Eric Blair of “The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show” recently conducted an interview with OZZY OSBOURNE/ex-ROB ZOMBIE bassist Rob “Blasko” Nicholson. You can now watch the chat below.
Nicholson is a co-owner of Mercenary Management, which represents BLACK VEIL BRIDES, THE CASUALTIES, GOATWHORE, INTRONAUT, NEKROMANTIX and SOILENT GREEN, among others. The company is focused on underground, signed or unsigned bands and musicians motivated to take the next step in their career but that currently feel lost and directionless.
Blasko recently answered several frequently asked questions regarding band management via his official blog.
Question: How is an artist/band selected to be on your roster? What do you look for in an artist/band?
Blasko: “Typically I look for bands that are hard working. Ones that have already built some buzz on their own by taking their careers into their own hands. What I do NOT look for are bands looking to get to the ‘next level’ without putting in the initial work themselves.”
Question: What do you consider to be a “successful” artist/band?
Blasko: “Success is arbitrary. I always say to young bands: Define success by how much music you make, not by how much money you make. Ensure that your music has integrity.”
Question: What exactly is your firm’s job for/to the band (tour booking, legal representation, etc.)?
Blasko: “To simplify, the manager is the CEO of your band business. All managers take on different responsibilities depending on the needs of the artist.”
Question: You most likely have a dividend of the earnings, how is that acquired (album sales, tour)?
Blasko: “The manager is paid by a negotiated percentage fee of the artists income. This number can vary. A typical percentage is 15% of the gross income.”
Question: Is any of those earnings owed if the band does not make it (breakup, no crowds)?
Blasko: “15% of 0 is $0.00.”
Question: How is the marketing done, through YOU? The band? Do you hire a marketing firm?
Blasko: “As labels lean more towards sourcing out this component, in my opinion I feel that aspect of an artists career should be handled by the management.”
Question: Does your firm ONLY answer to labels, or do you take on indie artists/bands as well?
Blasko: “We are living in a new age. Artists are reinventing the wheel as we speak. None of us will succeed if we keep a narrow focus. This is a new era for the music business and the possibilities are limitless.”
Question: What steps are taken to BOOST your artists’/band’s repetoire and sales (details are a plus here)?
Blasko: “There is no magic answer here… if only it was that easy. Every artist requires different attention to detail. Square pegs do not fit in round holes without some kind of modification.
Question: Have bands been recommended to you that you have taken on? If so, how does one recommend them to you?
Blasko: “Yes. All of my clients have been referred to me. I am grateful to have made those connections. I try to repay those favors when I can.”