Full Circle Music Show
– Hi, I’m Seth Mosley from Full Circle Music, and man am I excited, this is episode 100 of our Full Circle Music Show podcast, and not only that, the day that we’re making a massive announcement. And what is that announcement? It’s that we are re-branding. Yes, we’re changing the format, the title, everything of our podcast to make it even more packed with value, for free, for you guys. And the new title, drum roll please, is the Made It in Music Podcast, by Full Circle Music. It’s resources for music makers just like you who wanna go full-time in music, and stay in. So I just wanted to do something a little special on this episode to go along with the announcement of the Made It in Music Podcast, episode 100, and what we’re doing this week is we’re bringing you a best of episode. We picked our very favorite moments from the Full Circle Music Show and broke down just some really key points, things that we think you would get a lot out of, things that we personally got a lot out of. I’m Seth Mosley, thank you so much for listening. Here with Stacey Willbur, VP of publishing and A&R here at Full Circle Music. Man, I loved that you picked the Ginny Owens episode, ’cause it was one of my favorite not only podcast episodes, but what a lot of people who’re maybe gonna go back and listen to this clip don’t realize is that it was recorded at one of our Full Circle Academy songwriter retreats. And man, if I haven’t told you already, the people that you have relationships with that you’ve been able to bring in to pour into our students is just absolutely incredible. So Ginny was one of those, she was at our last one, and I feel like I probably got more feedback on her than a lot of speakers that come in. That’s where this podcast was recorded at. So what stood out to you about that, what made you pick that as your favorite moment?
– Well, it was my favorite moment because, obviously ’cause we were there, we were actually in the moment, it was an experience. It was Ginny talking about very simple things, three key elements of songwriting. But what I loved about it is that she weaved her own story into all three of those elements. I loved hearing her story wrapped up into all of that.
– Yeah, she talked about it being, something that I had not heard, and I think you said the same thing, that she compares songwriting to being a journey with a friend.
– A journey with a friend, that was like an a-ha moment, I think, for so many, because I don’t think everybody looks at it that way. It’s a job, it’s this, but as a friend, and the closer you get to a friend, you get to know each other, you get to know their hearts, you get to know their stories, and the same thing with songwriting. The more you spend time… Writing every day, getting to know your craft, understanding the different elements of songwriting, the better you become and the better you know yourself as a songwriter.
– Yeah, and she talks about how it is a sought after treasure, too, I thought that was such a cool way to put it. What did she mean by that?
– Well, it was interesting ’cause she said it was a sought after treasure pursued by an enemy. Which, the enemy, as she describes, are distractions. The distractions in your life that keep you from doing the thing that you love doing. So what are those things and how do you keep those distractions from keeping you from doing what God’s plan and purpose is for your life, which is songwriting.
– Yeah, and I think, man, she just… There’s podcast episodes that we’ve done that I feel like I just kinda wish I had like a notepad the whole time, ’cause she just kinda drops quote after quote after quote, and one thing that you shared with me, that I totally agree with is that good is the enemy of great, and perfection is the enemy of creativity. That was, I thought that was brilliant when she said that.
– Yeah, and I think, especially in this industry, we hear a lot of, oh, that’s a good song, that’s a good song, that’s a good song. And we tend to leave it there, and we don’t encourage each other to strive for the great. I think striving for the great is harder. ‘Cause it takes going back and rewriting, it takes time and effort. The good is, yeah, this is good, you know. But the great, I think, is you dig it in a little deeper. And she really shares that in the podcast, she shares the struggles that she went through as an artist. And just in her life personally to get to that point.
– Yeah, so good. Well I’m really glad you picked it ’cause it’s one of my favorite moments too.
– Here’s a clip from Ginny Owens on the Full Circle Music Show live from the Full Circle Academy songwriter’s retreat.
– [Ginny] I want to offer, just based on my experience as a songwriter over the past billion years, I wanna offer three key elements of a life of endless songwriting bliss. So three key elements to maintaining a songwriting life. So the first one is, songwriting is a journey with a friend. Show up every day so that you can go a little further together. Songwriting is an art form. The more you know the rules and master the skill, the freer you will be to let your heart guide the process. And, songwriting is a sought after treasure guarded by an enemy. In order to capture it, you must fight every day of your life. Listening, like, two different types of listening that I call active and passive listening. So, I really love pop music, so active listening for me is like, when I work out in the mornings, just rolling the Apple, new Apple, like whatever, pop playlist, or what they’re playing at Apple List or Spotify, you know, playlist, and learning. What are they doing in the songs that you’re hearing that you like? How are they creating hooks? What do the rhythm things sound like that they’re doing. Things like, Chainsmokers came along and they sort of created this chorus, where you don’t have to soar up in the top, you just do this, like, ♪ Baby hold me closer in the backseat — ♪ I probably shouldn’t be singing that at the Christian — But you know, it’s just this tiny little space of a chorus. So there are trends that you start to see as you listen to music. If you’re a songwriter-ish type person, more of a James Taylor type person, then you can listen to current people that do that, like James Bay or John Mayer. Hear what they’re doing, sort of study their technique. But the other thing is passive listening. And what I guess I mean by that is falling in love with music. One of the things I’ve recently discovered about myself is that I’m too busy thinking about… Analyzing songs, and I actually need to go fall in love with music again, ’cause it’s just too easy to be critical. And so what I’ve learned is, probably the easiest way to do this, which is not something that streaming really lends itself towards, but to go get people’s albums. And just listen to the full album and continue to immerse myself in it, and be patient. ‘Cause I’m sure, maybe some of you guys are like this too, I’m so impatient. I’ll listen to half a song and then I flip to the next song. That does not create and inspire love for music. I think those things are key for deepening our skillsets, growing our skillsets, educating ourselves. And then there’s another aspect, just as we talk about kind of this skill of songwriting. It’s really simple, but I think it’s really important, especially for new writers, and I kind of call it the accessibility scale. So on one end you have the more cerebral, the more personal kind of songs. Those are the songs you write for your grandma, or your brother, or a wedding. And then on the other end are the more super-commercial songs. So like, Bon Iver is super cerebral. Taylor, super commercial. Andrew Peterson is pretty cerebral. Tomlin, Jordan Feliz, super commercial. And so the more cerebral a song is, the more it’s kinda written to please the writer. So most of those things fall kind of more in the middle, they’re not generally purely one or the other. But the more cerebral, form matters less, it’s kinda in the writer’s head, and obviously the more commercial a song is, the more singable it is, the more melodic, the more many people can kinda follow what you’re doing. You gotta know the difference. If you wanna write commercial, study it, learn the techniques, listen to the Full Circle podcast every week, because there’s an art to expressing yourself that way. But if you’re gonna write about family, if you’re gonna write something super personal, don’t let that out for critique, ’cause you don’t want to hurt yourself in that way. You know what I mean? Protect the things that are really personal to you. And the more you kind of know the skill and the art of songwriting, the more you’re gonna know how to do that. Skill, taking the journey, ultimately helps with our biggest challenge as songwriters, which is fighting for your songwriting. And if you don’t believe me, I bet you do. Everybody probably believes that it’s a fight. Songwriting is a treasure that’s guarded by an enemy. And so in order to capture it, you must fight every day of your life. Not to be all dark and wage war-ish, but, we gotta wage some war. The hardest part of songwriting is what? Songwriting. You know, you always got something else to do. Or there’s always a voice in your head that says not to do it. And I promise, lest you think it only happens to new writers I have this happen every day. I’ve just finally learned, oh, this is part of it. This is what I’m gonna fight every day. And especially when you’ve been doing it a long time, you can kinda even get more in your head, ’cause you’re like, what if I don’t know how to do anything current? So if you give up, then the enemy will win. So what exactly is the enemy? I do like how Kevin Pressfield, who wrote the Legend of Bagger Vance, but he has a book called The War of Art which I would highly recommend you all read. There’s some swearing, but read it anyway. But he calls the enemy resistance. And he says any act that entails commitment of the heart is a reason for resistance. In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long term growth, health, or integrity, or any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower, will elicit resistance. Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled, but it can be felt. And the more important – get this. The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it. Ouch. And resistance takes all different forms. Sometimes it’s you, right? It’s the lack of discipline. That’s what it is for me, a lot. I just wanna do all the other fun things. And I wanna think about songwriting, really I do. But, maybe I’ll get to it. That’s why scheduling is so key. And there are voices in your head, and that’s why scheduling and showing up every day is so key. It diminishes the voices, I promise you. Sometimes it’s ’cause you got a eat, and so you gotta work. So that’s also why finding that time every week and putting it on a calendar can be so awesome to do. Another key in fighting resistance is knowing the people who are in your space. Knowing the people who are awesome and can hold you accountable, like probably some folks you’ve met here, and learning the people who are not safe for you to play music for. Another way to protect what you’re writing, and who the safe people are not, when you’re fighting resistance. Now, for those of us who are believers, who are people of faith, we know there is a deeper resistance from an enemy that is full-on against you. And especially when it comes to pursuing a gift that God has given you to inspire others.
– X O’Connor. I love it, we’re here in the studio on this exciting day, episode 100.
– Recapping some of our favorite moments from the Full Circle Music show, and… Tyler Bryant.
– Tyler Byant, man.
– Good choice.
– Man, my favorite, dude, we sat down with him, I remember it was kind of last minute, I got a call early in the morning like, hey, I think we’re gonna do some Tyler Byrant interview today. So I remember driving down, and I was super pumped, I’d loosely known him from being in bands around Nashville and I was like, I love this dude’s music, I’m excited to talk to this guy. And to sit down with him, he’s a young kid, you know, and he’s just got his head on in a way that very few other artist, songwriters, any musical person does, he just realizes that hard work comes above all else, everything in life. And this guy, his band is successful, but not necessarily at radio. No real radio number ones, no nothing like that, but he plays hundred thousand seat venues. It’s like, that blows my mind. And to just hear him speak about hard work. No one’s gonna work harder for you than you’re gonna work for yourself, so take every opportunity that you’ve got and just make something out of it.
