.by Cassandra Vincent
This is part 2 of a chat I had with Andy Gould in the Faction office about various levels in his career and a lifelong passion for music! If you missed part 1 you can read it here: http://www.teadeviant.com/the-deviant-blog/tea-music-a-chat-with-music-manager-andy-gould
Get a cup and enjoy!:
On the Music Industry now and in the Future:
Tea Deviant: You still love what you do after decades in the business?
Andy: I hate when I hear older guys in the business telling people that the industry’s fucked. There’s no money to be made. There’s plenty of money to be made and plenty of fun to be had. If you’re only doing it to make money then maybe do something else. I didn’t join the music business for money. It’s nice that I’ve made some, but that’s not was it was. I love music. I wanted to be around it.
I’ve had the best time. I think the favourite line that I came up was is I think you’re doing well when your reality is bigger than any dream you had. On a daily basis I get to deal with the creative arts, and watch people create something. See a band walk in and they’re playing in front of 30, 40 people and then five years later they’re playing in front of 75,000 people. It’s such a rush.
I stand on the soundboard when I watch my bands and they always say “you’re always dancing on the soundboard.” And I’m like “yeah, because I like it.” I’m still having fun.
TD: That’s the whole point of music, and I think the same way about all of our pleasures. Tea, music, it’s about having fun and making connection. You are also a producer.
A: I just produced a movie that premiered Thursday called American Satan, which is about a rock band that sells their soul. It’s not really that scary. It’s more of a cautionary tale. Malcolm McDowell is in it.
TD: Malcolm McDowell was the first actor that I thought “wow!” I saw A Clockwork Orange really young and his intensity struck me. I thought ‘I want to do that’. Then I found his other movies If, Oh Lucky Man…
A: Malcolm is amazing. He does a lot of work. As you say, If is amazing and Oh Lucky Man, Blue Thunder is really good. He did Halloween for Rob and he was good in that. He’s really good in American Satan. He plays the devil.
TD: Of course!
A: Of course. Who else.
TD: He’s fearless.
A: He’s a fearless guy and he’s really cool too. He’s a nice guy. I had to take a flight with him one time across the country. It was sort of one of those really cool moments. I’m in a private jet, just me and him flying across the country. Having him tell me stories about filming A Clockwork Orange and stuff, it’s like please pinch me! This is too cool.
TD: Good stuff. Well, the same thing for you though. You telling these stories about the music industry and your experiences as a producer in film and, and, and… because the book is not done. You’re still filling pages in the book.
A: Yeah, as I said we’ve got this film American Satan. I think this guy who did the movie, Ash [Avildsen] made a really good movie for a first time director.
TD: Where can we see it?
A: It’s out now. It went into theatres 10/13 but also iTunes and Starz, Netflix. It’ll be all over the place in the next couple weeks. Then I’ve got another one I’m going to do. A super talented video director Paul Boyd, who’s done a music hundred videos, he works with this country act that I have.
TD: You have a country act? From Ministry to a country act. Wow.
A: Yeah, There’s this girl called Caroline Jones. Paul did all the videos for her record and he has a script and he gave it to me called Scared to Death. I’m going to make that movie next. Kind of like a film within a film. Really cool. Then next year or maybe the year after I want to make a movie that isn’t a horror film. I’ve got a book I want to option. You option it and you go and see if you can get people to raise the money. It’s a process. It’ll make your hair go grey. (laughs) My hair is grey already.
TD: You were mentioning that in music now it’s such an exciting time, some of the barriers have disappeared. For the people who are doing music now, who have access to all these tools and can disseminate their music themselves but tons of people are doing it: How do bands break through the huge groups of people doing it? How do you find them?
A: Well, I get asked that one a lot of course. I think if you ask anyone who does this for a living they’ll always tell you that you’ll sort of know it when you see it. It’s a bit like falling in love. I mean you never know who you’re going to fall in love with do you? Certainly you have an ideal of what that person is going to look like and what they’re going to do. Then you meet someone and ah it’s that person. Boom. There’s a little bit of an analogy. You’ll walk into a bar or club or someone will call you up and say hey, check this out. If you’re lucky you’ll find one and it’ll just float your boat. That’s happened a few times. The first time I saw White Zombie there were probably 30 people in the room. The first time I saw Linkin Park, less than that.
