10 Questions with ... Mike Jacobs
July 26, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started as an independent record promoter running the campaigns for success stories like The Offspring, Rancid, Bush and No Doubt, among others. I was also CEO of MCA joint venture Way Cool Music from 1995-98, where I signed Blink-182. I recently joined Huntington Beach, CA label Fearless Records as Senior Vice President.
1. How did you first become interested in the record business?
I started out managing local bands; one of them included Rusty Anderson, now Paul McCartney's guitarist of 10 years. Rick Carroll, then at KEZY Anaheim, was looking for a group to do Noonies at local high schools. Meeting Rick changed my life.
2. What led you out of retirement to join Fearless Records?
I retired to spend time with my son David, who graduated USC last May.
He preceded me at Fearless by a month. I began talking to Bob (Becker) the CEO, and saw how much good music they had. It sounded like it might be fun again. Very much like when I hooked up with Epitaph back in '94.
3. What would you like everyone to know about the label?
THEY HAVE TONS OF GREAT F*CKING MUSIC. Here's a few you might have heard of: Plain White T's, The Maine, At The Drive-In, and Sugarcult. How's that for A&R? Our first Alternative record is Every Avenue, which is at radio now. And we are at Top 40 with Breathe Carolina. The label has also signed Eve 6. I heard the demos and they are amazing. Looking forward to working that.
4. What may surprise people the most about Fearless Records?
That they were dumb enough to ask me to come in.
5. What is your biggest challenge?
To create a presence and an awareness for the label at radio.
Previously, the above bands were all upstreamed to major labels upon their success. We will break these bands, and keep them here now.
6. Where do you get your greatest pleasure in doing record promotion?
Seeing a song succeed on the radio and being right when everybody thought you were wrong.
7. What has been your most defining moment of your career?
Meeting with Carroll in 1977. Also, The Offspring tsunami of 1995.
8. What would surprise people most about you?
That I have been known to wear long pants sometimes.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ____________?
My fair share of torture.
10. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
It's only no until it's yes. If you believe in a song or an act, stick with it. Always tell the truth: even if it's something people don't want to hear, they will respect you later.
What are your hobbies?
Last non-industry job?
First record ever purchased?
Victrola phonograph 78's.
The Kinks at Rendezvous Ballroom, Newport Beach.
Favorite band of all time?
There is not one. Not in any particular order - Stones, Pistols, Beatles, Dolls, Marley. And DON'T forget Miles (Davis, for you youngsters).