One On One with Loren Weisman
by Steve Beck
Loren Weisman is an accomplished music producer and consultant based in Seattle, Washington. Having worked on hundreds of albums, studio productions, and tours as both a drummer and producer, he gained a spectrum of insight on the music industry as a whole. Loren is also the author of The Artistís Guide to Success in the Music Business.
OnlineRock has reprinted a number of Loren's articles throughout the years. When he recently published his book, we thought we'd we ask him a few questions about it.
Can you please give us a little background of yourself and your
career in the music industry?
I started as a drummer at first and got involved with studio work
early on. I found my way in to a few clean up sessions and got the
opportunity to work as a ghost drummer for a number of labels and
producers which was the bulk of my studio career. I spent more time as
a sub drummer, a fill in as well as a hired gun more so than being in
any real bands. It was a great chance to see and work across a greater
number of genres as well as so many different types of people. It also
kept everything fresh and new. Maybe it was a little commitment
phobic, but it worked for me. It also allowed me to see so many more
facets and sides of the industry I was in.
You've just published a new book entitled The Artist's Guide To Success
In The Music Business. Can you tell us a bit about the book?
In short, The Artistís Guide to Success in the Music Business is a
detailed analysis of the subjects that all musicians should understand
and apply in order to pursue a successful and sustainable career in
music. Full of ideas and practical advice, this book provides
comprehensive detail on how to optimize success and achieve
sustainability and self-empowerment in todayís music business. From
production and performance to marketing and career-building, this book
instructs artists on how to take the hard-earned lessons of a fellow
musician and put them to work in their own careers. And yes, I ripped
that from the intro.
Why did you feel a book like this was needed?
From what I saw out there in the more recent years were either books
that complained about the problems, or books that are too heavy in to
certain details. (Still these books are needed and should be
purchased, but for some it can be too much at first) or books talking
about how you can be successful in a few months or how to win a grammy
or how to get a record deal. It seemed like the overall sense was
still all about breaking big and not as many people talking about a
more realistic approach and one that is more obtainable in today's
music business. Discussing what is right now and though not the final
solution, I give ideas that can be applied individually to each artist
and in turn they can apply to their given situations.
Who should read this book?
EVERYONE!!! Ok, maybe not everyone. I hope beginning musicians as well
as more seasoned professionals can take something from it, but I also
tried to write a book that could be understand by the wives, husbands,
boyfriends, girlfriends and family members of musicians. I hope this
will be read and enjoyed by those directly and indirectly involved
with music or someone in the music business.
What do you hope bands and musicians will take away after reading the book?
The understanding that they need to understand more of the industry
and business side of things. Whether you stay completely independent
or go to a label or manager, it is crucial to be educated and
empowered with what is going on around you. I hope more musicians and
bands will ask more questions, take things less likely, reach out to
buy some of those other books that might go in to more detail about
publishing companies, licensing, contracts and what not.
I want artists to understand that the smallest steps can create the
most solid foundations and the time to get things going in the right
direction is now.
I tend to open your book, start reading a random page and seem to
get some sort of tip right away. Do you recommend that people read
the book all the way through or just use it at certain periods of
A couple very nice reviews have come back saying that there are tips
all over the book and that anyone can start the book from any page and
get what they need out of it. I really appreciate those comments. I
want the book to be read through, but I also wanted people to be able
to start on any given chapter or at any point they most connect with
to get them drawn in to read about the things that might not be as
interesting at first. I think this is a good guide to have near by and
refer to as well as reading the whole thing through. I hope people
will earmark and attack the sections they are most inspired by first
as well as reference back to it through different stages of their
You mention The Freedom Solutions Recording Plan (FSRP) throughout
the book. Can you tell us more about it and why it's important?
The FSRP is the compilation of the book. it applies all the elements
in to a full business plan and approach that I use with artists I
produce. The challenging thing is that most of it is on the artist to
follow through and of course in return they maintain the control of
their music, their images and have the best chance in today's market.
I found a number of artists getting partially through the program and
then dropping off, short cutting or putting off things they needed to
do. This was part of the reason I wrote the book as well. I know it
can help anyone, but from here out, any artist that wants me as a
producer has to read cover to back and if they don't feel that it is
right, they can find another producer. I want to work with artists
that want to see the whole picture, understand that there is more than
meets the eye when it comes to the music industry and lastly artists
that want to succeed with patience and work ethic instead of trying to
short cut or find some quick fix.
Where can people purchase this book?
The book will be available online Friday, April 16th, 2010 at www.artistsguide.net. In the following weeks it will also be available both online and on
the shelves of Borders, Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon and smaller
book stores around the country.
For more information on Loren Weisman, please visit www.lorenweisman.com
Steve Beck founded OnlineRock in 1999 as a place for musicians to post music and share information. In 2001 Beck launched OnlineRock Records which has released music from Gregory Paul, Autumdivers and Ike Willis (former Zappa front man). He has traveled to Sierra Leone, Montenegro and Zambia on behalf of the US State Department to talk to musicians about the industry. As time permits, Beck records and performs with Julie Cornett under the band name Needle. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org