10 Questions with ... Larry Pareigis
September 18, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Currently President at Nine North Records-previously spent many years as VP/Promotions for SONY/Nashville
1) Larry, you worked at Sony for many years and now running Nine North and Turnpike-what are some of the challenges of running a smaller company and what are the benefits?
The challenges & benefits are much the same; because you're smaller you don't have the "weight" of big names helping to shove the agenda of newer artists forward, but you can also move more quickly than your larger competitors. I believe it's better to be a speedboat than a destroyer in this environment. It is funny seeing showcases - for example - come back in this era of hardcore fiscal austerity for majors. I'd love to track the costs of those events versus what actually comes back in terms of sales down the road. I'll bet the numbers don't work at all. Our numbers always have to work.
2) What are some of the aspects from the big corporation that also fit your current business model?
There are legal and business affairs issues that are carryovers, but otherwise precious little, and that's on purpose. My goal is to keep this as flat a business environment as possible so we're all talking with each other, at all times, as honestly as possible - artists, staff, radio, me, always.
3) Tell us about some of your music projects that you are really excited about for 2011-2012.
Well, at the 4-year and change mark I'm excited about it all. We've got the most competitive field staff we've ever had and the most competitive music we've ever had, so the growth has been astounding and heartening, even to me, on all fronts.
4) Are radio programmers open to playing product by independent labels? Does it depend on the song and the strength of it, or is it still about the artist in your opinion?
Many programmers are open to listening, and often times supporting, music from independent labels. However I'm not going to pretend for a second the playing field is level because it's not. I'm also not going to complain because indies - over decades - have earned that reputation by putting out a lot of bad music. I don't think that's the case now, today, in 2011 - it's just going to take time for reality to catch up to perception. I'm going to continue to work on the quality of the music; that forces the staff to get better. As the staff improves, so does the quality of the music.
5) How important is 'social media' in the launching of an artist?
Incredibly important; that's why I have 2 staff members dedicated to that 24/7/365.
6) Do you actually find talent yourself? Essentially, are you doing A&R?
It's a mix of both; word of mouth about the job we've done as a company for others as well as me or someone on my crew finding an artist that we - as a team - buy into.
7) These are tough economic times-how has that shakiness in the national news affected your company-or has it?
It actually hasn't, knock wood, because our livings were never predicated on the sales of little silver discs, unlike many of my peers. We have been, and continue to be in, an enviable position.
8) The future is changing every minute it seems-in your opinion what will the landscape look like in the music industry 2-3 years from now?
I think short-term future looks like smaller buildings up and down the Row rather than larger ones. Long-term, all those smaller buildings will re-aggregate into larger ones again, but that's several years off. The industry needs to find more certain financial footing before that occurs.
9) Do you ever miss working in radio-what would your station sound like today if you were to step in and say take over programming at a big market station?
It would be interesting playing in the PPM world; if anything my ADHD would benefit my programming skills more today than they did all those years ago. It would sound big and bold with a major emphasis on the SHOW in show business. No need to be shy; being noticed and top of mind is the name of the game.
10) You listen to everything-what are you listening to today that has grabbed your interest-any format.
I remain a big fan of Mumford & Sons, Band of Horses & Florence & the Machine - I've bought those CDs for a lot of friends & relatives.
1) Can you remember the first album you ever bought? What was it?
Sure - Band On The Run by Wings - on 8-track (!)
2) What new movies, television shows, DVD's should we be paying attention to?
Justified, Wilfred & Louie are very good - pretty much anything FX programs is strong. As far as movies I haven't seen much I've liked a lot that's new - the recent Planet of the Apes flick was quite good. As I type this I'm watching The Hit on streaming Netflix - that's an oldie-but-goodie that's excellent. Being on the road a lot lately has cut down my TV and movie-watching.
3) How about books or anything great that you have read lately.
There's a great marketing book by Guy Kawasaki called Enchantment, a Bowie biography called Starman (by Paul Trynka) that's a must-read if you're a fan, finally a book by the founder of CD Baby - Derek Sivers - called Anything You Want; it was suggested to me by Butch Waugh and it's very entertaining and informative.