People were passing on them. Rob McDermott, my intern for a long time… I do the same thing that people did for me I bring in people to work for me either as an intern or answering the phones and a lot of those people are out there managing. Rob brought Linkin Park to me. There was guy over at Warner Records, Jeff Blue who is the guy that signed them. They were and are great guys, Linkin Park.
It’s horribly tragic what happened to Chester. I always say this about people who take their own lives, it’s so sad because they don’t even know how many lives they saved. Music saves lives. I’m not trying to make it out to be something it’s not. I know in my own world when I was feeling down, had my heart broken, my parents passed away… Music can save you. Comedy can save you.
TD: Did you always lean toward hard rock and heavy metal as a preference?
A: No. When I go home at night what I play is anything but that. I do love it live. It’s fun. If you go see someone like Iron Maiden… they have such a good rapport with their audience that’s why at Iron Maiden concerts now you see grandfathers with their sons and their grandsons. It’s a multi-generational band. My friend is their manager and he’s done an amazing job branding that band and to see the connection they have with their fans is really cool.
TD: How do you see music changing in the future?
A: We’ve got this company called Faction that I work with. It’s a bunch of younger managers. We have music services where sometimes we’ll take on a band where they don’t want to pay a manager a full commission. So we’ll work with them for a fee and a smaller commission. There’s some interesting stuff happening there. For everything that changes certain things remain exactly the same. I remember going to see Adele early. I saw Amy Winehouse, god bless her, too. My favourite artist of the last 20 years I think.
Thank you. More tea. More tea, vicar.
The thing with these artists is it doesn’t really matter if you like their music or not. When you go and see Adele she has such a connection to her audience. We went up there, me and my friend Rick, who manages Ghost and Slayer. We were like let’s see what this is all about. We’ll see 3 or 4 songs and then we’ll disappear. We stayed through the whole concert because she’s that good. You can’t walk away from her. That’s sort of like Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, or Elvis Costello or there’s plenty of other comparisons. So I think music in the future is still going to be the same as it was. The connection to the audience is everything. The stars somehow communicate better than the people who are not stars. The first time I saw someone do that was Paul Oakenfeld. Paul’s a star. And Deadmau5 is a star. LCD Sound System. There’s a whole bunch of them.
What I think’s happened with the internet now is that the door is open. But open the door at your peril because it’s really hard work. It was a bit easier. You could literally form a band in a rehearsal room just 20 years ago, bring a couple of record labels down and get a major record contract and you’d never played a gig.
TD: And you could get some support to get you through
A: To get you started. I always thought that was never a good idea. It was easier. Back in the day bands like Led Zeppelin even and The Kinks and The Who, they went out and toured. They got signed because they had a following. The record label follows a following, which is really what they should do. What I think is really hurting the industry right now is these pop people. You bring in a producer and as long as you have some kind of young good looking girl with some tight one-piece bodysuit on and all the dancers and everything. It seems like once you take the songs away if they don’t work with the big time producers then it’s not as big. I think we have to get back to the people that write their own songs.
But if you’re going to do that you’ve got to work it. I always hate it when I have someone come in and I ask about their socials and they’re like well, we’re brand new. But how many likes do you have? Are you working it? Are you interacting with your fans? You can bypass the industry and go straight to the fans. The industry in the old days as an artist or a group you had to sell yourself to the industry. Then the industry would sell it to radio. Then the radio would sell it to the fans. You had two major hurdles to get through before you even got to your fans. Now you go direct to the fans. But the downside is everyone else is doing it too. You’ve got to rise above it. You’ve got to be good. You’ve got to work hard.
You can do your own marketing. You don’t have to wait for a label to give you a deal. You don’t have to wait…
TD: for permission?
A: for permission. You can just go and do it.
I work with Scott Stapp the singer from Creed. He’s amazing. He and Jaclyn his wife who looks after him as well as I do, they work their socials. They’re always doing something that engages their fan base. And this is a guy who sold 50 million records. He’s still doing it.
I always say to young managers, any young managers who are reading this, I always say never work harder than your artist. If you want it for them more than they want it for themselves you’re probably managing the wrong fucking band.
TD: That’s why I created this project. I wanted to do something that I could do on my own.
TD: and it’s been fun. It’s been a connection. I’ve learned so much that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned if I hadn’t been like, okay I might fuck this up but I’m going to try it anyway.
A: Yeah, it’s good. I got asked the other day if I would do a podcast. Interview industry people, which is a really good idea. Industry people interviewing industry people. It’s a solid good idea.
TD: Very good idea. I appreciate the time you have taken with me.
A: Yeah. I was out a bit late last night.
TD: Uh-oh. Tea the hangover cure.
A: Yeah, I’ve had a lot of it today. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday I try not to get myself into too much trouble. Wednesday and Thursday are the better days I think.
TD: Every day is a good day to have fun.
A: Yeah, every day is a good day to have fun. There you go. There’s a good way to end it.
Thanks to Andy Gould for joining us for this chat. Please feel free to like and share with fellow tea and music lovers. More adventures in tea and music: Interview with Phil Harrington, the creator of the Youbloom LA and Youbloom Dublin music festivals - Part 1 and Part 2
Hi tea and music lovers! So I got to meet Andy Gould while I was hosting for Youbloom LA music fest and he was so awesome he agreed to sit down and chat with me about his love of music, prolific career and of course, tea! This is part one of the interview. Grab a cuppa and have a read!
Tea and Starting in the Music Business:
Tea Deviant: We’re here having tea with music manager and film producer Andy Gould of Faction Entertainment.
Andy Gould: I suppose I could go back to the beginning especially on this blog (laughs)
TD: Now was Tea Boy your first gig in the music industry?
A: No it was my second gig. We have in England something hideous called classism. You’re either working class or well to do. And we were decidedly, and happily, working class. My dad was a carpenter/builder my mom was mostly stay at home and worked at the local hospital switchboard. I just had this thing about the music. I loved music. When they had career day at my school when I was fifteen, this is a long time ago now, when dinosaurs roamed the earth (laughs) I said I want to be in the music business. And they were like no you ain’t going to do that. What does your dad do? He’s a carpenter/builder. That’s what you’ll do. You’ll follow your parents into what they do or maybe if you stay on at school for another three, four or five years you can go work in a bank or something. I thought, ugh, I don’t like that idea.
So I went into the middle of London and knocked on a bunch of doors and I eventually got a job as a bike messenger mostly for Chapel music, which is now Warner Chapel. About 8 months into it I was delivering some sheet music to George Martin’s office, the producer of the Beatles. There’s a job in England called a Tea Boy. The Tea Boy in England is like an intern over here or a mailroom job. It’s sort of like you get to do everything no one else wants to do but in England you also have to know how to make a good cup of tea or else you’re gone. And it just so happened that the guy they had making tea had quit or hadn’t shown up. So I got this job as a Tea Boy working for George Martin and a bunch of other English record producers: the guy that worked with The Hollies, the guy that worked with Tom Jones, the guy that worked with Manfred Mann. So at 15 maybe 16 I was working for the biggest company, albeit making tea but I remember calling my Mom you know, going, “hey I got in!” I knew I did exactly what I wanted to do. My Mum and Dad had been super supportive of it.
TD: They didn’t hold you back.
A: No. They weren’t musical at all but they were big fans of music. My Mom didn’t particularly like television. She used to listen to the radio all day.
TD: What were you listening to growing up?
A: My Mom was a huge Frank Sinatra fan and I am too. I was very lucky I got to take my Mom to see Frank Sinatra. I saw Sinatra seven times. He was really one of my heroes. My Dad was huge fan of this wonderful artist called Shirley Bassey. Americans might know Shirley Bassey from singing “Goldfinger” for the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever but in England she’s an institution.
So I got a real sense of what a good song was. Come about 1963/64 this crazy thing happened. People don’t really understand I think how culturally how big The Beatles really were.… the whole of Europe, and England in particular had been in this crazy second World War. It took about 10 – 15 years to rebuild all of Europe and around that time coming out of this really gloomy period these four guys came on. They had this crazy sense of humour and when the people gave them songs and were like, “Oh you’re going to record these songs,” they were like, “No, we’re going to write our own.” And that really hadn’t been done before. That was so massive it blew the music business apart. It was the biggest single thing I’ve ever seen in my lifetime of how one set of people can change everything. Because after The Beatles came along The Kinks, The Who, I mean it was endless.
TD: Even some punk artists covered the Beatles.
A: Well a good song is a good song. People talk about movies, which I do a little of too. You show me a good script for the most part I’ll show you a good movie. You show me a good song I’ll show you a good record. The Beatles just wrote amazing songs and they did it consistently.
So there I was making tea for George Martin and the other producer Ron Richards. After being told I couldn’t be in the business I was in it. I sort of had to leave there as much as it was a bit painful because nobody really ever left. I never saw a way to advance myself in the company. When nobody ever leaves where do you go, be the world’s oldest Tea Boy? So I went to work for a company called Radio Luxembourg and that one was a slight detour for me. Then I got a job at EMI Screen Gems. That really taught me about music publishing and how important songs were. Carol King was a client and she wrote all these amazing songs: “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow”, “You’ve Got a Friend”. Then a friend of mine owned a recording studio and they wanted to start a label down in Brighton - Pebble Beach. So I had a recording studio and we had a lot of people from Stiff Records come down and record. We made a lot of good records there.
TD: The Damned was with Stiff.
A: Yeah, The Damned was with Stiff, and Ian Dury, who I love. Oh my god, there’s so many. There were so many good artists and we had loads of them.
I’m actually having some tea as we speak.
TD: It’s a High Mountain Oolong.
A: A High Mountain Oolong, ok.
TD: From Taiwan. It may be your thing, maybe not.
A: Hey, I like me tea.
TD: Good :)
A: I still make tea every morning. English. PG Tips, thank you.
TD: How do you take your tea?
A: Always with a little milk no sugar cuz I’m sweet enough (laughs) I love it. I’ve lived in America now since 1979 and it may be the one thing that I’ve always clung onto, you know in terms of being English is my tea and my horrible bad taste sense of humour, because the English are the great sarcastic bastards of the world
TD: Brilliant comedians
A: Yes they are.
TD: Do you remember how the Beatles took their tea?
A: I think I only made tea for McCartney one time. I think he had it with milk and sugar.
TD: You were in Manhattan during the Studio 54 time?
A: Well, I was actually right at the end of that time. I got head hunted to go to New York in 1978-79 and like the heyday of Studio 54 was 1976 but it was still going and it was pretty amazing. There was nothing like that where I come from. I come from very working class South London, and you walk into this place full of like the beautiful people, you know as they say, and people were doing all sorts of outrageous stuff sort of right out in the open. That was the weirdest thing about Studio 54 how like I saw people having sex people doing drugs but not in the VIP room, basically in the club. It was sort of, “wow this is cool. This better than where I’m from.”
TD: Sounds like the punk scene but in a more mainstream place.
A: Yeah well it was very upmarket. And then what was great about New York in that time was, you could go from Studio 54 on a weekend and then go down to CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City and all those really cool punk clubs, some of the ones that you don’t hear about so much like Hurrah and Trax. I saw so many famous bands. That’s how they started and you see bands and now they’re playing arenas. That time in those late 70s early 80s when the punk and new wave scenes broke I saw so many … I saw the Clash in a club, I saw Elvis Costello play in front of not that many people, I saw The Police play and loads of others like Gary Numan … a brilliant, quite interesting time. That’s one of the things about being around the business for a long time when you become sort of one of the older people in the business, which I am now I suppose. You see a lot of stuff. You walk into a cold, rainy, snowy club in Buffalo to see a band and it’s U2. I was there to see another band. They just happened to be on the bill. I mean you couldn’t possibly know that the guy with the mullet singing you know in front of 30/40 people was going to win the Nobel Peace Prize one day. I remember thinking he was a good front guy.
