Appendices 7 – 14 Coding Tables Appendix 7 – Coding 1: Sample Group Perceptions of the Music Industries 1.a On the failing of the traditional music industry “Generally it’s the physical sell and the distributers who are suffering” (Jeff Thompson, p.3). “The idea that physical is dead has reached every level, but we could still do 500 vinyl to a niche market, and make more money out of that than iTunes… The small indies probably have a different set of opportunities or problems” (Jeff Thompson, p.3 ALSO LABELS). “Things have changed. Retail is different. Distribution is different. All the supposed p2p stuff is a huge opportunity for us. People are finding stuff that they wouldn’t have heard otherwise” (Jeff Thompson, p.3) . “There has been an investigation into CD prices [on the news]. They were sold to us for loads as a ‘premium product’ – but hold on, they only cost 2p to make!? ITunes, the biggest e-retailer, made everything 79p – why? Even on the high street things are different prices…The music industry has always done stuff crap at that kind of level” (Jeff Thompson, p.4) “A lot of myths are being exposed. Everyone has always lost loads of money, and people are still losing loads of money. Breakfast TV and TOTP might make a bit of money but in reality most people lost money and led dry. It’s not money for nothing and chicks for free!” (Jeff Thompson, p.5). “You’re gonna work and be in a band, be on the dole and be in a band, or not be in a band! There is a gap now, though, where there used to be a feeding ground to move from one side to the other. Economically that’s not viable. Or you have to be a full time live musician. Steve Lawson makes a good living, but has no overheads. [the recorded music] industry used to have to support the whole industry, chrome offices and that, that’s the other reality” (Jeff Thompson, p.6). “It’s very hard to get investment, unless you’re creating hardware” (Jeff Thompson, p.1). “Well, it’s the third largest export for the UK {the music industry]” (Pat Fulgoni, p.1). “[if it fails] it’s going to cost the economy a lot, a huge amount. I mean it opens doors all round the world, to all sorts of territories. We might laugh about The Beatles and things like that, but that’s what first springs to mind for a lot of people. It opens a lot of doors, it’s a huge selling point, and it gets people a lot of national interest and gigs” (Pat Fulgoni, p.1). “I think the best people don’t get through” (Chris Briden, p.8) 1.a (Cont) Alan Wills “ I’ve got no time for whingers…. If they’re driving the ship – if you’re driving the Titanic, you’ve got to at least know how to avoid the iceberg, you know what I mean… You know, and these guys [the music industry] have driven right into the iceberg, and instead of being sacked, they’re still in charge.” (p.1) (and new business models) “you need to get another ship… and its going to be a better ship. But that one doesn’t work, and you can sit there and you can bail out as much as you want but – it’s sinking… it’s past the point of no return, and that’s called The Record Business. You know, but who cares? Records are still going to be very very important in the future” (Alan Wills, p.1) “You see, the whole problem with the industry is very very simple. When I started it was an entrepreneurial business, which is why the computer business is fucking flying, or why Apple are flying, or Bill Gates’ company is flying – they keep the entrepreneurial spirit, that’s what’s gone in the music industry” (Alan Will, p.2) AND ENTREPRENEUR. “The other thing about the industry is… it’s not a formal industry” (Jeff Thompson, p.6). “[EMI] are in trouble because they thought that they could operate in the way a normal business works, and you just can’t because its not like you – you bought a band like Persil washing liquid, where you can go right, we’ve got Persil, let’s be better than Daz, or whatever the other leading washing liquid is. ‘we’ve gotta ramp up our ad campaign… get a couple of people in them that people recognize, we’ll plough more money into ads and then we’ll sell more, and get our revenue up, it doesn’t work like that with music. You can pump all the money you want into ads but it doesn’t mean people are going to buy it” (Alan Wills, p.3). “You know, Golden Wonder could be up there with Walkers again. It’s just a case of marketing. But music isn’t just a case of marketing” (Alan Wills, p.3)


“That’s the trouble, it [the music industry[ can’t sustain and that’s the trouble. We’ve had to downsize the industry, which is better, theoretically.” (Wills, p.6). “Lawyers in this business make too much money, any contract is run by a lawyer… more people should learn to understand contracts themselves. If people could write contracts who aren’t lawyers…” (Wills, p.15). “Another argument is that people are spending money on other stuff – and they do. I would never spend £400 on albums a year, but I spent that on the iPod. Then games, DVDs, obviously. People have other things to spend their money on… and live gigs! If you’re spending £350 to go to Glastonbury, you’re not going to buy 30 albums that year, anyway” (Jeff Thompson, p.2). 1.a Cont “I think the biggest problem you’ve got now is that everyone wants your band to be really successful… you’ve got to get the economics right. The problem you’ve got now is a band who come along whose good, everyone will give them too much money. The first album sells 150,000, it’s seen as a failure, where selling 60,000 on your first album should be seen as a success… you have to balance the economics” (goes on to explain that you need to sign realistic contracts; ties in to argument about how important it is to understand the business and the creative side, to avoid problems such as “then the record company goes, well, where are your hits? And they go, well I haven’t got any. You fucking cunts want hits – well! We’ve given you £300,000 what did you think that was, a fucking art grant??” (Wills, p.20). Business and Creativity – also ENTREPRENEUR Fleet Foxes are a good example because “their deal was structured in such a way that there wasn’t a lot of money upfront… and they’ve ended up selling 700,000 records and they’ll be a band that will…be around for a bit” (Wills, p.20). 1.b Falling in to the music industry – not a formal industry “[from working at Channel M] we knew the process as well, you know, from seeing the bands campaigns, we [channel M] were part of these early campaigns… So I think it’s given me a good insight because I’ve come from the press side of things. Actually I think it sometimes works the other way round [too] you get someone working in the music industry and it doesn’t work out so they’ll go and write about it.” (dan Parrott, p.3), “The music business … it’s a male dominated, old-boy network anyway… it’s jobs for the boys. And for years and years and years people who should have been sacked have just been moved sideways, to other jobs, because they’re mates with so-and-so, or went to school with him.” (Wills, p.13). “I started writing for NME when I was 18, on and off, until I was about 30, which led to other things – by accident I ended up managing… because I’d worked at NME for a number of years I ended up having contacts which were useful when it came to doing major deals with the band. So I knew a lot of A&R men (Kevin McManus, p.1). “I fell into working in the music industry by accident really, but I suppose everyone does!” (Dan Parrott, p.1) 1.c Oversaturation of the music market place/ Quality of current music product “You get into a band because someone says “check this record out” – so records are still going to be the fundamental tool to break an artists. But what records have become is this pollution… Everyone thinks they should have a record, and most people have no taste and they’re making these records that should never have been made, so they’ve become like a pollution really” (Alan Wills, p.2) “people are easily led. If people make a brilliant album, and it gets out there, and the critics start praising it…you’ll probably have 20% of the people who buy your records love you. The rest of the people are just following the pack. And they’ll follow the pack after any piece of shit to be quite honest” (Wills, p.7). “When we started, [Deltasonic] we were called EVA, which stood for Entertainment Verses Art, which is the fundamental problem you’re up against. You know, where does entertainment start and where does art start? Where’s that line between the two? Because I think entertainment can be really, really good, but mindless bullshit… it’s not something that’s fulfilling, it’s a bit like a McDonalds” (Wills, p.8) (Cf Kirby) “If you wrap it all up it’s culture, and culture is moving on really fast, but music isn’t moving on fast. We’re still trying to sell ice – so that’s one of the main problems” (Wills, p.9), “Everyone now sounds the same… and it’s to do with bad A&R and lazy marketing… I think those producers produce by numbers… a lot of …metal albums are made by the same guys that do pop shit. To me a producer is someone who oversees a project and …tries to find the character of the band. They’re not producers, they’re line managers” (Wills, p.9)


“Now that’s another problem the music business goes ‘oh we’re not selling albums’. I’m not surprised, you know, you’ve got all these records that sound the same, they’ve all got 2 singles, geared at Radio 1, or day time radio, the rest of the album’s crap, it doesn’t work as an album…” (Wills, p.9). 1.d Implications and predictions “I think what’s going to die off is the second and third tier of indie music, the second and third tier that should never have got deals in the first place…all these people they won’t be doing anything in the future, because they shouldn’t have done anything in the first place… if you’re Led Zeppelin or the White Stripes or The Strokes, you’re still going to do OK. That business will always be there” (Alan Wills, p.2) “I’ll tell you what a music conference is, it’s something to support all the people in the business who don’t generate profit… they’re all what I call ‘bolt-ons’ and I’m afraid they’ll be the first things to go, because the industry has to build from the inside out, and the inside has to be – ‘where is the profit, where do you make the profit, so where’s the cutting edge of this business’ – and then everything goes out. (Alan Wills, p.4) “I think the music business now… if you’re in music it’s your duty to get out there and have something to say – and the charts are full of people that have nothing to say. If you’re an artist it’s your job to reflect society” (Wills, p.7). “you have to assess what you’re doing the music for” (Chris Briden, p.5) “Every band…you want to release a record and you want to do well, but I don’t really think that we were under the illusion of that… we just wanted to release a record… we wanted people to hear our music really…. (Chris Briden, p.2) “There’s people stuck in limbo… I would worry there’s great stuff that won’t happen because of that gap [of investment or support from labels]. But… it’s a much more exciting time that ever before, it’s just the markets have changed and the industry – old industry – can’t handle it” (Jeff Thompson, p.8). 1.e Selling the image of millionaires in the industry “There are probably statistically as many rich people in the oil industry, or the shipping industry, or any kind of industry… but the music industry sells that as the only level of ‘success’ you can have” (Chris Briden, p.9) “People…think the music industry is all this glamour, and it’s not at all! It’s hard fucking graft!” (Pat Fulgoni, p.5). “[bands] are able to generate this idea that they’re really successful because they’ve got a nice tour van. But they’ve probably got a nice tour van because they’ve got a 9-5 job. Or their parents live in Surrey, or something. And it has the air of success, but in reality it’s all bull. They’ll be operating at a loss. And it varies, why people get into it. Your sole desire might be to get your first girlfriend or… it’s part of people’s identity, and it’s addictive” (Pat Fulgoni, p.11) “it’s worrying because it’s an industry that sells that ‘five minutes of fame’ thing… so they can make money teaching it, without there being any jobs. I mean, I get asked to go and speak to students and I tell them, you know, ‘there’s no jobs’ and some of the lecturers…look horrified!… They think they’re all going to be rock and roll stars” (Pat Fulgoni, p.12) 1 d New Business Models “Income streams have got smaller recently, because I think there’s so many bands trying to get their music in there, they’re happy to give it away for nothing really, just so it’s in there and they get the publishing [on getting music into TV and Film – ALSO NEW BUSINESS MODELS) Pat Fulgoni, p.4). “AR: What do you think of the argument that because people aren’t buying music anymore, live music is ‘where it’s at’? JT: Well, there’s only a million pairs of eyes that will go and see a gig – there’s not suddenly two million! They’ve put prices up, so people are paying more seeing less, or the same” (Jeff Thompson, p.1). ‘[the recorded music industry] didn’t do itself any favours by selling itself on the image of a millionaire! The print industry has a lot of millionaires but it doesn’t sell itself on that. If you’re good, there are ways of making a career, but now £20,000 or £30,000 is a good living. Like in Hollywood. For every Tom Cruise there are a million people making coffee” (Jeff Thompson, p.6).


Appendix 8: Coding Table: 2 Creative Entrepreneurship 2.1 Examples of entrepreneurial behaviour within the music industry “It’s difficult in the current climate trying to get another job, and I was worried about how to stay creative, and then afterwards was more worried about getting some money [laughs]. I wanted to carry on doing production stuff, but I didn’t want to work for a bigger company, because I’d been spoilt a little bit [at Channel M]. I had my stamp over everything, not in an egotistical way! …to jump into producing documentaries at the BBC, for example, I would have probably had to start at the beginning. And anyway, I really wanted to work for myself, and create something that had my stamp on it. But I also wanted to carry on working with music” (Dan Parrott, p.1). “I knew I could only trade off Channel M [contacts] for a certain amount of time… I was trying to prove myself, and say, ‘well, now he’s not got a promotional platform, what’s he gonna do?… There were no jobs, and there still are no jobs anyway, so I just decided to make my own luck” (Dan Parrott, p.2). Jeff Thompson talks about Steve Lawson, guitarist who organises ‘home tours’ across the States, as being “a really clever, intelligent, witty bloke – most bands I know aren’t any of those things! They are good at writing songs… but you’ve got to understand the new environment – not claiming we understand it! But [with a team] you can do better than some bands on their own.” (jeff Thompson, p.4). “Like Gary McLarnon. Blimey what a success story! You know, Mr Scruff is incredibly talented and a lot of his [McLarnon’s] artists are. But would they be where they are now, without someone like that, who had quite a ruthless business head, and a passion for music at the same time? And certainly…he represents his artists with a lot of love… Without these kinds of individuals the industry just falls apart, probably!” (Pat Fulgoni, p.7) On bands needing to have something to say “I don’t quite know what it is, but I can hear” (Wills, p8) [Talking about his mate, Simon Duffy, an industry expert – “he’s just a hive of information about the boring shit you don’t want to have to carry round with you. I used to work with him and you know… I can kind of speak to him in the morning, and say, how does this work, and I can apply it in the afternoon, and do it ten times better than he can – he’s not very good at applying it. Where I don’t really need to carry the information round, I’m just good at applying it” (Wills, p.2) Sees something menial and strategic that is missing from the current live scene – developing a software that allows specs, stage times, etc for each participating venue to be automated and stored in a database online: “…especially with medium level touring bands. You’ve got a lot of repetitive information that you need to send out every time; technical specs, stage times, so it’s about centralizing the data so it’s always there. You can use to organise a single tour, saves you having to send or receive 60 emails all saying the same thing!” (Jeff Thompson, p.1). “Our family are too reliant on the music business. So last year was …an exercise in ‘we need to shift our family reliance’ into other businesses. So that’s why we started other businesses…so we’re now not reliant on music anymore…so everything we’ve got, and everything we own, all our debts, all our bills – everything is paid for by other businesses now.” (Wills, p.11-12) “I just started being in a band, just playing gigs and things like that… and then we thought we’d kind of try and do it a bit more seriously… when I say seriously, we were playing seriously, but then we actually thought we might be able to go somewhere with it… our aim was to make a living out of playing music” (Chris Briden, p.1/2). “CB: when I was taking a lead [in Light Syndicate] I’d spend 3 nights a week rehearsing…and at our busiest we’d be doing two gigs a week as well…and then we’d always be online updating things, making sure things like press releases went out, and checking reviews, that sort of thing. Just always doing something. AR: Would you say it became a second job? CB: Yeah, yeah definitely. I think I put more effort into that than my job, really. It’s not so hard if you have the time to do it.” (Chris Briden, p.7) “A record company is only one thing – it’s usually, well, with Deltasonic it’s all about me.. and that’s not in an ego way. It’s just sort of about… if I stopped doing it tomorrow, Deltasonic wouldn’t exist… and it’s like any label, that’s like us, is all about one person who’s got… a vision and an ego!” (Wills, p16) “we’re [Deltasonic] basically gambling. It’s like gambling on horses. When you gamble on a horse and you know what you’re doing, you’re increasing the odds. It’s like gambling on music. The more knowledge you’ve got, you increase the odds… People like me, all have a predisposition to sort of take risks in their lives… I think as you get older you have a natural disposition to sort of not take risks… well, I haven’t come across that yet [smiles]… I’m hoping that at some point I’ll sort of slow down, and stop wanting to take risks. Most people who are like me don’t stop, they just carry on doing it’ Wills, p.16


Identifying gaps within the industry “I don’t think Manchester has an aspirational record label. And I’m not pretending to be that at the moment, because obviously that’s a long way away, but there is a gap in the market – a need, there” (Dan Parrott, p.4) “I started with Fat Northerner, a Manchester mini-label… we all do everything in that SME model… From that we also started UnConvention, around this subject of how things are changing. We’ve been going for just over a year. We’ve been meeting a lot of people and gone from a lowly little label to seeming to know a lot of people who are much more important than us!” (Jeff Thompson, p.1) 2.a.2 who doesn’t demonstrate entrepreneurial behaviour? ON making A&R staff ‘commission based” “they’d all walk away from the industry tomorrow, because they haven’t got enough balls, or enough self-belief, to know that they’re going to come up with a great band, so that means they haven’t got any entrepreneurial spirit, so that means the sooner you can fucking get rid of them, the better” (Wills, p.4) “’They’ve all got a problem gene [bands with negative attitudes] And even if they’re amazing they might make one good record, but they won’t continue doing it. Because in order to continue doing it, it’s a very different skill… Cos you’re not always inspired, you’re not always feeling…great, but you go over it again and again… they’ve got that attitude. They’re the ones who come through.” (Wills, p20) 2.a.1Public Sector entrepreneurship On identifying how his skills come together (CF KEVIN MCMANUS, public sector entrepreneur) “I…enjoy it, and actually you can bring in a label, and a label needs a music video – a band doesn’t have to be on a label to have a music video… and hopefully the new website [The New Mancunian] will become a new platform and people can get their videos up there” (Dan Parrott, p.2). [Discussing meeting and making contacts through working within the music industry, and in relation to public sector (PUBLIC SECTOR ENTREPRENEUR) “That’s something that you can’t teach or provide – it’s just about doing it” (Kevin McManus, p.1) “…Liverpool Sound City, that was something I came up with – successful entrepreneurs will do stuff like that, like James Barton who’s done Creamfields… and got involved in Music Week .” (McManus, p.2) 2.b What bands have to do/have “it’s not like being an accountant or any other creative industry, even. There are no jobs that say “Wanted: Singer in Band, £30K per year”. It doesn’t work that way. You work your job and gig on a night. The problem for artists now is that advances have gone. You can’t hold down a job, or find an employer whose going to let you go and tour. Without an advance… it’s chicken or egg. Unless you’ve got some money from somewhere magically appearing that isn’t an advance, how do you do it? (jeff Thompson, p.5) ALSO LABELS. “Bands have to be business minded” (Jeff Thompson, p.6) “I mean, realistically, you have to assess what you’re doing the music for. If you’re doing it to make money, then you don’t give out free downloads. But if you’re just doing it and you want people to listen to you, give out free downloads, do everything at cost…” (Chris Briden, p.5) “CB: I think most musicians that you see are doing something like that [working lots of different jobs to get different revenue streams]. You can’t just do music AR: You mean, you can’t just do gigs and then sit in your bedroom? CB: Well, I think it’s always been like that. (Chris Briden, p.9) “CB: I think that the best people don’t get through. AR: Who do you think does get through? CB: The best entrepreneurs! The best entrepreneurial bands the most productive bands get through. People with the most contacts. Most of the Manchester bands that went big quick had all been in bands before than hadn’t broken. But when they reformed in new bands they had the contacts and had been fairly big, and could just go ahead and do it, pretty quickly” (Chris Briden, p.8) [on the recession]: Actually what it does is makes everyone look at their business and cut away the dead wood… it will all be good. Nothing bad will come of it, only good things will come out of it… evolution is natures way of survival” (Alan Wills, p.1)


“you have to be able to spot it [talent] early” (Wills, p.13) “I tell you this much – fact of life – most musicians who will be successful will not be on the dole. They’ll be working. They’ll have a job and they’ll do it [music] as well…. Basically they’re the people who get it together.” (Wills, p.17) “All the people I know, who are really good, are all really hard working, whether they’re doing music or not. They just get it together, and they’ll be successful in some form or another. So you can’t take the success gene out of music… I hate that American analogy of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. But it is right. It’s just that I’d rather call it the success gene… as in people who are destined to be successful, you can’t remove that… you know it’s not like ‘hey, he’s really great at playing guitar’ – well if he is, you know, if he hasn’t got the success gene he’s not going to fucking get there!” (Wills, p.18) “So yeah, the success gene is no different to whether you want to run a record company… there’s lots of people who know a lot more than I do about music, but they’ll never get off their arse and there’s people out there who are running record companies who are terrible dicks but they’ve got a lot of success gene! And they work hard, and they… get themselves into a position.” Wills, p.18


Appendix 9: Coding 3: Doing It Yourself/ Doing it Together Doing it together, Alan Wills, p. 2 – identifies working with his mate Simon Duffy. Also ties in with entrepreneurship – bring the right people on board. “There is a gap, now, socially. Of the number of brilliant musicians I know, some do alright, but live in squalor, no pension… Either stop doing it, and get a job, or they stop doing it… most of them teach, actually. I don’t know that has always been the case” (Jeff Thompson, p.7) “you have to have an ability – like I said, everything is interdependent. You know a lot of bands, they’re full of people who have egos, who don’t think they need other people. And the truth of the matter is, to get on stage and play, it’s a fucking group thing. And now because technologies got to the point where you’re ‘oh I don’t need to rehearse and play in the studio I can get a drum machine to do this – it’s got these people who’ve got this – think … they can do it on their own, and they really can’t. They produce this vacuum, where they don’t have anyone around them, don’t have any…peers to tell them – to argue with them. So they just disappear up their own arse, even faster…” (Wills, p.18) “We thought we’d try and do it a bit more seriously” (Chris Briden, p1) “…we always started with that ethos, we were just playing music that we liked and enjoyed and liked playing…it was music for music’s sake...[so] regardless of whether we would make a lot of money out of it, if we could make a living out if it… our aim was to make a living out of playing music” (Chris Briden, p.2) “if you’re in a situation and you’re a band where you’re very lucky and can record your own records, press up your own art work, pay for it to be set up… if you can do that yourself, then obviously… distribution is fine. Then, you have to be in quite a lucky situation to do that” (Chris Briden, p.6) “If you were starting a business you’d easily invest… if everyone in the band gave £1000 over two years, it’s only £500 a year, to the band… and there’s four of you, then you’d have £4K and that would give you more than enough to record, write and pres up a record. And bands don’t see that, bands are notoriously useless aren’t they! So… if someone comes along and offers them some money, their eyes twinkle, but actually if you break it down, that’s only £250 each, save up for a couple of months, and you’re fine” (Chris Briden, p.6) “At our busiest we’d be doing two gigs a week as well [as rehearsing 3 nights a week]. And then we’d always be online updating things, making sure things like press releases had gone, and checking reviews, and that sort of stuff. Just always doing something” (Chris Briden, p.7) “I just feel a bit safer if there’s another person… I mean… representing yourself, you tend to undervalue your own music” (Pat Fulgoni, p.2) “This is one of the benefits of being an independent - … I’m in a situation where I own my own publishing, and my own master… if you’ve got a publisher and a label, and all these different people, they’re just gonna go ‘oh, we want more than the other side’, and before you know it – supervisors lose patience…. So that’s really one of the benefits of being an indie, and keeping it all in house.” (Fulgoni, p.3) ‘I think there’s so many bands trying to get their music in there, they’re happy to give it away for nothing, really, just so it’s in there and they can get the publishing” (Fulgoni, p.3) “I’m still not sure we’re exactly going to experience world domination! But we did this daft tour of the US and had a good time. It was all self-booked and self-managed… and it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise” (Fulgoni, p.3). “when I started Chocolate Fireguard Records, I tried to get a UK distribution deal, and they’d go ‘oh, where are you from?” and I’d say ‘Huddersfield’ and they’d laugh!… so then I had to go to Cannes, Midem, to make it look like I was professional enough, to get an international deal. They take you seriously because you’re there. But they’ll not see you if you’re from Huddersfield” (Fulgoni, p.5) “They’re able to generate this idea that they’re really successful, because they’ve got a nice tour van. But they’ve probably got a nice tour van because they’ve got a 9-5 job. Or their parents live in Surrey, or something. And it has the air of success, but in reality it’s all bull. They’ll be operating at a loss…” (Fulgoni, p.11) AR: What are the main opportunities for a DIY artist being signed to a label, that they couldn’t do on their own? JT: One answer is nothing, the other is everything! There are great bands doing it without a label – Enter Chikari, Steve Lawson; he makes a full time living putting out music for free, and building up a fanbase, doing house gigs, lecturing and teaching… just because you’re good at writing songs doesn’t mean you’re good at everything. Steve


Lawson can do it, he is a clever, intelligent, witty bloke – most bands I know aren’t any of those things! They are good at writing songs… but you’ve got to understand the new environment. I’m not claiming we understand it [Fat Northerner Records] but we do better than some bands on their own. Some on their own will be streets ahead of where we’re at, which is why I say both” (Jeff Thompson, p.4) “Everything Everything were on Zane Lowe the other day, and requested a Dutch Uncles track to be played, which gave them loads of great exposure. They are basically being a little bit of the glue, you know, we’ve got a great little thing going on here, and you need to not forget your peers, basically. It’s just about trying to build an infrastructure, basically, as opposed to a load of ‘flash in the pan’ bands” (Parrott, p.2) Dan mentions that lots of bands would collaborate after meeting on the channel M music shows “Like Stateless, did a collaboration with a NY band called My Brightest Island, and I was like ‘ how did they…?” and it was like, oh they were on the same show, that’s how they met…they sit there and listen to each others’ music.” (Parrott, p.2) ‘I mean, the music scene that’s happening at the moment, looking from the outside in, it’s probably really, really clichey, but it’s just like, all the bands sound very different, and they’re all very supportive…. That’s the way music has been for a long time now, not ‘I’m in to this, or I’m in to that’ but just the music basically. There are all sorts of people on the periphery as well,.. people doing art, to the venues, the promoters, and stuff…with the hacidenda stuff it was all like, live fast and die young.. and eventually that…will burn itself out. But if we can create something sustainable, and something aspirational, for young bands…we can start to try and encourage and inspire new bands, who are like, 16, to not just listen to The Courteeners and play 4 chords, but..,listen to some Dutch Uncles.. and try doing something a little bit different” (Parrott, p.4)


Appendix 10: Coding 4: New Technologies “A label needs music videos… a band doesn’t have to be on a label to have a music video… and hopefully the new website [the New Mancunian] will become a new platform, and people can get their videos up there” ((Parrott, p2) “Ruth and I, and a chap we know from London, we’re developing Toolcore, a tool for the live music industry, around booking agencies and venues and artists. [It is] a boring online thing, a way of administering the live music industry” (Jeff Thompson, p1) “There’s an argument that people are spending their money on other stuff, and they do. I would never spend £400 on albums a year, but I spend in on the iPod. Then games, DVDs, obviously. People have other things to spend their money on… and live gigs. If you’re spending £250 to go to Glastonbury, you wouldn’t buy 30 albums – that year, anyway” (jeff Thompson, p.2) “Well, I still buy music…I use Spotify a lot, I don’t change my mind every minute. I’ll listen to stuff I like, I only buy stuff I like … if I was listening to music all the time I’d be on bitTorrent [but I’m not]. You can half-hear about a band and you can listen straight away.’ (Jeff Thompson, p.2) Piracy Jeff speaks of a blog he wrote, about piracy and home tape recording. He discovered the Black Crows because someone put the album on the b side of a C90 cassette, ‘then since that free copy I’ve bought every album in every format, 7-8 albums, 20 different formats, plus seen them play, bought T-shirts – that argument, based around discovery verses theft…. It also depends on how much money you’ve got.” (Jeff Thompson, p.2) “All the supposed p2p stuff is a huge opportunity for us. People are finding stuff they wouldn’t have otherwise” (Jeff Thompson, p.3) “the main effects [of new technologies] have been – if we make a record, there isn’t anywhere to sell it – the bigger [music] industry haven’t managed to sustain the distribution… but we’re marginal anyway. Ironweeds album was out at the end of 2007…well into the p2p debate, and it sells here and especially well in America. Say in a month if we sell 100, if you go to a BitTorrent site and look up the numbers, you’ll see 7 to 800 on BitTorrent. Have we lost that many sales? No! We’ve sold more because more have heard it…. Arguably digitally we’re better off… the days of releasing single on CD are well gone, Woolworths and Zavvys and Borders, all gone. Why make 1000 CDs when only 2 shops can sell them? Because of that the people who are really suffering are the high street retailers… Generally, the physical seller and the distributor [are suffering]. (Jeff Thompson, p.3) “We can [now] give it away and we don’t have to pay loads of wages [unlike the majors]. Break even. This is much more likely than it was pre-digital models. To put a single out physically and do a bit of PR around it, which might not get you anywhere… would be [calculates] £500 a month PR – so £1200, plus artwork – at best you’d get a fiver for it, maybe for £3. If you sold them all you might break even. That’s the model. (Jeff Thompson, p.4) “Overheads now… you can release an album for - £20!? Cheaper than that – probably free! …[you] can record an album in a weekend. I bet I’ve got more technology in my back bedroom than Jimi Hendrix had in his whole studio!” (jeff Thompson, p4) “AR: Are there 100 albums that will never be made because the industry has changed? JT: Probably a lot more bad albums will be made, as they’re cheaper to make. And lots of music doesn’t’ fit anything… Tubular Bells would probably have never been made [if it was now]. A lot of Beatles stuff, Aphex Twin… would that get made? But then, recorded music was the format. Orchestral music was the main form when everyone played in theatres. It’s what is culturally popular …” (Jeff Thompson, p.7) CF KIRBY “This is a much more exciting time than ever before, it’s just the markets have changed and the industry – old industry – can’t handle it.” (Jeff Thompson, p.8) “I don’t know how ticket sales are going, but certain ones are knackered, the £5-£6 mark tickets market [for example]. People spend on iPods rather than CDs. Madonna rather than a local band. But the upshot is everyone is really optimistic. More bands making more music, but their career will be shorter, on average. Hopefully. (Jeff Thompson, p.8) “It’s almost like it’s got to sound better on a mobile phone, rather than on a stereo’ (Pat Fulgoni, p.1) 4b online marketing “AR: What tools did you [Light Syndicate] use? CB: …We had a mailing list, that was PHP Mailing List, they were really good… a mailing list programme where


you could type in, just a database, that you collated and you could do people you met at each gig, the date… and by area… we just wrote in ‘area’ and ‘date’…when we went back there we could email them and tell them… it’s free. And then we had a website… we had Myspace and Facebook. When we first started out myspace was quite new, so that was good, we got quite a lot of buzz… Facebook was alright… it was a bit annoying because people by then were already annoyed [by] bands spamming them going ‘we’re playing this gig tonight’… we never really did that.” (Chris Briden, p.4) “The best thing about Myspace and Facebook is you’ve got free streaming… When we first started out streaming was quite difficult, whereas now it’s very easy… Anyone can upload a song and stream it, which is very good. And obviously we all worked in a studio and stuff…so we have a lot of facilities at our disposal” (Chris Briden, p.5) “I think… people like having physical things. Like having actual products, they can buy, because.., you can’t just listen to that sort of thing on your computer all the time, that’s just not going to happen. And the audio quality is not good. “ (Chris Briden, p5) “AR: Have you ever used an online digital marketing agency? Would you? CB: I don’t’ think so no, I think they’re a bad move. I think they’re quite bad for bands. Because people make out like it’s quite hard, for you to do all of that stuff, but it’s not…We’ve had offers from various ones [digital marketing agencies] and they go , we’ll update your Myspace, we’ll update your Facebook, we’ll put you on various other websites, and put some banners up, and it’s very expensive. And realistically for a band that’s the last thing they need… if everyone in the band put in an hour’s worth of effort every night, you would eradicate that cost entirely… We got a quote for £1000 to do a 3 month campaign. You think, well, I’d rather just pay £1000 for a radio plugger, or I’d rather just buy another guitar – you know, there’s plenty of things that a band would rather spend £1000 on” (Chris Briden, p.7) AR: Do you think it’s a balancing act, then, between online and offline fan development? CB: You could have a zillion fans, yeah, then – who comes to your gig? Your mum! It’s not the same really so if you just ignore – well, don’t ignore the online, but take it with a pinch of salt. Cos people online are happy to say, ‘yeah we’ll come to that’ because it’s just a click…they’re sitting in their bedroom” (Chris Briden, p.7) “there’s a lot more option online…People have a lot more choice…You go to the newsstand and you’ve got Kerrang, NME, RockSound or whatever, you can go online and there’s a whole load more places you can get information because that’s all there is, so I’m guessing that in the future it’s going to be a really really good place. And also that information is instantaneous, if you’ve got a really, really hot band, and you get it going online, it can spread like wildfire, and in 4-5 weeks it can be everywhere” (CF LSC PANEL, Wills, p.6) “I think that there’s something very different about digital marketing” (wills, p.6) “When you wrap it all up, it’s culture, and culture is moving on really fast, but music isn’t moving on fast, we’re still trying to sell ice – so that’s one of the problems” (Wils, p.9) CF KIRBY 4c New business models “All the industries will have gone in to one [in the future]… a lot of what you do will be based on having this incredible live show.. that live show will be able to get filmed… because there’s two things, you can watch the gig live on TV, but I’m not being funny, you know you’ll never replace the experience of being at a gig, and most people will still want to be at a gig, but once the gig’s sold out you’ll be able to watch it on television, or what it on your mobile.. and all these things.” (Wills, p.10) “I said to the chairman of Sony, you need to sell now – to Microsoft or someone – someone who understands technology. Apple. Someone who understands…the future. You can’t have a company run by people who don’t understand the future, it’s like a blind man driving a car”. (Wills, p.10)


