This week I chat with Beth Martinez about her company Danger Village and what its like to work in the music industry. Beth founded Danger Village PR in 2007 to promote emerging artists that she had faith in. After fourteen years of sustained success, she continues to thrive in publicizing artists and music that speaks to her, with the goal of cultivating the careers of exceptional artists that call Danger Village their home Beth's relationships in the music business run deep and cross the boundaries of publicity, production, distribution, marketing and management. She has assembled career-stimulating campaigns leading to the rise of Bishop Briggs, MØ, Cautious Clay, Welshy Arms, Mating Ritual, Goldroom, Black Honey, Cloud Nothings, Hunny, Lewis Del Mar, MIya Folick, Yuno, Sure Sure, Magic Man, The Preatures, Aquilo, Holychild, Fidlar, Little May, High Highs, Nicky Da B, Say Lou Lou and many more. Find out more at https://www.dangervillage.com
Brian O Connor 0:00
Hey Beth, you're very welcome to the show today. Thank you for having me. No problem. Glad to have you. So as I mentioned in the intro, you're the CEO and founder of danger village. What is danger village for those that don't know?
Beth Martinez 0:14
So danger village is an artist development company with a focus on PR and publicity. So what we do is we take artists from usually from the ground up as they're just getting started. And we develop them through a press campaign and through other means to help build their profile. And, you know, to varying degrees of success, you know, some artists end up blowing up big, some artists just get a little bigger. It all just kind of depends on timing and the music and what's going on in their careers at the point at that point.
Brian O Connor 0:52
But yeah, yeah, it is a it must be very exciting. When you find someone in the early stages of the career and get to watch them go through all the stages and really blow
Beth Martinez 1:04
100% it's my favorite favorite thing I am. I'm just the kind of person who loves music discovery. So once the artist gets big, I kind of lose interest, like even my favorite artists. I don't follow their careers. 100% I like you know, Wilco is probably my favorite band. And I don't think I've listened to their last three records. You know?
Brian O Connor 1:28
Yeah, yeah, gotcha. It's kinda like when they get to a certain stage, you're like, right, My work here is done. Yes, yeah. Yeah. How did you actually come up with the name Danger, danger village? It's a very interesting one.
Beth Martinez 1:42
Yeah. There I live in Chicago at the time that I started my company in 2007. And there was a bar I loved called Happy village. And I actually wanted to name my company, happy village. And a friend of mine, shot that down. She's like, you can't name you know, you can't name your company after a bar. And now like I probably put out because I don't doubt that bar even exists anymore. And you guys are riffing on on, on words with the village in it and danger village. I think she's the one who said it. And I just had that ring to it that I immediately was like, that's it, you know?
Brian O Connor 2:24
Yeah. Yeah. It's a You're right. It's one of them ones when you hear it stands out, and it sticks in your memory? Mm hmm. Was it always on the cards for you to work in the music industry?
Beth Martinez 2:34
Yes, I had a very specific moment. When I was 19 years old. at my university, there was a concert promotion committee, and it was Tiffany's come back to her. And I didn't merge. And the tour manager just was like, Oh, you should come to merge on tour with us. And I just I had that moment where I was like, This is what I want to do with my life. I didn't go in on tour, but I, I just it was just like, from that moment forward, that was what I was going to do. And I have never, there's never really been another option.
Brian O Connor 3:07
Yeah, yeah, I got you, you felt like you were made to do it.
Beth Martinez 3:13
And I took a lot of different paths to get to where I am now, back then I intern at you know, record labels. And I worked at a record label before I started my company, and I interned at radio stations and worked at booking agencies in college and just kind of got a feel for all the different parts and and almost by process of elimination, you know, I knew I didn't want to be a booking agent, I knew I didn't want to work in radio. Label. The reason I left the label is just there's just too many. Too many bands. They're giving me too much. And working at a small indie label you you wear a lot of hats, and I really wanted to focus in on what I was doing. But I started my company.
Brian O Connor 3:56
Yeah, it was hard to get it set up, then when from leaving their label and saying, right, I want my own business. I want my own company. Was it hard to take that leap and get it started?
Beth Martinez 4:07
Yeah, I mean, it took like 10 years. You know, the beginning was like, actually setting up a company isn't super hard to set up, you know, get the name and I had zero overhead. I just had my laptop. I didn't have employees, I didn't rent any space. And I had clients immediately because of my connections already. And I was working part time at a coffee shop for about six months until that coffee shop closed down. But running a small business in general is pretty much always hard. Like it's been 14 years and it's still you know, there's just there's always cash flow. You know, sometimes a lot of money comes in and then sometimes no money comes in and you just kind of got to be prepared for that.
Brian O Connor 4:53
Yeah, you have to adapt and work with what you have
Beth Martinez 4:58
and then work With bands is always hit or miss as well, you know, it's there's a lot of things, I actually most things are out of my control about what I can do to help an artist, you know, I can get the music into the hands of people, but I can't make them like it. And you know, and then I have worked with many bands that if they had come a year or two later, they would have blown up, but they were just ahead of their time. You know, I worked with this big this girl called cat college, she's Australian, she's amazing. One of my favorite records I've ever worked. And I remember publications telling me it was just too well produced. This was probably 2012. So it was right before like the Charlie sex era, right before like the tovolo era where like, you know, well produced Female Pop vocals with like an electro dark electro edge it was right before that era. So if cat coffee cup with a year or two later, it would have been perfect, but she was just ahead of her time. Back then people didn't like well produced music. They thought it was well produced music was major label sounding. But now everything is like way, in my opinion, way over.
