Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Rob Town
Introducing Rob Town
Rob Town is what i love about being the host of Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
It’s having the ability to share endeavour, hustle and commitment by people from all walks of life.
Today’s guest is just that, who connected with me as a listener of Join Up Dots and upon a back and forth on email i saw enough entrepreneurial spirit to think “Right he’s coming on the show”
So what can i tell you about him?
Well he was previously bassist / co-manager for a successful British heavy metal band Panic Cell.
A period of time which saw him sharing stages worldwide with some of the biggest names in the business.
He has worked behind the scenes in the music industry for over thirteen years.
When The Dots Started Joining Up For Rob
As he says “After leaving Panic Cell in 2011 I formed Stampede Press in July 2012.
I originally set it up to be a PR agency, my experience playing in bands (whilst co-managing music business matters).
This has led to me passing on crucial knowledge to Stampede’s clients.
However whilst mentoring musicians with support, elements of artist management, and regular consultation.
My goal is to help musicians avoid common pitfalls that bands can fall into in the music business.
He wants his clients to maintain a grounded yet positive approach to their music career.
Added to that he wants them to have a happy mental health mindset and enjoy playing music as much as they can.
So is this the kind of business that many people can start, or do you need to have been within the cogs of metallic industry to really make things work?
And how does he find his clients, word of mouth, or knock, knock, knocking on artists doors?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Rob Town
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Rob Town such as:
Why it is so important to find positive people to surround yourself throughout all stages of your career.
The reasons why bands have to be focused on writing killer songs…if you have the songs you have the career.
Why it every member of your family should be your biggest critic and supporter to help you raise your game every time you start creating.
You will learn the biggest mistake that musicians make today and its actually the easiest to solve.
How To Connect With Rob Town
If you enjoyed this episode of Join Up Dots then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Tosca Reno, Dave Sanderson, Stacey Hanke or the amazing Dr Joe Vitale
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Rob Town Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes. Good morning, everybody and welcome to join up thoughts D business show the motivation show become a show that tries to tell you that business can be fun. If you’re in the business that’s right for you every day, or the majority of days should be fun. And we’re going to prove that every single time you listen to join up dots. Now what I love about being a host of join up dots is the ability to share endeavor hustle and commitment by people from all walks of life. Now today’s guest is just about who connected with me as a listener join up dots and upon a back and forth on email. I saw enough entre your spirit to being right, he’s coming on the show. I’m going to go and get him. So what can I tell you about him Well, he was previously bassist and co manager for a successful British heavy metal band panic sale, a period of time we saw him sharing stages worldwide with some of the biggest names in the business. He has worked behind the scenes in the music industry for over 13 years. Now as he says after leaving panic sale in 2011 I formed Stampede press in July 2012. And notable clients to date include TV, Richie Ramon, Nicole designs, Black Wolf and more. I originally set it up to be a PR agency my experience playing in bands whilst co managing music business matters is led to me passing on crucial knowledge to stampedes clients, whilst mentoring musicians with support elements of artists management and regular consultation. My goal is to help musicians avoid common pitfalls that bands can fall into the music business and maintain a grounded yet positive approach to their music career was having a happy mental health mindset and enjoying playing music as much as I can you say it’s all about having fun all the time. So is this the kind of business that many people can start? Or do you need to have been within the culture metallic industry to really make things work? And how does he find these clients word of mouth or Knock Knock knocking on artists door is like Axl Rose walked in the room. And I that’s good money. But let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up with the one and only Mr. Rob town. Morning Rob. How are you, sir?
Rob Town [2:31]
Wow, I’m speechless. I tell you what I’m going to do with what you just said. That was amazing. Thank you. I’m going to record that on my phone and use that every day as what I call my daily sanity check. In fact, I’m going to stick it on Alexa. And every morning that I walk into the kitchen and say hey, Alexa, I want to hit David Ralph and then you’re just going to appear with words. And that will just set me up for the day as brilliant. Thank you very much, David, how are you?
David Ralph [2:57]
I’m very well, Mr. uptown. I am well, you you are one of those listeners that thank you so much. First of all, thank you so much for listening to the show. Because without listeners, I wouldn’t have a job. And secondly, thank you for actually reaching out and connecting with us because so many people do listen, and so few people do connect with us. So it makes it sort of really interesting for me to see how things are going on out there. So I’m going to start with a big question because you’re in the music industry. Okay. You’ve been in it for 13 years. And at the moment, it is very, very exciting. And I know you’re probably going to feel the same. Are you excited about the new Rick Astley album is just about to come out, sir.
Rob Town [3:35]
It’s not going to be a second album. You know, let me cut to the chase. It’s not going to be the second album, which the promo campaign for that was Rick’s back. Yeah. And it was literally a photo of Rick Astley in a leather jacket with his back to the camera. And so you know, genius, marketing genius. But let’s go back further, you know, at first album, those those songs, you know, it’s never going to be the same part. But I’m always wanting, believing that good things can happen beyond your major success. I always wish Rick all the very best. And I love the fact that he recently got up on stage with Foo Fighters. And they did never going to give you up in the star the Foo Fighters with Rick Astley singing it in a more sort of rugged rock town and the is one of those videos that went viral very quickly. So yeah, wish you both the best. I honestly mean that any any musician in this business that’s trying to make it or work their way through it. I wish you every success, because it is a very tough business. But when the rewards come, it’s the hard works work. It’s like any walk of life with business, you know, it’s hard work. And then you get the rewards. And just take him and hold him, give him a big hug. And don’t let go.
