RETURNING FROM BLOGWORLD, PART 2.
i want to add something that i may not have made 100% clear with my statement at blogworld about signing (or not) with major labels. i knew that this statement would resonate…don’t worry, i’m not backing down from what i said at all 🙂
by no means do i know everything about how this works. i’ve made mistakes, and i don’t know all the inner workings of the varied, complicated agreements that musicians are making with various entities. as you read on, i simply want to remind you that there are other opinions on the subject. this is mine.
at blogworld, i said that if you want to make a living making music, and you don’t need the “fame” aspect (you don’t need to “blow up”), then you don’t need to go with a major. it’s more complex than “avoiding majors” though. AND, to be perfectly clear, i’m also not saying the ONLY other option is an indie label (you could distribute it and promote it yourself, for example). i’m saying that there are many ways to be a self-sustaining musician these days. recording is easier and cheaper than ever, distribution can be nearly as simple as setting up a paypal account, and online fanbases are out there for you to find and connect with.
the key still is, and will always be: is your music good? do i, as a fan, like it? to what degree am i interested in being a part of what you have to offer through your recordings, shows, or merchandise?
on a side note: if fame is the focus part of the equation today, then what about linkin park? the answer: times were different back in the late 1990s when we signed with a major. they weren’t asking for ownership of your touring, merchandise, fan club, and domain name back then. they are now.
to put it in perspective: tom whalley, the president of warner brothers, would love to see you succeed and build a strong following of 10,000 fans by yourself, with no one else’s help. at that point, he knows that if you decide to work with warner bros., although he will have to offer you more in order for you to be interested in working with WB, your work has given you (and them) a head start, plus they know they’re working with someone who understands what it takes to build momentum from the ground up. it’s a win-win.
anyway, the bottom line is that the power is now in your hands more than ever. my advice to you is to throw the old rulebook out, be thoughtful about your decisions, and do what works for you.