I have recently wanted to expand my knowledge of the music business and interview bands, labels and promoters for their own opinion on how things have changed within the music business. One of the final pieces of the jigsaw was to interview a woman that I have had the privilege to know after being introduced by our own photographer Mark Shelley. I found her to be an all round nice person who wants nothing more than to see bands fulfill their dreams and make the big time. Vivanne of Roulette Media was only too happy to answer my questions and gave quite a personal interview on how things are for her company, what bands should do to get her attention and gave advice to those looking into band management.
I thank Vivanne for spending the time to do this interview within her busy work schedule and I am sure you will all enjoy this enlightening interview.
I have been active in the record industry from both sides so have a wide skill set. Starting in record shops, moving to record companies, merch companies but then on the other side singing with rock bands and also managing them. Roulette is a media company encompassing records, film and streaming. The record side was born out of a growing disillusionment with the record industry and wanting to offer a fairer, more artist-centred alternative. One of my fellow Directors were approached by a band who wanted support with their music career, essentially a ‘helping hand’ to the next level and the idea was born from there.
For bands that are unaware of what Roulette Media can do for them, what services could you provide up and coming bands as well as seasoned bands?
Roulette work on a project by project basis. A project can be for distribution, merch, help finding gigs, management etc. All our artists have their own page on the Roulette website and/or their own merch store. In addition, we offer help and advice for new bands who are trying to negotiate the minefield that is the music industry. For bands on the label we ‘hand hold’ as far as we can take them then move them to a label that can do more than we can once they have outgrown us.
Catering for different genres of music, does this bring its own headaches when it comes to promoting and marketing the gigs?
Most of our bands fall neatly into the wider rock genres so it isn’t too much of a headache.
How much of your personal life is taken up with Roulette?
Personal life, what’s that?
How many people do you have working with you and can that bring its own pressures as well?
We have a core team of five, we all have our own area of responsibility and tend to just get on with it. I work very closely with two of our team. It does bring its own pressures as most of our team are at our head office in Deal.
If you were to give advice for someone expressing an interest in becoming involved in band management, what would it be?
Understand the industry, have a workable growth plan, know your band… And grow a pair! You can’t be a push over in this industry you will get eaten alive… oh and network, network, network.
What would you say is the proudest moment of your management career so far?
Seeing the audience reaction when Collateral performed at the HRH awards 2018. Virtual unknowns at the time but their performance certainly put them on the map.
Who were the first band that decided to work with you and how did that feel?
The first band that worked with us were the incredible Attack on Mars. Their front woman, Emma, was amazing. She had such an emotive voice. She had at least three men with tears in their eyes at a festival they played in 2017, true story!
Not to spend time with a band who fight you all the way, if it doesn’t feel right then drop them. Don’t try and make it work. Like any relationship, it’s a two way street.
What pressures are you under every day in band management?
The constant calls from either the band, PR, promoters, venues etc. My phone does not stop. With some of the newer bands we have taken on it’s getting them the recognition they deserve. It can be an uphill battle even trying to get people to answer you. The biggest issue for me, there are not enough hours in the day, especially when the industry doesn’t tend to start work until about 3.00!
What are your ambitions in 2019 and beyond?
To expand the label, make a difference to the bands we help and to see at least one of our bands hit the big time.
Do you envisage the team growing allowing for the roster of bands to expand and grow?
I have to ask has there been a band that you were desperate to sign but who got away from you?
Not really, there are a lot of good metal bands out there at the minute who I would have picked up except our genre was aimed at the lighter side of rock. However, that might change…
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
- Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime (just because I love it)
- Whitesnake – Greatest
- Bon Jovi – Greatest
- Metallica – Black Album
- Faith No More – Angel Dust
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Keep music live, support your local bands and live music scene, help them become the ‘greats’ of tomorrow.