David Ralph [4:45]
Now one of the things you said to me at the very beginning, and I suppose that viral video, that’s let’s just jump back to that for a moment. The reason why it went viral was it was two artists having fun, and the audience was having fun, and it was just unprepared fun. So many people, you know, try to make things so perfect and be so precious about it. But away from that it’s just Are you having fun, and fun for me is the big mantra for join up dots. And it’s um, I think it becomes contagious. I think ultimately, everybody wants to wake up with that feeling of, it’s gonna be a good day today. I’m really looking forward to that. But more often when we not we don’t. Now, before we recorded, you said that entrepreneurial life can be quite lonely. How do you sort of bring that fun into your life? And if you are doing stuff, and you’re doing boring stuff, but then every now and again, there’s a bit of gold that comes along? Because there is a bit of grind behind the scenes, isn’t it?
Rob Town [5:41]
Absolutely. I mean, to be honest with you, I’m not as lonely as I used to be. I think the answer in a quick way would be to find positive people that share your young, share your passion, and bring our skills to the table that enable you to do your job, but streamline a little bit, you know, and I think part of big problem when you’re self employed is that essentially you start off in trying to do everything yourself. And you’re like, I can save money by doing the website, I can save money by doing all the work and but ultimately, what you’re doing is you’re just working yourself into an early grave without being morbid such a early time in the morning. So my The key thing that I’ve learned over the last 12 months, and it’s really interesting, being on Joe not dots dots is because I am literally still joining up those dots. But what the key thing for me is that I’ve learned, especially over the last 12 months is to surround yourself with fun people with positive people that can bring something to the table that everyone’s a winner, basically, at the end of the day.
David Ralph [6:45]
So how do you find that rock jumping in? And how do you find those people that actually brings something to the table and aren’t just takers? Because there’s a lot of takers out there?
Rob Town [6:55]
Yeah, I agree. It takes time. I’ve been doing Stampede now for will be six years, six years in July. And I won’t lie to you I have I have had some takers. And I mean, no disrespect to them at all, because I don’t think they realize that we’re taking and they are narrowing journey. And ultimately, you work out. I mean, there’s one person in particular that I’m thinking of here, who I will bring into this conversation is a gentleman called Toby Jepsen, who is the co founder of new company that I’m going to be launching. And he honestly has been such an inspiration. And we’ve been able to connect and work together. And eventually over the course of these years, we worked each other out, we understand each other we share a lot of the same values whilst bringing other stuff to the table. And talking to people like Toby who is a genuine, lovely guy and has got a lot to offer, we realize that we you know, combined, you know, we could be quite potent. So that that’s one instance where you, you know, you might not work it out straight away. But more time you spend with these people, the more the more you understand each other. And I think that’s a key thing. I don’t know if you agree with this, but the key thing is working out each other and finding out if you had the sort of values that you hold, and if you were to get into a business together is like can you do stuff icon? Yes versa. So that, that that’s how I do it, I try and surround myself with positive people, you know, by by meeting positive people, you go on to find other positive people because that positive person that you’ve met, they surround themselves with positive people, we one feeds the other in a really fun and great way. And I can honestly say, I mean, I’ve been self employed essentially for 13 years since doing the band stuff. But for the past 36 years doing my own company, it has been pretty lonely. But now I’ve I think I’ve finally worked it out. And it’d be interesting to see how this one pans out. Because I’ve got a lot of I’m, honestly, I’m so excited about what’s going on right now. But I don’t want to you know, sort of cash it into oblivion. But I do think I’ve finally worked out what I need to be doing. So it’s new, really exciting time. If you’ve caught me a high potent, exciting time david i can’t wait,
David Ralph [9:17]
Oh, I didn’t catch you at all. Because I felt that when you connected with us, I felt that this is a guy that sort of rocking and rolling and has gone through the grind. And he’s have come out the other side. Now the thing that I am interested in how you do it as well, I in real life being totally transparent. In real life. I am very good at assessing people instantly. And basically in real life. I hate everyone. And I think everyone’s going to screw me over until I really trust them. And then once I trust them, I trust them. 100%. And so that Yeah, and I give 1,000% but in virtual well, fully online, I don’t seem to be as guarded. And the problem that I found Rob through the virtual world is I can’t assess people’s work ethic. And I am a grafter, I really do hustle, I get things going. And I’ve had a few people that come along and they go, Oh, yeah, well, we could do this, we can do that. And they’re just overtalk. Now, do you have fat? Do you have a sort of a balance of that person’s got to match me for work ethic? Or are you quite happy to go? Well, that person might not do anything, but when they do they do something really good? How do you balance that kind of that professional?
Rob Town [10:30]
I think I’d like you in a respect that I can spot a taker and a faker pretty quickly now, because I’ve been through the mill. But I, you know, I can also spot potentially, you know, people that are going to be fantastic in the next 510 years. It’s a it’s a juggling act, but I can I think I go back to the point of, you know, finding that person who’s positive or people are positive, and around that you get introduced to other people positive. But yeah, online is a very difficult one by I’ve sort of got to the point where you know, you read certain keywords in emails on social media, and it’s sort of alarm bells just go off. And you’re, you’re like my guts telling me, don’t touch that, just politely walk away from it. And I do that a lot more. Whereas, you know, a few years ago, I would say yes, of course, let’s let’s do this great. And then it wouldn’t work out. And ultimately, that was a waste of time and money. And, but it’s a learning process. But I do think if you can listen to your gob, you listen to it, because for me nine times out of 10 I think my gut serves me very, very well. But typically, it’d be that one time that I pass on some and it ends up being the golden egg. But that’s the way it goes.
David Ralph [11:46]
Yeah, but the golden eggs come along. Don’t know. So so. So when you’re up on that stage, and you’re banging away at the database, and you’re looking around, and you’ve got people jumping up and down and screaming in front of you. What’s that all you wanted? Or were you like a football player that was always planning to go into management where you were you always the bass player, the sexy man on the corner, a bit enigmatic, that you know, the girls liked him secretly.