Appendix 11: Coding 6 Taste-making AR: So do you think predominantly Love&Disaster has a taste-making role? DP: Yeah, yeah. I think all record labels are really. And I think you know, it's just being honest. It's being commercially honest and it's being taste-wise it's being honest. Because I think it's very exciting to be working in the music industry, even with a pop band, or something; it's more like a strategic business plan, and it's great listening to the charts, you can get really excited about it, but it's still not like. I mean, DU, I know it sounds bad or whatever, but DU are my favourite band at the moment, because I'm listening to them a lot and recording them, and it is really exciting being able to work with a band that you really like. And I honestly think that they should do something, and I think the fact that they haven't up to now, has kind of spurred me on a little bit. (Dan parrott, p.4) AR: Do you think that people in the press will always need an angle before they expose something? DP: Oh big time, yeah. Trying to get press coverage for Airship's single, which should be much easier as it's just a single, is much harder… (Dan Parrott, p.5) AR: Do you think that curators are important, to make you stand out from the crowd? There are tools available for people but how do you stand out from the crowd, sort of thing? DP: yeah…and it's hard, it's an unfortunate thing, it is weird, in the past I would sort of discuss it in theory, but you are totally right. Now i'm actually coming up against it. I think a lot of people are overly harsh about the way it is because it's – fuck it, it's the reality, get over it, work with it, but there are certain case-studies where it' sa bit annoying in the fact that, it is the emperor's new clothes, and every once in a while there are things that are amazing that break through, but then instantly everyone jumps on it and then instantly there is a team behind it. But to get radio play or to get the press it needs to be more than just a good band. They need to know that they're backing a winner” (dan Parrott, p.5) You know, pluggers, they're taste-makers. If there was a band that we really wanted and we went to them, and they were like, yeah they're great, put this band on too, and it was their new band that they were working with, and we'd put it on and be like, yeah that's great. And we knew it would be great. But at the same time if there was a really great band, and they were just great, we'd get them on nonetheless. We literally, we wouldn't read articles, and that's what radio people do, they need to be bombarded with the stuff, read articles and look at their hits. We would just go on Myspace and have a look and read it, and listen, and if it was brilliant they'd go straight on. If it was OK then we'd start digging around and looking into their history, you know. [pause]. (Dan Parrott, p.5) I didn’t know what, um, what certain label how labels differed. From each other AR: Yeah, CB: so you, if you say, someone said Columbia would be good or someone said Island were good you’d be like, well, I guess they’re both labels and they both do the same thing, or, it’s not really a matter of… [pause] AR: you didn’t see them as tastemakers, particularly? CB: not really no, I didn’t ever think labels were – I thought the artists – labels don’t necessarily come out with creativity, the artists do don’t they – so I think the um, the, the labels cash in on creativity, rather than the artist – they cash in on the artists creativity. And that’s , well I mean that’s the way it’s always been, though, isn’t it, the labels have always you know, done that… (Chris Briden, p.2) AR: but independent labels on the other hand…what do you think they could offer you? CB: again, well, again contacts. And like kudos. I guess . AR: mmhmm? CB: if you’re with someone like, Warp -they only sign people that are kind of, not necessarily particularly good, but maybe people that people that like music, supposedly like them. So they they’re kind of taste-makers. AR: yeah they kind of act like tastemakers, don’t they? CB: and they kind of – the cool underground people you know, if you’re on Warp people – their ears prick up and they’ll listen to you. (Chris Briden, p.3) if you’re a producer, historically all the people who I respect, try to find the character of the band – the character of the individual, so therefore they’re adding something to the tapestry of the music, but they’re – the producers these days – are just line managers (Wills, p.9) AR: So Deltasonic are looking for the next kind of angry act? AW: yeah, and I don’t quite know what it is but I can hear (Wills, p.8) KM as long as what the company is doing is legal and stuff I don’t think it’s really for us to judge whether it’s good or bad art really. (Kevin McManus, p.3)


Appendix 12: Coding 7, New Business Models In the old days you'd go, you'd justify it, you'd say, we wanna do this tour, and we'll reach this number of people, and sell this many records. But it's a bit like, why – that's not – people aren't gonna buy the records now, so where is the benefit for the label or publisher? (Kevin McManus, p.6) AW: you need to get another ship, and it’s going to be a better ship (Alan Wills, p.1) have to find a new model, but at the end of the day they’re not going to find a new model, I don’t think they’re going to find a new model and that their share price is going to go back up to what it was – they’re still going to have a shit load of debts on top of them, that are going to be far in excess of what the company is going to be worth (alan Wills, p.3) the interaction between artist and audience, and it’s the people that generate that money, is getting smaller, and the people that are taking from it, is getting bigger. (Alan Wills, p.5) AR: – do you think that there’s something tangibly different about digital marketing that industries can come together to create something new (i.e. the music industry and digital marketing agencies) AW: well, I don’t know about industries coming toeghert but I think that there’s something very different about digital marketing, and I guess the guys who do it really well the guys who have done it – it’s a different medium, does that make sense? You can reach a lot (Alan Wills, p6) When you wrap it all up, it’s culture and culture is moving on really fast, but music isn’t moving on fast, we’re still trying to sell ice – so that’s one of the main problems. (Alan Wills, p.9) - like the film business, that’s been under attack 2 or 3 times, it was under attack when the studio system collapsed, it was under attack with video, but yet it’s still manged to regroup, to put itself back together, and make big, big films, and you get multiplexes where they realise they can sell loads more films and make money selling popcorn, and the films are just part of getting people in, and you know they got it, and the business developed and it changed – and the music business is going to have to do the same thing and groups int eh future – they’re going to have to do a deal where… and they won’t do a deal with a record company, but, they’ll do a deal with someone who has a part of the skills of a record company – we know how to break a band, we know how to put a campaign together and market a band and break it, so you’ll do deals with people like that in the future, but all the industries will have gone into one, and you know a lot of what you do will be based on having this incredible live show, you know, and that will be – you know, i.e that live show will be able to get filmed, and you’ll be at the- because there’s two things, you can watch the gig live on TV, but I’m not being funny, you know youll never replace the experience of being at a gig, and most people still want to be at a gig, but once the gig’s sold out you’ll be able to watch it on television, or watch it – AR: Get it on your mobile afterwards… AW: yeah , yeah, do you know what I mean, trying to get the gig after on your mobile and all these things, but I think those things will come to the arena, and it will make a really really good experience for people.(Alan Wills, p.10) I said the one, the chairman of Sony, “you need to sell now” AR; mmhmm AW: to Microsoft or someone – someone who understands technology, Apple, someone who understands it, comes, you know, is going into the future, and understands the future, you can’t have a company run by people that don’t understand the future (Alan Wills, p.10) they make loads of films, The Coral, and when you watch all that stuff, I think, what people love about The Coral, is a lot more alive, in the other things they do than the music, sometimes. (Alan Wills, p.11, discussing The Coral – The Cartoon!) I think the future model will be based on management – not record companies. I think the manager will come in, but I think Warner Brothers or all these people will become super management companies, in the future. And the band will sign a management deal with them, and I think the records and the publishing and the, er the agency and everything, will be managed by the management company (Alan Wills, p13) I don’t’ see this 360 deals working as bolt ons to the already existing record deal, I think that’s just – because the record deal was a totally unfair deal. Totally weighted on the side of the record company, as long as the record company don’t get publishing, don’t get live, and don’t get merch. (Alan Wills, p.13) . I mean, realistically you have to assess what you’re doing the music for. And if you’re doing it to make money then


you don’t give out free downloads, but if you’re just doing it and you want people to listen to you, just give out free downloads, do everything at cost, so I think sell well just try and get a record like a CD, sorry, CD single, and get it out into distribution get that distributed with a distributor or something, like that. So I think it depends what they wanted to do – or what we wanted to do, because we could either press them up ourself, and just pay for it, and that wouldn’t be too bad, because it’s not a great deal of money, especially if we’ve got two singles pressed up at once, cos you can do that at the printers, and then that means we’re paying – we’re paying per thousand, so that’s our unit cost come down. And then maybe talk to small distribution company and ask if we can get them in shops, (Chris Briden, p.5) AR: As a band do you think it’s a balancing act between online and offline? You’ve got to exist on both, but not to the detriment of the other? For example some bands could spend all day every day on myspace… CB: you could have a zillion fans, yeah, then – who comes to your gig? You know, your mum. It’s not really the same is it, so if you just ignore – well, don’t ignore the online, but take it with a pinch of salt. Cos people online are happy to go ‘yeah I’ll come’ because it’s just a click. They’re sitting in their bedroom,, and they go ‘oh I’ll go to that’. Or some people say rthey’re going just so it appears on their profile. (Chris Briden, p.7) I think they’re a bad move. I think they’re quite bad for bands. Cos people make out like it’s quite hard, for you to do all that stuff, but it’s not. Like we’ve had offers from various ones and they go well we’ll update your myspace, we’ll update your facebook, we’ll put you on various other websites, and put some banners up, and it’s very expensive. And realistically for a band, that’s the last thing that – I mean, if everyon in the band put in an hours worth of effort every night, you could eradicate that cost entirely. It’s quite – I mean we got a quote for £1,000. to do like a 3 month campaign. You think well, I’d rather just pay £1000 for a radio plugger or I’d rather just buy another guitar – you know, there’s plenty of things that a band would rather spend £1000 on! (Chris Briden, p.7) it’s all just management isn’t it. That’s the thing, musicians are quite bad at management, normally. And I think it’s quite boring, as well, if you’re a musician, you might just want to play music. (chris Briden, p.8) yeah I think if you could help musicians and bands get their music on TV and film that would be brilliant because there’s a lot of money in that (chris Briden, p.10) Hardly any of them know what a record store was. It's died, that whole retail side, well certainly in certain genres. They all wanted to write dubstep, and I cant see where the sales are! So you've now got these tracks, unfortunately you seem more interested in it sounding better on a mobile phone than a studio, so that's another shift, the production value. It's almost like it's got to sound better on a mobile phone than on a stereo. You know. And you're just going to give it away, to your mates, and that's all you want to do, so how are you going to earn any money from it? (Pat Fulgoni, p.1) the new model of the label probably will go out and get concerts for the artist, in addition to their more traditional roles, which was pressing up and marketing CDs and vinyl. So gigs, sychronisation... I run this very small label part time, Chocolate Fireguard, and frankly if I hadn't have got loads of music into US film and TV I probably would have given it up. (pat Fulgoni,p.1 – p.2) I don't press as much as I used to, I mean I don't hardly press anything at all in this current point in time. AR: Do you concentrate on digital distribution then? PF: Yeah, yeah that's kind of the direction I've gone in out of necessity. I don't work with the most commercial music on CF, so i've been getting a lot of music into film and TV and been getting a lot of money from that. (Pat Fulgoni,p.2) Kava Kava, my band who I've now put out through my own label, is a live band, and we've got a lot of synchronisations… we ended up touring out there this year, LA, and NY… That helped us get the tour together. It was all self booked and self managed. It was alright! And it wouldn't have been possible otherwise. Kava Kava were signed to Southern based record labels, and there was no way that they were going to do that for us. You know, they had lots of bands signed to the label. AR: And you become lower down the chain, the more bands they're looking after? And when you were signed to the label, what was it that they did for you, what was their offering?


PF: They put the records out, you know, recorded us, you know, they invested a lot of money. But you know, doing a US tour – there was no way that was going to come from a label like that. Years on i'm happy to go, you know [laughs]. No that's not the motivation but it does dawn on you. I really do believe indie artists are in a good position. (pat Fulgoni,p.3-4) AR: So what else then, as well as synchronisation, how else can indies do it for themselves? PF: phew... I mean, just weathering the storm through digital sales. Keeping it small in bitesized chunks, there's no reason why you can't... Vinyl is looking good too (pat Fulgoni,p.4) , I was able to license full records to Russia. I got paid as well. Which was a bonus. We've kind of looked at the Chinese market, we've gone over and gigged over there, and stuff like that… you know, it all helps develop the band, and it can turn that PR back into the home territories, and it all helps out. And I don't have to put all my eggs in one basket, I can do singing with house tracks and things, you know. (pat Fulgoni,p4) AR: yes, another hypo argument – that people aren’t buiyn gmusic and live music is where it’s aty.. JT: HA tur, only a million pairs of eyes that will go and see a gig, aren’t suddently 2 million! They’ve put the prices up, spending more money seeing less (Jeff Thompson, p1) – we have a studio, no one has money, have sutidos, no one pay, have pr,.. do it all on equity. Dave smith band, consists of, band, managenment, pr, recordings studio, etc, so 15 people in band. All work as hard as can, all own 15ht, to make it work, and if it works and makes money we all get our 15 quid. Doesn’t’ suit everyone, set amounts, doesn’t nec suit studios, lots of shit records mihtj be made. But works if worthwhile for everyone, that’ spotentially,.. collective, lets’ try and get cross dsiciplien. Pay to get something designed, that will hopetully add value, etc, and make more money. But now adays..t aht’s the oenl sustain outside of the live is the future thing. (jeff Thompson, p.5) A lot of myths are being exposed, everyone always lost loads of money, and people still are losing loads of money… (jeff Thompson, p5) . Labels will redefine themselves as managers, a few people manageing diff bands. Company cos all work and live together buty essecntillay just 3 more managers. (Jeff Thompson, p.7) AR: how can yo umake your label stand out? JT: we’ll carry on because we love doing ot, so will humble soul., always tough. Speak to people and they starty labels all the time. It won’t die, btu the eveonomic viability is fiff. In my mind lots of companies doing lots of diff thigns rather than monolithic flabby companies doing lots of things and glamourising the industry. For me, that gap in the artist is what I see as quite detrimental problem. Yeah. (Jeff Thompson, p.7) AR: And through your efforts with Dutch Uncles, and the other bands you'll end up looking after, are you still channeling them traditionally through the record industry (singles, albums, etc) or are you looking at synchronisation or are you going to be looking for other revenue streams? DP: there's lots of – I think DU are a main example – there's lots of different options really. (Parrott, p.5)


Appendix 13 Coding 8, Money/Finance The band need money, and I haven't got money, basically (Dan Parrott, p.5) AR: And what do you see that they need money for? DP: to record, and pay pluggers, and tour, because it's so expensive. And the next 6 months is absolutely critical. To work for 6 years, to this point, and not have the money for a plugger is ridiculous. I mean, they're probably going to have to get a loan, but if that means they have a couple of grand's debt each, then, you know. It's worth it (Dan Parrott, p.6) DP: basically for bands, you're at stage one, and if you don't get picked up at stage one, you can give up, or you try and get to stage 2, [pause to read phone], so um, so at the moment we're at stage 2, and I think we need to get them to stage 3 basically... AR: And is 'stage 3' getting signed? DP: It's just getting some money. Which could mean being signed or not. I don't think, even if they get signed, they're going to get any money. (dan Parrott p5) It's just another fucking absolute waste of money. Whereas really, what is gonna genueinely make a difference. And that's what Umbro are trying to do really. And there's the difference, because they're a proper fucking corporate company, with opinion (Dan Parrott, on public sector financing a music event to encourage young people to vote – and getting it wrong), p.7) “...the lack of advances means there are people, who could be really good, but there's nothing for them until they tour. Either tour for 11-and half months of the year, or you operate at a loss” (Jeff Thompson, p.8) I think there should be more money available for grants, for music businesses, definitely. Because it's cash-flow, that's the issue. It's really hard for – if you look at a new model, you know, some artist that goes right, i'm going to release myself, I mean he needs help, really. It's so hard. They'll make so many mistakes otherwise, they might just give up. But if they had a bit of investment from the outset, and they were taken seriously as a business, not looked upon as a criminal. And I mean you do get this. You go along to some of these meetings and you're a musician, they're all like, oh what do you do, you just party all night! Get in in the early hours! Not really a proper business! (pat Fulgoni p5 AND PERCEPTION OF INDUSTRY AS FUN) “If you go to a bank, are you going to get a loan, as a music business? Probably not, you know. I mean what does your business plan look like? And you need a bank manager that's willing to give you an overdraft. It took me years to get an overdraft. And that with RBS, who are actually better than most banks at supporting the music business. And you can't blame them. I mean, I know the label is called Chocolate Fireguard which doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But you know. They can look at the bank account, they can see money going in and money coming out, and eventually, I was allowed an overdraft. But initially no fucking way anyone was going to give me one”. (Pat Fulgoni, OVERDRAFTS FROM BANKS, p.5) , “I've got to go to Liverpool Sound City, and Great Escape. You know and you've got hotel bills, you've got travel, it's an expensive business. Costs of getting into these places. Before you know it you've spent £600 and it's beyond a lot of these labels to afford it. Or artists. (Pat Fulgoni, p.8) AR: And if they can't afford the entry to these markets, do you end up with an exclusive or non-diverse music industry. PF: Yeah, you end up with a load of trustafarians, and middle class white kids [laughs]. Nothing wrong with that, but you know... Is it really demonstrative. Is your hiphop kid from some estate in Leeds ever going to go – probably not. He can't afford it! (Pat Fulgoni, p.8 – discussing representation within the industry related to finance) Realistically now I don’t think labels are gonna give an advance, cos, I think you said earlier on in your title, about like you say recording software and stuff, is probably much cheaper, and then people going to do it themselves, and so you can actually if you’re a record label and someone’s got that – that’s actually a plus, you don’t have to actually put out any kind of um, loss, any capital at first, and lose it, probably, because you can sift through all the chaff of bands, there’s thousands of bands, and ten of them are good, and then three of those are actually gonna make it, so you just watch, wait, and then go for the top three. It’s like a pyramid thing, isn’t it. And that, and that’s – so I think a label doesn’t even necessarily have to offer money (Chris Briden, p.2) Yeah, well you can get a loan from a bank cheaper than you can get a loan from a record label, couldn’t you (Chris Briden, p.4) If you were starting a business, you’d easily invest - if everyone in the band gave a thousand pounds, over two years,


it’s only £500 a year, to the band.you know, and there’s four of you, you’d have £4 grand, and that would give you more than enough, to record, write and press up a record. (Chris Briden, p.6) I think the music industry – like, The Police, they were all quite rich when they started out, the drummer’s dad was a multi millionaire oil tycoon, and essentially he funded their world tour, and they broke. What kind of situation is that? (Chris Briden, p.9) Bands don’t need labels they need money. So it doesn’t really matter where it comes from. It’s money and experience. Or money and the ability to focus on the job. So whether you’re called a bank, or whether you’re called a record label, or whether you’re called a rich arab, or a drug dealer, I don’t really think it matters. (Alan Wills, p13) For me the key thing is having an understanding and an empathy for the industry, for the sector – but it does also help if you’ve got small bits of finance. (Kevin McManus, p.1 on public sector finance) Rob Swerdlow, he’s one of the top managers in the country, but even so he still looks like, when he was taking a band over to SXSW or just trying to get a record out early one – it’s a lot for a manager to invest himself, and it’s there where public sector can step in – in the old days, when I was managing bands, you could always rely on a record label to support stuff like that, but the record companies don’t do that any more. So there is a little bit of a gap there for the development stage. (Kevin McManus, p.2) It’s difficult to self finance and it’s – there are ares where public sector money is really useful and you can’t – whereas someone like a bank would see it as too risky. (Kevin McManus, p.3) Certainly in this transition period there is a need for – gap funding – to replace the bits that used to be there. I mean when I was managing bands, you'd get like, demo money and things, if you went in and signed a deal you'd get money for certain things, and you get money to go touring, and all that sort of stuff (Kevin McManus, p.6)


Appendix 14 Coding 9, Public Sector HR/ RECRUITMENT “: I ended up – did lots of odd jobs, Businness link – information and advice. I was working on a community – ESF funded project for development in Liverpool and the job come up for this new org, around creative industries AND it seemed to bring together my experience – community and creative industries. That was the ACME job, I took in 97 and have been doing ever since (McManus, p.1) SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURS Or the other way is to make sure that there are better oppos for bands to make money themselves. Badns have to be busiess minded. Uncovention is about that, educationg people. If you’re good, there are ways of making a career (Thompson, p.6) AR: how do you see public sector helping to support creative entrepreneurs? Is there anything you needed, as a manager? KM: I used to get asked to sit on panels, particularly with bands, sometimes as managers… it was always like ‘can we have some money’ –but all the successful people I know have never benefited from grants or anything… so in some ways I’m opposed theoreticall, in principle! But – stuff I wish I’d known was just dead basic stuff, it’s like, knowing the way into industry an dfwho to speak to, which came through networks and meeting people, and also experience…for me the key thing is having an understanding and an empathy for the industry, for the sector – but it does also help if you’ve got small bits of finance. But then on a strategic level as well, I mean SoundCity was something I came up with – successful entrepreneurs will do stuff like that (McManus, p1) I think a part of our job, a lot of our initial conversation are going to be people saying they want money. And we have a translation job to do, which is not always money – it’s just – why do you need it, there’s otherways of achieveing those things, (McManus, p.2 – 3) if there were people I've met through our job here, where it's relevant i'd introduce them… where there's a useful connection, or you think there's a useful connection, you know I've often done it, is I'll say, Alan Wills you should meet this person here, and do an email introduction, that's a useful thing. And I think having a network event, that has no strucutre, is fairly useless – it's a waste of people's time. And the good people won't turn up, or they'll turn up once but they won't turn up again. (mcmanus, p.5) Until that all settles down, which might be the next few years, there is a need for that development stuff. (McManus, p.6, on the state of the music industry in flux) to educate the next level of managers or promoters, whether a workshop or one to one mentoring or things that companies might not have the money to do. I think the industry is so important to the economy, but it has still got big fractures in it, and we need to support, otherwise we'll end up with the same people just getting the money (McManus, p.6) Lawyers in this business make too much money, any contract is run by a lawyer, you know and they’re all – you know, where more people should learn to understand contracts themselves. If people could write contracts who aren’t lawyers… you could say ‘oh I understand that, that’s fine’. (Wills, p.15) AR: any other support that you think could be usefully provided by any other organisation that isn’t out there are the moment – public sector based – for example financial, contacts/ networking, facilitating recording/ distribution. CB: I think that interest-free loans would be good, or lower interest loans, cos that would take – or if you could have someone that could take care of a bands finances. I suppose once you get in to that kind of thing it’s quite hard. The trouble is you’d become a manager I fyou had that service. And they’re a bit slimey. AR: perhaps they’re only ‘slimey’ because they want to make their 10% profit? CB: yeah true… so someone already on a wage… (Chris Briden, p.9) I think if you could help musicians and bands get their music on TV and film that would be brilliant because there’s a lot of money in that., then you’d obviously be increasing the general wealth of the area. And they’d have links with the company or game. I think it’s hard for bands, because – maybe dealing with composers and established artists – id ont’ think bands necessarily would want to put their music in a game… but advice would be good, tv producers, etc. that would be great (Chris Briden, p10)


FUNDING AND FINANCE So scope there… gap between bands who are successful and have massive fanbases and generate a good SMWE but cashflow is stione dead (Thompson, p5) But right now, therte are bands who are successfula dn bigs who rae making albums and noone s’paying them to do it, expected to do it for nothing an dhopeing a loty of money will be made in retrospcetg.. in anyothe robusiness that would be unaccesptabla. A gap there. Defineite gap. A kin to arts council fuding orchestras. Slaray for cellists. Isn’t nec cashflow to sustain that level of nusic and mean (Jeff Thompson, p.6) I think there's a lot more money spent on music in Liverpool and Manchester than there is in Yorkshire, that's for sure. And if I'm struggling and I have got a good track record of doing it, I think, what must it be like for an artist, just trying to get involved in something or get some funding. It's quite worrying. But we have good links with Screen Yorkshire, and ACE (Fulgoni, p.12) AR: Do you think there is any benefits that public sector can do..? PF: I think they've got to spend more money on the music industry! I mean look at Yorkshire, there's finally a Yorkshire Music Network – at last! AR: And do you think that's the place to be spending the money, on the networks? Rather than on individual bands... What do you think public sector can spend on to improve the infrastructure? PF: Well, I think there should be more money available for grants, for music businesses, definitely. Because it's cashflow, that's the issue. It's really hard for – if you look at a new model, you know, some artist that goes right, i'm going to release myself, I mean he needs help, really. It's so hard. They'll make so many mistakes otherwise, they might just give up. But if they had a bit of investment from the outset, and they were taken seriously as a business, not looked upon as a criminal (Pat Fulgoni, p.5) AR: And it can be so hard for people to keep going, financially, PF: Yeah, that's why I think the public sector – it's like, I think there should be loads of investment into films and computer games, I think those are really important areas. But I think there should be a similar level of investment into music, and I think there hasn't been. I think that's a massive mistake. (Fulgoni, p.6) where would you see the best investment going to? Labels? Promotion companies? PF: Phew, it's really hard. There's so many music companies, as you say. Yeah. I 'd like to see labels get it, to be perfectly honest. I mean, they get slagged off so much by artists, but actually, the ones that seem to be left in the game seem to be the people who really love music! And they're putting the hours in. I dont' know if they'll be called labels anymore, they'll be music companies, music businesses, super management companies... (Fulgoni, p.7) Kevin also discusses Ken Nelson, who asked for some finance for a showreel and then went on to secure the production job of Coldplay Parachutes mean I wish that with someone like Ken we’d said, we’ll give you a grand or tow but once you’ve reached a level we want – and Ken would have seen the value in that and been vocal about what the grant mean to people like them, but I think there are probably – there must be away of doing it that keeps the admin/ beaurocracy low and you don’t go chasing – I mean if people can’t pay you back there’ sno point chasing them, and stuff. (Kevin McManus, p.2) that's kind of our role, I mean, another reason public sector is useful – there are little pots of money out there and there are bigger pots, like VCLF, and most of the music companies I know are not gonna know what the VCLF is, and even if you sent them the email saying what it was, they're not going to – I mean, a useful role for us is to sign post, and act as a translator for the bureaucracy – there's absolutely no reason why they should have to deal with that. And if they want the money, they've got to go through it, but we could be there to make that easier and encourage them (McManus, p. 5) Rob Swerdlow, he’s one of the top managers in the country, but even so he still looks like, when he was taking a band over to SXSW or just trying to get a record out early one – it’s a lot for a manager to invest himself, and it’s there where public sector can step in… So there is a little bit of a gap there for the development stage. (McManus, p.2) the conversation I’ve had with Dave Pichilingi from day one has always been about – public sector is gonna tail off, that’s the way it needs to be. Unless things like, the NW package for SXSW only makes sense as a public sector thing, because you can’t make money from SXSW unless you write a clause in the deal that says that if you get a deal as a direct result from SXSW we get a cut (McManus, p.2) I think there’s areas where it’s really legitimate stuff, like the international stuff, not just SXSW but people agin, supporting, it’s one of those areas like helping people into new markets, it’s difficult to self finance and it’s – there are ares where public sector money is really useful and you can’t – whereas someone like a bank would see it as too risky.


(McManus, p3) And I think that the business model has been so disrupted over the last couple of years, certainly in this transition period there is a need for – gap funding – to replace the bits that used to be there (McManus, p.6) I think if we had a pot of investment money, that could be recoupable, you could do a load of really interesting things. Tightly managed, not just given away to anyone, I think there could be a real need for it. It's just that – developmental stuff I suppose – stuff that in the past labels have covered (McManus, p.6) REPUTATION “Public sector shouldn't put money in to bands. Specifically. They're not going to anyway, they never have done. But in terms of, infrastructure – but it's got to be the right people. And I think, i've seen things in the past where i've just been flabbergasted, basically. Where they've invested in the wrong people and the wrong ideas, and – but then how do you say what's right and what's wrong?” (Parrott, p.6) We shouldn’t have orchestras. Go and work in a book shop. [It's] cultural rather than economic. And people are split around that. Ifyou want to play music, or play five-aside football, or write poetry, you can’t expect that someone will pay you to do it. If you want to sustain or prolong it, like the Government want to sustain the music industry somehow... there’ d be some scope there, subsidizing artists, and then you’d be a curator, which doesn’t seem right. You’d be A&R. That’s all that labels were. (Thompson, p.6) I think that we need to make the paperwork as simple as possible. Keep it simple for them, and impress upon them, that it's the same as a deal with a record label, that you have to do the best you can with it. It's about getting those messages across, and when you do that people are ok with it, and we either have to play along, or they don't get the support or the money or whatever. (McManus, p.5) I think the trick of it, which is what I learnt with ACME, is to not look anything like a public sector organisation. Everyone thought ACME was an independent agency, which had managed to score some money which they distributed, which er, and it just seemed much more like approachable and flexible and stuff. The trick is always to be – you know, the criteria, you do need criteria because it needs to stand up to scrutiny and stuff, but you're also need to be as flexible as possible (MCManus, p.7) KM: I think it [the public sector] just needs a bit of different translating A music conference is, it’s something to support all the people in the business who don’t generate profit, so – you’ll have PRS, you’ll have MSPRS, you’ll have all these people – you’ll have the things that you’re doing [at Vision+media] you’ll have all these things, but none of them are profit generating, parts of the business. They’re all what I’d call ‘bolt-on’s. and I’m afraid they’ll be the first things to go. because the industry has to build from the inside out, and the inside has to be – where is the profit, where do you make the profit, so where’s the cutting edge of this business - and then everything goes out (Alan Wills, p.5) I don’t know if they should have support or not. Obviously, I don’t know. Once you have given support you want crediting for it. It’s not support for supports sake, it’s to support their own business as well. If you’re a und that supports musicians releasing albums, you want credit on the album, so you can keep claiming funding from your source. Thus employing more people. AR: Do you think that devalues the support? CB: I don’t know if it devalues, it, I just think, there’s plenty of ways to get funding if you’re a musician. Like, you can get interest free credit and all that gubbins if you want to buy instruments, you can barter with studios now because they’re so. I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s not like it’s bad or anything is it. I don’t know that’s my answer (Chris Briden, p.9) Unfortunately we've got 10% of the population voting BNP, and at the moment we need more diversity and more and more events. Unfortunately after 10 years the mailer has been axed, we no longer have a mailer,and you think, where is this going? We need lots more community music festivals (Fulgoni, p8) . I just think there should be a lot more money spent on music and on these festivals. There's a lot of evidence that we've helped encourage these kids to start bands, and that' s got to be a better activity than torching clock towers! [laughs]. But in the case of one of the young lads in this area, he went and blew some trains up in the area. We know that he liked music, before he was radicalised. And you just think, wow. Shit. Maybe we could have done something to prevent that, you know. Maybe if there had been more support or stuff for him to be doing. (p10) AR: So public sector arguably have a role there, not just in economic terms, but in social terms?


PF …I mean, I'm not getting paid for it but I end up doing loads of mentoring, people ring me up on the phone and say, oh can you do this, how do I do that, and I think, well, if I'm getting asked this, where is the music mentoring? (Fulgoni, p.11) There's not enough jobs in any industry (music, tv, film). A lot of people working in the industry know what they're doing, but there seems to be this massive push, to train even more people, whereas actually, I think the general idea of everyone can do it, and stuff, just ends up with a load of pissed off, sort of disillusioned hopefuls, basically. And basically, all the ones who have made a continued success out of it, are the ones that have got off their own backsides and learnt their trade, as opposed to , oh there's this session on doing this, that and the other. I'm sure they can be very valuable, by the very nature of the music industry it's all about networking anyway, (Dan Parrott, p.8) PF: I mean in my battle with Kirklees, I put this course on for kids, that I mentioned earlier, to train them up in Reason. And it was great, you know. They sent down some social workers, to have a look at what we were doing, and the Youth Service bought 6 copies of Reason, and rather than give us the funding to run courses, they expected the youth workers to train the kids! I mean, I reckon I know a bit more about Reason than those youth workers... and subsequently there were no courses! I mean we set it up to show them what they should be doing, and nothing happened in the end. So badly run. It was chopped, we learned they were trying to get their own courses toegether and they failed. I think it must be about communication between the different departments, mustn't it? (Fulgoni, p.10) I think everyone needs a business plan, but I think they need to dig around a little bit more and not just give to the first people that come knocking, you know (Dan Parrott, p.7) DP: And that's what Umbro are trying to do really. And there's the difference, because they're a proper fucking corporate company, with opinions… AR: yeah and I suppose they're allowed to have an opinion, they've got an agenda, in a way that public sector can't for the sake of being biased and fair to all. DP: Do you know what, outsource it. If you've got someone in house like yourself then great, if not, give it to someone like Ear to the Ground, or someone like that. (Dan Parrott, p.7) I think it's the same problem at university with teaching and stuff, and TV and I'm sure everything. There's probably a reason why they're not working in the music industry anymore, because they're out of touch,(Dan Parrott, p.7) PUBLIC SECTOR ENTREPRENEURS AR: Do you think there is a potential that Public Sector bodies could do something good? Or do you think it's too awash with administration and bureaucracy? DP: No no I think absolutely, I mean you're a case in point, really, the fact that you know, they need to listen to someone like yourself a lot more – who is young and interested, and very sort of culturally and socially aware, and also not too biased. Obviously i'm biased as well! If you kind of asked anyone what you should do, they're always going to have an opinion, because of their own music or things like that, but then I just think it needs a little more research (Dan Parrott, p.7) NEW MARKETS AND PUBLIC SECTOR SUPPORT Ken Nelson (Kevin) Rob Swerdlow (Kevin) Penny, she managed to get some funds off UKTI, I think one of the companies that we referred over to Joe, and the Crooks were able to go with a 50% subsidy, and I think Penny was able to get some money from the UK Trade Mission, to go, you know and help along. I think she's come back absolutely buzzing… And would they have been able to do that without funding? Probably not, you know. I remember the Wild Beasts. We put them on last year at the Yorkshire showcase (at SXSW) and again they were struggling with funding. So again, I worked quite closely with the management, and the band, and got them some funding from UKTI. And again, without that you wonder whether bands like Wild Beasts would have – I mean, Ed, the manager, told me they got all their touring off the back of that showcase. So that's a really big thing. They're obviously playing big festivals and got Jools Holland, and I like to think that the SXSW showcase was part of that argument, kind of proved how good they were. It's just really important that the public sector continues to fund this sort of thing. And i'm a bit worried, as we said, that there's a 25% slash happening in this country, and there is going to be problems. There should be more of these missions, you know, getting it out there, not less! (Fulgoni, p.7) PF: I don't work with the most commercial music on CF, so i've been getting a lot of music into film and TV and been getting a lot of money from that.


AR: And how have you broken in to that market? Have you established those contacts yourself? PF: From UKTI trade mission, I guess. I went out to Hollywood (Pat Fulgoni, p.2) AR: so what other things have you been doing as an artist? PF: Well, i've done loads of things, I ended up singing on some tracks through Subliminal Records, AR: So did they contact you? PF: No, not that's another example of going out and meeting people at a trade mission, this time it was Popkomm in Germany. I met the A&R man, Melvin Moore, there (pat Fulgoni, p.4) AR: So what kind of role has public sector been to that? Public sector of course are the people whose remit it is to support and promote the region, so? PF: Yeah, definitely, so UKTI have been really helpful. I've got good links with the International Trade Advisors, AR: And youv'e been on the sync missions? PF: Yeah, Phil Patterson's been really encouraging, and i've worked very closely with him to make sure there was a Yorkshire showcase, which was badly missing from the British scene abroad (Pat Fulgoni, p.6) I mean, if there was no northern presence at SXSW this year it would be a disaster (Fulgoni, p.10) I think artists are quite fragile, and it's quite hard on people if projects don't work. Musicians in their mid 30s or 40s are quite depressed, they've put their life in music and quite often you see them go on these courses and get spat out, dragged through and spat out of these courses, and mentoring, possibly given crap advice, who have probably done less than they have, and who are also harbouring their 5 minutes of fame. And you kind of worry about the negative impact that public sector is having on musicians. You know it does worry me. AR: And do you think that is public sector decision makers, who don't understand the realities of the industry? PF: it's the use of the music industry that worries me, you know. Quite often you see these courses that are there for the good of the organisation that are delivering the courses, as opposed to the good of the student, or the musicians or whatever. That's really worrying (Fulgoni, p.11)


Appendices 15 – 23 Interview Transcriptions Appendix 15 Alan Wills Interview Interviewer: Amalie Roberts Interviewee: Alan Wills Date: 9th February 2010 Location: Deltasonic, Liverpool AR: So thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. I’ve already emailed you about my research topic, is there anything you’d like to ask before we begin? AW: No, no it’s about labels, right? AR: That right, the role of labels in the current music industry climate – AW: Well, you know I think the first thing is, in a recession, a lot of the dead wood is going to be cut out. So in a year, two years’ time you’ll be looking at a very different industry to start with. AR: So a recession can be a positive thing? AW: Yeah, it’s gonna get rid of a lot of the dead wood. Everyone moans about a recession, but actually what it does is makes everyone look at their business, and cut away the dead wood. And if you’re the dead wood then you moan, but if you are dead wood you need to be finding a part where you’re not dead wood, you need be doing something that can be more productive. AR: Leading people to innovate, perhaps leading to new things happening? AW: Of course they will yeah – and it will all be good. Nothing bad will come out of it, only good things will come out of it, as they do in any – you know, evolution is nature’s way of – survival. AR: Cutting the wheat from the chaff, as they say… AW: Yeah it can only be a good thing. Everyone sits around and moans because they all - everyone gets paid really well, they don’t want to lose that… they’ve got their house. They throw all their stuff in, and then they stress out, you know, because they haven’t got answers.. but you know, they’re paid to have answers. So I’ve got no time for these whingers… AR: Mm-hmm? AW: I’ve got no time for whingers… they should…. If they’re driving the ship, if you’re driving the Titanic, you’ve got to at least know how to avoid the iceberg, you know what I mean you know, and these guys have driven right into the iceberg, and instead of being sacked, they’re still in charge.


