In the fall of 2005, I was giving a presentation to all the artist managers at Nettwerk Management on the future of music. We had a very lively discussion about where the industry was headed and how to take advantage of the changing circumstances and marketplace. Tom Gates, who manages the bands Brand New, MC Lars and others burned me a CD on the spot and said “You have to listen to this. This track was recorded by MC Lars after reading your book, it’s called Download This Song. He wrote and recorded it based on what he read in the Future of Music book.”
Well needless to say I popped that baby right into the player as soon as I got in the car and it was awesome. I listened to Lars lay into the music industry with a chorus that goes,
“Hey mister record man, the joke’s on you/ Running your
label like it was 1992/ Hey mister record man, your system can’t
compete/ It’s the new artist model, file transfer complete.”
I then checked out MC Lars on myspace and found an artist for the future, taking the best parts of the old music industry and combining them with clear thinking and new moves that are going to propel him to success.
According to Tom Gates, “It’s pretty amazing what a 22 year old kid did from a dorm room. Just in one territory: He’s going back to the UK for the 5th time in one year opening for Simple Plan and then will go back in March for his first headline tour…this all without tour support. We’re about 6 months from his new genre busting (it’s called “nerdcore”) and he’s going to make ten times as much bank than he would have if had signed to a major. Then you add in the costs of what he’s spent to do this and it just all points to the future, especially when you compare it to what majors spend on developing artists. $7,500 recording costs (powerbook+protools studios) vs $250k major label. $400 photo shoot vs major label $15k photo shoot. $7,000 video vs $50k major (directed by the guy who did Eminem and just really likes Lars). Art $0 (he did it and artwerks laid it out) vs $10k major label. Recoupability takes on a whole new light.”