Friday, December 19, 2014

Cadium Music Publishing's Year-End Highlights

2014 was a continuation of 2013 with more notable moments for Cadium Music...

- In This Moment's, Blood, continued to sell, and with the guidance of Kevin and Kane Churko in the studio, the band landed a new record deal with Atlantic.

ITM's new album, Black Widow, has been out less than five weeks, but the group (and the label) is in full support of the record.  

Prediction: ITM's, "The Fighter," is the sleeper track on the album (think crossover radio), but won't get much attention until early next year.

- Cisco DeLuna's collaboration with Nashville's Annie Bosko is producing results.  While not written by Cisco, Bosko's "Crooked Halo" is gaining traction at Sirius radio.

- Southbound 75, a new project from Mark Lorenzo, was recorded this year and after testing some of the tracks, rock, as well as country listeners, like what they hear.  Expect Southbound 75 to release its debut in the first quarter of 2015.

- Five Finger Death Punch - the band that keeps dishing it out - had great success with both volumes of its The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell that were released in 2013, selling 750,000 collectively.  The title track just reached number one on the rock radio charts.

The guys have already recorded much of their new album with the Churkos and the first single is expected in March with an album launch in May.

- Papa Roach recorded their latest with each Churko writing and producing part of the album.  The lead single, "Face Everything and Rise," has already been licensed and the album is due out, 1/27/15.

- Currently, three Cadium songs are in the rock radio top ten: The aforementioned, "Wrong Side," as well as Hellyeah's "Moth" and the aforementioned "F.E.A.R."  (ITM's "Sick Like Me" is #11.)

Lastly, if the industry can get a handle on the streaming situation, maybe 2015 will be a better year for all of us.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Reason Records Don't Sell Like They Used To - The Real Reason

For those within the industry who know me, I usually don’t air my views of the business publically; however, based on a recent article in the 10/25/14 issue of Billboard Magazine, I am compelled to comment.

The article is Managers of U2, Pharrell, Madonna & More Unite to Revolutionize the Music Industry and it discloses how a group of very talented artist managers intend to break the cycle that has led to the current downward spiral of the record business and put the industry back on the right track, reflecting the industry’s past success (before the digital age).

I want to make it very clear that this piece is not about criticizing these successful managers and their new company, Maverick.  Guy Oseary, through his enormous talent and hard work, has made some remarkable achievements in his years in the business and there’s a reason why he’s one of the industry’s power players.  I have also had the opportunity to talk with Guy, mostly during my time at EMI Music, in the ‘90s, and I find him to be quite an affable and smart man (I’m not validating, just confirming). 

I laud Oseary for attempting to turn the tide of a business that has been riddled with low royalty rates for streaming, which is partly responsible for what has led to the overall undervaluing of musical compositions and recordings, resulting in less music purchases.  I’m happy that he is one of the few who is willing to address this problem and attempt to fix it, but in this article, which I encourage you to read, there is, in my opinion, one glaring omission, and thus the point of this writing.

What brought me to the conclusion to comment on the Billboard article is the following:  With all the knowledge and success of the members of this key collective (Caron Veazey, Adam Leber, Ron Laffitte, Gee Roberson, Larry Rudolph, Scott Rodger, Clarence Spalding, Cortez Bryant and the aforementioned Oseary) there was one area of the business that was never discussed (though a few came close) and that is ensuring that their artists consistently produce an album’s worth of strong material.

Yes, I am a publisher and I’m focused on the song and I freely admit that my forté is not tour marketing, promotion, branding, etc.  Wouldn’t it, however, make sense to make sure that the product is solid and contains multiple radio singles so that the artist wouldn’t have to focus so much on other revenue streams in order to make up for lost music sales?

In the article, Oseary mentions that there are other ways to reach an audience.  What he doesn’t mention is that, initially, an album release can almost be static; you really only get one chance in the release cycle to sell an abundance of units and if the songs don’t compel the consumer to buy, there’s less of a chance he/she will buy even if it’s served on a different platter.

The topic of making better records is the elephant in the room, and from my experiences, no one wants to talk about it.

Why is that?

I might not have the answer, but my supposition is that somewhere between the artist, record company A&R and management, the issue of whether or not an album has hit singles is either not being discussed, A&R and management are afraid they might offend the artist, or the people who are supposed to guide and help the artist succeed don’t know what a hit song is.