AR: Mm-hmm? AW: They’re just trying to reverse out, and the ship’s sinking, and they’ve got to realise, you know what? That ship isn’t going to work anymore. You need to get another ship, and it’s going to be a better ship. AR: OK AW: You know but that one doesn’t work, and you can sit there and you can bail out as much as you want but – it’s sinking and you know, it’s past the point of no return, and that’s called The Record Business. You know, but who cares? Records are still going to be very, very important, in the future. AR: What role do you think they’ll play? AW: Well, records are still the thing that, that people, you know, I don’t know anyone that has got in to a band because of a gig, or a piece of merch, or – you get into a band because someone says ‘check this record out’ – so records are still going to be the fundamental tool to break an artist, but, what records have become is this pollution, they’re – it’s like – everyone thinks they should have a record – and so many people via? That position, most people have no taste and they’re making all these records that should never be made, so they’ve become like a pollution really. So hopefully the system will get it down so there’s a lot of - you know, you’ll always have that horrible pop market out there,… to be honest the craft of pop is quite high as well because most of the bands are a lot older, so at least they know what they’re doing but you know I think, what’s going to die off is the second and third tier of indie music, the second and third of indie music that should have never got deals in the first place the Maximo Park’s and all these people they wont be really doing anything in the future, because they shouldn’t have done anything in the fucking first place. You know, so , I think but if you’re led Zeppelin or you’re, or you’re the White Stripes, or you’re The Strokes, or you’re the you know, the Arctic Monkeys, you’re going to – you’ll always do OK. That business will always be there. There you go, you don’t need any more do you! AR: There you are, yeah! Sound byte! AW: What is it you’re studying again? AR: It’s an MSc in Music and Creative Industries Management. AW: Right. Academic music industry stuff. Right. AR: Do you think it’s something you can’t learn? AW: I don’t think it’s going to do you any harm. If you’re shit, you’ll still be shit, and if you’re good, it can only help you get better, you know. I mean, well, I’ve got a mate, mine and Dave’s [Pichilingi’s] mate called Simon Duffy, who I ring up all the time about stuff because he used to lecture in the music business, and, he just a hive of information about that sort of boring shit that you don’t want to have to carry around with you. You know, so if I’ve got sort of you know’ so how does that work’ ah ok thanks, I used to work with him and you know, I’m much better at – I can kind of speak to him in the morning, and say, how does this work, right, and I can apply it in the afternoon, and do it ten times better than he can – he’s not very good at applying it. Where I don’t really need to carry the information I’m


just good at applying it do you know what I mean? AR: Mmhmm AW: Because you see, the whole problem with the industry is very,very simple, when I started it was an entrepreneurial business, which is why the computer business is fucking flying, or why Apple are flying, and they’re an entrepreneurial company, you know, or why yahoo are flying or or why Bill Gates’s company is flying – they keep the entrepreneurial spirit, where that’s gone in the music business. And that’s why we’re in so much trouble. That it hasn’t got any elements whatsoever of entrepreneurialism, all the guys at the top, are guys who have never taken a chance, they’ve got a job, gone in, and then they think, ‘ooh I’m safe here, I’ll rise through the ranks, I’ll – they really don’t know what the answer is. I mean the answer for Universal it’s just – everyone’s always going to buy water – get into utilities, have something that people need, because people don’t need music. So if you’ve got that side then you can fund that, so I think Universal will be around for a long time. The other companies haven’t got that you know but Warners have restructured their debts department so they’ve got six years where they don’t have to pay their debts they’ve got a six year break. Before they have to pay it back AR: OK AW: Whatever it is, a billion pounds. AR: And what do you think they’re doing in that period, in that space? AW: What I think they’ll probably have to do is have to find a new model, but at the end of the day they’re not going to find a new model, I don’t think they’re going to find a new model and that their share price is going to go back up to what it was – they’re still going to have a shit load of debts on top of them, that are going to be far in excess of what the company is going to be worth, I think you know. So if the value of every company dropped by 50% that seems to be a fair thing by me but er, if you’ve got, you know a billion pounds of debt, that means you owe 500m which doesn’t exist in the value of your property any more. So it’s not a good place, you basically have to liquidate all that company you’ve got to think you know, fuck this shit AR: Start again? AW: Call it a day, find something else and buy the assets cheap – so , I think that’s what’s going to happen there. But you never know. EMI are in a lot more trouble, but um, that’s because the guys came into that business who didn’t know what they were doing, thought they could operate in the way a normal business works, and you just can’t because it’s not like you-you bought a brand that’s like Persil washing liquid, where you can go right, you got Persil, you know we can do better than, Daz, you know, what ever the other leading washing powder is, what we gotta do is, you know, we’ve gotta ramp up our ad campaign, we’ve gotta get a couple of people in the ad campaign that people recognise, we’ll plough money into ads and then we’ll sell more, and get our revenue up, it doesn’t work like that with music, you can pump all the money you want into ads but it doesn’t mean people are going to buy it. So you are safer buying in to washing products, or a toothpaste, or products that have got household value - are needed products and a product that has got a history of sales, do you know what I mean, like Golden Wonder crisps used to be big crisps, now Walkers are, I’m sure if someone got hold of Golden Wonder and pumped a load of money in to it.


AR: Mmhmm AW: and made sure that the taste was great, I’m sure they could ramp it up. Do you know what, Golden Wonder would be you know, up there with Walkers again. It’s just a case of marketing, but music isn’t just a case of marketing. AR: And do you think that in terms of the labels, they’ve just got to be absolutely spot on about getting good A&R? AW: Exactly [Pause] AR: Do you think A&R are the only real interaction between the label and the band - speaking the bands language AW: But also, don’t forget, most A&R people don’t speak the band’s language – they’re all fucking wankers as far as I’m concerned, you know there are a couple of the guys who are good, but most of them are what I technically term – shit bags, do you know… and what I mean by that is they get themselves into a position where they’ve got a mortgage, they’ve got this, and they they’re just like school teachers, you know school teachers are horrible and they all hate their jobs, but they do it because they’ve got a mortgage, well A&R men are pretty much the same, they all hate their job, they all hate the business they’re in, they moan about it and bitch about it all day long, but yet they do it because they’re getting really well paid, and I’d fucking sack the fucking lot of them tomorrow, and I’d go right you’re all on percentage of the profits you bring in, AR: Commission based? AW: Commission based yeah. Unless you’re shit hot, and then I’ll put you on a wage, but that would 90% of them would be on a commission basis. And they’d all walk away from the industry tomorrow, because they haven’t got enough balls, or enough self-belief, to know that they’re going to come up with a great band, so that means they haven’t got any entrepreneurial spirit so that means the sooner you fucking get rid of them, the better. Because they’re going to pull the company down. And the sooner the other side, the management side the sort of marketing side the sooner you (put the reigns?) on those dickheads, and say you lot without this, are nothing, because what are you marketing? Thin air. AR: And do you think they understand what they’re marketing? AW: I don’t think they do, and you’ll go away and market the Arctic Monkeys and half the people are going away and trying to market the arctic monkeys and Lamar in the same way, and you go, it’s a totally different thing. And they don’ t quite get it. So you’re arguing with these people who don’t get it. Because they can’t differentiate between culture – all they can do is say, this is a product, a music product, and therefore, you know, most companies go, right where’s your hit single, for radio 1, and you go well I’m really sorry but I didn’t get that that was the only route to goal. I think if most people who ran record companies were football managers they’d still be playing like they did in the late 90s, you know, or the mid nineties, where it was all – you get the ball, you kick it up the field and everyone charges for goal, that’s how England used to play, and that’s what the Europeans didn’t do… and since the Europeans have come in we’ve learnt to play total football, that Spanish and Italian thing, that’s why they’re so much better, that’s why Italian footballers they have so much time on the ball, because they can all play, they’re all in position, and stuff, and we’ve learned to do all that in England and that’s why we’ve got… a good team and we’re probably ranked


for the world cup and we’re doing well. But music business is different, it’s the long ball technique still it’s get – boot it up [the field] and get everyone to chase, or the other one is throw as much shit against the fence as you can, and see what sticks. Yeah, but you know, there’s no . AR: What do you think about music industry conferences? AW: I think they’re all funny. I mean, if I’m getting paid, to go to Dubai, I think they’re great, AR: Mmhmm AW: It depends on the location and whether I’m getting paid to go [laughs]. and if it is, it’s a brilliant conference AR: [laughs] AW: Do you know, I’ll tell you exactly what a music conference is, it’s something to support all the people in the business who don’t generate profit, so – you’ll have PRS, you’ll have MSPRS, you’ll have all these people – you’ll have the things that you’re doing [at Vision+media] you’ll have all these things, but none of them are profit generating, parts of the business. They’re all what I’d call ‘bolt-on’s. and I’m afraid they’ll be the first things to go. because the industry has to build from the inside out, and the inside has to be – where is the profit, where do you make the profit, so where’s the cutting edge of this business - and then everything goes out. And I think that you’ll see you know, a lot of those businesses you know, well – every time I go to a conference, I never see musicians on a panel. You see a load of people on a panel,… AR: mm AW: I see a load of people being paid to go and sit on a panel who are not generating profit. So, you know, I think that’s one of the problems we’ve got. And I said that to Dave [Pichilingi, Festival Director for Liverpool Sound City] and I said, Dave no one on the panel is generating any money but they’re all expecting to take money from the money that is generated [by the festival], the interaction between artist and audience, and it’s the people that generate that money, is getting smaller, and the people that are taking from it, is getting bigger. AR: So – the question is how does it sustain itself? How does the entire music industry sustain itself if the pot is shrinking? AW: And that’s the trouble, it can’t sustain and that’s the trouble we’ve had we have to downsize the industry, which is better – theoretically if you’ve got good people in charge you sack all the idiots, but unfortunately if you’ve got idiots in charge, you sack all the good people. So depending on who is in charge depends on how successful that exercise will be. It could be a really successful exercise and you could have a smaller, and ten times more efficient, and ten times more hardworking and strategic pin pointed accuracy, or you could have a bunch of idiots running around spending money all day, with no idea of how they’re going to make it, that’s it! A bit like the country, do you know what I mean. Let’s say ‘hey let’s spend all this cash, where’s it all come from’ AR: Mm


AW: well it’s not going to come from anywhere we’ll devalue your money by £75b wait – doesn’t that mean we’re just the same off? Yeah! I’m going to pour a glass of whiskey, and I’m going to keep adding water, until, eventually, it’s just water. That’s the music business, that’s where we’re up to! AR: Do you think that there’s something tangibly different about digital marketing that industries can come together to create something new (i.e. the music industry and digital marketing agencies) AW: well, I don’t know about industries coming together but I think that there’s something very different about digital marketing, and I guess the guys who do it really well the guys who have done it – it’s a different medium, does that make sense? You can reach a lot – see, I mean, I guess the problem with what I’m going to call traditional print marketing, is you’ve got the egos of the editors, now I mean there are still egos online but there’s a lot more option on line. And people have got a lot more choice, I mean, you go up to the newsstand and you’ve got Kerrang, NME, RockSound or whatever, you can go online and there’s a whole load more places you can get information because that’s all there is, so I’m guessing that in the future it’s going to be a really really good place. And also that information is instantaneous, if you’ve got a really really hot band, and you get it going online , it can spread, like wildfire, and in 4-5 weeks, it can be everywhere. AR: OK AW: Like the power of blogs, you know, so people have to get on to it then [online marketing]. It’s my theory and my faith in that great stuff gets out there. Do you know what I mean? All you’ve got to do is not fuck it up, and it’ll be ok. AR: Ha, yeah AW: But you know, rubbish that you have to spend months and months and hundreds of thousands of pounds marketing to get it out there, and you know what, the truth of the matter is people are stupid. The bottom line is, that we have to accept, is that the people of England are fucking thick. And once you accept that. And I mean how would I justify that, I’d just go well – I’d justify it relative to this – I’d justify that 17m fucking people watched the X-Factor final now I’d say, you know what, if you have got nothing better to do on Saturday night, than watch fucking XFactor, I’m afraid you’re a fucking dole-out, you know. And it was on in our house, to be honest, you know, I – my little 6 year old was watching it, but I actually give him a break, because he’s six. AR: ha ha AW: and he doesn’t know better. But the X-Factor is a programme that’s based on people who have no X-Factor. If they had X-Factor they wouldn’t be on the fucking programme. You would not get Pink Floyd on there you will not get David Bowie on there, you will not get Aretha Franklin, on these programmes. You will just get Red Coats, Glorified Red Coats, so if you’ve got 17m people watching that, that’s – how would you really know what people want in England. You know they don’t fucking really want that. But because people are easily led, if people make a brilliant album, and it gets out there, and the critics start praising it, my god the Kaiser chiefs sold 2 m albums, because everyone said they’re great, let’s have a go, and it’s fucking rubbish – but my point being, if a band are really good, and they take off, you’ll probably have 20% of the people who buy youre records, love you., and the rest of the


people are just following the pack. And they’ll follow the pack after any piece of shit to be quite honest. And the industry relies on most people buying records, and it’s why you know, I haven’t got a problem with Simon Cowell, at all, because Simon Cowell is a great A&R guy because – he always said ‘im in it to make money’ and he’s doing really well, so fair play to him as far as I’m concerned. But, and I think that what he does do is he highlights how little taste the people of Britain have actually got, that they just you know, we’re in an illegal war, we’re facing an economic disaster and everyone sits round and watches Jedward and… AR: Duping the masses? AW: Exactly. I think the music business now –if you’re in music it’s your duty to get out there and have something to say – and the charts are just full of people who have got nothing to say. So and I guess if bands are coming along that have got nothing to say, then wll, you know what fuck off. At this point in time, if you’re an artist it’s your JOB to reflect society, so it’s your job to do that. AR: OK AW: You know, to be like, this is insanity, you people are watching it [X-Factor] and you know what, the Government can get away with anything as long as you’re watching that shit. You’ve got your back turned and you’re watching anything, you’re not watching the fact that the central bank owns Britain – a privately owned company, you know, it’s just fucking making a fortune, all day every day. So that’s where we are, you know, music is a really. really healthy thing, the general consciousness of man, is not a really healthy place! Because they’re fucking stupid. As far as I can say so. So that’s the paradox. When we started, we were called EVA not Deltasonic, and EVA stood for Entertainment Verses Art, which is the fundamental problem that you’re up against. You know, where does entertainment start and where does art start, d’y’know, where’s that line between the two. Because I think entertainment can be really, really good but mindless bullshit – you know, it’s like fucking Ollie bloody Mayers, can entertain, he can stand up there and do a really shit cabaret version of Supersition, but it’s still, it just a cabaret version of Supersition, it’s not something that’s fulfilling, it’s a bit like a McDonald’s – AR: You just kind of eat it and then feel a bit sick? AW: Exactly, yeah see that’s – well that’s most people, and they’re the same people that would go yeah we should be going to a war – or you know, weapons of mass destruction find them in 45 minutes…you know what Hans Brink is out there, he can find one guy, in the desert, but he can’t find any weapons of mass destruction…OK if you’re honest, if it’s us or them then I support us, we need that oil, the only reason they’re there is for the oil… they don’t want trouble with us, they just don’t’ want to be part of the economic system, but we’re just trying to get in there and fuck them over. AR: So Deltasonic are looking for the next kind of angry act? AW: Well, no I think that the Suzukis (we’ve got a band called the Suzukis) that are like that, they’re like…


AR: They’ve got something to say? AW: Yeah, and I don’t quite know what it is but I can hear - as in, sometimes a band like Nirvana had a – you didn’t really need to listen to the lyrics, it was just about sound and they had a message, and the Suzukis are very much like that, even if you don’t listen to the lyrics, it’s the sound that comes off that band that makes you know – that I like them, that they’ve got something to say – and even though I wouldn’t say they were angry as in angry angry, I think that you hear it and you go, yeah they’re angry – but they’re not trying to be – where you can hear all these Emo bands at the moment that are trying to be angry and they just sound so – they sound like Britney Spears to me – it’s all ProTools, it’s all drum samples, it’s all guitar that sounds the same, it’s all the same boy/ girl lyrics, and it’s just – well, it’s just like X-factor. If Rock and roll was anything at any point that was the spirit of rebellion – I’m an individual I’m Jerry Lewis I’m – Elvis – well now it [rock and roll] has gone the other way, it’s all like – AR: Do you think everyone sounds the same? AW: Yeah, and Led Zeppelin didn’t sound the same, you know, the Beatles and Nirvana didn’t sound the same, whereas everyone now just sounds the same – and it’s to do with bad A&R, lazy A&R and lazy marketing. So the marketing guy – you know – I think those producers produce by numbers, they’re not producers they’re just. A lot of those metal albums are made by the guys and the – they want to DI everything and they put everything on the grid then they re amp the guitars through there, and they just make the same sounding record, all of the time, and I tell you, they’re line managers, these people, not producers, because a producer to me is someone who oversees a project and produces so anyone can do it but I guess if you’re a producer, historically all the people who I respect, try to find the character of the band – the character of the individual, so therefore they’re adding something to the tapestry of the music, but they’re – the producers these days – are just line managers, they’re just told ‘can you make more of that’ and they’re like, yeah don’t worry, we’ve got the system in place, - even 5 totally different guys I can make them sound the same as that. Now that’s another problem the music business goes oh we’re not selling albums, I’m not surprised you know you’re making these records that are – everyone sounds the same, they’ve all got 2 singles, geared at Radio 1, or day time radio, the rest of the album’s crap, it doesn’t’ work as an album, it doesn’t run as an album, it’s also mastered far too loud so you cant’ hear it, and they wonder why people don’t want to fucking buy their records AR: OK AW: well, a really, really good record comes out and people will buy it. And I don’t particularly like Kings of Leon that much, but that record sold 500 000 copies and the one big thing about that record was that it’s not mastered loud, it doesn’t hurt your ears, when you turn it up so at least you can actually hear the individual parts of the record. People are so stupid they’ve actually forgotten they’ve got a volume control if they want to hear it loud… in a digital world, all you’ve got to do is squash the bandwidth, so all that does is push the information down so it makes it hard so there’s no enjoyable sound, there’s no peaks and troughs, you get aural fatigue after track three, it’s tiring your ears. And most people don’t know that because they don’t know the technical side of it. That’s actually what’s happening their ears are going ‘turn that shit off, I can’t stand it’. It hurts! Yeah if you listen to all these classically rock albums that are meant to inspire everyone – they’re not really that loud. But when you turn them up they sound ridiculously loud. It expands, the sound expands as you turn it up, because of the way it’s been mastered. So there’s all these real simple things that you know, people in the music business should know about, but I don’t even know if


they’re aware of it. I really don’t know that they’re aware of it, they’re just fucking morons. You know, I think most of the people in the music industry would, if they could have a piece of X-Factor, they would have it tomorrow. Because they’d be more interested in making money, and they don’t believe that they’re gonna come across the next U2, or the next David Bowie, or the next Nirvana or the next Nat King Cole or, whoever’s great. They just don’t believe, they haven’t got the confidence, that those people are out there. And those people are out there the difference is they’re just not on the X-Factor. They’ve got talent. I tell you where i think all the really, really talented people are - I think they're making cartoons for kids telly! The social commentary, the political awareness.. it’s way further ahead than music. People look at it and think it’s just wacky kids stuff. Once you start combining… the people who do it more are the people who do RAP - not MTV, but MFDoom, they’re on to all that suff. When you wrap it all up, it’s culture and culture is moving on really fast, but music isn’t moving on fast, we’re still trying to sell ice – so that’s one of the main problems. AR: And do you think people are more interested in buying the technology, rather than the music? Or buying other cultural products, like DVDs and video games? AW: Of course they do, - like the film business, that’s been under attack 2 or 3 times, it was under attack when the studio system collapsed, it was under attack with video, but yet it’s still managed to regroup, to put itself back together, and make big, big films, and you get multiplexes where they realise they can sell loads more films and make money selling popcorn, and the films are just part of getting people in, and you know they got it, and the business developed and it changed – and the music business is going to have to do the same thing and groups in the future – they’re going to have to do a deal where… and they won’t do a deal with a record company, but, they’ll do a deal with someone who has a part of the skills of a record company – we know how to break a band, we know how to put a campaign together and market a band and break it, so you’ll do deals with people like that in the future, but all the industries will have gone into one, and you know a lot of what you do will be based on having this incredible live show, you know, and that will be – you know, i.e. that live show will be able to get filmed, and you’ll be at thebecause there’s two things, you can watch the gig live on TV, but I’m not being funny, you know you’ll never replace the experience of being at a gig, and most people still want to be at a gig, but once the gig’s sold out you’ll be able to watch it on television, or watch it – AR: Get it on your mobile afterwards… AW: Yeah , yeah, do you know what I mean, trying to get the gig after on your mobile and all these things, but I think those things will come to the arena, and it will make a really, really good experience for people. But, as we go forward, and only the entrepreneurial people, and I think in the music business in some way, if you look at EMI, or you look at all these big companies, I said the one, the chairman of Sony, “you need to sell now” AR; Mm-hmm AW: To Microsoft or someone – someone who understands technology, Apple, someone who understands it, comes, you know, is going into the future, and understands the future, you can’t have a company run by people that don’t understand the future, it’s like a blind man driving a car, you have to have people who understand the medium of transport in the future, the medium of transport in the future is not trucks…haha, you know what I mean, driving down the motorway with bits of plastic, it really is, it’s a totally different mode of transport, and it’s instantaneous, and it’s worldwide at once, and I guess people who really understand that they’ll– there’ll be kids that come out now


at sixteen, leaving school, who in ten-fifteen years time will be multimillionaires, out of the music business but it wont be out of a singular record business, or recording, it’ll be out of the music business and still do really well. And you know, you know fortunes will be made and fortunes will be lost and you know music will still play a part in culture, but I think in order for it to play a part in culture, people are going to wake up and they’re going to go and follow culture, they’ve got to start having something to do with culture, because you know everyone is so dependent on the relationships between man and woman, boy and girl, or love and hate, that is the theme, if you if you watch – you know if you listen to the top fucking 40, nearly every song will be dealing with that theme, where there’s a lot more themes to deal with, if that makes sense. Kids TV deals with so much more, AR: Ha ha, I’m going to have to start watching some! AW: Yeah [laugh] you should check it out, it’s amazing. AR: Amazing? AW: yeah, yeah it really is, you’ll sit there for hours and you go, ah music’s boring, compared to this, this is really on the ball! AR: [Laughs} I’m gonna write a theme tune for this [kids tv show] AW: I’ll tell you, just write a cartoon! I always though The Coral [band managed by Alan and signed to Deltasonic] should do that – should have a cartoon series, that’d be much better – AR: Like The Monkeys? AW: Yeah, yeah, well The Coral the cartoon series would be much better than The Coral the band – because you’ve got – AR: they could do everything they’ve always wanted? AW: Well they can, I mean you watch The Coral – they make loads of films, The Coral, and when you watch all that stuff, I think, what people love about The Coral, is a lot more alive, in the other things they do than the music, sometimes. AR: Mm-hmm? AW: It’s a lot more the general insane conversation they have than the live music sometimes. AR: OK AW: You know [pause] but I guess… AR: So my next question – do you see Deltasonic as an independent label?


AW: No. But we are AR: How do you define the difference? AW: Um. I’d say an independent label is a label that’s responsible for its/ debts, AR: Mm-hmm? AW: That’s it. You’re independent and responsible for your debts. No one’s ‘independent’ if that makes sense. Cos we’re all interconnected, so we’re all interdependent, so I’d see us as an interdependable label [laughs] – than an independent label. I don’t think an independent label exists, we’re all interdependent, you know, and I’d say that I’d much rather be interdependent with someone with a lot of money, so we can afford to make mistakes, so – that’s why it was really really good when we were with Sony for seven years, and that’s why we will definitely next year do another deal, of that sort, The reason we came out of the Sony deal was, they spent about 18 months trying to get us to extend our contract, and I think, I got to the point at the end where it wasn’t anything like the deal that we’d agreed to go in on, it was not like the people – the people had all gone, there was a whole new set of people, and I felt that I couldn’t work there, and um, {pause] I guess there was maybe other avenues to go down, and improve, our um, what’s the word I’m looking for… method of work there. But I’d had enough, and I was like, no we need to get out, and I’m confident we’ll come up with something really good. And also, I got to that point where I thought, do you know what I’m too, our family are too reliant on the music business. So, last year, was more an exercise in ‘we need to shift our family reliance’ in to other businesses. So that’s why we started other businesses, and in the last couple of weeks we’ve got that – so we’re now not reliant on music anymore, so everything that we’ve got, and everything that we own, all our debts, all our bills, all the – everything is paid for by other businesses now. It’s not paid for – I took a year to sort of change. AR: OK AW: And, you know, we had to invest quite a bit of money in that, but now all that balances and it works really well – AR: u-huh AW: but um [pause] AR: So that gives you the creative freedom to – AW: Not have to do it. But the point is we would do it. Because I don’t see the point in – well, I realise that all that you own is your debt. It’s just rubbish, d’ya know what I mean, and I’d much rather work with people that are bigger, ad OK you gain and you lose. But I think what you – as long as you – as long as you’re good at what you do, and they and you’re successful, I mean, a major label will only come down on you if you’re not selling records. That’s the truth of the matter. You know when we were selling loads of records at Sony it was always fine. It was just at the end, that I felt that the people there didn’t get what I wanted to do. And were always poking their noses in and I just thought, you know what I’ll never make the records I want to make with these people, I’ll move. And id rather sign the next deal with those records because I think they’ll be successful., and the reason we disappeared was everything


they thought of was Radio 1 – ‘where’s your singles’, we’re not really making singles at the moment we’re trying to make albums,. ‘no, we need hits for Radio 1’, ‘well, I don’t think you do, I think Radio 1’s a destination – you end up at radio 1, it isn’t the starting point, of your campaign, it should be the destination, it should be where, you know, if by the second album, everyone’s raving about it, Radio 1 should be going like, we have to play this band because everyone else is talking about it, and they’ve achieved all the success without us, we’d better get on it now, you know, and, I think Kings of Leon, I guess, you know, had a little bit on the first album, second album not much, third album not much, fourth album loads of Radio 1. You know, they – Kings of Leon are a really good example of a band that, when that record came out, it came in to the Sony offices – and it was made in America. No one in Sony liked it, if it was made in England they would have never made that record because they would have said ‘where’s your singles for Radio 1, we’re not putting it out’. AR: OK AW: So that band would never have gone on and been big. And once that I realised that, oh I’m right here, these people are fucking idiots, I need to get out of the building now, because I guarantee you they would have never let that album come out in Britain. It was just that it was an American branch so it had to come out. And they broke without any singles. Because that album worked and the album worked on a big level. So, yeah I would definitely work with somebody else in the future, but I don’t know who. AR: So you’d have to find the right people? AW: Yeah. But that’s the quote. No one is independent, everyone is interdependable. AR: nice [laughs] AW: there you go – just came up with it!

AR: The other thing, I suppose, the main crux of my dissertation, really is, do bands, do acts, need labels and if so, what for? AW: No. Bands don’t need labels they need money. So it doesn’t really matter where it comes from. It’s money and experience. Or money and the ability to focus on the job. So whether you’re called a bank, or whether you’re called a record label, or whether you’re called a rich Arab, or a drug dealer, I don’t really think it matters. I only think that you’ve got two things, one is you’ve got the money to do the job, and 2 you’ve got the experience and the know-how to do the job. So no, a title like a record label is totally unimportant. But the two qualities are important, finance, and the ability to know how to do the job. Yeah. So – the point I would pull out – if a manager came in who was very rich, and wanted to put his money on the table – a band wouldn’t need a record label. The manager could do it. He could set up a big record company in the band’s name, he could put all the rights in their name and I think the future model will be based on management – not record companies. I think the manager will come in, but I think Warner Brothers or all these people will become super management companies, in the future. And the band will sign a management deal with them, and I think the records and the publishing and the, er the agency and everything, will be managed by the management company. Which is Universal Management would be that, and the whole business would be a


transparent business. I don’t’ see this 360 deals working as bolt-on’s to the already existing record deal, I think that’s just – because the record deal was a totally unfair deal. Totally weighted on the side of the record company, as long as the record company don’t get publishing, don’t get live, and don’t get merch. So, the record company would put all the money in, they’d make the record, they’d do everything to break the band, and they’d break the band, they’d pay all the marketing, so all that would happen, it’s the sort of people looks unfair, but it’s not, because they’re breaking this band and they’re getting one income stream, and they’re only getting that for making 5 albums, by this time, like the Rolling Stones might have gone on for 40 years, and they’re making millions and millions of pounds, and Decca who started out with them don’t get any of that money. So the record deal is a totally fair arrangement, given on the old business practice. But on the new business practice, it would be to carry that deal in, would be an unfair thing, because you want the artist to put the other things in the arena, as well. So it will have to go back to basically a joint venture. All costs would go to the label and then 50/50 split and then the more money that’s made the more the split would go stronger in favour of the artists, I think that’s how it will end up, that would be the best deal for the artist, and then what will the record company be – well there won’t be any .. their own business, there won’t be a sort of turnover pipeline income business, which most people are. Do you know what I mean? So um, yeah that’s it. That’s what I think about that. I think it will be an interesting time. AR: OK, thanks. AW: Does that answer that? AR: That’s brilliant thank you AR: In terms of signing acts, in Deltasonic, is there a certain level of activity that you would expect an artist or an act to be at before you’d look at them? Or would you go in, right from the grass roots? AW: No we’d go in right from the grass roots. AR: And why is that? AW: Because, you see, recessions are a great time to sign a band, because most people aren’t signing so you can get a band that in a buoyant climate would just walk in to 200K and you can pick them up for nothing, because people don’t want to take a chance. But you know, in order to sort of benefit from that, you have to be able to spot it early and go in early. Now that’s not [to say] that we always get it right. But we get it right more than we get it wrong, which is more than most people do. Most people really get it wrong about – what, you know, they get it right one in twelve times, you know, we’re above 50%. You know sometimes, so we do a lot better than most people. But we have to. As well um, no you see I think, the further up, the further up the ladder they are, the more activity, the more people are on it, and then there comes a point where, the other thing is there’s a tipping point, where everyone wakes up one morning and goes ‘yeah, that band are going to happen’ and then suddenly all sanity goes out of the window, and people start offering that band stupid fucking money. [pause] so AR: So actually getting in lower and sooner is better? AW: Yeah well, I think a really good example was La Roux. Who went into Universal, or a mate of mine took them into Universal, could have got the deal for £20K, they were like yeah we like it what’s the story, - well, there is no


story, it’s just two kids in a bedroom. They were like, well we need a story. Anyway about 8 weeks later they had to fight off every other company and paid £250K for the same deal. And they were quite happy to do it. So I guess you could write the other £230K down as a marketing expense. But you know. But you know, I still think it’s like, if you’re gonna do that why have any A&R men, you know it’s not like, you know – all you need is a monitor. Someone to sit there and go, that band are getting really hot, what are they like? I really don’t know – throwing money at bands is not applying any skill. It’s like, ‘that football player’s worth £10m, brilliant, put him in the team, can he play? Ah well I don’t know he’s expensive, everyone else wants him, let’s have him. AR: And do you think that’s what happened prior to the recession, then, it was just getting a bit – do you think it was getting a bit oversaturated? AW: Well, no what you have to remember is that the whole business fails on one thing – the guys who are MD’s of these companies have got 3 year contracts. And in that 3 year they have to have success. So how do they do that? To get success they spend money, because they know if they’re out at the end of 3 years, if they’re – so they’ll just spend money so that – the best guy to get a deal from is the guy who is just started, come to the end of year 2, of his contract, hasn’t had a hit, that guy will pay you fucking stupid money, if you’ve got something hot. Because he’s thinking, I’m out in a year, I mean that’s what fucking – and if you know anything you can work these people out, does that make sense? If you can help them they’ll do anything for you. So you know. But yeah so the music business is a fucking – it’s a male dominated old-boy network, anyway. Do you know –it’s jobs for the boys. And for years and years and years, people who should have been sacked, have just been moved sideways, in to other jobs, because they’re mates with so and so or went to school with him , we signed that band together years ago, so we’ll put you in this job’ AR: OK AW: You know it’s all: ‘he’s alright, he’s in the club’ and – the fucking – EMI ended up in the state it is, because of the old boy club. They were all in the old boy club. I mean I think their flower bill was £750K a year. Which just means basically the cocaine bill. D’y’know what I mean. It was like ‘flowers, £750,000 – fuck off. AR: OK AW: You know what I mean? Lawyers in this business make too much money, any contract is run by a lawyer, you know and they’re all – you know, where more people should learn to understand contracts themselves. If people could write contracts who aren’t lawyers… you could say ‘oh I understand that, that’s fine’. AR : Could you, say, send it to the Musicians Union, can’t you, and they can look over it for you? AW: Yeah, but not if you’re a major. MU will do it if you’re a smaller label. But they’re not gonna do it if you’re that big. No. AR: Next question: Have you noticed any changes in the number of acts you’ve signed at Deltasonic, because of capacity, or other reasons? Or have you stayed consistent?


