Soliciting Labels

Anyone here ever successfully landed a contract with a label or have words of wisdom for someone hoping to?

So here's the story, I have released one album. It did fairly well in my area and has a pretty marketable sound. I've finished writing the follow up and am at the crucial point of financing the record. I don't want to do kickstarter or anything like that. If I were not on disability for the foreseeable future for MS, I'd just go to the bank and take out a loan. So, my hope is to shop my first record around and maybe include home demo versions of the new songs as a selling point. One selling point for me is that my producer and bass player is Tom Drummond of Better Than Ezra and he's lined me up with some top of the line musicians. A great guitar player named Shane Theriot (Darryl Hall) has played on some already and I'm hoping we can land him again. Surely having names like that attached to it might help, right?

Anyone have any advice? I hate to say that time is an issue. My MS has given me a stutter that just seems to keep getting worse. So playing gigs and saving up over time is not really plausible at this point.

Comments

  • jeffbrjeffbr SeattlePosts: 5,405
    I unfortunately have no advice or experience there. I just wanted to chime in with a congratulations and some encouragement. Good luck in your hunt for a label. I really hope you get a chance to make this record. When you're ready to share, post some links! Sounds like you have some experienced people in your camp, so hopefully that (combined with some quality demos) will be enough to get some indies sniffing around. Good luck!!
    "I'll use the magic word - let's just shut the fuck up, please." EV, 04/13/08
  • ledveddermanledvedderman Posts: 7,058
    Hey thanks, @jeffbr I appreciate the kind words and encouragement. Here's the first record that I put out two years ago. I know that posting copyrighted material is technically a no no on here, but since I own the copyright, I say it's fine to download for free. http://www.mediafire.com/file/jeuguqu7xiyhze8/Brian+Zilm-+Ferdinand.zip

    Maybe I'll send a copy of the record to Mike's new label. Can't hurt, right?
  • mace1229mace1229 Posts: 1,231
    No advice, but I actually really love BTE! that's awesome. I know so many 90s people who think BTE is one of the cheesy bands of the 90s, rank them with Dishwalla. But I love them. Seen them a bunch, they would come to San Diego or LA a few times a year and tickets were still affordable. I never took anyone to a BTE show who didnt have a great time. And the guys would do meet and greets after some of the shows, seemed like cool guys. They signed a bunch of stuff, but would never tell me the origin of their name!
    Been about 10 years since my last show unfortunately, they don't come around as often and I'm not in SD/LA anymore. But I'd be curious to hear what your sound is like if you have any links on youtube or anywhere.
  • jeffbrjeffbr SeattlePosts: 5,405
    Great! I just grabbed the album and will give it a listen. You should definitely shoot it to Hockeytalkter. Worst case is that you're exactly where you are right now. Never know what Mike will want to sink his teeth into next. Thanks for the music!
    "I'll use the magic word - let's just shut the fuck up, please." EV, 04/13/08
  • ledveddermanledvedderman Posts: 7,058
    mace1229 said:

    No advice, but I actually really love BTE! that's awesome. I know so many 90s people who think BTE is one of the cheesy bands of the 90s, rank them with Dishwalla. But I love them. Seen them a bunch, they would come to San Diego or LA a few times a year and tickets were still affordable. I never took anyone to a BTE show who didnt have a great time. And the guys would do meet and greets after some of the shows, seemed like cool guys. They signed a bunch of stuff, but would never tell me the origin of their name!
    Been about 10 years since my last show unfortunately, they don't come around as often and I'm not in SD/LA anymore. But I'd be curious to hear what your sound is like if you have any links on youtube or anywhere.

    That's awesome to hear, man! I'll pass that on to Tom. The guy loves to hear when people still enjoy the band. I'm with you- I've never taken anyone to a BTE show that didn't have an amazing time. The music is great, Kevin and Tom are really funny with banter, and the meet and greets are always nice. They haven't been out to California in several years for a show on their own. I know that a new album should be coming from them this year as well as a tour. Kevin is working on a solo record as well, but I think BTE is the priority.

    I don't have many things on YouTube of studio versions of songs. I do have some covers and live acoustic versions up there. If you search Brian Zilm Music, you'll see some.
  • mace1229mace1229 Posts: 1,231
    I listened to a few tracks from the link above. I enjoyed them, good luck! Hope you get some contacts. Keep us posted what happens.

