10 Questions with ... David Jacobs
February 8, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I grew up in the business and had my first internship when I was 15 working for Dexter Holland at Nitro Records. After several internships and a Business Degree from USC, I took a job answering phones and doing marketing for an indie label called Rocket Science in LA. After a year-and-a-half at Rocket Science, I spent the next three years in my first Promotion job at Fearless Records based in Huntington Beach. From there I got the call to move up to a major and spent 2014 at Epic Records as their National Director of Rock and Alternative Promotion. After Epic, I began 2015 working as an indie and spearheaded campaigns for The Offspring and FIDLAR the first quarter of the year. In April, I began working with Gary Gorman at Atlantic Records helping out on all of their Alternative efforts for six months. When my deal ended with Atlantic, I began speaking with Mom + Pop Music, who I had done FIDLAR with, and I was adopted into the Mom + Pop family at the beginning of October last year.
1. What got you interested in the record business?
I love music ... I have been going to see bands since I was a little kid and since I can't play an instrument, I figured why not play the telephone instead and work on the business side of the record industry.
2. Who are your mentors?
There are a lot of people who have mentored me and help guide me through this crazy business. Rob Goldklang, Gary Gorman, Scott Burton, Leisa St. John, Danny Buch, Karen Glauber and Lynn McDonnell. My biggest supporters and mentors are Ted Volk and my Dad, Mike Jacobs. They have been there to guide me and teach me what it means to be a promotion person and I would not be where I am today without any of the people I mentioned here.
3. What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
Being from Orange County, CA KROQ was always my favorite station to listen to. Kevin & Bean was a staple for me being driven to school every morning, and I have been going to Weenie Roasts and Almost Acoustic Xmas' almost as long as they have been putting those events on.
4. Where do you get your greatest pleasure in doing record promotion?
Seeing the success that a band can achieve from having a hit radio single that I am a part of. It's incredible to see the crowds get bigger at the shows, the song getting used in movies or TV shows, hearing the song in shopping centers or restaurants, and watching the sales grow as the airplay permeates the country.
5. What is the toughest part of your job?
Getting guys on the phone! Our partners in radio are being given more job responsibilities and as a result they have less time during their day to talk to record reps, making pushing a new song to radio that much more difficult.
6. What may surprise people the most about Mom+Pop Music?
That we are a lean staff that is capable of playing on the same level as the majors. We have Grammy-nominated artists (Courtney Barnett), bands on every major U.S. festival this year, artists that can sell hundreds of thousands of albums and tracks (Courtney Barnett, Flume, and more), bands on late-night TV (Lucius and DMA's will be on Colbert in March), and the ability to not just get bands exposure on the radio but chart records and reach milestones at every format.
7. What new projects are you most excited about?
We have so much great music coming in 2016 from Mom + Pop. I am very excited about the current record I am working, "Born Again Teen" by Lucius. We also have a great track from a band called DMA's, a new record from Flume, a fun new band called Hinds, as well as a new record from Polica. Plus new music later this year from Jagwar Ma, ELEL, and more!
8. 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?
The biggest issue I encounter promoting records to radio is the amount of room stations have allotted to currents. Gold categories seem to get bigger and current categories shrink every year making it so tough for a new band to get a proper shot at any given radio station.
9. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Consolidation of radio stations and PPM. Corporations are buying up a ton of radio stations, cutting down the staff, eliminating on-air personalities, relying so heavily on PPM and ratings, cutting down on currents, and having people that specialized in one format running stations across multiple formats and relying heavily on consultants to make their music decisions. "Live and local" is becoming few and far between at a lot of formats these days, one of the main things that made me fall in love with radio when I was a kid.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
Last non-industry job:
Never worked anywhere else besides the music biz!
First record ever purchased:
Denis Leary No Cure For Cancer
Favorite band of all-time:
That's a tough one, if I have to choose, gotta go with The Beatles.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
I love watching movies, traveling, spending time with family and friends.