Shades Of Green Records / Blog

Play to Pay, Seriously?

I cant believe anyone out there ever asks someone else to lug all their equipment down to a venue to perform without paying them( once upon a time, yes it happened to me too). My favorite is when they tell you that you can play "for the exposure"(where are all the people?). Those people had better be providing some real exposure. Battle of the bands aren't my favorite concept either however I have had some good experiences as a player when I was younger (really wasnt that long ago) and officiating as a judge now that I am producing. The biggest problem is that all of these people are depending on YOU to market THEIR event. (did i say that right?) They dictate that you have to bring their potential clients to the bar. (Wait. What?) You want me to practice with my band (a lot please!), work my regular job, lug all my equip to your bar/venue, perform professionally and Im responsible for bringing all the patrons? Is this really how things have been designed to work? I was so fed up with this that I investigated why this phenomenon continues to exist. Then I started a record label (where none of these things happen) with all the information I found. Then I wrote a book about it. These bars should be marketing themselves and hiring talented bands to perform in order to provide unique experiences to their clientele. You know, the clientele they already have everyday. No wonder not many bands understand the business end of things. The "companies" their dealing with are screwing them left and right and don't understand the business either. Its time for a change. Shades Of Green Records

Record Label Formalities

There are so many bands looking for label affiliation these days and it will probably always confuse me. For some reason most of us think (and i don't mean me) that the record industry still works as it was defined in the 1950's. Some even think that with Myspace and Facebook that its so easy for bands to "make it"(?) these days that the business of music must have gotten easier with the advancement of technology. I am here to testify to you that this is just NOT true. Just like banks the major labels have found even better ways to screw you out of whats yours over the past 70+ years. Its time for change. (I sound like a politician but seriously!) Am I the only one that this way of thinking sounds ancient to? Shades of Green artists are busy being groomed to be their own independent businesses. They are learning management skills that empower the artists and strengthen the label. If the band wants to do a tour we sit down and budget, plan and book the tour together. They know what costs are involved and how much of their budget is available. Who the booking agent is and who the last three tours were booked for. It goes so much further than just tours and bookings though. They successfully make what they love into a career. So these bands never end up "unreleased" with a record they put a lot into or dropped from the label feeling like an estranged spouse with no typing skills (bad analogy?). What I mean is this...If these bands get signed and they get everything done for them, then they wont have any chance of survival when they get dropped from the label of which the chances of that are very good. I talk with A LOT of bands in consultation after they complete submissions to the record label. Most of them think that once they finish their record that its just going to sell, mysteriously, by the cases. Do they not realize that there is so much marketing (reference:amazing press kits) and backscratching involved to get them endorsed by the right group, producer, or company?

Press Kit ?PK, EPK, RPK, CraPK

Press Kits are putting Shades Of Green Records and Executive Producer Matthew Rodgerson on the map. "White Noise" comes to mind when thousands of pre printed folders with disk sleeves and papers stuffed inside cover the desk at an entertainment agencies office. The only problem with that is...everybody has one. And on a record label's submission desk full of those folders (like we have) nobody cares that yours has a cool picture on it (no offense- your picture is cool!). Or that your single is more marketable than the entire stack of other artists songs. It comes down to a feeling. Same goes for the music inside that this press kit represents. REPRESENT being the key word. Hey if you are best represented by a folder with your picture on it then by all means (again cool pic). Ask yourself a few questions... Does the beholder feel what you, as the artist, are trying to convey? Do they get "IT"? What about your press kit will stand out to the agency/producer/label/fan/etc? We think that in all of these cases (even fans) have had bands presented to them and represented to them in hundreds of ways. Agents and labels deal in hundreds of serious submissions from bands daily (they all have cool pictures). If you can make the guy sifting through these folders feel something before he even listens to the 30 seconds of the track you included. Or maybe he thinks to himself, "that's clever..." You have barely scratched the surface. Shades Of Green press kits are done by individual consultation only. We have meetings with hundreds of bands across the country and around the world via video phone conferencing (iPhone, Skype, web chat, etc.) You too can set up a consultation by sending us a message here on Reverbnation and we will set you up with an available time schedule and info. There is no cost. Bands signed by the label all have an opportunity to have their press kit built privately prior to album releases, tours, and/or new promotions. These press kits average less cost than the printed folders anyway. So stop wasting the paper and your money!