Stanford students dive into the early careers of indie staples Mac DeMarco, Mt. Joy, and Omar Apollo, following their journey of indie success through chats with their managers Michelle Cable, Jack Gallagher, and Dylan Shanks. We also find out exactly what it takes to manage small acts and take them from up-and-comers to huge successes ft. some valuable first-hand anecdotes and advice.
[00:00:00]Jay -Blue Mic: Welcome to the Drop the MIC podcast [00:00:05] where we'll dive into conversations with some of the music industry's most established professionals .
Like all of our [00:00:10] episodes, what you will hear today has been created and curated by Stanford students who are breaking their way [00:00:15] into the music scene.
I'm Jay LeBoeuf and I lead Stanford University's music [00:00:20] industry initiatives. Whether you're aspiring to launch your career in the music industry, are already a music [00:00:25] industry pro, or just curious to learn more, we've got you covered. Keep listening and our expert guests will [00:00:30] walk you through the process of bringing indie artists from obscurity to celebrity
[00:00:35] Thanks for tuning in let's get into the conversation . Tony Rodriguez: [00:00:40][00:00:45] On this episode of the Stanford music industry podcast, we're happy to share with you a collection of interviews [00:00:50] with some wonderful individuals in the music industry to help us explain to you what artist management is all [00:00:55] about. We hope that answers some of the questions you may have had about the topic.
They sure did a great job [00:01:00] answering a lot of ours. This time we'll be chatting with some indie artists, managers, Michelle [00:01:05] Cable of Mac DeMarco, Dylan Shanks of Omar Apollo and Jack Gallagher of Mount Joy. [00:01:10] And be sure to tune into the next episode, to hear from some pop superstar artists managers. [00:01:15]
Emily Redmond: We're going to be taking you through their journeys as managers from the early [00:01:20] days, with their respective artists to now. How do you get started as an artist manager? [00:01:25] What does it look like to be one? And how does that change over time? What do I need to do to be [00:01:30] an effective manager? These are all the things that we wanted to find out. And we had the luxury [00:01:35] of asking some of the best managers in the industry.
I'm Emily Redmond and i'll be one of your [00:01:40] co-hosts for this episode .
Trace Guzman: And i'm Tracy Guzman your other cohost
Tony Rodriguez: Thanks for [00:01:45] hanging out with us, everybody. My name is Tony, and I'll be the DJ for this podcast. Let's begin. [00:01:50]
Part 1 - What do New Managers Need to Learn? (Needs music) [00:01:55]Trace Guzman: Okay I'm a manager and I'm just [00:02:00] starting out. What are the first things I need to know?
Dylan Shanks: Don't be an [00:02:05] asshole and don't think you know everything. Cause you don't and you never will. And [00:02:10] no one wants to meet the 20 or 25 year old [00:02:15] person that thinks they know what they're doing. Cause you know, and like. That's why it's like there's no stupid questions. I [00:02:20] feel like sometimes I'll ask questions I know the answer to just so , I don't come off like a Dick. Right. And [00:02:25] if you're nice, like I think people generally want to help you.
Michelle Cable: As a manager, you're, you know, [00:02:30] you're, you're maintaining every aspect of their career and you're kind of the [00:02:35] glue that keeps everything together and everything working in it. Like really, like, so he says, [00:02:40] smooth way. And you want to make sure that everyone's communicating with each other [00:02:45] properly and that everyone's doing everything to the best of their ability. ou [00:02:50] oversee a lot of different personalities and a lot of different people, you know, playing very different [00:02:55] roles in that artist's career . To continue to grow, you need to kind of make sure everything's, [00:03:00] you know, working in an efficient manner.
And so as a manager, you're very integral in [00:03:05] making sure all that happens because without you, you know, like, and, you know, and of course the artists, [00:03:10] you know, there can be like this big disconnect and then nothing gets done.
Jack Gallagher: I would learn [00:03:15] at least a little bit about everything. From like Excel for finance [00:03:20] type stuff. You know, how to make a budget. How shows work? Like what a [00:03:25] deal could look like. I think it's important to like learn how to write a good email keep it short and sweet with [00:03:30] people and if the product's good , it's a chance that they'll respond.
I [00:03:35] would read the book. Everything you need, want to learn about I mean, it's a, it's, it's [00:03:40] thick, it's well-written. cool perspective.
But one of the greatest skills, like get a foot [00:03:45] in, in the industry, I think is being able to get involved on the creative [00:03:50] side so you can like work with your creative team and be able to speak [00:03:55] their language.
And, also just keeping everyone excited with what we're doing. but the, [00:04:00] the manager, I like to say, and it sounds kind of corny, but it was like the CEO of the band's [00:04:05] business.
Part 2 - Managers' Entry, Trace and Emily
Emily Redmond: Now that we've gotten a little preview of our guests, let's introduce each of them and hear [00:04:10] more about the artists that they work with.
First trace. And I chatted with Michelle Cable who manages [00:04:15] Mac DeMarco. We wanted to know how she got into that position.
Michelle Cable: My name is Michelle [00:04:20] Cable and I, run two companies, both named panache, panache, booking and management. [00:04:25] And I actually manage and book Mac DeMarco. And I've been [00:04:30] working with Mac since the early days of his career before he released his first [00:04:35] records under Mac DeMarco.
I feel like with a lot of, you know, anyone who's [00:04:40] familiar with Panache, you know, we're a pretty. independent boutique company. I started it, [00:04:45] you know, myself, I used to run a magazine as like a zine and then it became a booking agency.
And then [00:04:50] a lot of the bands I was booking didn't have managers. And I was kind of defacto [00:04:55] managing them, like helping them out with a lot of various things and not getting paid for it, which is totally fine.[00:05:00] And I had so much time on my hands and, but eventually it became clear that [00:05:05] I could be a reallystrong tool if I was there in a more official capacity, [00:05:10] especially when you're dealing with labels, you know, if you're just like the friend and not the manager, [00:05:15] you know, it might be harder to kind of get the respect and attention you need.
But, so we just kind [00:05:20] of, at first it was just like a friendly back and forth of, you know, like what would you do? And [00:05:25] I think I pitched myself to him in a number of ways of, you know, like, this is [00:05:30] how I could see myself helping you.
Emily Redmond: Well, it certainly has gone well since high [00:05:35] school Canadian artists, Mac DeMarco has been touring across the world playing new signature dreamy [00:05:40] guitar licks with his lovable goofball personality. It's no surprise that Mac quickly rose to [00:05:45] Indie fame and developed a seriously committed fan base, of which I'm an excited member of it might add. [00:05:50] Since his debut, as Makeout Videotape. He's released six, successful albums, and is one of a [00:05:55] kind sound could be described as a mix of Indie pop, soft rock, and even some jazz influence. [00:06:00] Mac's diverse discography boasts sun soaked tracks, everyday love songs, and deeply [00:06:05] candid reflections on life
Trace Guzman: We then talked to Dylan shanks manager of Omar [00:06:10] Apollo. To find out how he got into his role
Dylan Shanks: being in New York, it's [00:06:15] like you're in school at the time and kind of just living in New York the other half. And so I [00:06:20] started interning the second semester I was there, which went [00:06:25] well and started to go to shows a lot more and meet people. And then just like, I [00:06:30] really just want it to be doing something like hands on.
I was in my apartment in New [00:06:35] York and like on SoundCloud and just like stumbled upon Omar and was like just [00:06:40] name school and like clicked it and instantly Loved all the music and was [00:06:45] like, what is this? But I was like booking the small shows at NYU, so I just hit them up and was [00:06:50] like, yo, like, do you want to play a show at NYU in the fall?
And he's like, yeah, like if I'm, if I'm [00:06:55] out there, and I was like, Oh well we can pay you. And he was like, Oh, cool. [00:07:00] And I was like, how long have you been making music for? And we just kind of started talking from there and like, [00:07:05] and I was like, Oh, do you have like a manager I should go through? And he was like pretty much was just like, no.
So I was like, [00:07:10] okay, cool. He doesn't have a manager, like can I just kept talking small talk I remember he like followed me [00:07:15] back and I was like, okay, cool. And then like for like a week everyday I was like, Oh, I should hit him up [00:07:20] about something. Like trying to do something together, like trying to work together.
[00:07:25] So management side and everyday I was like, Oh, I'll do it tomorrow, tomorrow. And like [00:07:30] finally he posted something on Twitter like, I need a manager and [00:07:35] I was like, if I don't hit them up right now, like I'm gonna lose this.
And so I just hit him [00:07:40] up and was like, Hey, we talked last week. But like, I really am like a huge fan and [00:07:45] like, I would love to help you. And like, you know. I [00:07:50] like really didn't know anything, but I was like, you know, have like intern year and interview [00:07:55] and like, no, it's the people that work at like blogs and shit, even if those still matter anymore, who [00:08:00] knows.
But like, I was like, you interested just like shoot me a text or call me. I'll give him a number [00:08:05] and didn't hear anything. And then like, I was taking a summer class at NYU at [00:08:10] the time, and I remember I was walking to class and he's like. Texted me like, yo, it's Omar. And I was like, [00:08:15] Oh shit.
And I was like, I need to respond to this right now. It's almost like that I then we just started talking and [00:08:20] like from there, like we kind of started FaceTiming [00:08:25] and we just , I don't know, we got along and I think for him everything was really new and I [00:08:30] don't think he wanted someone that was like super professional and like [00:08:35] older and like maybe even really knew what they were doing yet
[00:08:40] Trace Guzman: Dylan may have not known exactly what he was doing back then, but he definitely figured it out. [00:08:45] Today, his client and friend Omar Apollo is now an internationally loved artist, having just [00:08:50] returned from a world tour cut short due to the pandemic. The soulful yet [00:08:55] oxymoronically energetic crooner has established himself as a staple of the [00:09:00] burgeoning youth full genre of bedroom pop and has ensured that the Latinx community will have [00:09:05] representation. If you can't tell, he's one of my favorite musicians.
[00:09:10] Emily Redmond: And finally Jack Gallagher who manages Mt Joy, how did you start out?
Jack Gallagher: So I [00:09:15] started when I was in high school interning at a place called the cat's cradle in Carboro, North Carolina.
So I [00:09:20] interned for them when I was really young and I started working with the local promoter as well. and I kind of learned how [00:09:25] to like deal structure work for shows and how promotion worked and dealing with local press. [00:09:30] And I learned a lot about just kind of like guerrilla marketing shows.
And [00:09:35] from there I did more of the same in college. And then artists can, I saw that I, [00:09:40] you know, through shows and knew what I was doing and could get them exposure. So I started talking to more artists about like how I could help [00:09:45] them with their careers. Um, worked as a booking agent for a year after college in New [00:09:50] York.
And I came home to North Carolina and I was really managing, people that were like in similar [00:09:55] circles that. we're looking for management help and I was looking to get into it kind of [00:10:00] thing. and I've had a couple of iterations of like, what, that's looked like [00:10:05] for me business-wise from heading, having my own thing to working with other people.
Emily Redmond: Well, [00:10:10] Jack has definitely gotten into the swing of things when it comes to managing artists!
He's been working with Mt [00:10:15] Joy, a five person indie rock band for the past four years and has helped them grow from a small quirky [00:10:20] newcomer on the indie scene to the laid back yet soulful favorite they are today
Loved for their [00:10:25] unique California meets folk sound, fans flock to their live performances, which are refreshingly, [00:10:30] not too serious. Mt Joy nails, the joys and heartbreaks of growing up and exploring [00:10:35] life on their two records to date, pulling off a different whimsical and heartfelt take on these youthful [00:10:40] themes with every track. In my biased opinion, they are one of the most genuine and most exciting [00:10:45] bands on the scene today.
Part 3 - Up and Coming Stages
[00:10:55] [00:10:50]Trace Guzman: So now that we know how our guests got into artist [00:11:00] management specifically. And obviously we know how successful their artists are today. [00:11:05] We next wanted to know what those first few months and years looked like managing [00:11:10] a budding artist
Emily Redmond: Michelle, what was this like with you and indie star Mac DeMarco
[00:11:15]Michelle Cable: I think we started out as doing it like a trial thing, you know, for a few months. Just to see [00:11:20] how it go. And, you know, and we were still getting to know each other. I'd worked with him probably for almost a year at that point. [00:11:25] And, you know, we got along. I think he saw that I was really helping him and [00:11:30] asset and helping him grow as an artist.