Rob Town [12:15]
Up David that’s the 20 pound note is in right now. I mean, I grew up loving music. You know, music has been the one consistent thing in my life. And as a kid, as a teenager and early 20s, I played in bands, and it was always your level of pop bands. And we look at the big bands going on, I’d be amazing. You know, we want to be in that position. We want to be in a big rock band painted thousands, hundreds of thousands of people. And then as as join our guts, rightly sort of states in the intro, you go on that journey and if something goes wrong, and then next thing, you know, you’re actually in a boring desk job and not quite happy. So that that’s what happened with me. Yeah, towards my mid 20s, I got bit disillusioned and I gave it up and I went back and I retrained in the corporate world.
David Ralph [13:07]
Did you know that was wrong? Well, did you know at that time, was it just a safety net?
Rob Town [13:12]
It was a safety net? It definitely a safety net. And I need and looking back now again, joining up the dots. Looking back. Now I needed to do that. Because if I hadn’t done that I would never got to play in a band I played too. And more importantly, I’m going to say this right now. I met my wife because of the band. And she’s just been, you know, she is my rock. And I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing. Now, if it wasn’t my wife. I’d like to think I’ll find a way but really looking at everything I do. You know, the band, I did the band, I met my wife. And you know, there’s so many boxes ticked. But in answer to your question, I think this this is what the answer is, is it we you know, as musicians, we want to be a rock band, we want to play to all these people. But in reality, you know, what, actually being a rock band being in a high spec rock band really hard, I mean, so hard, you have to go out and tour so much more these days, you’re away from home a lot, you’ve really got to be built for it, your minds got to be built for it. And if I was to turn around to a band, you know, a pop band essentially say, Well, okay, we go from two weeks month, you need to take all this time off work. And by the way, it’s going to cost you know, 30,000 pounds to do that, or, you know, for everything, most bands ago, but I can’t afford that, you know. And the reality is, that happens quite a lot. I think bands think they want to be a proper rock band. But really, it’s that when you get down to the nitty gritty of the music, business, and all the sort of finances and logistics involved. It most bands would have to tone it down. But but that’s where I was able to take it to another level because I quit my job, I did all the corporate stuff. Then I got into this band. And I was like, you know what my gut was telling me you need to go for this. So I quit my job. And I did the band for about eight or nine years. And we were very lucky with some the opportunities but I say lucky, we worked really hard. You know, I was on pennies. I was doing temp jobs and co managing the band and doing the admin and whatnot, it was really hard work, you know, you might go to proper job in the daytime to temp, and then you come home and do the band work. And it would literally be like 24 hours a day, non stop. But you can’t sort of argue about when you’re getting to play with bands like Metallica. It’s just like green fulfilling stuff. And everything combined the corporate stuff and the band stuff and the skills that I picked up. You know, it’s it’s been I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been able to take all these skill sets and then transfer them into different work positions, if you see what I mean. So I think that’s a long winded answer to that kind of get anywhere close to one.
David Ralph [16:01]
So many questions to come back with Rob because one of the things that sort of kept on jumping into my head, you were saying how much money it costs actually tour. And I was listening to no Gallagher the other day the ISIS guy, and he was having a rant about Ed Sheeran because that Sharon just turns up with a guitar and a couple of rules and plays four nights at Wembley Stadium. And he was saying, you know, what’s his overheads, because now God has got a small team, and he’s got to pay him all he’s got to pay a drummer, he’s got to pay a bass player he’s got you know, you can’t just sort of turn up and just expect to take the money. And there’s a lovely, lovely lady, a lovely lady who connected through the show called Derek, she doesn’t like a name to be given out, in case that the manager he is he’s never going to hear this rubbish. But um, we call it we call it a Derek and cheesy, great band in America, which is one of my favorite bands. They play modern songs in a real kind of Jazzy, old style way which he which is brilliant, very unique. And she was saying, you know, if it was only her, she’s quit now and just do that. But because there’s eight of them in the band, even a good night, they end up on like $50 each, you know, it’s just how do you go from backstage to the next stage about actually being able to convert it into something? So I’m going to ask you that question on behalf of Derek Who’s that sort of moment of knowing what she wants to do? she’s brilliant at it. I’ve listened to her many times. How do you go from getting all hundred and $50? a night to actually something where you could say to the family, I’m going to do this full time? Is it management Bob?
Rob Town [17:33]
It’s writing killer songs. It’s getting a song, it’s so potent, that you go from 100 people liking it to 100,000 people liking it and beyond. And then
David Ralph [17:46]
say don’t do it as a cover band. It’s very difficult is it?
Rob Town [17:50]
You can do you can do cover bands be wedding bands do quite well. Cover bands, I think cover bands. For me personally, it’s one of those things where if you just want to go out and play music to a crowd money and money isn’t your objects, man, it’s great. I think that’s where it all comes on stuck. Unfortunately, we’re we’re trying to thrive and survive and thrive in an industry where streaming music is rolling all now he’s really killing the sales. That could be wrong there is there is some money to be made from selling you music, but you gotta be very careful with very clever with how you produce it, how you market it, you gotta give the listener something very special to listen to. But if you’re literally just putting stuff out, that sounds like a million other things, and you’re streaming it, it’s like water, electricity, those sort of things. It just you take it for granted, it doesn’t really go in. And I always say to bands is like look at your music and be honest with yourself, get outside the bubble, we choose your family, your friends, maybe a few fans that love you. And look at your music in an honest, objective way and just say to motivate yourself, ask yourself, Is this a benchmark you if you sounds a bit like I don’t know, my neighbor band David was one of your favorite bands,
David Ralph [19:06]
Duran Duran, I ran around very interested in them because they’ve been going 40 years. And they’re still, you know, doing arenas, which I find amazing that I can do that.
