Not too long ago A&R’s signed bands on gut instinct. That is what they were paid for. These days A&R’s look for “indicators” because they no longer know what to sign. Meaning, if some unsignedÂ artist wrote a comparable album to GNR’s “Appetite For Destruction” and didn’t have 50,000 friends on myspace, the band would be looked over. This is idioicy at it’s best considering we know several methods of collecting thousands of friends on myspace every hour. Of course “out of touch” A&R’s just dont know these techniques.
The good news is that the labels just cleaned house and a small number of A&R’s who are left are anxiously hanging on to their jobs.
The bad news is that you still have “out of touch” older execs steering the ship into icebergs like the Titanic. They are more concerned clinging to their prestige than looking for new ways and platforms to break new artists. How is it that all the employees are let go except the ones making all the bad decisions? The problem never seems to be eliminated.
Of course its hard to find great artists that write compelling music, but older execs signing hardcore/screamo bands believing they are going to take over the world is a scary scenario. I’ve witnessed Presidents and CEO’s watching these recycled garage bands in smelly clubs saying “Wow, aren’t they great?”.Â My jaw dropped to the floor. Who’s fooling who? What is so funny dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into a band that has a frontman that can’t hum a tune? After 10 flops and wasting other peoples money you would think these cats would learn, but insanity has gripped this industry like no other. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Artists and label employees being victimized by “label politics” is at an all time high. President fighting against president is like watching kids in a sandbox fighting over buckets and shovels. Welcome to amateur hour.
What we need is a 50 foot Tsunami traveling at 500mph hitting the East and West Coast taking out Los Angeles and NYC and cleaning up the rest of the mess. Then the real rebuilding may take place.
PS: Just in case, GNR stands for Guns and Roses.