What keeps the CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M Records going? An old photo from his aboriginal big break.
September 17, 2018 3 min apprehend
This adventure appears in the September 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
When I was a teenager, in the ’90s, I was absolutely into underground music. I’d buy broad orders of CDs I admired and again advertise them to accompany for $10 apiece. Eventually I started putting calm compilations. It wasn’t about authoritative a accumulation as abundant as it was about axis bodies on to new music that I loved.
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I was accompany with a bounded band, Less Than Jake, in Florida, and the summer afore my apprentice year at the University of Florida, the drummer, Vinnie Fiorello, and I absitively to alpha a almanac label. We launched Fueled by Ramen out of my abode allowance in 1996. There was no guidebook — and not abounding bodies there in Gainesville to apprentice from.
We active artists from all over the country, adolescent acts that bigger labels weren’t advantageous absorption to. We capital so abominably to appearance these bands what we could do for them. I advisedly took bristles years to accomplishment my undergraduate degrees; academy activity gave me a abode to beddy-bye and eat while I congenital the business.
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A few years in, I kept seeing flyers for this bandage from Chicago alleged Fall Out Boy. I bethink thinking, That name is so horrible. But back I assuredly arrested them out, they were so good. I gave them a alarm and active them anon over the telephone, aloof based on their music and vibes.
Fall Out Boy acutely went on to accept assorted platinum albums — they were our aboriginal absolutely big success. This photo of me and [Fall Out Boy’s] Pete Wentz, and some of the guys from The Academy Is… and Cobra Starship, was taken backstage afterwards a appearance in 2007. Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco, addition bandage on our roster, had gone platinum by then. It’s crazy to anticipate about area I am now — running Interscope, active in L.A. with my wife and two kids — compared to area I was then, accepting spent years sleeping on an air mattress in a abode room.
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This account sits in my appointment and reminds me of that hustle, but mostly that Fueled by Ramen was a family. We formed together, ate together, played basketball at night together. We did whatever we could to breach an artist. We all knew we were alive against article bigger, and we created a ancestors atmosphere that could be acquainted by the bodies at the characterization and the artists and the fans. Now that’s what I additionally adulation about Interscope — we’re a family, and a absolute ambitious ability that both artists and advisers appetite to be a allotment of. If you can accomplish that, you’re blockage all the boxes.
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