AW: I think it’s all dependent on what we think is good at the time. AR: Dependent on whatever talent is out there? AW: I wouldn’t say it’s market demand, it’s the opposite, it’s how much stuff is around in the market that we can get our hands on that we think is good. AR: And how many people have you got signed at the moment? AW: errrr [counts] one… two… Carl, the Suzukis, errrrr matt Gregory, whose sort of not doing anything at the moment but is going to next year, he sounds great… oh god, what else!? 3 or 4 signed and then about 3 or 4 about to be signed. So, yeah 2 oe 3 or 3 or 4 things that we’re about to do this year. I think we’ll end up with 7 things next year. AR: Great. And do you think – will you stay just you and Caroline [office manager] or do you think you’ll sort of look to expand your staff? AW: It’s, well, no it’s me, Caroline, Anne and Joe. AR: OK AW: Four of us really. AR: OK AW: But then, it can become a lot more than that. Because then it’s like when we bring the promo people in there’s a load more – AR: it’s like you say, its interdependent? AW: Yeah it’s a –you know, what you see is 4 people in the office because we’ve cut it right down… AR: Yeah AW: Because you know I think that we don’t really need any more – but then as, as things are more successful you get more people. AR: You pull people in, don’t you, and create a little hub? AW: Yeah and at the moment we’ve got bands touring you know – then you’ve got stupid amounts of people you know what I mean, but you know it all runs from – me basically. AR: Mm-hmm?


AW: You know, a record company is only one thing, it’s usually – well with Deltasonic it’s all about me. AR: Mm hmm AW: And that’s not in an ego way, it’s just sort of about – what do I think I should be doing. If I stopped doing it tomorrow Deltasonic wouldn’t exist. Do you know what I mean, and it’s like any label that’s like us is all about one person, who’s got [pause] AR: A vision? AW: No, no, well, a vision and an ego! AR [Laughs] AW: And that’s the truth, that everyone has! You know, because you have to have some sort of ego [pause] you have to have equal amounts of confidence and stupidity. To do it well. That’s what I think. It’s isn’t all confidence it’s stupidity as well. So you have to have equal amounts of that, and then you just have to have a feeling about why you think what you’re gonna do is right, and so – I can back up anything that I say with knowledge or theory, that goes back a long way. And understanding cycles and how cycles work, so – you basically, we’re basically gambling. It’s like gambling on horses. When you gamble on a horse and you know what you’re doing, you increase the odds. It’s like gambling on music. The more knowledge you’ve got, you increase the odds. That’s all it is, it’s – definitely people that are like me, all have a predisposition, to sort of take risks. In their lives. AR: Mm-hmm AW: Do you know what I mean? I – I think as you get older you have a natural disposition to sort of not take risks, much, well - I haven’t come across that yet [Smiles]. AR: [Laughs] AW: You know what I mean? AR: Just keep going? AW: I’m hoping that at some point – you know, I’m 48 now so you know – I’m hoping at some point I’ll sort of slow down, and stop, stop wanting to take risks, mm. Most people who are like me don’t stop – just carry on doing it. AR: Yeah I can imagine so. AW; You know, as well as our assets, weigh out what we’re gambling with, you know, I don’t mind. AR: So what do you offer in terms of artist development/ advances, like you mentioned matt Gregory is not doing much at the moment –


AW: you know what, I think what we do in terms of artist development is – like, we talk to the artist and we just go, I think this will be a good idea, and they go ‘yeah’ or they go ‘no’. AR: Mm-hmm AW: I don’t know what artist development is. AR: I suppose it’s just – what a lot of people are lamenting the loss of, in the kind of traditional label structure dropping, is – a lot of people are saying that there’s no money for artist development, - a lot of people are saying ‘well, I’m holding down a job, and I’m creating all of this music and I’m doing it all of my own back’ until somebody sweeps down and takes part of that cost – AW: Yeah but I think – I guess the truth of the matter is that in Europe, artist development doesn’t need money. Artist development is just someone talking to someone else and just developing ideas. The idea that that needs to be financed is just fucking stupid AR: mm-hmm? AW: That, that might need to be in a studio every now and again, but we certainly don’t need to finance live, and you certainly don’t need to take people off the dole or – if they’re on the dole you know, I’ll tell you this much – fact of life – most musicians who will be successful will not be on the dole. They’ll be working. They’ll have a job and they’ll do it as well. And basically because they’re people who get it together. AR: Yeah AW: So all this culture which is massive in Liverpool, of people who sit around and get stoned all day and hang out on the dole, do you know what, they’ll still be doing that in ten or fifteen years time, - I’ve got 20 years experience, of looking back to me, when I was in that position, and they were all my mates, and most of the ones who were like ‘yeah man it’s all cool let’s get stoned or ‘ – they’re all AR: still there? AW: all doing the fucking same thing! AR: mmm. AW: They’re like the ones who did it, so you know, I have the analogy of this, if you get a group of 5 kids and send them to Iraq. And you get a group of 5 kids and leave them in the house, and say look you just stay on £50 a week, for the rest of your life, until you get out – who do you think is going to get their act together first? I think I’ll guarantee you it’ll be the fellas in iraq because they’re going – look someone’s trying to kill me, I’m getting out of here’ they’ll be writing songs every day, and they’ll get it together, and the guys sitting on the dole, you know what, they’ll just hang out in town or fucking drink coffee but talk shit. And they’ll listen to their Pink Floyd records and their – and they won’t bother practising, and guess what, they’ll be crap. AR: Mm-hmm


AW: yeah, all the people I know, who are really good, are all really hard working, whether they’re doing music or not. They just get it together. And they’ll be successful in some form or another. So you can’t take the success gene out of music. As in, it’s not like a separate business where you go – you know, I hate that American analogy of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. But it is right. It’s just that I’d rather call it the success gene, you know, as in people who are destined to be successful, you can’t remove that. You know. The music business isn’t a separate business. That is like, ‘oh that’s not how it works. You know it’s like hey he’s really great at playing guitar -well if he has, you know guess what if he hasn’t got a success gene then he’s not gonna fucking get there. AR: He’s not going to get out of the bedroom? AW: No, because also, they have to have an ability, like I said, everything is interdependent,. You know a lot of bands they’re full of people who have egos who don’t think that they need other people. And the truth of the matter is to be in a group is, to get on stage and play, it’s a fucking group thing. And now because technology’s got to the point where you’re ‘oh I don’t need to rehearse and play in the studio I can get a drum machine I can do this’ – it’s got these people who’ve got this – think they’re so far they can do it on their own, and they really can’t. they create this vacuum, where they don’t have anyone around them, don’t have anyone of peers to tell them – to argue with them. So they just disappear up their own arse, even faster. You know and I think that’s why, it’s like, why the Beatles were a great group. Because they had Ringo Starr in who might not have been the most talented guy, within the group, but I think it was a huge part of keeping the lines of communication[open] because he was always friendly with everyone. And he was never the one causing the problems. AR: OK AW: I –I –I think The Zutons made a big mistake when they got rid of [drummer]. Because, you know, in the band, everyone would be getting pissed off with him now and again, but you know you take that away and everyone’s getting, pissed off with each other. It was chaos. But it worked, with him in the band, and when he’s not in the band it doesn’t work as well. AR: OK AW; And it you know you can’t quantify it you can just say ‘it works’. And then you take him out and you go ‘it doesn’t work’. That’s all you need to know. So yeah, the success gene is no different to whether you wanna run a record company, you know, there’s loads of people who are who know a lot more than I do about music or do that, but they’ll never get off their arse and there’s people out there who are running record companies who are terrible dicks but they have got a lot of success gene! And they work hard, and they do that and they get themselves into a position. And everyone else would go ‘prick’ moan about it, but then they’re not going to do anything… AR: Do you think that’s entrepreneurialism? AW: Yeah, it’s a bit like the Government, you know, what I mean, the people who are in power are not the guys who should run the country, but the guys who turned up and got their names on the voting list! AR: OK


AW: They turn up because they want it. You know and I guess that’s where we’re at. So I think that you have to turn up for one, and you have to be prepared to put your ass on the line, and do it. But um, you know if an artist is causing problems, fuck him off straight away. Because they always will cause problems – it’s just in their gene. They’ve all got a problem gene. Do you know – and it’s like, people think that if they’re in the music business they can go ‘I’m in the music business and therefore, I have a problem gene, and everyone has to accept it.’ No. get rid of them because they’ll always be a fucking problem. And even if they’re amazing they might make one good record, but they won’t continue doing it. Because in order to continue doing it, it’s a very different skill do you know what I mean? Because you’re not always inspired, you’re not always feeling like great, but you go over it again and again –it’s like great footballers, they’re not the kids who were amazing at 5 or 7, they’re the ones who were – the ones who work hard and when it gets to 14 and they can go out and they can do this that and the other, and they’re still working hard. And they’ve got that attitude. They’re the ones who come through. There’s a load of kids who you meet at school, great players, who don’t make it, and it’s because they haven’t got that thing. And it applies to music. You know. I guess the people on X-Factor have got a lot of that. They want it.\ AR: And do you think they know what it is that they want? AW: No they’re – they don’t know what they want, you know, it’s like, yeah I like Olly, the other night, ‘what song do you want to do over the past 60 years? Oh, Twist and Shout. Twist and Shout?? So you want to do a fucking Beatles cover? Like – fuck off! You obviously haven’t got a clue about music. Or a clue about anything. But you want to be – what do you want? ‘what do you want Olly?’ ‘I want to be an International superstar’. What the fuck does that mean? Yeah, not like, I want to be remembered because I write great songs, or I did this – I want to be an international superstar – vacuous morons. Seems like a nice enough guy! But you know, if he was my son I’d slap him around the face AR: Laughs AW: If you wanna be an international superstar, go and kill Tony Blair. You’ll be an international superstar straight away. Go and kill a few people, you’ll get really famous, but you know, that’s what we’ve got - we’ve got a culture where, which is full of people who are – they should be famous for murdering people, not for doing art. Because they don’t do it very well. What they do is they stalk celebrity really, really well. So I’d say they were stalkers, they’re celebrity stalkers, not that they stalk other celebrities, they stalk their own celebrity. They go round and all they want is celebrity, so they’ll do anything to get celebrity. Do you know, it’s honest to God, it’s like… I can’t wait until they bring back throwing Christians to the lions, that’ll be Simon Cowell’s next hit show. And honestly it’d be big! When Simon Cowell – and you’ve have Dermott O’Fucking Leary, and that stupid bitch who does um, Davina McColl, they’ll be on it, talking to the Gladiators before they go in the ring, do you know what I mean, Simon Cowell will just be a fat fucking guy, just there giving the thumbs down. AR: [laughs] in a in a toga AW: Toga yeah. But you know what it’d be a big show, it would be much, much, much bigger than fucking Xfactor. X Factor’s on – or, or live death! Live Russian roulette on the telly. It would be massive. I tell you it would be huge. AR: So, just one last question, which is probably more cultural really, do you think that there’s going to be any act that can have the longevity of the bands – of previous years


AW: YES AR: OK! AW: Yes, is the short answer to that. Yeah, without a doubt. Bands, you know, you’ve just got to be good. You know I think people have got to raise their game, they’ve got to be good, um, and they’ve just got to go for it. I think the biggest problem you’ve got now is that everyone wants your band to be really successful and really – but quite often a lot of the bands that are around now, say REM was on album five, yeah they broke but they weren’t really big, U2 weren’t big until album 5, these bands they have had time to grow. And so I think that what you have to do is you have to get the economics right, the problem you’ve got now is a band who come along whose good, everyone will give them too much money. The first album sells a 150, it’s seen as a failure, where selling 60 on your first album should be seen as a massive success. But you have to balance the economics. So you have to go, you know if we sell 60 odd albums first time are we happy, yeah, great, now if we do 100 on the second we’re happy – yeah. We do 300 on our third, we’re all happy? Yeah, ok well let’s balance those books, to see what… may… or and we do a deal based on that. Then that buys everyone the time and they’re looking at that like, ok we’re gonna put this money down, and we’re gonna fund you for 4 or 5 years, to do this. And we don’t think we’re gonna lose money at the end of it because of the way we’re running the economics. Where managers are like ‘ah no we want all this money up front’. So you’ve gotta look at lawyers and you’ve gotta look at managers, as two of the biggest problems that we’ve got because they’re trying to up-road everything so everyone tries to you know – and people in bands, you know, they’re like blah blah blah been strumming away on this shit guitar for years and now everyone wants a piece of me, fuck it I’m gonna get as much money as I can. So they get as much money as they can and they haven’t – and then the record company goes, well where are your hits and they go, well I haven’t got any. You fucking cunts you want hits – well, we’ve just given you 300,000 quid, what did you think that is, a fucking art grant?? Fucking wanker. You know what I mean? It’s like. Give us me fucking money back. So they start moaning, where, I guess, if you’re a band who sign a deal, and you get 30 grand, you know people aren’t asking for a hit, because they’re going well, look, we can put them out, we can do an internet thing, we can start – and like Fleet Foxes. I don’t think anyone has ever had a weird conversation with Fleet Foxes, because their deal was structured in such a way that there wasn’t a lot of money upfront, you know, and they’ve ended up selling 700,000 records, and they’ll be a band that’ll have – be around for a bit. And I think another band that will be around for a bit is Arcade Fire. Both of those bands are in a position where they can make an album two or three albums time they’ll go absolutely fucking massive. But a band that signs a huge fucking 300,000 record deal with a major label on their first album goes in the charts at number one – have they got a chance? No. because the stakes are far too high. The press is far to high. And, [pause] history proves that most bands that come through and have a long career, you know, don’t sort of, become massive straight away. Rolling Stones, see everyone forgets about the Rolling Stones they were not really massive worldwide until about the 70s. They were fairly big, but they weren’t huge, it was later on that they got really big. The Beatles were always really big, Zeppelin went big quite early on, but a lot of bands, they grow in that period, of time, does that makes sense? And you know, we think that – in England we think of the Stones and go, ah the Stones were always massive but no they weren’t. REM were never really big in America,. You know. They got to a point, but they were never huge in America. But they’re big in Europe, it’s a different thing. Depeche Mode became a really big band but it took them about 5 albums. So bands that can get there – Springsteen, he broke on the third album, but he didn’t get really big until Born in the USA, which was huge. You know, so these people they develop into this, it’s not something that is arrived. And I think quite often if you get there overnight, as a character it’s very hard for you to quantify that level of success, from zero to that. And the G-force of going from nothing to that, in a matter of nine months, it’s quite hard…


AR: They haven’t learnt that – that craft? AW: Yeah and you have to go from 200 to 500 to 1000 to 2000 do you know what I mean, and you get confidence and you - you’ve also got to you know build up and when you’ev played in a venue you understand how that venue works and you start writing music that you think, like U2 write music that works at a 50,000 level. That’s what they do. And you know no one does that these days. AR: Mm. AW: You know there’s – it’s just not going to work – Coldplay, all mid-tempo, it’s not stuff that works at big venues, you know. Also with a voice that works that gets above the mid-range you know that’s like a higher type of voice that cuts. All those bands all have a vocalist that sits above the band, not one that sits in the middle, it’s like The Doves, the problem with The Doves, is they’ve got that big sound-scapes but his voice sits right in the middle so its – doesn’t ride about it,. But all those bands that are great the voice sits right above it, even Elbow, his voice can go right up above it, so the voice floats effortlessly above it, that sounds. People don’t even get down to the simple technicalities, like what works. How does it work as a set. And like any business development is developing the song-writing, you know the – are they just writing songs for stadiums, they’re just writing stadium rock – well YEAH? … that’s what they do, that’s their business. They’re a live band and they play stadiums. Of course. I’m not being funny it’s like being an actor, and you’re doing a 5,000 seater, and not be willing to project your voice. Of course you’re willing to project your voice, of course you are , that’s you’re job. But when you’re a musician people forget that – forget how it works at that level. It’s like Pink Floyd, work at that level, incredibly well, because you’ve got this sort of slow to mid-tempo stuff with a voice that can just sit on the top, and they just happen to be amazing, so you can sort of hear a band that’s going to… there’s another band that everyone has just got excited about about a month ago called Chapelblood? That’s the same, everyone going oh this could be – no it’s not. AW: so is that everything, are we done? AR: yeah, yeah that’s great fantastic, thank you for your time. AW: OK great! [Recording Ends]


Appendix 16 Interview with Alice Morrison Interviewee: Alice Morrison Interviewer: Amalie Robers Date: 16th July 2010 Location: Vision+Media Offices AR: I’ll just explain my research topic to you… I know I’ve touched on it before, but to recap – AM: yeah AR: I’m looking at the idea of cultural entrepreneurship, how new technologies are supporting people in the music sector, to enter the music industry; and there has been talk of the redundancy of the major labels. Can public sector step up to that mantle and take on the responsibilities, financial, admin, or networking? Whether public sector can do that! I’m going to interview you, and I’ve interviewed Kevin, to get more of an in depth view into public sector from the inside, including your HR and recruitment strategies, from the inside. So , first of all – can you give me a little bit of background about you, your career, and how you’ve ended up here in the public sector? AM : Sure – this is my first public sector job, and before that I’ve worked across different media. I started off in publishing, so I worked in magazines. I started off in Dubai, in the Middle East, and I worked on a publication – What’s On out there, now a multi million pound business, and my old boss is still there, he wants me back I think! So I started off there, when I left school. Then I went to university and did a degree in Arabic, and taught English in the middle east for two years and improved my Arabic until I became fluent. Then I came back to Britain and didn’t know what to do, so I did another degree – post grad, and got a job on an Arabic/ African magazine group, because I had publishing experience from before, and fluent Arabic. Then on the back of that, they were staring up an Arabic English TV channel in London, the precursor to Al Jazira I guess, called NBC they wanted native – British people who spoke Arabic, so I applied… they interviewed me as a presenter but my Arabic wasn’t good enough, embarrassing interview, really dreadful! But I got hired as a researcher and I progressed quite quickly. At that time I went freelance, I worked on Sky, BBC, Channel 4 and ITV, and then got a job at BBC World Service, and they asked me to set up an Arabic TV channel, which I didn’t want to do but they said, well you should, you’ll get promoted, which I did, so I got fast tracked through the BBC because of this Arabic, which was great. Then that channel closed down, I went freelance again, and I got a job launching News 24. I stayed there for a couple of years but then I felt I had had enough, I’d done everything in continuous news, I’d done floods, I’d done recessions, etc,. I’d done everything. And I loved continuous news but I’d done everything, I didn’t want to do bulletin news, so I looked around, moved up North, to start up an ISP, worked there for 2 years. Done that, then got this job. The reason I took this job is because it was in the NW, and I wanted to stay here, I’d made a big investment to move north, I didn’t know a single person when I moved, it was really lonely. Horrible. AR: So what prompted that move? AM: Millennium madness! I think. I’d been doing continuous news for 8 years, and I just wanted a new job. I was


constrained by the BBC, I felt I was in chains, and I wanted to break out… I’d been in London for 12 years and I just felt like I was…trapped and I wanted to move. But I didn’t realise how difficult it would be! So I wanted to stay in the NW, the job was at the right salary level – and actually it was another launch. Because a big thing in my career has been launches, I love launches. News 24 was a launch, NBC was a launch, I launched a channel at BBC World Services… I’ve always done launches. Almost every single job I’ve done. I love launch projects. It’s my favourite. So – I took this job in the public sector, completely bamboozled by it. I couldn’t understand the language, I hated it, I found this the most difficult job I’ve done. AR: And do you think that’s mainly the language barrier? AM: the language barrier.. .and also the weird attitude that people have to people working int eh public sector. The hatred. I find it really odd. I mean, in my first month of working in public sector, in what was North West Vision, I got death threats! I was accused of things that – for example I was accused of being a racist. Never in my life.. I mean, a)_ it would be really difficult to be a racist - to have had my career and spent so long working in different languages with different people, who are a different colour, and being a minority in a different majority – I mean, I still haven’t quite got over that. Mad people. AR: And did you feel a target, in a way, because you have to remain polite? AM: Yeah, and that really goes against the grain when you’re not allowed to fight back, and you’re not entirely sure what you’re meant to be doing so you’re like, should I just take that, am I meant to just take that? AR: How long have you been in this position for? AM: Through merger, for 8 years. Merger was 2006. Then our jobs were effectively made redundant and we readvertised and we applied, and so did external candidates. So that was a huge deal, then straight off the back of that came the RCO. Some of the staff got really cross, but we have to change to survive. There’s been a lot of change, which is good because I only really enjoy change… I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy the change we’re about to come on to… but… AR: That’s a little out of our control… As you mention sector reputation, which is quite an important element of my research, do you think that there have been any significant changes to people’s reactions to NWV+M, since you’ve been here? AM: Yeah. Huge, huge change, which I date back to taking on the RCO remit. I think we also got rid of a lot of tired angry staff, who had had enough and it showed, And we professionalized and we got on people… one of my real sadnesses of what is about to happen is that we got on board loads of really, really great people - a fantastic team of people from sector who have won credibility and that will be desicrated and I’m sorry about that, our credibility in last 2 years has improved a million per cent. Even getting on board people like Simon Alexander, who has a totally different outlook on industry, has helped things immensely. People like you, Amalie, get very good feedback, I think that the way we’ve changed has been productive. And I think actually getting Kevin [McManus] on board has been really good, in that kind of joint venture way, bringing other people in and breaking barriers. Lindsey Gayle, Enda, Maureen… we’ve professionalized, we’ve got more people in and we’ve got more money. So we were able to do that.


AR: Because in order to attract good people from private sector, you need to have attractive salaries? AM: Yeah, exactly, you have to be able to attract the right people, and you have to have money to spend on the companies, whether that’s investing in them, or supporting them through events. Money is very important. AR: So – what do you see as the key benefits that public sector organisations such as ours can offer to creative businesses? AM: OK, I think the three things that creative businesses need – creative businesses are often very conservative. So one thing that public sector can do is – if you’re intelligent, is help them take risks. So that’s number one. It’s difficult to take risks and it’s expensive to take risks when you’re fighting for survival. And I think risks are essential for growth. So that’s one of the very big roles for public sector, if you’re looking at growth. I think the public sector – we should look at growth, not at standstill, not at one man companies actually, but at growth companies, targeting them, because they will help the economy which feeds back into employment. Then I think the three things companies need are access to finance, access to markets and access to skills. And that is where the public sector, used intelligently, can intervene. Either by preparing companies to get finance, or giving it to them sometimes; skills, by training people up and match-making them, placements, mentoring schemes, apprenticeships, so important, so good. And then access to market – our contacts, bringing people in , taking people to new markets, I think we can have a helicopter view that individual companies can’t and that’s a huge benefit of public sector. So those are my three. Access, but all around taking risks. AR: Should public sector organisations always offer financial support, and if so, should this be recoupable, or grants and awards? AM: I think there is a role for public sector to offer financial support where the private sector will not do it, and I think that’s around growth. And risk. AR: And do you think that’s important for the creative industries, that perhaps private investors don’t understand? AM: And where there is very high risk, yes, where you might not recoup money. So you’re aim as public sector might be growth, but growth is not necessarily the aim of private sector, which is profit. I think there is a role, I think there is a market failure around that, and I think that Britain, UK PLC, could grow further if the public sector intervenes to take some of that risk away. Help there. So I think it should offer investment, and yes I think it should on the whole be recoupable. I do agree it should be recoupable, with the understanding that, as far as I know, there is no public sector fund ever that has made its money back. Because they tend to do it on high risk – because their aim is not to recoup and make it evergreen. In our industry for example Ingenious is a public sector fund there to take commercial risk and does it brilliantly. But we’re there to take non-commercial risk. AR: Do you feel it is your duty to avoid being seen as ‘taste-makers’ and being seen to decide what is ‘good’ or ‘bad” investment. AM: Mmm yeah it’s interesting ! I think one of the real pitfalls is that you get people who are dead good at


applications and playing the system, and they’re not necessarily the best investment. I think that’s the danger, rather than being a tastemaker. I think – bluntly, public sector organisations can never be tastemakers, because we’re – the tastemaker is the audience, and the market will take care of that. But we can help people on their way. It’s a different thing. I don’t think we are tastemakers. You could argue that in the film industry you are, because in Britain the film industry relies on public sector funding, so you could argue in the film industry that’s true. But I think the danger is that people are good at applications, at playing the game and the politics and I think that’s the real danger. That not always the right people get the money. AR: The first people that come knocking? AM: It’s not the first people,. But it’s the people who are best at doing the applications. That’s a true criticism, and one which you have to try and find ways around. AR: Through marketing perhaps? How crucial is recruitment to Vision +Media? AM: You mean us recruiting the right people internally..? I think it’s very important, I think it’s important to try and get the right people, with industry experience, and the right attitude. Your own personal attitude is really important. The older I get, the more you realise that is a really huge thing. Your gut instinct is actually a really important thing, you’ve got to get people that work right, that people want to work with in the team, the right environment. Not minimes! That’s not the right thing. But for me you’ve got to be open, you’ve got to be investigative, you’ve got to be interested you’ve got to care, you’ve got to be pretty energetic. So I would say they are the things – hugely important. AR: And what about previous experience in private sector? AM: Absolutely the same. Um, I think attitude and a desire – a real hunger for the job and to do the job, and having enough skill to do it. Something you learn as well is that people can absolutely step up to the mark. So give people the job they can’t quite do, and they’ll stretch up, if they’ve got the right attitude. And just, that is a really good lesson. So don’t be afraid of the person who is only 25, because actually, if they can stretch up they’ll get there. And yes, they’ll make mistakes but so will the person who is 45, or 55. It doesn’t matter, stretching is important and good for people, and a good way of getting through the organisation. Often when you start up you start off with the best people, you’ll have a very good crew – for example News 24, we had extremely experienced staff but still a little bit maverick – I think you need experience and maverick working together – then we got correspondents and trained them up together, and all of those correspondence have gone on to national correspondence – of our team, one of our assistant producers is now producer of news at 10, one is head of Sky news, Kate is editing 6 o clock news, they’ve all gone on to bigger and better things, and I think it’s about that talent. It’s got to be stretched up to the next job. Recruit on talent, as well as skill, if you can. And everyone makes mistakes in recruitment. We’re all seduced by a good interview, we’re all hopeful that someone is going to do what they say they can do, and you always make big mistakes. You do. I guess, in an ideal world you’d get rid of this mistakes as soon as possible but it’s really hard in this current climate to get rid of people, and that’s a problem. It’s a huge problem. Someone’s launched a suit against us who worked with us for 2 weeks! AR: Mmm


AM: it is painful, and it’s cost us so far £17K in legal fees. And what do you do. That is a difficult thing. The wrong person – I think people take the mickey in the public sector – I mean, sickness. Not, in this company, but I’ve seen it, the minute something goes wrong they’re on long term sick. What the fuck is that about? You’re not sick. You’re not stressed, you’re taking the piss. It’s true though! AR: One more thing on recruitment, I know we have diff tiers of staff level, our sector heads – obviously sector experience is a huge necessity, so in terms of recruiting those people, has that proved challenging? AM: No, it hasn’t proved challenging at all. What is challenging is paying people big enough salaries in the public sector to attract them. and then, telling your funders that you have to pay them that much. Because it is sometimes more than what your funders are on. Challenge. You’ve got to pay people – and another challenge for this company is that there is too much of a gap between the highest and the lowest, and I think we all feel that. That is a challenge. And it – when you’re asking people to be collaborative, and to work together as a team, that can be an issue. AR: what do you feel about the current coalition government’s cutting public sector? AM: I think the current coalition government, particularly the Tories, all have an opposition mentality, so their mindset is still an opposition one, i.e. slashing everything that Labour has done before. And I think they need to turn their mind to the positives – and I think they will – they need to listen to their stakeholders, and their civil servants. I think they’re still listening to their opposition leaders, rather than their civil servants, who in some ways, the safeguards of the nation. I also think that some of their cuts are ideological, rather than focused, however, we have got a deficit, and we have got to cut. Oh, and we’re fucked! AR: (Laughs) AM: if this appears on the Internet this will be very interesting for me! AR: Ha, no no. I should have said, actually, before we started, that it’s only for academic purposes, so the full transcript will be available only to the markers, and I’ll send you a copy , should you wish to edit anything out! AM: No, no, I won’t. I won’t need to edit anything. And actually – anything I say should be a public record anyway. AR: Realistically, do you think that cutting public sector benefit the creative industries at a time when there is little to no private investment? Is that the responsibility of the public sector? Will the creative industries sink or swim? AM: OK, I think the creative industries will swim. I think what public sector intervention like ours, I’m not going to speak across the board because I think some of it has been wasted. But I think where we’ve done well is in stimulating growth, and achieving more growth than would have been achieved otherwise, especially market growth. We’re all about achieving more than would have otherwise been achieved. So if you cut us, you limit growth in the economy. But – we are non-essential. If you’re thinking about tomorrow – fine. But if you’re thinking about actually achieving more growth, then we do. I always give Nine Lives as an example here because Cat [Lewis, MD] is always really vocal and says on the record we would not have achieved the growth we have done without you. We would not be – and she’s achieved a lot of her growth through export. Therefore I think she’s a really good case-study. She is exactly what we want to achieve. I think we are mid-term to long-term but no we’re not vital, you know. We’re not a fire engine. And there is not a burning building. It’s like, do you pay for PR and Marketing when the economy is in a


recession, I say yes you do. Because you need to be looking to growth. I think we’re very important, but we’re not essential. When does this Government start looking toward growth? And – if you’re cutting – to me I think the Government has spent too much money on, bluntly, on the wide one to many interventions, talking to everyone all and sundry, and I think what’s needed is focussing on say, the 150 companies in this region that are going to grow in the next couple of years, and we were going to help them grow. And I’m sorry Mr. – I’m sure you’ve got a great idea, go and develop it and when you’re ready come back. I think in previous Governments we have confused access and entitlement to public sector, with actually growing companies. Access is a very different thing to actually growing – and not everyone, I think there is sometimes a sense of entitlement amongst the private sector sometimes – no they don’t,. You do not – just because you’ve got, and often film are the worst for this, just cos you’ve got a great idea for a film, does not mean you are entitled to public funds, why, you do not deserve public funding. That small music company that has a distribution deal with Google, they deserve public funding because they’re going to grow. You don’t. you only deserve public sector funding if you are going to grow to the benefit of the economy, and to the benefit of jobs for other people. You do not deserve public funding if you are a one-person auteur, sitting there with your great idea. You know, I don’t care. You need to be a growth company. If you’re a one-man (I say man, person) auteur who is going to get his/ her film made, which is going to employ how ever many people, then fair enough. But there is no public entitlement to funding. No way. Jose. AR: Do you think that the creative industries offer a viable to industry in the UK? AM: Not as much as the Government is playing it up, no. I think they are certain things, they are high profile, they are high earning, and they create very wealthy jobs, but they are not a mass medium. So – I don’t think they are the answer to our economic woes, but I think they could bring us in a lot of cash. But they’re not the answer – they’re part of the solution. I think we have to be very careful, they’re not mass employment industries, they’re high wealth, the average creative industries worker is – say £30K? Whereas your average car worker is about 19 or so. Its that ten grand difference. But it’s not mass. So even where there are factories that employ people they’re outsourced to India or China- less cost. AR: Do you think that the ‘strings’ which are attached to public sector funding can sometimes be detrimental to the growth of a business? AM: Yes, I do! I really do. I think – I absolutely do. I think some of them are crazy. Some of the money is hampered. I think what we’ve been good at is giving people what they need, we’ve translated that into viable, reasonable products, but it makes it unbelievably difficult for Vision +Media. So yes. Absolutely 100 percent. AR: Do you think that Vision+Media’s role has largely been acting as a middle-man/ interpreter? AM: No. I don’t actually. No I think our role has been much more proactive than that. One of the things we’ve done has been translating, but we’ve done more. We’ve given out money, we’ve gone out and won the money, for the sector, in the first place. So we’ve been the most proactive, we’ve been hugely proactive in going out and getting money for the sector and then spending it in the sector, and matchmaking people and forcing things together in - just, we have made things happen, I think that’s what we’ve done. We have made things happen, right across the board. In everything we’ve done. As well as being middle-men. Translating is one of our roles, but we’ve made it happen – we’ve talked to people about what needs to be done, we’ve seen what needs to be done, and we’ve done it. We’ve got people to do it with us. And sometimes we’ve failed. So yeah.


AR: Thank you, those are all my questions… AM: Is there anything else you’d like to ask, sorry all of my answers are very general… AR: I suppose my last question, apart from some of the greatest achievements you’ve had working in public sector – would you ever go private again? AM: Oh god, yeah. I just think the public sector is so hard to work in. I really do, I – as I say, this is my first public sector job, and this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Because the politics are vile, the language is obscure, you’re subject to all sorts of vagaries, and current, and you’re forced in to bureaucracies which are abhorrent, I just think the public sector is unbelievably difficult to work in. it also has some great people in it, and you’ve got the joy of doing something that is actually good. So those are the big pluses. The benefit of actually benefiting something, rather than – you know, my nightmare is working in the arms industry. And this is almost the exact opposite of that. So I think there is a huge joy in it, and there’s a real pleasure, and the people are brilliant. But my god! The bureaucracy is enough to crack anyone! And the waste of time. I’ve wasted –I’ve sat in hours and hours of totally pointless meetings, hours and hours of , thousands of hours since I’ve started this job, and that’s the truth., and you don’t’ do that in the private sector, you don’t waste thousands of hours because you have to. So someone will say – you have to come to this meeting because you’re this, you’re the regional cluster organisation, and I’ll go, ok, I’ll say there’s no point me going, there is no point me going, three hours in it, and I’ve done that time and time again,. That is a real thing. So private sector in some ways is clearer and easier. In some ways its more brutal. You know, there ain’t so sick pay. There ain’t no absence pay. And if people don’t like you, you’re out. It’s brutal, and you forget that. But yeah, I’ll definitely go private again. I hope I’m not too late! You never know, I might be tarnished by working in the public sector! I don’t think so. But you never know. AR: Excellent, well thank you very much. AM: That’s alright. [Recording ends]


Appendix 17 Interview with Chris Briden Interviewee: Chris Briden Interviewee: Amalie Roberts Date: 20th June 2010 Location: 203 Slade Lane, Levenshulme AR: I’ll just give you a brief introduction… I’m going to be recording you, as you can see. Just to let you know, that I’ll give you a full transcription of the interview after it’s done, just to check I haven’t misquoted you – CB: yeah, OK AR: also – you can stop recording at any time, you don’t have to answer any of the questions, and it’s only going to get used for academic purposes, it’s only going to be myself and my University supervisor who read it, OK, so you don’t need to worry about any confidentiality matters. CB: OK AR: I’ll just give you a little bit of background to my dissertation and my area of research. It’s basically exploring the role of record labels in the current music industries. Its main focuses are: new technologies, - which we’ll discuss, but by which in this context I basically mean online tools, that enable musicians to do more stuff themselves, like predominantly online, but also things like cheaper recording software, for bedroom recording, marketing tools like Facebook and Myspace, and online distributors, that you can pay to use. So as well as these new technologies, it is also going to look at the idea of creative entrepreneurship, particularly in relation to DIY musicians in this context – independent musicians utilising everything available to them in order to “do it themselves”, with out the need for a label. The research is also looking at Public Sector, that’s my background, and what public sector organisations can do in the place of traditional record labels. CB: OK AR: Does that make sense? CB: clears throat [nods] AR: Ok so I’m just going to ask you a few questions. First of all I’d just like you to – very briefly – summarise your background in the music industry – any particular experience that you’ve had with labels, or any industry bodies – for example you had a deal with Rough Trade, a distributor, didn’t you? CB: yeah, yeah, OK. So I started just being in a band just playing gigs and things like that [pause] AR: Mmhmm CB: and then we thought we’d kind of try and do it a bit more seriously…


AR: and when was this? CB: er, I’d say, 2007, really. AR:

and

had

you

just

graduated,

then?

