Does your band want a manager? Then this episode is for you!
Today, I speak with Blasko. Not only is he a successful bassist playing with none other than Ozzy Osbourne, Danzig, Rob Zombie and more, but also a successful band manager of the likes of Zakk Wylde and Black Veil Brides to name a few!
We chat about what he’s looking for when bringing on new artists, how bands know when they need a manager, what to do when you have more than one manager interested in you and what to expect when you get one!
On balancing the creative side and business side of music:
“That came together out of a mere necessity for survival…”
On the role of a manager:
“Ideally if you want to be a manager you’re gonna have to have some type of network. You gotta have to have a client first but then you have to ask yourself, ‘What’s the first phone call I’m making on this band’s behalf to then excel their career a step forward.’
And if you don’t have an answer to what that next phone call is, then you gotta take a step back and figure out what that is because management isn’t so much about making sure that the dudes have water on stage, that’s tour management, that’s very different.
Management is very much simply about providing opportunities for your clients and if you don’t have a way to provide an opportunity then you have to focus on that ability.”Blasko
On what he is looking for when bringing on new bands to manage:
“Your band has to have some type of value…You have to imagine your band as a small business that you are then pitching to an investor that is then going to invest time, energy and money into your band to help elevate it to the next round. But that can only be done when there are sales.
So in a direct analogy to Matt’s idea (comparing your band to a business on Shark Tank) when we say ‘what are your sales,’ it’s how many fans do you have?
…Where a manager comes in, is being able to take those fans and be able to convert them to paying fans; that are going to by t-shirts and tickets and records and downloads.”
“You don’t have to be the biggest band, you don’t have to be the most successful band but there does need to appear to be some sense of a fanbase that gives a crap about what you are doing to where someone can see an ROI.”Blasko
What a manager can’t do:
“I can’t give someone a fan. I can’t give them a fanbase. The band has to make music and make art in a way it connects with enough people to create a fanbase. There is no easy equation…it’s a lot of different things add up to connecting with a fanbase.”
Has technology made things easier or harder for bands?
“On one hand it’s harder than ever before because you’re competing with millions of bands…you’re not just competing with music you’re competing with videos and video games and Tik Tok, you name it…it’s more competitve than ever before.
But on the other hand it’s easier than ever before because you have all these people accessible right away. They’re literally a keystroke away.”
Should you reach out to a manager or will they come to you?
“I feel that the bands that are always the ones reaching out telling me they need a manager…those are the ones that just aren’t ready yet. I always feel like you’ll know when you’re ready because your band business has reached a point where you can’t handle that business anymore…When that time comes that is also the same time you begin to get on people’s radars.”Blasko
What should bands consider when looking for a manager?
“Bigger isn’t necessarily better. In hindsight, if you are presented with that option (bigger VS smaller manager) you do need to take into a much deeper consideration, the younger, hungrier guy with the huge level of enthusiasm and maybe not as huge of a roster.”
Daily tasks of a manager:
- Continuing to move the band forward – “The momentum that always needs to be happening is forwards and upwards.”
- Hirings/firings (producers, tour managers, crew, etc.)
- Putting together tours
- Putting together records
- Admin to keep the train rolling
About the Banderator:
The Banderator is a portal where you can submit your music (for a small fee) and get genuine feedback from music industry experts.
This came out of the problem of music industry professionals, such as Blasko (and myself included), receiving countless messages from bands asking for feedback on their music, but not being able to respond due to time constraints and also the fact that their time and experience is of value.
If you’re a serious band, the opinions and advice of someone who genuinely works in the industry and knows their shit, are invaluable and can completely change the trajectory of your band’s career for the better.
In addition, “On the back end we’ve developed a propriety algorithm that actually scrapes all of your analytics, your total YouTube videos, your total Instagram followers, we scrape all that from the internet and it spits out your ‘Fire Score,’ the higher that number is, the more on fire that you are.”
P.S. This totally isn’t sponsored or anything. I genuinely think this is a much needed platform for artists and awesome concept!
Links & Resources:
Check out Blasko’s new platform Banderator: banderator.com