How Not To Represent Your Artist
I have been in the music industry in one form or another for about 8 years. I started out booking shows for a friend but found that was not what I really wanted to do. When you book a show you feel as though you are selling your soul a little bit. When I started doing radio I found it was much more fun. Talking to different Artists and Bands about where they think the music industry is headed has been a great outlet for me and has also sparked a great conversation.
When I try to get an Artist on theFIVE10 Radio I usually start by getting in touch with their Publicist or Record Label. Usually it goes something like, “We would like to talk to [insert band name here] for theFIVE10 Radio. It would be audio only and we would come to them with our mobile studio.” That would be followed by a response with “Yeah let’s make it happen” or “Sorry we’ll have to pass.” Usually I can deal with the last response because I know theFIVE10 Radio is not very big. I mean, come on, we’re not Rolling Stone Magazine. We’re a collection of music fans who have a kick ass site built for the music fan. I do the radio show when I have time and I do it because it is something I love doing. I’m not paid to do this. None of us are. So when I get a rude response from someone representing an Artists I don’t quite understand it.
Today was like any other evening at my house. I am in bed with my laptop looking through Steve’s List to see what shows are coming through the San Francisco Bay Area. Once I find someone I want to have on theFIVE10 Radio the search is on for who I need to reach out to. This evening one of the Artists was Sage Francis. I have been a fan of Sage for a long time. I saw him perform once at Amoeba Records in San Francisco and was blown away. He is an incredible wordsmith and someone I’ve respected for years. He has always been someone I’ve put on my “Must Interview” list ever since I started doing radio 3 years ago. I was excited to see he was going to be performing at The Independent so I immediately reached out to the only email I could find that was on the site to set up an interview. It was my standard email but since the email was firstname.lastname@example.org I figured I was reaching out directly to Sage. However, I wasn’t entirely sure so I still kept the email bland and straight to the point.
What I got back was an email from, what I can only assume was his Publicist and/or Manager “Ben.” The email basically said the following:
“Our main interest is doing an interview before the show to act as promotion for the show. If you can only do an interview the day of the show without doing a pre-show preview of some sort, we won’t be able to work this out. Best wishes, Ben”
I responded with the following:
“Thanks but unfortunately the interview wouldn’t air until after the show. We’re all big fans of Sage so we would love to work something out if it’s possible. J”
What I got back was something I was not quite prepared for since I had never gotten anything like this before. It read:
“Since you didn’t bother to state what site, radio station, or podcast you represent, and you’re not going to help promote the show before hand, the answer is fuck off.”
I have heard, “Not interested” and “Not at this time” but I have never been met with “Fuck off” before. That’s a first. To which I replied:
“Wow! In my signature I put what site it’s for. If you would have taken a few moments to click on it you would see we’re not just some kiddie site filled with random noise. If you click here (http://thefive10.com/thefive10-radio-guests/) You can see we’ve had some pretty impressive Artists on the show. Sage has always been one I’ve wanted to get on the show for a long time and I know he doesn’t tour often. As far as promoting the show, while we are local to San Francisco we do not consider ourselves a “local” entity but rather a global one. So promoting your show here in San Francisco would not do Sage much good. We spin Sage as part of our normal radio rotation. I hope you reconsider. If you don’t, I’m really disappointed with the lack of professionalism displayed by you here. JC”
I was hoping that the email conveyed how disappointed I was with his response but also left the door open for some sort of reconciliation so we could still make the interview happen. You have no idea, I am really big fan so I was willing to endure this childish behavior because I know this isn’t something the represents Sage. He’s not this angry. He’s not this spiteful. And he’s certainly not going to send me an email this poorly written. What I got next was even more shocking. His response:
“Cool story bro. Peace, Ben SFR P.S. If you tell Sage about this I’ll make sure your world comes to a fucking end. FUCK OFF!!!!”
Wow bro! Just….wow.
Don’t be a “Ben.”