Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fat Mike talks about Fat Wreck Chords & the Music industry.

Question: I came across this interview with fat mike of nofx and fat wreck chords owner, . In it he talks about the value of ringtones in respect of labels. In regard to earache having ringtones being a valuble way of making extra money now cd sales are down? From:

Answer: Thanks for the link- I've never actually met Fat Mike but I have seen his band a few times and was thoroughly entertained. Overall I think he's a savvy business-man because to run a record label for over 20 years is no mean feat, you gotta take your hat off to him. For quite a while before Earache started I was partial to some melodic hardcore -bands such as Descendents and Dag Nasty and maybe Bad Religion too, so I have an idea where his label is coming from. It might sound crazy but during the mid 90's Earache flirted with signing a melodic hardcore band called Alligator Gun, sadly Milwaukee was not a hotbed of hardcore at the time- if they were Californians they would have been huge.

There are quite a few parallels with Earache and Fat Wreck - we're both staunchly independent, and have put out a similar number of releases over the years. Unlike Mike, I don't have the talent to write songs and sing for a well known band.I don't get to travel the world on tour, so I'm stuck in the damn office.

Most of his comments about the Biz are spot-on accurate- yes, ringtones in 2007 absolutely were a big money-spinner for labels because cellphones back then weren't customisable as todays are. I remember hearing from a good source that Nickelback were selling $35,000 worth of ringtones per month, which is insane. Earache even had a deal going with a ringtone company at that period and sales - at $3 per time- were decent but nothing like Mike mentions.

Nowadays its totally different and I don't think ringtones even get sold anymore. I know its damn hard to even get a ringtone onto an iphone for instance. Maybe they are just deemed old fashioned by kids nowadays.

His comment of working maybe 8 hours a week on the label shows how relaxed about he is about his work, and about the biz in general.His lfestyle is vastly different to mine at Earache though - I still show up to work in the office every day. I blogged about my typical day last year.

Overall, watching his interview, you can't help but warm to the fella- except when he mentions golf, I'm not a fan.

Part 1 Fat Mike Interview:

part 2


Lewis said...

Due to earache's current immerrsion in thrash and skate culture through bonded by blood and sss etc you could argue earache and fat wreck have more in comon now than ever before. It could also be argued that mike helped keep thrash alive in the eyes of punk kids when he signed/distroed/supported propaghandi during the 90s.

Anonymous said...

Theres actually a physical link between earache and fat wreck, steve watson of iron monkey also played in Consumed which was an old fat wreck band from the mid 90s