View Single Post
Old 06-10-2008, 08:24 PM
mrchattr's Avatar
mrchattr mrchattr is offline
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 1,439
Default Re: Is getting signed to a Major really worth it anymore?

While I agree with a lot of what you are saying...and while you have earned a degree of success that is far beyond what I have achieved so far, I do have a few thoughts about a few of your comments:

Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
A lot of independent artists/bands are demonstrating a backlash against labels, and I suspect that a few signed artists have deliberately gone independent. I can't think of any right now, because they've also essentially disappeared. But is any artist truly prepared to work within the online system, on their own? And what happens when the online systems get bigger... and start promoting... and become known for certain genres... aren't they becoming 'labels' too?
A lot of signed artists are going independent with great success. Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are two examples of bands who released their own music, for free or "pay what you will," and are making a lot of money off the tours, etc. Now, I realize that they have huge fanbases, but you did mention signed artists here, not newbies. Also, a lot of artists are leaving their labels for corporate deals...I don't know if you consider this "going independent," but acts such as The Eagles, Madonna, and Journey have signed partnership agreements with companies like Wal Mart and LiveNation...the partnerships are all-encompasing, and the artist has a lot more control than they would with a label. Also, there are a lot of artists (Dave Matthews Band is the only one I can think of at the moment, but I know there are others) who have their OWN label, seperate from any of the majors, that they use to control their own releases, as well as release music from other, similar artists. Of course, a lot of these labels have distribution agreements with the majors, so it's hard to say how truly "independent" those labels are...but they are options that are succeeding, and that take away some of the label influence.

Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
This discussion comes up a lot, and the question I always have to ask - and have yet to get an answer - is, who has made it big without the benefit of a label or other corporate/media backing? And when I say big, I mean album sales, touring success, and the ability to promote the music to a wide audience through so many media-machine related avenues? How many artists get to appear on network TV or in print, if a label's publicist doesn't arange it? Seriously, I don't have an answer yet.
There are definite examples...the "problem" is that when they made it big, they got signed, and thus you can argue that they still needed the labels. The ultimate example is Metallica, who (and I'm not a Metallica fan, so correct me if I'm wrong) basically had a national following before getting signed. Tila Tequila got famous because of MySpace, and has sold music on iTunes, and now has her own TV show. Drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts is trying to make it as a solo artist without a label right now, using his already established fan base and MySpace to sell his new album directly to his fans. Ingrid Michaelson is also now a famous musician with a national following who got there through MySpace, without a label. Even though they are not famous in the US yet, The Ting Tings started to get famous after recording only three songs...they posted two of them to their MySpace, and UK radio stations started playing them. The band's THIRD GIG, which was a house party at their own house, was attended by many of the UK's top labels, and they were signed by the end of it...but again, they were already famous.

So hopefully that answers your question of who made it big without a label...

But don't get me wrong. You can have your label guys call me, and I'll sign on the dotted line right now! Seriously, Bermuda...I dare you to! ;-)
Saluda Cymbals Endorser
Silver Fox Endorser
MySpace: rossidrums
Reply With Quote