You could make the argument that Maverick’s artists don’t need this kind of attention and that they have a vision set out for themselves and there is no need to mettle in the creative process.  If that’s the case, I would respectfully rebuttal by saying that there is a reason Adele’s last album, “21,” went Diamond.  There’s a reason why Taylor Swift albums sell north of a million copies in its first week, then remain on the charts for several weeks thereafter.

Did Adele’s “21” become a colossal success because Americans are suddenly enamored with British women who possess a soulful voice?  Is Taylor Swift an industry of its own because we suddenly are attracted to talented singers from Pennsylvania?

No.  Much of the reason Adele and Swift, and others like them, sold millions is because they took the time to make sure that their fans had an album they could listen to from beginning to end and enjoy for years to come.

One more example – the Eagles.  As great as they were as songwriters in their prime, Don Henley and Glenn Frey still were not satisfied with the material they had collaborated on for future albums and brought in outside writers to make damn sure their records were as good as they could be.

Again, just my opinion from years of being in the business.

As mentioned, some of the Maverick managers come close to addressing the issue of weak music sales:

Caron Veazey comes as close to the topic as anyone interviewed saying that, among other things, it comes down to great music; but she doesn’t say how to make sure that the music is compelling.

Adam Leber points out that the Maverick business model has been done before, but the difference between Maverick and other firms is that its managers aren’t afraid of sharing information amongst each other (which is a good thing); but will any of that information have to do with making sure future albums are chock full of hits?

Gee Roberson acknowledges that a big challenge is the decline of album sales, which gave me some hope that he had a solution, but instead of a solution to turn around this downward trend by making sure the music is commercially viable and can achieve success at commercial radio, he mentioned branding artists with another product.  Is it possible to make up for the lack of music sales with an artist’s wine sales?  Yes, but what about improving an artist’s music sales with better songs?  Wouldn’t that help make the artist a catalog artist, whose recordings could end up being purchased by generations to come?  And what happens if the wine stops selling? 

In relation to Roberson’s thoughts on album sales, I would like to do a quick refresher on the way it used to be in many instances:

Prior to the digital era, the consumer on many occasions walked into a music store expecting to buy the single from an artist that he/she heard on the radio only to be told that it doesn’t exist in that format and that the only way to purchase the song is to purchase the entire album.  For some, that’s like wanting to order only the french fries, but told that in order to get the fries, you have to order the entire meal and then once you have paid for the meal, you come to find out that the rest of the meal -  that you really didn’t want in the first place - isn’t very good.

Since consumers buy music much differently today, the business has had the challenge of trying to figure out how to get the consumer to buy music in the quantities that they did, pre-digital.

Getting back to the article, it’s quite possible that through the editorial process, it left out the quotes about how Maverick is going to dig in and make sure that their artists have multiple hit songs on its albums.  Assuming there weren’t any, I volunteer the following suggestions:

1     - Hire an experienced A&R-type, whether it’s a label person or publisher who really knows what a hit song is – and not some marquee guy who drinks and golfs with the right people, but has little to show for it.   And hire as many as you need to cover each genre properly.
2     - If the key members of the collective want to dig deeper to make sure the hiring process for an A&R-type is a success (or do it themselves), they might want to speak with some of the former A&R people from the ‘60s and ‘70s who brought us a multitude of catalog artists that sell to this day and gain some knowledge of how they dealt with a talented artist who didn’t have enough material to fill an album.
3     - Make Guy Oseary the A&R guy (at least for rock and pop).  After all, he does know what a hit song is.  (Oseary recognized Alanis Morissette’s talent and signed her to a label deal when every other major label turned her down.)

In conclusion, I want to throw my support Maverick’s way, with or without my suggestions.  If the Maverick way works, other management firms will follow this business model and it will, in turn, help all of us one way or another in this industry; but if it doesn’t, I highly recommend that the principals of the company ask themselves whether they did everything in their power to make sure their artists put out commercially viable hit music in order to compel their fans to pay retail.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Video for In This Moment's "Sick Like Me" Released

In This Moment's first single to their upcoming album Black Widow, "Sick Like Me," was released earlier this month.  The band have just released the official video to the song.  Black Widow comes out November 18 and was co-written by Kevin and Kane Churko, and produced by Kevin Churko.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Papa Roach Song Available to Stream

Papa Roach's new album doesn't come out until January 27th, but you can get an idea of what the album is going to sound like with one of the songs on F.E.A.R.  The song is "Warriors," which is the last track on the album.

