Ah, come on...this guy is not a starving artist and probably never was. He is just a suit in musician's clothing - a PR move if there ever was one. The fact that this guy is clasically trained is likely more a convenent corollary than a primary driver behind the decision.
In my opinion, i think its important with todays "industry" to have a partnership. It shouldnt be one or the other. It should be a consistent 50/50 partnership of ideas, thoughts, actions and dedication. I think if more bands were given the oppurtunity to continue to build with the label what they started and what worked from the start, with a touch of the labels ingenuity and marketing and business stratagy, we wouldnt have amazing bands feeling like they have to struggle to make music, or giving up for "normal" jobs. I get bummed when i read about all the amazing bands who break up i.e. Acceptance. Its more than personal shit too, because if the label was taking care of them, the way they should have, the band would have done alot better sales wise, and a band like thrice, fuck, that band should be pushed more than 90% of the shit on the radio anyway. It just is what it is, until someone decides to change things up.
It makes no business sense for labels to change the status quo when the public's horrible tastes in music are not swaying much at all. If the Black Eyed Peas are selling, then they will get pushed, not Thrice.
you don't have to be a "starving artist" to be a talented musician
No shit, but unless you have paid your dues as a starving artist, then you are no more in touch than any other businessman with the plight of the common musician. I see little indication that this man's background will make him any better of an executive.
bottom line, pop music strangely manages to avoid being (illegally) downloaded as much as music in this scene. when people start buying those "amazing" records, the majors can push them as hard as the pussy cat dolls. the responsibility is in the fans, fan is short for fanatic, fanatics should be buying the record. we all know labels are a business, they have to look out for their bottom line, they can't just justify losing millions because the band was "amazing."
Where is your source for this downloading figure? Because I don't buy that one bit.
by sheer numbers alone, "pop" acts get more downloads, but by percent of people who have the album in their possession from downloading to those who have it total the scene artists win (because the pop acts have MUCH higher sales numbers).
this stems from quite a few simple marketing concepts; the fan base of "scene" bands is usually in HS or college (and this is where illegal downloading is most prevalent), "pop" artists have a larger age demographic which can include the under 14 (which their parents but their records for them) and the late 20's crowd (which is working and buying music), "pop" acts benefit substantially by digital sales because people often want just that one single (be they find paying 99 cents to be easier than searching for it on a P2P, or they are part of a demographic that does more legal downloads than illegal, or they are directed to the iTunes Music Store(or others) through cross promotion), "scene" bands fans usually want the entire cd so to them (illegal) downloading is the easy option, fans in this "scene" have a misconception that major labels fuck over bands, therefore they constantly use that as an excuse to rationalizing downloading the bands music, persons in social cliques in the demographics that buy pop music (especially young girls) are subject to peer pressure to all own the same album (often times they will buy it as gifts for each other, etc), persons in social cliques whom are fans of "scene" music are subject to peer pressure to acquire it illegally (through download or burn to a friend), when a band becomes "pop" level it is cool to physically have it (this is part of what you see with bands like green day or panic, where they are still selling a ton a week even though it seems everyone you know has the album, some people downloaded it and are going out to finally buy it because it is cool to have the biggest band in your cd rack).
the list goes on, but "pop" acts benefit the most through the single, and "scene" bands suffer the most by having such a more specific age demo.
you don't have to believe it, it's based on experiences in my work in the music industry and my studies in marketing.
Say what you will, but I see it as very contradictory to say that pop benefits through the single, but is not a victim to downloading. I think more people are apt to download an album where they feel one 1 song will be good than the entire thing.
And plus, I have no idea where you get that it is "cool" for people to have a Green Day or Panic CD on your rack. They are just reaching newer fans each day with their videos, radio play, etc - that explains the steady sales. Not some strange loyalty from the Wal-Mart crowd to buy the disc.
Ron Fair has the track record, know-how and guts to bring Geffen to the top. This label has some of the BIGGEST artists out there and some of the best up and coming talent. If Ron can make this label better and roster more amazing and more congrats to him. If the label starts tanking than he is not doing his job. I think that he will be great and Geffen will become bigger than they already are. Even though Slumber Party Girls is a, umm...head turner, he will do great.