10 Questions with ... Rose Braunstein
February 9, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Caroline Records, Mute Records, Way Cool Music, Immortal, Columbia, Jive, Red This is 1993-2007 when I quit for a bit. But now I'm back!
1. What got you interested in the record business?
It was an accident really. For almost my whole life, I spent all my time around musicians. Even when I went to art school, the majority of my friends were in bands. While I was at Parsons, I worked as a bartender and this guy from Caroline Records always came in and ate his dinner there. I complained that I hated bartending and wanted a real job. He said, "We need someone in the art department at Caroline! I thought 'Art and Music -- HOW PERFECT'! Well ... it was filing. Then, someone quit in the promotion department, I applied, and probably since they knew they could pay me less than anyone with experience, I got the job and so on and so on.
2. What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
There were two, WBNY and CFNY
3. How did the gig with Elektra come about?
I'd been very unhappy in Austin (yes, I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't LOVE Austin) and wanting/planning to move back to L.A. Long story short, my friend Motti Shulman, who works at Atlantic/RRP said, "Jeff Castelaz is looking for someone to do promotion for Elektra and I think you guys would really like each other and it would be a great fit. You should contact him." So I did, Motti was right, and I couldn't be more excited!
4. Tell us about the revival of the label?
Jeff became president of Elektra in 2012, and brought Fitz & The Tantrums over from the label he founded, Dangerbird. That was really the start of the current era of Elektra. While Fitz & The Tantrums built two #1 Alternative singles and sold out bigger and bigger venues over the past two years, the focus at Elektra was on signing bands and making records to build up the roster. Once Jeff had a handful of great singles by Saint Motel, The Moth & The Flame, Fences, Junior Prom and a bunch of others, he started looking to build a team in L.A., where Elektra is based. That's when Motti called me.
5. What are some of the acts on the label you are most excited about?
So far I feel blessed. I pretty much love every band (and I don't think I've been able to say something like that before) but if I have to narrow it down: The Moth & The Flame, Saint Motel, Fences and Junior Prom.
6. Things are changing rapidly in our business. Were it up to you, what would you change in our "system" to give your bands a better shot?
Wow, that's a really hard question. Can I pass? I don't even know if I know the current system that well yet. But I will soon enough!
7. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Lack of listener loyalty -- with so many options it seems extra hard to keep people focused.
8. What is your best advice for up and coming promotion reps?
Get another job. No seriously, get another job. Are there up-and-coming promotion reps? If so, isn't that me? Okay, fine. I personally think that face-to-face time is super important. Go see whomever you can, even if you can only go to a convention and run around like a crazy person meeting several people in one day, then do that. Also, persistence and creativity are pretty darn helpful.
9. What would surprise people most about you?
I'm not surprising
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
... talking to my mom.
Last non-industry job:
First record ever purchased:
I bought the single of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at the exact same time as The Rolling Stones 'She's So Cold."
Asia (any cool points probably have gone away, but my older brother took me. I'll blame him - hey, it was the 'heat of the moment')
Favorite band of all-time:
How the HELL can anyone answer this?
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Making art ... drinking wine -- often at the same time.