Monte Pittman is an acclaimed rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, who just released his second album, “Pain, Love & Destiny”. Monte has also been the live guitarist and a co-writer of Madonna’s since 2001, the live guitarist and music director for Adam Lambert, and former member of Prong . He is also the #1 top-funded rock musician in the history of Kickstarter, having raised a staggering $65,500 from fans to finance the new album.
You started out teaching guitar to Guy Ritchie and consequently Madonna as well. Soon after, you appeared with her on Letterman and joined her band. This was only about 10 years ago and things have been flying for you since then. Have you taken the opportunity to reflect on the wild twists and turns in your journey to this point, or are you a ‘head down and keep pushing forward’ kind of person?
I just keep looking forward. The 11 year mark of the Letterman performance just passed and its hard to believe how fast the time has gone by.
You have been Madonna’s live guitarist and a co-writer since 2001. Please elaborate on your experience touring and writing with a breakthrough artist like Madonna.
It’s the best job in the world. There can be as many as 200 people on tour with you. You usually don’t get to meet them all. We all become a close family on the road and have a great time in each others company. You can see that in the performances. Read more…..
Grooveshark is an online music search engine, music streaming service and music recommendation web software application, allowing users to search for, stream, and upload music for a charge that can be played immediately or added to a playlist.
I sat down with Grooveshark’s SVP Paul Geller discussing artist payout, Spotify, and how Grooveshark positioned itself as one of the leading providers of music streaming in the industry.
Tell me about your history in music. You mentioned that you began as a musician signed to a label performing in an emo band.
I started playing violin when I was 4. I think my mom was a Tiger Mom before it was fashionable. I always had to be playings something. In middle school I took up alto sax, then piano/keys and finally landed on an instrument I considered fashionable. My dad bought me a beat up Japanese Strat. To this day it’s my favorite guitar even though I have quite a collection. After a few years of playing alone I started a band with a couple other buddies from school. The band was called Keepsake. We signed a deal with Eulogy Recordings when I was 15, put out a record and went on our first tour when I was 16. I think I did about 3 records before my 19th birthday and had been up and down the East Coast a dozen times. I have vivid memories of sleeping in an uninsulated utility van on Christmas Day in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Read more….
Luke Ebbin is a twelve-time platinum, five-time Grammy nominated record producer, songwriter, composer, and new media entrepreneur. As a record producer, Luke is considered to be the architect behind the makeover and comeback of Bon Jovi with his production of their hit record, “Crush”, which featured the worldwide #1 smash single “It’s My Life
Luke has produced and written songs for Melissa Etheridge, Plain White T’s, Rival Schools, the All-American Rejects, and Will I Am. Additionally, Luke produced and/ or composed the television themes for Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, CBS News 50th Anniversary, The CBS 1998 Nagano Olympics, among many others.
In the Kings of A&R interview Luke discusses his work with Bon Jovi, how new aspiring producers can make a mark, and breaking well-known classic artists in the digital world.
Tell me how you began your journey into the music business.
I had a pretty wild entry into the music business. I was 16 at the time and an obsessed drummer. My brother and I went to see The Pat Metheny Group play at a shed near my hometown early in the summer and we struck up a conversation with the front of house engineer. At some point it came up that I was a drummer and he mentioned that they were looking for a new drum tech for the tour and asked me if i’d be interested in the job. Of course I said yes. He said he’d let the road manager know and if interested, they’d call me the next day. Sure enough the call came the next morning and before my mother could say “absolutely not”, I was on a plane to New Jersey to meet up with the tour and spent the rest of the summer on the road. Needless to say, it was somewhat of the modern jazz version of “Almost Famous”- and one hell of an experience for a 16 year old. Read more…
Martin F. Frascogna specializes in the intersection between music and international law. His niche is working with internationally-based artists, labels and publishers, as well as a substantial roster of “indie” musicians.
He is the author of the self-published series: “How to Market and Promote Music Internationally,” which includes the titles “How to Market & Promote Music in SWEDEN,” “How to Market & Promote Music in ITALY” and “How to Market & Promote Music in CANADA”. He is also the co-author of the book “Entertainment Law For the General Practitioner,” released by the American Bar Association.
He is a speaker on “Globalization of the Music Industry” for the CLE Seminar on Entertainment Law and is an assistant professor of entertainment law at Mississippi School of Law. He was acknowledged by DePaul University, recently ranked as the most diverse school in the US, as one of their top 14 alumni under the age of 40.
I sat down with Martin and discussed todays popular topics including the music streaming service Spotify, copyright infringement, and the battle over artist song rights. Click here for full interview.
There aren’t many artists who would consider an office full of major awards, a slew of major #1 hits, a library of some of the most memorable pop songs in recent history and an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame to be “a good start.”
Diane Warren, however, isn’t like any other artist.
Starting as something of a child prodigy, Diane Warren began laying the groundwork as a teenager for a career that has spanned decades and exceeded all expectations… all except her own. She always knew she would end writing some of the biggest songs in music, and she has never waivered from her mission. However, she tells us she is really just getting started and the best is yet to come.
From hits like “Rhythm of the Night” to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “How Do I Live” to “Un-Break My Heart” and “When I See You Smile” to “Because You Loved Me” and “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” and literally hundreds more, Diane Warren has written countless songs that seem to transcend time, appearing and reappearing throughout our lives, just when we need them. Her songs have received six Academy Award nominations, five Golden Globe nominations, and seven Grammy Award nominations, including one win. Her success in the US has been paralleled in the UK, where she has been rated the third most successful female artist. If Diane Warren says she is just hitting her stride, I suggest you believe her and buckle up.
We sat down with Warren to catch a quick glimpse into her relationship with her music.
Who exposed you to great music growing up? Were you taught to be analytical about music (for instance, did someone explain to you why something was great or not great)?
I was born almost 15 years after my sisters were born. When I was young, the played music all the time. My parents played records so I was exposed to all kinds of music early. I listened to the radio every minute I could. I wanted to write songs at about age 10. I learned by experience. Then in college I snuck into the practice rooms to play and write every chance I had.