10 Questions with ... Mike DePippa
July 30, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WSOU (College Radio); EMI Records '95-'96; Elektra Records '96-'04; Epic Records '04-'11 and Columbia Records 2010-Present.
1. It's been a stellar first half of 2013 for Columbia Records at Alternative. Tell us about all your recent success and the impact of having three songs in the top 10?
First of all, the music and artists that I have the privilege to work with at Columbia is incredible. I have never worked for a more competitive label when it comes to signing talent. There is probably not many things professionally that are better than having 3 songs in the top 10 at alternative, except maybe 3 in the top 3. I think with The Neighbourhood, Daft Punk and NIN each is so different and challenging in their own ways so to have all three reaching varying levels of success within the top 10 is very rewarding. Nothing is a given these days.
2. What was your biggest challenge taking The Neighbourhood to #1 at Alternative?
Whenever you are working a debut song by a debut band, you are literally starting from zero. So many things can go wrong along the way: Callout, Mscores, lack of sales, lack of passion, burn, etc. Everything really has to fall into place and you have to be able to manage through all the setbacks and pitfalls. You can never take your eye off the ball.
3. What can you share with us about the long grind to the top spot and when did you realize The Neighbourhood - Sweater Weather was a hit?
I thought 'Sweater Weather' was a hit the first time my A+R staff played it for me, I realized it was a hit when I saw the single sales react to airplay after it went on the air.
4. What is the toughest part of your job?
Failing. Being told NO to the point of numbness. Balancing work and personal life.
5. What is most important to you before working a song to Alternative radio?
Having as many tools in place as possible. The song has to be a hit, but it helps to have a press story, licensing, touring, a band that's willing to work, a sales base, etc. The more of those things you have before you launch the better.
6. Who is the next artist primed to break at Alternative radio on Columbia Records?
Our release schedule will be full for the next 5 months and beyond, and I feel like we have a lot of big Hits in the mix, but I truly feel like MS MR is one to watch. 'Hurricane' is really working in Portland and Seattle. Not only is it researching, but the single is ranked in both markets and the band is developing on the road. It's been a 3 month grind so far, but every week I see another positive story developing. I also believe the album is deep and this is setting is up for greater success down the road.
7. Where do you get your greatest pleasure in doing record promotion?
Taking a band and song that's never been on the radio and exposing it to a wider audience for the first time. There is no greater feeling.
8. What was your favorite station to listen to growing up and what do you remember most about the station?
WNEW is the station I remember the most -- Where Rock Lives.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______?
Checking Real-time no less than 150 times.
10. What do you like best about living in Jersey City?
It's only been a couple of months, but so far I love the community. Just a great Vibe.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
I'm not exactly the world traveler, but Tuscany is pretty amazing.
What are your thoughts on your rookie season in the Industry Hardball league and what can we expect from the Jersey Bums in the second half?
I'm glad my records are performing better than my fantasy team. Complete and utter disappointment, manager should be fired.