And there was a lot of things he wasn't happy with and, you know, like the [00:11:35] structure of his team. And so I kind of helped him really figure out what he wanted to do [00:11:40] as an artist and who we wanted to work with so he kind of let me help him figure out like the best team to have [00:11:45] in place.
it's been really inspiring to work with someone. On such a close level, but you [00:11:50] know, I mean, as a manager, you kind of start overseeing, you oversee the whole team, you know, you [00:11:55] really quote unquote manage everyone that works with him. And so over that time, [00:12:00] working with him, you know, I kind of helped him really structure his team in a way that [00:12:05] he felt more comfortable because I think in the beginning there was a lot of different individuals that he.
Kind of just [00:12:10] started working with, because they were who were around, but then over time we were able to kind of line them up with a [00:12:15] publicist that was, you know, I feel like. More suited for [00:12:20] him. And, you know, we've, we've changed attorneys. We ended up getting a business manager, which was really [00:12:25] key. And, you know, when you're an international artist, and so, you know, I mean, I feel like Mack has [00:12:30] had, you know, we would, you know, handling accounting stuff for an international artist who is really [00:12:35] crazy.
Trace Guzman: And Dylan, what did things look like for you and Omar starting out?
Dylan Shanks: You just kind of [00:12:40] started working together and you don't even really even met in person. And then I remember we put out [00:12:45] brake lights. Mmm. Spotify and everywhere, like a few weeks after [00:12:50] that. And I remember we had got like. Pigeons and planes and like milk to write about [00:12:55] it, which is cool.
When I was like, first time had done like an interview and like then he came to [00:13:00] LA and stayed with me and my family for like a week and played some like free [00:13:05] shows and just like made music and like really just kind of figured it out. And for a [00:13:10] year it was like kinda just like very slow. But yeah. And then like, I don't know, being [00:13:15] in New York was good cause it's like, you know, the majority of people like work in music or in our way like, [00:13:20] uh, there are still people I could like go and take meetings with.
And I was definitely just like [00:13:25] anyone who hit us up or would like hit the Omar, you know, I'd just be like, Oh, like, let's get on the phone or let's get. [00:13:30] Coffee or like, let's do a meeting and like, I just meet people and like, [00:13:35] I don't know, it's just like I was trying to meet everyone and like talk to everyone and like solely things that are growing.
And like, [00:13:40] also at NYU, I mean there's a lot of other people who do music or like are trying to do music [00:13:45] whether it's like throwing shows. So it was just like, it was a cool little community and like [00:13:50] kinda just like over times we both just kind of started figuring shit [00:13:55] out. And like, I mean,
I don't know anyone has it fully figured out, but like [00:14:00] definitely know a lot more than I did three years ago. And yeah, it just [00:14:05] kinda like happened being consistent with putting music out and focusing on like [00:14:10] doing cool artwork and like making everything [00:14:15] better. And it just took time.
I think there was like a charm in it. Still feeling really like [00:14:20] DIY and like he was doing everything and like, it wasn't not like in a [00:14:25] machine cause it still doesn't feel like that or like, but like I just felt like very like homemade [00:14:30] and like also it's like we didn't really like.
Rush for him to find a lawyer or a rush to like find an agent. [00:14:35] Cause even though those are kinds of things I think people would do first, it's like getting those [00:14:40] things don't necessarily advance your career. we were like, okay, how do we like play more shows and like [00:14:45] this isn't about money. Like okay this show said they'll pay you $500 that's enough to cover your [00:14:50] flight. Like let's just go do it. And like the NYU show. and then it was like, okay, let's do this. Like a hundred person [00:14:55] show in Chicago.
Emily Redmond: Jack same question for you what do the beginning stages of your artists [00:15:00] relationships look like
Jack Gallagher: yeah, I mean, I, I want to have personal relationships with anyone I work with. it doesn't have to be [00:15:05] like, we don't have to be best friends, but I would like to be friends with the person and I would like to [00:15:10] have us have like a healthy, you know, relationship, work, and [00:15:15] otherwise. and making sure it's someone that we can like that we definitely communicate well.
you [00:15:20] know, there's been, I've worked with artists in the past and just have, it hasn't necessarily been the right fit [00:15:25] for me or for them. so I think that early stage of working with really anyone, [00:15:30] not just within music, but within business and. No, it's like a [00:15:35] relationship. So there's like a dating aspect, kind of early on.
but yeah, [00:15:40] just, just figuring out if you're a good fit for one another and if you both believe in [00:15:45] what the other person will bring to the table too.
Emily Redmond: So moving on from this beginning stages [00:15:50] as the relationship between you and Mac DeMarco became more official michelle what did the contract [00:15:55] process look like ?
Michelle Cable: you know, there's a lot of like, ambiguous nature to, to certain things. [00:16:00] And so when you have an agreement in place, if there ever is a [00:16:05] disagreement, you can go back and consult that and be like, okay, this is how we should handle this. And, um, [00:16:10] you know, unfortunately, you know, that's never come up. but it's nice to know that, you know, like, [00:16:15] we both are secure.
I think when I, and when him and I were coming up with the agreement, he was [00:16:20] like, so. You know, you're contracted to keep working with me too, no matter what. Right. [00:16:25] You know, like, and it's true, you know, like he, he had the security of knowing that I couldn't just, [00:16:30] I couldn't just jump ship as well and stuff.
And, you know, and, and my whole thing is like, [00:16:35] you always want people to want to work with you and want to feel like you're the best person for them [00:16:40] on their team, and to really understand and value that. And, um, you know, sometimes [00:16:45] contracts can make people feel like they're. Tied down to someone, but at the same time, it's like additional [00:16:50] security and more like a, you know, like, kinda like a rule book to go to if there's ever any disagreement. [00:16:55]
and just always having an attorney.
That's definitely, something that no one should ever [00:17:00] just be like, Oh yeah, I'll just have my friend look at it. Or, I think I understand this because it's definitely worth the, the [00:17:05] minor investment.
Jack Gallagher: Yeah there's, I mean, there's like tiers of conflict. Like we, you know, like there's [00:17:10] debates that we have every single day and it's with, by [00:17:15] artists that I manage. It's like definitely like an open flow of communication where we're like talking about everything.
