10 Questions with ... Tommy Delaney
January 12, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Graduated Seton Hall University in 1993. WSOU Music Director 1993. Concrete Marketing College Metal Radio Promotion 1992-1993. Atlantic Records Progressive Marketing Dept. 1994. Virgin Records National College Promotion, then transitioning into National Alternative Promotion 1994-2000. Mammoth Records, National Promotion Director, All Formats 2000-2002. Lava Records Northeast Regional Promotion then transitioning into National Rock Promotion 2002-2008, Independent Label Group/ADA 2008-Present.
1. Congrats on your recent promotion! Tell us about your new responsibilities at ADA.
Muchas Gracias. That would be taking over leading the charge on the Alternative promotion duties for our department, for the first time since I came here 8 years ago.
2. What is your biggest challenge returning to the Alternative format?
With the job itself, it's just a greater focus in a place I haven't needed to concentrate on the last bunch of years. I'm excited to digest records from bands I may have not been paying strict attention to as well. I began my career in this format so this is really just coming back full circle.
3. How has your job changed since Independent Label Group merged with Alternative Distribution Alliance 3 years ago?
The nuts and bolts concerning promoting records haven't at all, but with the merger of these two business units, it became more about assimilating into a new function for our label partners. Prior to the merge, we only worked records from our direct ILG based labels, whether that was through a label itself or a direct signing with a band. After, our label partners are now all afforded the opportunity to bring us on to assist in a services capacity with promotion, as well as marketing and publicity.
4. What may surprise people to learn about the company?
That in addition to having some the best independent labels in the business under our umbrella, including Domino, Mute, Beggars Group, Bright Antenna, Epitaph, Sumerian, etc....that ADA is #1 in vinyl market share for independent distribution. That's right. VINYL. OLD SCHOOL!
5. What are you most proud of from all your years with the company?
Strictly business-wise, this company's trend setting deal with Macklemore was something else to watch unfold. Giving credence to the fact that an artist can indeed have massive success without a traditional major label deal in place. Fantastic stuff. Also being a part of the #1 album debut for CAKE after their extended hiatus was amazing as well. Most recently, it was having a part in re-establishing the Arctic Monkeys as a staple for Alternative Radio. Three top 5 singles, including a #1 for "Do I Wanna Know?" Tremendous.
6. How would you describe your style as a record promoter?
Heh. Anyone that knows me knows I am not what you call "heavy-handed" or "panic stricken"...lol. I have always felt that if you are constantly approaching radio in a panic or being demanding about what you perceive you deserve that can wear brutally thin quick. Who wants to return a call or even an email from that? I try to make sure I feed information regularly, but try and time conversations about airplay and promotions when it makes sense to each individual station. Whether or not that is the best technique I can't say, but I have been doing this gig now for two decades, so I figure I must be doing something right.
7. What is the toughest part of your job?
Carrying the burden of wondering what you could have done differently when a song or an artist doesn't have the success you believe they deserve It's a never-ending cycle. Every time you work with an artist that has a great run over the course of an album, or even a single chart success, there are three others that don't get there, but deserve that success equally so. I have always found it tough when I work with an artist who has what I believe is a great track, a NO-BRAINER if you will, and then when it doesn't pan out that way, wondering what else I could have done to change the outcome.
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______ ?
Coffee, music, and Marvel's Contest Of Champions
9. What is the one truth that remains constant throughout your career?
That Jim Kurdziel is one funny mother fucker.
10. What would surprise people the most about you?
I have a soft spot in my heart for Kelly Clarkson. Here's the thing, we started out friends....
What are your hobbies?
Marvel's Contest Of Champions, coaching youth sports, and Texas Hold 'Em.
First record ever purchased?
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
The Beach Boys - Garden State Arts Center 1977
Favorite band of all-time?
Three Way Tie: AC/DC, The Black Crowes, and The Verve