So , You Want to Play More Gigs …
By Manus Hopkins
As NWC ’ s Publisher and President Jim Norris says , in 44 years of publishing Canadian Musician , there have always been two main things our readers and community members want . Those two things are getting more gigs ( and better gigs ) and landing record deals . In a recent webinar , which can be found at www . nwcwebinars . com along with other past and future sessions , we delved into the former topic , with help from some esteemed professionals , including Mark Rogers , drummer and manager of LMT Connection , booking agent Brendan McCarney from The Feldman Agency , and MODO-LIVE President and CEO Justin Kwan .
Rogers is the model of versatility , both musically and professionally . With full-time gigs anchoring seasoned funkateers LMT Connection and the award-winning Gospel Soul of Newworldson , he has co-ordinated over 25 international tours in Europe , China , UK , Scandinavia , Australia and New Zealand while booking over 6000 shows in Canada and over 40 US states . At home he finds time to maintain a busy recording schedule and operate Impression Recording Studio in Niagara Falls .
McCarney started his career as a tour manager , traveling throughout North America most of the year . After five long years , he switched course and founded Double Denim Management which he ran for a decade before finding a home at Feldman as a booking agent .
MODO-LIVE , an international concert promotions company in Canada and the USA with offices in Toronto , Vancouver , and Austin , TX , is the fastest growing independent events company in Canada . MODO-LIVE produces over 600 shows per year across North America and Europe . In a career that has spanned 11 years , Kwan has produced tours in Canada , the U . S . and in Europe while holding senior roles in some of Canada ’ s most prominent concert promotions companies .
Here are some key takeaways from the webinar . These responses have been edited for length and clarity .
MARK ROGERS On touring overseas … The first [ LMT Connection ] tour of Europe was 2003 . And we had released an original album in the ‘ 90s that did quite well on a local level . And that album ended up on a show in France . And somebody from there heard it , a German record label , and they liked it . They liked our original music . So , all of a sudden , we had a chance to get distribution through the German label . And that got us to a German promoter , which in turn got us throughout Europe for the next well , to this day . Actually , we still work in Europe a lot , but we were together for 14 years before we had that break of international touring with our original music . And at the same time , on a local level , we still were doing different kind of work : cover music , blended with original stuff . But in Europe , they wanted more of the original album stuff . And we released seven albums from there .
[ Going to Europe is expensive ], and it basically came down to , we had a good label that was able to get us to a good promoter . We went for three weeks the first time . We didn ’ t come back broke , but I don ’ t think we made much , but it wasn ’ t about that — it was an investment to go . And then by the time we were going for our second , third , fourth tours , it started to turn around . But once again , it just came down to really hard work , and nothing came easy and still doesn ’ t . And then we did the same thing in China 10 years ago , where we went for a 10-day tour and broke even , fortunately , because we could have lost a lot of money on that . But we broke even and then we went back six times over the next six years .
On treating music as a career …
Fortunately , I work with guys that are in the same headspace with our band as a career , as a full-time job . We ’ ve all raised kids throughout these 34 years we all have
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