September 26, 2008

in response to NEW COMMENTS RULE

Really love the painting Mike. Its very pretty.
The post thing kinda sucks, but it is nice to know that you are not blocking us out by giving us an alternative to chat it up. Thanks for being nice about it too. 
Hope everything is going well. ❀

M: right…i definitely want you to chat it up as much as you like, but i’d like to direct you to the message board if you have more to say. simply start a thread there when you want to have a full-on conversation about anything here. just make sure to put a comment here that links to the LPMB, so folks here know where people are talking.

in response to “HOW TO DECIDE: MAJOR OR INDIE”

POSTED BY CURIOSA (part of a longer post)…Now I disagree w/u Mike about needing a big label for fame. Look at OK GO, they’re famous thanks to YouTube & they weren’t signed to a big label & there are other people out there who are famous thanks to the internet. IMO a big label should be there to help finance the artist especially with marketing…Being a part of a big label, the label should be responsible for many of those expenses, especially marketing…

M: firstly, to clarify a point: it is true, you don’t need a big label for fame. but i said: if you don’t need fame, you don’t need a big label. the difference is important πŸ™‚

secondly, with all due respect, i’d like to do my best to…um…”school you” on a couple details about this one. besides the fact that generally marketing is a given responsibility of all labels (whether they do it well or not, which is another issue), a heavy focus on marketing leaves out the other intricacies of the music business, factors that are equally important and delicate. for example, the following are also issues we have to consider: a band’s writing, recording, mixing, mastering, album and single promoting, distribution, publishing, press, touring, sponsorships, and legal efforts (among other things). each one of those is an intricate business, so it may sound daunting! so the question is, “if all that stuff is important, where do i start?”

i recommend reading the books mentioned below (in next post-answer)…a better understanding of how the business works is the best way to have the tools to make a decision or arguments regarding the subjects.

PS: in reality, OK GO! may be an indie-sounding group, but are actually on capitol records, and have been since 2001. in general, many “indie” groups are signed to majors, and are promoted as “indie” because the tag fits their sound…although i think OK GO is a fine band…they’re just not an indie band.
don’t believe the hype!

in response to “HOW TO DECIDE: MAJOR OR INDIE”

If you earned 10,000 fans, by yourself, in this day and age, I don’t see the point in stopping and signing a major. The only thing i see the labels have to offer is exposure (with the internet, distribution is free), and I don’t think exposure is worth signing your entire life, fan club, domain, etc away for it if you got that many fans already, run with it. I don’t think I’m exactly a fame type I-need-a-police-escort-everywhere-I-go person either.

M: great! as you get started, don’t try to re-invent the wheel. understanding the options and rules of your business before you get started will help you not spend time trying to invent something (a touring or music distribution plan, for example) that already exists and is proven to work. if you’re in a band and want to understand the industry better, i recommend getting one or both of the following books. an earlier edition of “all you need to know…” by donald passman was what i read back in the day to get me familiar with the inner workings of the industry, and it was incredibly helpful…both books have been updated multiple times to reflect the ever-changing music industry environment:

passman’s “all you need to know about the music business”

krasilovsky and shemel’s “this business of music”

keep in mind: “success” is subjective. i once heard nas say that he made one of his albums to “shake off all the pop fans that had been following him.” he wanted to sell less records, to a tighter, more dedicated fanbase. in that case, less records would have meant more success to him–it all depends on what your goals are!



  1. DJGECKO on September 30, 2008 at 10:43 am

    hey mike
    love the work, though i have two questions. Im trying to start a band, but the sound we want is a fusion of everything, not copying linkin park but all of us look heavily to the examples that you have let out into the world and we try and learn from it. i guess my first question when u were starting out is, what did u start from or with?? and my second question is, where do u get your inspiration to write your songs from?? hope to hear from ya

    L8r dayz


    being a busy person is understandable. i myself got lucky to even write this to you, so i take no offence to a no response, just figured i could attempt to get help with a passion of mine. πŸ™‚

  2. msgirl on September 28, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜₯ answer me too…:(

  3. nillp on September 28, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    great ones.

    i agree that success is subjective.. and more than this, i believe that it comes from inside of it person..

    and for me, nowadays, the “indie” thing is more a label than a way to “disseminate your music”..

    tokita (LL) tano

  4. Joanie_LP on September 28, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Let me just say that your blog is amazing (yeah, nothing new I’m saying)…

    However, as mush as I love you, can you tell me why the other guys don’t write in LPN or elsewhere, like you and Chester? I know they are busy but at least something little 😦 would be great!

