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, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdjzC-Is9F0 . 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: