Every year, the New Music Seminar (NMS) gathers the innovators of the modern music industry under one roof to discuss the state of the business and what’s on the horizon for upcoming years. This year, NMS teamed up with OurStage to give one artist a shot to perform at the 2011 closing party in Los Angeles at The Roxy Nightclub, where artists the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie have taken the stage. In addition, one lucky fan won round trip airfare and 2 free tickets to attend the conference and closing party just for liking OurStage on Facebook!
Atlanta pop-rock quartet The Well Reds stepped up to the artist challenge and entered their song “6 More Months,” which climbed all the way to the Number 1 spot at the top of the channel landing them the gig. Facebook fan Becky Clawson won the fan prize and got to attend the conference and hang out at the closing party, attended by Pete Edge (President A&R Jive Records), Courtney Holt (MySpace Music) and OurStage’s own Ben Campbell to name a few. Fresh off their performance at The Roxy, Torin of The Well Reds sat down with us to talk about their performance experience. Check it out below!
OS: Did you get to meet any music biz big whigs at the party?
WR: We were very fortunate to meet and speak with a variety of industry executives. The “biz big whigs” were incredibly generous in taking a lot of time to speak with the attendees after the panel discussions. We were very impressed with the diversity and scope of music topics covered at the New Music Seminar. The panelists really represented an incredibly eclectic mix of music professionals… A&R, Marketing, Booking/Tours, Merchandise/Artists.
OS: Did you have an elevator pitch prepared in case you bumped into any major players?
WR: Not really. There was a lot of pitching going on and it was pretty obvious that a firm handshake and a polite “hello-my-name-is” worked much better than “I am the next big thing, you need to sign me.” We had flyers for our show at the Roxy with show information and band links that we personally handed out to as many of the panelists and attendees as we could. In the event that an industry executive was taking the red-eye out or not planning to attend the show we asked if it would be appropriate to give them a copy of our EP.
OS: What do you think the future holds in store for the music business? Where do the Well Reds fit into this future?
WR: I think the music business will continue to evolve. One of the biggest themes in the seminar was that is does us all a disservice to hold on to the romanticized idea of what was. There are artists that are still finding success throughout multiple traditional and digital media platforms, licensing songs, writing hits, building their fan base… I would hope that as The Well Reds continue to grow as a group, we will find sincere opportunities get our music out for others to enjoy. Our goal it to work hard, be professional, and to conduct ourselves in a manner where regardless of where we end up, we can look back without regrets wishing we had done this or that. I think Ourstage is a perfect example of a present day platform that can sincerely provide artists with an opportunity to reach a wide and educated audience. For contest winners, the experiences can be truly career changing.
OS: What was it like gigging in LA? Have you guys ever played there before?
WR: This was the first time we’d collectively played in LA as The Well Reds and it was really great to get to play at the Roxy. We went to the NMS Artist On The Verge contest the night before and were totally blown away with the band the The Daylights. When it came time for us to play we felt very comfortable in the venue. I cannot say enough nice things about the folks at NMS and the staff at the Roxy. Keith, Alex, Sam, Dave, Tom… all great professional.
OS: How did the audience respond to your performance?
WR: The audience was great and we definitely made some new friends. We usually measure show effectiveness based on the response of the sound man and Alex (from the Roxy) was very complimentary of our set. We were also able to get some folks out from some of the LA based companies we’ve been working with. Thanks go out specifically to Mike, Mitch, Cindi, Caitlin, Travis and Ramy for attending the show.
OS: How did you get your fans to come out and judge in the competition?
WR: We asked nicely and often on Facebook. I also think there was some residual Ourstage support from when one of our other songs “Violet” placed third in the public voting for the Ourstage Subway Fresh Artist competition a few months back.
OS: Are there any shout outs you’d like to make to the fans who voted for you?
WR:Just that we’re very appreciative of the time that people continue to invest in our band.
OS: What was the most valuable thing you learned at NMS?
WR: As a band we’ve been working with the understanding that each member has to take on a variety of roles within the group. The idea propagated by NMS that really resonated with me is that regardless of who you’re working with or what level of success you’ve achieved it is still absolutely imperative that you’re personally working on the different facets of your career: booking, licensing, perfuming, booking… No A&R rep, manager, or booker is going to instantly magically make it so you don’t have to work hard anymore.