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