Brian O Connor 6:15
Yeah, it's a bit too polished sounding. What was the point in your career, a pivotal turning point in your career, when you really taught I'm starting to make this is this is starting to take off.
Beth Martinez 6:30
There's been different ones, I think a really, really big turning point for me was working with Mo Mo. And she really took off right away. And it was just me and her manager. When I started working with her. She had 900 Facebook fans. I put out her her first single on my SoundCloud. And you know, it was really able to take her pretty far in her career. And that opened a lot of doors. And that was probably the first time that danger village was really recognized as kind of a force to be able to do that, because she kind of came out of nowhere for everyone and then just just blew up. But there's been moments. I did that with Holy Child. I did that with cautious clay. I did that with bishopbriggs. And you know, there's just each one each time that happens. It's more validation that you know, I'm on the right path, because doing it once, you know, could be anyone could do that. But like that anyone could do that. But that could just be a one off, but doing it repeatedly over and over again in a 10 year time span. You know, that shows that there's something to the company.
Brian O Connor 7:43
Yeah, that's, uh, you need to take it seriously. Yeah, yeah. So what is the process for finding new wax and taking them from where they are then to a major success.
Beth Martinez 7:57
So back when I worked with the, the my employer at the time actually found her on a blog of yours truly, her song made and was on that blog, and we reached out to her. But these days, I don't actually ever reach out to any bands. I just I have enough people sending me music. So the first step is, you know, we just listened to everything that people send us and they want to hire us. And then we choose from those, which ones I like and that Sarah who works here that we both like and and that we think we'll be able to get pressed for we'll have we'll have some discussion about, you know, does this sound too much like another artist? Or is to like, you know, there's, he we're very aware of the oversaturation of certain genres. You know, as soon as something gets popular, then everyone wants to sound like that. So, right now we're probably going to reject any, like indie r&b that comes in.
Brian O Connor 8:55
Beth Martinez 8:56
really. oversaturated market and then for a while now, we've even been rejecting that kind of girl electropop you know, with a dark tint look things like Briggs really, like we've been rejecting that kind of music because that just that space is just so oversaturated if you're making music like that, now it's kind of too late. Unless you're like Adele or something and just deniable talent. But you know, most people aren't so we're always kind of looking for something cutting edge that was going to push how music sounds forward and you know, I can hear a lot of in current pop music, I can hear a lot of influences in artists that I pushed before that kind of music was popular for example, you know, with lean on with mo and Major Lazer like that was a pretty and DJ Snake. That was a pretty innovative sound at the time. And now everything sounds like a DJ snakes.
Brian O Connor 9:58
Yeah, that's very true. That's very True it must be very frustrating though when you you know when everyone else is starting to sound like another artist.
Beth Martinez 10:09
Yeah, it's it's frustrating because when you have when you have vision, and you try to tell other people about it and they just don't share the vision and they just can't see it that it gets it gets hard You know, I've gone to bat for my artists there was one artist years ago I worked with his name was Nikki to be and he did New Orleans bounce. And I just was like, This is the music of the future. This is what we're going to be doing it and people weren't getting it and weren't seeing it and I kind of hurt some relationships. I went really really hard because I believed in it so much. And, and I wasn't wrong. He did that song Express express yourself with Diplo that Diplo, took part of bounce the twerking and put it on all the Major Lazer shows. And then twerking became like a really big thing. And which is just one move from bounce from bounce music. But the sound of bounce is really ubiquitous now. And it wasn't 10 years ago when I was working with Nicki. So yeah, it gets a little frustrating to also be like, man, I knew this. I knew this was a thing. And you know, it's no one ever you could ever, like prove that.
Brian O Connor 11:21
Yeah, yeah. It's one of them things is, is there a genre that you prefer to focus on? Or do you like to spread yourself across all music genres?
Beth Martinez 11:31
We really do all music genres, I have personal things that like, probably bluegrass and Americana is my personal favorite kind of music. Listen to, but really, we do all sorts of different genres. It's just, um, I think good songwriting is good songwriting. No matter what the production behind it is, if you have a good song, it's it shouldn't be able to do well. That's always going to connect with people.
Brian O Connor 12:01
Yeah, yeah. If there was a, any younger listeners, looking to get into behind the scenes in the music industry, what advice would you give to them?