We're [00:17:20] texting like all day long about decisions from a video [00:17:25] edit to, how a mix sounds of their music to merch, design [00:17:30] to how we'll post on social media. and as things grow, [00:17:35] there's more of like a delineation as to who's going to do what and like, what the approval process will be, [00:17:40] them doing it or me doing it type of thing.
but con and that's like the, [00:17:45] the little daily debates conflicts. And like, I think the most important thing is just have open communication. [00:17:50] and if something like, feels like it's festering at all to bring it up and try to like. You know, [00:17:55] communicate about what the issues are and how you might be able to resolve those things.
but yeah, [00:18:00] just definitely stressing, like dealing with things before they blow up. Kind of same [00:18:05] thing I would say for a conflict with anybody.
(TO DO FINAL TRACE, FLOW MORE NATURALLY FROM JACK"S RESPONSE? : Dylan, what did touring look like early on? I remember he opened for Jungle or someone--)
Trace Guzman: Dylan, what did touring look like early on? [00:18:10] i remember omar opened for jungle i think --
Dylan Shanks: yeah he like opened for jungle, which kind of [00:18:15] like came randomly, like in the spring. They just like reached out, which was [00:18:20] cool. And like I had no idea how to do that. It was like, how do we ship the [00:18:25] gear? How do we rent a car? Like he was like, none of us were [00:18:30] 21 yet lighting. You can't run a car.
Like we had to like, Oh we found some like weird [00:18:35] company and like Seattle, cause it was the first show started in Canada. And like. It was like a whole mass, but you figured it [00:18:40] out and like I didn't even go to one of the shows cause I was like in school and they probably were really [00:18:45] bad.
But the first time he had like played a show like every night for like, you know, a few days in a [00:18:50] row and over the course of like two weeks. So it was it really came out of that like a lot [00:18:55] better. But I think it was like, I don't know if there's anything, I don't think there's ever one [00:19:00] thing that obviously there's exceptions, but there, I don't think there's ever one thing that really shoots people.
It's like always [00:19:05] Real step-by-step and like moving things gradually and [00:19:10] like we were never really like in a rush. it was always every little tiny [00:19:15] win, like felt like a big deal. Cause it was also new. I was like, [00:19:20] Oh my God, this person reached out just to like say hi. Like Oh my God.
Part 4 - Established Artists
[00:19:30] [00:19:25]Trace Guzman: So [00:19:35] everything we've been talking about so far has been how our guests have operated during the early stages of being a [00:19:40] manager. Now they're old enough to rent their own car and just have more experience [00:19:45] so we want to find out about what it's like to manage a now established artists
[00:19:50] Emily Redmond: let's dive into questions on album release strategies streaming platforms [00:19:55] touring and trusting your artist
so Michelle Mack has certainly been releasing [00:20:00] albums and content for quite a while. What has the shift in journey looked like for him in terms [00:20:05] of his sound and more generally as an artist?
Michelle Cable: mac has started to really like get [00:20:10] into building his studio in the back of his house where, you know, like, he has so [00:20:15] much gear.
he's just really started to [00:20:20] enjoy the audio side of things and really exploring and experimenting with that, which, you know, he talks [00:20:25] about in interviews too, he's really evolve his sounds and you know, and I think, [00:20:30] you know, like he's taken certain records down to a slower tempo and that will probably [00:20:35] change.
And what he does will evolve as he gets new gear and new in learns new [00:20:40] instruments, you know, and I think, I think a lot of the marketing stuff for interviews, like in the [00:20:45] beginning, you know, and I think this is probably common with a lot of musicians, is they, they say yes to everything or they say yes to [00:20:50] most things and they say it's just, it's so much press in the beginning.
So much press in the [00:20:55] first few years of being a musician, any, any, did so many different live sessions. [00:21:00] And I think over time you realize there's a certain. Importance to quality over [00:21:05] quantity too.
I think in the beginning for anyone who's starting out, it is great. Like when you're in [00:21:10] new artists to play a bunch of shows and put yourself out there to get the press and put yourself out there so [00:21:15] that you get all eyes on you from various outlets. But when, you know, you kind of have been. You know, in the [00:21:20] game, so to speak for a certain amount of time, you don't need to do that.
You know, he's on some stuff, [00:21:25] you know, like there's some social media, but Mack pulled himself off of a lot of social media too, just because. [00:21:30] You know, it's just like more mysterious and interesting to kind of, um, [00:21:35] not always be inundating people with everything you're doing,
and Mac has fun [00:21:40] with it and he just is kind of always, you know, what, what, what's interesting to him and what he wants to [00:21:45] put out there is always evolving.
And I, and I think that's been part of his, [00:21:50] you know, like success is like this sense of humor that he kind of has been able to kind of like. [00:21:55] Illustrate to people in various ways and channels [00:22:00] over over time.
Emily Redmond: And Jack with Mt joy, still being a relatively new band. Can you share [00:22:05] a little about your album and single release strategy with them?
Jack Gallagher: for Mt Joy [00:22:10] specifically, we have an album coming out on June 5th our second album Rearrange Us which we're really excited about.
We've been releasing [00:22:15] songs since last fall. That's kind of like something that we've done throughout the history of the, you know, [00:22:20] less than 4 years of the band that we've like released little [00:22:25] crumbs. As we roll out the albums because I think it's important to, we [00:22:30] want our fans and new fans to hear as standalone songs that aren't [00:22:35] necessarily a, where you don't have to consume, like the whole project to hopefully get you interested [00:22:40] enough to consume the whole project.
Emily Redmond: I can't wait for the new album but with this being Mt Joy's [00:22:45] second full length record coming out. How do you handle the concept or rumour of the sophomore slump?
[00:22:50]Jack Gallagher: The sophomore slump I think is just like based on the fact that a lot of times you [00:22:55] have your full life leading up to that first album when you put it out to [00:23:00] write these songs that are on that first album and a bunch of ideas that you might have put together over like years [00:23:05] on the lead singer of Mt Joy, Matt Quinn has like, you know, stated [00:23:10] like he wrote this song, Silver Lining back in. 2010 or something,
but [00:23:15] oftentimes if you have a successful first album, you're pushed into touring because you want to [00:23:20] tour it. You want to continue to build what you have going on the momentum, and also turn the thing [00:23:25] financially into a business.While you're on the road, it can be difficult to write and work on new [00:23:30] music. And so that leaves you, depending on how well the first one goes and how much you two or less time to make that [00:23:35] next album.