Rob Town [19:16]
Because I’ve got those songs, but got those songs. And this is where my new company lightning in the bottle will hopefully help a lot of bands. What’s happening is that we’re seeing because of technology, and the internet and social media, we’re seeing that musicians are easily able to make their own music, very cost effectively. And that’s great. I love the fact that there were probably more musicians and ever where it all comes on stock is that thing money where people are basically trying to put their music out in front getting people to buy it. And ultimately, if if I’m really honest, it’s not good enough if you compare it to Duran Duran and those classic songs. They just don’t not as good. This this, this is the the actual fact of the matter. And one reason for that, and I’m sorry, if I’m sounding a bit opinionated, to your, to your audience, I’m shortly Okay, I can’t say that it’s true. It’s true, what’s happened is that we’ve lost a few filters. Now I’m all for self managed artists going out there and doing stuff themselves. But when it comes on stock a bit when people try to market and then they get disappointed because they’re not setting out any shows or they’re not setting many tickets are not my musics not selling. But it all comes back to the music. So one of the key things that’s missing from the sort of self managed self release process is a thing called a&r, which is artists and repertoire. And that really is an individual who might be a musician or a music journalist or someone a music industry expert, who is like a conduit between the band and a record label. And part of their role is to you know, say for example David Ralph is in the studio recording his jazz hybrid extravaganza. And I come in and I’m like, I’m listening to I’m going yeah David this is this is pretty good. However, there’s, there’s a couple of bits in that song, that would probably be work better, if you change the structure a little bit, you know, swap the course around for a middle way, or we learn from that verse out a bit, because Scott killer hook in it, stuff that, you know, maybe gets forgotten about, because he’s so focused on what you’ve already sort of written and, and it’s, it’s not going in and, you know, criticizing your baby is a bit of a tough process. But all the killer tracks all the big songs, though. And this is me looking at things with rose tinted glasses, because I listened to a lot of music, music, and I’d basis there’s a fair few new bands, I really like what they’re doing, because they’re doing something a bit different, or whatever, right and killer songs. But this is where we need to kind of get back to is like, okay, is the song good enough. I’m not suggesting the English stop being a band, because their music might not be good enough at this stage. But it’s all about goes back to that work ethic, work, work ethic, I think just people work hard. And you’ve got to be prepared to take some knocks, you’ve got to be prepared to fail. I mean, that the truth of the matter is, is that, you know, we probably fail more than we were, you know, we succeed. However, the failure is all about learning and picking yourself up and brushing yourself, Ganga well, yep, didn’t work out it move forward, I’ve learned from it. So where we found that failure, I think, is that we focus on the failure. And that just that sort of beats us down. And you can tell you that across too many walks of life, especially for musicians, you know, creative artists who literally wear their heart and their sleeve. And so so to have someone criticizing their music is quite tough thing to deal with. But yeah, look long and short, I think for any band out, they’ve got to take a step back and listen to what they’re doing. And ask opinions of people outside the band circle, music industry experts or your people to have got a good set of ears and to say, honestly, it’s good enough. and be prepared for them say, maybe not quiet. But you know, maybe we can do some we can do something with it to help it. And this is where my new company lightning in the bottle will hopefully be able to help a lot of bands. So again, sorry, very long winded, I hope you got something out,
David Ralph [23:22]
get something out of it. Over time, as we will get something out of these words, I’m gonna play these words. Now we come straight back to uptown,
Jim Carrey [23:28]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [23:55]
Now people say to me, why don’t you play the same old speeches all the time. And the reason that playboy is basically because the three join up together, Steve Jobs works very well with Oprah and Oprah works very well for Jim Carrey. And you’ve got a faith you’ve got you might as well go for something you love, you might as well just be quiet and do the next right thing. But what I got from you, Rob, listening to you there, and I come across as a miserable person in the house when it comes to music. And I remember when I was a kid, I used to watch Top of the Pops, which was the 80s show. And I used to think it was brilliant. As we all did, we used to sit there and my dad used to walk in and go, it was that is that girl? Or is that boy? It was what was that? That that that sounds rubbish that does. And I am now a great believer, but most of the songs sound the same. Now my kids say to me now, it’s just because you get an old dead, you’re just getting old. And I don’t know that if you go back in time, I could play two seconds of the Rolling Stones. You know, it’s the Rolling Stones. I could play two seconds of AC DC, you know, it’s AC DC. But so many of them just sound to be, you know, produced by the same people. I don’t even recognize the artists I even quite like because it just sounds oversight. Is that a mistake as well? Are people being produced in the wrong way so that it sounds like a hit instead of it being authentic to them?
