Posted by Justin Boland on Mar 30, 2011 | 0 Comments
We’ve been doing artist interviews for 3 years now on Audible Hype — and that won’t stop anytime soon — but I want to shift focus in 2011 and start spotlighting the business side more often.
First up, I’m honored to present this interview with a hard-working and highly respected manager: Eamon Mulligan of Legendary Music and the Ubiquitous Media Group. Here, we’re talking touring, responsibilities, and how to juggle about 10,000 roles at once…
AH: What does your daily routine look like in 2011? What are the regular responsibilities you’re juggling any given day?
Eamon Mulligan: Man, the tail end of 2010 was crazy, we had Eligh’s Grey Crow album drop right before The Grouch’s annual Christmas tour and in between that we were working on the new Zion I & The Grouch project as well. Going into 2011 it has been a bit hectic, obviously there was a little bit of a break with the holidays, but now it’s all GO! We’ve been fighting deadlines to try to get this album done. Aside from that my day to day consists of a lot of emails, calls, and running around. On any given day I’m fielding calls, talking to our booking agent, talking with the artists and trying to plan the next move. Aside from that I went back to school and am also a full-time student, so throw that in the mix with everything and I’m usually fairly busy. I’m always on my phone or computer.
AH: How did you get started with Legendary Music?
Eamon Mulligan: I started doing little things, just being around and being able to execute whatever was given to me, really. Which I believe is a huge part to being a successful person, just doing your job. I may not be the smartest, most connected, or even experienced person, but I always try to do my job, and do it to the best of my ability. Sorry, got a little off topic!
Really, I would say that the old webmaster, Mark Onstad (who owns Access Hip Hop in San Diego and on the web) and Luckyiam really gave me my start, or chance. Initially, I started with assembling press kits, did that for a while and then started working on the newsletter after another intern left. Eventually, Lucky asked me to go out on the road as an assistant tour manager, the tour ended the night before Thanksgiving and the tour manager ended up going home for the holidays with two shows left. Lucky then basically anointed me as the tour manager and since then I just became more and more involved.
AH: Not including the folks working the venues themselves each night, how many employees are involved behind the scenes of an operation like a G&E tour?
Eamon Mulligan: There’s a few key people involved, The Grouch and Eligh, our booking agent, myself, tour manager, merch person, and usually a publicist. I guess I act as the liaison between all those parties. It can get pretty intense and we’re usually fighting deadlines since it’s a small amount of people. Typically, I am responsible for talking with our booking agent, who is one of the best IMO, communicating with our accountant, hiring a tour manager and a merch person. The Grouch & Eligh are also heavily involved in a lot of these things as well and is probably are some of the hardest working artists out there.
AH: What advice do you have for artists about staying healthy and focused on the road?
Eamon Mulligan: Don’t drink every night and don’t eat fast food. Life on the road can be pretty grueling and with late nights and early mornings fast food stands alongside the highway are an easy meal, but as we all know, they aren’t the best for you. I’m not opposed to drinking alcohol, but I know for myself, when I drink nowadays, the next day is pretty rough. If you wake up with a clear mind, it’s much easier to accomplish what you have to do for the day, on the road or at home.
AH: What prompted the streamlined re-design of LegendaryMusic.net? Was there fan feedback or analytics data driving that decision?
Eamon Mulligan: First off, I’m glad you checked the page out and noticed. Thank you. The main thing behind the redesign was that the website was just outdated, full of flash and bloated. It wasn’t a really fun experience on the page and I was looking for something a little more automated. Everyone is on twitter and Facebook, and I felt that a strong incorporation of those things would work great on the website. I feel like we all have so much thrown at us everyday by way of mass media that a very clean and streamlined website is the most effective thing.
What you’re seeing right now is more of a temporary thing, eventually there will be a website with more content, but we needed something that was up to date.
AH: How has the response been to the new site design? Are the artists interested in their web metrics at all?
Eamon Mulligan: We haven’t announced that there is a new design up, mainly because I feel it’s so streamlined and minimalist that there isn’t much to poke around on there. I’m just letting people find it on their own. I might do a little pseudo-announcement, but nothing huge. When we build a more rich one, then I think we can announce it. As far as metrics and analytics, some are, some aren’t. I know that I’m interested in it, but watching over that stuff takes time and I will admit that I don’t check them as often as I should, but I’m getting there.
AH: How do you guys approach social media? Do you have benchmarks and specific goals, or is the focus on fan interaction?
Eamon Mulligan: I don’t really have any set benchmarks like, we have to have this many FB fans by such and such date, but I keep an eye on all of that. I actually just brought on an intern to take over all of that because I just don’t have time to keep everything up to date as much. I like fan interaction though. I want people to feel like friends, more than fans and feel like there is an interaction between them and the artist.
It’s funny though, because as I say that, I also kind of miss the days when of a veil of separation between fans and artists existed. When I was younger I never knew what my favorite artists were doing or thinking day in and day out. In some ways people knowing everything is good because of the interaction, and in some ways I think it’s bad. I actually miss that mysticism that was there. I mean, there are some people that just do not partake in it as well. Kanye took a while to get on Twitter, Atmosphere isn’t on there. So it’s not like you NEED it to survive, but I definitely think it’s an extension, or a tool to connect with people. Another thing is that, I lightweight feel that Twitter and FB have kind of killed blogs. I know that people tweet, “New Blog Post: blah blah!”, but how many people actually click through on those? I feel like we’re being conditioned, or dumbed down to communicate with one another in 140 characters or less, it’s kind of crazy.