Beth Martinez 12:11
Um, I, you know, like I would, so the advice I have for people looking to get into the music industry is just try out different aspects of it. You know, I did a bunch of different interns to see internships to see what I liked. I thought that was a good way to go. Also, you know, actually just talked to someone in London last week, and she wants to get into management, I told her go work in a management company go internet management coming because really, just getting your foot in the door at one company is gonna really open a lot of other doors for you, when you're on the outside it can seem very daunting, but just taking the first step to get on the inside is is super, super helpful. And and your connection should snowball from there. But really also listen to as much music as you can, and different genres and study labels. You know, like know who subpop puts out now and has put out in the past and like know, who merged records has put out in the past and, you know, read of a bunch of biographies or, you know, nonfiction books about music, scenes, watch documentaries about music and just just know a lot about it, because it's going to help you. The more you know about music in general, it's going to help you with whatever job you have. Yeah. Like, like, I mean, recently, I would watch I watched the Billy Eilish documentary and I watch the Taylor Swift documentary and it just really gives you a behind the scenes look at what's going on. Back in the day, there was a movie called The hype. That was awesome. And it was about the the Seattle crunch Seattle grunge scene that was really cool to see like how that blew up a movie called dig which is about the dandy Warhols and the the Brian Jonestown Massacre and and their rivalry and their different paths one getting signed to win a large Indian one day and signed to a major and and that I thought I always thought that was a really cool snapshot of the music industry at that time in the
Brian O Connor 14:23
Yeah, there's some great recommendations. It's interesting though to the it seems like in Ireland anywhere, it's a seems like a very far away thing if you want to try get into the music industry is like you'd have to go to London or America where things are really happening. Ireland doesn't seem to have a great great music industry, ourselves. Any bands we have or any singers we have usually have to take the leap over to London or even America. You know?
Beth Martinez 14:55
Yeah, I don't think I work with any. I don't even know if I work with Irish people but I Definitely don't work with anyone in Ireland like I don't talk to anyone in Dublin.
Brian O Connor 15:03
Yeah, yeah, it's um, I'd even I wouldn't even know where any of the any labels or underground labels or anything to do with music would be based in Dublin. I wouldn't know how to find them or anything. But obviously, if you were in London, you'd know exactly where to go, you know?
Beth Martinez 15:21
Yeah, it's funny because some of the biggest bands in the world are from Ireland. like YouTube is Irish, right? Yeah. And like, yeah, okay, yeah, you choose. That's where the biggest fans like of all time. Yeah,
Brian O Connor 15:35
yeah, exactly. And back in the 70s and 80s. There was 10 dizzy just before you too and a lot of very famous acts are some of the best stacks that have ever been around have a lot of strong connections to Ireland.
Beth Martinez 15:49
Well, I'm just reading that Dolores O'Riordan was at one point, like the richest woman in the world.
Brian O Connor 15:56
Yeah, yeah, she was. She was. And she's from from Limerick. The whole band or from Limerick post? Yeah, they were huge over here and early 90s and they were massive and obviously all over the world.
Beth Martinez 16:11
Yeah, all over to and to this day. I hear dreams. I hear a lot of them all the time but dreams I hear a lot lately.
Brian O Connor 16:17
Yeah, yeah. So it's usually eat or zombie dreams are linger, or the tree most played. But they're all great songs. The if you ever heard of a bad wolves? I don't. I'm not sure. They're kind of a hard rock metal a bandaid on a cover of zombie. And it's, it's one of the few times I've heard a cover of a song. And I've taught that's just as good as the original. I have to check that one out. He said yeah, yeah. writing that down. Yeah, they're a band I would have liked to see. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I never had the chance myself.
Beth Martinez 17:00
You know, I'm sure. Because I was in high school in the 90s. I was in high school when they were big, like I had their CD and loved it. It was one of my favorite CDs. And I'm sure they would have played there used to be these Christmas festivals in Chicago, where I lived was called a twisted Christmas. And it was the alternative radio stations, you know, two or three day festival lineup but at the United Center, which is where the where the bowls play and or at Rosemont like they would have them in these big stadiums. And I feel like the cranberries played one year, but not the year I went. I definitely saw like Nine Inch Nails and a bunch of other bands like during that era.
Brian O Connor 17:44
Yeah, yeah. That's another band that actually love to see Nine Inch Nails that I'd said are on reel and concert.
Beth Martinez 17:52
Yeah, are actually our new client is their drummer. Oh, really? Yeah. So maybe I'll get to go actually, his name's Alan Rubin and he has a solo project. That's very, very good, very rock. And I don't know how long he's been playing with them maybe like three or four years, but he got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the band. So I think he's like the youngest person to ever be inducted.
I'm not even sure if he's 30
Brian O Connor 18:22
Oh, he's a phenomenal drummer. He's been playing since he was very small. Yeah, yeah. I'll have to keep an eye out for him though. He's your new plane just said yeah, yeah, we're gonna start putting out music in May I think oh, so is obviously going to be doing vocals and everything himself as he is not just going to be drumming
Beth Martinez 18:44
up correct. Yeah, yeah, he plays for this project. He plays he sings and plays guitar.
Brian O Connor 18:48
Oh, cool. Cool. That would be definitely want to watch that the be right up my alley. No. Yeah. But I'm wasa. What do you actually think of the music industry or the music of music as a whole nowadays, where it's so easy for people to you know, record a song in their bedroom and release it from their bedroom? Instead of you know, years ago, you have to be discovered in a bar and stuff like that, you know?