– Yeah, I love it, and I think he even shared in the episode something about, they do a lot in Europe.
– And I think a fan, they were playing somewhere in Spain and a fan had like, tooken a night train like across…
– Across the continent, literally.
– The entire continent to get there, and they were so pumped about it. And you can just tell that when an artist is engaged, and the fans can tell that you really care, as the artist, they’re gonna care.
– Yeah, absolutely, and… that was something that he also spoke about a lot in this interview is relationship building. Not just with the people around you, but with the fans. The fans can feel that level of commitment that you have to them. But then on the business side, too. They’ve been around labels and all that stuff a lot, and I just love the mentality of, be honest with the people you’re with. Even if it’s a hard conversation to have with somebody, the honesty is gonna preserve that relationship in the future. I think he talked about them leaving their label to kind of go out on their own, and the conversation he had with the label after the fact, like, hey, you guys are still always on the list at a Shakedown show, come out any time, you guys worked hard for us, just, it’s time for us to go do something else. And I love that mentality.
– Yeah, and we went and saw them in Nashville at… Was it 12th?
– 3rd and Lindsley.
– 3rd and Lindsley, which is a really cool venue. And it was one of the best live shows I think I’ve ever seen.
– Yeah, they go for it. It’s so tight, but it’s just raw rock and roll. It was a fun night, I hadn’t been to a show like that in a while.
– No click tracks.
– No click, it’s just guys on stage just going for it, rock and rolling. I loved it, man, it was so much fun to just sit there and just, be like, yep, these guys own it. This is great.
– Inspiring, for sure.
– Well here’s a clip from the Full Circle Music show episode with Tyler Bryant of Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown.
– [Tyler] We’ve talked about it a little bit, but I come from a blues background, I learned to play from an old bluesman in Texas. Even as a kid, I was offered a record deal, and it was like, we’re gonna set you up with other kids and we’re gonna start a band, and I was like, no, man, I just wanna play the blues. I wanna make, like, I remember Lyric Street records gave me a little $10,000 check to go make some recordings. I think they were legitimately upset when I handed them back like three Freddie King covers that I had made. You know, it’s like, what did you expect, man? And I still kinda have that mentality where, I don’t know if you guys ever have dove into this on your show, I’m sure you have, ’cause it’s something that I feel like a lot of artists struggle with. It’s mixing art, something that really moves you, and commerce. Let’s eat and let’s survive, and so all we try to do in our band is have a little bit of both, you know?
– [X] Yeah, yeah. So touring has been your bread and butter. Let’s just talk about that, how do you get invited out on a AC/DC or Guns ‘n Roses Tour without radio, without big number one chart topping songs?
– [Tyler] It’s hard to say, honestly. I think one, you gotta believe in what you’re doing, you have to be convicted every time you put on a guitar. Whether it’s in a writing room, whether it’s in a coffee shop. That’s what, you know, I have kids ask me at our shows who have bands, like, how do you get on these tours, how do you get these shows going? And it’s like, you literally play every show you get offered. Whenever I was starting out, I had a fake email account. And I was the band’s manager, my name was like Sarah, or something like this, and I represented, this was before the Shakedown, I represented Tyler Bryant.
– [X] What’s the Spinal Tap manager?
– [Tyler] Yeah, and it would, there was another time where it’s like, I literally called the box office of the House of Blues. This is when I was younger, I called them every single day until they finally told one of the booking agents, this guy won’t stop calling, he wants to play. And he called me and was like, dude, you can’t call the box office and book a show. And I was like, but, can you book me?
– [X] Yeah
– [Tyler] And he’s like send me some recordings. So I sent him some recordings and some videos and he put my band on for Dickie Betts. And then I called the Dallas morning news, and I was like, my band’s playing, opening up for Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers, I think you should come film it and do a story. And they did, and it’s that kind of hustle that I think is, what I’ve learned that we have to do because it’s, any time we’ve waited on someone else to do something for us we fall short, and so it’s, I think those, it’s funny because we were at CAA, the booking agency for a long time, and they did great things for us, and after about a year and a half of not touring as much as we’d like, we thought, let’s make a change, let’s move agencies. But we had such a good relationship with our agent that he’d become family, it’s a guy named John Huie. And so we left. We were on the road supporting Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and I get a call from Huie going, he’s just like, I love you guys and I wanted to know if it would be okay if I pitched you for the AC/DC world tour. And, of course we said yes, but this is someone who’s not our agent. So that’s where… Maintaining relationships, and always shooting people straight, and even if it’s a tough conversation going, like, I think we have to move somewhere else, because we’re not getting the love here. They kill it with country acts out of Nashville, and I’m sure that the rock department does great, too. We just weren’t getting the love that we needed. Because maybe what we were doing didn’t move them there, but I think even when a relationship has to stop, it doesn’t – professionally, it doesn’t have to stop emotionally and I think that’s, you know. We’re all from the South and believe in Southern hospitality and shooting people straight even when it’s a tough conversation, and I think that’s helped benefit our band.