Rob Town [25:18]
Yeah, I agree 100% with what you just said there. If If you compare me to my my business partner, let me just quickly briefly tell you about Toby Jepsen, he used to be in a band called little angels. And they sold like 5 million albums. They were number one on the national chart, you know, amongst a plethora of bands, including light in the band is nevermind and garbage Volume Two. And their last official geek in the 90s was double our whole which I sold out. And he’s gone on to produce compose. And for Katie Melua and artists like that, and he’s now in a band called White sons are doing very well. And we’re both firm believers. But what’s happened is that the firewall has come down. And what would have been, if you compare me and Toby so Toby’s in this big band, you know, in the 90s, 80s, late 80s and 90s, early 90s. And as me my pop band, you know, and I’m having fun, I’m having loads of fun, you know, I’m the best day ever got for me in the 90s was we played the marquee, which was fantastic. But we never, you know, fought for one minute we’d be playing somewhere like Donington, you know, Donington or download or Wembley Arena, or whenever I like that it did just didn’t seem possible. Whereas now, because of things like social media bands are basically looking over the fence, and they’re seeing other bands getting these opportunities to play download, which is a donation, and places like that and getting your music on national radio and are we want some of that, and what they’re doing is unknowingly they’re recording music that sounds like each other, you know, not a band sound like each other. Um, again, this is a bit of an opinionated statement to make. And I must stress this is my little disclaimer, David I’m passionate about music. And all I want is for musicians to thrive and for the scene to thrive and for the best music to be put out so that it changes our lives. That’s that’s core value with me. But back back to my point is that basically what’s happened is that we’ve gone through this nostalgia trip for the last 15 years, where we’ve looked back on music and you Led Zeppelin’s and freeze and you Bon Jovi’s and everything else like that. It’s, it’s all come back, they sounded like that. However, in my opinion, there’s two things here one, loads of bands sound the same, but as you said, and two songs aren’t as good. I’m sorry, the songs just aren’t as good. You go back to the writing stage, and to the Beatles, and to praise Lee and, you know, I’m a big fan of royal piston, which is obviously before my time, Bobby hollow, and then you go into the 70s with Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy, and in the 80s, Def Leppard. And when you listen to all these bands in the rock genre, okay, it’s a bit more harder rock than sort of rock of the night Foo Fighters, maybe. But they’ve all got killer songs. They’ve got songs that have stopped you in your tracks. Yeah, now, I think off the top of my head right now. I remember 1995 I was listening. I was living in Chatham in Kent. And I was driving back from Iceland used to work in Iceland as a as a nice person. Yeah.
Boom. Brilliant, well done up the 20s in the post.
Some driving back from work and an artist called alarmist, Boris, it comes on the radio. And, you know, last
David Ralph [28:58]
little pill is one of my favorite all time albums.
Rob Town [29:01]
How good is our album, The songs again, benchmark song. So it was you ought to know. And I just heard that I actually, I literally had to pull the car over, you know, you imagine I just had to sit down and listen to the song, it just like that is incredible. And that that’s where I do believe we need to get back to in the sense of Easter song of a standard is going to just bow people and change their lives and be a be a staple of our lives. I mean, they go I remember 1995 that happened and I pulled over and these little stories that you tell amongst your friends and that’s something I think I get a vibe dismissing You know, when I was a kid in bands, we were going to be a poky little rehearsal room or pop background and we would jam out these tunes and it would be great fun was now I just feel like for bands, it’s almost like they will notice firsthand from do in it. It’s almost like they’re walking into another job. And their overhead straight away. I just ridiculous because they feel like they have to, you know, spend money on great production, which are committed to you can do if you know someone that can do it for a reasonable price. But where is back in the day, I might spend a few hundred quid tops on my band bands these days are spending thousands and 10s of thousands before they’ve actually gone anywhere and done anything, you know, musically that’s gonna knock people over. And two examples I always give to people is if you look at David Bowie and Queen, they didn’t have that major success straight off. It took him a long time. And it took a few albums
David Ralph [30:42]
as Queen, almost bankrupt before but Bohemian Rhapsody, it was like catching moments in in a pub going, do we continue this? You know, is this going anywhere? Yeah,
Rob Town [30:51]
it’s having that faith. And, again, I think it goes back to, if you can surround yourself with positive people and you a band of brothers and sisters, to understand each other because that that’s where I think the wheels come off is that all this crap happens around you. And if you’re not a band of brothers and sisters, or you know, whoever’s in the band, if you’re not connected, if you don’t understand each other, or you’re not prepared to part with each other, it will, everything will just unravel very, very quickly. And in this day and age of social media, burnout happens so quickly. And my concern David for the future of music is that we could have the next David Bowie or Freddie Mercury, you know, waiting to come out and wow us. But when
David Ralph [31:40]
we go well, I’m just gonna jump in there, right? Because I think and once again, I’m going to sound like a miserable old 48 year old man I am. But I think in the old days, people would work the route, they would play the clubs, they get up to the marquee used to love the marquee. And then you’d go from the marquee bigger and bigger and bigger. And by the time you’ve got to write your first record, you’ve done about 200 gigs. Now the new Freddie Mercury things right X Factor, we’re getting the X Factor, and suddenly they’re a number one and then they haven’t built out that track record or knowing how to do it. You know, if you look at the Bowie’s if you look at the Queens, they were spending years going up and down the road in a transit. It’s almost like football players nowadays that 16 year old is driving around in a BMW. You know what I striving for? But they’ve already got it too much. There’s not that that hassle? There’s not I agree.
Rob Town [32:33]
I absolutely agree. Again, touching on Toby Toby Jepsen, he did what you just said he used to, you know, him in the guitar is Bruce. Bruce Bruce, Bruce Dickinson, not be Bruce Dickinson, but Bruce, john Dickinson, who played guitar and little angels, the early days, they would travel up and down the country to go down to London, I wouldn’t know who they were going to say, but I will literally knock on doors. You know, can we get a gig at that? And like I said, buy and sell 5 million albums speak to him years. Yeah, took him absolute years. And, and I think you’re right, we’re in this. I’m probably sounded like a miserable 44 year old. But I think our hearts are in the right places. Because we you know, we do see when we see quality, we acknowledge it. But I do think that we’re in an instant gratification society, where things are thrown at us so fast, we don’t know what to do. And we just sort of like go let him sort of go in one ear and out the other. And yes, of course, we grab hold of stuff. So I listened to your podcast, every time a new episode comes out, I listened to it because that enhances my life. And I get something out of it, though in enhances me. And we are become more positive because of it. buffing the kids today. And this isn’t their fault. It’s the fault lies unfortunately with the way we consume music now they’ve been brought into a world that you could take us when we were kids. Yeah, we will listen to music via the radio or or vinyl I go. We’re lucky we go to a show and see a show. Whereas nowadays, it’s all online. It’s all there to see they can get it straight away. They don’t even have to buy it. And so the value in a lot of respects is diminishing. So I kind of I mean, what would lightning in the bottle we want to basically get these points across the bands and one of the key things I want to do with bands is actually give them some videos of like an I twisted sisters a good one there’s a documentary about Twisted Sister. Now they might not be a cup of tea David but that is a great biography, video biography of a band. They tell you their story about how they played luxury 700 shows before they eventually got signed. Back with Chicago, who mostly known now for their sort of IO RB Yeah, let’s repeat steer. But able originally, jazz guitar, funk, guitar, rock band, and never prog a PSP this year, it was actually a clever bass player. And then something happened. They got producer in and make a quick, famous story about Chicago. They opened up for Jimi Hendrix in early days. And before he passed away, and on this documentary, The last two words, wouldn’t it
David Ralph [35:19]
just yeah, support in a coffin? So I’m think I’m glad you told us that it was before he passed away.
