When Band Meets Label: How LuxDeluxe Got Signed By Old Flame Records

Photo by JoJo Renard

Quick thought experiment – you’re a DIY rock ‘n’ roll band from the same area of Massachusetts that produced The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. and you’re trying to pique the interest of indie labels. You’ve released an album, done a bit of regional touring, got a strong fan base going and some press attention. Ok, what do you do now? Blast pitches all over the place to a bunch of “info@” email addresses? Tag every indie label in the known universe in your album cover art Instagram pics? Now put yourself on the other side of the equation – you’re an indie label constantly on the hunt for fresh talent. You have a rock solid reputation but limited budget and resources. How do you navigate the crowded waters of new music while still developing your current artists? The answer for both sides – queue the self-promotional back-patting for a quick moment – is ReverbNation. This is the story of LuxDeluxe and Old Flame Records, as told by them, with inspiration for any musicians out there looking to make the next big move.

DaveWhen Band Meets Label: How LuxDeluxe Got Signed By Old Flame Records
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Ready Those Engines: How To Survive As A Performer At Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Ozzy Osbourne. Aerosmith. Zac Brown Band. Kid Rock. The Doobie Brothers. These are just a few legends who have performed at the world’s largest motorcycle festival, Sturgis Buffalo Chip, and this year 5 bad-ass ReverbNation bands will be selected to play at the nine-day festival. The Best Party Anywhere® is located three miles east of Sturgis, SD, on 600 scenic acres of open land. Sturgis isn’t like any other festival; audience members rev their engines to show their approval of an artist, there are nonstop bike races and art exhibitions, and even though you’ll run into people from all walks of life, there’s a huge sense of solidarity.

For an emerging band this can be quite a memorable experience, and that’s why we got the scoop from festival organizer, Daymon Woodruff, on some essential things every artist needs to know before heading to Sturgis Buffalo Chip: have few good covers in your arsenal, consider playing more than one night, read the Essential Guide, and most of all don’t be scared to get a little dirty and have A LOT of fun.

DaveReady Those Engines: How To Survive As A Performer At Sturgis Buffalo Chip
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It’s All About the Music: An Interview With the CEO of The End Records

Award-winning independent record label The End Records is on the hunt for unsigned artists via a ReverbNation opportunity. Based in New York, NY and led by CEO Andreas Katsambas, The End has represented a diverse roster that includes Billy Talent, Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes), Alien Ant Farm, Better Than Ezra, HIM, tAKiDA, The Zombies and more. With nearly two decades of experience building acts both local and Platinum, the label recently made headlines with the July 2016 announcement of its catalogue acquisition by BMG Rights Management. We hooked up with Andreas Katsambas, CEO and founder of The End Records, to learn how the label has helped underground artists, what criteria they look for in artists, and advice for emerging artists who are trying to break into the music business.

DaveIt’s All About the Music: An Interview With the CEO of The End Records
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Behind the Opportunity: Ghost Ramp Records

Ghost Ramp Records, who has released music from a diverse range of artists including Wavves, Best Coast, Weezer, and more, is scouting unsigned artists via an exclusive ReverbNation opportunity. We chatted with Patrick McDermott, co-founder of Ghost Ramp, to learn about what sets them apart from other indie labels, what they look for in artists, and more.

Ghost Ramp Records is the the brainchild of Wavves front man Nathan Williams and Patrick McDermott. How did you two meet and what inspired you to start a label together? How has it evolved since its inception?
Nathan and I met via mutual friends. Our friendship really stemmed from our mutual interest in video games (and possibly getting relatively drunk while playing them). But seriously – I think when you meet a fellow gamer as an adult it’s something that does really build a bond. It’s collaborative and just really snowballs in terms of other nerdy hobbies and interests.

Ghost Ramp releases music across several genres. What are some factors you look for when recruiting new artists?
We aren’t calculated with trying to check boxes with genres or really worried about confusing people with lots of genres. I think the modern listener has a diverse palette as ever. People listen to everything just like we do. We truly just put out what we like.

Why do you think its important for a record label to release video game OSTs? Is the release process different from ‘regular’ music releases?
I don’t think it’s necessarily important for other labels to worry about video game OSTs (please leave them to us :)) haha but yes I just really believe some of the best electronic music is coming out of video game scores. I’ve always been super drawn to OST music and I believe it’s time to close the gap between the traditional music world and the video game world which is often considered niche (but in fact has arguably a larger listener base).

KevinBehind the Opportunity: Ghost Ramp Records
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Behind the Opportunity: Open for The Cool Kids at The Art Institute of Chicago’s After Dark Event

We’re so excited to share that we’re working with the Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago to find one artist to open for the influential hip-hop duo The Cool Kids at their exclusive After Dark event live at the Art Institute of Chicago. We chatted with Jeremy Rothschild, Chairman of the Evening Associates Board of Directors at the Art Institute of Chicago, to learn about the successful After Dark series, how it’s become a platform for emerging artists, and more.

Hey Jeremy thanks for chatting with us! Introduce yourself and tell us what you do for the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jeremy Rothschild: Chairman of the Evening Associates Board of Directors at the Art Institute of Chicago

What is After Dark, what does it offer for audiences of the Art Institute of Chicago?
After Dark is an event series hosted by the Evening Associates Board of directors that highlights art exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago while featuring musical acts, cocktails, interactive theatrical performances, and occasionally art making activities all focused on engaging Chicago’s young professional audience.

The Evening Associates Board is a diverse group of young art-inspired professionals, innovators, and philanthropists committed to engaging Chicago’s under-40 community with the Art Institute of Chicago, driving Evening Associates membership, and promoting an understanding and appreciation of the arts. They were named the 2015 Associate Board of the Year by Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago).

KevinBehind the Opportunity: Open for The Cool Kids at The Art Institute of Chicago’s After Dark Event
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Meet Savannah Lynne, Winner of the Marriott Rewards® Card Battle of the Bands

We’re so excited to announce Savannah Lynne as the Winner of the Marriott Rewards® Card Battle of the Bands! After weeks of fan voting, Savannah was selected through an exclusive ReverbNation opportunity to open for country music star Tyler Farr! Read on to learn about her experience.

Hi Savannah Lynne, congratulations on winning the Marriott Rewards® Credit Card Battle of the BandsYou grew up on the islands of Hawaii and moved to Nashville when you were 14. How did both environments influence your music style?
Growing up on Maui, I was surrounded by many different types of music which also included country.  I found I was drawn more to country than the other genre, however I did listen to many other genres during this time as well which is reflected in my first EP “Aloha Nashville.” After living in Nashville for the past 3 years, the other genres still make their appearances in much of my writing even though I would classify myself as a country-pop artist, I don’t only write country-pop songs. I like many of my songs to straddle so many lines that depending on the producer who cuts the song, they could fall into more than just the country-pop genre.

KevinMeet Savannah Lynne, Winner of the Marriott Rewards® Card Battle of the Bands
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Behind the Opportunity: Treehouse Festival

We’re so excited to share that we’re the official submission platform for the inaugural Treehouse Festival in L.A.! What started as a monthly event held at pop-up locations in L.A. where performers present their talents, has evolved into an all-day festival at The Ambassador Auditorium to expose upcoming artists to the crowd they deserve. We chatted with the inspiring team behind Treehouse to learn about the festival, exclusive ReverbNation opportunity, Kickstarter campaign, and more.

Hey Alex, Diana, and Charlsey! Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little about yourself.
Alex Wisner: Musician at AKW/Founder of Treehouse
Diana Mantis: Photographer
Charlsey Kellen: Founder of Dog-Eared Records

We are beyond excited to be the official submission platform for the First Annual Treehouse Festival! Can you tell us a little about Treehouse?
Alex: I’m so happy to be working with you guys. I know that this site has such a plethora of artists waiting to be found and that’s truly what we’re all about. Treehouse Festival is a one-day festival taking place in Los Angeles on October 15th. This festival is the result of a monthly event that I’ve been holding every month for the last year and a half. These monthly events started in my living room and quickly grew too large and became pop-up events all around Los Angeles. We showcase musicians, writers, actors and filmmakers. Each person has a 8-10 minute slot and we’ve ranged from 8 artists to sometimes 20 artists in one night. People submit via our website and we curate a night in a random location adorned with Christmas tree lights, an attentive audience and very memorable, touching performances.

KevinBehind the Opportunity: Treehouse Festival
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Road to Sturgis: Meet Midnight Mob, Low Volts, and The Grizzled Mighty

What’s it like to hit the road and perform at Sturgis Buffalo Chip? We’re going behind the scenes with Midnight Mob, Low Volts, and The Grizzled Mighty on their journey to Sturgis, SD for the performance of a lifetime. Road to Sturgis promises to take you on each band's journey as the make their way to Sturgis Buffalo Chip to perform at the biggest motorcycle rally in the U.S.. Read on to meet the bands and follow their Road to Sturgis.

Hey everyone! We’re so excited to follow your journey to the Sturgis Buffalo Chip! What was it like to find out that you were selected for this opportunity out of thousands of bands?

Midnight Mob: We are so excited! It’s kind of unbelievable and frankly a little terrifying. We’ve been together 7 years and for the most of us this was our first band. Some of us never played our instruments before, so it’s kind of unfathomable that we get to be apart of this after the kind of humble beginnings we’ve had. I can’t imagine being in front of that many people opening for One, the only Metallica Tribute Band and Three Doors Down on a Saturday night. Then have the opportunity again to play then next night after Kid Rock’s set. We’re pretty speechless about all of this. We’re that stereotypical story that began by kicking out the jams in the back of a garage & believing in it all these years. 

Low Volts: It felt really great to be selected to play Sturgis, still does! I’m a motorcycle fiend!

The Grizzled Mighty: Pretty cool. Things are going to get weird in South Dakota.

KevinRoad to Sturgis: Meet Midnight Mob, Low Volts, and The Grizzled Mighty
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