Why Your Management Should Be Passionate

A lot goes into the business and management of a band. There are good times, downright frustrating times, and everything in between. Gigs that go great, and not as well as you had hoped. Ups and downs and highs and lows. All of these times and emotions are perfectly suited for a good manager. Over and above everything, a good manager is a sounding board, someone who can offer advice, and generally be super positive no matter the situation.

What else does Mighty City recommend you look for when seeking a manager? There are a lot of requirements. Good business sense, excellent communication skills and background, professional integrity, a strategic firm that looks out for the best interests of the artist and their art (while also looking for opportunities to help the artist exploit their art for financial gain)----yes of course.

What else? All of the above does not mean anything without another key element---Passion. Your management should be as passionate about your music as you are--maybe even more so. At Mighty City we are huge fans of music and the artists we represent and work with--we would not have it any other way.

We can't fake it, and neither should you. If we don't like the music we cannot represent or work with you. If we do dig your music we can't wait to get at it everyday and work our tail off to get your music out into the world through the media, shows, and everywhere else possible.

A passionate management is a motivated management that can help you the artist succeed--plain and simple. Our mission and passion is to help the highly talented (if not underappreciated) artist whose music we love go farther.

Let's take a journey together. For more information on working with us, call us at 314.326.5417 or via email at doug@mightycitymusic.com

- Doug


Postscript for a lost friend:

About a year ago one of Mighty City's musician friends from college took his own life in Seattle. Though we had not stayed in close touch over the years the fact this happened is still with us everyday. Feelings of shock, disbelief, sadness, and other emotions too many to mention. Ethan Smith you were a great dude, great guitar player, and well liked by all. We dedicate our efforts in the music industry to you and your family and to aspiring musicians everywhere. Peace brother.

Free Samples or Free Product? The Importance of Brand Value

A few days ago I was on the Bandcamp website checking out artists on a label based in Louisiana. What struck me was the level of variation of access to the music provided by the bands. While you could stream basically all of the artists on the label's area of the site for free (and therefore never have to actually buy anything), for those who were also "selling" their music the choices ranged from $7 or $8 for a digital download/free reign to the tracks on your device forever to $5 for the same to "name your price" (which meant basically you could put in any amount, presumably a dollar or less even and still get all the downloads/free reign on your device for effectively free).

All you DIYers (and as a DIYer myself) what I am about to say may actually grate against your sensibilities a little--but your music (and your band) is a consumer brand. Yes just like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and M&Ms. And brands that charge have perceived value (and thus real value in the mind of consumers) while those who do not charge do not have any value. The old adage "you get what you pay for" yes--but its more than that. Brands (and bands) that charge nothing all the time may as well not bother. The message to the consumer is no one wants our music so we have to give it to you.

As importantly free just does not work in terms of supporting a living. Imagine if Heinz ketchup decided that in addition to giving away free ketchup samples at the grocery store they would just give you free ketchup too--every time. People would think something was wrong and the company would fold as free equals free fall in terms of financial sustainability.

Strategic product placement (your music) and the value in your brand (again, your music and your band) should be the thing your band thinks about more than anything else. Yes you need to be on Spotify, but not everything you have ever recorded does. Yes you should be on bandcamp in a big way, not only because you keep/make more revenue from album sales and tracks being streamed but also because you can charge money for what you just allowed customers to sample for free--and by charging you are setting and reinforcing your band's brand value. For merch at shows you should charge full price and maybe then some. Not only is it gas money but its also about capturing the emotion of the fan experience. I am a fan too and I say this without shame or guilt. I am willing to pay more to help a band that just rocked my world. Call it the awesome show premium. You are not taking advantage of me while I am vulnerable--I want you to.  I was at a show recently where the band who played and rocked the house charged me only 5 bucks for their new CD. I felt like I was ripping them off when I handed over a 5 dollar bill and said "really that's it?"

The upshot is as musicians we need to think about the situation, the retail channel, and how much to charge and what is appropriate to charge. People will reward value. You should not be afraid to ask for it.

Let Mighty City help you think through your  business strategy, brand value, and revenue model for your music. Call us at 314.326.5417 or email at doug@mightycitymusic.com


Why Your Music is Great Art and Should Not Be Free

Mighty City's approach is fully supportive of the artist--creatively, emotionally, philosophically. We recognize that its the musicians that bring light into a dark world and without the artists--the world stops functioning in a meaningful way.

