ManageMental Podcast with Blasko and Mike Mowery

Two experienced artist managers and music industry professionals bring you their take on the modern day music business and how they mentally approach the profession of management. Join Blasko and Mike Mowery as they cover hot topics in the industry, answer fan questions, provide insight on sales numbers and showcase new music with a slant toward developing artists.
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Oct 16, 2017




Author: Paul Resnikoff


In this week’s episode hosts Blasko and Mike Mowery assess Paul Resnikoff’s article “Why A Major Label Doesn’t Want to Sign You”. Let’s dig in…


The major labels — Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment — are sometimes referred to as the ‘big three’.  They own a bunch of other sub-labels and have major publishing interests as well.  They are big-time global entities. Generally, major labels have more money and stronger relationships with platforms like Spotify.  In fact, they own a major portion of Spotify, and can push a priority artist into coveted playlists. There are also independent labels, often called ‘indie labels’.  Those labels have far less marketing power, but can be a better fit for many artists.


So here are some reasons why a Major might not be a good fit for you… 


Reason #1: You’re ‘difficult’ and/or don’t work hard.

This isn’t the old music industry anymore.  There’s less money to invest, no more $16.99 CDs to sell, and way more pressure to show results.  So artists not only have to carry their weight, they have to work well with others and work hard. Not even music managers are willing to be babysitters anymore. Some of the biggest managers in the business flat-out refuse to deal with divas. 


Reason #2: You’re not playing the game right.

I wish this world was perfect and everyone got a fair shot But it’s absolutely, positively not a fair game.  That said, there are ways to game the system in your favor. For starters, don’t always go directly to the front door of a major label.  An alternative approach is pairing up with a major manager.  That manager will then try to get serious consideration from a label. Sometimes those artists are signed to smaller labels, other times not.  But the point is this: there are a lot of side doors that people don’t use.


Reason #3: There’s no ‘data’ on you. This probably should be #1 with a bullet.  Because it’s 100 times more important than meeting the right people or playing the game right. It’s data.  As in, are there people listening to you online, going to your shows, following you, remixing your music, etc.?  Do your numbers show that?


Reason #4: Your data is bulls—t

Here’s the thing: labels can sniff that out pretty fast.  Oftentimes there are dead giveaways.  And even if they do get interested based on fake data, they’re going to realize there’s a problem the minute the check out your show or see you in person.



Reason #6: It’s not a good match.

Step back: do you really need a major label in the first place? In many cases, a major label will actually set you back. Do you want that?  Because even if you do get signed, there’s not guarantee of success. There’s also a catch 22 here.  Because once you have enough traction and data to get noticed, you also have the beginnings of a completely DIY career.  And there are tons of reasons to stay DIY.



Head over to for more industry resources and classes from your host Mike Mowery.

Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Oct 2, 2017

In this episode Blasko and Mike take your questions! Tune in for the discussions and answers from the following questions from listeners Rob, Cory, and Alex.  

  1. Hey Blasko, long time listener of the podcast. I was wondering if you and Mike could talk about buying onto tours. Is it a good idea for a developing band? Is it essentially the same as pay to play or is it more like a deposit to reserve the slot? I've heard people mention it and I was hoping you could elaborate. ~ Rob
  2. Hey, absolutely love the podcast.  My band listens while on tour and I listen all the time to get me motivated and pumped up.  I would love to hear some advice on how to make the most out of a band music video premier.  My band has done many video premiers during PR campaigns (even getting a premier on Metal Sucks, which is huge for us as an unsigned band) but even so it is hard to get traction with the videos.  How do you make your video premier stick out among all the other internet posts happening on the website you premier on?  Can you talk about your processes to make the video stand out on social media!? ~ Cory
  3. Hey Blasko! Lately, my band has been having a lot of inner conflicts when it comes to a lot of things. One of them being song writing, and everybody being getting what they want when it comes to songs. As someone who’s been in a few bands, how do you go about keeping everybody in the band happy, focused, and on the same page? ~ Alex



Tune in to hear the insightful discussions and answers to Todd’s questions.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Oct 2, 2017

This week Blasko and Mike take on a fan question from Todd, a loyal listener and 60 Days to Signable student (via Outerloop Coaching). Todd writes:


Hey there!


This is Todd, student of 60 Days to Signable and Unleash It Right and long-time listener of the podcast. 


