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One On One with Loren Weisman
by Steve Beck

Loren Weisman is an accomplished music producer and consultant based in Seattle, Washington. Having worked on hundreds of albums, studio productions, and tours as both a drummer and producer, he gained a spectrum of insight on the music industry as a whole. Loren is also the author of The Artistís Guide to Success in the Music Business.

OnlineRock has reprinted a number of Loren's articles throughout the years. When he recently published his book, we thought we'd we ask him a few questions about it.

The Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Business

Can you please give us a little background of yourself and your career in the music industry?

I started as a drummer at first and got involved with studio work early on. I found my way in to a few clean up sessions and got the opportunity to work as a ghost drummer for a number of labels and producers which was the bulk of my studio career. I spent more time as a sub drummer, a fill in as well as a hired gun more so than being in any real bands. It was a great chance to see and work across a greater number of genres as well as so many different types of people. It also kept everything fresh and new. Maybe it was a little commitment phobic, but it worked for me. It also allowed me to see so many more facets and sides of the industry I was in.

You've just published a new book entitled The Artist's Guide To Success In The Music Business. Can you tell us a bit about the book?

In short, The Artistís Guide to Success in the Music Business is a detailed analysis of the subjects that all musicians should understand and apply in order to pursue a successful and sustainable career in music. Full of ideas and practical advice, this book provides comprehensive detail on how to optimize success and achieve sustainability and self-empowerment in todayís music business. From production and performance to marketing and career-building, this book instructs artists on how to take the hard-earned lessons of a fellow musician and put them to work in their own careers. And yes, I ripped that from the intro.

Why did you feel a book like this was needed?

From what I saw out there in the more recent years were either books that complained about the problems, or books that are too heavy in to certain details. (Still these books are needed and should be purchased, but for some it can be too much at first) or books talking about how you can be successful in a few months or how to win a grammy or how to get a record deal. It seemed like the overall sense was still all about breaking big and not as many people talking about a more realistic approach and one that is more obtainable in today's music business. Discussing what is right now and though not the final solution, I give ideas that can be applied individually to each artist and in turn they can apply to their given situations.

Who should read this book?

EVERYONE!!! Ok, maybe not everyone. I hope beginning musicians as well as more seasoned professionals can take something from it, but I also tried to write a book that could be understand by the wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends and family members of musicians. I hope this will be read and enjoyed by those directly and indirectly involved with music or someone in the music business.

What do you hope bands and musicians will take away after reading the book?

The understanding that they need to understand more of the industry and business side of things. Whether you stay completely independent or go to a label or manager, it is crucial to be educated and empowered with what is going on around you. I hope more musicians and bands will ask more questions, take things less likely, reach out to buy some of those other books that might go in to more detail about publishing companies, licensing, contracts and what not.

I want artists to understand that the smallest steps can create the most solid foundations and the time to get things going in the right direction is now.

I tend to open your book, start reading a random page and seem to get some sort of tip right away. Do you recommend that people read the book all the way through or just use it at certain periods of their careers?

A couple very nice reviews have come back saying that there are tips all over the book and that anyone can start the book from any page and get what they need out of it. I really appreciate those comments. I want the book to be read through, but I also wanted people to be able to start on any given chapter or at any point they most connect with to get them drawn in to read about the things that might not be as interesting at first. I think this is a good guide to have near by and refer to as well as reading the whole thing through. I hope people will earmark and attack the sections they are most inspired by first as well as reference back to it through different stages of their careers.

You mention The Freedom Solutions Recording Plan (FSRP) throughout the book. Can you tell us more about it and why it's important?

The FSRP is the compilation of the book. it applies all the elements in to a full business plan and approach that I use with artists I produce. The challenging thing is that most of it is on the artist to follow through and of course in return they maintain the control of their music, their images and have the best chance in today's market. I found a number of artists getting partially through the program and then dropping off, short cutting or putting off things they needed to do. This was part of the reason I wrote the book as well. I know it can help anyone, but from here out, any artist that wants me as a producer has to read cover to back and if they don't feel that it is right, they can find another producer. I want to work with artists that want to see the whole picture, understand that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the music industry and lastly artists that want to succeed with patience and work ethic instead of trying to short cut or find some quick fix.

Where can people purchase this book?

The book will be available online Friday, April 16th, 2010 at www.artistsguide.net. In the following weeks it will also be available both online and on the shelves of Borders, Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon and smaller book stores around the country.

For more information on Loren Weisman, please visit www.lorenweisman.com


Steve Beck founded OnlineRock in 1999 as a place for musicians to post music and share information. In 2001 Beck launched OnlineRock Records which has released music from Gregory Paul, Autumdivers and Ike Willis (former Zappa front man). He has traveled to Sierra Leone, Montenegro and Zambia on behalf of the US State Department to talk to musicians about the industry. As time permits, Beck records and performs with Julie Cornett under the band name Needle. Contact him at steve@onlinerock.com

 
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