10 Questions with ... Joanne Grand
September 4, 2012
1. What made you want to get into the music business? Early mentors? First job?
The thought of having a career where I can wear animal prints, teased hair, and talk to people who share a common passion and get paid for it, couldn't possibly be true, right?
Over 20 years later, here I still am, sans the animal print attire. Mentors?
Every boss I've had, as everything they've taught me set me up for where I am now. Shanna Fischer, Mark Benesch, Joe Riccitelli, Paul Yeskel, Jeff Appleton and Nancy Levin ... how fortunate I've been.
2. Give us a run down of the labels and positions you've held over the years?
The Label side includes: Beginning in 1991 at RCA Records, Rock promotions at Red Ant/Castle Records, following Wind-Up Records as head of Rock Promo, TVT Records for the same position. My most recent label position was over six-and-a-half years at Jive Records as head of Active Rock Promotions.
3. During your years in the label world, give us a few records close to your heart that for one reason or another never broke through. What is your "One That Got Away" -- and what did you learn from that record?
Kik Tracee. It was my first position at a major label. There were a zillion other hair bands out, too, but what I learned was to not take it personal. If we covered every area, had every conversation, and worked the best we could as a team, there was nothing to regret.
4. Now that you've launched your own independent promotion company Grand Pro-Mo, what are the advantages and also the challenges of doing indie work?
The advantage is the autonomy, and reconnecting with people from the last two decades of my career. Although in its infancy, there will be more facets than just traditional indie promotion, as we're involved with some new media marketing already.
The challenge is meeting different needs of each client and approaching the day accordingly ... it's an always-evolving process.
5. You've been quarterbacking the Candlelight Red project. Tell us about how that came together and how is the project doing at Rock radio?
The band will tell you a much funnier version than I could! "Demons" just debuted this week in Mediabase and is doing great! For me, its second nature to quarterback because I've historically been the strategist as well as the grunt. It's also advantageous to work both sides as an indie, to truly grasp the landscape.
6. What are the most important tools/resources you use to stay on top of the Rock formats' growth and constant daily changes?
Learning from everyone. I don't know it all, so I listen to others for new ideas.
7. Let's talk about the Rock format as a whole. What's your take on the State of Rock Radio today?
I believe the pendulum is swinging back to our favor with healthy SALES to back it up for a change. With N.Y. and Chicago re-emerging Modern Rock stations, and listener stats are still over 80%
8. Besides the artists you're already working with, what are some other new and emerging Rock bands you like that we should keep an ear out for?
In This Moment. They're not a new band, they've been around for a bit, but this is .. intended pun ... THEIR MOMENT!
9. What is the strangest record you ever worked and what ended up happening to the band?
I worked a WASP record in the late '90s that we did a HUGE promotion in an S&M club in the meat-packing district of NYC. I thought the scariest part would be walking to the event ... until we walked in the club!
10. What is the best live show you have seen this year?
Foxy Shazam...my comment is unbiased. You leave their show with a smile and passion.
When you're not rockin' out what other music do you enjoy outside your "format"?
Rap/ R&B.. I keep telling my husband I'm leaving him for Drake, but he doesn't seem too worried.
What was the first album or single you purchased on your own?
K-Tel had the compilation albums, and I remember "The Night at Studio 54" with "Freak Out" by Le Chic. !!!