My band recorded a 5-song EP with a well-known producer last year. We paid a lot of money for it and without really taking time to learn about the industry or business side of things, or consider self-releasing, we jumped the gun and signed with an indie label to a not-so-good contract.


We soon realized that was a mistake. The release plan we had in place, which was a part of a PR campaign we'd already paid for, was scrapped (and we didn't get money back); the singles from the EP weren't released or supported well. We pressed physicals on our own (the label didn't want to), and we didn't know about UPCs at the time, so we have about 200 copies left without barcodes that we can't report.


About a month before the EP's actual release, we lost two members, one of whom was the singer on the album. A couple of months ago we talked to the label and secured a release. We decided (again, hastily, I think) to just give up rights to the EP because we didn't have the same members anyway. Looking back, I think that was a mistake because the label didn't pay for any part of the recording/production, etc. of the EP.


Now, we're debating whether or not to approach the label to buy the rights back. We have new songs, but we feel that EP could have been so much more than it was... especially with the knowledge I now have from 60 Days and Unleash it Right. Our thinking is that we'd use the stems we already have from the EP (FX & drums), then re-record the guitars/bass (maybe in a lower tuning), and also have our new vocalist do his version of the vocals, and get everything re-mixed & mastered.


So my questions:


(1) In terms of "masters"; let's call the masters we gave up as Set A, and the ones we'd hypothetically redo as Set B... would they technically be separate sets of masters? To where we wouldn't necessarily have to buy the old ones back? Or would they be re-recordings?


(2) Is it worth our time to worry about it, or should we just accept our mistakes, cut our losses, and focus solely on new material? We do have two new tracks we're planning the releases for currently. But, we also feel there's more that could be done with the old EP, and that giving up on an investment isn't necessarily the best idea... but also chasing a dead one might not be either.


Sorry for the length of this email! Thanks for your time and always awesome insight.








Tune in to hear the insightful discussions and answers to Todd’s questions.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


Sep 25, 2017

Article Link:


Author: Paul Resnikoff


This week Blasko and Mike dissect Paul Resnikoff’s article “The Young Persons Guide to Getting Into The Music Industry” via Digital Music New. Follow along as your hosts uncover the facts of the business through the following guidelines.


#1. Meet Anyone and Everyone You Can In This Business.

Before you’re desperate for a job, before your loans are due, and before you need something from people, it’s critical to start meeting people who are actually working in the industry.  You will be investing heavily in your future network, one that will pay very rich dividends down the line.  So take a bus, ride your bike, take a Southwest flight, or just Skype it if you must, but get in front of as many people that are willing to chat.


#2. Mentally Prepare Yourself for How Extremely Difficult This Business Is.

This is an industry in extreme flux, and one that has seen a massive pie-shrink over the past 15 years. But that doesn’t meant there aren’t jobs and opportunities.  It also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept the challenge, simply that you should consider your risk appetite and ability to stomach extreme uncertainty.


#3. Chart Your Course, But Avoid the Obvious Choices.

If you want a job at Spotify, fine.  But understand that everybody wants a job at Spotify, and Apple Music, and Shazam, and SoundCloud.  These are fun, hip, and connected environments that will impress your friends, but not if you can’t get in.  Do a little extra homework, and you’ll find all sorts of less obvious opportunities, which means less competition and greater chance for advancement once inside.


#4. Read Everything.

Of course, read Digital Music News everyday!  But also read everything else you can access, including publications and sites covering industry, music, culture, scenes, whatever.


#5. Try to Get Real Industry Experience, Paid or Unpaid.

There’s a huge amount of debate over whether unpaid internships are worth it (or even ethical).  If you’re slaving away on errands and busy work without meeting anyone or learning anything, then you’re definitely wasting your time.  But usually that’s not the case, especially if you’re taking initiative and getting college credit.


#6. Develop a Mentor Relationship. So, how to you find a great, life-changing mentor?  Oftentimes universities have mentor programs, though you can also seek them out as you expand your professional relationships.  Typically there’s something you have in common, especially if you’re in the same field.  In the best case scenario, you have a great friend and ally in the professional world and beyond.


#7. Learn How to Interview Like a Rockstar.

For starters, get the basics straight or you won’t even be considered.  Resumes need to perfect and polished, cover letters triple-checked and polished.

Also, double-check all of your social media accounts, and either shut down accounts or make them private.  Some people don’t care about some risqué pictures, other people totally care.  Then, make sure you survive quick online checks like a search on Google.

