What is the name of your new venture and who is involved with you?
We are proud to say the All Hour Entertainment Group is our new management/production company that is involved with developing and managing new artists. We are planning on cultivating as much as we can from our area and doing our best to get the talent out of here and on the map. Justin Rubinstein (member of Borialis) is my partner and we are currently seeking new acts. We have a national staff that also is working A&R which includes Dan Lavery (member of Tonic) and Joey Sykes (Meredith Brooks, Coward). Everyone involved has been a touring musician and has made records for major and indie labels so the level of understanding that we bring to the table will be unsurpassed. Already on the artist roster is Readymade Breakup, What About Frank, The Finals, and Lanky. This past week we also just added Low Flying Jets.
When did the company start? Where is it based?
Well it's been developing throughout the past year with the shows and developing the bands. I started taking meetings last year about it and coming up with a business plan. We are officially launching this week, announcing our artist roster and website which is WWW.ALLHOUR.NET. Our home office is based right in Long Branch but we have offices in NYC where we work with Levin/Nelson and we also have a West Coast hub where Dan Lavery, JJ Farris and Barry Dorsey all do their part. We're currently in the process of setting up in Nashville as well.
What is the relationship between your company and Levin/Nelson Entertainment?
Well we are a separate company but we are affiliated with Levin/Nelson and work hand in hand with them and their staff giving us a deep reach into many corners of the music industry. Brian and Louis have managed both my band Highway Nine, and Justin's band Borialis, so we've been working with them already for quite some time as artists. That's where we built most of our relationships over the past ten years and we are going to utilize all of that for this new venture.
Do you intend to keep performing yourself or do you see this as a natural progression in your career?
This is definitely a natural progression. I'm taking everything I?ve learned over the past twenty years and helping new and emerging artists to get out there and make a go of it in this age of "the new frontier" for the music industry. Performing has always been secondary to me compared to writing and producing. That's what I love to do most. I feel most alive when writing a song or being in the studio but I probably have the most fun with my friends when I'm on a stage. I plan on doing as much as I can and not concentrating on just one thing. If there's anything I'm sure of at this point, it's the fulfillment I get from many different parts of the music business as an artist, promoter, manager, producer and songwriter. I don't think I will ever wear one hat because they all fuel one another.
What do you look for as far as bands you might consider?
We look for great songs and great singers. That's the two most important elements. If there is a great band with an ok singer it's just an ok band. We are into all kinds of music. If you look at our roster at the moment, each band is completely different. We plan on working with a lot of solo artists as well from different genres. There's nothing we wouldn't consider as long as it's good and we think we can develop it and get it out there. It just has to be good.
What does your company do for the bands and why should an artist/band want to work with you?
Because of our understanding from being artists ourselves and our experience in the record industry. Justin and I, as well as our staff have been through all the sharp turns and detours anyone could go through. We can bring a lot of wisdom to younger artists. All musicians want to be given support. That's what we're here to do for our artists.
How should potential artists/bands get in touch with you?
Go to www.allhour.net and click on the "about us" or "contact" tab. There is information on how to get submissions to us and we welcome everything. We just can't promise to send anything back, obviously.
Does being a musician yourself give you a better understanding of how to work with artists on furthering their careers?
Absolutely, everyone will be able to learn from our mistakes and we will be able to take the chances we may have never been able to take in our own bands. We understand how to develop material, produce records, write songs and put together a strong showcase set. We'll be able to facilitate every conceivable question about this industry and advise and guide careers as far as they can go. We're also able to see bullshit a mile away cause we've been there ourselves. We don't plan on working with difficult artists no matter how talented they might be. There are thousands of willing, ready, and able unsigned acts recording in their basements. Those are the kids we're looking for that are ready to work hard and make the most out of their music.
What are your goals for the company?
All Hour promises to be one stop shopping for everyone. One of the main goals is obviously to bring back a sense of community in the Jersey Shore area by working together and helping to cultivate new talent. The shows we are working on right now are all steadily building their foundations including "Artist Is a Verb" and "Writers In The Raw" which just won an Asbury Music Award for best thing to happen in 2003/4. The All Hour Recording Company is in the works as we speak. We eventually plan on putting records out ourselves and having major distribution to do so, establishing foundations for all the acts that we're working with. As a songwriter and producer that will be our greatest offering besides artist development and management. The great thing about our staff is that we'll be able to handle all aspects of the music industry all under one roof, all around the country, all hours of the day and eventually all around the globe.
Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.