10 Questions with ... Sheila Volpe
May 1, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My first job was as a bank teller at the Chemical Bank next to Max's Kansas City. I was the worst bank teller in banking history, but was lucky enough to work at the Bank where Andy Warhol had his accounts. He needed a runner and I needed a different job, so I worked as a gopher for him for about a year. After that, I moved to California, took whatever jobs I could, waiting tables, answering phones, then got a job at MCA and everything kind of took off from there.
1. How did you become interested in the record business?
I was fortunate to grow up in a time when music was changing and it was exciting and different. Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan...all were breaking on the scene and I was hooked. I wanted to somehow be involved in that creative world and I suppose I was in the right place at the right time.
2. Tell us about the fantastic record you have coming for Alternative Radio?
Ah.....Soul Asylum's new release called Delayed Reaction. I love this group; they've always remained relevant and never lost their true initial sound. This new release does not disappoint. First single will be "Gravity" and I can't wait to hear everyone's reactions. Especially their fans.
3. What excited you most about joining The Savoy Label Group?
I worked with Steve Vining, President of Savoy, over at RCA and Windham Hill and I knew he was filled with an amazing amount of knowledge pertaining to the music business. He became my mentor. Steve asked me to come on board at Savoy, and there was not one moment of hesitation.
4. What may surprise people the most about 429 Records?
Our Roster has grown so rapidly in the past year. We now have the brilliance of Robbie Robertson, Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Steve Cropper, Macy Gray, Jackie Greene and so many more. We've put out records this past year by the NY Dolls, The Features, The Skybombers, Rocco DeLuca to name a few. It's been a very busy time for 429 Records and we're loving every minute of it.
Also, we answer our own phones and no one here has an assistant. We pitch in and help each other out on all of our projects, so there's no giant corporate structure to trip us up or slow us down.
5. Where do you get your greatest pleasure in doing record promotion?
Probably when I get to tell one of my artists that their record is getting airplay. I love when they get the "happy" face.
6. What is the toughest part of your job?
Managing artist's expectations. It's a tough climate out there, and I like to be as honest as possible, without being a Debbie Downer, while still keeping the artists enthusiasm high.
7. What is your favorite market to visit and why?
New York, of course. Because one slice from John's Pizza is worth a thousand salads from anywhere.
8. What would surprise people most about you?
That I'm not really a true blonde........bahahahaha.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________?
Saying the "F" word. Awful I know, but it's such a good word.
10. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
I do not compromise my integrity. Never have, and hope to never have to.
What are your hobbies?
My dogs and horses. I love to ride; it's the best stress reliever I know.
Last non-industry job?
I took a job once as a tennis instructor, but got fired once they found out I couldn't play tennis. Go figure.
First record ever purchased?
Led Zeppelin at the Filmore East
Favorite band of all-time?
The Beatles, hands down.