Beth Martinez 19:13
Yeah, you know, I wouldn't when recording became accessible to more people. I remember we're very excited about that. Remember, like when real estate came out, I was super super excited about them there with his bedroom pop band, and I believe they made the music on their own before they put on the label. The same with like Passion Pit, he just recorded like dorm room was very exciting, as well. Anyone could just record and put out music. But now it's kind of like oh, no, anyone could record it. And
Brian O Connor 19:48
yeah, that's not always a good thing.
Beth Martinez 19:51
Definitely not always a good thing. So yeah, it's, it's I hear a lot of music that should never have been made. Like, just because you can doesn't mean you should. I'm very, like, I get very Simon Cowell, when we're going through our submissions where I'm like, it's not this is not your thing. This is not for you. You know, I, sometimes we come across clients, and no one's ever told them that they were good potential clients, but, you know, we're like the first no they've ever heard it's a little awkward.
Brian O Connor 20:27
I can imagine,
Beth Martinez 20:29
you know, music in junk music industry. Here, the music industry is a perpetually frustrating place in terms of how the business works. And a few years ago, there was all these articles, all the music, businesses failing and etc. And now the labels are making more money than they've ever made. And it's not getting passed on to the artists. Yeah, it's so it's, it's, you know, and Spotify is not, because 60,000 songs a day are uploaded to Spotify, they're really not on top of payouts. And they're really on top of payouts to the labels, because that's, you know, the labels are investors in Spotify. So it's like a, it's it's, it's a frustrating industry to be in. You know, part of the reason I started my company was to be an artist friendly company, and really work very hard for these clients. And I don't necessarily, you don't necessarily see that with how labels are definitely no great people who are got labels. But in general, it seems like, since the streaming era has really blown up, there's been a lot of, you know, a frenzy to sign as many artists as they can, in case a song blows up without doing any work to make that happen. And that's a frustrating place for artists to be in because they get excited about like I'm signing to a major label. That's so cool. It's my dream come true. And then they sit there and nothing happens. Because the labels just really wait for the song to take off on its own.
Brian O Connor 22:04
Yeah, that must be pretty soul destroying for artists. Yeah. I could imagine getting so excited thinking you're going to be the next best thing. And then just nothing.
Beth Martinez 22:14
Exactly. It is very, I have a lot of artists who come to me with that story, who they've been let out of the record deal and want to self release. And it just happens over and over again.
Brian O Connor 22:25
Yeah, yeah, I could imagine it's very lazy under under record labels parrot as well.
Beth Martinez 22:29
Right? You know, it's lazy, but I also, I actually understand it because if a song is gonna blow up, a song is gonna blow up, and there's certain things you can do. But sometimes you really can't force something that's not hitting. But there are always ways you could work it to at least get something going. And you know, it, I see both sides of it. You know, it's just there's not really an a&r aspect to signing bands anymore, like a&r still do their traditional job of setting up songwriting sessions and being in the studio and recording if there's an artist that they want to develop. But the in terms of who they sign, there's not really a gut instinct, or a
any sort of
belief in the artist, what the labels do now is they they get reports from, you know, who's charting on Tic Tac Toe who's doing really well on Spotify, and they get those reports daily, or weekly, I'm not sure. But then the a&r has reached out to the artists and want to sign up and they start and they they're very good at their jobs. And they say, you know, we love you, we believe in you, we think we're gonna make things happen, blah, blah, blah, but it's there, they don't have any belief. It's just seeing an artist is getting enough plays for them to be interested in making money off of the artist. So that is like, it's a really, you know, I think from the outside people always think it's so cool that I work in the music industry. And I think if people knew what was going on, I think most people would be pretty disgusted by that situation. Yeah. It's it's not. It's gross. Just talking about that.
Brian O Connor 24:26
Yeah, yeah. I gotcha. I gotcha. It's a it's an interesting insight. Because I would have thought, like, Oh, you have the coolest job in the world dealing with artists going to loads of gigs. You'd never really think of the flip side of it, you know, when you're on the outside.
Beth Martinez 24:42
Right. Exactly. Exactly. You it does look cool to go to shows as your job, but then it also unfortunately kind of ruins going to shows because it's your job. So like, it's not something I do for fun. I know other people who still go to shows for fun, but for me It's not relaxing, because I'm always have my PR brain on even if it's just the band. Like maybe if I go see like Billy Joel or something huge. That's an classic band, I can enjoy it, but anything smaller, it's just, I have to think like, why is this band popular? Or there's people to show I need to talk to you or just, you know, it's working.
Brian O Connor 25:25
Yeah, your, your PR side automatically kicks in.
Beth Martinez 25:28
Exactly. But on the other hand, like I do get to know about music ahead of time, I get to be the person who chooses what music is going to be popular. I love working with bands. And I think music is. I mean, part of the reason I care so much about what I was just talking about is you I care about music so much and the power of music and the importance of music. And I see that power and importance not being treated as such by how the music industry is. And I find that very, you know, disheartening, to say the least. And I feel like music I think if someone makes a piece of art that is that is good and has meaning that that is a it's almost like a sacred thing to put in someone to, to take care of the art you made? Yeah. I don't see that trust being taken care of and how the music industry is. Today, you asked one question about what I think about music.