CB: We’d just graduated really, and we were doing it for a bit before then, but we just started to do it a bit more seriously – when I say seriously, we were playing seriously, but then I think we just sort of took it more seriously, then, we actually thought we might be able to go somewhere with it. AR: OK, and did you have anywhere particular in mind – where did you want to ‘go’ with the band? CB: Um, well I think that we just wanted to release records… we just wanted to write a record - cos, well we wanted to write a record, and just maybe to put it out there really, I mean every band wants to have, you want to release a record and you want to do well, but I don’t really think we were under the illusion of that, I think we were just, we wanted to release a record...Wanted people to hear our music really, I think that was – I mean we always started with that ethos, we weren’t playing – we were just playing music that we liked and enjoyed and liked playing. So I think that [pause]… AR: Were you writing music more for your peers, than for attracting label attention? CB: Yeah, I think so, yeah. And also… yeah, and also just – it was for music – music for music’s sake as well. So music just for, our own pleasure – and other, so other people would like it, regardless of whether we would make a lot of money out of it, if we could make a living out of, Our kinda – our aim was to make a living out of playing music. AR: Yeah. CB: Which…[Pauses] AR: So in 2007, were labels still part of your aim, were they on your horizon? CB: I guess so… not – we had contact with management, who were talking to us about labels, we had management, and then they asked us about what labels we’d like to be on, or what labels we kind of – well none of us really knew a great deal about labels, really, other than you know, the artists that they released, well you don’t really know none of us kind of knew – certainly I certainly I didn’t know what, um, what certain label how labels differed. From each other . AR: Yeah? CB: So you, if you say, someone said Columbia would be good or someone said Island were good you’d be like, well, I guess they’re both labels and they both do the same thing, or, it’s not really a matter of… [pause] AR: Did you ever see labels as taste-makers?


CB: Not really no, I didn’t ever think labels were – I thought the artists – labels don’t necessarily come out with creativity, the artists do don’t they – so I think the labels cash in on creativity, rather than the artist – they cash in on the artists creativity. And that’s, well I mean that’s the way it’s always been, though, isn’t it, the labels have always you know, done that… AR: What do you think a label should offer? Do you think they can offer anything in the current climate? CB: [pause]: I guess a label has to offer a service to a band, like they need to tell them what they can do – so something like they can..um, they can guarantee them this much airplay, or they can – I think that they’re just contacts. They can offer them their contacts. That’s all really labels can do! AR: What about finance, do you think labels will still offer advances? CB: I don’t think so. Realistically now I don’t think labels are gonna give an advance, cos, I think you said earlier on in your title, about like you say recording software and stuff, is probably much cheaper, and then people going to do it themselves, and so you can actually if you’re a record label and someone’s got that – that’s actually a plus, you don’t have to actually put out any kind of um, loss, any capital at first, and lose it, probably, because you can sift through all the chaff of bands, there’s thousands of bands, and ten of them are good, and then three of those are actually gonna make it, so you just watch, wait, and then go for the top three. It’s like a pyramid thing, isn’t it. And that, and that’s – so I think a label doesn’t even necessarily have to offer money, I mean if, obviously you’re signed, they’d have to offer – I don’t know a wage but actually if you sign with them, and you’re selling – like that Sigur Ros case is interesting where you know they were selling I think, I can’t remember what label, but a major and they said they would only sign them if they sold 100,000 records, units of records, I mean they’ve been producing records for years, and they’ve sold, like, tens of thousands of records, and then they sold over 100,000 of their record on their own, I mean, of their last record, that they made on their own, so I can’t see what benefit that Sigor Ros had – they obviously must have because they signed to a label – had to go with a major, because they would have made a lot more money selling the records and producing the records themselves, it’s like, what did the label bring, and I think what they bought was extra contacts, and they kind of hit, like, say then they’re were on BBC, and various things, and they were like, you know, quite mainstream then, so I think that [pause] AR: You seem to be suggesting more exposure? CB: I think so , maybe exposure and con- I think it’s just contacts, so they’ve got the pluggers and they own radio pluggers, TV um, pluggers, they’ve got online media people doing working at it, you know, they and like they’ve got the people that do it. AR: Do you mean quite specifically marketing contacts? CB: [pause] I guess so AR: Do you mean to sort of to get more promotion – to get more publicity, and to line up all of the radio shows?


CB: Yeah and also they can do things like, they can press the records cheaper because they’ll have their own pressing plant, in the nature of them being a major – it means they own their own distribution, so they will press they can press they’re pressing millions of records every year, always. So the cost of a unit for them is minimal. And they have their own in-house designers and stuff so they can just bust out well, you know, copies – and yeah they can do it all and it’s all cheaper [pause] AR: Independent labels on the other hand…what do you think they could offer you? CB: Again, well, again contacts. And like kudos. I guess. AR: Mm-hmm? CB: If you’re with someone like, Warp -they only sign people that are kind of, not necessarily particularly good, but maybe people that people that like music, supposedly like them. So they they’re kind of taste-makers. AR: Right...? CB: And they kind of – the cool underground people you know, if you’re on Warp people – their ears prick up and they’ll listen to you. AR: Yeah CB: Whereas, if you said oh they’re on Universal, people go: 'mm.oh.' So Warp are are a good label. AR: A good example of a taste-making label? CB: Yeah and also, again, that’s publicity in itself isn’t it. Oh they’re on Warp, everyone goes 'oh great' AR: Warp aren't a particular genre, either, are they? CB: No no, it’s just artists that they like. AR: Do you think there’s a role for labels – moving forwards –to taste-make like that online,. Will it be easier to have that kind of reputation online, or do you think it’s going to be harder, with more music emerging online? CB: Er [pause] I think, for an new label to start they’d have to just [pause] initially be well connected, with good bands. [pause] and bands that are willing to stick with them. And offer the bands very… I guess for the first five years, the label would have to ffer them would have to offer the bands fantastic deals, cos, why would a band want to stick with a label that no-one’s ever heard of? AR: OK? CB: And plus it’s – if the label doesn’t have any more money than the band, the band is essentially probably like, 4-5


people. AR: Do you think that the way labels work will change? Will they become management companies? CB: That’s what they seem like, yeah. AR: And EMI have now changed to be super management and they’re changing their offering, because reportedly they don't offer advances at the moment... CB: Yeah, well you can get a loan from a bank cheaper than you can get a loan from a record label, couldn’t you? AR: Can you briefly talk about what online tools you and Light Syndicate, or Yields use? Perhaps things that a label might have previously done for you? CB: Yeah, yeah, so we had mailing list – that was PHP Mailing List, they were really good AR: OK? CB: They were just er, a mailing list programme where you could type in – just a database, an online database, that you collated and you could do people you met at each gig, each date, and you could – and then, by area, and then, what we did – we just wrote in ‘area’ and ‘date’ so then we could, when we went back there we could email them, and tell them. So that’s that. AR: And that’s free software? CB: Yeah it’s free yeah. And then we had a website, obviously we had a Myspace and we had a Facebook, um, when we first started out Myspace was actually quite new, so that was quite good, we got quite a lot of um, buzz, and that, but um, Facebook was alright, it was just a bit annoying because people by then were already annoyed, people bands spamming them going ‘we’re playing this gig tonight’ and that so, we never really did it. AR: You don’t use it for that purpose then? CB: No we never push that... AR: On Yields Facebook page you can listen to music, now, can’t you? CB: Yeah. It’s good that you can stream – that’s the best thing about Myspace and Facebook is you’ve got free streaming. When we first started out streaming was quite difficult. Whereas now it’s very easy. But you - anyone can upload a song, and stream it, which is very good. And obviously we all worked in studios and stuff and have – so we have a lot of facilities at our disposal. AR: Of course, yeah


CB: So I also - editing, we can edit and produce – knock something up. AR: And you know how to do it all yourselves? CB: Yeah. So we were lucky, we were in a different situation, isn’t it, I think a label a lot of times would maybe, they would – at least a band they could offer them professional recording, whereas we can quite happily record. To a professional standard. So it’s not actually a problem. AR: So that would be like Dan [Parrott] wouldn’t it, he could be like, well, I’ve got contacts with a studio... CB: Yeah – he can offer us out for free [laughs] AR: Yeah, ha ha, hang on, that’s not right…[laughs] AR: OK, and then distribution, let’s just take it on to the next thing, distribution would you – are you concentrating still on physical, or are you kind of solely digital distribution now? And how would you go about distributing – for Yields, say? CB: Er, I think, what I would do, I don’t really think Brendan and Simon would necessarily agree, but I would still have a physical product, a cheap physical product, like a CD, not a spangly one like a record, like a vinyl, and then do free downloads. I mean, realistically you have to assess what you’re doing the music for. And if you’re doing it to make money then you don’t give out free downloads, but if you’re just doing it and you want people to listen to you, just give out free downloads, do everything at cost, so I think sell well just try and get a record like a CD, sorry, CD single, and get it out into distribution get that distributed with a distributor or something, like that. So I think it depends what they wanted to do – or what we wanted to do, because we could either press them up ourself, and just pay for it, and that wouldn’t be too bad, because it’s not a great deal of money, especially if we’ve got two singles pressed up at once, cos you can do that at the printers, and then that means we’re paying – we’re paying per thousand, so that’s our unit cost come down. And then maybe talk to small distribution company and ask if we can get them in shops. AR: Yeah – a few of the smaller labels that I’ve spoken to – well Deltasonic and Fat Northerner, have said that it’s been quite a funny relationship with physical distributors now, because they used to have to justify themselves and do the hard sell to the distributors, but as they’ve phoned up to cancel distribution contacts they’ve been saying ‘oh you have stuff’ and really been really keen. So it might be quite a good time to stay in the physical market...? CB: I think so, people like having physical things. Like having actual products, they can buy, because it’s you know, you can’t just listen to that sort of thing on your computer all the time, that’s just not gonna happen. And the audio quality is not as good. No it’s rubbish. So I think that distribution is important – cos they’re, in fact is more important, because they’re the ones that get it to people. [pause] you know, they’re a significant link in the chain, aren’t they, distributors. I think, something people – people go ‘oh I want to get a record deal’ but they don’t go, it’s actually more profitable and useful to get a distribution deal, than it is to get a record deal. Cos they’ll get your records in shops.


AR: And that would be your main route to market, would it? CB: Yeah. AR: So, distributors are more important than labels..? CB: Obviously, that’s if a band can... AR: Make those contacts CB: Essentially if you’re in a situation and you’re a band where you’re very lucky and you can record your own records, press up your own art work, pay for it to be set up, and then just pay for all the distribution – sorry, record it, write the songs, record the songs, get the artwork done, and then press them, if you can do that yourself, then obviously then distribution’s fine. Then, you have to be quite a lucky situation to do that. But then, that um. That gives you total control doesn’t it? AR: Mm-hmm? CB: And if you were starting a business, you’d easily invest - if everyone in the band gave a thousand pounds, over two years, it’s only £500 a year, to the band you know, and there’s four of you, you’d have £4 grand, and that would give you more than enough, to record, write and press up a record. And bands don’t see that, they bands are notoriously useless aren’t they. So they always – so the record – if someone comes along and offers them some money, their eyes twinkle, but actually if you break it down, that’s only £250 each, save up for a couple of months and then you’re fine. AR: So it’s important for bands to have the bigger picture, to manoeuvre themselves into a situation where you can have total control. CB: Yeah. AR: Do you think that new technologies have played a part in that? Have they made it easier? CB: Yeah. AR: How have they made it easier to keep control? CB: Errrr! AR: Do you use tools such as BandCamp or TopSpin, these are systems that kind of allow you to do it all. CB: Right, OK. And SoundCloud now does that thing where if you get SoundCloud Premium, which is a subscription model, it can tell you how many times your song was listened to, where it was listened to, in the world, and draws you a geographical map, so you can just go, right I’ve obviously got a big – there was one guy on there who was a DJ in England, and he said his music goes down really well down in Germany, or something, so he just flew over to


Germany. And then he booked loads of gigs, you know. AR: Have you ever used analytics? CB: Um, not really. No. only – it was really about that much when we were playing in Light Syndicate, I guess. We could use them for Simon [Connor, of band Yields]. AR: Do you think you will? CB: Er, yeah… I guess so… AR: Would you know what to do with it? CB: Well, yeah it wouldn’t be that, I guess, it would just be whether I could be bothered. Because I don’t, I’m not too worried if people really like it, in America, say, or something like that, cos you go, well, we’re not realistically at this stage we can’t really afford to go over and play there. If we were shipping vast quantities out to America and they were selling, we’d know, because the distributors would say, like, you’re selling big here, because they know. AR: Do you think it depends on a band's game-plan? CB: Exactly yeah, I think so. [pause] AR: OK. Thank you. I think we’ve kind of already covered this – you think the best offering you could get from a label would be contacts and industry knowledge? And not really finance? CB: Yeah and like management. They could give you a plan. Lots of bands don’t have a plan – so if they could give you contacts, and give you a schedule and a diary and go this is where we wanna be in a year, and this is how we’re gonna do it, all you’ve got to do is play. Any band would go for that. AR: PR and marketing wise, would you ever or have you ever considered using an agency – an online agency? CB: An online one? AR: Yeah, that could do click through campaigns, or CB: I don’t think so, no. I think they’re a bad move. I think they’re quite bad for bands. Cos people make out like it’s quite hard, for you to do all that stuff, but it’s not. Like we’ve had offers from various ones and they go well we’ll update your myspace, we’ll update your Facebook, we’ll put you on various other websites, and put some banners up, and it’s very expensive. And realistically for a band, that’s the last thing that – I mean, if everyone in the band put in an hours' worth of effort every night, you could eradicate that cost entirely. It’s quite – I mean we got a quote for £1,000. to do like a 3 month campaign. You think well, I’d rather just pay £1000 for a radio plugger or I’d rather just buy another guitar – you know, there’s plenty of things that a band would rather spend £1000 on! AR: As a band do you think it’s a balancing act between online and offline? You’ve got to exist on both, but not to the


detriment of the other? For example some bands could spend all day every day on myspace… CB: You could have a zillion fans, yeah, then – who comes to your gig? You know - your mum! It’s not really the same is it, so if you just ignore – well, don’t ignore the online, but take it with a pinch of salt. Cos people online are happy to go ‘yeah I’ll come’ because it’s just a click. They’re sitting in their bedroom,, and they go ‘oh I’ll go to that’. Or some people say they’re going just so it appears on their profile. AR: On average do you think – I know it’s going to be different with different bands, but on average how many hours a week do you think you spend on doing your band/ music? CB: Shall I say how long I did used to with Light Syndicate? AR: Yeah, do both maybe? CB: Well, when I was taking a lead [in Light Syndicate] I’d spend 3 nights a week rehearsing, Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays, and then at our busiest we’d be doing 2 gigs a week as well – obviously it varied, if we were doing gigs we wouldn’t rehearse 3 times a week, so we’d do 2 gigs a week which could be anywhere in the country, so driving, and then we’d always be online updating things, making sure things like press releases had gone, and checking reviews, and that sort of stuff. Just always, doing something. AR: Would you say essentially like a second full time job? CB: Yeah, yeah definitely, I think I put more effort into that than my job, really. It’s not so hard, if you’ve got the time to do it. AR: There seems to be a prejudice, or idea, that if you’re doing something creative like that, then it should be seen as a hobby, and you shouldn’t expect any kind of financial reward for it. Do you think that’s a fair argument? Or do you think there could be more support for people in bands, in your position? Or will the best just rise to the top? CB: Errr, I don’t know, because I think that the best don’t get through. Well, that’s purely subjective. AR: And so who do you think does get through? CB: I think the best entrepreneurial bands, the most productive bands get through, people with the most contacts. Most of the Manchester bands that went big quick had been in bands that hadn’t broken. But when they reformed in new bands they had the contacts and had been fairly big, and could just go ahead and do it, pretty quickly. AR: Yes, a lot of people have cut their teeth in earlier bands, haven’t they, and have things in place. I’ve heard people say it’s like spinning plates. At whatever level, you have to have lots of things in place, you’ve got to have your daytime TV, or your gigs lined up? CB: Well yeah, it’s all just management isn’t it. That’s the thing, musicians are quite bad at management, normally. And I think it’s quite boring, as well, if you’re a musician, you might just want to play music.


AR: So perhaps some of the best musicians that have been left to just create music, and sit in recording studios, and that’s paid for by a label – do you think that will disappear, so the best ones aren’t just given the opportunity to just write, they have to market themselves and get a great team around them? CB: Well it’s hard. I think there’ll always be people making fantastic albums, but, it’s the music business, isn’t it. The business don’t’ care if they’re good records, just as long as they sell. Like any product. Just because it’s music, why should it be different to them? But it’s different to musicians, and consumers. I think they just want to shift units. So the cheaper for them… people like Alexandra burke, for example, are really cheap. Get session musicians in, get her in to sing for a couple of weeks and you’ve got your album. She’s got no real cost has she, you know, a band actually costs quite a lot. It’s not necessarily a viable option any more. Like, stand up is where it’s at. Peter Kay made about £3m last year from doing stand up, because it’s just him and a microphone, no costs with touring. You don’t need a full crew, or a rig, or anything. Just a soundman, sorted! There will always be people making music, labels and distributors, and the people who actually care about music, and you can’t dismiss them, because they might not be about making money. They might just want to make a bit of money – to cover costs. Like a labour of love. There might always be people who are interested in putting things out, I think it’s nothing like it was. AR: Do you think the very top levels of major labels have dropped down – or some of the rungs of the ladder have dropped out, and now it’s easier to possibly make a sustainable living, out of doing music, but through kind of recording and through teaching music, or working in a studio – CB: I think most musicians that you see are doing something like that. You can’t just do music. AR: You mean, you can’t just do gigs and sit in your bedroom… CB: Well, I think it’s always been like that! I think the music industry – like, The Police, they were all quite rich when they started out, the drummer’s dad was a multi millionaire oil tycoon, and essentially he funded their world tour, and they broke. What kind of situation is that? They’ve done an American tour and not even broke – they’d had records out, albums out, you think well, it’s nothing like that these days. And that was only 20 years ago really, 30 years ago. AR: Do you think maybe the music industry – more than any other – has sold the idea of fame and success and richness? CB: There are probably statistically as many rich people in certainly the oil industry, but probably in packaging, or private mail companies, or any kind of entrepreneurial industry you can name, but the music industry sells that as the only level of ‘success’ you can have… not like, a £20k a year job. Like bankers. AR: Ok so – let’s talk about what other kind of support might be, or should be, available to bands – perhaps those that aren’t well connected? CB: Or should they have support? I don’t know whether I actually answered you, I might have gone off one one! AR: Well, it’s an interesting point.


CB: I don’t know if they should have support or not. Obviously - I don’t know. Once you have given support you want crediting for it. It’s not support for support's sake, it’s to support their own business as well. If you’re a fund that supports musicians releasing albums, you want credit on the album, so you can keep claiming funding from your source. Thus employing more people. AR: Do you think that devalues the support? CB: I don’t know if it devalues, it, I just think, there’s plenty of ways to get funding if you’re a musician. Like, you can get interest free credit and all that gubbins if you want to buy instruments, you can barter with studios now because they’re so. I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s not like it’s bad or anything is it. I don’t know that’s my answer. AR: Are you a member of any support organisations, or organisations that support the wider music industries, for example, Musicians Union, PRS, PPL, etc? CB: I’m a member of the PRS and the MCPS. AR: OK. Healthy returns? [smiles] CB: Ha, oh yes, very healthy returns! A hefty £5.80 a month, I think. AR: Still money! CB: Mm yeah and it was only £100 to join when I did – now it’s only £10. So it’s going to take a while to get my money back. I wish they’d said that they were going to drop the price! But yeah, I’m a member for life now, so it’s done now, not so much money. AR:So you're not in the Musicians Union? CB: No – I don’t think they’re great. Expensive, performance based. Not really about recording or royalties. I’ve heard horror stories about them. I’m sure any union only has their members at heart, though. AR: Any other support that you think could be usefully provided by any other organisation that isn’t out there are the moment – public sector based – for example financial, contacts/ networking, facilitating recording/ distribution. CB: I think that interest-free loans would be good, or lower interest loans, cos that would take – or if you could have someone that could take care of a bands finances. I suppose once you get in to that kind of thing it’s quite hard. The trouble is you’d become a manager if you had that service. And they’re a bit slimy. AR: Perhaps they’re only ‘slimy’ because they want to make their 10% profit? CB: Yeah true… so someone already on a wage… AR: Our remit at Vision and Media is to support the creative and digital economy – so I suppose in lamens terms it’s


about creating jobs within that industry, creating sustainability, creating more families being fed by money earned in that industry. Does that make sense? In another industry we could support a factory that employs 250 people, but the music industry is so intangible and fragile it doesn’t seem to work like that. For us it’s about longevity and legacy. We want to keep more of the music industry in the region, so people don’t have to leave to go to London. Do you think that, in the music industry, there is anything that we can offer, to support the region? CB: I don’t know really. AR: Most people want finance. The way we invest in other sectors is through recoupment, we’d expect to see a recoupment, so that we couldn’t be accused of being tastemakers. CB: Yeah it’s hard, I don’t know. If you could invest in, try and support, not a venue but maybe, a plugger or something, connections to radio, to help up and coming bands get a few more… to get rid of Manchester Music Forum and get impartial advice. Industry advice without bias, assess each individual band rather than give them a formulaic thing, and be in it for your own gain. Public money should be spent on public good…it’s hard, if you set up a radio pluggers firm, it’s only them that would benefit… AR: Yeah, but I suppose you could argue that that is still more people than would benefit otherwise, that’s still people kept in this region, investing in this region, and keeping business in the region, that would otherwise be somewhere else or doing something else. Also they will provide a service for other musicians? CB: yeah, yeah I suppose that’s right yeah. AR: What do you think about us hosting events, for example, networking events where we could introduce bands to radio pluggers? CB: Yeah. That would be useful. Managers, and pluggers, and anyone really. Labels. Anyone around. Distributors, legal advice. If a band chats to a music lawyer they’ll know what’s going on, the industry. AR: Just two more questions then – new markets, i.e. contacts in overseas and also exploring new sectors, like games, tv, video – is there an option for public sector introducing bands to these? CB: Yeah I think if you could help musicians and bands get their music on TV and film that would be brilliant because there’s a lot of money in that., then you’d obviously be increasing the general wealth of the area. And they’d have links with the company or game. I think it’s hard for bands, because – maybe dealing with composers and established artists – id ont’ think bands necessarily would want to put their music in a game… but advice would be good, TV producers, etc. that would be great. AR: Do you think we should also have in the room the agents and radio pluggers? As many TV music supervisors won't accept unsolicited material? CB: Yeah in the old days, people used to send things direct to radio but now they can’t, and have pluggers.


AR: Yeah. Sync agents o the same for TV and Film. Well, super, thank you very much, that’s everything! CB: Great, thanks!


Appendix 18 Interview with Dan Parrott Interviewee: Dan Parrott Interviewer: Amalie Roberts Location: Common, Manchester Date: 24th June 2010 AR: So, can you tell me a little bit about your experiences and background working within the music industries? DP: I fell into working in music, by accident really, but I suppose everyone does! I used to run Channel M music for a good couple of years, I grew with the company, and eventually they were looking at breaking into more programming, and looking into what areas they could do, and I already had large interest in music and a production background – so I pitched and got an opportunity to set up a music department and – so it started off small, showing music videos and going to see bands – to get into the fabric of the Manchester music scene and use that as a base, to win over the people who would supply us content, and then take it from there. Channel m always had this sort of – like most local TV channels – 'think local act global'. I couldnt see them doing that with Channel M, but I could see that in the music side we didn't really concentrate on one particular style or genre: we just aimed at new music fans. The USP was about placing that geographically and Manchester already had a bit of a reputation and it helps – with the label [Parrott's label Love&Disaster] too – not necessarily within Manchester but outside. People are expecting something, like the next Factory Records, or whatever, but we can offer something new. recording is interrupted for arrival of food; break. AR: [Resumes] So we were talking about Channel M, and its global reach... DP: Well, I wouldn't entirely say global reach, but er... AR: [Laughs] DP: Its ability was that a lot of people were interested in it outside of Manchester AR: And did a lot of bands want to come to Manchester? DP: Yeah. So we certainly kind of built up – we kind of learnt the trade, and I kind of learnt the music industry, perhaps from a different angle. From that sort of TV side. I had a bit of an idea but I learnt so much, and working with the people in the studio and the production teams in the studio learnt my kind of trade a little bit more. It got us into a position where – it was slightly cultish, kind of low budget and sometimes a little bit shit but that was hopefully part of its charm, you know. It was difficult to get things changed, there and move on, but... we got a lot of quality acts through, who at the time were grassroots, and they progressed in their career around the same time as us and they didn't necessarily forget, you know. So we were getting more established bands but keeping the underground thing. It looked OK, it sounded great, and we were building relationships with the bands as we went along. If you were in Manchester or the NW it was a good thing to do- pop in for an interview or a session or something. Anyway, then of course the channel got cut back and the music got axed, so I think I was secretly quite pleased but a bit scared. It's difficult in the current climate trying to get another job, and I was worried about how to stay creative, doing


something creative, and then afterwards was more worried about getting some money[laughs]. I wanted to carry on doing production stuff, but I didn't want to work for a bigger company, because i'd been spoilt a little bit at Channel M, I had my stamp over everything – not necessarily in an egotistical way! But just that I could have a hand in the whole piece, as opposed to just being one part of it. I didn't necessarily have the skills and experience anyway, to jump into producing documentaries at the BBC, for example, I would have probably had to have started at the beginning. And anyway I really wanted to work for myself, and create something that had my stamp on it. But also wanted to carry on working with music. AR: When you finished at Channel M, did you have a lot of contacts within the music scene in Manchester – how important was maintaining your relationships with these contacts? DP: Yeah, it sounds really horrible and fickle, but I knew I only had – I could only trade off Channel M for a certain amount of time, and a lot of the time, with any org, the fact it was successful might have been down to my work, but there was a platform there, and I was int eh right place at the right time to do it... So I suppose there was a bit of, like, I was trying to prove myself, and say, well, now he's not got a promotion platform, what's he gonna do? And a lot of people – nothing to be sniffed at – obviously it's such a hard industry to work in, and you know, there were no jobs and there still are no jobs anyway, so I just decided to make my own luck. So I think from a genuine perspective, I could see the Manchester music scene had been floundering a bit, and it shouldn't have been. So I had this concept of making a Manchester-only label, and as well with the first record release which was like a gate-fold 10” compilation about trying to unite the bands... AR: Which has worked pretty well, like you were saying about Everything Everything [one of the bands who had a remix on the first Love&Disaster EP] being on Zane Lowe the other day and requesting a Dutch Uncles track [Dutch Uncles are currently being managed by Dan]. DP: And they are basically, being a little bit of the glue, you know, we've got a great little thing going on here, and you need to not forget your peers, basically. The talent is genuinely there, and DU and EE would never promote their mate's band if they weren't fucking great. And they're all very much in love with what Manchester could be, and the community here, down to - how there are lots of creative people, down to this place as well, which seems to be a great kind of hub for the whole thing [we're in the bar, Common]. And some people have been lucky and some haven't. And to use DU they haven't been lucky, but they've – well a different position to Delphic – but they did everything just kind of right, and I helped out a little bit there. So it's just about trying to do a [pause] and trying to build an infrastructure basically, as opposed to a load of 'flash-in-the-pan' bands, so the idea was to get creatives working on the art work... it didn't quite come out like that. AR: Who did the photos in the end, for the album cover [which features all of the bands together] DP: It was Seb, I don't know if you know him? He is a German photographer. AR: I suppose you're in a position where you can help out – you did the video for DU [Face In] didn't you? DP: Yeah, I mean... to a certain extent it might be me being a bit of a meglomaniac, but it does all tie in.


AR: Yeah, it's bringing all your skills together isn't it? DP: Yeah and I do enjoy it, and actually you can bring in a label, and a label needs a music video, and – a band doesn't have to be on a label to have a music video... and hopefully the new website [The New Mancunian which as received Umbro sponsorship funding] will become a new platform and people can get their videos up there... and – it all kind of ties in. hopefully it's building up a little family really... in the past Channel M was the glue whereby a lot of new bands heard about each other and were friends – they had this kind of common thing where they appeared on shows together. I'd always hear about these weird things afterwards, pairings or collaborations. 'how did YOU end up working with YOU?” and they'd be like, 'oh we met on the show'. You know. From – maybe not the best example, Dave Haslam took Shmoo to Paris, or something... but weirder things, like Stateless, did a collaboration with a NY band called My Brightest Island, and I was like, how did THEY...? and it was like, oh they were on the same show, that's how they met. And they sit their and listen to each others music... Another time I got a call from Martin, from Onions, and he was like oh are you coming to our gig or something, and I was like, oh it's in Night & Day and I was like, oh are you there now? No no we're just getting some food with like, Tigers That Talk or something, and it was like oh how do you know them? Oh we met on the show. AR: Do you think that to a certain extent, because of the taste-making role the show played, the bands trusted the quality of each other? You know how sometimes you can be put on a lineup of a show and you're on with some people that you just think are awful...? DP: The younger bands were always really excited about – who they were doing a show with. The younger ones would be like, oh who are we on with, and you'd say, like, The Thrills. And they'd be like WHAT really?? 'yeah The Thrills will be here in about half an hour'. So that's pretty exciting. It was a good opportunity for some of the more established acts around to sit down and listen to some newer acts, and there's been loads of instances when they've been in the studio and helped them out or started new relationships – or their management and labels have seen these newer bands and it forms... Airship were pretty much unheard of and then after Channel M they got 20 offers of management. Delphic is the main case in point, they became massive from a records point of view. DU as well. They were offered a five album deal through a German label, which they didn't want, it was 5 albums! But after they saw a second session on Channel M they were like, oh what about a one-album deal, where you can sign away nothing, kind of thing. Everything Everything – exactly the same really, all the management sat down and decided they were great. When you're trying to get labels attention the broadcast videos become examples of what the band do, as well. [Pause whilst plates are cleared by staff] AR: So what other contacts did you make throughout your time at Channel M: Was it really the bands themselves who you dealt with or their booking agents, or? DP: I never really met booking agents. AR: Were they always at the level where you could directly contact them [the bands]? DP: No, no, it was because it wasn't really the booking agents' job. And that's why – I suppose that's one of the things that I'm a little less savvy about. But basically it would either be through the band, or the manager, or the label, if they


were at a certain level, or most of the time, for the majority of bands we were dealing with, it was a plugging company, or the label's in-house pluggers. AR: Do you think that these people play quite an important role in the current music industry? DP: yeah, yeah. I met a lot of them. Sometimes we dealt with TV pluggers, you had to be at a certain level to have a TV plugger, you know have a nice video that might get on MTV, or if you were a bigger band, obviously, you know, you might have your own TV department. But most bands didn't have a TV plugger, so it would then come down to the regional radio plugger – the national pluggers were usually focussed on bigger things – but our regional radio pluggers were obviously a lot more aware about what we were doing, and for a regional radio plugger to say 'I've got TV' is a good accolade for them. [pause whilst Dan checks a text] DP: So yeah, so I think we knew a lot of managers, and we knew the process as well, you know, from seeing the bands campaigns, we were part of these early campaigns. So obviosuly to apply that from a label point of view as well. And also just knowing and speaking to people. So I think it's kind of given me quite a good insight because i've come from the press side of things. Actually I think it sometimes works the other way around, you get someone working in the music industry and it doesn't work out so they'll go and write about it, say, if you see what I mean. So I kind of knew how I liked to be dealt with, as a member of the press, and hten hopefulyl by turning htat around into how I deal equally well... it's important to build up relationships so...yeah. AR: Excellent. So how would you describe Love&Disaster – a label? A label and then some? A music company? DP: um. It's um... [pause]. I just think ideally it's there to promote the best of what Manchester has to offer. And obviously if it gets bigger, we can raise that up, and work with other artists, but at the moment we're just raising that up, you know. I don't – um – I think most of the bands we work with do quite well at a certain level in Manchester anyway. And Manchester sort of is very good at promoting itself to itself. And ideally it needs to get itself out there a bit for the right reasons, and at the moment I don't think Manchester has an aspiration record label. And I'm not pretending to be that at the moment, because obviously that's a long way a way, but there is a gap in the market, a need there. There are a lot of great bands that have fallen by the wayside, who have not really had the same kind of chances; I think sometimes projects and things are a bit too wordy... I think sometimes with Channel M because it is a local channel there was a feeling that some bands felt they had a god-given right to be on it, whereas it is about putting forward the very best. AR: So do you think predominantly Love&Disaster has a taste-making role? DP: Yeah, yeah. I think all record labels are really. And I think you know, it's just being honest. It's being commercially honest and it's being taste-wise it's being honest. Because I think it's very exciting to be working in the music industry, even with a pop band, or something; it's more like a strategic business plan, and it's great listening to the charts, you can get really excited about it, but it's still not like. I mean, DU, I know it sounds bad or whatever, but DU are my favourite band at the moment, because I'm listening to them a lot and recording them, and it is really exciting being able to work with a band that you really like. And I honestly think that they should do something, and I


think the fact that they haven't up to now, has kind of spurred me on a little bit. AR: And do you think that bands need somebody working on their behalf, 'outside' the band, to make that happen? That can direct them and see where they need to go? DP :Oh yeah, absolutely, and I think that it's by getting the right people involved, and I think that A&R people have their specialism’s: all I've got is, I'm just a music fan, basically. And you know, we do have discussions and say 'oh you should change this, change that, make this more poppy,' but it's not really – it doesn't mean it's selling out, it's just about making it more accessible, and more honest. And there's a great fun in writing a good tune, and it having a good audience. Gone are the days when it was all about how many albums you would sell and stuff like that, you could be a commercial band that writes good music. And I think they're a very interesting band anyway. For their age and stuff. It's just about getting picked up. . I'm very passionate about the city, and doing some good for the city as a whole, not just individual bands. Certainly there is a great camerardary, of what you might describe the Channel M music bands, and there are little scenes, and stuff. I mean, the music scene that's happening at the moment, looking from the outside in, it's probably really really clichey, but it's just like, all the bands sound very different and they're all very supportive. That's where – that's the way music has been for a long time now, not 'I'm in to this or I'm in to that', but just the music basically. There are all sorts of people on the periphery as well, like, you know, people doing art, to the venues, the promoters and stuff, that hopefully... like with the Hacienda stuff it was all like, live fast and die young, sort of stuff, and eventually that stuff is going to burn itself out, but if we can create something sustainable, and something aspirational [sic] for young bands, so we can start to try and encourage and inspire new bands who are like, 16, to not just listen to The Courteeners and play 4 chords, but maybe, you know, listen to some Dutch Uncles or something and try doing something a little bit different. AR: Yeah, I think that the press have been really interested, haven't they, with your first EP being reviewed by – was it Vogue Italia? DP: Yeah, yeah, I think for a 'who the fuck are these guys' it did fairly well, and I think looking back, I did all the press myself, and I've never done a record before, and I think it did alright. Obviously the bands that were on there, that sort of helped! You know. But people quite liked the angle. AR: Do you think that people in the press will always need an angle before they expose something? DP: Oh big time, yeah. Trying to get press coverage for Airship's single, which should be much easier as it's just a single, is much harder. I've lost quite a bit of money on it, but it's sold like, 70-80 in Piccadilly Records, which is – not a huge amount, but in today's amount, it is quite a lot. It was helped out by certain things. But [pause]. AR: in my opinion, people in your position, the taste-makers, are really important in a world that is largely oversaturated with music. There are tools available to people, but curators are really important in order to get heard, to make you stand out from the crowd. DP : yeah you have to, and it's hard, it's an unfortunate thing, it is weird, in the past I would sort of discuss it in theory, but you are totally right. Now I'm actually coming up against it. I think a lot of people are overly harsh about the way it is because it's – fuck it, it's the reality, get over it, work with it, but there are certain case-studies where it's


a bit annoying in the fact that, it is the emperor's new clothes, and every once in a while there are things that are amazing that break through, but then instantly everyone jumps on it and then instantly there is a team behind it. But to get radio play or to get the press it needs to be more than just a good band. They need to know that they're backing a winner. But the problem is that they should be backing. You know. The thing with Channel M, it made sense that we only work with the taste-makers themselves. You know, pluggers, they're taste-makers. If there was a band that we really wanted and we went to them, and they were like, yeah they're great, put this band on too, and it was their new band that they were working with, and we'd put it on and be like, yeah that's great. And we knew it would be great. But at the same time if there was a really great band, and they were just great, we'd get them on nonetheless. We literally, we wouldn't read articles, and that's what radio people do, they need to be bombarded with the stuff, read articles and look at their hits. We would just go on Myspace and have a look and read it, and listen, and if it was brilliant they'd go straight on. If it was OK then we'd start digging around and looking into their history, you know. [pause]. AR: Can we talk about your management strategy for Dutch Uncles, and other bands that you may pick up. Are you still channelling them through the traditional record industry (singles, albums, etc) or are you looking at synchronisation or are you going to be looking for other revenue streams? DP: there's lots of – I think DU are a main example – there's lots of different options really. AR: Will it depend on the band themselves ? DP: No – I think, they are potentially not a major label band but an excel, domino sort of band. Although they could go to majors, but i've seen what major labels have done to bands in the past, basically. And it's like, make or break. There's no long term career, they're quite flash-in-the pan. They're getting less so now, but they're getting much more smart with it [sic] And a lot of the time they'll just be indies. The band need money, and I haven't got money, basically. But what I am is, I am permanently and I always have been for that band, and it just hasn't happened, so I've gone ahead and done it. The only problem is I’ve had to factor in other people, but now I'm sort of in control of it, well – the band are. So I can speak to labels now with a bit of authority, and get them into positions where – basically for bands, you're at stage one, and if you don't get picked up at stage one, you can give up, or you try and get to stage 2, [pause to read phone], so um, so at the moment we're at stage 2, and I think we need to get them to stage 3 basically... AR: And is 'stage 3' getting signed? DP: It's just getting some money. Which could mean being signed or not. I don't think, even if they get signed, they're going to get any money. They'll just get some help with stuff. AR:

And

what

do

you

see

that

they

need

money

for?