"Warriors" was co-written and produced by Kane Churko.

Also, coming soon is the album's first single, "Face Everything and Rise."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Album from Papa Roach Due Out 2015; Single Coming Soon

Papa Roach completed their new album, F.E.A.R. (Face Everything And Rise), which will be due out early next year.  

The record was recorded at Kevin Churko's Hideout Studio and co-written with Kevin and Kane Churko.

In the past, the Churkos have collaborated as a team when it comes to writing with their artists, but due to unusually high traffic at the studio earlier this year, Kevin and Kane co-wrote and produced the album separately - and according to the band, it came out great.

Look for the first single, "Face Everything and Rise" which was co-written by Kane Churko, to come out before the end of the year.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cadium Music Signs Ron Mancuso

Ron Mancuso, a former band member of Ozzy Osbourne and Red Dragon Cartel, has signed to Cadium.

Mancuso, who had a hand in the production of Ace Frehley's latest album, Space Invader, has co-writes with Bandlands and Beggars and Thieves.  In the past, Mancuso has gone beyond band collaborations, writing cues for Access Hollywood, Big Brother and several sports television

Based in Las Vegas, Ron plans to write and record for RDC's next album, with other writing projects in the works.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In This Moment Coming Out with New Album, Black Widow

In This Moment has completed its follow-up to Blood, with Black Widow.  The new set, recorded at The Hideout, is due out November 18 and was co-written with Kevin and Kane Churko, with Kevin, once again, behind the board.    Churko Sr. has co-written and produced the last three ITM records.

The first single, "Sick Like Me," was released digitally, September 9.  While ITM's new label, Atlantic Records, is gearing up for the release of Widow, the band is back on the road, beginning in October.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lorenzo Hit the Road with Tantric

Lorenzo re-visit Kentucky and North Carolina with a string of dates with Tantric.

After making inroads into the east coast, Lorenzo hit some familiar territory, kicking off the shows at The Thompson House, in Newport, KY, just a stone's throw from Cincinnati.  The other dates are in North Carolina.

The band include drummer, Aaron Farrier, Anthony August (guitar) and Julian Simonelli (bass).  Simonelli has performed in the past with Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult), John Miceli (Blue Oyster Cult) and Keith Zebroski (Miranda Lambert).

While Lorenzo's set will focus on the band's current album, Ignition, the guy's will be trying out some new material, as well.

Show dates: 6/1-Newport, KY @ The Thompson House; 6/6-Kernersville, NC @ Bucked Up Super Saloon; 6/8-Charlotte, NC @Amos Southbend.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Five Finger Death Punch Wins Song of the Year at Golden Gods Awards

Five Finger Death Punch received a Golden Gods Award for Song of the Year for "Lift Me Up."  "Lift," co-written by Kevin Churko, was the first single from FFDP's The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Vol. 1.  The song includes guest performer, Rob Halford.  The GGA's were held at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, April 23rd.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lorenzo Adds New Shows for April

Rock band, Lorenzo, have added some dates for April.  One of the dates, in Alexandria, VA, is due to significantly high demand by some of its new fans - and the club itself, O'Shaughnessy's.

Along with the upcoming shows, Lorenzo bring a slightly new line-up to join lead singer and guitarist, Marko and drummer, Aaron Farrier.  The new members are Anthony August (guitars) and Julian Simonelli (bass).  Rehearsals begin soon, in Tampa, FL.

Leading up to the upcoming dates, Lorenzo picked up some airplay at 96 Rock in Cincinnati, the band's old stomping grounds.

DATE     VENUE                                 CITY

April 3    Diesel Concert Lounge     Detroit, MI
April 4    The Rusty Nail                   Philadelphia, PA
April 5    O'Shaughnessy's               Alexandria, VA
April 17  The Orpheum                     Tampa, FL

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Churkos to Have a Productive First Half of '14 at The Hideout

The Hideout, the Las Vegas recording studio owned by writer/producer Kevin Churko, is no secret.

Churko and his son, Kane, kicked off the year recording the new Hellyeah album, due out in April on Eleven Seven.  With the seats still warm, Papa Roach began work with the Churkos this month and will be making their new record into March.

March and April will see the return of In This Moment.  ITM just concluded their touring schedule that completes the cycle for their successful album, Blood.  ITM's next album comes out on Atlantic.

Also, look for a Kane and Kevin Churko co-write, "Under Your Halo," on the next Chiodos album, due out in April on Razor & Tie.