    And I really appreciate what you do to the fans (how can we not love you)!

    BTW, why am I the one who doesn’t see changes in the comments? Doesn’t show any limit here. 😐

    P.S.: This music bussiness is a big deal, that’s for sure!

    ❀ Joanna

  5. MS_Ineedyou on September 27, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Hey Mike i know this might sound stupid but how do i post a lets call it Subject so if i post a “subject” how do i get YOU to look at it ?

  6. karolp on September 27, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    I want to ask you something that I cant understand.. its so hard.. I just cant for you like a musician

    how you musician achive transform a text (the lyrics of the song, with rhymes, etc..) in music, I mean, with pace, the right instrument.. you have to love music for to be musician and do what you know very well… if you know what I mean…
    ( and I hope it!)

    please reply !!
    kisses and hugs

    Caroline t. di Giorgio

  7. Lucie on September 27, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    i didn’t know you were reading the comments on your blog. so i think i’m gonna start saying smarter things. i read the comment of the last person you answered to and i like what she said. and i really do think that the “underground” bands are better than the famous ones just because they aren’t “commercial” and they are so much more accessible as people. but there are some exceptions, as you. i like the fact that you worked hard to get respect and now that you’re on top, you don’t act like you’re better than everyone else ( even if you actually are hahah ). keep doing what you do, mike. ’cause i don’t think you know how much you mean to some people ( like me ). do you ?

  8. DRUMMERDALZIEL on September 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Hey Mike, I hope you make this response thing a regular occurance. I mean I personally have very little of any importance to say, but it’s always fun seeing famous folk interacting with us common people πŸ˜€
    Peace x

  9. Dori on September 27, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Hey Mike,

    I wanted to ask u a question about producing. I’ve always been curious as to what goes into producing and what makes a well-produced album.

  10. Kalini on September 27, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    To the fans: Tell me a band, which is more than 10 years on the top without changing its sound? It’s all about being flexible. I’m sure LP will have a different sound in 5 years. I started listening to LP when Crawling was released, but now I just love LOATR. To Mike: What does it mean: “shake off all the pop fans”? I stopped listening to rap, because I haven’t heard any good rap song lately. (Thanx for “We made it”!) The rappers became pop, so they attract pop fans. Krassie K.

  11. Elliot_aka_MC_Eli on September 27, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I have a question, when Linkin Park officially formed, with chester est. in the group already. What did YOU guys have in mind for success? When you look back over all the things, did you accomplish what you initially set out to do?

  12. Shinodabestfriend on September 27, 2008 at 11:37 am

    ANSWER ME TOO!!! lol ^^

  13. Jhuryn on September 27, 2008 at 9:18 am

    “i once heard nas say that he made one of his albums to “shake off all the pop fans that had been following him.” he wanted to sell less records, to a tighter, more dedicated fanbase.”

    I wonder if LP would consider doing something similar by going back to their harder sound to shake off some of the pop fans that were attracted by LOATR and SOTD? It would be awesome to go back to the tighter fan base that existed in HT/Meteora days. I hate to say it but I get kind of annoyed when I hear LP on KISS FM. lol

  14. Charlotte_Jay on September 27, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Hey Mike that’s so nice to see you answering fans questions again.about KATHYxx: I just know her from Yahoo! Answers.She answers the questions abouut Linkin Park.Once she said she got to meet you in person.and now I see you’ve answred her question, well you know… she’s really Lucky πŸ™‚

  15. shinoda_me on September 27, 2008 at 7:48 am

    about the last part you said there:

    whats your idea of success? i try thinking about that and i just cant get it… ’cause you started with HT and Meteora sounding..well.. alike… and MTM is freaking different… took many fans more time to get hold of your new way of thinking and also, more pop fans enjoyed it (yes, i mean it)… a friend of mine (who loved the old Linkin Park sound) detested your new album for a whole damn year before hecame up with ‘God, im so addicted to this thing now..(HHH and NRL did their job!!).. the old albums seem so boring… why is In The End an all-time favourite anyway?’ whoa! so yea… whats your idea of success?