Brian O Connor 26:28
Oh, no, I'm perfectly happy to let you just go on and on. It's I find it hugely interesting.
Beth Martinez 26:37
Yeah. But you know, but the flip side, again, is like most releases don't make money, most releases fail. So I can do kind of understand the I understand the idea of signing as many bands as you can and seeing what, which one ends up having a hit song. Because 99.9% of releases aren't successful, no matter what you do. So you know, it does make sense from that. from that aspect.
Brian O Connor 27:10
Yeah, it's, it seems to be hugely saturated out there. Because even with the podcast, I don't know how this happened or where it came from. But I actually get loads of on sign bands send me emails asking to appear on the show. And like, the majority of now are great. And I'm obviously I'm just a music fan. I'd have no, no insights into how the music industry works. Really, boss. There's a few of them that you're kind of thinking, this isn't for you. But then there's some that you're thinking, how have you not been discovered yet? You know, but that's one thing I love about what the podcast is becoming? It's a it's almost a way for me to come across, you know, bands or to people haven't heard of and give them a chance for people to hear them that might never have got here. Um, you know? Yeah, and there's not that many music podcasts. No, actually, I was surprised about that. When I started mining I thought it'd be you know, it'd be Derby every second podcast would be a music podcast.
Beth Martinez 28:16
Yeah, I don't really there's a couple but I think I don't really know more than two or three. Yeah,
Brian O Connor 28:21
yeah, I'd say I could probably count the other ones on. On one hand.
Beth Martinez 28:26
There's definitely podcasts that have musical guests on but not to play they have, like I was listening to smartlace. And they had Brad Paisley on. But he didn't say anything. They just were talking to him. Yeah. You know, that's a different situation.
Brian O Connor 28:42
Yeah, yeah, exactly. There's not many, I suppose you could liken it to a radio show interview where the guest comes on, and you get to hear their music as well. Exactly. So there was a question I thought after a couple of minutes ago. Has there been any artist or any missed opportunities that you'd regret in your career?
Beth Martinez 29:05
Yes, I last year, we were talking to Jensen McCray, and we ended up not being able to work with her and I'm, um, I love her so much. And, personally, her music is so great. And I and I think we would have done a really, really good job working with her. So that's a big regret for me. I mean, I can't really regret it because it was again, out of my control. They hired someone else. We did everything we could and honestly, I think it probably just came down to the other company was not as much money as we are. But that's something like yeah, we're that we don't compromise too much. And what we charged is, you know, you can't look do value your work.
Brian O Connor 29:50
Yeah, yeah, that's true. That's true.
Beth Martinez 29:52
But yeah, so Jensen, I'm sad I missed out on you know, there's definitely things I missed the boat on.
There's only things I passed on, that I didn't like I remember, I think in 2012, with a spreadsheet of artists like that we were scouting and my employee at the time put on the 1975. And my note from it is, I think this is going to be really big, but I hate it. And I stand by that. I mean, like, I don't still I like their second to last record. But, you know, I, up until that point, I really still hated them. Like, I couldn't have worked that bad. I really, really hated it. But But I also knew they were going to be big that you could just tell just how they sounded like, Oh, this is a sound that's gonna do really well. Yes. Was it 80s rip off to me. Yeah, we ended up going to a more interesting place with that. Their record that came out in like, 2018 2019. I like that one. Yeah. Anyway, yeah, there's things like that. There's definitely things I passed on that I knew were going to be big. But like I would have I would have passed on Billy Eilish. I was not a fan of hers. Right. I just thought she was just another one of those girls that had that electropop sound. And then when her l came out, I just fell in love with her. I'm just and you know, her albums, I think undeniably great. Like, it's just so innovative and interesting. And unlike anything I've ever heard before. Yeah, not how she started out.
Brian O Connor 31:33
Yeah, yeah, she's, um, I think she's one of the Emeritus status. They come around every so often, and she changes everything. Um, for like, five or 10 years afterwards, everything will be, you know, a reproduction of some sort of heart. Yeah, I've definitely gotten submissions that sounded literally exactly like her. Yeah, that must be. That must be tough, though. Can you? Would you be able to go to these people and be like, right, you sound great. You can make something but I need you to change your sound.
Beth Martinez 32:03
Yeah, we usually, um, I don't ever ask artists to re record or I just always ask for more music. And so if there's one song that sounds like a billy Eilish song, we'll talk to the artist. Like we think we should promote these songs other than the Billy Eilish one. Yeah. Because you just really can't be a copycat. You know, people are gonna say right away. This just sounds like a ripoff of Billy Eilish.
Brian O Connor 32:29
Yeah, yeah, like a tribute act of some sort.
Beth Martinez 32:36
And Billy has, you know, you can't help it when someone has like, similar vocal tones, but Billy sings in such a specific way that like, you kind of do have to be trying because it's not like Billy's singing on her record, like her full singing voice she's singing in specific choices. So like, you know if you're going to sing in like a sing song you baby boys like that.