Yeah, it was, it was super tough. And, um, especially, cause we [00:23:40] played festivals all last summer too, so we would go into the studio and then back on the road.
Um, [00:23:45] and it made for an interesting recording process. But, you know, I think [00:23:50] pressure makes diamonds situation. And this one, I think he didn't have a ton of time to do things, [00:23:55] but he got a lot of really good ideas out of it.
I think what Matt and the band [00:24:00] used to, their benefit was, was the experience of the first [00:24:05] years of the band. And you can hear that in the music. And the album is called rearranges cause it's about how. [00:24:10] You know, that first album and this band taking off as like rearranged all of their lives. so [00:24:15] you'll hear a lot of that on like the second album. because of all those things, I'm not concerned that [00:24:20] it's not going to go well. It's already going great.
I'm a little bit anxious about how it will be received. I [00:24:25] think. Of course, people would be lying if they said they would never like. Anxious about like what's to come and [00:24:30] the feedback and all that.
(FINAL TRACE: Dylan, how do you look at music release, specifically with respect to the single vs project debate?)
Trace Guzman: Dylan, how do you look at music release specifically with [00:24:35] respect to the single versus project debate?
Dylan Shanks: Yeah, it was a good [00:24:40] question. I think when we started [00:24:45] he was just like. Let's stop focus on a project because there's no, no, no one [00:24:50] knows who you are yet. There's no demand that we want people to like want a project. And I think projects are really [00:24:55] important because , it's like a body of work.
It's so easy for a fan to be like [00:25:00] sending it to their friend. Like, yo check out this project. And it's so easy you can like, it's like an [00:25:05] artist captured in like one little thing and you can kinda like get. So someone listens to that, you [00:25:10] know, it's good. they're going to be a fan. Like they like a project, like gonna really make a [00:25:15] fan I think out of that versus liking a song.
But like, [00:25:20] I think singles are important because , especially now like screaming and you're getting playlist or whatever, you [00:25:25] just have to like, they're just so much easier, like I think to send around. And I think platforms like [00:25:30] Spotify and Apple, especially Spotify, they really get behind it.
Songs a lot more. And it takes [00:25:35] time to like really get behind like a project, , ,
but I think it's really important to just do singles at [00:25:40] first because it's like also in the beginning it's like you put out a project and you don't really have fans. it's kind of overwhelming if [00:25:45] you're trying to check on an artist and it's like, Oh, there's so much music. And it's like, Oh my God, [00:25:50] I have to listen to this whole thing. In the beginning it's like, okay. I'll check out. It's so easy for someone to just [00:25:55] check out one song.
Trace Guzman: Yeah.
Dylan Shanks: And then like when you build it up, build a little bit of a [00:26:00] demand like you were able to, I think then it's time to put out a project because [00:26:05] people start asking for it and like also you for him, like he didn't want to just be, he wanted to be like a project based [00:26:10] artist.
he has something to say and you want to like a concept behind it , but I think it's really important to [00:26:15] do singles first because No one cares. Yeah. Like why are they going to listen to a full [00:26:20] project? even when they're like kind of have something going on. It's still a lot, [00:26:25] it takes time I think for project to really be demanded.
But like once it is like, [00:26:30] it's really important. , cause then those fans freak out. They find they could finally get it. even [00:26:35] now, people always like, where's the album? Where's the album? And it's like, by the time it [00:26:40] finally comes, I think people are gonna. They're so excited that they're going to want to tell [00:26:45] everyone they know, like you check this out.
Emily Redmond: So Jack speaking of releasing new music i'm [00:26:50] wondering how streaming comes into all of this can you share more about how you deal with streaming services?
Jack Gallagher: on my team specifically is I have a streaming person, um, [00:27:00] uh, that works at my management company that that directly communicates with the di. They're called [00:27:05] DSPs, which is, um, you know, Apple, Spotify, YouTube, [00:27:10] Pandora, Tik Tok, all these different digital outlets like where you might consume music. [00:27:15]
and. I do have a person that does that at my company, which is [00:27:20] somewhat unique for a management company. I also have a person who does that on my label. [00:27:25] Um, and I also do that on my own. So some managers, [00:27:30] if they're on their own without a label, they'd be the one pitching or maybe with their distributor who's like, who they [00:27:35] upload their music through.
and that could be like a CD baby or a tune core district kid or something like that. [00:27:40] And some people are just signed to the label, or that label is also helping them [00:27:45] push their music. But I think it's important to like, have everyone throughout the team [00:27:50] have their own relationships and not just streaming platforms, but like everywhere, so that there's different people.
[00:27:55] That's kind of like the second thing as a team. Like we're trying to talk to the DSPs to keep them in the know of what's going [00:28:00] on with this band and like where we're going and the developments that are happening and keeps them excited too. Because, [00:28:05] um. It's hard to do. So if you don't have a bow, if you don't have any [00:28:10] music or if you don't have things going on, it's pretty difficult to like keep these people at the DSPs excited [00:28:15] for obvious reasons, but we're trying to continue to keep things moving and we have a lot of new music we're [00:28:20] excited about, so just sending them that before it comes out.
And telling them the plan, we're going [00:28:25] to be playing these shows. For me, I'm doing these marketing campaigns, releasing these [00:28:30] videos and keeping them in the notes. Like with YouTube for example, they want to know like ahead of time [00:28:35] what videos you have coming, be it music videos or videos from the road or a earlier video or whatever [00:28:40] it may be.
so that they can kind of fit it into their bigger plan as well. For [00:28:45] you and for artists within your genre or a playlist. just so they can help, they can like [00:28:50] really. See where things are going just as much as like, that's important for my team [00:28:55] and like the fans to see like where things are going too
Trace Guzman: Dylan. Can you talk a little bit [00:29:00] about your experience with playlisting was, was getting playlist, just a product of all the [00:29:05] other work you were doing or were there some directed efforts towards that?