  16. burningdaylight on September 27, 2008 at 6:38 am

    hey mike – just as a heads up, i think those amazon links you put up are also linked to your personal account….check the end of them and you’ll see what i mean.

  17. rockermeg on September 27, 2008 at 2:39 am

    I love that you’re doing more of these posts Mike,its awesome! And even though you didn’t reply to mine, mine was right above that essay CUROSIA wrote you,so maybe you read it and that’s enough for me! πŸ˜‰

    I don’t get what the big fuss is-you sign/don’t sign with whoever you feel like because that’s what suits you. If you want fame and all the celebrity aspects then do it,but if you wanna promote yourself that’s cool too,aslong as it suits you as a musician AND a person.

    Personally,right now I’m still excited to play my stuff for my friends and school,whoever they are: its all about the fans.


  18. soyuneik on September 27, 2008 at 2:35 am

    oh oh yea! Damn this friggin box and the damn time. I really wish I was in a room with all of you right now and we were actually having a verbal discussion. Yea, Mike said it. Nas said it. and nah not weird, Brilliant.

  19. tacos_on_tuesday on September 27, 2008 at 2:31 am

    I am in my 30’s (yikes..i know) & mainstream bands really put me off regardless of their label. I hate the mob mentality the public has. Eyelined faces & songs played on the radio 24/7 does not a great band make. I think music to the masses is corrupted. 1 of my fave bands Pepper is truly indie. They accept that they aren’t or will ever be mainstream, play their asses off & just have a good ol’ time with their fans. they put out music for the luv of it. I respect that &find it harder to respect much of mainstream music: major or indie. I know it’s a business but hate being reminded how much so.

  20. axrinekey on September 26, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    wants to shake off his pop fans?
    That’s really a weird thing to do.
    Since, I thought most of the people would rather seduce more fans in order to earn big buck…

    I hope you won’t do such a thing! >_<
    it’ll be a horrendous thing to us, fans! D:
    I think.

    But who knows, maybe those songs are even better? o_O

  21. KATHYxx on September 26, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Literature trade! ….not as if Mike hasn’t heard of these already, but this is some of the stuff I’ve been looking at that other people might like too

    Lefsetz blog:
    Read in the library inbetween studying: a book called Policing Pop

    I was totally not expecting a response lol, though i was always interested in hearing your opinion on these sorts of things, especially since a lot of the information i dug up was in an effort to understand LP better. (Admittedly, im a graphic novelist, but an artist nonetheless.. and im gonna see if any of those book you put are in the library too)… Anyway thanks for the reply πŸ™‚

  22. Kronah on September 26, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Right on dude, right on.

  23. ms_shock on September 26, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    yyyyeeeeeaaaaaahhhh!!!!!! more!! more!!! lol I think you’re so bored now xD anyway, 10x for your posts like this! love ’em!!!!

  24. ShadowerLiltani on September 26, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    The more I think about it, the more I think we should appreciate the fact that you let us comment on here. Cause, I could come on here tomorrow and say I’m not fan your fan anymore and that I hate your guts. A lot of other well known people don’t like to hear what fans say, and often shut them out. But no, you let us bitch at you all day long, read it, and respond to it. And I finally remembered what I wanted to ask you: In the FM booklet, there’s that painting of the woman beside Where’d You Go. This person is kind of ghostly looking, and very solemn, and I was wondering since the emotion is so high, is this character based off anyone?

