Sebastian Koch al aparato

El Sr. Koch es un dinosaurio de la industria musical y casi un gurú en lo que a ciertos estilos se refiere. Esta entrevista publicada en Side-Line es la mar de interesante y me gustaría destacar dos cosillas:

Primero, los consejos que da para profesionalizar la gestión de sellos discográficos.

SL: Our scene often gets the tag as being not professional, is that something you agree with? Tell me also why?

SK: Yes, I agree with that. It’s really a PAIN to work with unprofessional labels – and that’s most of the smaller labels. Of course labels like Out of Line, Trisol or Alfa Matrix are working in a very professional way – but there’s just too many people out there who think it’s easy to run a label. But there’s a few BASICS every label MUST know and sometimes, despite telling these labels again and again, they would NEVER learn and as a result, their sales are bad. Few basics if a label wants to sell records:

1. all CDs MUST have a catalogue-number and barcode (and barcodes that WORK!). If a CD has no barcode, the CD can’t be sold in most shops and especially not in the big chain-stores (media market/media world/fnac etc.)
2. CDs must be announced incl. tracklist and good description of the MUSIC on it. Most of the time we get descriptions for a new release, that are talking about anything but the music on the CD! It’s NOT important/necessary for a potential buyer (a buyer for a shop or a private person that orders the cds in a Mailorder) when a band has been founded, which are the names of the components, who is playing which instrument or in which town they played a ‘sold out gig’ in which year. It’s important to know something about the MUSIC. As we don’t have the CD at hand to listen to when we pre-announce a release, it is absolutely important to know how the CD sounds like. This is SO BASIC but many labels just don’t care and send descriptions that are completely USELESS.
3. Titles must be announced well ahead (at least 2 months – better longer) of release date, because we – and other exporters/distributors – then have to announce the title to their customers and our customers then have to announce the title to the end-customers. This takes time. We often get titles announced one week or 10 days prior to release date. This way no pre-sale is possible and we are unable to know, how many copies we have to order, to have the CD in stock in time for release date and sometimes it’s just not possible to place re-orders if the orders from customers arrive late… A lot of smaller labels loose at least 50% of their potential sales simply by announcing the titles too late.
4. Packaging! It’s VERY important – especially in these times of general legal and illegal download – that the packaging is something special. I believe that Trisol is doing the best job about packagings and although their CDs are more expensive than CDs from other similar labels, the success of Trisol is proof, that packaging is important. We get SOOOO many really cheaply done packagings especially from the UK. I don’t know what problems British labels have but most of British releases simply look cheap with bad graphics, slim booklets, few colours etc. despite the fact that nowadays with the open borders in the EU, also the British should have access to the same good pressing plants that German, French or Belgian labels use.
5. Promotion must be done well in advance. Even bigger labels too often send us and other distributors promotional CDs only together with the stock – so you get reviews of the albums in the mags, one or two months AFTER release – which is really nonsense.

Segundo, este fragmento:

SL: I have often the impression that you are the confidential person for somewhat everyone, your impression is often considered as being close to the holy gospel. I suppose you realise this? :)

SK: Ha! It’s fun you say that as without wanting to ‘praise’ myself in any way, this is exactly the feeling I often get. I get approached by so many artists, labels, publishers, promoters asking for suggestions, for help in a licensing or band-deal, for sales figures of bands. Especially when a band is ‘free’ on the market, I get approached by sometimes 5 or more labels, that all want to know sales-figures, my opinion about potential etc. – this happens all the time, most recently with Suicide Commando or Mesh for instance;-)). It’s sometimes even embarrassing… I’m sort of ‘good friends’ with for example Alfa Matrix, Trisol, Out of Line, Accession, Dependent, Repo… but when each label is asking me about the potential of the SAME BAND, it’s getting hard to stay ‘neutral’. Still: It’s nice, that people show that trust in me, but sometimes it’s also simply too much as I also have to do my ‘daily’ job which after all is simply to sell CDS.

¿Por qué? Porque, Sr. Koch, si su trabajo es vender CDs… le aconsejo que se vaya buscando una forma alternativa de ganarse la vida.

De nada.

Escuchando: No Celebration – Paradise Lost

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