[00:29:10] Dylan Shanks: So at first it was kind of just a product of things, [00:29:15] which I think is how it usually starts with most artists obviously, unless they have, [00:29:20] actually that's not true. Like a lot of times, like now if I've worked with the new artists. Telling people [00:29:25] at Spotify and Apple about it because no, it's important, but like, I think it's [00:29:30] also the, there's something cool about it. Like it felt very organic. And so, I mean, it's been like almost three years [00:29:35] now. It's like, to a lot of people, they're still figuring, finding out who he is, and he's still very new and it's [00:29:40] like, it really does take time. And like, uh, [00:29:45] once it started, like kind of getting a little bit of playlisting on its own. [00:29:50] That's when like I had a friend of mine introduced me to someone at Spotify [00:29:55] and who did kind of like the more like indie playlist and stuff and [00:30:00] he hadn't been in New York and like nows, Spotify and Apple. They're a little bit like [00:30:05] weirder about like just taking meetings with managers and artists because they really want [00:30:10] the playlist is to kind of like be insulated because they don't want them to just like be [00:30:15] playlisting their friends shit or like just doing the industry pressure of stuff. Which is fair because [00:30:20] I think sometimes like play listers, feel like they're like this gatekeeper and they want to [00:30:25] be cool and they want to be posting on Instagram.
I met this guy , who's still huge supporter and was one of the [00:30:30] first supporters, like you just haven't been in New York. And he was like pretty early on I think in [00:30:35] his career there too. And we just like Matt and like we both. Just had similar tastes and got along and [00:30:40] he just like was a fan. And I think me just like meeting him and then playing him shit early on [00:30:45] and like always trying to like send him shit. I think kept him feeling [00:30:50] involved and, but also just like \know he was a fan of like, [00:30:55] it's like any fan, like getting something early, like, you know, they want to. They want to support. They feel [00:31:00] excited that they're able to do that. And like, I think he genuinely just like liked the music.
But like also, you know, us taking the time to [00:31:05] go and meet him and like play him shit early, like I think makes a difference in my, [00:31:10] you know, it's super important. And then like with like the Apple music people like, honestly, like, [00:31:15] so woman ,they're like, who's also a huge supporter of Omar has been since the beginning. Like, [00:31:20] well, she just DMed Omar one day. Like, you know, I put you in a playlist and he was like, [00:31:25] yo. Thanks. can my manager, like my manager going gonna hit you up? And she was like, and then that's how we [00:31:30] met. And like now it's like she runs a lot of like the like R and B side of [00:31:35] things. And like he has still like a huge supporter, but it really just came naturally.
I do [00:31:40] think in today's day and age with music and like the way with the internet and how things are like [00:31:45] easily accessible, things are like. good music, we'll win. It [00:31:50] might take time, but like if it's like truly good, like people will find it and [00:31:55] talk about it and share with their friends. And it was like work eventually. , because it's so accessible. It's not [00:32:00] like back in the day where it's like you could live in a town or a city and like they just. Every [00:32:05] store just doesn't sell it. Like now it's like anywhere you are, you can like [00:32:10] find anything.
Trace Guzman: So how did these albums and projects [00:32:15] translate to touring michelle what do you see as your role in facilitating touring for your [00:32:20] artists and what has Mac's experience touring been like over the years
Michelle Cable: [00:32:25] It's been, it's been interesting to work with Mac from the very start of his career as Mac [00:32:30] DeMarco to you know, where we are now, because, you know, I think in the beginning, he was, [00:32:35] you know, very young and very generous with his, his time and [00:32:40] energy. And. You know, and his ability to give so much of himself on the [00:32:45] road with his fans on social media.
He, [00:32:50] he's always preferred to kind of have a tight knit group of people around him and not like a big [00:32:55] posse. I mean, Mac only recently started touring in a bus. You know, he had preferred to tour and [00:33:00] like a sprinter van. Um, because he liked the nature of being able to like hang out [00:33:05] and see a town a little more.
you know, when you've been on the road for as long as Mack has been [00:33:10] and he's, you know, he's not just touring in the States. He tours globally very, [00:33:15] very frequently. And so, you know, I think there's a certain level of, you know, like as you grow [00:33:20] as a person, you know, like your. You know, like what you're comfortable with [00:33:25] evolves too.
And also , like the balance of, you know, like everything with, um, [00:33:30] just, you know, like mental health and, you know, with all musicians you know, like, you don't want to [00:33:35] go on tour for 10 weeks straight. It's better to like space it out. Like maybe go on tour for two to three weeks and then [00:33:40] take a month off or take a few weeks off because you know that that's so important.
Like I try not to put a band [00:33:45] on tour for more than like three and a half weeks or three weeks. You know, it's, I think more than three weeks is [00:33:50] just not healthy for anyone's morale.
Emily Redmond: With all of this talk about touring Mt [00:33:55] Joy recently had a pretty amazing experience performing as a special guest on a few dates of the Lumineers tour. [00:34:00] Jack, can you tell us a little bit more about that touring opportunity specifically?
Jack Gallagher: Yeah. [00:34:05] Lumineers tours. Amazing but to go back to, I guess like how it like comes to be and how we [00:34:10] make these decisions.
kind of touching back on what I said earlier, it's just like a lot of the different [00:34:15] members of the team, I'm having different connections and their own [00:34:20] relationships to help you make things happen. And having good music. So, yeah, [00:34:25] so that one you do like try to connect the dots, whoever, you know, whatever you're trying to make happen.
They go and like [00:34:30] look at what they would be bringing on tour with them and see if they were like into it or not. And the music [00:34:35] I think is really great in their live tour history is really great. So bands, That's like a strong part of [00:34:40] the resume
Emily Redmond: And in building up a band's reputation and fan base, how does social media [00:34:45] management come into that? And how would you say it differs between artists?
Jack Gallagher: Differentiation is just [00:34:50] everyone's different. Um, you know, in the past I've managed people where I've like done all the posting [00:34:55] for them, um, and or a mix or all the [00:35:00] artists.
And I think the most important thing is voice. Um, if [00:35:05] I fully understand their voice, and I've worked with Mt Joy for, um, you [00:35:10] know, we're in like her fourth year of working together, and I've known them for longer than that. So I have a pretty good [00:35:15] understanding of what their voice is and how they'd like to say things.
So sometimes, you know, I might write something up [00:35:20] with them. Um, but we, we really do get things approved by each other as like a [00:35:25] team, just cause, um, there's always insight. From [00:35:30] someone else, like we were saying today, how crowdsourcing ideas just as [00:35:35] oftentimes the best way to like come to a conclusion about what the best way to handle things might be.
[00:35:40] Trace Guzman: So Jack's talking about social media. We've already talked about touring early on [00:35:45] a little bit. It's evident that a manager does a lot of things. [00:35:50] But Dylan at its core. What generally makes a [00:35:55] good effective manager
Dylan Shanks: I think what makes an effective [00:36:00] manager is I think you have to like really trust the artist. You know, [00:36:05] he wants to be big, but like he wants to do it his way. [00:36:10] he doesn't want to like compromise, you know, like, as many times as I could ask him, like, yo, [00:36:15] you should make a Tik Tok. Like he's not gonna make a tick. Tock not going to go on.
Like, and [00:36:20] at first it's like, you know, Oh no, like you can like be frustrated by that, but then it's like, you know what, [00:36:25] you're right. for you, that doesn't make sense. that wouldn't be cool. Trusting him and knowing like, because I really [00:36:30] do think like artists know most of the time, know what's best and like what their fans will like and like, whether [00:36:35] it's like, you know which song you might release first for like, uh, [00:36:40] the artwork or how they're like presenting themselves on social media.
Obviously not every artist is [00:36:45] like, I'm gonna always be right. And sometimes you have to like. Know when to like push and [00:36:50] be like, you know, I think this is the song that we should release first. Or like, this is a song we should do a video for. And [00:36:55] like that devil stuff. But like, and always a, you know, you can like make those [00:37:00] calls and make sure you can get features and stuff like that.
And like, you know, Amanda could like [00:37:05] run up a record deal or something like that and get them more money. But like, [00:37:10] I think it really comes down to like trusting the artist and like [00:37:15] really like. Just being their like biggest fan and like [00:37:20] biggest supporter and making sure everyone now that he's like signed to a [00:37:25] label, it's like I'm the person that's communicating what he is, his vision to the [00:37:30] label, making sure they understand why it's important, why he should be a priority [00:37:35] and why we need to spend this much on a video when they think that might be too much or why [00:37:40] whatever we want to do is the right thing. And like kind of being like the. [00:37:45] protecter as well.
Part 5 - Ending Thoughts
[00:37:55] [00:37:50]Emily Redmond: Before we finish up our episode, we want to give our guests an [00:38:00] opportunity to reflect on their experiences so far as artists managers, and to leave us with some [00:38:05] closing thoughts.
Michelle i'm hoping you can share some advice or insights for all of the [00:38:10] young woman tuning in what has your experience been like as a woman in the music industry, which is often [00:38:15] perceived as being pretty male dominant.
Michelle Cable: I feel like the management world is [00:38:20] definitely still male dominated, the booking world is definitely very male dominated. I feel like when [00:38:25] you, when you really observe, if you really pay attention, probably there's a lot more female [00:38:30] publicists and female owned publicity companies than booking firms or management firms, [00:38:35] so it definitely is, you know, it's, I feel like it's [00:38:40] definitely a tougher, it's a tougher course to navigate through. And I am, [00:38:45] you know, I feel like I've always had, fortunately, I've always had a group of people [00:38:50] that I've worked with that have always believed in my ability and always seeing my [00:38:55] strengths and maybe even seeing the fact that I am, you know, a woman, and that [00:39:00] that's been able to be something that I can kind of like use to my advantage.
Because I feel [00:39:05] like a lot of people don't expect me to be like, stern and like, you know, like, you know, really like [00:39:10] to the point and you know, and, and strong about doing the best I can and getting the [00:39:15] best deal for the artists I work with and sticking to my guns about it. Because I think some people, you know, [00:39:20] like people, you know, people have judgments about women in certain ways.
And, and, you know, I [00:39:25] have, it was funny, like a long time ago, someone gave me the nickname velvet hammer [00:39:30] because I think, you know, kind of like kill them with kindness, but just, you know, like [00:39:35]getting what you need done, but with a certain finesse and I, and I, like, I have never ever wanted to [00:39:40] be the type of person that's like me and, or screams at people. so, I mean, I've just always found [00:39:45] that kind of like believing in myself, creating, creating an infrastructure of other strong women around [00:39:50] me has been really beneficial too, because you learn from them as well.
I mean, there's definitely [00:39:55] a lot of stereotypes out there and a lot of prejudice that women have. And I [00:40:00] think you kinda just have to like, really, you know, believe in yourself and maybe be a little more fierce, [00:40:05] in, you know, like your ideas and ethos and, and what in your [00:40:10] direction. And I think it's, I found it's really powerful to have other women around me that. You [00:40:15] know, are strong and also supportive and not competitive because I feel like it's so hard for [00:40:20] women to find, you know, more higher roles, you know, in, [00:40:25] in the music industry where they ended up being competitive with each other.
And that's so unfortunate [00:40:30] and not, it's like not, you know, not necessarily. And then, you know, it's great when you find artists, you [00:40:35] know, male or female, you know, or non binary like that that [00:40:40] want to hire you because of you. And like, and they know, they believe in your, you [00:40:45] know, your power, your ability to be the best person for them. And they don't have any doubts just because of, you know, [00:40:50] say your gender.
You know, Mac is somebody who was always loved, supporting women in their [00:40:55] careers too. And he's hired a lot of women in various roles in his, in [00:41:00] his career as a musician, which I've always found really [00:41:05] admirable too, especially as a female owned company. You know, we work with all sorts of people, but, you know, [00:41:10] like I always. Love when somebody will try to like, you know, give a woman a [00:41:15] boost
Trace Guzman: and Dylan. Any last thoughts?
