10 Questions with ... Angelo Scrobe
October 29, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Artemis: 2001-2003
- S.I.N.: 2003-2007
- Strategic Artist Management: 2007-2008
- Capitol/EMI: 2008 - 2012
- UMe: January 2013 - Present
1. What made you want to get into the music business? Early mentors? First job?
I started an internship at Roadrunner Records (marketing and publicity) during my junior year in college, and I was immediately sold ... marketing music for a living, building a serious CD collection, going to shows on regular basis, blasting loud music in your office, and able to wear jeans and a T-shirt to work. It was a no-brainer! I was also very lucky to cross paths with great mentors -- Daniel Glass, Vince Pellegrino, Paul Yeskel and Johnny Barbis. I was fortunate to work alongside an all-star team of Greg Thompson, Bill Carroll, Howard Petruziello, Ray Gmeiner and the Capitol Music Group team for the last five years, which was infectious, and something I value every day. My first paid gig was an assistant to Daniel Glass and Danny Goldberg at Artemis; from there things took off pretty quick for me!
2. Can you give us a brief history of your record promotion background before you landed your current gig with UME?
I held various promotion gigs at Artemis, S.I.N./Pellegrino Ent. Strategic Artist Management, and Capitol Music Group, doing multiple radio formats on local and national level. At Capitol, I had gained strong experience marketing heritage artists and catalog re-issues at radio -- a niche in our business that fuels major labels for financial resources, and market share.
3. What is your title and responsibilities with UME and how long have you been in this position?
I'm the current head of promotion for UMe, which is the catalog distribution of Universal Music Group. In the past year or so, UMe has been aggressive in signing distribution and label deals with Rock and Alternative artists. Andy Gould's T-Boy is a good Rock example, which is home to Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Powerman 5000, and more TBA. I segued into this division in January when the Capitol-Universal Music merger went into effect. It's been a good run so far!
4. In your position you work with other formats beyond Rock. How do you like working with radio in other formats?
I enjoy working multiple formats; each day I talk music with some great programmers from Triple A, Alternative, Active and Top 40. You develop a good understanding on how each format works and what makes it thrive, and importantly how to succeed. It also increases your value and experience in today's business. UMe and our partners count on me to do the right thing for when it comes to launching a single at radio. I'm always learning something new from our radio peers, and growing. Never a dull moment!
5. Let's talk about one of your major artists on UME. Congrats on Rob Zombie's "We're An American Band" re-make reaching Top 10 on the Active Charts. What else can you share with us about that project?
Thanks Ken, much appreciated. It was a fun time working "We're An American Band" at Active Rock. A good team was in place, and the timing was right -- a remake of Grand Funk Railroad's iconic song with the staple Rob Zombie-sound during the summer. The single actually now ties with "Feel So Numb" as the third highest chart topping single at Active Rock by Rob Zombie. It's also very close to being the 7th most-played Rob Zombie single at radio.
6. Now let's talk about the new single from A Perfect Circle. You must be very excited about how Rock and Alternative are responding to this new song. What can we look forward to in the future with this project?
Launching A Perfect Circle's "By And Down," their first new, studio recording in close to decade was something I've been anticipating to release at radio for the last two months. There's still a strong demand for APC and Tool music, and despite the song leaning on a slower "Tool" tempo style, Active Rock, Mainstream Rock and Alternative radio took immediate action to play it on the airwaves. They understood this was an event, and we are seeing the demand and positive feedback from the listeners. Now everyone wants more, and hopefully, APC will be on the road very soon!
7. Can you tell us what other bands (new or established) and projects your label has in store for Rock radio in the future?
In 2014, we kick off with new Powerman 5000, and front-man Spider is ambitious to get out on the road and do radio promo. Also, Eagles of Death Metal (Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes), and this band never really had a proper set-up at radio. I'm excited to work with both bands and more in the New Year.
8. Let's talk about the Active Rock format as a whole. What's your take on the music at the format and why do you see such a division between the Active Rock and Alternative formats today?
In the last year, Active Rock has been embracing newer bands (like Young Guns, Beware of Darkness, Pop Evil, Devour The Day, and Heaven's Basement) that can become core artists for the format. There's also a good amount of stations that are moving in a new direction by including a variety of Active, Rock and Alternative in their playlist --Troy@Cumulus, Bill and Rabbi@WMMR, Zigs@WBUZ, Hill and Huber @ WIYY,Carl and Robyn@WRAT and Jay @WTZR to name a few. At the Alternative format, they took good notice of a new breed of Alternative artists such as Bastille, Lorde, Capitol Cities, AwolNation and Neighborhood, which are crossing over to Top 40 radio now.
9. As a Promotion person, what are the most important tools/resources you use to stay on top of the Rock formats' growth and constant daily changes?
Besides BDS and Mediabase (real-time is quite addictive!), single and album sales has been a key factor, as well as streaming on various platforms, views on VEVO and/or YouTube, and artist's social media. These have all been good indictors if a single is working or not working in a market. Communication with programmers is very important as they have certain research they review (l.e. Mscores, Rate The Music), and it's important to understand how their station works, and provide the facts they want. Also, All Access always helps me stay on top of breaking news, and changes in business.
10. In certain "inner circles" you're known as the "Fricking Croation." Do you care to share with us the origin of this unusual nickname?
Ah yes, the "Fricking Croatian" started about three years ago at our annual Capitol promotion meeting in Chicago. It was a late night Italian dinner at Carmine's with Ray Gmeiner, Dave Lombardi, Howard Petruziello, David Barbis, Tom Starr and Chris Siciliano. You'll need to call me or Ray for further details! It was a good time all around!
What do you like to do for fun and relaxation when you're NOT in record promotion mode?
Movies, hiking, biking and traveling, especially back home to NYC to visit family, friends and my god sons.
What is the best live band you've seen this year NOT on your label?