Brian O Connor 32:58
Yeah. It's definitely one of them voices that is too noticeable. If you if you sound like you know, you can't just say oh, I just happened to sound Laker.
Beth Martinez 33:11
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, there's definitely like, people who sound alike, but not like real. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like, about like, Amy Winehouse, like, you know, I've heard stuff that sounded like her and really like that again. Like, it's such a distinctive sound. She's such a distinctive voice that like you're gonna, you would have to be trying I think to sound like her.
Brian O Connor 33:36
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. She's definitely another one. Do you remember when she broke in America? How was how did you feel about her when you heard about her first?
Beth Martinez 33:45
I saw her at South by the first time I ever heard about her. I was at South by Southwest and at the fader four, and my friend was going to see her and I was like, Who is this beehive eyeliner. British like what is having tattoos and suits so skinny? And like we were, you know, 510 feet from the stage. And then she's just, she's just incredible. Her voice is just incredible. I can't believe I saw Amy Winehouse. Now that I think about that, because she ended up being Yeah, exactly. And she that was at the cusp was right when she was breaking was that show. I remember he had The Smashing Pumpkins was there. That was the first time I saw James he had because he had a record label that was kind of watching.
Brian O Connor 34:34
Jeez, it Sam I love to be able to say that I've seen her you know, especially since what happened to her and everything. You know, it's it's it's one of them stories. That's really sad. I'd love to see where she would have went you know? Yeah, for sure. That is a really sad story. But of course there's a there's plenty of musicians like her that have that similar story. You know Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix right. Obviously, this is called the concerts that made us so I'll have to ask you a couple of concert related questions, because I'm sure you have some pretty great ones. What was the first very first concert you've ever been to?
Beth Martinez 35:14
The first concert I've ever been to was The Smashing Pumpkins. And they were playing at the Rosemont horizon, which is a different name now in Chicago, but it was kind of a legendary, big venue. And I was a freshman in high school, my first year of high school, and I got invited to go. Because this girl, Sherry as mom wouldn't let her go. So I got to take Sharon's place. And I still talk to sharing in every single day. So I got to remind her that I got to take her place to go see this mesh and it was amazing. You know, it was such a big show. just such a production wise, you know, it was the melancholy tour. Oh, man, and melancholy. probably been out for a few months and Chicago's their hometown. Yeah, and the lights and the scene and I just was overwhelmed. It was just I was just so obsessed. And it was also Previous to that had been obsessed with the Smashing Pumpkins. And after that was obsessed with the Smashing Pumpkins and the most I don't really get starstruck ever, but the one time I got insanely starstruck was I was interviewing at that alternative radio station for an internship in Chicago, and I was sitting there waiting to go in and Billy Corgan walked in, and I just been looking at him. They had a, they had a, you know, a gold record of melancholy. That was like, you know, thank you. And I was just looking at melancholy and I was a great record. I listened to it a while at that point, and then in walks Billy Corgan. So recognize that?
Brian O Connor 36:53
Beth Martinez 36:55
I just really, I was 19 I was really, really lost it like just really like, was like, actually starstruck. Like just so like, couldn't move. I just couldn't. I could not have said anything. If he had said anything to me. And he kind of like looked at me like nodded and sat down. I just kind of stared down. But I don't think I've ever had that feeling since I can't remember ever feeling like I've seen Beyonce a few times and like, smiled at her and like did not like there's definitely a presence with Beyonce. But I did not feel like paralyzed. Yeah.
Brian O Connor 37:31
I'd probably have been very similar. Now if Billy Corgan had walked in, as opposed to Beyonce, obviously she's great and everything but I don't think I'd get that stare stroke. I'd probably be like, oh my god. Yeah, there's beyond say both. If Billy Corgan walked in, I'd probably, you know, Wayne's World when to get down underground, or like, we're not worried. Yes. That'd be probably something like that.
Beth Martinez 37:55
Exactly. Exactly. I will say I did see him a couple years ago at a club here in Los Angeles. And he was sitting at a table and I didn't have the same reaction.
20 years later,
Brian O Connor 38:07
so yeah. The what was the last concert you were at?
Beth Martinez 38:15
so long? I'm trying to remember. Definitely. One of the last concert is not if not last concert was a girl named skullcrusher. Who's assigned now I believe she signed a secretly Canadian if it's not secretly Canadian, it's like dead oceans, but it's one of those. And yes, she skullcrusher is from here in LA and she's just this tiny little girl. I mean, probably 20 years old. And she just is so cool. And makes such light kind of like cool. singer songwriter music maybe like I would say like she would probably say share a stage with like Phoebe bridgers like in that vein, but maybe a little more like rock. But not as rock is her name suggests it's just her. But that I was I think I saw her two or three times like her first few shows because my friend is her lawyer. And he brought me and I just was really really into sculpting.
Brian O Connor 39:21
When you set the man first Actually, I was expecting some sort of Swedish metal band or something.
Beth Martinez 39:27
Right? Exactly. I think that's why like she's it's such a funny name for her because it sounds like a death metal band. And it's not.
Brian O Connor 39:34
Yeah, yeah. So she sounds like one I'll definitely have to have to look up afterwards. She sounds like something might be into. Hmm. But that has the pandemic affected your business much or what way has effective?
