The music industry is expanding every day, with exponential growth in all sides from PR to label managers becoming even greater. To see how the industry is moving, we talked to Oliver Kamyszew, a graphic designer turned PR, artist manager at Scarim Management and Black Box Booking about the industry and how it’s moving.
Who are you and how did you get involved with Scarim Management?
My name is Oliver Kamyszew and I am an artist manager and public relations representative at Scarim Management (www.scarimmanagement.com). I also book tours under the moniker Black Box Booking Agency. I got involved with Scarim Management during a time where I was working as a graphic designer and I came across a great band called, “Of Virtue”, whom I now represent. The band had a powerful album but little traction meanwhile I saw that my current colleagues & old friends had launched a management agency and I met with them to see if they’d be interested in representing Of Virtue. Instead they inspired me to take them on and start my current management career. This, of course, didn’t come randomly but instead because I had previous experience being in bands where I was in charge of finances, booking, and so on. Here I am today!
You also run Black Box Booking, an American based booking agency. Do both jobs as a PR manager and booking agent crossover? (EG: Is it easier to book the bands on your PR roster onto tours because of the agency?)
That’s correct, I run Black Box Booking Agency (can be found at www.facebook.com/blackboxbookingagency while we rebuild our website). I do not believe that either job crossover. In the case of that guy recently, whatever his name was, who spoofed the UK with his fake ticket sales and such, surely you can say they CAN go hand in hand if need be – but realistically speaking, when I work one job I do one and when I do the other I do that one. The only way it helps each other is if either one is well received for marketing purposes – so if a band is doing great things press-wise, the booking will be easier. If a band is touring hard and has a lot of attention because of that, it’s easier to get press interested. So on and so forth.
Do you feel that living in America makes it easier to get a job within the international music business path? (such as PR, management, labels etc)
No. What I believe has helped me, if anything, is living overseas in Asia for a number of years and learning about a number of scenes as well as having many friends and colleagues who have spent a lot of time in the international touring community.
What has been one of your greatest achievements working in the music industry so far?
First – Finding a team that believes in me and bands whom I respect and admire who allow me to work with them. Second, 1M+ streams on Of Virtue’s single “Surrounded” in 2018 alone, but that was this year and I’m only looking forward to a bigger, better 2019! Ask me this question again next year – I’ll have much more to say.
With streaming at its peak, from an industry perspective, do you feel the number of streams online more important than physical or online purchases?
Well – both are quite important, as they define different things and it takes many more streams to technically sell one cd (so support your friends by streaming a LOT or buying physicals!). However, if you’re looking at the future (which if you’re working any role in the music industry you always should be) then I would say streams are significantly more important now as they’re more accessible and now you don’t need as much help from an external source such as a label to help you reach your fans or get you paid if you know how to set up distribution and publishing collections. Basically – you can be more independent with streaming than you ever could be with a physical product.
With the closure of grassroots venues being a prevalent issue both in America and the UK, what do you believe can be done to stop these closures?
I believe this is a tough one. First, government art budgets. Second, more needs to be invested into making each small show with as much effort as a big one on the part of the promoter and the bands involved. There’s a lot of areas where bands and promoters could be picking up slack in both, America and the UK, especially with how oversaturated both markets are. But – this is also a time thing. We’re in the age of hip-hop and rock/metal are slowly dying – it’s an ebb and flow … It will come back, just like fashion.
Finally, what is your most controversial opinion about the music industry?
Maybe a few. First, there aren’t enough hours in the day for this line work and if you believe this is a 9-to-5 job then it’s not for you. Second, there are too many people not giving this job close to 100% of their time or effort band making the hard workers look bad. Go big or go home.
Hardcore South Carolina based rock band Beshiba have just released their brand new single ‘F.E.L’ featuring Garret Hood from Guerrilla Warfare!
The hard rocking new song has been featured on Continue reading “BESHIBA HAVE RELEASED A NEW SINGLE”
Pure Noise Records have just signed new heavy metal band Sharptooth! Continue reading “PURE NOISE RECORDS SIGN NEW HEAVY METAL BAND”
Based in western Germany come Europe’s newest upcoming band Alazka. After starting in 2012 under the name ‘Burning Down Alaska’, the band have undergone many different changes while performing with artists such as Parkway Drive, The Ghost Inside and Northlane. After the release of their debut EP ‘Values and Virtues’ back in 2015 before undergoing a name change to Alazka in March 2017 and announcing their debut album ‘Phoenix, set for release on September 1st 2017.
It’s safe to say that the opening track ‘Echoes’ which leads onto ‘Ghost’ is a great starter for the album. ‘Echoes’ brings a slow opening but also sets up the melodic aspects that Alazka bring to their music. First single ‘Empty Throne’ definitely shows the bands new style which differentiates from 2015’s ‘Values and Virtues’. The emotional impact of the lyrics is definitely present through the screams of the track and certainly sets itself as one of the most impactful of the album.
With the different tracks on the album, there are different paces. While the tracks focus mainly on a quick pace with vivacious bursts of energy, some differ in different ways. ‘Everglow’ seems to hold a slightly different energy. Instead of bringing a heavy and fast pace, ‘Everglow’ appears to be lighter and more passionate in terms of both vocals and instrumentals. This also appears in ‘Everything’ and helps to emphasises that Alazka can change and manipulate the pace of their tracks to convey different types of emotion from fiery passion to heartbroken sorrow.
Second to last track ‘Blossom’ is almost like a transition from Burning Down Alaska to Alazka as it was released as Burning Down Alaska with clean vocalist Kassim Auale before the band transitioned to Alazka. ‘Blossom’ is definitely top of the list for emotional outpouring, as this track is probably one of the most hard-hitting tracks (and videos) off the album itself. Final track ‘Fading Flame’ brings the album full cycle, as it ends on a melodic instrumenal ending, closing the album in a calming way while leaving the impact of the different tracks in your mind.
Sadly, some tracks do get overshadowed by some of the other tracks. While tracks like ‘Heart Of Gold’ are good, sometimes they can appear a little lost, however, even though they’re not as loud or as heard as the other tracks, they still have a spark in them which makes them original and still fit well alongside the album.
While some of the tracks do fade a into the background amongst others, the tracks all have something to offer at some point. With such a change for Alazka it was debated as to whether clean vocals and screams would fit, but most of the time they certainly work well. One thing to be said about this album is that it definitely does not lack emotional impact. A sense of emotion is visible in every track of the album and adds a sense of raw vulnerability to ‘Phoenix’. Make sure to listen to it on September 1st!
To be on tour for months in a small bus must be gruelling and to wake up to your bus being on fire must be even worse. Sadly, that’s the situation that bands Hundredth and Being As An Ocean faced yesterday (June 27th) morning as they awoke to the back of their bus being in flames.
Continue reading “BEING AS AN OCEAN + HUNDREDTH TOUR BUS CAUGHT FIRE”
British metalcore band Starve To Survive are ready to leave their mark on the metal music scene after the release of their debut EP ‘Life//Loss’ back in December 2016. Continue reading “STARVE TO SURVIVE – LIFE//LOSS – REVIEW”
Indiana hardcore band ‘The Cambion’ have officially signed to label Duckphone Records and released their new track ‘Too Late’!
Duckphone Records, which also carries bands such as Bohemian Groove and Hollow, I am have stated “We are so excited to finally announce that we have Continue reading “THE CAMBION SIGN TO DUCKPHONE RECORDS AND RELEASE NEW TRACK ‘TOO LATE’”