Rob Town [35:25]
Yeah. Why would it be a very would an appearance?
But they would it things like this, like where they’d spark these things inside you? You realize you get it? Right. I mean, one of the comments they made us like they were on a plane with Jimi Hendrix and allow we wish we had we hit you up, we had what you had. And he said, Be careful what you wish for. And so further down the line, they got the success they wanted, but ultimately, it the cracks started to appear. And I realized it wasn’t all gold and silver. Yeah, there’s a lot of crap, sort of in between everything. And so just to sort of I’m My point is, part of what we’re going to be doing lightning in the bottle is educating bands and tell them to go back and have a look at what these bands had to do to get to where they were and how they managed to produce those killer songs. Because bet your bottom dollar it was it wasn’t just fruit in getting together in a house or room and just jamming out some songs, they had to go for a stringent hard process where they would be critiqued. And, you know, like I said earlier, it’s like a baby, someone coming in and go, Well, no, that part’s not right. You need to change that. So we kind of need to get back to that was acknowledging that times have moved on, but underlining everything is all about the music. And if you can produce a killer song that resonates with a lot of people, then you’re on your way. I mean, you only really need one killer song to make it happen. But if you’ve got any, you can probably write a good bunch of killer songs like Alanis Morissette did on on Jagged Little Pill, which is like I agree. So Africa,
David Ralph [37:00]
it’s a brilliant, brilliant album. But just before we take you to the the classic Steve Jobs speech, which is he’s, he’s number one here, I think he’s he’s hit but you have to hear time and time again. I’m just jumping back to Duran Duran, I found it fascinating watching a documentary with him recently on YouTube, where before they was even a band and they were just two kids walking around the street going, we’re in a band before they had anything they’d already planned. But within a year from that point, they would have a record contract. Within two years, they would be playing Wembley Stadium, and within five years, I’d be playing Madison Square Garden. And they achieved the Oh, they achieved every single aim. And they look back on it. And they said it was actually easier getting there than staying there. staying there was the hardest thing at the beginning. Because it was young, it was fun. They had all the passion and the enthusiasm, once they got that success that was the bit x or killed them. And then they sort of reformed again and sort of taking along quite nicely, really, but I found it amazing. But there’s, there’s many different ways of doing it. And I don’t want this show to come across as if you have got a guitar out there, then it’s not going to work for you. You know, what me and Rob was saying is come concentrate in your craft, you know, sit in your bedroom, and really work and don’t just think this is good enough thing, this is going to be really good. And do two shows, even if it’s two people do 10 people, you know, there’s classic documentary again with Ed Sheeran, where he’d say he would drive all the way down to where he couldn’t even drive, you have to get the train down to somewhere. And when you get there, there was no one there. So he would just play to the sound man. But it was another way of him learning the songs and getting better, you know, and he’d come back and he’d make a loss. But it’s, it’s to the standard of living is too high. At the moment, people aren’t willing to wrap it I don’t think to get to where they want to be.
Rob Town [38:55]
Yeah, I saw a documentary.
It wasn’t yet is it was an American version. The selection on Channel Four, you can get it on, on demand, well worth watching. And it’s it is a bunch of Army guys. Green Berets and Marines navy seals. And by that, and one guy who was a right tough sob. But underneath, he could tell he meant really well. And one of his observations, he said modern day people, they don’t want to climb up a hill, they want to be in a helicopter and jump out with a parachute and land on top of the hill. But you know, the journey up to the Hill, they don’t interested or they don’t think they should, they should be somewhere a lot quicker than actually, again, again, which I thought was quite a good observation, which I carry with me and refer to that quite a lot. But yeah, I do agree with you. And again, just to emphasize, none of this is negative, this is all positive. Because for me as a musician, and as someone who works in the music business, the moment I worked out in my head as to how the logistics and how you work and relate with people, if you can work it out, it’s a lot easier to navigate. But if you going in and thinking, well, we deserve to be the best thing since sliced bread, and why isn’t that happening? You can be disappointed most times, unfortunately. But I’ve been going back to try and rank quickly. Yes, that’s incredible, that they managed to do what they did would be in their timescales and the plans, you know, I’m sure it wasn’t all, all the boxes were ticked. But I sound like take the big ones. But again, it goes back to the fact that they had something that no one else had, they had those songs and, and all those guys could play their instruments, you know, you think of pop bands, and you think of boy bands might be you know, but even then the boy bands, they can probably play instruments, but they’ve been guided by a producer or management company to do it in a certain style. And they call have to have this battle, you know, do we go with a success and becoming a bit the pretty boys? Or do we stick to our guns and play our instruments? Well, if you want the success, you’re probably gonna have to do what your management and the producers say, you know, but you just gotta be prepared for what comes afterwards. And I completely agree, I think the hardest part actually is keeping the momentum going. Especially when you start to do some big stuff is double, when’s the next big thing coming. And there’s just no guarantees Give me the opportunities, especially for hard rock and heavy metal is it it’s a very small slice of the pie when it comes to music is it’s an absolute small fraction when compared to popular music. And there’s only so many opportunities available. So it all comes back to music David all comes back to music. Think of those songs that made you go wow. And you go back to time and time again. And that’s always a good starting point. If you can do something now where we are. It’s not just your friends and family beating you up. It’s not that X Factor situation. It’s actually a situation where you produce something incredible. And you’ve actually got other people outside the band. So guy, you’ve done some incredible and let’s work together loads and loads of gray area what I’m saying but that’s that’s the black and white to me.
