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How to find producers, studios, labels and in general getting out of the trenches

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by keiththebassist, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Hello good sir,

    I was hoping you could shed some light on how my band might be able to take things to the next level.

    We are a progressive rock band out of Norcal who has had a great deal of local success, playing with many touring acts coming through our area (Tantric, Adema, Burn Halo, Sick Puppies etc.). But we are now very much setting our sights on things like: finding producers, recording studios, the right contacts etc. to help get us out onto the national and eventually international scene. Basically how to make the transition from successful regional band to larger, financially stable touring act.

    In today's age, are record companies still relevant compared to a more DIY approach? It seems like we are in need of a record label, producer, manager etc. that has more of an artistic based approach than "how many units can we sell at best buy this year". But not really sure how to go about making these contacts and getting to the next step.

    Can you tell me how you were able to do this for your own projects and perhaps give some specific advice to our situation in the current state of the market and industry as a whole?

    Thank you so much in advance for a response.

    P.S. how can I get Les Claypool's Carl Thompson tone for less than $200? ;)
  2. And I apologize for the generality of my question
  3. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005

    Record co's are certainly still relevant. As relevant? Hardly. My advice is to either self-record something and release it yourselves if you haven't done that yet, or work with someone great who you can trust (via referrals, etc) and work out an all-in fee to record, produce and mix an album for you guys. And make a great record that is highly competitive, bold, and self-assured with great writing.

    Once you have that asset, you can walk in to many more doors. If you don't have that, labels (big or small) are somewhat less inclined to jump in with you. That finished product is what you want to have on tap.

    From there you, can either get a distribution-only deal after starting your own label, or sign to a label. Keep in mind that most labels these days like to do 360 deals, so you will run into that often.

    Perhaps you already have a record either going or finished, though. If you do, let me know, and I'll slant my advice in a different direction.

    p.s. Don't know! :)
  4. Thanks,

    We definitely realize that we need to have product in hand before trying to negotiate anything as far as labels, touring etc. We are putting the final compositional touches on a full length right now and prepping to record it somewhere in the SF bay area. We have a 3 song "demo" type recording that was done at a pro studio but we are trying to keep that in the past and move forward with the new material. Thanks again for any advice, it helps!
  5. So I guess my answer is yes, we have an album in the works, what's the next best move?

    P.S. sorry to hear about your studio, never fun, hopefully insurance won't be a total nightmare.
  6. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Sell it yourself...get a product you can sell and find all the avenues you can to sell it.

    Thanks for the thoughts on the studio. It's a living nightmare. Hopefully the page will turn soon.


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