posted on Mar, 26 2007 @ 08:30 PM
The album was going to sell with or without a record deal and that is my point. And that is why what Zed is trying to do to help out with this
unsigned band is so important. Cause the tides are changing and things like this help bring distribution to the masses without label help. The
labels wanted in for the money, and did get in clumsely, but even without them the album would have sold straight through the internet in a way that
was devestating to the labels understanding of current marketing. Their envolvement was really damage control and a way to corner this way of
marketing too. They're still lost and confused though.
Gnarles-project between DM and Cee Lo. You do know that Cee Lo and Danger Mouse had been working on the collaboration since 2003, and not even in
europe but in atlanta I think. The album had been completed and developing a huge fan base for three years before the labels even got wind (one of my
central points). Internet fanbase developed rapidly cause it was a kick ass collabo. And people are smart enough to know what they like . Friends
over at UK got it signed so that it could be distributed (only for that reason). The label hymned and hawed over it, gave it the smallest of chances.
It ended up being a huge sucess. But they were already too late to reap the big money. The guys over at the US heard about it, but since they
didn't believe in it nobody did anything. Josh over at downtown grabbed the opportunity just before it was too late, and secured distribution from
maybe atlantic. Still not on the good side of the deal for the label. Album does great in the US. The rest is history. Notice that the internet
part came first. But it's always more complicated than this.
Yeah I know he is with Downtown Records. I said major labels. I talked to those guys back in december or january last year when they were setting it
all up (part of my job)before the imprint was official. Nothing major about them. They do have the potential to be the vangaurd imprint of atlantic
if josh keeps doing things right, but right now they aren't. hell go check out their roster. My boss has a bigger roster and she's not a label or
even trying to be.
The album/project had already been completed on it's own, funded by danger mouse and his friends. Then, Gnarles got a crappy little deal on Warner
UK. They didn't believe in the act. The majors at the labels laughed at the notion. They said I've never heard of this guy and neither has any of
the other execs or people we hang out with. Wheres the buzz. Their research came from his internet fanbase,(wonder how he got that fanbase without a
labels support yet,better yet I wonder how people had even heard of their stuff, trust me it was on the internet before it even got a chance on
radio,and plenty of fans had copies of half the album before the labels even knew it existed) it was a form of word on the street that they weren't
familiar with, and people there (at warner UK) poo pooed the act. DM had just barely gotten out of deep trouble with EMI shortly before that. Execs
didn't want to get involved. People who were friends over at warner UK basically helped get things rolling for them on that part. Warner Music Group
doesn't feed them much (then) except under it's imprint Atlantic. They feed Warner UK even less. The SR A&R guy there and his wife Vp of A&R are
not big players in the industry anymore. (they used to be) The husband James more so but not Rose. And they are the top A&R brass there. I talk to
them about once a month mainly to check in on their family, hows life in london etc,usually on behalf of my boss. were not that tight... although i
do have their phone number memerized off the top of my head. 011-44-207-...-.... etc. So I have a good idea at whats going on behind the scenes
there. I even knew about Gnarles Barkley through my friends before Warner did. Not all is what it seems with the record industry and they got plenty
of embarrasing things to hide including how little cashflow there really is right now. Gnarls Barkley wasn't supported by majors. he (cee lo and
danger mouse) made his sucess the old fashioned way developing a fanbase over the internet.
Josh (owner/founder of downtown) was a big guy back at Virgin and has a lot of respect from other people, but his label was all his own doing and most
of what goes on under it. he funds everything, he just goes, like even indies have to frequently, to the majors for distribution. All the back office
work is the burden of his little label. Especially since jason (his old boss, whome I actually like) was/is laying off so many people at
Virgin/Capitol then and right now, Josh was smart and got out of the major label game, to be more secure and less at the mercy of his old bosses and
their idealogue. he recieves support from Atlantic (major) in the form of distribution. They didn't have anything to do with helping out budget wise
or getting the guy off the ground hence my 80% of the work and glory goes to downtown with Gnarls and even more so to the origional team that
completed the project before the labels even knew who he was. So does the money too BTW. They did pay their lawyers a whole lot to make sure of
that. Which was where I was going with that statement. Josh has positioned his company so that it is sitting on the front of the next record industry
wave. Go back and re-read what my post said. Part of what makes his little label sucessful and ahead of that wave postioned for the next new thing
is because half the people over at downtown all 12 of em are under 32 years old. Most are in their mid 20s, and they knew what the people were saying
and that the internet was the place to look for new acts not through A&R scouts.
Josh goes through Warner I think for distribution. Not sure maybe it was Atlantic. I could always call him and find out if i cared enough.
Distribution. Thats really the only way that the majors helped the album. If you don't think Myspace made Gnarls then go ask somebody. Europe might
have heard about it before america and you did. But he was all over the internet (not just myspace) before even that. thats when he got the small
deal which turned out to be a big sucess, and lead to bigger things. He was the last straw that finally got labels to pay friggen attention to the
internet for doing more for the record industry than ripping off the execs with Itunes and napster, rhapsody or whatever. The american distribution
deal wasn't even concidered yet when he was signed to WanerUK and took less than a week to bang out. Labels can do this when they see money being
generated that they haven't gotten in on yet. Why do you think it debut'ed so well in europe? because before anybody had even heard of him
including the labels. his name was alive and well on The Internet Mainly myspace for america. People were big fans of Gnarls several months beofe
the labels even knew about him or what was going on. The album was number one when it debut and that fanbase was not built up on label support. The
labels jumped on after it was too late to be in the good part of the deals and make money on that project. They only got distribution. They get paid
too, but I've already admitted that, just not nearly as much as they would have because they still don't understand the internet.
Anyways i digress. Gnarls barkley was brought up because he (fine, the act comprised of DM and Cee Lo) was one very significant piece of the
foundation that is being developed to break free of the 4 majors strangle hold on the industry. The album is concidered an internet phenomina, and
wouldn't have existed in it's current form,which was not it's first, on a label if it weren't for internet fans. What this latest movement is, is
just one more significant thing that will get the label exec. chairs. and COO, CFO's and CEO's attentions to improve and modernize their game.