Beth Martinez 39:49
Definitely we have. We don't have as many clients as we normally would. 2020 was supposed to be a big year for releases for us and most releases got pulled Way back, you know, to 2021. And now now that we're in 2021 releases are still getting pushback, because people want to tour around them. That's probably the biggest just like releases just getting pushed back to another time. And then also normally, danger village has at least one breakout at artists a year, one to two. And we didn't I don't think we really had any breakout artists last year. But again, that's just like with everything that was going on. It was music was not really on the forefront of people's minds and 2020. You know, Phoebe bridgers had a big year. And that, as far as I can really tell, I mean, I think that's about it. Like as far as like breakout artists and Phoebe's been around a while. I mean, she was on her second album and I had been a fan, you know, is it just seemed like she kind of started rising to the forefront and more so than she was and when Megan the stallion had a big year, but you know, maybe the stallion was hot girl summer was the previous year. So, you know, it's just there weren't really new acts breaking through last year. Yeah,
Brian O Connor 41:09
yeah. So I suppose though, for everything that went along with it, it could be could be forgiven for having a, you know, not having one that broke true. We're having a kind of a worse year than others.
Beth Martinez 41:22
Yeah, I had to tell myself that I was like, Oh, it's not just it's not me. It's that no one's breaking through this year. I mean, it was stressed. I mean, there was just weeks where we couldn't even really do any promotion. You know, during the Black Lives Matter stuff. Like it was just, it was completely inappropriate to be sending anyone emails about some banned, you know, like we just with everything going on here and around the world, it was, you know, people weren't writing about music. And then really, really what changed to is how much harder it is to get press now for just like straight white artists. That's really changed. And that's great, because we actually, press wise we ended up doing really well as should, because we've always kind of worked with a lot of queer people and a lot of people of color, and a lot of women, so our roster kind of was already set up. And I always gravitate towards artists who have something to say not to bring up the cranberries again, but I just was reading about them. I forget why I was reading about them recently, but kind of did a little bit of a deep dive into them. And and Delors really had a lot to say. Like they were really a band with a message. And and that's kind of you know, they were one of my favorite bands growing up. And I think I always really gravitate towards music with a message. And I don't know what happened to that. Because when I was, I felt I feel like growing up on music in the 90s like, cranberries like she had so much. She wanted to get out there, but so many things. And then the Beastie Boys were always like, you they had the Tibetan freedom concert, they were so outspoken about things in the world and rage against machine. It's so much to say. And now I'm like, what, what is like, outside of rap, or urban music or hip hop? You know? Like, now our artists have something to say or mostly, you know, like, like, yeah, like hip hop artists. But hip hop's always been about that, too. So I don't know why. I don't know when when music got so corporate that like no one's allowed to say anything like Taylor watching the Taylor Swift documentary. There's a moment where, you know, you see like, she wants to speak up about something that's going on with an election and her dad's like, no, no one wants to hear what artists have to say. And like Taylor Swift has a massive audience that she should be saying stuff.
Brian O Connor 43:48
Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's um, you're right, though. You know, as you mentioned, in the in the 90s it seemed like bands musicians, they really wanted to make a difference and wanted to make a change and you could feel true even their lyrics under performances that they cared so much about what what mattered to them. And you really don't see it anymore. Like most music and radio now just sounds like mindless pop, you know.
Beth Martinez 44:16
And the mindless pub was always an element to music, but it just I really, I agree with what you're saying like I when I was in college, we had jello Biafra play our you know, our concert promotion committee and he always had so much you know, that says they was talking about you know, current issues and like ways we need to change and be better. And I feel like you that is one thing again with Billy Billy is really outspoken about a lot of stuff like she she performed for the Democratic National Convention. She got really involved in voting. She's really involved with veganism state trying to save the planet and her video all the all the good girls go to hell is just about I mean, a song is It's also it's about climate change. So she's someone who is really, but she's so young and the kids like her age, teenagers now are so concerned about it because they don't they're looking forward and don't see a future. So like, you know, it is it's kind of Yeah, it's disappointing. How corporate and whitewashed and pop music is these days?
Brian O Connor 45:25
Yeah, yes, it really is. But hopefully, I always feel like in music, it's like a circle, you know, things that are popular now want to the popular in a few years time and you know, like this things repeat themselves. It's like a big circle, the 70s come back again, the 80s. You know, so hopefully in a couple of years time to be more music that has a message and more artists will seem like they're, you know, they're passionate about what they're what they're saying.
Beth Martinez 45:57
Right? Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And I hopefully, journalism covers it. Because it's like, you know, Beyonce has things to say about like, you know, police brutality. But I don't think that stuff gets covered as much as like, you know, tabloid esque stories about pop artists.
Brian O Connor 46:15
So yeah, there's other elements too. Yeah, yeah. Is there? Um, is there any glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel for for music over there this year? Or is it all next year that you're looking at?