DP: To record, and pay pluggers, and tour, because it's so expensive. And the next 6 months is absolutely critical. To work for 6 years, to this point, and not have the money for a plugger is ridiculous. I mean, they're probably going to have to get a loan, but if that means they have a couple of grand's debt each, then, you know. It's worth it.


AR: So is there any opportunity there, do you think, talking about needing finance, is that somewhere where public sector organisations can be supporting? Or do you think that the music industry shouldn't really be backed by public sector? DP: That's a good question. I think using my model I'd say, yes please can I have some money'! But I am quite honest and genuine about that...Yeah, public sector shouldn't put money in to bands. Specifically. They're not going to anyway, they never have done. But in terms of, infrastructure – but it's got to be the right people. And I think, I've seen things in the past where I've just been flabbergasted, basically. Where they've invested in the wrong people and the wrong ideas, and – but then how do you say what's right and what's wrong? AR: Yes, a difficulty for public sector is then becoming taste-makers... Usually applications are specifically to a certain remit, and if the application is good then the money is invested. But you have to see the potential, and have an idea of the value of the people involved, and some sector experience, otherwise you risk investing foolishly. DP: I think everyone needs a business plan, but I think they need to dig around a little bit more and not just give to the first people that come knocking, you know. My idea for Love & Disaster is quite honest and genuine, because I do love Manchester. And if someone came and offered me a job I'd be like, well I don't want to leave Manchester, I don't want to go and work in London, I really, really don't want to work in London. And so there was an idea and a concept behind it, and I think that is exactly what a lot of marketing – Manchester and NW marketing is tapping into at the moment. It's frustrating to see a lot of money going into what is essentially very similar. But it doesn't mean anything whatsoever. So looking at This Is Now.com – is RDA, the NWDA? I'll show you now – I think it's funded by Visit NW or Marketing Manager... Cahoona did the website. They asked for tracks from Airship and DU, and basically what he's trying to do – which is great – is triynh to say there's more to Manchester than the Hacienda, which is great... so they've built this great website which talks the talk but doesn't actually deliver anything – it doesn't actually do anything. And the fact that you haven't heard or been involved is so – I’ve got in contact with them, obviously I'm on the scrounge for cash, and the New Mancunian, and stuff, I'd like to get some money for, I'd like to be able to go and say 'go and see these great Manchester bands, here is a showcase' etc, and also a national centre for music... hang on [looks through site] but you know they don't return my calls or anything like that. [searches site]. So, this is the site, which is... it' hasn't even been updated... looking at that stuff as well, it's the very obvious stuff... England's North West, what's that? Anyway, so - that's what they've done. I spoke to Cahoona and Cheetham [Richard Cheetham, local promoter] put these bands up there. It's great [reads blurb]... “no longer about heritage and legacy, this is now”. But it doesn't really. I mean, it's got what's on... ok, but for example I put on the Airship gig, and DU gig the next week, and they weren't even on this. What they've actually got is like, Greenday... I mean, well. Anyway, but I don’t actually care, it's irrelevant anyway, but well there are some tracks there, Dutch Uncles, Everything Everything, Airship... [scrolls through]. It's just useless. It doesn't do anything. AR: mm DP: it doesn't serve any purpose whatsoever. It doesn’t give you any information about the bands, it's just really annoying. It's just kind of, badly informed and uncreative. And it's a bit annoying. That's going to have cost £10-15K. And it's just annoying because it's like, I've done more for Manchester and the reputation of Manchester music in that one record, than this whole site has done. I got it in to Vogue Italia. I mean, fuck City Life, it's about getting it out there – like, in Japan, you know, Japanese blogs saying 'Manchester is great' and you know, they don't even return my


phone calls, this website. So that's the frustration really. But to answer your question, AR: Do you think there is a potential that Public Sector bodies could do something good? Or do you think it's too awash with administration and bureaucracy? DP: No, no I think absolutely, I mean you're a case in point, really, the fact that you know, they need to listen to someone like yourself a lot more – who is young and interested, and very sort of culturally and socially aware, and also not too biased. Obviously I'm biased as well! If you kind of asked anyone what you should do, they're always going to have an opinion, because of their own music or things like that, but then I just think it needs a little more research. I've always tried to be really upfront and honest and look at the scope of the project. It's frustrating – there was a vote thing, for the local elections, and the council had an idea that they were going to put a concert on, to encourage young people to vote. And for some reason the first person they went to seemed to be like, Matt Johnson and Ben Taylor, or Sparklestreet. And it was like – you could see they wanted young people to vote, so they did a free concert at Club Academy. With the Beep Seals, and it was completely dead. It was like, that's for 30 year old, Guardian reading, you know what I mean?? and obviously no offence to them, they've kind of gone, yes please, thank you very much, well you obviously want The Earlies, cos we're managing them, and you definitely want you know, Travelling Band, and you definitely want – let's get all our mates and they get all their mates, and get some free cash out of it. It's just another fucking absolute waste of money. Whereas really, what is gonna genuinely make a difference. And that's what Umbro are trying to do really. And there's the difference, because they're a proper fucking corporate company, with opinions, and... AR: Do you think that it’s easier for a company like Umbro – private sector – to have opinions, then, and an agenda, in a way that perhaps public sector can’t because they have to be fair to all? DP: Do you know what, outsource it. If you've got someone in-house like yourself then great, if not, give it to someone like Ear to the Ground, or someone like that. It's not hard to see what they do, they have a network of people, and it's Steve Smith, great. And they've got the brands, they haven't got the agenda, give them the money. They know what they're doing. AR: I think the main problem is possibly – with Vision+Media – the most important thing is really good HR and recruitment, getting the right people at the right time. It's a thorny issue. If you're successful in private sector, why do you go to public sector? You've either got to be offered a hell of a lot of money, or you've been made redundant from industry and are looking to keep earning, the main problem is therefore recruitment. Especially in the music industry. Are you at risk of hiring the 'has-beens' who are like 'oh yeah, i'll teach you about the music industry, chuck us a few bob'. DP: yeah, I think it's the same problem at university with teaching and stuff, and TV and I'm sure everything. There's probably a reason why they're not working in the music industry anymore, because they're out of touch, and I'm going t be the first person – there are a few people that stay in it and do great, but generally there is a reason why. And that's why it's just useless and it's run by the kids (up until the age of 35 -I'm 34! [laughs]). I don’t expect, and shouldn't expect, anything from that – but it is frustrating when you see where the money has gone and where it's been fucking wasted. It is annoying. And other people would necessarily have a problem as well. But maybe I'm the only one that cares enough to email them and say, ‘hi I'm doing this that and the other.’


Dave Haslam gets a bad rap, but he's doing some great stuff. But obviously they keep coming back to the old school Manchester people. But Dave's got a lot of clout, I remember him writing an angry letter to the Manchester International Festival and getting a stage for new acts, but yeah, I dunno. AR: So I suppose, having slated public sector (!) my final question is - we've mentioned money, but is there anything that could potentially fill the gap, support wise, for you? DP: That they could do without spending money? AR: Anything they can do that isn't investment, such as introductions, networks, building up the knowledge base and the skills in the region...? DP: [pause]: I don't know, I mean. I think it can be very valuable for people on a skills base, and it's great, and if you're talking about developing – I think the thing is, I don't think – there's not enough jobs in any industry (music, tv, film). A lot of people working in the industry know what they're doing, but there seems to be this massive push, to train even more people, whereas actually, I think the general idea of everyone can do it, and stuff, just ends up with a load of pissed off, sort of disillusioned hopefuls, basically. And basically, all the ones who have made a continued success out of it, are the ones that have got off their own backsides and learnt their trade, as opposed to , oh there's this session on doing this, that and the other. I'm sure they can be very valuable, by the very nature of the music industry it's all about networking anyway, I generally don't go to any of these things because I just find them boring and pointless, and I just see the same old faces, people that just sit round and talk about things... I still see the same things at UnConvention and things like that, Ruth Daniels – lovely person, doing really well, for herself, but she's had so much money and done nothing with it. And it's just the same, it's just people sitting around and talking about things and not actually doing anything about it, and just moaning, and then watching some bands. And that's my criticism of In the City, as well, you know, what Manchester really needs is a thriving, exciting thing with things going on. That's where things like, SXSW, is a tourist destination, and that's kind of the same as ITC. And Great Escape isn't a conference. And Manchester doesn't have things like that. And part of the reason is SJM, they have a bit of a strangle hold on everything, like small people booking bigger bands, but it's just – seems like loads of money going for people to sit and talk and not really doing anything. It's creating a workforce and those no real jobs. If it's 45K for an event, I could release 2-3 records for that, and build that up, and you think about the bands and the engineers, or the New Mancunian, the camera operators, and the journalists. And I do need people to do that! And obviously I'm going to be going to the people I know, but they are out of work as well, to sort of help build it up. But I'm more than happy to get a load of budding journalists, as well, because I've said, you know, you wanna present it, or come and do an interview, and you'll learn shit loads. AR: Great, thanks Dan.


Appendix 19 Interview with Everything Everything SXSW – 16th March 2010 Location: The Pecan Cafe, Texas Interviewees: Jeremy Everything; Jonathon Everything Interviewer: Amalie Roberts Introduction to the Interview: The band have been invited to play at SXSW. With support of UK Trade & Investment they have been able to attend the festival, where they will be performing at the SXSW Northwest of England Showcase stage, supported by Vision+Media. They are hoping to get lots of good contacts off the back of the conference, where a lot of international business is done. I was asked to interview them for the Vision+Media website, but ended up discussing areas relevant to my dissertation. AR: so this is your first time at SXSW? Jonathon: First time in America, as a band... Jeremy: and it’s my first time in America – as a person. Ever. Baptism of fire. AR: First impressions? Jonathon: Nice people, really nice people Jeremy: Yeah really nice people. Nice food Jonathon: Great flavoured sweets AR: (laughs) ‘grape’ flavoured sweets... Jonathon: (laughs) yes grape flavoured sweets... [we had earlier discussed Grape flavoured Jolly Ranchers, you can’t get in UK anymore] I think the radio, actually, the radio is really good it plays some great things. AR: Yeah, I went into a bar yesterday and they were playing Weezer... AR: And they love your accent, that’s another great thing about the States Jeremy: Yeah, only nobody’s said that yet! Maybe it will happen... AR: so you guys are over here for the festival, you’re playing 6 shows, is it? Jeremy: I think so, yeah [the two exchange glances to confirm] Yes 6 shows. AR: That’s really good. Are there any that you’re most worried/ excited about? Jeremy: We’re meant to be doing the Fader party, everyone’s been talking about that like it’s a great thing AR: Are there any that most of your energy is going on? Your prime focus?


Jonathon: We keep talking about this, and I think our prime focus is – to really make them all prime ones! AR: Ok, and do you guys have a kind of specific agenda for being out here? Everybody says that when you come over to SXSW it’s not just to have a party, you know, you’ve got to be really focussed and have an idea of the kind of people you want to meet... Jonathon: I’d just like to make more...friends. You know. Make a bit of a splash. A good impression the first time round. We’re not expecting anything, particularly... Jeremy: We’d like to put a few records out in America. You know. Like everyone else. That’s not actually a given. If you sign a deal in the UK, it doesn’t mean you’re going to do it here. So. You kind of have to start again from square one. AR: So can you just talk me through what happened with you guys [Everything Everything] Did you all meet at Salford Uni? Jeremy: not all of us, no. We did (indicates to Jonathon) us two. Jonathon: And I knew a guy, from when I was back at school, and our old guitarist left and a new guitarist joined, and he comes from Guernsey... AR: So none of you are from the NW, or Manchester Jeremy: no but we live there now. AR: You’ve done a remix haven’t you of a Delphic track, on the Love & Disaster EP that came out... Jeremy: That was a really good thing, actually, that whole release Jonathon: Yeah Jeremy: I mean, the label, it’s just a good thing to codify what’s happening in Manchester at the moment. Jonathon: Yeah, cos people weren’t really talking about it, until about 2 months before it came out, i mean, we did it ages ago Jeremy: We organised it Jonathon: yeah we just sent Delphic a Myspace thing, just saying, do you want to do a remix, it wasn’t anything behind it, it was just for a laugh...and it turned out kind of being an ‘event’. It was pretty good AR: yeah, really good. So how does it feel to be lumped in, grouped in to this ‘new Manchester’ scene? Jonathon: Yeah. There’s no harm in it at all. It feels good to be part of – a thing, of anything that’s happening really. Yeah it feels good. We definitely feel an affinity with forward thinking bands. Jeremy: Yeah it’s great to be in a group that’s co-operative and appreciative, with each other, but not derivative of


each other, or indeed of anybody else, really. Jonathon: Yeah no one’s really flying in the face of anyone else, really, we’re doing kind of opposite music. Yeah so it’s really nice. AR: Yes it’s different from that kind of Oasis style... Jeremy: Swagger AR: well, competition really, you know the whole ‘were the best fucking band therefore you’re all shit’ Playing around Manchester can sometimes be quite a competitive thing. Especially for unsigned bands Jonathon: Oh, it still is. It still is. Big time, I mean, [Jeremy, agrees] Jeremy: I think that would happen anywhere, really. But it’s this particular kind of – you know, the drive, musically in that particular city and um, i mean we formed playing those venues – we still do! But not much more now than we do any other city, but it’s still... it’s home for the band. Jonathon: It feels home, yeah. AR: So – best gig you’ve ever played? Jonathon: oh I had one of these... someone asked me the other day and I had one... Jeremy: In recent memory – well, two. We played at Union Chapel in London, which was Jonathon: Yeah that was good Jeremy: That was a different thing for us because we didn’t – Jonathon: Yeah we had a string quintet Jeremy: Yeah and we played a kind of ‘stripped down’ version of the songs. We basically played as we do normally but a bit quieter and with strings! We trick people into thinking it’s going to be a quieter event. AR: So how did you do that, did you have to score it? Jonathon: Yeah, we scored it, we just um, we called people in the RNCM in Manchester – just asked, you know just asked if they had any string players, Jeremy: Yeah, students that would be cheap, basically- but it was just something good for them, that we could afford, it was fun, it was co-operative as well. They were able to say to us ‘this bit here, doesn’t work’ AR: So are you always up for doing really different projects, and doing –


Jeremy: When we can, yeah. When we can. I mean, the opportunities are so – scarce. So [shrugs] yeah. Jonathon: We really want to do more like that, you know, get a choir involved, or get some drummers and things like that. All that stuff to come. AR: You’ve done your own video as well haven’t you? Jeremy: All the videos, yeah, we’ve done all the videos. AR: How do you find the whole idea of ‘do it yourself’ – that people can become their own experts in the music industry, you no longer have to have this massive deal, that is seen as selling out, you know, you can connect directly with your fans and – how much do you think that’s kind of bullshit, or actual reality? Jonathon: I don’t think it’s bullshit at all. I think it’s kind of – I think it’s quite optimistic. I think if you’re, you know a really, really amazing band, and quite lucky...and you’ve probably got some money from somewhere! Anyway! Jeremy: This is the thing, you have to have money from somewhere Jonathon: Then you probably could do it, it’s just, there’s only a certain amount of time that you can exist doing a job and trying to do a band. Quit your job, try and do the band, you know you’ll just very quickly run out of money. It takes that little Jeremy: The thing that’s Jonathon: That little bit of time, but you know, on the face of it, you definitely can do it all yourself, there’s nothing stopping anyone, it’s just – Jeremy: Anybody can put music out, and that’s Jonathon: But there are an awful lot of skilled people, in the music industry, that do stuff, and are skilled, they are there for a reason. There’s no reason why they are suddenly irrelevant, or obsolete. Just because they could be. They can do it, as well. Jeremy: The thing that strikes me about that argument that all the labels and all the staff and the subsidiary industries are all obsolete because of Myspace, is the fact – they don’t exist, these bands that only exist on their own. You know, that are huge stars through the Internet. Who are they? I can’t name one! You know, the so-called Myspace stars like Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys. They all got huge deals. I mean they had to, eventually. I mean, it didn’t take very long before they signed to these record deals, because of the Myspace buzz, or whatever. I mean someone has to physically press the records! Jonathon: For a little while longer, anyway [laughs] Someone’s got to master them, for at least the next five years. Or ‘upload’ them! AR: Can you talk us through the deal you’ve got at the moment?


Jonathon and Jeremy look quizzically at each other: Jonathon: I don’t actually know... AR: You have a record deal! Who’s it with? {laughs} Jeremy it’s with Geffen (Geppen?) UK and that’s – basically means we can put – do stuff with them. Put things out across the UK. And that’s about it, really. Jeremy: And it’s nice because we talked to a few labels, as you do, and they all said to us that they liked the way we’d got quite far under our own steam, just by – and quite uncompromisingly, everybody said that, and everyone said, oh we just want to help, continue that trend, but when Geffa said that we actually believed them. AR: it’s a lot to do with the personal relationship i guess, Jonathon/ Jeremy: yeah AR: You felt like they got what you were doing,


Appendix 20 Interview with Jeff Thompson Interviewer – Amalie Roberts Interviewee – Jeff Thompson Location: Cornerhouse, Manchester Date: 8th February 2010. Background: AR: Thanks for meeting me. I’ll just be recording you, as you can see. I’d like to mention that everything that is recorded will be transcribed, and a copy sent to you, so that you can make sure that you are happy with what I’ve transcribed, and if you’d like to edit anything you can do so. Is that OK? JT: Yeah, that’s great, I’d like a copy it would be interesting to read back. Sometimes you just spout shit don’t you, but I might say something useful...! AR: Ha ha, OK. First I’d like to offer a bit of a background about my area of research, which we discussed briefly on the phone. I’m looking at what Do-it-yourself artists can do on their own, without the support of record labels, in order to identify whether labels are still useful, or relevant in the current climate. How have new technologies changed the shape of the music industry? And what kind of support can public sector offer? Does that all make sense, do you have any questions so far? JT: No, no that sounds great AR: OK Super, so… A few light questions to start the debate, the first being, what’s your background in the music industries? JT: I play the guitar…well, not that that is a background in the industry. I’d say mainly, since 2006, has been my real background in the industry. I started with Fat Northerner, a Man indie record label. I’ve been doing that for 3 or 4 years. Dan, Ruth, we all do everything in that ‘SME’ model, literally everything from receptionist, to management! From that we also started doing ‘Unconvention’, around this subject of how things are changing. Unconvention has been going for just over a year. We’ve been meeting a lot of people and gone from this lowly little label, to seeming to know a lot of people who are much more important than us! Ruth and a chap we know from London - we’re developing Tool-core a tool for the live music industry, around booking agencies and venues and artists. It’s just this boring on-line thing, a goofy way of administering the live music industry. Ruth, me and a guy called Ian, he set up MixAlbum.com, and he was on Dragon’s Den [TV investment show]. So, MixAlbum.com was this site where you could mix music automatically on-line, so people can make their own dance music, you know– so you don’t need a DJ, you can mix it all yourself. It was funny, Ian totally thought he’d make his fortune doing that… but actually made his fortune from gyms! What he thought his market were…well, it weren’t there, and other technology changed… people stopped buying music anyway. So he got this investment from Deborah [Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden] to do Tune-Core…this live industry event management software AR: And can you explain what it is that Tune-Core does? JT: Sure, OK, well, it’s main premise, is through how shows are advanced. Especially with medium level touring


bands. You’ve got a lot of repetitive information that you need to send out every time: you’ve got to send technical specs, stage times, and so on, so it’s about centralising the data so it’s always there… just to organise a single tour you could be looking at sending or receiving sixty emails. So it’s based around trying to get rid of that repetitive information, and it’s free to use. Hopefully people will cotton on. AR: That brings us nicely on to one of the current hypothetical arguments circulating the music industry at the moment, which is that people aren’t buying records any more, and so live music is where it’s at. What do you think about that? JT: HA true, you know what, the way I see it is, there’s only a million pairs of eyes that will go and see a gig, aren’t there? There aren’t suddenly 2 million! They’ve put the prices up, spending more money seeing less... AR: And do you think that it’s the same amount of performers as well? JT: Yeah, cos they’re not selling tickers –like, now it’s £90 to see Radiohead but they used to be £30! But it’s a bit more solid, I suppose, people will still go and see gigs. I think it’s attractive in terms of getting investment in music, which is a tricky area these days – unless you’re developing hardware... The great irony is that digital music retailers say they’re not selling, but Apple have made iPhone, and Sony have made 500gb hard-wares – are they surprised that people are downloading lots of songs? I think a lot of things are smoke and daggers, really. AR: Could you expand on that a little? HT: Well, you’ve got technology companies working five to ten years ahead of the industry… Apple is probably already developing 100GB iPhones. They’re thinking ‘right we’ll give music away at bigger file sizes, so people have to buy latest version…’ Of course, not all music companies own manufacturing arms but Sony and Apple do, or they’re owned by subsidiaries that do… Apple made its biggest profit this year and we’re in a recession! AR: So you think that people are more likely to spend their money on the cool sexy gadgets, rather than the music itself? JT: Yeah, I think that’s right, that other argument about people spending money on other stuff - they do. I would never spend £400 on albums in a year, but I spent it on the iPod when that came out. Then there’s games, oh and DVDs, obviously. People have other things to spend their money on… and live gigs. If you’re spending £250 to go to Glastonbury you wouldn’t buy 30 albums - not that year anyway. AR: Do you think that people are spending less on buying music? JT: Well I still buy music, I’m part of that generation, I suppose, I haven’t got into BitTorrent sites… that’s partly a generation thing and partly my own apathy! I only buy stuff - well I kind of only buy stuff I like, that I already know I like...Well - I use Spotify a lot, but I don’t change mind every minute. I’ll listen to stuff I like, I only buy stuff I like and I listen to albums... if I was listening to music all the time I’d be on BitTorrent. I think it’s pretty good how you can just sort of half hear about a band, and you can listen straightaway. AR: Do you think that the way you find music has changed because of on-line music? Or do you still find it in the


same way, through say, that one person you know who lends you stuff? JT: It’s interesting, I’ll tell you about this blog I wrote, right. I found five or six boxes of cassettes up in my loft when I was clearing out. So I thought –just because it’s what we’re talking about – I started looking at how many of these cassettes I’d bought, how many I’d recorded, how many were bootlegged – this was all before CD or MP3. Then we did some of the figures at Unconvention. It was really interesting! There was always this argument now that piracy is killing music, and then you look at what you used to buy and record, and it’s no different! In the same blog I mention Black Crows. I only heard their album because I’d asked my mate for a copy of his Van Halen album, on tape. He put it on those C90 cassettes you used to get– they were about 40 minutes long so you’d get the album on one side, then you could get another album on too. That’s how I discovered Black Crows. That instance it was a free copy. But since then I’ve bought every album in every format – that’s like, seven or eight albums, in twenty or so different formats – plus I’ve seen them play, bought T-shirts. So that argument, which is based around discovery verses theft... I don’t know. It might be a naive blog now, but in its innocence it’s quite poignant! If it hadn’t have happened this subsequent stuff wouldn’t have happened. It was so funny realising that half the music I owned I stole, and I thought ‘I’m holier than thou’… I suppose it also depends on how much money you’ve got. I was only poor, as a kid. AR: Can you talk a little bit about your experience at Fat Northerner [Jeff’s record label] – Have you noticed anything has changed about how you operate over the past couple of years? If so, what? JT [Pause] I think there’s a couple of things there. We’re a small indie label. And we’ve never made money out of selling anything. But we used to sell stuff. We still do. Widely speaking I think independent labels can be working in niche stuff, they often have fanatical fans, not submissive fans… let me think... Changes ...The main effects have been – if we make a record, there isn’t anywhere to sell it. The bigger industry haven’t managed to sustain the distribution – the physical distribution anyway. That’s not really affecting the people we’d be selling to anyway. It’s going to be more diluted anyway, not to same extent of broader major label model. There are bigger indie labels than us that will have been hit, but we’re marginal anyway. AR: How do you mean? JT: Like, Ironweeds album came out at the end of 2007, which is kind of well into p2p debate, and its sells here and especially well in America. Say in a month if we sell 100, if you got a BitTorrent site and look up the numbers you’ll see say, 700 -800 downloads on BitTorrent. Have we lost that many sales? No! We’ve sold more because more people have heard it. But my own experience is that that is what will happen. Unless we’re doing something specific we won’t release physicals, the days of releasing single on CD well gone, Woolly’s [Woolworths] and Zavvy’s and Borders’ – they’re all gone. So why would we make 1000 copies of a record when there are only two shops that can sell it?! Because of that, the people who are really suffering are the high street retailers. Apparenly Piccadilly [Piccadilly Records in Manchester] did alright this year. But generally the physical sellers and the distributers have been hit. AR: So do you use digital distribution companies now? JT: We use Cargo for our distribution, we swapped to Cargo a few years ago. It was pretty different trying to get something distributed before the digital revolution, where we had to justify it - you had to be able to back it up…like,


you had to say ‘this is the tour support, these are the places we’re playing, this is where we expect to be selling records’ etc. The distributers also wanted a press angle, you had to convince them to take your stock, basically. Anyway, in the middle of last year, Cargo rang and as a complete change they bit our arm off – they were like, ‘do you have anything? Send us everything you’ve got’. They were biting our arm off! So they’re obviously desperate… distribution are desperate (only speaking from our experience, of course) but they were almost begging us if there was anything we can do for them. As a label we don’t really advance – pay for advances or anything like that. We used to pay to record, but now expect them to have already recorded it, or we do it for free, or we expect them to come with a finished product. That doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of market but that’s where we’re at. This idea that physical is dead has reached every level, but we could still do 500 vinyl to a niche market, and make more money out of that than we could out of selling 500 downloads on iTunes… the small indies probably have a different set of problems or opportunities to the major labels, I guess. AR: Yes, there are labels like Tape Club Records, who only release on cassette tape... JT: Yes, and Type Records, who only release stuff no one else would release! Physically, they sell it, but to such a niche market that they sell whatever they make. I guess they understand what people want – a certain kind of person goes to them. As a smaller indie that’s what you can do. Humble soul, Red Deer Club, Timberland – they all have that niche, they’re aimed at a certain kind of punter. We aren’t really… we haven’t got a niche and it works against us. But that worked against us before… things have changed. Retail is different, distribution is different. All of the supposed p2p stuff for us is a huge opportunity. People are finding stuff that they wouldn’t have found otherwise. And then they come and buy it. AR: OK great. I have a couple more questions... In terms of our imagined Do-It-Yourself artist – what do you think the main opportunities are for them being signed to a label that they couldn’t do on their own? JT: That’s the core of the Unconvention thrust! One answer is nothing, the other is everything! You could get a wealth of experience and contacts, through the old system, and these are still the contacts you’d need. There are examples of bands doing it without labels, like Enter Chikari – or Steve Lawson, he makes a full time living putting out music for free, and building up his fan-base, and doing house gigs, lecturing and teaching and all these things. I reckon a label would be irrelevant for him, he knows his audiences and how to engage with them. A lot of times at UnConvention, people sit and say – all labels ever were were these band and PR agencies, and Unconvention is to an extent about education, about showing people how to do that bit yourselves. But, just because you’re good at writing songs, it doesn’t mean you’re good at everything! Steve Lawson can do it, but Steve Lawson is this clever, intelligent witty bloke – most bands I know aren’t any of those things! They are good at writing songs… but you’ve got to understand the new environment. Now, I’m not claiming we [Fat Northerner] understand it – but we do it better than some bands do on their own. AR: Mmm-hmm JT: Some bands on their own will be streets ahead of where we’re at - which is why I say both. We’d say we’re a music company now not a label. And that usually means management. And management – I put forward for a panel, ‘management as the new label’. If you get a manager who can co-ordinate a group of people, you don’t need a label at


all. The releasing element is now so minor, you don’t need it at all. Distribution is neither here nor there, so we kind of do management. That’s the model we do at the moment, but then we’ve not been about making money, we do management – bands will say we ‘re putting record out do you want to sign it… if we thought it for the best we might just email them and say, rather than waste time getting label, here’s a list of things you can do yourself. If you do them well, labels will bang on your door, and you might find you don’t need them. That argument about if the labels want you, you probably don’t need one anymore, well, that’s never been more true than now. At a level, there are still people who will get signed to a big label and who couldn’t have a career otherwise – but Fat Northerner was always about being a stepping stone. When it was all about physical distribution, we always knew we’d be limited – we might get them one step up ladder, but to grow organically without massive investment was impossible in those days. That rung of the ladder has gone now. Bigger indies – there’s no-one looking to sign, or advance. Everyone is so risk averse, at higher level, and it’s all about catalogue and sacking people. I think there’s a lot of truth in the headlines, but I don’t think the cause is necessarily what the papers say. I’m going a bit off topic here! A lot of people were sacking people were selling CDs to people that already owned them! People will have soon bought all of the Led Zeppelin CDs, for example. They’re a finite thing, not a growing market! It’s been compounded by a changing format, but... AR: But perhaps people are spending money on other things anyway? JT: Yeah, it’s like. CDs – it’s been on the news, hasn’t it, this investigation into CD prices. They were sold to us as these real premium products- but hang on, it turns out they only cost 2p to make! Oh yeah, the industry said, but all the marketing…It’s like iTunes, the first real digital retailer, they made everything 79p. Why? Even on the high street everything has different prices. The music industry has always done stuff crap at that kind of level. Which is probably why indies don’t have that kind of problem. We can give it away and we don’t have to pay loads of wages. Break even. Much more likely than it was pre- digital models. To put a single out physically and do a bit of PR around it which might not get you anywhere anyway- that could cost you £500 month PR… £1200 - plus artwork – which when you sold the thing, at best you’d get a fiver for it, maybe even £3 – if you sell them all you might break even. And that was the model! There’s PRS as well – I can understand why it’s important, but people are losing little bits of money and getting irate… you could do a day’s work and get £100 quid, but you can spend months recouping this money…, it’s your money, but at the indie level break even is kind of where you’re at. To produce an album – well it costs a phenomenal amount of money. £6,000- £7,000. Think… if you had a thousand CDs that you hope to get a tenner for… really you’ll end up… physically releasing records was prohibitive unless you had a big audience to start with. Overheads now – you can release an album for …£20!? Cheaper than that – probably free! You can record an album in a weekend. I bet I’ve got more tech in my back bedroom than Jimi Hendrix had in his entire studio! So –the upshot is studios are knackered, and so are PR companies - who’ll pay PR companies for records you won’t make money back on? AR: Ok thanks. The last thing I’d ask is what potential role you see other support networks offering, for example public sector?


