10 Questions with ... Rob Gross
May 5, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I've been working in the business, in bands, and at record shops, etc. since I was 12. Worked in six different markets over 15 years with Universal Music Group (Marketing, National and Regional Account Direction, INgrooves) before moving over to Dine Alone in mid-2014.
1. How did you become interested in the record business?
I was working at Spec's Music in Coral Springs, FL and my Assistant Manager on staff Mike Lawson (Account Executive at UMG now) asked if I'd like to come intern at the South Florida office. I didn't even know what Distribution was! It took five minutes in the office to realize that this is what I wanted to do.
2. After several years at INgrooves-Fontana, what led you to Dine Alone Records?
I needed to get to a label and there's no other label I wanted to work for. They are the most passionate and honest group of people in this business. We worked together when Dine Alone was a Fontana-distributed label a few years prior and instantly struck up a friendship with Ryan Spalding, Joel Carriere. and Lisa Logutenkow at Dine Alone. When it was time for them to expand into the US market officially, I was brought aboard and haven't looked back since.
3. Dine Alone is celebrating its 10 Year Anniversary this year. What does everyone need to know about the label?
Dine Alone is a Global label with artists from all over the world. We have something for everyone. In Canada specifically, we have put out records for everyone from Marilyn Manson, to Jimmy Eat World to The Lumineers. Our growing focus on Global artists has led us to signing BRONCHO (from Oklahoma), Streets of Laredo (Brooklyn, by way of New Zealand) and a deal with HUB in Australia, as well as groups such as Twin Forks, and Miami Horror. We have also expanded by creating two sub-labels (New Damage, which focuses on the heavier side of things & Haven Sounds, focusing on low-fi electronic and hip-hop).
4. What's it like working for Joel Carriere?
Joel and I have the same taste in music and ultimately, it all comes back to the music. Working for Joel and Dine Alone has been life-changing for me.
5. Who else is part of the Dine Alone family in Toronto and in the US?
We have a full staff of over 25 in our Toronto office, as well as Bedlam Management folks in Nashville and Montreal.
6. What is your role as US Marketing Director?
I oversee all releases that we release in the US, plus product/project manage a roster of artists on a Global level as well.
7. What do you like best about your job?
No matter what issues that may arise, I get to talk about music 24 hours a day. Those of us lucky enough to be in this business should be thankful every day we get to be where we are.
8. What projects are you currently working and what else is on tap for 2015?
Currently working on BRONCHO, Lieutenant (Nate Mendel from Foo Fighters), Dave Monks (Tokyo Police Club), Yukon Blonde and our new signing Vanessa Carlton. We're also setting up for the biggest Q3/Q4 ever, with new albums from Monster Truck, City And Colour, k-os and more. Crazy exciting times!
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______?
10. What would surprise people the most about you?
I'm a 23-year veteran of the music business, but I'm only 35 years old.
What are your hobbies?
Hiking, record collecting, and hanging out with my beautiful wife Ana and our two rescue cats, Bruce and Lola.
Last non-industry job?
Cashier at Miami Subs, a local diner/fast food establishment. The food was shockingly delicious.
First record ever purchased?
Def Leppard- Hysteria. I lost that tape four times and have purchased it probably seven times in my life so far, on multiple formats.
Faith No More/Metallica/Guns N Roses (Miami Arena, 1992). GNR didn't show. My first club show (which started my love of underground music, specifically doom and stoner rock) was The Obsessed and White Zombie in 1994. Changed my life.
Favorite band of all-time?
Faith No More