CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
Paul Gargano, A&R
Century Media Records is an independent record label with offices in the US, Germany and Australia. The label specializes in many different styles of metal and hard rock music. Paul Gargano heads up A&R for Century Media Records and also handles day-to-day operations for Century Media’s progressive rock imprint InsideOut Music.
IS CENTURY MEDIA ONLY INTERESTED IN METAL ACTS?
Although we’re known for our metal acts, we are trying to diversify our roster. In fact, I was brought in to find more mainstream acts, like Buckcherry who we recently signed. Currently, we’re looking for some radio-friendly acts that could cross over. And at this label we have everything an act needs in-house, including management and booking.
DO YOU DEVELOP ACTS?
Every A&R rep has a different approach regarding development. Many, especially at the major labels, like acts that are already pretty complete. I like to work with a balance, i.e. a few new acts that need development and a few that don’t. Sometimes I’ll even help to develop them before signing them. It really depends on where they are and what they need.
HOW IMPORTANT IS ORIGINALITY?
Obviously, it’s great to have your own signature sound. But, it can’t be so different that it’s not marketable. Most acts have influences, but we don’t sign acts that sound too much like them. You have to have your own identity so you can stand out.
IS LIVE PERFORMANCE A CRITICAL CONSIDERATION?
It’s a big concern. In many genres it is essential. If you don’t have a great show and tour with it, you don’t sell records. So, we look for acts that know how to put on a compelling show. If they’re not very good on stage it could hurt their chances for a deal.
WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE COMING?
I see brand associations becoming very important. With a brand sponsor on board you can cross-promote and market to a wider segment of the population. Today, brands are becoming great partners in the music scene. In fact, at Century Media we’re associated with Monster Energy drink, and looking to expand our brand partnerships.
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