10 Questions with ... Gary Gorman
February 11, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Fort Apache / Boston '96-98 and Atlantic Records '98 -present.
1. How did you become interested in the record business?
I was studying video production at Ithaca College & stumbled onto the campus radio station, WICB. I got an on-air shift, as nothing more than a hobby. Eventually, Jon Landman hired me to do music with him at the station. This led to an internship in Los Angeles at Reprise Records. After a semester of promotion at Reprise, there was no question what I wanted after I graduated.
2. What is your favorite part of the job?
I don't know. All of it. I love my Atlantic family, our artists, clients, discovering new music, and being passionate on a personal level about a campaign that I'm part of. All of that and talking to Ron Poore a hundred times a day.
3. What are you most proud of from last year?
Hmmm. Super proud of our campaign on Alt-J. Every once in a great while, you get a special campaign like that. Fitz & The Tantrums record breaking 33 week run to #1 was another big highlight.
4. Give us a rundown of your current priorities for Alternative Radio and what else can we expect from Atlantic Records in 2014?
Grouplove is making noise with their 2nd single, "Shark Attack." Fitz & The Tantrums has a game-changing Oscar commercial for "The Walker" and is quickly closing out the panel. We are turning up the heat on this kick ass outfit from Chicago called The Orwells-who just destroyed it on Letterman-with their track, "Who Needs You." They're on tour with The Arctic Monkeys, now. Melbourne's Vance Joy and his international smash "Riptide" will impact Alternative next month. Look for him on the road with Young The Giant this spring. Will we have a new Coldplay by St. Patty? We might, rabbit, we might.
5. Every promotion person has a record close to their heart that for one reason or another never broke through -- "The One That Got Away." What is your "One That Got Away," and what did you learn from that record?
There are so many and the lesson is often different. The last ones are always top of mind. Wolf Gang, Circa Survive, and Hard-Fi.
6. What is the toughest part of your job?
7. Where is your favorite market you like to visit and why?
That's such a tough question to answer. I love all my children equally. However, if you want to talk about hiking: Colorado, Utah, and California are my favorites.
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______?
50 cups of coffee and you know it's on.
9. What do you miss most about living on the east coast?
I miss the city, the energy, the current, the people, and walking out of the subway on a Monday morning. That being said, the sunshine doesn't suck out here.
10. What would surprise people the most about you?
I'm a Coast To Coast AM Insider.
What are your hobbies?
It's not a hobby... I have been saying that for years. I feel like maybe I started that back in New York with Capone.......anyway, you know the idea of being able to turn something you love...your passion... into your vocation? Music has been such an important driver in my life. That rush of emotion for a new favorite song or band. It's like nothing else. Charles "Frank Black" Thompson once said his song writing process involved screaming in front of the mirror. When his eyes rolled back into his head and he had an "Eargasm," he knew he was on the right path. That's the stuff. That being said, I am aware that for many people--music is, well, just background. In the car, in the gym, in the house, etc. etc. A thing you do on the way to another thing. Unless they are paying to see a show, music is just a secondary medium. Plain and simple. Something they do for, you know, fun. At most, maybe it's a hobby.
Last non-industry job?
I mean, who can remember.
First record ever purchased?
Oh, cassettes. I seemed to remember buying a lot of soundtracks. Miami Vice, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop. Really ridiculous stuff. Other early purchases were The Dead Milkmen - Big Lizard In My Backyard, Peter Gabriel - So, Talking Heads - True Stories, R.E.M. - Document, and Pixies - Doolittle.
R.E.M. was definitely the first. B-5'2s, INXS, and Grateful Dead were all early concerts too.
Favorite band of all-time?
Again, that title has been held by R.E.M. since the '80s. I have quite a few bands that I adore and am passionate about but R.E.M. really did change my life.