– [X] Well I love that, because there’s so many bands that we come across that are just constantly complaining about their teams. They’re like, my label’s not doing this, my manager’s not doing this, we don’t have our publisher getting songs on sync, our publicist is not scheduling – it’s just excuses and complaining about people not doing stuff for them. And what I’m hearing you say is like, screw that, do it yourself.
– [Tyler] Oh yeah, absolutely. We just made our own record, and I called a few of the people from Universal Republic after we got out of our deal, and it was sort of an, I think both parties were like, this isn’t really working for us. We weren’t giving them what they need to do what they do best, and they were like, you guys just aren’t setting yourself up to win. But I talked to a few people from the label who were like, wait, you guys aren’t with us anymore? It’s like hey, listen, you’re always on the guest list at a Shakedown show, you guys come out, thanks for putting in the work, man. Because it’s hard to find people to work for you, and it’s hard to find people who will work as hard as you will, so you have to do it yourself. Or at least, even like when it comes to making music videos or setting up photo shoots, or finding the direction. I feel like that has to come from the artist, because I feel like a lot of artists fall short when they’re waiting on someone else to show them the direction.
– Here at Full Circle Music studios with Jericho Scroggins.
– Hey, hey.
– Thanks for being on the show today, buddy.
– Thank you for having me.
– I love the clip that you picked, it was a Michael W. Smith interview, it was honestly one of my favorite ones to do. Why don’t you talk just a little bit about what stood out to you from that, and why people should go back and listen to it?
– Yeah. The initial part of it is how he was talking about the start of his career, and even how that’s when he got married with Debbie, that was like in ’81. So when the Amy Grant thing and all that kind of stuff, it was a very busy time for his career. And so they saw a bunch of marriages around that time falling apart. And so he does think it’s hard for people to tour 200, 250 shows a year and keep a healthy marriage. So it was super cool to hear how he… One thing I didn’t know about Michael and his career was, he was never away from his family more than two weeks. And it was just, like, mind-blowing to me thinking about that, just knowing his career and that kind of stuff. And so just how he goes through and talks about the priorities of that. You do have a career, but you also have family, and making sure they know where priorities lie and stuff like that, and his family always came above his career.
– Yeah, and we get to interview a lot of super achievers on the show, so it’s always cool to see that, you know what, they’ve not only got their stuff together on a career level, ’cause obviously Michael W. Smith’s the top of the top, but he was really good about keeping accountability in place, as well.
– Right. Yeah, that was definitely another part of it that I really liked, because, it’s not only, like, when you go out and do your thing and that kind of stuff, still keeping a good group of, a team around you, that makes sure you’re still doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Whether it’s heart-wise, faith-wise, even mind-wise, you know what I mean? Like making sure it’s, even having them help him keep accountable to making sure he makes it home every two weeks. Or being a servant on the road, and things like that.
– Yeah, and another really cool thing that I think you mentioned was this idea about talking to the younger you. What did you mean by that?
– Yeah, there’s this cool part where, it’s the giving the advice to the younger you part. And it really stood out to me when he said, if I could tell the younger me, I would say it’s not about you. And what he means by that is like, just earlier on realizing… Yeah, you’re given these gifts and stuff like that, but realistically the gifts help other people, it’s being a servant, making sure you’re using the gifts for the right reason. Everybody wants to be successful, but it’s like, how you wanna be successful dictates a different way in the way you look at it, and that kind of stuff, and that’s his thing. Earlier on he looked at it a little bit differently, like, how many CDs does he sell, how good was the merch and that kind of stuff, and he realized pretty early on after that, he’s like, it’s not about that. It’s not about you. Is he reaching the lives, is he reaching other people, and I think that goes across anything we do. The stuff we work on, even we don’t go out there and tour with it, but it’s still putting in the 100%, because at the end of the day, it’s not about me.
– That’s right.
– It’s about that.
– Yeah, that’s good. Well here is a clip from our Full Circle Music Show episode with Michael W. Smith.
– [Seth] Thinking back over all the years being an artist I think one of the things that I struggle with and a lot of young artists, or writers, or producers struggle with is the whole balance of being a creative versus being a good family man. How have you found balance over the years to kinda keep all of that together, what’s the secret for that?
– [Michael] Well, we made the rule, Deb and I, when this thing started really taking off, in the Amy thing, and then did the Friends tour, Big Picture tour, we started having children.
– [Seth] So you were married early.
– [Michael] I got married in ’81 to Deb, so it’ll be 35 years this year.
– [Seth] Congratulations.
– Thank you.
– That’s amazing.
