10 Questions with ... Michael Starr
April 8, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 1991-1995: Music Manager at Hastings while in school at Texas A&M
- 1995-1997: Field marketing for WEA & BMG Distribution in Houston
- 1997-2000: Regional Alternative Artist Development Marketing for EMI & BMG in Dallas
- 2001-2011: Wind-Up Records
- 2011 to present: Glassnote Records
1. How did you first become interested in the record business?
I was only 5...I had step-brothers in their 20s that owned EVERY vinyl that mattered...Beatles, Zeppelin, Stones, Who, Bowie, etc.....I just absorbed it all at a very young age. Started playing drums in the 3rd grade and thought I'd end up a rock star...gave it all up to go to college.
While working at a record store in school, I learned there was a whole industry involved with music. And from there, I made it my mission to be a part of it.
2. After 10 years at Wind-Up, what excited you most about working for Glassnote?
- The Music
- The opportunity to work with Daniel (Glass) and Nick (Petropoulos). Daniel's the best, and Nick is my brother and a true dynamo!
3. What is your biggest challenge as an independent label?
I think it's the same challenge any label or radio station has. Having too much to do and not enough time in the day. I think the story of most people's lives these days is having balance!
4. What do you love the most about your job?
I love that I get paid to promote artists I have true passion for to work with my radio friends to help break these artists. Kismet! I also love my co-workers....they're a young, hungry, energetic bunch!
5. Where do you get your greatest pleasure in doing record promotion?
Most fellow promotion folks would agree, the BEST feeling in the world is watching a packed concert venue of fans singing along to every word of a song you helped break at radio. It's multiplied times 10 when the programmer that broke it with you is standing right next to you with a smile on their face!
6. How has your day-to-day duties changed with the recent additions to the Glassnote promotion team?
I remain just as busy as ever, and the team we're building here keeps me on my toes.
We have Fred Shade in the Midwest. Fred and I used to work together, so I'm honored to be on the same team as him. Greta Van Raam. Elliott Garstin, and Nathan D'Oria round out our team. Each of them is a joy to work with, and they're contributing each and every day. I love watching them grow into their roles here. Everyone here is very passionate, so it simply gives me more to feed off of.
7. What would surprise people the most about you?
I own not one, not two, but THREE copies of JELLYFISH's "Bellybutton" on CD (and TWO copies of "Spilt Milk", as well!).
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______?
A walk with my dog. It's usually how I start and end my day, if time allows, and I'm not traveling. It helps me either get my day started or wash it all away at the end of it.
9. Now that the streets have cleared in Austin, tell us about your personal highlight from this year's SXSW?
- Glassnote hosted a great showcase night at the Central Presbyterian Church. It was a stellar venue to see some of our newest artists, such as Tor Miller, Flo Morrissey, Jeremy Messersmith, Panama Wedding, and HOLYCHILD.
- CHILDISH GAMBINO performing on Saturday night at Butler Park in front of 20,000 raving fans!
- Sleeping the entire Sunday after it was all over!
10. What do you like best about living in Austin?
- I have lots of family here. My dad, my wife's sisters and their families all live very close by. It's been nice watching my nieces and nephew grow up.
- Austin is the music/arts mecca of the south! Home of SXSW, C3, Austin City Limits, ACL Fest, FunFunFunFest and much more!
- I've been a Texas boy since I was 14....I've never had the desire to live or work anywhere else once I got here. This is home!
- The food!!!!! Have you seen my belly?
- My home. I'm lucky enough to have a 3-acre spread south of town. It feels like I live in the country, but I can be in the middle of town in mere minutes.
While others wake up to traffic gridlock or crammed subway rides, I wake up to deer grazing in my front yard.
What are your hobbies?
Aside from being a music junkie and dog lover/rescuer... I love Dallas Mavericks basketball and have to buy the NBA League Pass every season because they only air Spurs game in Austin.
I also love to cook. I've become a master at grilling the ultimate tofu steak!
Last non-industry job?
When I graduated high school, I spent that summer framing houses in north Dallas (The Colony/Frisco). Saved up enough money to buy a motorcycle before I started my freshman year of college.
First record ever purchased?
Van Halen I on vinyl. I was 6 years-old! And months later, I picked up AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock."
Ozzy/Metallica - 1986 in Denver, Colorado at the former "Big Mac" Arena.
The Ultimate Sin & Master Of Puppets Tour. Yes, I saw Cliff Burton perform and I'll never forget it...I was in the 8th grade!
Favorite band of all-time?
The Beatles are THE band of all-time. And from there it would be (in no particular order) Led Zeppelin, Pixies, Nirvana, Spoon, Metallica....I also love David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, T-Rex, Bob Marley, and Superdrag. I'm a sucker for power pop when it's done right, and I still love 80s thrash metal!