    Tell Tom BTE needs to tour more. I'm in Colorado now, and haven't seen them since I left CA. I randomly checked one night several months back and Kevin was playing a solo gig that night, but I wasn't able to swing it last minute. They put out some good stuff. I think they would have been even bigger if they didn't get screwed by their record label going bankrupt during "Closer," that was a great album and could have been a huge breakthrough to the next level I think.
  • ledveddermanledvedderman Posts: 7,058
    mace1229 said:

    I listened to a few tracks from the link above. I enjoyed them, good luck! Hope you get some contacts. Keep us posted what happens.

    Tell Tom BTE needs to tour more. I'm in Colorado now, and haven't seen them since I left CA. I randomly checked one night several months back and Kevin was playing a solo gig that night, but I wasn't able to swing it last minute. They put out some good stuff. I think they would have been even bigger if they didn't get screwed by their record label going bankrupt during "Closer," that was a great album and could have been a huge breakthrough to the next level I think.

    BTE is kind of in the same boat as Pearl Jam when it comes to touring these days, they've got kids and side projects. Tom is becoming pretty well known for his production work and Kevin is working with top of the line artists with his songwriting. I think that '17 and '18 will see them on the road more and that's a good thing.
    You're spot on about them being screwed over by the label with Closer. I think Garden is their best album and releasing it when they did hurt them, but following that with Closer was amazing and then the floor came out. Every song on that album (minus Juarez) could have been a hit single. I know "Misunderstood" and "A Lifetime" were in the works for release when the label folded. "Rollin'", "Closer", "Sincerely, Me" and "Get You In" are definite hits. I can hear the frustration in Tom's voice when he talks about that period.

  • mace1229mace1229 Posts: 1,231
    Sorry to derail your thread, but its nice to hear someone talk about BTE these days, so I hope you don't mind if I enjoy it a little. Vitalogy was what actually got me interested in music in 7th grade, and I remember my brother yelling at me every time he caught me spinning his record without asking him first (we were old school before it was cool to be old school, didn't buy the CD until a few years later since he had the vinyl). Weezer's blue album was the first cd I ever bought, and Deluxe was the second or third. So they've been there since the beginning for me and I still appreciate their music today. Funny story about that album, for at least a year or 2 I thought the lyrics for Good were "Wack off, it feels good. Whoa-ooh-ooh wack off. I'm not too sure and I'm not to proud to say wack off, it feels good...." Someone had to correct me when I was singing along one time. Took on a more appropriate meaning after that.
    The only band I've seen more than BTE is Pearl Jam.
    I think Closer was their best. Friction had some really great songs, I believe Desperate Wanting is in the top 20 songs of the 90s, but that album has more tracks that I tend to skip as well. Garden is in the middle, I don't tend to skip any and has a fun vibe to it that just puts you in a good mood but there's nothing that blows me away either. Closer is just solid all the way through
  • ledveddermanledvedderman Posts: 7,058
    mace1229 said:

    Sorry to derail your thread, but its nice to hear someone talk about BTE these days, so I hope you don't mind if I enjoy it a little. Vitalogy was what actually got me interested in music in 7th grade, and I remember my brother yelling at me every time he caught me spinning his record without asking him first (we were old school before it was cool to be old school, didn't buy the CD until a few years later since he had the vinyl). Weezer's blue album was the first cd I ever bought, and Deluxe was the second or third. So they've been there since the beginning for me and I still appreciate their music today. Funny story about that album, for at least a year or 2 I thought the lyrics for Good were "Wack off, it feels good. Whoa-ooh-ooh wack off. I'm not too sure and I'm not to proud to say wack off, it feels good...." Someone had to correct me when I was singing along one time. Took on a more appropriate meaning after that.
    The only band I've seen more than BTE is Pearl Jam.
    I think Closer was their best. Friction had some really great songs, I believe Desperate Wanting is in the top 20 songs of the 90s, but that album has more tracks that I tend to skip as well. Garden is in the middle, I don't tend to skip any and has a fun vibe to it that just puts you in a good mood but there's nothing that blows me away either. Closer is just solid all the way through

