This is how you need to do it in the current music business. Check out the list of releases from George Lynch since 2008.
2008 – George Lynch – Scorpion Tales
2008 – Souls Of We – Let The Truth Be Known
2009 – Lynch Mob – Smoke And Mirrors
2010 – Raven Quinn – self-titled debut
2010 – George Lynch – Orchestral Mayhem
2011 – George Lynch – Kill All Control
2012 – T & N – Slave To The Empire
2012 – George Lynch – Legacy (EP)
2012 – Lynch Mob – Sound Mountain Sessions (EP)
2013 – Lynch Mob – Unplugged – Live From Sugar Hill Studios
2014 – KXM – KXM
That is 11 releases in 6 years. Lynch also has another super group project in the works with Michael Sweet from Stryper on vocals, James Lomenzo from White Lion, BLS and Megadeth on bass and Brian Tichy from Whitesnake, BLS and Foreigner on drums that will be seeing a 2014 release on Frontiers. That will be 12 releases in six years. How many other hard rock artists are doing the same output?
Apart from the high volume output, Lynch is also immersing himself with different band set ups. Different dynamics. Sort of like the seventies musicians who just got together over a weekend and made an album.
This is the music business after the transition from analog to digital. Instead of spending big dollars on recording an album every two years only to see it disappear in a few weeks, it is better to record regularly and to release regularly. The modern internet rule is here today, gone tomorrow.
This is the music business after competing with free.
In order to survive, you need to create. The music business is not in trouble. Only dumb labels and artists are.
The big acts like Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat and Machine Head will make a lot if they are smart.
Metallica actually got stupid with the whole “Through The Never” movie and Orion festival. Two big misses financially. That is why they are back on the road right now, playing the high dividend return South American markets. They need to be paid, management needs to be paid, their lawyers need to be paid and all the rest of the workers at Metallica HQ.
We don’t want our heroes to be movie stars or festival organisers. We just want them to release music and hit the road.
Is George Lynch making millions doing this? Of course not, however did he ever make millions. Even in the glory days of Dokken. Sure it was a better time. They had advance payments, touring dollars and endorsements. On top of all that was a very easy metric to measure success. Sales.
But in the end, they still had a shitty deal. According to Don Dokken, it was he that got signed originally. Lynch and Mick Brown claimed it was on the back of songs that they had written in a previous band. The songs in question are “Paris Is Burning” and “Heartless Heart”. Hence the arguments and an uneasy settlement that had Don Dokken paying them a cut from his share. A shitty deal on a shitty deal.
But as all things evolve, so did the music business. Once control was taken away from the record labels, all hell broke loose.
Now it is so different.
George Lynch gets it and the team at Rat Pak Records get it.
On the recent “KXM” release, George Lynch had a special thanks to Joe O’Brien, Tina Peek and everyone at Rat Pak Records for breathing new life into the record business. I first came across Rat Pack Records when I heard that George Lynch was releasing new music through them a few years back in relation to a solo EP and a new Lynch Mob recording.
It’s run by a music business lifer in Joe O’Brien. He started in bands, then started booking shows, managing bands and finally a record label in 2003, at a time when sales of music started to decline. He doesn’t play the same game that the traditional labels play. The packages that they offer at the price that they offer is all about marketing to the core audience of said artist. And it is working.
O’Brien gets it that talent is king. And he gets it that the talent he signs doesn’t make as much money as they did off recordings than what they did in the past, however other avenues of income have opened up. And that comes down to the packages that are created.
BUT Rat Pack should have their releases made available on Spotify for streaming. It’s 2014 and Spotify is very much part of the music business. If it is not on Spotify, it will be on YouTube and in most cases it would be unlicensed. But YouTube does pay.
Distribution is what music is all about. And in relation to the consumer we want it to be easy. That is why Popcorn Time is going gang busters. It is the movie business’s worst nightmare. And since the developers made the code available, it is impossible to take down as each person can run their own version at home.
That is what piracy does. It fills the hole that the entertainment industry didn’t want to fill. It now forces a new path, a new conversation. Music led the way. It has taken a lot of time for the labels to catch up, however what began with Napster is now almost complete. We have access 24/7 to everything. We can buy it or we can stream it for free.
The next challenge is to get people to pay for streaming services. Time will tell.