Brian Douglas has joined us as Comandante Zero’s official ‘Communications Manager.’
When Ken and I began the ‘Indie Way’ project, the idea was fundamentally to figure out new ways in which an indie band could survive in an era when the old models of the music biz were collapsing. The traditional route for a band went something like this – write songs, play gigs, gain a couple of fans, get a manager, get a lawyer and get picked up by a record company. The record company would then give the band, their manager and lawyer some $$ to do a record, to live on (all recoupable against future sales) and then they would hire a PR agent, booking agent and get their songs placed with a publisher.
Fastforward to 2009. The model is broken. The failing record companies aren’t picking up many bands, and when they do, they often expect them to come to them with a finished record and an established fan base. (the question remains – why should they get such a high percentage of the artist’s royalties if they are no longer putting in such high initial investments, but that’s another post)
The death of the record companies doesn’t make us sad in the least – it’s a really exciting time. Essentially, with the web, a band has the ability to communicate it’s music, videos and other content to the entire world. Whereas, the day of the rock stars may be over, a new era may be emerging in which a middle class of bands emerges. These are musicians who can support themselves as artists, not with private jets, and mansions, but enough to be able to simply continue making their art and not be destitute. These artists essentially will be supported by their network of fans who can now be spread throughout the world but tied together through the internet.
Basically, we believe that bands of the future are going to have as a key member of their team a person who is in charge of their online content, overseeing it and making sure it presents a coherent image to the world. However, as it becomes more important for bands to constantly release content besides music (i.e. videos, interviews, blogs, tweets) this person will act as a producer as well – documenting shows, producing videos and other material to transmit to the world. Currently, this job does not even have a title, and often is given to multiple people, but we believe that more and more, bands will take on this person as one of the first members of their team.
We’ve worked with Brian for a couple of years now. He designed our great ‘Indie Way’ website. So were really excited that Brian’s agreed to work with us and we’re sure he’ll be one of the first of the many ‘Communications Managers’ that will arise in the music biz (or whatever other title someone thinks up in the future)