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<title>If I had a record label, would you be signed to it? </title>
<p>
If I had a record label, would you be signed to it?
</p><p>
I never liked the idea of having a record label, because you're too deeply invested into something you don't <a href="http://sivers.org/circles">control</a>.
</p><p>
So if I were to have a label, my decision on who to sign wouldn't be decided just by the quality of the music. There are plenty of people with great music but destructive work-habits or an unsustainable approach to their career.
</p><p>
<strong>To confidently invest in an artist (as a label), I'd want to see:</strong>
<ul>
<li>every song has been absolutely improved repeatedly - every note/syllable crafted to be the best it can be</li>
<li>vocal performance is not just perfect but head-turning, striking</li>
<li>arrangement is everything it can be to bring out song/vocal</li>
<li>arrangement offers a new idea to the world, and not just the usual paint-by-numbers</li>
<li>photos/image are striking and amazing, and capture the essense of the music</li>
<li>live show is so entertaining that even a deaf person would enjoy it</li>
<li>band has been around, recording and gigging, for at least 2 years</li>
<li>artist has done this for a few years and still believes that this is their real calling in life, regardless of external rewards (or total lack of)</li>
<li>band members don't need unreasonable amounts of money to perform (can perform profitably)</li>
<li>band can entertain a crowd without props or big sound system (in-store appearances)</li>
<li>off-stage persona is sustainable (stamina, dealing with fans well, etc)</li>
<li>no addicts - to anything</li>
<li>an unflappably healthy attitude to the immense amount of work it really takes to be successful at anything</li>
</ul>
</p><p>
<strong>And so you see why I'll never have a label. Who could possibly fit this list?</strong> Garth Brooks? Dave Grohl?
</p><p>
I haven't talked to any labels about this yet, but I wonder what their perspective would be. I'm friends with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jac_Holzman">Jac Holzman</a> who discovered the Doors and obviously didn't regret it, despite Jim Morrison being the opposite of everything on my list. I should ask him. (Jac, not Jim.)
</p><p>
<strong>Anything you'd add to the list?</strong> (I'm assuming there are many things you'd subtract.)
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/jim.jpg" width="500" height="335" alt="Jim Morrison mug shot" />