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).
Get to know Brooklyn’s music/art collective, Dead Leaf Echo! We chatted with the group to get the deets on their new cassette, I WILL Do Anything Tour, influences, and more.
Hey Dead Leaf Echo, introduce yourselves. We are LG: Guitar,Vocals Ana B.: Guitar, Vocals Kevin K: Drum Steve S: Bass
You recently premiered “sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” on IMPOSE who called it, “Badass, sensual, and intense, this track is something we intend to play at our next big party.” What’s the story behind the track? That’s a last minute B-side that was added to the tape. It was created in the studio with a drum machine and one guitar. The lead off track “I will do (anything)” (premiered on Brooklyn Vegan) was recorded at Mexican Summer’s studio Gary’s Electrical with Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Violens) we tracked it there almost 2 years ago! It’s nice to finally release something after such a long time.
What’s the concept behind split cassette with Did You Die? We played this wild techno party in Vancouver with them before the van broke down in British Columbia. It was ultimately the last show of our west coast tour last year. We knew there was something special there and they had suggested we do something collectively together. We have these 2 tracks that aren’t going to be on our new album so it worked out perfectly for this tape release. Plus we’ve never released any music on that format so that’s cool.
When do you know you need a manager and how do you find one? Our Nashville-based CONNECT Manager, Daren, who works with a roster of CONNECT artists and who spent three years at Red Light Management handling day-to-day duties for 3 Doors Down, von Grey, and working collaboratively on a roster that included Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley, rounded up tips for how to find a great manager.
Do you want a manager? Most artists will say, “Yes, of course!”, but the question to ask is whether you really need a manager. Be honest…and usually the answer is: I don’t need a manager…yet. The groundwork needs to be laid by you. Have you figured out who you are as an artist, what your live show is all about, and created some sense of branding? These things take time to develop and usually your fanbase develops along with this. This in turn usually attracts the attention of the music industry. We are a pretty chatty bunch and typically talk about what new acts we are into. So, without further ado:
So you’ve written a song. Now what? Well, by writing a song you’ve created a piece of intellectual property which you own. Copyright is there to protect the value of this property, allowing you to generate income from its usage. Music publishing is the business of protecting and administering the copyright in your song and maximizing its value. Generally, a music publishing company will take a share of the income from your song in return for the administrative and creative work they do for you. Working with a good publisher can save you time and money and plug you into a wider and more efficient network of opportunities to generate income in comparison with self-administering your songs as a performing rights organization (PRO) member only. We’ve asked Ross Adamson, Senior Catalogue Manager at CONNECT Songs' global publishing administration partner Sentric Music for 5 points you should consider when looking to work with a publisher:
Fair Deal Terms
Are the basic terms of the publishing agreement fair and in-line with what you need for the point you’re at in your music career? Is the publisher offering money (an advance) upfront? The prospect of cash now is always tempting but does the amount being offered seem fair in comparison with the length (the term) of the agreement? If no money is offered as part of the deal then the term should be extremely short – ideally less than 6 months and certainly no longer than a year under normal circumstances. (For example – the CONNECT Songs agreements offer no advance as standard and so the term is an extremely short and very fair 45 days).
What splits are being offered? Traditionally publishing splits were 50/50 but, again, this should be in line with any advance and the term. For big money investment from a publisher, you might be willing to have an initial 50/50 split on royalties with them but what about after they’ve recouped the advance? Does the rate increase in your favour? For a deal with no advance, alongside a short term you should also expect a fair royalty split – probably no less than 75/25 in your favour. (Again, using CONNECT Songs as an example – the performance and mechanical royalty split is 80/20 in favour of the songwriter).
October marks our 10 year anniversary as a company, and what better way to commemorate the last decade than interviewing our very first artist! Pop songstress Gina Cutillo has been with ReverbNation since day one, and we caught up with her to get the inside scoop on her new single “Keep On” that just debuted at #34 on Billboard Top 40 Mainstream chart, her successful sync placements, how she’s dominated as an indie artist, and more.
Hi Gina, thanks for chatting with us!You just released “Keep On,” an impassioned dance track that is already climbing the charts. It’s #1 Indie Record on New Music Weekly’s Top 40 Chart, #15 on New Music Weekly Top 40 Chart, #53 on MediaBase Top 40 Activator Chart and more (so impressive!). Why do you think this song is getting so much love from radio? Is it better than others or has the fact that you have collaborated with big names influence the radio programmer’s willingness to spin the record? That’s a really great question and the love just keeps on coming as “Keep On” debuted last week on Billboard Top 40 mainstream chart at #34. I feel like I’m living a dream and I suppose I am..you know the one I have been having since I’m 5 yrs old. I think the track is definitely something special, I also believe my resume makes it easier but as they say hard work and timing is key. I had been working hard, networking, performing and being very active on my socials building an online fan base so people were sharing my songs and talking about what I was doing. A radio promoter was sent my ReverbNation page (Thank you Reverb!) He fell in love with my song “Fly (Feel Love Tonight)”. After many conversations and a couple of months we decided to work together. He asked me what else I had (he knew I was in the studio recording the new album) so I sent “Keep On” and that was that! He said “Fly” will be a big hit for you no doubt but this one is a big hit as well as a perfect introduction to who you are as an overall artist. Nothing is a guarantee and radio is hard to break especially for an Indie but I really believed in what I was doing and felt deep down inside there was something really special here.
Dance-pop diva Beca just released “Future Foreigner,” the magical first taste of her forthcoming EP ‘Precious Gold.’ We caught up with Beca to learn about her musical background, collaborative recording process, recent sync placement, and more.
Hi Beca! Thanks for being part of our series! How are you doing today? Hi there! Thanks for having me. I’m great and about to rehearse with my dancers for a show. We’ll be getting everyone dancing and having a good time!
We read that you graduated from The Juilliard School. What was your experience like there? It was pretty incredible. The program and teachers really challenged me and pushed me to my musical edge, while inspiring me to explore different genres and try different sonic spheres. My goal was to gain as big a sound palette as possible. That was my main focus there. Not to mention the students could easily sight read nearly all of my scores.
At what age did you know music was your path? I wanted to do music for as long as I can remember. Around age 5, I picked up songs on the piano at friends’ houses then my parents got me a piano and signed me up for lessons. I was always singing, dancing, playing, and getting my sister and friends to harmonize with me. I also liked to pretend I was the snow queen in the wintertime, just to throw that in.
From venues full of musical history to a cemetery, our LA-based CONNECT Manager Sharyn rounded up a list of her all-time favorite venues in LA. Check out a show at one of these rad places the next time you’re in town.
This is one of my favorite venues in the country. Playing the Troubadour is a milestone for any artist. The room has an amazing vibe to it, in part because of its astounding history: Elton John, James Taylor, Carol King and Tom Waits all started off there. Big name acts like Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The National, etc. have been known to do underplays.Troubadour always has great bands coming through, impeccable sound and if you’re tired of standing you can go watch the show from the row of church pews upstairs.
Over the last few months we've been working with our artists to create 360º videos of their shows to bring immersive concert experiences to their fans and fellow artists alike. We recently filmed genre-blending sextet Little Tybee at King's Barcade and had the chance to chat with the band to get their perspective on 360º technology.
Find out what the Atlanta-based band thinks about 360º technology and how it will affect the music industry in the interview below: