Insanity 101 – A firsthand account into the crazier side of the music industry

By Tom (DJ Insanity)
Insanity 101 is a series of articles with a closer look into the side of music that most will never get a chance to see. These articles aren’t a how-to guide for bands. Treat these articles as entertainment, intellectual accounts of first-hand experience dealing with all aspects of running a record label. Hopefully there will be some useful information, however I will not be giving out any secrets(sorry to disappoint some of you). So let’s get to it shall we? This first series of articles will focus on the chaos that comes with finding the secret to getting where everyone wants to be.

“The pinnacle” and “The Big Time” this is where every band wants to be. I’m sure you see it every day, some band is griping and complaining about not being further along in their musical careers. If you think about it, in a way they are right. So what’s the secret? More-so in rock/metal genres than any of the others there is a miniscule percentage of bands that make it to “The Big Time”. Is it for lack of trying? In most cases I would emphatically say no. I began my record label a little over 2 years ago and I have seen the trends and the pitfalls that every band seems to make. There are many aspects overlooked by bands due to eagerness and pure passion.

I commend bands with the drive and dedication that have longevity in this business. It all seems like one big competition, but does it really have to be? Lack of networking and lack of branding seem to be the two biggest mistakes I see bands make every day. Let’s switch gears and focus on sports, shall we? Do athletes like Lebron James, Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter only play their sports? Of course not, there is a lot that goes into a sports career. So, why do you take such a basic approach to music? Much like a sports team or an athlete there is a lot of time, money and effort that should be put into your image. I often chuckle when I observe these bands that are so desperate that they sucked into scheming crooks.

I’ll end this first article with this. If there was some entity out there that could make you an overnight success for a measly amount, don’t you think that the percentage of bands making it to “The Big Time” would be far greater? Me personally, I will give bands a consultation for free. If I find them marketable(I’m very picky) then I will offer them a chance to guide them with my knowledge and network. I ask for a commitment from the band due to the time, effort and money I spend on them. Look at the business as a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to be an overnight success, you will lose the notoriety as quickly as you gained it. Wouldn’t it serve your ultimate goal better to work hard for your success? I’m certain you would appreciate it more. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series..

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