That said--while art for art sake is great, behind bands and their music is a business that has to function as a business for it (the band) to survive--and one doesn't have a business unless they have paying customers and can make a profit.

People pay money for goods and services they perceive to be valuable all the time, and people can and often will pay big money for art if it moves them. Painters spend hours and hours painting, sculptors or metalworkers or photographers spend hours and hours honing their craft and getting it just right--then sell their works in an exhibit or showing or through some other forum--often at large sums. Wow $2,000 for that painting? Really? Next guy walks in and it reminds him of some warm place from his childhood. Boom $2,000 it is no questions asked. Mass appeal no, artistic appeal to an emotionally moved buyer of art--yes.

So why then do musicians--who similarly spend hours and hours (not to mention money) composing, creating, recording, their art feel compelled to give so much away? Why is something of such great value often discounted to the lowest denominator?  Presumably to commoditize it and "get your music to the masses?"

The masses go into a store or through a free app for music--then either never buys the record or goes online and buys it for as little as possible. Almost free. But almost free does not make a business, and there are not enough live shows or merchandise or 7 cent per play paychecks from an app for most bands to make a living (i.e.- to make a band a viable and profitable business) on the appealing to the masses revenue model alone.

Music is no different than painting. People who are moved emotionally are willing to pay big money for the experience of something unique--so its important to keep it unique. That special album only available to the fans at certain shows or via your website? Yes. Certainly much different  and more special than that emotionally deadening experience of online e-tailers, virtual shopping carts, auto-generated email, and eye-squinting screenshots of album artwork.

Mighty City was in a coffee shop in Gainesville Florida not long ago and stuck on the bathroom paper towel dispenser was a sticker for a label that had 1000s of downloads from all kinds of artists--all free. Ska, reggae, hard core, punk, experimental, noise pop, etc., etc. The fan in us says awesome, the management company in us says why do the artists do this?

Instead. Be a painter. Be a sculptor. Charge for your art. Be different and blow up the revenue model. Chasing volume at free or near free is a failed strategy versus chasing premium at higher exclusivity within highly supportive niches/fan followings.

The point? Mighty City believes in art, believes in the experience (especially the fan experience), and believes in great music getting out into the world as far and wide as possible. We don't however believe this should be done for free--nor should you as the artist.

Your contributions have value, and like all who labor under hard conditions you deserve to be paid for your work--and will be--if you approach your music business (i.e.- your band) with that mindset.

Work with us and we will show you how. 314.326.5417 or doug@mightycitymusic.com


Reflections on Florida

Last week Mighty City Music Management supported Athens GA indie rock band Five Eight as it returned to Gainesville FL and Orlando FL for the first time in many years. While touring at times is not easy--it can be especially tough going back to a market one has not played for awhile--even for a band as great as Five Eight.

Working its contacts at the venues and promoting in partnership with the opening bands and local show promoters, local media outlets, (including GROW Radio and Orlando Weekly), and an aggressive social media campaign, Mighty City helped Five Eight play to two enthusiastic and adoring crowds--making the weekend an artistic and financial success. Video of a song from the band's electric performance at Will's Pub in Orlando is linked below




MIghty City Music Management in Florida this week

Mighty City will join Athens indie rock group Five Eight this week on its short tour in North and Central Florida. The band will be returning to Gainesville FL to play the 1982 Bar Friday night March 21st. Special guests include "Gville" area bands Gorilla Candy and Rojo Diablo. On Saturday March 22nd Five Eight will return to Orlando FL for the first time in 17 years (WTF?!) to play Will's Pub. This will be a very special show featuring two outstanding Orlando based indie rock groups, The Pauses and The New Lows.

Mighty City booked the shows on behalf of Five Eight and has been promoting them along with the venues and their representatives including Gainesville based promotional company Glory Days Presents and Wills Pub.

Mighty City will be providing tour support services to the band on the ground while in Florida including an in-studio interview and musical performance at GROW Radio in Gainesville the afternoon of March 21st.

The band will return to Florida in May for additional shows.

For more information on Mighty City, please contact us at 314.326.5417.