David Ralph [42:17]
Yeah, I agree with you. And for all the moms out there. Your daughter might be a possible singer, but she’s not going to be the next Mariah Carey. Don’t push on to the X Factor and Bentel Simon You’ve ruined her life Simon, you’ve ruined life when he says when she’s rubbish, we all know she’s rubbish, we can all hear she’s rubbish. So there is a kind of, you know, what, what we would need really is our best friends to actually help help you. Yeah, yeah, critical and go out. Yeah, the that’s not very good. Maybe you could do it better instead of going. Now that’s brilliant. Go for it and get up there. And then sort of just if you’re not in your element,
Rob Town [42:55]
completely agree, you’ve got to step out your comfort zone, you got to step out side, your bubble, and gross and fixed skin. Because if someone’s given given you the time to actually tell you some positive critique, been a gold dust, absolute gold dust, especially if it’s a good friend good, it shows you that they are a true friend. And if it’s someone in the industry, obviously feedback is so important. And we’re living in an age now where I feel that just stuff being thrown up against the wall and people just wait to see what sticks. When in fact, you know what we need to be doing is spending a bit more time on mentoring bands and musicians and educating them in a sense of you know, business practices how to act in the music business because I see it time and time again. I see bands get frustrated and they actually tweet. You know tastemakers, whether it be a DJ or just analyst and I got you asked how he gave us two out of five our review album review or why he pays on your show. And so instantly they get into was closed on them. And the music industry the actual real movers and shakers is a very close knit community and everyone talks. So if you’re doing that the person you’ve done it to Aveda gone back to their mates and gone. Don’t worry, don’t worry with Joe Bloggs band that you know they’re troublemakers who you want to work with David Ralph
and he’s jazz hybrid combo.
David Ralph [44:30]
He’s doing it you know, I’m going to do it. And we’re going to do with him songs in a jazzy format. Rob Town, and you’re going to wear the white shirt boy shorts. As long as you join me. You could be my Andrew which Lee would you do that?
Rob Town [44:41]
Yeah, cool. Yeah, I can’t take a tour, nor can enter now. I’m sure we can. No, no, actually that again, Wham. Again, that’s those songs, love them or hate them. This is what I say about any band. I’ve got success. You might not like them. But if they’re doing well, they’re doing something right. Yeah. It’s, there’s always a lesson somewhere to be learned. I think it’s so easy for us to be negative is that this is so easy. It’s harder to be positive. But if you get yourself in a positive environment, and you have fun conversations, like we’re having now, it just leaves you with this euphoria. You just passing you know, it just leaves on to other good things. So yeah, I’ve kind of sidestep the compensation now, a little bit. But you know,
David Ralph [45:26]
I’ve allowed you to go sir, because you’ve been sharing the gold. I’ve been fascinated by this. And hopefully, you’ll be as fascinated with the words I’m going to play now. Because these were Steve Jobs classic, this is the greatest hits all in one, two minute bursts, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [45:41]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:16]
Your Man where your thoughts are joining up. You’ve already alluded to it.
Rob Town [46:21]
I am Yeah, absolutely. This last year, I’ve joined up so many dots because of what I’ve done before and what Steve Jobs says, I completely agree with, you have a roadmap, I you know, we look at it and go, right. Okay, this is where I want to be in the next 510 years. But you never always got a plan. You know, I always say, get a plan, get a strategy in place. But be prepared for that plan to go out and be a little bit different than what euphoria might be. The ultimate thing for me is to be happy. That’s, you know, it’s nice to have to be out you know, you want to pay the bills, money is important, of course, and having a bit of money to have a little bit of luxury for a holiday now. And again, that’s always important because you do need to get away from from everyday life down again. But yeah, absolutely. And joining up the dots, if you can look at what you’ve achieved, look, all the skills that you got, those skills are transferable. And what what’s happening with me at the moment is I’m on I’m doing Stampede press, I’m also starting a new company called lightning in the bottle, which is aimed at helping musicians understand the music better and understand the music business better and become a little bit more unique. I’m going to be studying for a master’s degree in music, business, enterprise and innovation, so that I could become an official educator, because I feel like I’ve got all this knowledge Yeah. To give. By getting a name I it means I’ll be out, you know, going to music colleges and universities and be able to educate the kids coming through who are passionate about music and want to be in a band just giving them the advice and help them avoid the pitfalls you love it don’t give up you you do I say I do love it. I mean I when I was at school I did okay at school, I went to college, I really got my taken to being in bands. And much to my mother and father was joy I I failed miserably at college because I got my teeth into being a bands and, and study periods, which led to three minute walks down to the pub in it. So it just kind of fell apart. And so I wouldn’t change anything for the world in that sense. Because it all led to where I got to today. And I can look back now. And fortunately, my mother and father are still here. So by all being well, I do the am I and I do lightning in a bottle and we give something back to the music community and we help bands avoid the stuff cuz I The reason why I probably sound a bit opinionated, but honestly, it’s all passion. The reason why sound like I said is that I will always debate that if musicians are allowed to have all the whiz bang gadgets and technology and be able to do all the self promotion and marketing and whatnot, they should know what they’re getting and letting themselves in for and they should be educated as to what’s going to happen. And because nothing can prepare you for this. And ultimately obese, you’re going to have knock backs and then you’re going to have some you know, rewards But yeah, I just I just feel like we need to empower musicians and just help them as much as we can. Because otherwise, if I just rely on, you know, going online and buying marketing packages and things like that, or even PR I’m shooting myself in the foot here a bit but PR I mean, it’s not what it once was. Because of the advent of technology and digital media. I always say to bands, the most powerful tool in your arsenal is marketing yourself and word of mouth. Because if you can create a demand and get those killer songs out and get people loving your music and engaging with your social media and buying your products, then the music industry will go see it and go you know what we want to size that. So
David Ralph [50:15]
what would be what would be your song on the jukebox you woke up? There’s a jukebox in front of you any song you want. What would you put press play on?