– [Michael] She’s awesome. But we knew, I think we probably really knew, probably when I did the Lead Me On tour, which was… Probably the most successful, other than the Change Your World tour it was probably the most successful tour I’ve ever been a part of, ’cause we sold out arenas, me and Amy, all around the country, and in other countries, as well. And we just started seeing people in our genre and in other genres, when it came to being entertainers and all that sort of thing that marriages were falling apart left and right. And so we, I remember just having a talk with Deb and just going, you know… If we don’t make some rules, there’s probably more chances of us being a casualty than not. And we’re not gonna be a casualty. And so we just made the rule, I’m not gonna ever be gone more than two weeks from my family, ever. Even if I had to cross the pond, and come back, and cross it again. And I was never gone from Deb and the kids for more than two weeks. Had a little aircraft, and I don’t talk about that much, it was worth every penny, I thought, I’ve gotta get home to my family. And a lot of times I’d do a show and I would literally walk off stage, and got in a car, and I was on the jet and I was home at midnight and I’m driving carpool at 7:15. I did that for twelve-and-a-half years. And I think if you talked to my kids, I think, I think if you could have a private one-on-one, I think they would all say, we were more important to my dad than his career was. And now I got all these young bands, I got some of these young kids are all starting to come to me and ask me exactly what you asked me. And I think that’s part of my role in the future is to sort of be a fatherly role and try to help kids. I just don’t think you can do 250 shows on the road and keep a family together. And they say, well, we gotta pay the bills, we gotta make the house payment. My response is, then buy a smaller house.
– [Seth] Wow. Is there anything that you would kinda say to the younger you when you were first getting into it that you’re like, okay, you might wanna do that a little differently. Is there anything that kinda comes to mind like that?
– [Michael] Well, I think heart-wise, I mean, obviously, we all grow up, we all make mistakes. If we really are seeking the Lord, we all get a little wiser as we get older, but I’d probably go back and tell myself at 23, 24 years old, I’d probably just say dude, it’s not about you. That’s probably the first thing I would say. I was so, like, how many records did we sell, and did we sell any t-shirts, and it was just so like… And it’s hard, ’cause you’re excited, and you wanna be successful and I think I just wish I’d have seen the bigger picture a little bit. And that’s probably what I’d say to these young kids going, why are you here? Reconnect with why you’re here, because you’re not here to be a superstar. But there’s nothing wrong with being successful, at all, but it just can’t drive you, it can’t just encompass everything that you do, it just can’t. I always say, what’s your contribution, think about… Even in the hard times, and trying to get the thing off the ground, are you making a contribution, are you changing somebody’s life? So, it’s that kind of stuff I’d probably say, and then, if I had to say something on the musical level, I’d say it all starts with a song.
– X O’Connor sitting here with Mr. Seth Mosley, founder of Full Circle Music. Getting ready to talk a little podcast action. So, your favorite episode out of the, we’re at episode 100 now.
– Crazy, absolutely crazy.
– And your favorite one was with Chris Houser under very interesting circumstances, from what I remember, kinda spontane, spontaneous.
– It was very spontane, I like that slang.
– You know, it’s kinda like pre-Fontaine, that runner guy, but it’s spontane, it kinda flows off the tongue.
– This was a spontane moment, we were in the car, actually on a radio tour, and one thing that I’ve learned by doing a podcast is, we’re really, as sort of journalists, trying to bring interesting stories to our audience about stuff that they’ll actually care about, you kinda just have to be ready at all times. So I’ve got this little pocket recorder and a couple microphones, I stuck it in the bag ’cause I felt like we might have some interesting conversations on this Matt Hammitt radio promo tour. I went out with him at the beginning of the year to promote his first single, ‘Tears’, off his record. And so I just brought it with me, and we were spending a lot of time in the car, so I was like, okay, there’s gonna be something good. So it was under interesting circumstances, but I think, what I’ve loved about our podcast is when our guests kinda just go off the rails a little bit and just feel free to tell stories, and just crazy. And Chris is such a great story teller. So it was one of my favorite episodes. And not only because of the episode itself, but really because of my story and how I met Chris in the first place. And one thing that he did that stuck out to me that I’ll never forget, we touch on that in the podcast, as well.
– I love it. And he’s known for hitting as many radio stations as humanly possible in a very brief time. I believe you said he has a record. Do you remember what the record is?
– He does have a record, he said he hit 13 stations in three days.
– Now, were you a part of that 13 stations in three days?
– I think we did, maybe, we might have done eight in two days.
– Eight in two, that’s still rather impressive.
– It was a decent few. But I love it because, so often in this business we think about the result more than the relationship. And one thing that he drove home that you’ll hear in this clip is that he talks about, really what he does for a living is to get to go talk to his friends about music that he loves. He actually cares about the people. And there are very few people that I know in life, let alone in music, in anything, that have spent three decades serving one group of people. And that’s just dedication.
– Man, you said it right there.
– It’s powerful.
– I’m ready to go back and listen to the episode myself.
– Me too.
– So let’s jump into this episode with Chris Houser.
– [Seth] You talked about you started tapping into your skillset which, I don’t even know if you remember this but when I first moved to Nashville, I talk a lot about this on our podcast that my first record that I got was Newsboys, Take Me to Your Leader, and my first label record I produced was this one called Newsboys Born Again which you were working on.
– [Seth] And I think I met you once, maybe at Wes’ house. Then I saw you, I don’t know, a month later or something and you were like, hey, Seth, it’s good to see you, and the fact that you even just remembered my name —
– Oh, wow.
– was huge.
– [Seth] To me, your competitive advantage is you actually care about people and you’re great with relationships.