From Tea and the Beatles to Rob Zombie and Producing Films:
TD: You mentioned how the Beatles affected music. I think you were part of something else that affected it. Rob Zombie wanted to direct his own videos and he wanted to make his own films. To my knowledge at that time there were not many people, if any, doing that. And now many artists direct their own videos.
A: Yeah, I first met Rob in 1991 and he had a real vision of what he wanted. He said the first thing he wanted to do is make sure that he could direct his own videos. When I said that to the head of the record label he looked at me like I was literally mad.
TD: He had a vision for his videos.
A: Well, he had a vision for himself. He said ‘I want to be in White Zombie but then have my own career and then direct my own movies. Probably do horror films and then parlay the success of horror films into doing something that would win me an Oscar.’ And we did it all. I worked with him for 24/25 years. We’re not working together now but it was a great partnership and I have nothing but respect for what he does and what we did together was crazy.
TD: You were up for it though. You didn’t shoot him down about that, you embraced it. You even became a producer of films.
A: I produced every film. I got most of those deals put together
TD: One of the things you said in your keynote at Youbloom LA was don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this because you can.
A: Right. I had this sort crazy thing when that guy, my guidance officer said I’d never ever get in the entertainment business because those jobs are reserved for the well to do. I was like, oh man I fucking hate that. So as I said I went and got my job and I always sort of had a thing about that guy. I always said if I saw him on the street I’d want to punch him in the face. Then someone smarter than me said “No you couldn’t be more wrong, Andy. For someone so smart you’ve got this incredibly wrong. You should find that guy and buy him a beer. Because he gave you the one word that you needed to hear which was no” It hit me like a ton of bricks that he’s right. That was exactly what I needed to hear. I didn’t need someone to go “we’ll look into this for you”, because then I would have just sat back and waited. Maybe. When he said no, I was like “fuck yes!”
Next week we'll post part 2 talking about Andy's current projects and where music is headed in the future. Cheers!
by Cassandra Vincent
I’ve been curious about it before but this year I was able to delve a bit into the Day of the Dead experiencing the beauty and spirit of this holiday over multiple days doing the makeup, photo shoots and visiting altars. In Spanish it is called Dia de Los Muertos and has a history centuries long. This festival has origins in the culture of the ancient indigenous peoples of roughly 3,000 years ago in what we now call Mexico. Celebrated on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, it is a celebration of life and an appreciation of the connections we make in life that death can never sever. People make altars including pictures, candles, colorful flowers and items that the deceased loved one enjoyed from traditional bread and sweets to bottles of bourbon and toys. I’ve seen tiny, colorful altars made in cigar boxes to altars that fill entire rooms. It is such a beautiful holiday visually and emotionally.
I attended a festival this year where many businesses created altars to celebrate those respected and loved who have passed, from family members and staff to entertainers and historical figures. One local tea shop, Bird Pick Tea & Herb, made an altar to tea sage, Lu Yu! From China, Lu Yu lived from 733-804 AD, and is a major figure in tea history having written The Classic Tea (Cha Jing or Ch’a Ching) thought to be the first book on growing and making tea. He was considered a Tea Master and a poet writing of the experience of and reverence for tea. If you ever go to a tea shop that specializes in Chinese teas you are likely to see a statue of him like these:
Like tea, the Day of the Dead brings people together opening the door to conversations that may not otherwise happen. I stopped into a lovely restaurant, Lost at Sea, and the chef/owner Tim Carey shared a drink with me while showing me the altar he made to honor his son. At other stops on the self-guided tour there were altars that celebrated the influence of entertainers whose work I have been inspired by including an altar to Bowie as Jareth from the film Labyrinth in Neon Retro Arcade and a couple of altars to Carrie Fisher focusing on her role as Princess Leia from Star Wars in Cool Haus and Harlowe’s. Enjoy the gallery of altars below.
Every day is worth celebrating the joys of life: connection, fun, good food, love, creativity and something delicious in your cup to wash it all down. This celebration has them all. I wish you many reasons to celebrate and raise your cup. Cheers!
This is not a sponsored post
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