JT: For artists – I think there are two things… What’s happening is, the old way of doing stuff, label had the money, they paid the band’s wages, paid PR companies, paid the studio to record the album, they spent £1m, they had to spend £1m+ to make it viable. Well, that’s changing, now. That doesn’t make sense anymore. Indie labels – we have a studio, no one has money, we have studios, no one pay, have PR – we do it all on equity. I think that is going to be the future. So we’d have this model, say call it The Dave Smith Band, which consists of, band, management, PR, recording studio, etc. So say we’ve got 15 people in The Dave Smith Band. All these people work as hard as they can, all own 15% or whatever, to make it work, and if it works and makes money we all get our 15 quid. Now, it doesn’t suit everyone, some people need to work to set amounts, so it doesn’t necessarily suit studios. There are lots of shit records might be made. But it would work if it’s worthwhile for everyone, say – a collective. Let’s try and get a cross discipline. Let’s pay to get something designed, that will hopefully add value, and make more money. But nowadays that’s the only really sustainable model outside of the ‘live is future’ thing. I mean, live is the future, fair enough up to a certain level, but it costs money to go and play! AR: Mm-hmm JT: A lot of myths are being exposed, everyone always lost loads of money, and people still are losing loads of money… breakfast TV and Top of the Pops might make a bit of money for a band, but in reality most people lost money and bled dry. It’s not money for nothing and chicks for free! Being an artist, realistically you’re on the dole, on that New Deal thing [New Deal for Musicians]. So you’d be on the dole, and if you were brilliant you got a deal/ advance. Well, that advance was a lie! Not for everyone, that’s too specific, if you got a bad deal you might have got £50,000 and it was money that was spent on that band, and they never got into profit. Guys from these labels would say, here’s half a million quid, spend it on recording, but it was for their own recording studios! It profited the major labels, the more debt the band got into, which is why they encouraged them to sit around on their arses and drink and play pool and do drugs. You know, it’s like that old argument that with an advance you’re borrowing the money to buy a car, then you pay off the car, and then they still own the car! Well, those days have gone. You might get a recording grant, but then you have to live for free. Reality is they’re full time and their income is zero for six months of the year. Income happens when they play a gig, and all divied up ,and that’s their wage. So you get paid when you’re gigging, and as soon as you do your last gig, your income is zero again. The idea of a pension, or of recorded legacy, is diminishing. There’s still – licensing and working with brands. Brands will pay for cool. Ironweed have some stuff with Sony. It’s not the same as selling direct to their public though. People DJ and teach now as well as being in a band. It’s probably not a different industry from the days of advances, but you probably won’t get advances anymore. I think the only genuine way to make it, is to have a very rich boyfriend or girlfriend! Being in the music industry is not like being an accountant or even any other creative industry – there are no jobs that say ‘singer in band for 30K per year’ – I mean, it doesn’t work that way. You work your job and gig on a night. The problem for artists now is that advances have gone. You can’t hold down a job, so you’re not going to find an employer who’ll let you go and tour. Without an advance…it’s chicken or egg… unless you’ve got some money from somewhere magically appearing that isn’t an advance, how do you do it? So there is a scope there… a gap between bands who are successful and have


massive fan-bases and generate a good return, but whose cash-flow is stone dead. Unless they’re physically out on the road – and advancing used to link that, and that‘s gone. I think it’s a culture argument. Who cares! People will make music if they’re paid or not. But right now, there are bands who are successful and big who are making albums and no-one’s paying them to do it, it’s like they’re expected to do it for nothing and hoping a lot of money will be made in retrospect... In any other business that would be unacceptable! So there is a gap there. A definite gap. It’s akin to the Arts Council funding orchestras. Should there be a salary for cellists when no one is paying to go and see orchestras paly any more? There isn’t necessarily any cash-flow to sustain that level of music and I mean…. Therefore surely the reality is that orchestras should disappear? Well, the same is true for bands. You’re gonna work and be in a band, or be on dole and be in band, or don’t be in a band! So there’s this gap now were there used to be a feeding ground where bands could move from one to the other. Economically that’s not viable. Or you have to be a full time live musician. Steve Lawson makes a good living, but has no overheads. The music industry used to have to support a whole industry, chrome offices, that‘s the other reality. Bands can turn over £200k per year, that’s a sustainable model but they turn the money over, when they’re out doing it, there’s no leeway, that’s the main problem. Ultimately as an industry, there’s every chance that all aspects of overheads will disappear, there’ll be lots of redundancy, the industry will be all stripped down. And there’s an issue there, that’s where I’d see agencies or some third party either that or – how do you justify an orchestra? If you listen to the market, it would say, if there’s not enough people to pay to go see it, then we shouldn’t have orchestras. Go and work in a book shop, you know! It’s cultural rather than economic. And that’s the heart of Unconvention. People are really split around that issue. If you want to play music, it’s like the same as wanting to play five-aside football, or write poetry- you can’t expect that someone will pay you to do it. If you want to sustain or prolong it, someone like Government wanted to sustain it, there’ d be some scope there. Perhaps subsidizing artists, but then you’d be a curator, which doesn’t seem right. You’d be A&R. You know, that’s all that labels were. And ninety per cent of brilliant bands probably woudn’t make it if it didn’t look right. I suppose we’re talking about certain level of career, maybe some bands won’t ever get there, and they’re the ones missing out. Um. Or the other way is to make sure that there are better opportunities for bands to make money themselves. Bands have to be business minded. Uncovention is about that, it’s about educating people. If you’re good, there are ways of making a career. And it’s changing anyway, the idea of a career in music, up until recently it was perceived as all or nothing, like Hollywood actors, everyone wanted to be Tom Cruise or something. Now a successful career is if you are making twenty or thirty thousand pounds a year, doing whatever, teaching or DJ-ing, and playing. If you just want to play, you’ll get disappointed. I think a curtain has lifted a bit. The music industry didn’t do itself any favours by selling itself on an image of millionaires, you know! I mean, the print industry probably has millionaires, but it doesn’t sell itself on that image. For every Tom Cruise there are a million people selling coffee in LA! I think that at our level, that image was always detrimental rather than beneficial. From a music business or company point of view, we will carry on anyway, as we’ve always been run on passion, it was never an economical thing so it doesn’t need any development. From an industry level…I mean, culturally, Manchester without music would be a poor place. Money is made through night-time economy. Hopefully that will continue. I think it still comes down to – if the first rung goes and no one affords to be in bands, who will play the Ruby Lounge? If one part goes, what is the knock-on effect? I think there is an extensive model to try and find out… industry-wise, I think it’s kind of education, I would say. The other thing about the industry is..it’s not a formal


industry. There’s SJM, assume who are doing alright, there are some good venues which are making money. I think there are more cultural ramifications than economic ones. It’s difficult to know what’s going to come next. There’s this hammering that’s been taken by the Soho Square guys. The North can probably ride it, in that we now know we don’t need to send stuff to London any more to get it done. AR: So you think there could be benefits for the North, because the power of the South has been shaken? JT: I think music is local. What you want, and what’s viable is – it’s good for bands in Manchester to play good venues in Manchester, and to have good fans in Manchester. Like, it used to be you were no-one and then you went to London. For Manchester (OK, maybe not Runcorn!) but for Manchester there’ s…like the 1,000 fans theory, you can make it if you have 1,000 fans. It depends what you consider to be success in your career. For a four piece band who are making £100K a year you’ve done it. You should be able to do that in a city the size of Manchester. Well, as a base, the core of what they do could be here, it doesn’t need a London PR and distribution company any more. So there’s an opportunity for legacy. But there probably won’t be massive companies sprouting up, but there could be some management companies. I think labels will redefine themselves as managers, a few people managing different bands. They’ll be companies because they all work and live together but they’ll essentially just be three managers working together. AR: So how do you think these labels can make themselves stand out? JT: We’ll [Fat Northerner] will carry on because we love doing it - so will Humble Soul will carry on doing it… but I don’t know, it’s always tough. You speak to people and they start labels all the time. It won’t die, but the economic viability is different. In my mind there will be lots of companies doing lots of different things, rather than monolithic flabby companies doing lots of things and glamourising the industry. For me, that gap in artist development is what I see as quite detrimental problem. Yeah. Did that answer anything?? AR: yes, that’s great, thank you. Just a couple more questions: do you think that people are more put off entering the industry, as they become aware of these shifts in the industry? Do you think that there are a hundred albums that will never be made because the industry has changed? JT: Er… I think there will probably be a lot more bad albums as they’re cheaper to make! And lots of music doesn’t fit anything, does it, it modern terms, so things like Tubular Bells would probably have never been made! A lot of Beatles. Aphex Twin! Would that get made? But then, in the past recorded music was the format. Orchestral music was mainstream, when everyone played in theatres. It’s what culturally is popular that ends up getting made, because there’s a market for it. So I think there will be music for music’s sake, that doesn’t make money, there will be bands that don’t sound like the mainstream that get through, and there will be mainstream music that changes depending on the market. AR: OK JT: So there’s a gap now. Socially. Of the number of brilliant musicians I know, some do alright, but live in squalor, you know, they’ve got no pension. So they have to either stop doing it and get a job, or they stop doing it… most of them teach actually… I don’t know whether that’s always been the case.


AR: Do you think that people will always reach that crux point, where some people give up the dream, and others always keep going? JT: Maybe, but I think the lack of advances means that here are people, who could be really good, but there’s nothing for them until they tour. So then you have to tour for eleven-and-a-half months a year, and who can sustain that? Or you might do it for a few years, but then become like, a lecturer or a teacher, or something. But that is the most pressing issue. There’s people stuck in limbo. It’s made it a bit – I would worry there’s great stuff that won’t happen because of that gap in funding for artists. But you know, it’s a much more exciting time than ever before, it’s just the markets have changed and the industry (old industry) can’t handle it. Like the banking industry. Lots of people have made lots of money, and there isn’t much sympathy for musicians who have made a lot of money, and complain at things like p2p file-sharing. You know. Complaining outside their mansions in Malibu! There are bigger ramifications– the recorded industry has just changed. From a development point of view, for a city like Manchester, whose economy is based around recorded music… realistically, I think, you know, I don’t know how ticket sales are going, but I’m sure certain tickets are knackered, like the five-or-six pound ticket market. I’m not up on the thinking behind that. Perhaps people are spending more on festivals? Or on iPods rather than CDs, Madonna rather than local bands? From a regional point of view, that would be a problem. But, that said, the up-shot is everyone is really optimistic. More bands are making more music, but their career will be a lot shorter, on average. AR: OK, great… JT: Yeah. Label wise, I don’t think it will last. AR: Great, that’s very interesting thanks. TAPE ENDS


Appendix 21 Interview with Katherine Melling Interviewer: Amalie Roberts Interviewee: Katherine Melling Date: 05th May 2010 Location: Email Interview. AR: Please find below the interview questions that I'd like to ask you for my dissertation. As I mentioned when we met, your responses will only be seen by myself and the marking tutor at my University, so in that respect your responses are fully confidential and will not be represented anywhere other than in my dissertation. Background to Dissertation The dissertation is about traditional labels and contracts, including publishing contracts, that have underpinned the music industry. The question posed by the research is whether independent, do-it-yourself artists need labels and contracts anymore, or whether it is possible for them to utilise other resources to obtain a viable music career. In order to investigate this I need to know exactly what major and minor labels, publishing companies and managers are currently offering bands and artists. This way I can examine what labels etc DO, and thus work out whether artists are really in a position to do all of this themselves, whether anyone else can support them, and what the implications of this may be (i.e. if an artists were to spend x amount of time doing their own PR, marketing, licensing, etc, whether they would ultimately suffer creatively). When answering the questions you can be as brief or as detailed as you like. If it's ok - if there is anything that I feel I would like further clarification on I may drop another email back. Interview Questions: AR: Please could you give me a bit of background about your role at Universal Publishing as an A&R Co-Ordinator? How did you get involved, what skills do you utilise in your job? Have you had any specific in-house training? Or any other training? What do your day to day duties involve? KM: I got the job through someone I knew who'd just started there as an A&R manager! I was previously working on an industry magazine called the Tip Sheet, now no more, that was run by Jonathan King. And i got that through doing work experience after University where I'd got to know some student PRs as Music Editor on my student paper. I think, despite all the course around now that work experience, or setting your own thing up, is still the best way to get into the music industry. Showing initiative is key. I've never had any specific music industry training - and neither has most of my colleagues! I was sent on a day course/talk by the MPA (Muisc Publishing Association) when I started which was supposed to be an 'introduction to and overview of publishing' but it was rubbish! And I did get a day of excel training last year to help me with me spreadsheets - not very rock n roll! We also have aways days (and evenings out) about once a year as a department, and I've attended 2 European A&R conferences - but they're more of a bonding and drinking session than training! The ones who have are the younger A&R guys so it's obviously more common now. My MD, who also runs Universal Publishing Europe from the UK office started at 16 (I think) as an A&R guy with MCA and has worked his way up through all the mergers. My deputy MD started as postroom boy with RCA records at 16. I'm quite proud of them :-)


My job involves a combination of creative and administration jobs within the A&R department. Until the merger with BMI 2 years ago I was the only real admin support person in the A&R department, however now there are 3 of us. Although the other 2 have more PA and International leanings. I'm a go between for managers and our copyright department who do the incredibly important, and very boring, job of registering our writer's songs with the PRS & MCPS. I also book the travel for the A&R managers when they go to gigs round the country/world, I keep track of the releases of our writers (acts and writers for other people), and I think my biggest responsibility is actually the ticket ordering as I'm the only person in the company doing this, and I do it on behalf of the whole company. Everyone gets 12 free tickets a year as a perk to use on our acts who tour during the year, plus we buy tickets for our film & TV (Sync) department to give out to clients at film, TV, games companies etc. I deal with tour schedules, the ticket promoters, sort guest list etc and process the invoices. This area has increased massively over the 8 years I've been in this job. Firstly due to touring becoming more important to acts, secondly due to our company roster doubling in size, it's gone from something I spent about 3 hours on a week to now taking up 70% of my time! On a more creative side I also act like an A&R manager and go to gigs to check out unsigned acts, liase generally with managers, lawyers, radio people, PRs and other label A&Rs to find out who's hot. I signed a producer-writer myself, directly helped to sign acts such as The Guillimots & Mumford & Sons and put out deals on others who we didn't end up signing. As a consequence I've picked up a lot of information about publishing contracts and certain legal aspects of publishing. Everyone in our department constantly has to keep up with their contacts and what the competition is doing as we dont know where the next big thing will come from and information is key to doing the right deal at the right time. I also share responsiblity for booking studios (2 in our building or, less often, outside ones) and making sure there are budgets or contractual funds in place to pay for the sessions! This part of my job is very similar to a label A&R manager's or co-ordinator's role. Also, unique to publishing is song-plugging where we pitch the songs of the writers signed to us, who aren't artists in their own right, to people like Simon Cowell to use on the albums they're making. I do a little bit of direct plugging but more organising diaries for UK sessions between writers, and booking writing trips abroad. So skills - for A&R certainly communication is key... knowing the right people (for any given situation) and keeping in contact is vital, and being able to communicate with writers and bands. That's how I managed to set up my own gig nights and made them sucessful outside of a big company structure. Loving music helps, but you do need a particular perspective to survive in a major company I think, a slightly wider, more cynical view helps! I have to be able to use the internet, email, and Microsoft word and excel help. I have gained some half decent knowledge of studios and equipment and the cost of recording even though we rarely get involved directly with making albums from start to finish like label A&Rs do. A general knowledge of geography has come in handy as I book travel so much, and I've become a bit of an expert on New York, Austin and Paris hotels! Also, more and more I seem to be the department expert on our invoicing proceedures and systems! Kinda nice to know who to pay people and in a big company that can be so convoluted. Being able to make sense of a variety of technology and systems is definitly a plus in the modern music industry. I really wish I knew more about web design and how the internet actually works as that is probably the most valuable thing right now in terms of getting a job in the industry.


AR: Have you noticed any changes to the style or genre of music that you are publishing? KM: Not massively. We're a mainstream publisher that wants to make money and any genre can do that. Traditionally we didn't do classical or jazz, but after the merger we inherited a classical division. It's only 3 people, out of 80, though! There are always slight cycles in music and at the moment we seem to have signed quite a few drum n bass/dubstep writer producers due to the tastes of 2 of our A&R men and the fact that we can see a new enthusiasm at Radio one for it, and in America people are keen to work with people like Chase and Status & Sub Focus so there's more potential to make money from those deals. AR Generally speaking, what stage of their professional career are the artists that you sign at? Have you noticed any changes to this over the past few years? KM: No we've always done big deals for hot acts about to sign major record deals, big deals for established acts, big deals for catalogue, AND development deals (writers not signed to a record company). Over the 8 years I've been here we have spent perhaps one year focusing more on pop as that was what was selling (when X factor/Pop Idol started taking over), but also we've had directives to get more deals done early and think less about ticking boxes, more about gut instinct. Our MD responds to the current climate and tries to prredict the coming year, but over all we've proabbaly done about the same amount of boths deals each year. We're lucky to have the budget to be able to pretty much sign what we want. AR: When you offer an artist a publishing deal at Universal what does it entail? That is, what is your offering to the artist? KM: Most importantly it's the money. As a big publisher no-one will accept a deal from us that doesn't give them money, unless they're already established and raking in the cash! However this is pegged at how sucessful we think they can be, and on the market forces. Lawyers can play publishers off against each to get a better advance in a hot deal, but this rarely helps the writer long term because if we've paid too much and the band fail we can't stick with them for a second chance however much we want to. Secondly, in specific deal terms, is the splits. Traditional deals offered a 70/30 split - 70% of collected royalties go to the writer, 30% to the publisher. That is more like 75/25 for develeopemnt deals, and 80/20 for other, sometime 90/10 for a big established artist who will take a smal split on royalities for less up front money. Over and above the contractual niggles we're offering, firstly, a UK company, with, despite being a major company, a very approachable A&R team committed to promoting your music, who can make things happen with their connections - set up and pay for studio time and recording costs if necessary, set up writing sesions with the best writers and producers etc and leave you owning the master if you wish, put you in contact with press, radio etc. Plus we have an adminsitrative team dedicated to collecting your money efficiantly from around the world and a big sync team actively looking for ways to exploit your music creatively and in the way you'd want it to be (you can make it a contractual issue what ads etc you won't be associated with). Secondly, we have great relationships with all our worldwide offices and will promote your music whereever you go. AR: . What do you feel a publishing deal with Universal will offer an artist, above and beyond what they can do themselves? KM: Kinda said above! Mostly it's the advance and the connections within the industry, and across the world, that we have as a company that is difficult to replicate on your own.


AR: There appears to be a current trend in popular thought that suggests that artists are better off on their own, rather than signing away the publishing rights to their work. How would you respond to this? KM: Long term, if you're a very sucessful writer with good people working for you to make sure you get the exposure, and the money owed to you around the world, you'd definitely be better off not signing away any rights, never mind publishing. However, I know a couple of managers pretty much doing it themselves (without an established label) and being sucessful, in that everyone is making a living and people are hearing the music - King Blues and Joy Formidable, but the King Blues have signed a publishing deal and Joy Formidable would jump at a good record or publishing deal. It's tough doing everything yourself. A lot can be blagged initially I'm sure (studio time, PR etc) but any well set up company has clearly got resources and expertise that can be invaluable. Retention periods on publishing deals are getting shorter as well, so these days you may sign a deal for 3/4 albums, or a period of say 5 years, then the company can continue to exploit the music for another 12-15 years, then it's all yours again. No-one signs life of copyright now with the bigger companies. However, 90% of the time it's not a good idea though to sign your rights away for a tiny advance to a company you've never heard of as that can cause more problems long term should you want to sign another deal later even if they're promising you the world. AR: Have you noticed any perceptible changes in the way that the major labels operate over the past few years? KM: Yes a bit. Major labels seem to be going more for the instant buck. I've heard there have been directives at a major record company group recently that A&R's can't sign anything that they don't think will sell a million albums. I don't think anyone signed Radiohead, U2, Florence & The Machine, Kate Nash or Mumford & Sons with the thought they'd sell a million so I think that sort of talk just stunts creativity. Also, in the wake of Guy Hands taking over at EMI and their financial crisis no-one can really sign anything there, even on the publishing side. The major labels have seen a massive reduction in their traditional revenue streams so there's a bit of panic out there. They're finally trying to find alternative routes to making money by harnessing the power of the internet, and by doing the 360 deals and taking money from publishing and touring revenue, but a lot of acts are wary of doing that, understandably! Eggs in one basket etc!


Appendix 22 Interview with Kevin McManus Interview – Kevin McManus Interviewer – Amalie Roberts Date: 25th June 2010 Location: Vision+Media Offices AR: So, can you tell me a little bit about your experience and background in the music industry, and how you’ve ended up in public sector? KM: Very succinctly…! I started writing for NME when I was about 18 – on and off until I was about 30, which led to other things – by accident I ended up managing

a few bands, one on an indie level and one ended up doing a

major deal in the UK and in the States. And ended up – as part of all that- doing bits of promotion and bits of DJ-ing. I did 3 and a half years at the Institute of Popular Music, in Liverpool, which is the UK’s first academic UK music industry thing, and then public sector: I ended up – I did lots of odd jobs, Business link – information and advice. I was working on a community – ESF funded project for development in Liverpool and the job come up for this new org, around creative industries and it seemed to bring together my experience – community and creative industries. That was the ACME job, I took in 1997 and have been doing ever since. So that’s it very succinctly! AR: OK, great – as someone who was a manager, and who has been in the music industry, how do you see public sector helping to support creative entrepreneurs? Is there anything that you feel would have benefited you, for example? KM: It’s an interesting one… I used to get asked to sit on panels, particularly with bands, sometimes as managers… it was always like ‘can we have some money’ –but all the successful people I know have never benefited from grants or anything… so in some ways I’m opposed theoretically, in principle! But – stuff I wish I’d known was just dead basic stuff, it’s like, knowing the way into industry and who to speak to, which came through networks and meeting people, and also experience: because I’d worked in NME for a number of years I ended up having contacts which were useful when it came to doing major deals with the band. So I knew a lot of A&R men.. some of that you can’t teach or provide –it’s about doing it. But there is something about helping people avoid some obvious pitfalls, which is fairly basic stuff around contracts and that sort of thing. But I mean, the things I did in the early days with ACME was usually – there’s two answers: there’s support for the entrepreneurs – we helped an amount of small businesses with small grants and advice, and sometimes it was as simple as giving them bits of money so they could put together and market themselves – a good example here is Ken Nelson, who is a producer, who I just knew anyway, which is probably helped that I knew him – he came to us asking for a bit of money basically to put together like a show-reel of his production stuff, and on that basis he got the job doing Coldplay – he went on to produce the first two Coldplay albums, and that made a name for himself and made him a great career- and also bought a lot of work to the Liverpool studio where he works, so it’s sometimes as simple as that… he said he knew he was a good producer but needed a bit of support moving himself forward, so it’s – for me the key thing is having an understanding and an empathy for the industry, for the sector – but it does also help if you’ve got small bits of finance. But then on a strategic level as well, I mean Sound City was something I came up with – successful entrepreneurs will do stuff like that, like James Barton who’s done Creamfields and stuff, and got involved in Music Week – it means it’s purely commercial and getting big name acts – whereas what I wanted to do with Sound City is bring the industry to it, as


well as the gig side, and that initial drive. It’s probably quite unusual but I think the way to do it there is to partner up with the private sector pretty quickly, - which is where I worked with Dave Pichilinigi, which is – AR: It gives them a tangible contract? KM: Yeah that’s it yeah AR: Do you think that public sector can help the music industry? KM: Yeah, I mean, the practical stuff that we’ve done – a bit with Vision+Media but also in ACME – are things like, Rob Swerdlow, he’s one of the top managers in the country, but even so he still looks like, when he was taking a band over to SXSW or just trying to get a record out early one – it’s a lot for a manager to invest himself, and it’s there where public sector can step in – in the old days, when I was managing bands, you could always rely on a record label to support stuff like that, but the record companies don’t do that any more. So there is a little bit of a gap there for the development stage. AR: Do you think that public sector money should be invested in a recoupable strategy, a low or no interest loan? KM: I think there’s a lot to be said for doing a recoupable way of doing it, but it also takes a lot more management. I mean – the stuff we did at ACME, I mean I wish that with someone like Ken we’d said, we’ll give you a grand or tow but once you’ve reached a level we want – and Ken would have seen the value in that and been vocal about what the grant mean to people like them, but I think there are probably – there must be away of doing it that keeps the admin/ bureaucracy low and you don’t go chasing – I mean if people can’t pay you back there’s no point chasing them, and stuff. AR: You don’t want to be chasing, but at the same time – arguments abound about In The City, which has had countless amounts of money from NWDA, and they’re still not recouping on it – do you think if they’d had the money with the proviso they had to make a return on it that they would have worked a damn lot harder to make sure they did, rather than take for granted? KM: Yeah I mean, the conversation I’ve had with Dave Pichilingi from day one has always been about – public sector is gonna tail off, that’s the way it needs to be. Unless things like, the NW package for SXSW only makes sense as a public sector thing, because you can’t make money from SXSW unless you write a clause in the deal that says that if you get a deal as a direct result from SXSW we get a cut – you know. It’s a tricky one, but yeah, there are areas within the NW that have a grant dependency- Merseyside was awash with ERDF money for 12-14 years, so there were always grants. Probably less so in Manchester I think a part of our job, a lot of our initial conversation are going to be people saying they want money. And we have a translation job to do, which is not always money – it’s just – why do you need it, there’s other ways of achieving those things. AR: Even if it’s signposting people to other areas of finance? KM: Yeah and sometimes it’s not even finance, it’s just – the business model they’ve got it never going to work, so it’s just if you put public money in it’s still not going to work, it’s just going to subsidize them for a bit.


AR: Do you think that public sector should be tastemakers – because then we’re straying into Arts Council territory – I know V+M remit is very much the business side, and development, but there is always some criticism that is ‘oh you’re just giving them money away to the first people that knock on the door’ – how is our role defined in that, we’re not really tastemakers are we, we just look for the most viable business opportunities? KM: Yeah, I think the way I’ve always looked at it is, and it’s classic public sector covering your back – really – is – sorry to be a bit dull here, and you and me probably haven’t done this as much as we could – as we’ve only had small amounts of money – but when you’ve got large amounts of money you have to have a really clear process, which is – this is the application process, this is how it’s judged, these are the people who are judging it, and it’s judged purely on a – does it meet the criteria, and is it gonna produce jobs, turnover, or you know help the business survive and keep jobs. That’s all it can be about. Once you start judging the artistic merit of stuff you’re in the realm of the Arts Council and it’s very dangerous territory. Well, as long as what the company is doing is legal and stuff I don’t think it’s really for us to judge whether it’s good or bad art really. I think there’s areas where it’s really legitimate stuff, like the international stuff, not just SXSW but people again, supporting, it’s one of those areas like helping people into new markets, it’s difficult to self finance and it’s – there are areas where public sector money is really useful and you can’t – whereas someone like a bank would see it as too risky. AR: Yeah, perhaps we can interpret the two worlds, the business and the purely creative? KM: Yeah from this and the other stuff, even the businesses we’ve met over the past year, part of it is – is relief from the businesses side, that they’re meeting people who actually understand it, rather than if they go and meet a business link person, or a bank manager, or something, they just don’t – get it. AR: Do you think there are certain types of people who just keep coming back to public sector networking events, without actually getting anywhere? The same old faces? Or is that our responsibility to keep pushing forward and attracting new people? KM: There are, yeah. There are and it’s difficult to avoid them for us. I suppose, if you say, you’re doing your quarterly report and you say we had sixty people to our network events, it’s not like we’re asked, is it the same sixty people, and it, I mean I do think there is real value in networking sessions, even the ones we do, I know people have genuinely made new useful contacts from it, not just swap their business card and never speak again, I think we’ve even had people who have directly got business or work from it. It’s hard to track and things because it’s – but I think putting – like other creative sectors the music industry is quite fragmented and a lot of people work alone, just do what they do and only interact with other people when they have to, so getting them in a useful space with other people is useful in it’s own merits but I think there are… AR: Maybe some more marketing that needs do be done? KM: There is – yeah, and I think it’s clever networking. Maybe me and you facilitate meetings where we think they’re useful, and sometimes where there are network plus, like one to ones and things. AR: I think there appear to be three main points that I keep coming back to in my research – time, money and


contacts. Time verses money, and contacts. I think that if you are just doing it on your own, you need to have time and contacts. The three are interdependent. Do you think that we could step in to introduce people to industry contacts? KM: Yeah, I think - like at Sound City, if there were people I've met through our job here, where it's relevant I’d introduce them. Which I think is useful. Swerdlow and things like that, they can do the polite thing, they can chat to them for a bit and if it's not relevant they can get themselves out of it, so I don't think there's any, you know, harm in doing that. AR: And people do want to be introduced, KM: But where there's a useful connection, or you think there's a useful connection, you know I've often done it, is I'll say, Alan Wills you should meet this person here, and do an email introduction, that's a useful thing. And I think having a network event, that has no strucutre, is fairly useless – it's a waste of people's time. And the good people won't turn up, or they'll turn up once but they won't turn up again. AR: How do you differentiate all of these people in the music industry, there are so many people operating on their own, how do you know the ones that will stick? I suppose it's just time that will tell... KM: Yeah, and I think that's kind of our role, I mean, another reason public sector is useful – there are little pots of money out there and there are bigger pots, like VCLF, and most of the music companies I know are not gonna know what the VCLF is, and even if you sent them the email saying what it was, they're not going to – I mean, a useful role for us is to sign post, and act as a translator for the bureaucracy – there's absolutely no reason why they should have to deal with that. And if they want the money, they've got to go through it, but we could be there to make that easier and encourage them. AR: And encourage it for the music sector, who might not be so familiar with it as say, the Film industry? KM: Yeah, I think that we need to make the paperwork as simple as possible. Keep it simple for them, and impress upon them, that it's the same as a deal with a record label, that you have to do the best you can with it. It's about getting those messages across, and when you do that people are ok with it, and we either have to play along, or they don't get the support or the money or whatever. AR: Any random thoughts on the changing shape of the industry? Will labels still play a role, or is it becoming increasingly fragmented – can public sector fill some of that void, or will it keep evolving? KM: A bit of both! It's evolving all the time, and I hate to agree with Feargal Sharkey and people like that, but I know Feargal and UK Music have been pushing for more Arts Council money to be directed at commercial sector, a bit, and he's trying to push for ACE money to go toward the indie sector, rather than toward Orchestras and theatres, and things like that. And I think that the business model has been so disrupted over the last couple of years, certainly in this transition period there is a need for – gap funding – to replace the bits that used to be there. I mean when I was managing bands, you'd get like, demo money and things, if you went in and signed a deal you'd get money for certain things, and you get money to go touring, and all that sort of stuff, it's – you can't do it, how can you go to your record


label and say, we want this tour, it's gonna cost £10K. In the old days you'd go, you'd justify it, you'd say, we wanna do this tour, and we'll reach this number of people, and sell this many records. But it's a bit like, why – that's not – people aren't gonna buy the records now, so where is the benefit for the label or publisher? So I think, until that all settles down, which might be the next few years, there is a need for that development stuff. The stuff that I really wanted to do, was sort of the model – The Kitchen, about filling that gap, getting managers to mentor young managers, and having a bit of tour support money there, for people to apply for, to keep as much money in the NW as possible – using studios In the NW, etc. And I think setting up that kind of initiative in the NW could be really useful, but again, with the caution, that we can't be the taste-makers. I think if we had a pot of investment money, that could be recoupable, you could do a load of really interesting things. Tightly managed, not just given away to anyone, I think there could be a real need for it. It's just that – developmental stuff I suppose – stuff that in the past labels have covered. Another area we can help are those courses and things like that, to educate the next level of managers or promoters, whether a workshop or one to one mentoring or things that companies might not have the money to do. I think the industry is so important to the economy, but it has still got big fractures in it, and we need to support, otherwise we'll end up with the same people just getting the money. I mean, how are any young promoters going to take on the might of SJM, you know, there are genuine reasons for supporting businesses at that level. I think the likes of Cream and SJM, there's probably nothing we can do for them, but there's a whole lot of things beneath that that we can. I mean the likes of AdLib Audio in Liverpool are one, I helped them do their bid for Access to Finance, RDA, and it's part of that translating it all, I mean, they're very good businessmen, but they don't know the bureaucratic language that we have to work with, and I helped them do some of that stuff, so I think there's a role there. AR: Something about trying to shake off that public sector image? KM: I think the trick of it, which is what I learnt with ACME, is to not look anything like a public sector organisation. Everyone thought ACME was an independent agency, which had managed to score some money which they distributed, which er, and it just seemed much more like approachable and flexible and stuff. The trick is always to be – you know, the criteria, you do need criteria because it needs to stand up to scrutiny and stuff, but you're also need to be as flexible as possible. You know the businesses, it's very rare that two businesses ever have the same needs, and you need to have that flexibility to go ok, well, we've never done that before but if it works for you. And do it quickly, not have a process that takes forever. Because – well you know, if something's hot now, like an app or something, you need to get it out there, and not like, wait while we piss about for a month, trying to decide if it's a good idea or not. You've got to be prepared to take risks. which is something public sector are very adverse to doing. But I think another trick is to always balance the ones that you're pretty sure are guaranteed to offer a return, with those that are a bit more risky. AR: Do you think that the criteria that public sector have are a 'lesser of two evils' compared to the criteria that a label would have had? KM: Uuummm...[pauses]


AR: Or does it just need a different translation? KM: I think it just needs a bit of different translating, because there are I mean, the time I was signing bands there was just money there, it was done on whims and on, you know, and I’m sure it did get a lot tighter after that, but I think yeah, I think if people like me and you were given a sum to invest we could easily come up with, these are the areas where the money is most needed, these are the sorts of chunks that should go out, and this is how it should be recouped, and this is what you've got to do to get it; it would be – you know it would work. But in these hard times, whether or not we're going to get that... AR: Well, thank you very much, that's brilliant.


