I’m at the kitchen table, rocking the laptop, calling A-list band managers while my younger brother is busy making calls to get a late-summer job.
He’s looking for work in chemistry, or perhaps as a pharmacy tech. Meanwhile I’m going through the metaphorical Rolodex calling music industry bad aces to get them to chat for a few minutes on the phone, or *gasp* come see us play live. And even though we’re clearly on different career paths, the story is pretty much the same.
What he hears: “Yeah, we’re not hiring right now… uh… I don’t think any of our locations are hiring. I think we’re laying people off… yeah… crap.” At which point I overhear my brother say, “Yeah… that’s ok… good luck keeping your job,” He regroups, and makes another call. “It’s a learning experience,” I say.
“Yeah, I learned nobody is hiring.”
No one has money right now, I think. And so the underlying similarity between my brother’s story and my own is undeniable. Most everybody is finding their pocket book thin.
“Oh, you’re looking for a job… yeah… how surprising. You and everybody else. Good luck. And by ‘good luck’ I mean, please don’t call here again.”
The music industry seems to be scrambling to figure out how to make money from a marketplace that has been nearly “de-monetized.” That is to say, what Yesterday paid $13.99 for at Circuit City, Today can get for free. When you add in the fact that the economy at large is still trembling in its Ugg Boots, what you get are a lot of companies, people, who aren’t particularly interested in taking chances.
It’s totally understandable.
But it does increase the “fight” in me. Surely there is a manager out there who is smart and capable and interested in using Ryan’s and my combined work ethic, tour schedule, and overall desire to “bring the music to the people,” to make himself or herself a lot of money.
We are not looking for anyone to save us or hold our hands.
We ARE looking to partner with somebody, to take something that we believe in, (from the core of our acoustic-rocking beings) to levels of growth and impact and community, and yes, money, that we have not yet reached with our dusty fingertips. So I regroup, and I make another call.
Here’s what I hear: “Yeah, no, sorry. Until you’re doing two million in sales on your own, I don’t know anybody who would even be interested.”
Again, it makes sense to me. There are mouths to feed. But if we go where we intend to go, with just our determination, and the determination and support of our own fanbase, we’re probably not going to call once we reach two million. I think we’ll probably just keep on going. Because we’ll have already learned to do it on our own.
That said, friends, don’t hold it against us if, in the coming months, we find a dedicated and skilled manager to walk with us. It will just make it possible to come see you more often!
We love you. We miss you. And we’ll see you out there on tour.