After that, you need to start learning how to interview effectively, because like test-taking, successful interviewing is part talent, part learned.  Learn the most typically-asked questions, determine how to present yourself most effectively, and practice techniques for relaxing if you get nervous.  


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Sep 18, 2017

In this episode Blasko and Mike take questions from listener Brandon on where to best spend time and effort as an independent band, how to get on larger tour packages, and benefits of an agent. Read Brandon’s letter and tune in to hear Blasko and Mike weigh in!


Hi guys,


Love the show. I found out about it a few months ago and have since managed to binge all the episodes. 



I play for a rather noisy, chaotic hardcore band out of Phoenix, AZ  I've found that in promoting and booking shows for the band, we can cast a small net in the niche genre and have a pretty good conversion rate for new fans. That much smaller pool of fans however often has heard of bands within a similar style and aren't always the "die hard" ones that are attending every show and buying up our merch. The opposite is going for a much wider audience where fan conversion is a hit or miss, but when it works it's usually the first time that they've heard something of our type. So my question is, being an independent band without a big team behind us, where do you feel a bands time and efforts are best spent?



Our band has been fairly successful in playing one off national shows in our region. It seems that the promoters and touring bands like us too as we continue to get asked back for shows. What we haven't found is how to convert that into touring as support for a larger band. Instead, we're normally out there doing DIY headliners or taking bands of equal or smaller pulls. So my question is, in your opinion what are some good ways to approach getting on larger tour packages? Is it truly all in having a tour agent and/or paying for the spot? 


Thanks for giving artists an invaluable resource for this ever changing industry.


Have a good one!




Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


Sep 8, 2017

Article: 11 Things Millennial Musicians Just Don’t Get


By Ari Herstand, author of How To Make It in the New Music Business, a Los Angeles based musician and the creator of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on twitter @aristake


In this episode Blasko and Mike Mowery discuss tips and strategies for how to succeed in 2018 as they dive into the following points made by Ari Herstand’s article “11 Things Millennial Musicians Just Don’t Get” and learn how to come out on top in the new year.


1) Spotify Plays Don’t Equal Fans

I can’t tell you how many artists I see on Spotify with hundreds of thousands or millions of streams, but can’t get even 100 out to their local (or any) shows. Or get anyone to back their crowdfunding campaign. Or support them in any way whatsoever. These listeners are not fans of the artists, they are fans of the playlist these songs got included on.


2) Your Branding and Story Is More Important Than Your Music

People judge you based on your aesthetic, story and image long before they hit play on one of your songs – if they even make it that far. Your branding (which includes your image, your story (!!), and really your overall aesthetic) are what non-musicians (bloggers) talk about. They ain’t talking about your drum tones, syncopated rhythms, plugins or mix techniques.


3) Your Follower Numbers Don’t Matter As Much As Your Real Life Numbers

Don’t tell me how many followers you have. All I care about are how many fans you have who are willing to support your career.


4) You Don’t Have to Follow Musical Trends to Make it

Don’t make music you think people want to hear. Make music that is meaningful to you. You can find your audience. Or rather, the audience will find you if you market it properly.


5) The Goal Is Not To Get Signed The Goal Is To Make a Living Doing What You Love

If your goal is to get signed, then you’re going to miss. If after building your career on your own to a level where labels are begging to work with you, then, and only then, should you decide if it’s the best move for you.


6) If All Your Eggs Are in Instagram You’re Doomed

Yes, Instagram is the hottest social app out right now. At one point the only online presence that mattered for musicians was Myspace. Those that didn’t grab their fans and transfer them to a database they owned (i.e. email list) lost contact with all their fans when Myspace died. Don’t ignore the social sites where your fans exist, but also have a way to keep in touch with them that isn’t dependent on the whims of the latest hot social app.

Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


Sep 2, 2017

In this week’s episode Blasko and Mike take on questions from listener and aspiring manager, Zach. His letter reads:


I understand there are "friend managers" that take on the title early in a band's career who are only in it to hopefully ride the coattails of their creative buddies' success...and not really deserving, nor qualified to take on the work and responsibility that comes with being a good artist manager as you've outlined in previous episodes.


I am referencing the up and coming artist manager who is in the trenches daily, fighting the good fight to break their client and handling all business aspects of their career as a champion of their music...The artist manager who is working to CREATE opportunities as well as manage them.