Dylan Shanks: I think [00:41:20] the biggest thing is like, don't ever be [00:41:25] afraid to like sound stupid. Like there's no stupid questions. And like. [00:41:30] No, just be nice like, and don't be a know at all. Cause like no one wants to help someone who [00:41:35] like thinks they know everything. And then also it's like [00:41:40] just like be interested in other, in everything like for you to like [00:41:45] be an interesting artist or interesting manager. Like you have to be interested in other things going on. You [00:41:50] have to be aware of what's going on and like aware of like [00:41:55] new music and like why is certain things working and. Why is like, I [00:42:00] mean, I'm a normal, I was starting to come up. It was like a whole kind of scene of like indie [00:42:05] music that like we started to become cool again and hadn't really been cool. I think in a while, whether it was [00:42:10] like with the Claros and Rex and Cuco and like [00:42:15] now it's kind of even evolved more with like the Dominic bikes and stuff like that. But [00:42:20] like you just have to be, I think is if you're genuinely interested in [00:42:25] things like you're going to learn, it's going to. It's going to make you a more interesting person [00:42:30] or manager or artists like, you know, I'm always aware of what's going [00:42:35] on. Like he's on social media, like he loves, he loves music. He's always [00:42:40] listening to new music, like, and like, I think you have to like know what's going on. [00:42:45] Culture and the world.
Emily Redmond: And Michelle we'd love to hear from you [00:42:50] again if you have any other general closing thoughts to share?
Michelle Cable: You know,it's, it's just [00:42:55] important in this industry especially, that's kind of can be cutthroat. you know, where there [00:43:00] are a lot of people that kind of have gotten involved in the music industry for dollar signs and [00:43:05] numbers. And the bottom line that there are people that do care about musicians out [00:43:10] there and that if you're a musician and you feel like you don't have the right people working with you, those people [00:43:15] do exist. And, you know, and, and vice versa, like finding artists that. I understand and [00:43:20] appreciate what you do.
you know, it's, it's like this, it's, it's interesting to kind of learn what you're good at and [00:43:25] have it so you're kind of constantly evolve as you meet various people in this world
but um, yeah, you just, you learn a lot [00:43:30] and I think you should always be really open minded about things and where you, where it takes you. And an [00:43:35] artist I manage actually just told me last night that one thing they really noticed is that I've always been [00:43:40] able to evolve and adapt. , I just think staying open minded is really important and [00:43:45] positive.
Emily Redmond: Wonderful. Thank you both. and let's [00:43:50] hear from Jack one more time, any parting words?
Jack Gallagher: I don't want to like act like [00:43:55] I know everything cause I'm not even close to there. I learned something new today. I'm [00:44:00] learning about like diving down the tunnels of like rabbit holes of tick tock. [00:44:05] I think there's always more. Like one of my interns is like teaching me more than [00:44:10] I know about it.
It can be really difficult to like, get through to folks, in the industry that are higher up [00:44:15] or, to get your act connections. I mean, one of the main things is to have a [00:44:20] good product to really work on with the artists and getting the music is to where you [00:44:25] want it to be and getting your creative and all that to where do you want it to be? Like [00:44:30] even in the early, early DIY stages, so that when you reach out to people, it looks [00:44:35] legitimate.
Yeah, just like shoot a lot of shots, reach out to a ton of people, find people that you might be [00:44:40] able to do something for as opposed to ask for something. I think that's important, like every aspect [00:44:45] of life as well. And, eventually, I mean, it's a big networking industry, [00:44:50] like really figuring out who does what, especially in the realm of like what you'd like [00:44:55] to do.
I think it's just important to remember that. it's a [00:45:00] business where a lot of people are willing to help too. . And I think a lot of people do want to help young [00:45:05] people in the business. especially if people, if you watch. Yeah. What the, how they [00:45:10] work online. And you think it might be someone that you can connect with? you probably can just like reach [00:45:15] out. See if they're able to give you any advice. A lot of people will take a little bit of time out of their [00:45:20] day to save people a lot of time through mistakes they might make if, if they hadn't heard [00:45:25] a certain thing. So just, you know, be bold and be [00:45:30] prepared to , work really hard. Yeah.
Part 6 - Outro and Thank Yous
[00:45:35]Tony Rodriguez: Thank [00:45:40] you to our amazing cohost trace and Emily I'd also like to extend a great thanks Jay LeBeouf above [00:45:45] our amazing instructor who gave us the necessary tools to put this podcast together.
Trace Guzman: we just want [00:45:50] to thank our amazing insightful guests for taking time out of their busy [00:45:55] schedules to share so many great anecdotes and stories and so so much [00:46:00] advice
Emily Redmond: Once again, you've been listening to Dylan shanks, Jack Gallagher and Michelle cable [00:46:05] who have been so friendly and generous with their time. I'd also like to extend a thank you to them for coming on the show. [00:46:10]
Trace Guzman: and we want to thank you. Our listener for. [00:46:15] Listening. And giving us your time. There are a lot of podcasts out there. [00:46:20] And we're just grateful you chose to listen to ours today. And also a big big thank [00:46:25] you to our amazing DJ Tony who composed all the music you heard in this episode,
[00:46:30] Back to you, Tony. You're the man
Tony Rodriguez: Be sure to tune into the second part of this [00:46:35] episode, where Monica will host conversation for the managers of pop superstars, Dua Lipa, Lana Del [00:46:40] Rey, Haley, Seinfeld, and more.
[00:46:45][00:46:50] Megan Aguilar: That concludes today's episode of our podcast, Drop The MIC: Music Industry [00:46:55] Conversations.
Elliot Dauber: Thank you to all of our guests for spending their time with us and sharing their insights [00:47:00] on the artist management world. We'd like to thank Tony Rodriguez for composing this season's theme [00:47:05] music.
Emily Redmond: Tune in next Monday at 8:00 AM Pacific, 11:00 AM Eastern [00:47:10] to hear more about managing artists from the people that represent some of the world's biggest pop stars [00:47:15] like Dua Lipa, Conan Gray, Lauv and Lana Del Ray.
Braden Milford: We're the [00:47:20] students that helped put this season together. To hear all of our episodes, check us out on [00:47:25] Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Emily Redmond: To stay up to date with [00:47:30] everything we're working on, including a playlist that features all our musical guests from Season One and our social [00:47:35] media accounts where we post sneak peeks of what's coming up, check out our website at [00:47:40] dropthemiccast.com.
Megan Aguilar: This has been Drop The MIC. Thanks again for tuning in. [00:47:45] We can't wait to share more with you next week.