Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It doesn't matter who it is... on the phone!

October 17th, 2012 Squids Travels (aka Captain's Log)

One thing I've learned in the years I've been doing what I do in the music industry, which by the way is completely out of the norm, is to stick to your guns and not be flustered no matter who it is you're talking to because it doesn't matter. The reason it doesn't matter is because you are clear about your desire to do whatever it is you want to do. The worst that can happen is they say no which would bring you right back to where you were before you had that idea. You're not going to be any less for not doing it. So there's nothing to lose. Maybe some money and time but that's transitional and can be replaced. Go with the flow and see what happens. You just never know.

I woke up this morning and saw the numbers "44" on my phone. Normally anything related to the number 4 makes me smile as it's my favorite number. I stop whenever I see the time is 4:44 and have a moment of silent appreciation. (No I don't set my alarm to do it all the time, just if I happen to catch it... sort of like catching the sun go down or an unusual cloud formation in the sky). But right now when I see "44" on my phone it means someone is calling from England and who knows who it will be? At the moment it could be a lot of people. Just last week it was Steve Hackett of Genesis! "Oh, hi Steve! How's it going?" We actually had a nice chat about music and all sorts of things even though the phone call was about the CD release party for his "Genesis Revisited 2" album. He wanted to know if Simon Collins and I were able to come.

Another time, maybe 6 months ago, it was Geoff Callingham calling me with Tony Banks on the line asking questions about sounds and plug-ins. Surprise!!! Because they're 6 hours ahead I was just sleeping so I had to quickly become coherent!

Now, I don't want to give you the impression that I get phone calls all the time from the musicians of all my favorite rock bands growing up (with the exception of Francis Dunnery who literally checks in with me every single day! Haha. But he's become a real friend and mentor... sort of like an older brother which I never had so it's nice). However, on occasion I've gotten some interesting phone calls. John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin called when he was doing "Them Crooked Vultures" and he was asking about "SampleTron", a product I made with IK Multimedia that captures the sounds of Mellotrons and Chamberlins. I got a phone call from Tom Waits and his manager asking the same thing when he didn't want to take his Chamberlin to the Wiltern (a venue in LA) to go in the orchestra pit for a musical he was doing. Ironically in 1989 I'm the guy who sold him his Chamberlin Music Master and it was one of the instruments I sampled for "SampleTron" so it couldn't be a more ideal solution for him!

However, talking to musicians and producers comes very natural to me as we speak the same language. This especially goes for keyboard players. It's like we're all brothers and sisters. Haha. Most of them love what I do with Sonic Reality, IK Multimedia and other partnering companies. There's a lot of mutual respect. With producers and engineers there's a certain appreciation I have for them with myself being one who has read the liner notes on albums over the years and has cared about their craft to read articles about them in magazines. I'm also a gear-head so there's that language many of us have in common as well. But, when it comes to the OTHER side of the industry... the managers, labels, agents and other business people who aren't even necessarily musicians themselves it's a whole other ballgame. However, the same thing applies. It just doesn't matter who it is as long as you are clear on your intent. 

So, this morning's phone call was of that nature. I won't get into details about who it is because that's private but let's just say it was a heavy weight on that side of the fence who has dealt with much much bigger deals than anything I have to offer with my niche MI industry outfit, Sonic Reality... even though the network of my company extends into some very big time cutting edge things, particularly IK Multimedia who has products literally EVERYWHERE (including all of the major consumer technology and music stores around the world). I'm confident what we're doing is great and has exciting potential. So I held my own. Stood my ground! Talked like a pro with conviction and determination to make something work... even if technically we're the underdogs. 

I'd say more but actually I'm going to be late for a haircut! My brother's getting married in a few days and I can't look TOO much like a hippy. Well... I'll just tie it back and let loose on everyone when they're drunk. But that's today's early morning story. I feel like I just got off of a roller coaster ride. But I feel good! Not gonna hurl just yet! 

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