– [Chris] Thank you, man. That means a lot, and again, it’s a, this is a small industry we’re in, and I’m in my 30th year of promotion, radio promotion. And I think I’m starting to get it figured out, but every once in a while something comes along and surprises me, but I’ve seen a lot of people come in and go out from this industry, and one of my favorite clients, Brash Music, who had Aaron Shust, and Gunger, their MO was life’s too short to work with jerks. And I also believe very strongly that you reap what you sow, and whatever you sow, you reap way more, and you reap way later. It’s just the way it is. You can go out to a field with a handful of seeds and throw it out into the field, you don’t go out the next day and say oh my gosh, look at all the growth. It takes a long time, but all the growth that comes into a field from one handful of seeds. And so I’ve always tried to be about sowing good seed, doing my best to love people well, and not losing myself in the process, which at times has been a challenge for me. Yeah dude, I don’t remember meeting you, and I wish I did, but it’s been an amazing thing to watch your trajectory as well, and to be doing this. We’re on a promo tour right now.
– [Seth] Yeah, that’s the fun thing right now, we’re out with an artist named Matt Hammitt.
– [Matt] Yeah, what’s up?
– [Seth] We’re actually promoting his new single, Tears. So this is what you do all the time, right?
– [Chris] Yes, so these radio stations, we’re visiting six, seven radio stations in two days, my record is 13 stations in three days.
– [Seth] Wow.
– [Chris] That was up in the Midwest, that involved taking a high-speed ferry across Lake Michigan, from Muskegon, Michigan over to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, dropping off one rental car, picking up another rental car and continuing to go. But these radio stations have a hard job, they’ve got 50 to 75 singles getting work to them every week by 30 to 35 record promoters, both between labels and indies. And so one of the ways that we get noticed is by bringing artists directly to them. And Matt is so beloved for, you know, radio stations are gonna play Lead Me every day until Jesus comes back. It’s just a matter of fact, no one’s gonna get tired of Lead Me by Sanctus Real. And so I never worked a Sanctus Real record, I’ve watched them from afar and been so impressed with them and their ministry, and so, there are other people you could go to. But you came to me to take this record to radio, I’m very honored by it, but in addition, I’m moved by it. I have to love, this is what I tell people. I make a great living talking to my friends all day long about music I love.
– [Seth] That’s a pretty good job.
– [Chris] So I turn down the records I don’t love. I take the records that move me, and the records that I love, by artists that I respect. And, I’m calling my friends, I’m not calling adversaries, I’m not talking to people at radio that I have to buffalo, or steamroll, or belittle, or slam a phone down and swear, and call them jerks behind their backs. I love these people, these are my friends, so I get to just go bring Matt and you, Seth, to my friends for the next two days. And these are people who work hard, like me, back in the day, they do it way better than me but none of them are making major amounts of money. They’re doing this for love and calling, and yet, they’re the venue, they’re the avenue that we will go through to get this song on the air. And it’s already impacting countless, thousands of people around the country in a very, very short amount of time.
– [Seth] Yeah, well even, on the Sirius Highway, or Sirius XM The Message, they debuted the lyric video, we were just looking on the way up here and it’s already at 37,000 views and 893 shares, which is a pretty substantial metric for a brand new label, essentially relaunching an artist.
– [Chris] Yes.
– [Seth] So that’s a huge thing.
– [Chris] Yes.
– [Seth] Are you ever surprised and shocked with like a song that you think is gonna work doesn’t work, or a song that you don’t think is gonna work just blows up?
– [Chris] Yes. I would say, my joke on that is, through years of therapy I’ve been able to mellow out a little bit. But there were times 10 and 15 years ago that I was sure a song was gonna be a smash, and nobody wanted it. It’s like these 115 radio PDs got together in a smoky room somewhere and all decided what they were going to tell us promoters for the next year, and then they’d all go like, break! And they’d clap hands and they’d walk out. And so when I would get this massive pushback on a song, in the early days of this kinda promotion, I would go like, I don’t know what a hit is anymore, I’ve lost it. And then I would go to the next step, I’m like, Am I even a Christian? And then I’d go all the way to like, God, are you even there, if I can’t… And so, again, years of therapy have helped mellow me out, and life experience, just to get into a better spot of going, you know what, sometimes I’m wrong, a lot of times I’m right, and sometimes it’s the radio stations that will say, oh, no, that’s not a hit. I try to slow the no, I try to slow them down, because it’s like, if you make a pronouncement, a negative pronouncement on a song this early, it’s gonna be that much harder for you to admit you’re wrong eight months down the line, six months down the line, let’s just calm down, you tell me no now, that’s fine. I’m just gonna find 20 people that you respect and get them to play the song, and we’ll come back around, we’ll just keep talking about it.
– [Seth] And those people they respect, is that other radio promoters?
– [Chris] No, no, other radio stations.
– [Seth] Radio stations.
– [Chris] Other radio stations. So then they’re watching around to see who else, ’cause it’s all defensive posturing and maneuvering. It’s all, they don’t wanna add a record, a radio station will say, we’ll never be hurt by a record we don’t play. Do you get that?