    Haha! "Wack off"...I'm totally passing that one on!
    I really love Garden. I think it's them at their creative best. Now, it's not what the label expected from them or even what fans wanted...but the arrangements and strings are beautiful and poppy at the same time. I have the 5.1 release of it and it gives me goosebumps every time. That stretch of Particle, Beautiful Mistake, Everything in 2's is one of my favorite three stretch of songs of any release ever. I think Garden suffers from filler tracks like us PJ fans feel in Vitalogy. If it were just straight rock tunes, Garden would have followed Friction, Baby up in sales numbers perfectly. Had they released At the Stars, Live Again and Everything in 2's...it would have been huge. The filler tracks complete the feel of the album but take away from its popularity.
    Closer is a perfect BTE album. It's one of those perfect summer albums. I really think Before the Robots really proved their longevity. A Southern Thing is such a great pop rock song. It should have been a single and the band reflects back on it the same way.
    So glad there are other Ezralites on the board. I always wanted to see other fans because the music was so good, but since knowing the band and knowing how much they care about their fans, their music and their community, I just see them as amazing people and they deserve every ounce of success they receive.
  • mfc2006mfc2006 PDX--->KCPosts: 29,615
    Just wanted to chime in. First of all, love the tunes man! Keep 'em coming!

    I'm in a band with another board member, @2-feign-reluctance , and we're currently trying to wrap up our 4th album. We've taken a different approach on each album & it's been a blast! We've never thought about shopping the music to a label, but it sure would help! The cost of self-producing, marketing, time, etc, etc can get to be a bit much. I may look into that for my solo album...hmm.

    In any case, give it a shot! You have nothing to lose & everything to gain.

    As far as time working against you, I would suggest that you record as much as possible right now. Even though your album is done, maybe it would be good to keep the momentum going and keep recording. Best of luck, man & feel free to pm me if I can help further!
    I LOVE MUSIC.
    www.cluthelee.com
    www.cluthe.com
  • ledveddermanledvedderman Posts: 7,058
    Thanks @mfc2006 I've enjoyed following you and fein over the years. You guys are insanely talented. I don't know how many people I've passed on your story to. The fact that the Internet, a mutual love of Pearl Jam and talent can bring two total strangers together to making quality music. It's just a real community we have here.
  • mfc2006mfc2006 PDX--->KCPosts: 29,615

    Thanks @mfc2006 I've enjoyed following you and fein over the years. You guys are insanely talented. I don't know how many people I've passed on your story to. The fact that the Internet, a mutual love of Pearl Jam and talent can bring two total strangers together to making quality music. It's just a real community we have here.

    Thanks for the kind words, man! It's been a fun trip so far & I'm excited to see what happens next. The support we've received from this community has been absolutely awesome from day 1.
    I LOVE MUSIC.
    www.cluthelee.com
    www.cluthe.com
  • Thanks @mfc2006 I've enjoyed following you and fein over the years. You guys are insanely talented. I don't know how many people I've passed on your story to. The fact that the Internet, a mutual love of Pearl Jam and talent can bring two total strangers together to making quality music. It's just a real community we have here.

    :heart:
    www.cluthelee.com
  • mace1229mace1229 Posts: 1,231
    Glad we had this topic. I usually only think to check for BTE shows when theres an album, and maybe once or twice a yeah. Kevin is playing 2 solo shows near me in May, just bought tickets to one of them!
    Wouldnt have thought to check. I have a feelin ghe plays often, I checked about 6 months ago and he was playing that night, and since its an hour away I wouldnt swing it. Now I know to be on the lookout for his solo stuff too.
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 15,879
    this is a great thread. big props to the OP and best of luck. I don't have any advice, but I recently joined an original band about 6 weeks ago. they have some great songs and have a really good EP. unfortunately they are either too lazy, or too stoned to really do anything with it. I, as the new guy, am in charge of promotions. we plan to head to a studio in the next few months to record a few songs and then beef up the ep to album length. 

    best of luck with talking with labels Tom is a great guy to know. I have met him a couple of times in the late 90s and early 2000s. if he likes your stuff, that is a great thing. please keep up updated.
    "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."- Hemingway

    "i'm not here to start the fire. i am here to fan the flames..."

    If you have never failed, you have never lived.
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