10 Questions with ... Sean Maxson
March 27, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Mammoth Records VP/Radio Promotion, Rough Trade GM/Product Mgr., Vagrant Records Product Management, and RED VP/ Label Management.
1. How did you become interested in the record business?
When working at WXCI 91.7 FM and WCSU campus radio station, it led me to interning at Rockville/Giant records for two years. Right after college went straight to Mammoth.
2. What excited you most about joining the team at Co-Op?
They're English and there's a pub right across the street from the Shoreditch office in London.
3. Give us the 411 on Cooperative Music USA?
International label group with offices in over 20 worldwide territories representing all of our various label partners (V2, Bella Union, Heavenly, Moshi Moshi, Glassnote, DFA, Mexican Summer, Fiction, Lucky Number, Transgressive, etc.). We offer the service of being the vehicle by which these labels can release their records (physically/digitally) in all the various territories. We plug into a number of various distro companies to provide sales services while Co-Op functions as the main label and marketing entity.
4. What may surprise people the most about the label?
It was born from the ashes of V2 Records, and was formed in 2007, i.e., the label is now five years old.
5. After all these years working in various at record labels, what have you enjoyed the most?
The energy and excitement of an indie label and being able to be intimately involved in artist development & the A&R process. There's nothing like seeing a band grow and start to break from your direct efforts. Incredibly exhilarating. The rest of the time... pure punishment.
6. What is your biggest challenge at Co-Op?
Co-Op is a brand spanking new label in the US. The challenge will be to develop and "break" one or two releases in 2012 which will assist in establishing the label's identity and worthiness. However, the current roster is incredibly strong... Kaiser Chiefs, Alex Winston, James Levy & Blood Red Rose, The Maccabees, etc. We have some developing releases coming later in 2012 that we have very high hopes for to break more significantly into the US market... Blood Red Shoes (V2) -- the first single "Cold" has much potential for Alternative & Active -- and Toy (Heavenly).
7. What are the most important indicators to you today when working records to alternative radio?
Is it ready? Except for Blood Red Shoes, commercial radio has to be a part of a phase two, phase three, and beyond plan -- if at all. We will always start off our records at specialty & college radio for exposure and awareness. Beyond that, it's always a case by case basis. We're lucky to have a great US label partner in Downtown, and Mark Czarra has a great instinct to advise us as to the right path and proper timing for all of our records at radio.
8. What is your favorite market to visit and why?
NYC. It's home and it's sexy.
9. What would surprise people most about you?
I'm a total computer and tech nerd and am fascinated with The Walking Dead.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________?
At least 5-6 cups of coffee.
What are your hobbies?
Walking pugs in the park.
Last non-industry job?
Can't remember. I'm too old.
First record ever purchased?
It was either Adam & The Ants or Tears for Fears. I was in my new wave phase at the time.
Favorite band of all-time?
Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Spacemen 3.