Beth Martinez 46:30
Oh, we're gonna start, I mean, LA is going to start opening venues in April to limited capacity. We, surprisingly, America has been really good with the vaccine, getting people vaccinated. We're ahead of like, where Joe Biden want it to be at this point that we've had more than 100 million doses given out. Most people I got my first dose of the vaccine a couple weeks ago, and since I got it, I found out like, so many other people have gotten it, but everyone's kind of like being quiet about it. Because like, there's a lot of like vaccine shaming going on, like, if people are jumping the line or whatever. We're like, all gonna have it by May, like, by end of May. If anyone wants to get vaccinated, they can be vaccinated, and hopefully most people do. But, um, we should be able to have shows again, and, you know, I think especially there's gonna be outdoor concerts. It's just I think it's real hard for anyone to plan anything because of you remember, last year, like, people are like, okay, we're pushing this back a month. Kela got pushed back, like, and then got pushed back and then got pushed back like, yeah,
it's it's hard for anyone to plan anything because, you know, we don't know what's going to happen that the new strains of Coronavirus could, could come and, you know, everything gets shut down again.
Brian O Connor 47:53
Yeah, exactly, exactly. It could easily happen. Hopefully it doesn't, there's, um, there's absolutely nothing happened over here. What music? Yes, anyway, I'd say it would be 2022 before we even hear news of the concert or anything like that, unfortunately. But um, so I have to ask you, before I let you go, if you were to quarantine one artist that you've worked with, or haven't worked with, who would be
Beth Martinez 48:24
let me do someone I'd have worked with because I actually know them. Um, I'll say mo I love her. She was she's such a cool. I haven't worked with her in a few years now. But she was just a really lovely person to hang out with, like, we I was on tour with her in several different cities, you know, in Paris and whatnot, and then visit her in Copenhagen and like, it's just so she's just a really bright shining soul, and easygoing and fine, like her team was very, very fun. I think the Danes, Danish people are they like to laugh your jokes, so I loved them. So I would quarantine with her.
Brian O Connor 49:12
Cool, cool. And if you could, if you could see any, any performer that's living or dead are dice you've worked with in concert again, who would it be?
Beth Martinez 49:22
Um, can I do? One living in one dead? Kind of a related I really wish I'd gotten to see Elliott Smith before he died, and there's so many Elliott Smith. I'm on the east side of LA and he lived here and and then the living performer I can't wait to see as I've never seen Phoebe bridgers perform and I'm so obsessed with her. And she's also she's a lot of her songs are Elliott Smith inspired. So they kind of go go together but I just she is I can't explain how obsessed I am with her. Like, I haven't been this obsessed with an artist since I was like obsessed with Weezer when I was 1920 years. Like, I just I think she's I mean, I think she's incredible. I really do think it's like the Bob Dylan of our generation.
Brian O Connor 50:17
So that's a big call.
Beth Martinez 50:19
I really think though, I've thought that for years, but more and more I'm like, Wow, she just is her lyrics are. You know, I think there's better maybe better songwriters. I really think she's a great songwriter. Like I think Taylor Swift's a better songwriter than then Phoebe. But I think Phoebe's lyrics are just pure poetry. I mean, she's up there for me with Jeff Tweedy. But actually, I think she might be better than
me to say,
I think Jeff, please just pure poetry but I think Phoebe is just her use of words is so good and so evocative. Um, you can she she says something in that just gives you an image.
Brian O Connor 51:00
It's so cool. Yeah. Yeah. I love when wonders in there just like death or notice comes along like that. It's It's a special moment. For sure, for sure. Yeah. And one final question that I usually ask guests, they usually say it's the hardest question of the last, what would appear on the soundtrack to your life? One song? One song, I think zebra by beach house. I think that's actually the quickest anyone who has answered that question.
Beth Martinez 51:39
I know I don't know why I know that. I used to when I moved to LA, I used to drive up and down the coast and listen to beach to beach house over and over again. And that that's off of a dream, I think. But it's so it's not my favorite album, but my favorite album by them is blue. But zebra is my third song whenever it's just, I just love that song. And I think that's the site when I think of a movie of my life. That's the song that comes to mind. Oh,
Brian O Connor 52:08
good. I see why you're so quick tensor down.
Beth Martinez 52:10
Yeah, ready? I didn't know you're gonna ask that. But I I just yeah, I really I guess I guess I had that. Uh,
Brian O Connor 52:17
that's obviously something you've thought of before. So um, is there any artists that our listeners should look out for in the near future from your company?
Beth Martinez 52:27
Yes. So we are working on artists. So males project came out on March 25. And he is an artist that's going to blow up we already are seeing just such support for him across the board with just one song we put out from him and it's marrow me h r o. And he's like a he's very young is so talented. He's so he's such a beautiful vocalist, and again with his lyrics have such imagery in them and he is a sweet guy like a real genuine, nice guy. But Bob Boylan at NPR called him said he reminded him of Jeff Jeff Buckley. So yeah, I don't I get why he said that. I don't think it sounds like Jeff Buckley but I think in that terms of like a handsome young singers on
Brian O Connor 53:20
rice. I gotcha. I gotcha. Oh, well, we'll have to keep an eye out for him. So. So thanks a million for coming on. I've really really enjoyed it. It was a I was looking forward to this episode. Thank you for having me.