Easy Killer Records Interview
1. Introduce yourselves with your position and responsibilities for the company.
Mike Judy: Hey there, I’m Mike Judy. I deal with however much I can squeeze into a day (artist relations, PR & marketing, distribution & manufacturing, etc.)
Kevin Gales: I’m Kevin. I deal more with the distribution and retail end of our company. We both are involved in our apparel plans.
2. Each of you has extensive experience in the music industry. How has that helped you with Easy Killer and how have you incorporated that into the label?
Mike: Since we’ve both specialized in different fields, we’ve been able to bounce ideas off of each other from opposite ends of the spectrum. When the two of us reach a decision, we know it’s gotta be the right one after all of the time we spend deliberating.
Kevin: We’re both deeply involved in very drastically different parts of the industry, and have been for quite a while. I feel like we’re constantly educating each other, and our decision making process involves a lot of that.
3. How did you find the artists that are on the label and what particularly attracted you to the idea of focusing on having a label with different genres represented?
Mike: Glad you picked up on how important it is for us to have a stylistic diversity. If an artist is active and has fantastic, genuine songs, then we’re all ears.
Kevin: That was a rock solid concept from the beginning; to have sort of a major label feel. Please don’t misunderstand; I know we have tons to learn and we’re barely off the ground. But the whole feel of a broad label, with a broad appeal, and a broad selection of genres, that just feels like it allows us to have a company that might look a little like our own personal record collection.
4. What is the goal of Easy Killer as a record label?
Mike: The easiest thing to say here is we just want to put out great records. That may seem like a copout answer, but it’s the truth. We want everything we release to have at least a certain level of awesome to it.
Kevin: We want to put out really good music by really good artists. We also want our artists to feel like they’re getting a good deal working with us.
5. How/why did you decide to join a clothing company with the label?
Mike: We wanted to develop something more. Something all-encompassing. A lifestyle brand. Very, very excited to launch our clothing line for all of you guys soon.
Kevin: We sure liked the idea of multiple revenue streams to take the pressure off the contacts we have with the bands. It gives us a little more freedom to offer an artist a friendly deal. We also liked the idea of building a brand with a high ceiling. Having the brand be about culture and lifestyle as well as music lends itself to that.
6. What do you look for in an artist when considering them for Easy Killer?
Mike: Be active. Write great songs. Be able to play along with a goddamned metronome.
Kevin: Good music; good people. If we know them personally, and like them, that sure doesn’t hurt.
7. What has been the most difficult aspect of setting up the company?
Mike: Aside from all of the boring financial jibjab, I think it’s really establishing yourself as a respected brand from the get-go. we’ve went hard in trying to accomplish that.
Kevin: Theres’ SO much to do. That fact that we’ve gotten some attention right out of the gate, has only added to it. It’s incredibly exciting, but 100 hour weeks, one after another, get pretty intense. You sure better love it….and we do!
8. How has social media impacted your reach and contact with music fans?
Kevin: This is alway so hard to answer. Social media is our lifeline. Mike is exceptional at using it and all it’s nuances, and our publicist, Big Picture Media, has been stellar in working with Mike and I and showing new ways for us to be more effective. But it’s our lifeline to our buyers and our bands fans, no question.
9. What obstacles and changes do you see in the music industry, specifically with the increased focus on digital music sales?
Mike: Streaming services simply don’t give artists enough in royalties per play. That’s not necessarily a problem for us as a label, but we really want to go to bat for our guys in any way we can. Hopefully things can improve there quickly.
Kevin: We embrace the digital nature and direction of music. It’s maybe a little, I dunno, sad to see the loss of being identified by the music you own. The vinyl/cassette era REALLY did that. I think the biggest issue is getting our artists paid, if the Spotify model is going to survive. The only people getting screwed through Spotify are the artists.
10. What do you have planned in the future for Easy Killer Records?
Mike: Tons of releases, both with music and apparel. We’ve got 11 records coming out this year. Ultra stoked.
Kevin: Lots of releases, full launch of the clothing line, maybe a few surprises.
Mike: Thanks for having us!