– [Seth] Wow.
– [Chris] We can never be hurt by a record we don’t play, meaning, we might be hurt if we go too early on a song that our listeners end up not liking. So we’d rather watch the landscape and see what people are playing out here, and it’s like, okay, that’s fine. There are leaders, there are followers. If you need to be a follower on this, no harm, no foul, we’re just gonna keep working this.
– So I’m sitting here with Logan Crockett, VP of marketing for Full Circle Music and, man, what a ride it’s been, we’re on episode 100 on the Full Circle Music Show and we’re talking about our favorites, favorite moments, and why listeners should probably go back and listen to some. And I love that you picked the Tony Wood episode. So what stood out to you about that, and why should people go back and listen?
– Yeah, for sure. So with me, my perspective on the podcast is probably a little bit different from a lot of the rest of the staff. I’ve been around for just over a year, now actually working for Full Circle, but initially, listening to this podcast, I was, completely from the outside looking in, I was just, kinda like a lot of the people probably listening and/or watching this, someone just trying to kind of find their lane, their path in the music industry. And this episode with Tony Wood and this clip that we’re about to play just really stuck out to me as something that I’ve never, ever forgotten. For so long, I mean I’ve been pursuing the music industry for years. And it always felt like, man, if you can just get kinda that one meeting with that publisher or that record later, or whatever company, just meet that right person and get that connection. If you can just do that, that’s kind of hopefully the gateway to greater things, that kind of, getting that meeting, basically. But in this clip, Tony explained that it was so much more about getting meeting number two than about getting meeting number one. Because it really does make sense, getting meeting number two means that, if you had meeting number one, they have to like you enough to invite you back. And the way that Tony explained it in this clip, it was just, it was such a massive mindset shift for me because it just, it reformed my entire strategy for what I was trying to do with the music industry. It became so much more about okay, yes, meeting one obviously has to happen, but actually that’s the easy part. So my goal was how do I get meeting number two? Meeting number one kinda flew out the window, and everything became about how do I score meeting number two, no matter what relationship I’m building, no matter what opportunity I’m pursuing. The goal became meeting number two.
– Yeah, and in music, it’s often about finding someone who is really where you want to be. And kind of emulating them. Wasn’t there something that stood out in the episode about that, in particular?
– Yeah he, Tony had kinda got his start thanks to someone named Tom Long, who was kinda that first person who really believed in him and helped introduce him to other people. And that was another big mindset thing for me, too, was this idea that, there’s a lot in the music industry that you can control, there’s a lot of things that you can do yourself to push yourself forward, but, it’s going to be really, really, really difficult to get where you ultimately want to be if you’re not finding someone else who can kinda elevate you. You need to find a champion, or a guide, someone who can get you further along the steps that you need to go.
– I love it, and there’s also this concept of, do your homework that Tony hits on, what did you mean by that, ’cause you were saying that that stood out to you.
– Yeah. So yeah, again, all this stuff is in the clip that we’re about to play, but Tony, it’s a very kind of quick comment that Tony mentions, but when he was first meeting these other writers around town, and other publishers, he said that he did his homework on who they were and what they were up to. So basically, that really stood out to me ’cause now working for Full Circle, we have a lot of people who come through a lot of our events and things like that, but it feels like a lot of them haven’t done their homework. A lot of them don’t know like even, who is Full Circle and what are the different things that we do, what songs have we been working on, things like that. Normally I’m on a lot of calls with people through our academy and things like that, normally I have to completely explain almost from ground zero, what it is that we do, who we are, things like that. Not the case for everyone, but all that to say is if you are pursuing the music industry, before, and this kinda goes back into meeting one versus meeting two but before you get meeting one, make sure you do your homework, so that way you’re giving your best first impression, and you’re having amazing talking points when you do finally have the opportunity to sit down and have those interactions.
– That’s good. One thing that I love that we get to do with the academy, with our events, with courses and all of this stuff that we’re doing is that we’re helping dreamers, essentially. And there’s kind of this common thread that we’ve heard, and I think you mentioned that Tony hits on this in the podcast. But this concept of, just trying, just giving it a try.
– And why is that important, do you think?
– Towards the end of the clip that we’re about to play, Tony mentioned kind of his ultimate motivation towards, the big jump to moving to Nashville and pursuing all these opportunities. And his whole thing was like, you know, there’s so many great opportunities in life. You don’t have to be in the music industry, not everyone is meant to be in the music industry. The music industry is very competitive, not everyone who wants to be in it is going to be in it. But Tony’s whole point was, that just really resonated with me was this idea of man, like if I don’t just try and kind of give it everything that I have, a no is okay. Like if I meet the right people, and if I’m perfecting my craft and it’s not good enough to be where it needs to be for the industry, then at least I tried, and I can live with that. But his big thing was like, man, if I don’t try and give it all that I have, I won’t be able to live with that. And that just resonated so much with me at the time, ’cause again, this was like, I think early 2016. So again, at the time, my involvement in the music industry was a little limited, I’d recently gotten out of college with my music business degree. I had a really great marketing job, but I wasn’t that involved in the music industry, I was like running sound with my church and some things like that. But I knew that… In my being, I’m like, the music industry is where I ultimately want to be. And I was in a place where I kinda had a good job and all that sort of thing, but it was like, man, can I live with it if I don’t do all that I can to get myself down to Nashville, to pursue these opportunities. And Tony just saying that, it’s like, it was like he was speaking for me in that moment. Like yes, like that is ultimately where I’m at and I decided, there is no way that I will be able to live with it if I don’t try, and give it all that I have, no matter what the outcome is.
