Interview w/ AAP
Had the chance to exchange emails with an up and coming local band manager recently (as a plus he works with some of the hurdcore.com alumni). Music interests me and even at the primordial level, what goes on behind the scenes matters. All those who regulate with any hope to mount up in public some day will need to learn and master more than the machinery of their craft. I believe this hurdcore.com exchange with AAP’s William Quintana will be of value to bands who are looking to take their act on the road as well as those who love music and might approach it from the side stage.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company, what is your company called and when did you get started managing?
WQ My name is William Quintana. I am 17 years old and have been managing bands for the past 3 years. I have worked with and represented artists all over the United States and even one from France, every genre you can think of. My companies name is AAP (Artist Agency & Promotion).
Define what a band manager is?
WQ Band manager is a very loose term. It can mean many things.
What do you do for the bands you represent?
WQ Here are a few things I personally do for bands: Booking, promotion, management, artist and career development and much more. This includes helping with tours, art work, endorsement deals and all that jazz. I basically help bands look professional.
What bands have you dealt with and who are you working with now?
WQ There is a huge list. I am currently working with I Am The Monster and Abandon The Shore. Some bands I most enjoyed working with were Her Demise My Rise, Worthwhile, Swamp Monster, Sanctity In Silence, Aschemia and Ezerah. All super cool dudes.
What have been some of the best and worst experiences that you have had with bands, shows and managing in general?
WQ When shows go wrong it sucks. I know this is going to stir up drama, but I honestly don’t care. I booked a show at The Viaduct in Tacoma, Washington in January of 2009 with Chelsea Grin. They were on tour. They called me the night before asking if the show was still on, I said yes. The next day they texted me asking if the show was still on, once again I said yes. 30 minutes before the show starts the venue calls me asking where Chelsea Grin is, they missed load in. I call there contact and he says that they decided not to play because the snow was to bad and they figured the show would be canceled. Sometimes stupid things happen like this and it is incredibly frustrating. Good things are when shows get packed, landing endorsement deals for my artists, making money here and there, ya know, the obvious stuff!
When working to book a show, what are the key components that you look for?
WQ Don’t expect a “huge” band to promote a show alot. It never happens. They can draw with there name alone generally, but if there in the middle stages of being “huge” and being “small” its gonna be hard to draw based on there name alone and little promotion. Rely heavily on locals that will do there best to promote. The smaller the band is, generally the harder they’ll work to pack the venue.
For the band and/or manager out there who may be ready to start booking shows or even go on the road, what are some of the nuggets of wisdom that you have learned?
WQ Prepare for anything. Always have a backup plan for when something goes wrong. Also, expect to lose and make alot of money. Its ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll make some good cash, sometimes you’ll owe bands tons of money. Its a risky business. I currently do everything for free, because I wanted to get back to my roots of booking and having fun with it. If I don’t like the band, I won’t work with them. I don’t care how big they are. If they’re d***s, they will be removed from my roster. I also like to develop friendships with my bands. It puts trust in them.
We all know that there is a struggle to make a living as an artist, what have you discovered about how to make the most of what is available and even make money to cover expenses as a band?
WQ Don’t join bands. Manage bands, that’s the best advice I can give you. hahaha. Nah, just kidding. Its fun being involved with bands in any way possible. I was in a few bands back in Hermiston, where I used to live and loved it. I was the fill in bassist for Grab The Camera for one show and loved that as well. Made no money in any of those bands. Expect to be broke and not eat on tour.
Are there any key items/tools that no manager/band should be without?
WQ MYSPACE, MYSPACE, MYSPACE! Whore your company out on Myspace. Add as many friends as possible and make as many contacts as quickly as possible. Its the most helpful tool out there. There is also a dope website called Indie On The Move. Check that out if your a band needing help booking dates.
Any additional advice that you’d give to bands/managers looking to take their show global?
WQ Don’t be afraid to take risks. Send your info and resume to as many bands, companies, record labels and agencies as possible. Every person that hears about you is helping you get that much closer to being the biggest agency in the world. Trust me.
Contact or follow AAP and their roster of local talent.
HURDCORE.COM ANNOUNCING: Keep your eyes peeled as we prepare for Oregon’s First Everything Show (O1ES) coming to Riley’s in Albany, Oregon on March 27th. (124 Broadalbin ST) We will be having many great local artists of rap, r&b, rock, reggae, country, folk, dance, etc. This show will be the 1st annual of its kind and will be be hosted by The People’s Comedian – the very funny Will Woodruff.