Appendix 23 Interview with Pat Fulgoni Interviewee: Pat Fulgoni Interviewer: Amalie Roberts Date: 2nd July 2010 Location: Huddersfield, UK AR: I think it's really difficult because you can start off as a really really talented musician, but it seems as though in this day and age, if you're not good at selling yourself, and marketing yourself, you're essentially destined for failure; label won't look at you unless you've got that mini network already going. So where does the investment and development come from? If labels are no longer offering you an advance, where does that development come from? PF: Yeah, and it's looking even bleaker, I mean, I ran a little course about a year ago to raise a bit of funds, to try and get kids into software – there were a couple of unruly kids from an area of Kirklees, basically, we got a bit of money from Kirklees council to run a workshop on Reason, for NEET kids. But they're swapping tracks on mobile phones, that's what they do now. Hardly any of them know what a record store was. It's died, that whole retail side, well certainly in certain genres. They all wanted to write dubstep, and I cant see where the sales are! So you've now got these tracks, unfortunately you seem more interested in it sounding better on a mobile phone than a studio, so that's another shift, the production value. It's almost like it's got to sound better on a mobile phone than on a stereo. You know. And you're just going to give it away, to your mates, and that's all you want to do, so how are you going to earn any money from it? AR: There will always be music production, for music's sake; there will always be people that do it because they love it, I hate to say hobby, but that kind of thing. But is it really essential that these people are making money? PF: Well, it's the third largest export for the UK! AR: So, if the infrastructure isn't there within the UK, then that's a real catastrophe? PF: well, it's going to cost the economy a lot, a huge amount. I mean it opens doors all around the world, to all sorts of territories. We might laugh about the Beatles and things like that but that's what first springs to mind for a lot of people. It's what a lot of people harp on about and it opens a lot of doors, it's a huge selling point, and it gets people a lot of international interest and gigs. AR: And if live music industry is going to become a major focus, in the decline of the traditional record industry...? PF: and a lot of labels are seeking cuts of all kinds of income streams, you know, you've now got these 360 deals where people might sign an artist up for a cut of the music, a cut of the recordings, the gigs, the merch, the publishing, you know, everything. AR:

And

how

'fair'

do

you

think

such

deals

are?

PF: Well, a few years ago I would have thought 'oh that's outrageous' - but now i'm thinking, no! [laughs] the


landscape has changed so much that actually, in some ways, it's still a good thing for the artist. AR: And is that because they'll get – what do you see that a label can offer an artist that they can't do themselves? PF: [Pause] well, I mean, the new model of the label probably will go out and get concerts for the artist, in addition to their more traditional roles, which was pressing up and marketing CDs and vinyl. So gigs, sychronisation... I run this very small label part time, Chocolate Fireguard, and frankly if I hadn't have got loads of music into US film and TV I probably would have given it up. AR: Wow. And you see that it is a very lucrative area, then? PF: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I don't press as much as I used to, I mean I don't hardly press anything at all in this current point in time. AR: Do you concentrate on digital distribution then? PF: Yeah, yeah that's kind of the direction I've gone in out of necessity. I don't work with the most commercial music on CF, so i've been getting a lot of music into film and TV and been getting a lot of money from that. AR: And how have you broken in to that market? Have you established those contacts yourself? PF: From UKTI trade mission, I guess. I went out to Hollywood AR: Ah, yes on the LA Sync Mission – Phil Patterson? PF: And um, pretended to be anything other than a singer! Yeah the LA Sync Mission. Although I think the first sync happened at SXSW. I managed to get my band into Weeds, that Mary Louise Parks series – I managed to get a track into the first series of that. By chance. By being at the right place at the right time at SXSW. More recently I've worked with a sync specialist, down south, because I felt that... AR: An agent? PF: Well, yeah it's for the legal thing really. I felt at the beginning I was so like, yeah great let's have the cash, that I didn't consider the legal aspects, but I started to feel a bit worried that I was perhaps being a bit naïve. I've had a look through all the paperwork and it's fine, but – I just feel a bit safer if there's another person... And I mean, that's kind of what we were talking about, representing yourself, you tend to undervalue your own music. And I found as film departments – the music departments started to work out that I was a singer, that in fact I was singing on some of the tracks that I'd been licensing to them, that became an issue, because of course they'd look for the bargain, wouldn't they? And start thinking, oh well, we can talk him down because he's on the record. So it's really handy to then have a third party to wade in, and say no! [laughs]. AR: So are they a lawyer, this sync agent?


PF: no, no they're not a lawyer but you know they're specialists in dealing with contracts, and they can you know, back me up! [laughs]. There have been occasions, you know, where i've got things moving and other times where the band have got the sync themselves, and i've just been happy to go, oh well, you know, great! AR: I've been to several talks about synchronisation over the past year, and everyone seems to be looking to it as a saviour. It has been important to note that all of them say at the end that they dont' take any unsolicited material. So I was thinking one area where we could perhaps help is this area of finding the pluggers, the sync agents, those middle layer of people who actually get your music to the right people... radio pluggers. PF: yeah, great! Well, do you need a hand, I mean, I know quite a few of these people...? AR: Yeah, yeah that would be great, really great. PF: I'd love to kind of help run an event. AR: Yeah, whatever it is, an event, workshop, or a kind of, 'meet the agent' or something, whatever shape it takes. PF: Yeah, there'd have to be an incentive. They're coming from America so you'd have to pay for the flights and that. AR: yes and hopefully the British Music Brand could act as an incentive, you know. Like, we had a showrunner over from LA, who worked on Ugly Betty, Greys Anatomy, etc, and he was here to talk about commissioning series from UK producers in TV, but ended up asking if anyone knew how he could get cheap music, that sounded a bit like the stuff that the music publishers were now charging an arm and a leg for! PF: this is it. This is one of the benefits of being an independent – I mean, I'm in the situation where I own my own publishing, and my own master. So if – let's say – we got some tracks in Dirt, for example, the Courtney Cox drama, we got 3 tracks in that, i'm guessing that some of those tracks replaced bigger artists, so they'd have got used to say, U2 – then as they've neared the final cut they've gone no no no we can't! So which knobheads have we got to ring up!? You know. And you can turn in round in 24 hours. You just sign it off an it 's done. If you've got a publisher, and a label, and all these different people, they're just gonna go, oh we want more than the other side, and before you know it – and supervisors lose patience. They just want 'yes!' they don't want 'well, the drummer's signed to this publisher, and the guitarist, you know, they're signed to this other publisher, so it might be a couple of months, is that alright? I mean, Jesus. They don't want that, they have really tight production deadlines, they need something right there and then. So that's really one of the benefits of being an indie, and keeping it all in house. AR: Perhaps there's another area then, like the benefits of copyright – the benefits of being easy to sign, and how indies can publish that and research other sectors... We have insights into a few different industries, and music is really essential to all of them – PF: yeah, exactly, where would a film be without music? AR: yeah, and creative industries, and advertising, these are people that are going to be paying for music, I think PF: you'd hope so. I mean, income streams have got smaller recently, because I think there's so many bands trying to


get their music in there, they're happy to give it away for nothing, really, just so it's in there and they can get the publishing. I mean it is pretty good though, like Weeds has got a golden globe, so that means it's definitely going to get shown all over the world, so you know, if you're member of PRS, or you're a publisher it means you can get paid – a couple of years down the line. I mean, Kava Kava, my band who I've now put out through my own label, is a live band, and we've got a lot of synchronisations, I mean, we ended up touring out there this year, LA, and NY, and that would never have happened if I didn't have that story, about how we were this daft English band that had got into Dirt and all these shows. That helped us get the tour together. I'm still not sure we're exactly going to experience world domination! [laughs] but we did this daft tour of the US and had a good time. It was all self booked and self managed. It was alright! And it wouldn't have been possible otherwise. Kava Kava were signed to Southern based record labels, and there was no way that they were going to do that for us. You know, they had lots of bands signed to the label. AR: And you become lower down the chain, the more bands they're looking after? And when you were signed to the label, what was it that they did for you, what was their offering? PF: They put the records out, you know, recorded us, you know, they invested a lot of money. But you know, doing a US tour – there was no way that was going to come from a label like that. Years on i'm happy to go, you know [laughs]. No that's not the motivation but it does dawn on you. I really do believe indie artists are in a good position. AR: So what else then, as well as synchronisation, how else can indies do it for themselves? PF: phew... I mean, just weathering the storm through digital sales. Keeping it small in bitesized chunks, there's no reason why you can't... Vinyl is looking good too, I mean, i'm doing all this singing for Hospital Records, have you come across them? They do all this Drum and Bass, which is a huge scene now, I went to the O2 where Hospital hold their gigs, and had a bit of a wake up call, there were thousands and thousands of kids there, with their glo sticks, all raving to D&B! That was a lot bigger than I remember! So i've been singing on these tracks and watching the trends and it all seems to be about vinyl, which is amazing, through DJs. So Vinyl seems to be on the up, so you know, it's not all doom and gloom! AR: Yeah, and if you're independent you can manoeuvre yourself into perhaps more non-traditional markets, or ones that perhaps labels aren't so familiar with. A bit more ear to the ground. PF: yeah, I was able to license full records to Russia. I got paid as well. Which was a bonus. We've kind of looked at the Chinese market, we've gone over and gigged over there, and stuff like that. Whether it will turn into serious bucks... I doubt it really. Because there are some copyright issues within those territories. But um, you know, it all helps develop the band, and it can turn that PR back into the home territories, and it all helps out. And I don't have to put all my eggs in one basket, I can do singing with house tracks and things, you know. [Recording breaks to make another cup of tea]. AR: so what other things have you been doing as an artist? PF: Well, i've done loads of things, I ended up singing on some tracks through Subliminal Records, I'm sure they thought I was management, you know, they must have done. I put out a white label called Jesus Haystacks... and it


came out on Subliminal. AR: So did they contact you? PF: No, not that's another example of going out and meeting people at a trade mission, this time it was Popkomm in Germany. I met the A&R man, Melvin Moore, there. I think we were both late for a plane, I think, pretty early in the morning. It's really odd, actually. It was just me and him waiting for this plane, and they announced it, and we both kind of came to, you know, and ran for this plane. So I ended up giving him a CD on the plane. I'd asked him where he was from and he said Subliminal Records, and I was like, oh my GOD, you know. I've got this track that I'm convinced that... yeah! So I sat there nursing my hangover, while we were flying, and plucked up the courage, and went over to his seat and went 'you want to listen to this', and you could tell he was kind of like, what? Why are you giving me a CD? And then he listened to it, and when he got back to America, he emailed me, going yeah yeah we really like this! Isn't that weird? AR: Yeah! It seems to be the way the music industry works doesn't it, things like SXSW, are so important, because you've got everyone there and they're open to it. If you went and approached these people cold, in their offices, on a normal day, they might not be that interested, but they are when they're out in Texas! PF: yeah. I mean, when I started Chocolate Fireguard records I tried to get a UK distribution deal, and they'd go, oh where are you from, and i'd say 'Huddersfield' and they'd laugh! You know, so then I had to go to Cannes, Midem, to make it look like I was professional enough, to get an international deal. They take you seriously because you're there. But they'll not see you if you're from Huddersfield. You did have to go to these conferences to make it look as though you're bigger than you are. Ridiculous. That's what got me into this whole regional development stuff. The first compilation I did was Big Sounds from a Little Town, which was a 3 CD boxset of Huddersfield music. Which was a bit na誰ve, but I took that to Poppkom, and just handed it out while I was there, a big huge boxset! And loads of those tracks got licensed to some Japanese compilation, which was serious, so the bands were really made up. Lots got signed to UK labels and things. That's what got me thinking that this should really be happening regionally. So we did a West Yorkshire sampler, then we did a Yorkshire sampler, then we done the Yorkshire showcase. AR: So what kind of role has public sector been to that? Public sector of course are the people whose remit it is to support and promote the region, so? PF: Yeah, definitely, so UKTI have been really helpful. I've got good links with the International Trade Advisors, initially Brian, I don't think he works on music know, and Joe Hubbard. Who are just like Karen Holden, [UKTI northwest] but for the other side. AR: And youv'e been on the sync missions? PF: Yeah, Phil Patterson's been really encouraging, and i've worked very closely with him to make sure there was a Yorkshire showcase, which was badly missing from the British scene abroad. I mean, if you think about it, you just say Corrine Bailey Ray, or KaiserChiefs! AR: Do you think there is any benefits that public sector can do..? PF: I think they've got to spend more money on the music industry! I mean look at Yorkshire, there's finally a


Yorkshire Music Network – at last! AR: And do you think that's the place to be spending the money, on the networks? Rather than on individual bands... What do you think public sector can spend on to improve the infrastructure? PF: Well, I think there should be more money available for grants, for music businesses, definitely. Because it's cashflow, that's the issue. It's really hard for – if you look at a new model, you know, some artist that goes right, i'm going to release myself, I mean he needs help, really. It's so hard. They'll make so many mistakes otherwise, they might just give up. But if they had a bit of investment from the outset, and they were taken seriously as a business, not looked upon as a criminal. And I mean you do get this. You go along to some of these meetings and you're a musician, they're all like, oh what do you do, you just party all night! Get in in the early hours! Not really a proper business! AR: So do you think there's some work that we can do – by 'we' I mean public sector – to try and translate the music business to investors. PF: yeah, absolutely! I think there's this whole issue, you know, if you go to a bank, are you going to get a loan, as a music business? Probably not, you know. I mean what does your business plan look like? And you need a bank manager that's willing to give you an overdraft. It took me years to get an overdraft. And that with RBS, who are actually better than most banks at supporting the music business. And you can't blame them. I mean, I know the label is called Chocolate Fireguard which doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But you know. They can look at the bank account, they can see money going in and money coming out, and eventually, I was allowed an overdraft. But initially no fucking way anyone was going to give me one. I got my first grant from the Princes Trust, to buy a computer, to set up. My initial idea was to become an agent – I ended up getting loads of calls from bands asking if I could set them up with tours, and I started thinking well, I can't do this for nothing, so i've got to set up as a business, but I needed a computer. I was on this business scheme, they allowed me to trade whilst I was in receipt of benefits, and then at the end I could get back all the money I'd made and it really helped me to set up. It was about 10 years ago. So that was really good, they arranged for meeting with the Princes Trust. I was due a grant, actually, they were going to give me £1500, but then someone turned round to me and said, we are not giving another grant to the music fraternity! I was like, the music fraternity!? What the fuck is that!? And I realised that what was not going for my case was that I knew certain musicians who had taken the piss, and who had not, you know, dotted the i's and crossed the t's, so that has gone against me. And I don't know who said that, whether it was the Princes Trust or a new business advisor. But they actually used the term 'the music fraternity' and I just thought – they just don't understand, what are we up against, that musicians are treated differently. AR: perhaps something to do with that – a creative job that ostensibly is so much fun to do that people don't think they should get paid to do it? PF: Yeah there are all these talent shows and people glaze over and think 'oh I could have done that, I could sing that track' you know, for Simon Cowell, sometimes you have these conversations and people glaze over and think oh the music industry it's all this glamour and it's not, at all! It's hard fucking graft. AR: And it can be so hard for people to keep going, financially,


PF: Yeah, that's why I think the public sector – it's like, I think there should be loads of investment into films and computer games, I think those are really important areas. But I think there should be a similar level of investment into music, and I think there hasn't been. I think that's a massive mistake. AR: From our perspective, in the NW, i've worked on the games side, we had a regional attraction fund and investment for companies, and a lot of games, TV and film companies benefited. But it wasn't for music companies. But – where do you see the money being invested within the music industries? Because say games companies are big, you're investing into several jobs, that makes sense. In the msuic industry it's harder to map – where would you see the best investment going to? Labels? Promotion companies? PF: Phew, it's really hard. There's so many music companies, as you say. Yeah. I 'd like to see labels get it, to be perfectly honest. I mean, they get slagged off so much by artists, but actually, the ones that seem to be left in the game seem to be the people who really love music! And they're putting the hours in. I dont' know if they'll be called labels anymore, they'll be music companies, music businesses, super management companies... AR: Whatever they become, because new technologies have enabled a lot of DIY, do you think we're over-saturated, does it take someone investing into you to lend you credibility, perhaps you need something acting on bands behalfs to either become taste-makers or PF: yeah, like Gary McLarnan. Blimey, what a success story. You know. Mr Scruff is incredibly talented and a lot of his artists are. But would they be where they are, without someone like that, who has quite a ruthless business head, and a passion for music at the same time? And certainly, you know, he represents his artists with a lot of love, and you think, wow! Without these kinds of invidicals the industry just falls apart, probably! AR: Most of the people we support ot go to Sound City, and SXSW, are the artists themselves. But we want to be supporting people as well who are really fantastic promoters, but haven't really considered it, or really fantastic managers. A lot of people seem to fall into these roles after failing as musicians, but we want to encourage people to see and consider these as jobs outright PF: yeah, I mean, one of the artists that the Timeless music project happened, we put on The Crooks from Sheffield, their manager was really proactive, Penny, she managed to get some funds off UKTI, I think one of the companies that we referred over to Joe, and the Crooks were able to go with a 50% subsidy, and I think Penny was able to get some money from the UK Trade Mission, to go, you know and help along. I think she's come back absolutely buzzing. She did a talk at a debrief session in Sheffield [Sensoria Festival] and she was really up for it, they had such a positive experience. They've been all over the radio since SXSW, you know, I think they're still unsigned. Whatever that means!? But you know, they've got releases out and stuff. All in all a fantastic oppo. And would they have been able to do that without funding? Probably not, you know. I remember the Wild Beasts. We put them on last year at the Yorkshire showcase (at SXSW) and again they were struggling with funding. So again, I worked quite closely with the management, and the band, and got them some funding from UKTI. And again, without that you wonder whether bands like Wild Beasts would have – I mean, Ed, the manager, told me they got all their touring off the back of that showcase. So that's a really big thing. They're obviously playing big festivals and got Jools Holland, and I like to think that the SXSW showcase was part of that argument, kind of proved how good they were. It's just really important that the public sector continues to fund this sort of thing. And i'm a bit worried, as we said, that there's a 25% slash happening in this country, and there is going to be problems. There should be more of these missions, you


know, getting it out there, not less! AR: Yes, if it's our third biggest export... PF: Well it was, 2 or 3 years ago, I hope it still is. There's got to be more showcases, rather than less, we've battled so hard to get this Yorkshire showcase to get off the ground....we found there were a few Americans turning up to the Yorkshire showcase who had Yorkshire t-shirts – they'd got our poster and made them into tshirts and came this year and said 'Yorkshire is the best region in the UK!” ha ha. Not that it's a war or anything... [laughs]. But you know, there's Womex, there's Sonar, on a dance tip, it would be great if there was more access to these. AR: And what about internally, within the UK? PF: Oh, within the UK? I mean, I love all these workshops that spring up, where you can go along and hear a panel, get access to some expertise, you know. AR: There have been a lot of panels and workshops that also introduce, you know, one to one meetings or one to few meetings that give people something back. Who do you think it would be great to get into the region to meet music companies one on one? Will it be 'Meet the Synchronisation agents?' PF: Well it's going to be 'meet the managers', 'meet the sync agents', 'meet the labels', you know. Meet the promoters, meet the festivals, you know. AR: And hopefully it will be a two way benefit. PF: Yeah like in Huddersfield, how else are you going to meet the labels? Do they ever come here? I don't think they do actually, unfortunately. UnConvention was really good, I met some really good contacts at Unconvention. And In The City's really good too, I met some good people. I mean, it's good, if you can afford it, you know. It's good to get on a train and go to Great Escape and meet some folk, it's all part of developing long term relationships, and you know, being taken seriously. There should maybe be funds to allow people to travel to these events? AR: If UKTI have to have people going to more than two events, everyone is going ot have to think about long term strategies. We run awareness building, eg about German market before Popkomm... PF: Oh, yeah, was she a UKTI person? AR: Yeah, that's right – she looked after creative industries, PF: I mean you get all the information from these people, don't you? AR: Yeah, we had a load of statistics which were useful, which we'll put on our website... for people who are interested. So maybe we could do awareness of other territories, and perhaps put together something with UKTI that includes external and internal events... PF: Wow, yeah that would be great. I mean, i'm looking at my own experience, I'm scrattling around trying to get funding together – Timeless doesnt' get core funding, it's a lot of voluntary effort, but it's so important to keep it


going, and keep our showcase going, and in order to achieve that, i've got to go to Liverpool Sound City, and Great Escape. You know and you've got hotel bills, you've got travel, it's an expensive business. Costs of getting into these places. Before you know it you've spent £600 and it's beyond a lot of these labels to afford it. Or artists. AR: And if they can't afford the entry to these markets, do you end up with an exclusive or non-diverse music industry. PF: Yeah, you end up with a load of trustafarians, and middle class white kids [laughs]. Nothing wrong with that, but you know... Is it really demonstrative. Is your hiphop kid from some estate in Leeds ever going to go – probably not. He can't afford it! AR: Or even know about them? To make it fair, then, there could be more awareness. PF: Yeah, definitely. I think the money's there, I don't buy this cuts thing anyway, you know. Looking at it in maths terms. How much are we spending on Iraq? There's loads of money out there, we're still a very wealthy nation. I don't know where it's going really. I'm just astonished at this election. Timeless music is a social enterprise, in some way we might get more work out of it... I mean, Timeless music project came out of Timeless festival, which was this little festival we set up in our local park, we did 4 years of that and it grew and grew, we got some big artists, Fat City, and Selector, a feel good, Ska, Punk, bit of rock, dubstep, really good artists. We had to knock it on the head after 4 years because the council were just a nightmare to work with. And i'm looking at this area and going, where's the replacement? In this town we have this Party In the Park thing that happens, you know, some indie guitar fest. I'm glad it happens but that's all we get every year. And Kirklees is a really diverse area – we've got lots of ethic pockets around the place. Unfortunately we've got 10% of the population voting BNP, and at the moment we need more diversity and more and more events. Unfortunately after 10 years the mailer has been axed, we no longer have a mailer,and you think, where is this going? We need lots more community music festivals. I've bumped into a few live hiphop bands round here, who were inspired by a couple of hiphop acts at Timeless festival, and that's great, you know, that they were influenced, it inspired a lot of people and you see a lot more hiphop nights here. Which makes me feel a bit bitter that there wasn't any more funding available to support this festival. I just think, a town like Huddersfield should have a mailer. It's not good enough to axe it after 25 years. And if you think that three out of four of the suicide bombers came from Kirklees.. you want more diverse things to be happening. We want to start bringing out Polish music, and use it in that way, and hopefully save the local council some money! I mean cleaning up the city has got to cost. I mean, the very roots of Timeless festival was because some kids had driven a van into a recently refurbished, redeveloped clock tower in the centre of the park. They'd just spend a fortune doing it up, and then it was completely damaged by this gang of kids, who torched it. And we said, well let's do a festival called Timeless to draw the kids in and stop them getting into trouble. I just think there should be a lot more money spent on music and on these festivals. There's a lot of evidence that we've helped encourage these kids to start bands, and that' s got to be a better activity than torching clock towers! [laughs]. But in the case of one of the young lads in this area, he went and blew some trains up in the area. We know that he liked music, before he was radicalised. And you just think, wow. Shit. Maybe we could have done something to prevent that, you know. Maybe if there had been more support or stuff for him to be doing. AR: So public sector arguably have a role there, not just in economic terms, but in social terms, to be making a public service, something for people to be doing that supports creativity as an alternative to crime, boredom, and things like


that? PF: That's it, exactly. I mean, i'm a bit naïve about the schpiel you have to use to get this kind of funding. But I want to know how much it costs, to keep an ASBO going? Tens of thousands of pounds. AR: The difficulties are, there, perhaps, that there are so many different departments, for so many different things – I mean, we have ACE for investing into artistic content, so our remit is for creating jobs and building on the infrastructure, so we can't do anything around artistic content; UKTI is the body for trade internationally, abroad, so we can't do anything that touches on that without being strategic, so if we didn't get on with Karen, it would be a nightmare. PF: [laughs] i'm about them all getting along in Yorkshire! Perhaps I'll host a party! AR: I know. But that's just three different remits, and you can't have cross funding, and we can't support anyone that is under 18, or in full time education. So we can't help kids, so we need to find the people who are, and partner with them... PF: You could put on an event, I reckon, with some local meaningful acts, some role models, for 40-50K I reckon. And how many ASBO's is that? To say there's not enough money... I mean, in Huddersfield I think we need 10, specific community events. A Polish event, for example. I went to Government office to try and get money for Timeless, and they loved the model, they thought it was ace, especially with all the violence... and there's so much sadness round here, especially in Dewsbury, I mean, the Shannon Matthews thing, Dewsbury is not really going to recover from that, not for a few years. I like the fact they've moved Party In The Park there, that's great, it was in Huddersfield before... It was still very Indie, I think the first one had the Queen there! Loads of union jacks. But not one single ethnic minority band. And I mean, I'm not in to token gestures, i'm pretty colour blind when it comes to music, but when it comes to the Queen visiting, surely you want some representation of other scenes, Indian side, just to say, 'we're really proud to be from Huddersfield, we're a really diverse region'. But none of that, it was an indie fest. Very worrying. But yeah, public sector – more grassroots projects, like your community events. More pooling of resources across the different public sector bodies. Knowing where you can support everyone on the spectrum. You invent these roles for yourself – I mean, i'm not getting paid for it but I end up doing loads of mentoring, people ring me up on the phone and say, oh can you do this, how do I do that, and I think, well, if I'm getting asked this, where is the music mentoring? AR: yeah, PF: you know. I mean there are some good – there's Armstrong Learning, i'm not sure how many people they're allowed to take on... AR: I used to work for Armstrong Learning. They're just really working with unemployed people, again, another strict remit, and we don't know what will happen when Jobseekers Allowance and New Deal change... but they do own the copyright to the workbooks they use, and so they could look at setting up some mentoring privately. They own Access To Music too. PF: I mean in my battle with Kirklees, I put this course on for kids, that I mentioned earlier, to train them up in Reason. And it was great, you know. They sent down some social workers, to have a look at what we were doing, and


the Youth Service bought 6 copies of Reason, and rather than give us the funding to run courses, they expected the youth workers to train the kids! I mean, I reckon I know a bit more about Reason than those youth workers... and subsequently there were no courses! I mean we set it up to show them what they should be doing, and nothing happened in the end. So badly run. It was chopped, we learned they were trying to get their own courses toegether and they failed. I think it must be about communication between the different departments, mustn't it? AR: From the ground level, there must be so many conflicting courses and workshops, it must be confusing for a customer. I mean, if we get some really good speakers into the region, we should be working with Screen Yorkshire, or For Yorkshire, and letting them know, and making sure we pool those resources? PF: Yes, yes, definitely. It makes – it's economies of scale. If you're going to get someone over from America, you know. Share it. AR: yes working together is important. It needs to be open to all, especially if power goes to the Local Authorities, otherwise Manchester, and Liverpool, will benefit and smaller ones might not. PF: Yeah... it could become a nightmare. If Leeds, York and smaller regions have to vote as to whether we need an RDA... I mean, we talked to, you know Jim, from Generator, we talked to him, he's an approach for SXSW. I don't know whether this Northern Way thing will exist for much longer... AR: everything seems fairly up in the air, doesnt it. I suppose at least if the networks are already set up and in place, then if the worst happens and public funding is cut entirely for the arts, and music, then these things at least have a chance of continuing with some joint effort. PF: but I mean, if there was no northern presence at SXSW this year it would be a disaster. One of the ways, thinking about brainstorming, with the regions, perhaps we could all bid together to get a Northern showcase... But I don't know, everyone has their own politics don't they, and I can't imagine say Liverpool Sound City saying, OK this is a Northern showcase... and quite rightly so, you know, because they've put a lot of effort in. Yeah, so I don't know. Do you have a lot of contact with Northern Net? AR: They are cross Northern and based in our offices, but they are technically a separate organisation. PF: Are they OK, with all these cuts? AR: well, the marketing of Northern Net was a year long, so they are always just going to be until March 2011, after which is should technically be in place. PF: So they might have a bit of money left? They supported the Yorkshire showcase last year, it got them a lot of column inches, hopefully that was worth it for them. Maybe they could support it again. [Recording paused] PF: I think artists are quite fragile, and it's quite hard on people if projects don't work. Musicians in their mid 30s or 40s are quite depressed, they've put their life in music and quite often you see them go on these courses and get spat


out, dragged through and spat out of these courses, and mentoring, possibly given crap advice, who have probably done less than they have, and who are also harbouring their 5 minutes of fame. And you kind of worry about the negative impact that public sector is having on musicians. You know it does worry me. AR: And do you think that is public sector decision makers, who don't understand the realities of the industry? PF: it's the use of the music industry that worries me, you know. Quite often you see these courses that are there for the good of the organisation that are delivering the courses, as opposed to the good of the student, or the musicians or whatever. That's really worrying. And you hear some horror stories. There was a young kid around here who topped himself, and he was a musician, he was in a band, that was his thing. And you just kind of feel responsible, you know, like could I have done something for him? Why did he kill himself? Did he think he'd be the next Kurt Cobain? I mean, no chance he's from Huddersfield he's not from Seattle!? God knows where he was thinking. I don't know. That's another thing I wonder about. How mcuh does it cost to look after somebodies mental health, rather than someone who has been through all these courses. I don't know. I'm clutching at straws! More money for the music industries! AR: it's really difficult as well, because there is an attitude within the music industry, so many people do it for a hobby, you think, well, why should they have investment? PF: Yeah, and they're able to generate this idea that they're really successful, because they've got a nice tour van. But they've probably got a nice tour van because they've got a 9-5 job. Or their parents live in Surrey, or something. And it has the air of success, but in reality it's all bull. They'll be operating at a loss. And it varies, why people get into it. Your sole desire might be to get your first girlfriend, or – it's part of people's identity, and it's addictive. AR: You need to analyse what you want out of it, really, to avoid that depression of feeling like you've 'failed'. PF: yeah, I mean there are some serious highs and lows, AR: There are people who have, as you say, put their life on hold... So education is important but at the same time you can't promise people things. There are so many university courses, and workshops, geared toward the music industry, and actually so few jobs, you wonder whether that's almost irresponsible, in a way. PF: yeah, there's no jobs. AR: And we wonder, we're putting on these workshops and courses, and thinking, are the people actually attending these, that they're aimed for, actually coming? Or – who are we attracting? If people are out there doing it, perhaps they turn their nose up at these public sector events. PF: well, I mean, Sensoria, I thought that was OK, I thought – there seemed to be a lot of students whisked into the sync seminar, they were just fidgeting and being knobheads as kids are. And that worried me a bit. Why were they there, kind of thing. It's worrying because it's an industry that sells that 5 minutes of fame thing, so they can make money teaching it, without there being any jobs. I mean I get asked to go and speak to students and I tell them, you know, 'there's no jobs!' and some of the lecturers are like, yeah that's right, and others looked horrified, you know! And i'm like, well you've asked me here to talk about it, I'm going to say it! They all think they're going to be rock


stars! AR: Well, the industry. Much parodied, much beloved by a lot of people. PF: Well, yeah. Could you end up funding like, community events? AR: well, again it depends on – because our money is tied to jobs created and jobs safeguarded, it's a pain – but we need to be doing our bit, and working with other people doing their bit, so that we can all pool together, or tour events across the north PF: well, a festival, you could brand it with your company, couldn't you? AR: yeah, well In the City and Sound City, we invest in them for that reason. We get jobs created and things. PF: I think there's a lot more money spent on music in Liverpool and Manchester than there is in Yorkshire, that's for sure. And if I'm struggling and I have got a good track record of doing it, I think, what must it be like for an artist, just trying to get involved in something or get some funding. It's quite worrying. But we have good links with Screen Yorkshire, and ACE – a guy called Craig – he's up for it, it's just whether they can afford it. But I think they should be spending an equal amount on the music industry. AR: I suppose they need the expertise, don't they, in public sector, to know where to spend it, so it doesn't get wasted, like the Reason project? PF: yeah, I mean. We've got the music network, but I don't think they've got a lot of money. Probably have less now! That might be one of the projects that gets axed from Yorkshire Forward! I don't know... AR: Oh god! It's depressing! I suppose we're all just waiting now, to hear what happens...


Appendix 24: Dissertation Project Log MSc Dissertation supervision log (BIS, EBU, LSC, E-Mktg) Student Name

Amalie Roberts

Student No. 0908338

Dissertation title: Creative Entrepreneurship and the d-DIY artist: Examining the Role that Public Sector Organisations Could Play in the Decline of the Major Record Labels Please use this log to keep track of you dissertation progress. Please bring your log book to supervision meetings. You should submit your log together with your dissertation since this will be used to assess your progress. Failure to do so will result in the failure of the dissertation component. Meeting

Date

Review action from previous meeting/Action agreed for next meeting. Discussion with supervisor Paul Oliver around different dissertation research areas. For next time: finalize the topic area, draft title and begin aims and objectives

Submission deadlines Title and Aims and Objectives:

19th Oct 2009

Confirmed draft title – main area of research – and aims and objectives, subject to marking from Gill Green as part of RM module. Now working towards research proposal, deadline 3rd December 2009. To include Gantt Chart, overview of Literature Review and overview of Methodology.

Research proposal: December 2009

18th Jan 2010

Received research proposal back with some amendments – went through with Paul Oliver. Tidy up the aims and objectives and concentrate on the title. Preliminary literature research is to be either in depth or in breadth, further to RM module with Gill Green. Decided to concentrate on depth rather than breadth and focused on postmodernism and post-postmodernism, after a discussion with Gill Green after the lecture: “postmodernism is not the only thing” rang true! Deadline for preliminary literature review is end of December 2009. Received literature review back and went through with Paul Oliver. Remember that this is only one part of the literature review (the theoretical background) and will need to continue developing and collecting literature for the other sections. Went back over aims and objectives, these still need tidying up. Also still need to think about the title – need to have some lists of titles ready for next time. Continue securing interviews.

Preliminary literature research: March 2010

Have now completed more interviews, and only have a couple left to do. Continue doing interviews, and background reading. Borrowed Paul's thesis from the library in order to check the structure and style, ready to start putting the dissertation together.

Complete interviews and begin writing up: 30th June 2010

1

2

3

04th May 2010 4

17th June 2010 5

Continue working toward final literature review and securing interviews for data collection: 17th June 2010


Meeting

Date

Review action from previous meeting/Action agreed for next meeting. Still need to confirm final title. Moodled some ideas with Paul Oliver.

Submission deadlines Email Paul with final dissertation title: 09th July 2010

09th July 2010

Brief catch-up (although both Paul and I were busy as that was the day of submission for the special edition that Bolton University was preparing for Management Decision, which published contributions from Paul and myself, and which Paul was coordinating. Ensured that I was on target, that I would have a first draft methodology and literature review completed by the end of July.

Complete draft methodology and literature review by end of July 2010

29th July 2010

Went over methodology and the coding processes selected. Ensured that these were OK. Discussed the findings and conclusions chapters, and binding. Suggested that I make up 3 copies, one for me, one for the office and one to hand in.

Final Submission: 19th August 2010

30th June 2010

6

7

8


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Creative entrepreneuship and the digital-do-it-yourself (DIY) artist  

Amalie Roberts - MSc Dissertation (Uni. Bolton)

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