  25. NoMoreSorrowGirl on September 26, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    since we follow your rules,i think we had a prize for that!?hmmmmm…and a big YES!to IBLONG you and LP must go down to middle east to give some lovin’ to the troopes…coz i’m here at the middle east also working…i know how boring life in here…and hoping for the DVD from ur trip to middle east…peace man…take care…oh!i forgot to mention ur staff Charlie Bravo, the red baron and secret asian man…hope to see their artworks too…not that some stupid iPhone thing to post…

  26. Doomguy13 on September 26, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Dude, thanks a ton for doing this stuff. I get so much more insight into some important topics.

  27. LionTamerE2K on September 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Your “industry” posts are always a good read. Thanks, Mike! In response to all the major label talk, why are Linkin Park aligned with a heavy hitter like WB? Is it a “just honoring our contact” stance, or you guys are just comfortable being part of the big machine? My blind love for LP makes my opinion biased, but I don’t think Linkin Park need Warner Brothers at this point, especially considering the band has such a great online presence and rapport with the fans.

  28. Aqua101 on September 26, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    β‰ˆβ™₯β‰ˆMike, you really great & awesome! Never been in my life to know a famous artist do “responses” directly to his fans, YOU ARE EXCEPTIONAL. So, is this responses kind of thing…will become like weekly routine? Hope so ;-)…Be more interactive with yr fan base is important. BTW, how do I link my comment to LPMB? When I sign in here to put comment, I’m also asked to sign in to LPMB…I’m confused here 😐

  29. murry on September 26, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Also, OKGO isn’t FAMOUS famous. They’re well known for their viral music video, but, honestly, how many people would recognize them on the street?
    Anyway, you watching the debate tonight? I’m trying to come up with rules for a drinking game. Here’s what I have so far– Take a shot of whatever you got every time a candidate says:
    1. “Change.” Two shots if McCain says it.
    2. “Bailout.”
    3. “Experience.”
    4. “Crisis.”
    5. “Prisoner of war.”
    Bonus: If one of them manages to say something specific about their economic plans, chug until the bottle is dry.

  30. ninguem on September 26, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    why do you post so much, between 2, 3 posts per day

  31. BoC on September 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for posting these responses. πŸ˜€

    I joined a new band recently and we’re trying to get off the ground right now. We’re working on recording an EP, getting shows, trying to get our name out in our area (Tampa, FL), etc. It’s all a little overwhelming because there is so much that goes into trying to establish your band. Right now it’s just us planning everything and we’re going in 50 directions at one time. So I’m definitely going to check out the books you recommended to see if I can get some tips. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

  32. Shinoda77 on September 26, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Aww it’s so nice to know that you are answering our questions πŸ™‚ So I wanna ask somenting, i’ve read some news about that you would going to play No Roads Left as live in this summer, summer ended and you didn’t.. So what do you think about to do this in your China concerts? Or when will you do it? Or do you think about to do this?:D

  33. sterilepoon on September 26, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    bathes in your viewpoints and opinions

  34. Hybr1d_7h3ory on September 26, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Very good points by both Mike and the users.

    Maybe McCain should postpone the Presidential Debate and you can take his place. We all know that McCcain just wanted to catch “Nights in Rodanthe” on opening night.

    Keep up the good work guys. This rule does make commenting and reading other peoples comments much easier and more delightful. Also I just found a copy of A.06… That instrumental is SOOO SICK!!!

    Keep it real Mike

  35. cuz on September 26, 2008 at 11:16 am

    your responses always makes me smile. huge hug deserved for that πŸ™‚

  36. I_B_Long on September 26, 2008 at 11:12 am

    well, since you are responding to fan comments, maybe you’ll consider this (what im always going on about) why doesnt LP go to the middle east and play for the troops? they deserve some lovin’, dont ya think?
    oh and like i mentioned before, i made a thread for chatting about your blog a few weeks ago, so anyone who wants to “chat it up” is welcome to join us there!
    one more thing, is it just me or are you posting ALOT right now?

  37. lp_fm_fan on September 26, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Awww, you should respond to fans more often! Makes them happy for the day! πŸ™‚

    I know it would for me, haha.


  38. 2T_LP on September 26, 2008 at 10:17 am

    first 2 comment!! yaaayy….thats gr88 mike when u take time to response to fan comments!! i think it takes a long long time to read them and response!! :D:D:D and some of the comments is VERY long :P:P


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