– And here you are.
– Fruit of the podcast, that’s awesome. Well here is a clip from Tony Wood interview on the Full Circle Music Show.
– ASCAP was real helpful to me early as a songwriter, there was a conference that they offered like about five or six Monday nights in a row in October, where they brought in writers, producers, publishers, some great instruction. Something in that that was so significant, songwriter Dwight Liles said, the hardest meeting to get in Nashville with a publisher is not the first meeting, the hardest meeting to get is the second meeting. And it just killed me in that moment, ’cause I am such an introvert. And they would use the word networking and I hate the word, ’cause networking feels like, walk across this room and introduce yourself to this stranger, and tell them why they need to get to know you. And it’s like, it’s against everything within me, I’d rather just take a beating than do that. And I was like oh, no, if the hardest meeting to get is the second one, I’d better be ready when I get that, when I finally get the nerve up to go introduce myself, I gotta know that I’m ready. So that sends me into a month or so of panic about what do I do, what do I do. And I came up with this idea, Tom Long was the head of membership at ASCAP at that time, and he had put the conference on. The conference had happened three or four months earlier and I’d been stewing on that. And so here was the first professional initiation for me, I picked up the phone and I called Tom. And I said Tom, in the course that you moderated, somebody said the hardest meeting to get with a publisher is not the first, the hardest is the second. I need to be ready, I need somebody to tell me if I’m ready. And here comes the ask, Tom, will you be that man for me? And Tom says well, nobody’s kinda ever asked me that, but okay, I tell you what, every couple of months, give me a call, bring me some of the lyrics that you’re writing, and I’ll take a look at them and tell you. I can’t tell my story without such gratitude to Tom, Tom Long, for that. So I take the first meeting with Tom Long, walk in, the three current pieces of paper that I’ve typed up, put them on his desk, sit there, quietly feeling my organs separating while he’s reading them all, just the tension, just dying right there. And Tom reads three and says, I’ve got some people you need to meet, get in the car. Drove me around to four publishers. I had done my homework, I knew who the publishers, I knew these people, I knew who their writers were, I knew the songs that they were having success with at that point. The first three dismissed me pretty quickly and go, eh, thanks but no thanks, and the fourth one was Michael Puryear who was with a small company, Lorenz Creative Services that was going at the time. They had just signed Steven Curtis, though before his first record, that was his first home, and they had recently signed Marcus Hummon who wrote God Bless the Broken Road. So it was kind of this small little boutique thing that was going, and Michael is more of a lyric guy, and he said, oh, why don’t you start hanging around here some, and let me see if I can get some of our guys to write with you. And that was… The life changing moment for me, I’m so grateful to Michael for early belief in me.
– [Seth] Sure. So, backing up, ’cause just the move to Nashville is such a huge leap of faith in the moment, I don’t wanna gloss over that, for you and your wife. I’m sure that was just like a monumental thing. How does somebody know when they’re ready to do that.
– [Tony]Nobody knows, there is no knowing, there is nobody that’s gonna say the time is right. It is that line between faith and foolishness. That’s so close in there, you don’t know. But I remembered, there was a point when I was finishing up school and still writing frantically, accumulating lots of sheets of paper. And they were in a box kinda under a bed. Early 20s, and I remember thinking, I can’t imagine hitting 50 and not knowing, and not trying. I could live if I dared to show those to somebody and they said, ah, thanks but no, there’s really not a place for you. But I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t at least try. I remember sometimes feeling almost claustrophobic at that thought like, if I hit 50, and I’ve never at least tried, I almost couldn’t breathe thinking about that. So that was some of the motivation that, you know if they had said, no thanks, go away, I could’ve lived with that, I could’ve gone and gotten, I could’ve worked at a church and been real happy with that, knowing that I tried. But not trying just was killer.
– [X] Hey everyone, this is X O’Connor and you’ve been listening to the Full Circle Music Show, they why of the music biz, hope everyone enjoyed our episode 100, the special episode. It’s impossible to believe that it’s been 100 episodes already. And again, this is our last episode for a little bit, we’re gonna be coming back at you with our brand new, re-imagined, rebranded podcast, the Made It in Music podcast, it’s gonna be starting Monday, March 26th. It’s so exciting, we’re so pumped. So again, remember, March 26th, that’s a Monday, that’s gonna be the official beginning of the Made It in Music podcast. And we have some huge names already lined up for this, you guys are gonna be super excited about what we’ve got to come. It’s gonna be more great content, for free, for you. We’re looking forward to seeing you Monday, March 26th.