Rob Town [50:24]
That is such a difficult question that that’s one of those conversation pieces that can actually stop a conversation because I’m now going to go right in my head right now. I’m Homer Simpson. I don’t know if you watch the Simpsons but never seen him since his live. Just listens to stuff. I need to start taking it in your hearing his head he’s dude. That’s what’s going through my head at the moment not like so. I think he would have to be somebody Hello. Believe it or not? Yeah, I love yellow. I mean, I absolutely love Blondie.
That’s possibly one. There’s so many. Honestly, there’s so many I don’t think I can actually pick up a glass bottle on this guy with that. Because I’ve been listening. I’ve been re you know, visiting Blondie a lot lately. Toby plays in the bank way with sons. I’m part of essays I do. Union City blue, which is off it parallel lines, I can’t remember
David Ralph [51:30]
the classic one with the black and white.
Rob Town [51:33]
Absolutely incredible album. And again, that’s a classic example of a band that had a little bit success. They got in with a record label and producer an a&r guy, and I literally went into that studio and they worked their backsides off. And they had to take on board so much critique and they were pushed and prodded and I mean hot glass, if you listen to it, that’s that’s a pioneering song because of the on base. It was that it was a drum drum machine and a drum kit put together. And whereas now you could literally do that in in an hour or whatever. But back then, and yet they spend about four days getting that drum sound together. Which I find fascinating. But yeah, never spoke to your question. I’m gonna go with Blondie glass.
David Ralph [52:21]
No, you didn’t. You went with bloody loud. First of all, you can’t change your name. I changed my
Rob Town [52:27]
account today. I didn’t I didn’t name the song I’ve got have gotten a concrete,
David Ralph [52:32]
slippery, your Slippery Rock town, you can get out of any situation, ok. Glass of glass by Blondie is going to be rock towns. classic song. Okay, well, this is the end of the show. So this is the part where I play my classic song, which is the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Rob, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades, you’re up the this is the Sermon on the mic.
Rob Town [53:25]
Well, I am going to take myself back in my DeLorean five years ago, so I was 39, I was approaching 40. What I would say is don’t worry about turning 40 it’s just a number. In fact, you’re probably going to become a lot more energized when you turn 40 because you realize that the best years are actually ahead of you, not behind you. Listen to your gut you got serves you well. You are right, right most of the time. Don’t be afraid to say no to people. If it’s something that you feel that is definitely out your comfort zone. And that by doing it, it might cause you problems. Don’t be afraid to say no, say no. And look, look to other people that can do things that you can’t and harness and embrace the positivity especially positive people from people because that is what’s going to make a successful you.
David Ralph [54:31]
Right, stop so raw. But what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Rob Town [54:37]
I’m on Twitter. I think it’s Rob underscore at Rob underscore Stampede. website wise, I would encourage people to visit lightning in a bottle, which is WWE dot lightning in a bottle music.com. It’s a really exciting new venture that’s aimed at musicians to help navigate the music, business better. become better songwriters, and musicians and generally positive happy people. So yeah, lightning in a bottle music.com?
David Ralph [55:07]
And do you accept all forms of music? Or is it just sort of the heavy stuff?
Rob Town [55:12]
Now, I mean, I mean, I would say probably, we’re looking at guitar, bass music, but the the education in all this is it crosses over broad strokes. It can it can, it can be for like electronic artists, it can be for anyone, if you’re a musician, if you’re a music maker, regardless of the sort of genre band you’re in, I think we have something to offer you. And that the ultimate goal would be is just for bands to go away for musicians to go away and feel empowered, a lot more positive and sort of prepared themselves better so that when they do get a knock backs, it’s not as hard and they don’t, don’t go failure,
David Ralph [55:48]
right stuff, great stuff. And we will have all the links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible to connect with Rob Town. So well, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots. And please come back again, when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because do believe that by joining up the dots, and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Rob town, thank you so much.
Rob Town [56:08]
Thank you David been an absolute pleasure. I’ve had a load of fun, thank you.
David Ralph [56:14]
Row Town. So a listener who connected with us. And if you want to help there, and you’ve got something going on, and you think that you know, you want to share it with the world or, or whatever, just connect with us. And if you show the entrepreneurial hustle, like Rob Town did vein, get on board, but now I love what he’s doing because it is it’s a passion project. He loves music, but he’s seen it from the other side, he can solve people’s problems he can he can bring a solution to the problems. And that is you know, as she autism, that’s what business is. You need to know the knowledge you need to become an absolute expert in it. And then you solve people’s problems. It’s as simple as that. Really. Yes, there’s different things about marketing and dynamic graphics and the ideal Avatar and all those kind of things that come into a business. But it is human to human somebody’s got a problem they want to pay for a solution. Bang, Rob you our legend, sir and I will look forward to having a pint with you in a pub someday soon. And we will put ELO and Buddy Holly and the greatest hits of Duran Duran on the jukebox. And we will empty the pub instantly. Until next time, thank you so much for being here to everybody. And I look forward to bringing another episode of join up dots to the world. Thanks very much. Bye
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow and join up dots.