Spirit Animal started by performing as much as possible and doing all of the right things to build an audience and attract label interest, even if at a financial loss. Initially, the band signed with Wind-up Records,where label-mates included Evanescence and Creed. But business changes taught the band firsthand some painful lessons about the industry. Ultimately, though, the members were wiser for the experience.
“We were making everything independently and paying for our tours ourselves,” singer Steve Cooper recalls of the band’s early days. “We always had this great lawyer who was loyal, supported us and was our only industry entrée. Then we got an independent booking agent that was sort of the second piece of the professional puzzle. We started booking our tours with him, even though they were costly and the benefits weren’t always there.
“That led to an indie deal with Wind-up Records,” Cooper continues.“But just as we signed with them, they sold out to a larger company called Concord. That wound up being a hindrance. They had to team with the parent company on everything and I don’t think they were ever able to get what they wanted out of that arrangement. Several of the bands on the parent [label] were funneled to another label owned by the parent. It felt like we were taking a big loss compared to those bands. But as it turns out, that gave us a lot of opportunity because our management was able to negotiate getting our record back. At the top of 2017, we did a showcase [for Atlantic] and then a week later we had a meeting. We had an offer two weeks after that.”
Spirit Animal’s lead single “YEAH!” dropped on May 11. Several more singles are planned–about one a month–before the release of the full album Born Yesterday later this year. The band is currently on tour and aims to play 100 shows before the year’s end.
Date Signed: March 2017
Label: Atlantic Records
Band Members: Steve Cooper, vocals, keyboards; Paul Michel, bass,backing vocals; Cal Stamp, guitar, backing vocals; Ronen Evron, drums
Type of Music: Alternative Rock
Management: Bill McGathy & Michael Iurato - In De Goot Entertainment, 212-924-7775
Booking: Ron Opaleski - William Morris Endeavor, 310-859-4430
Legal: Elliot Resnick - Shukat, Arrow, Hafer, Weber, & Herbsman, LLP,212-345-4580
Publicity: [email protected], 212-707-3066
A&R: Pete Ganbarg