With that in mind, the band that I am working with has been approached multiple times in recent weeks by an independent manager as well as an established management company...both of which have bigger resources and better relationships that I could never compete with. 


Personally, I would never want to hinder the growth of my client by becoming a barrier to conversations with potential partners due to my personal interests and fear of potentially being replaced...Also, I like to think that someone like me can be viewed as an asset to a potential partner...either way, I'm very interested to hear your take on it...


Blask and Mike tackle the questions:  


  1. Did either of you experience this type of situation early on in your careers when your management experience was limited? If so, how did you handle it?


  1. What are your thoughts on co-managing a band? Are open to co-managing if you believe the person was right for the job?


  1. Have either of you taken on a band who had a less established manager on their team?


Check out the article Mike references in regards to Lorde:


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


Aug 28, 2017

“9 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Signed” by Paul Resnikoff




In his article Paul Resnikoff interviewed a few industry executives to find reasons why bands are not getting signed today. Blasko and Mike will take you point by point through these reasons, give their personal opinions and real world experiences.


(1) You want it too much.

The most interesting artists are the ones that don’t need a label, yet are most likely to get signed by one.  They have strong followings, great music, work hard (and usually tour), and can survive on their own.  In fact, labels often prefer artists that well-developed identities and mini-machines going, because it saves them the work of having to build something from scratch.  It also lowers their risk, which is huge in such an uncertain environment. More importantly, it also gives the artist far greater leverage in a negotiation, because the only reason they need a label is to get to another level.  


(2) Your songs won’t appeal to broad enough group of people.

There are definitely niche labels that focus on specific genres.  Nuclear Blast wants crushing death metal artists, not Jason Mraz look-a-likes.  But the bigger labels and publishers want big songs, because those get the most mileage across radio, TV, streaming, and touring.


(3) You aren’t getting real engagement on Spotify.

If you’re buying plays on Spotify or paying for playlist inclusion, they can tell.  So it has to be organic, and it has to be real.  


(4) You don’t have a strong, no bulls–t following on social networks.

It doesn’t have to look like Demi Lovato, but there has to be something going on.  “The song is paramount, but I use a lot of other criteria to evaluate it,” said Ron Burman, president of North America at Mascot Label Group and a 15-year veteran at Roadrunner Records “If I go and check out their socials and there’s nothing going on, it makes me a little bit leery to get involved because we don’t have a huge machine so it means I’m going to have to start at zero.”


(5) Your little brother is your manager.

A real manager knows the deal, he isn’t an amateur and he isn’t wasting anyone’s time.  Preferably, your manager has done this before.  “They’ll know the ropes they will do a better job of negotiation,“They’ll help you establish the right contacts, or already have them.


(6) If you do get signed, you don’t know how STAY signed.

Artists that think getting signed means ‘making it’ are sorely mistaken.  Labels have always dropped underperforming artists, but the risk of losing a deal has only intensified over the years.  All of which translates into increasing the commitment and intensity after getting a deal, instead of slacking off.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Aug 21, 2017


How To Get Your Song On A Spotify Playlist by Ari Herstand:

Welcome to another week of the ManageMental podcast with Blasko and Mike Mowery. In this episode the hosts tackle details every artist needs to understand about Spotify before trying to get on a Spotify Playlist. From the article:

Streams are not equivalent to downloads or sales. When someone bought a song or an album it was because they were a fan of that song or artist. Fandom came first, typically, and purchasing came second. Now, streaming comes first, fandom comes second. “Consumer consumption no longer means fandom. It’s not hard to stream a song. And it’s not hard for a lot of people to stream a song [from] a popular playlist. That doesn’t mean that you have millions of fans- it means you have millions of people who happen to hear your song. Who knows if they even dug it. So that all being said, how do songs get into playlists? How can you get your songs into playlists? Well, there are a few ways to go about this.



First, you have to understand what kinds of playlists exist. There are 3 kinds of playlists on Spotify:

1) Spotify Curated Playlists


The first category is something everyone is familiar with. These are the playlists “Created by Spotify.”


2) User Curated Playlists


The second category are playlists created by users of Spotify (yes, anyone can create a playlist) or a company, blog, label, org, what have you

3) Algorithmically Generated Playlists


And the third category are not human generated at all. These are the Discover Weekly, Daily Mix (which are actually customized per user) and Fresh Finds – which is generated based on tastemaker accounts.



  1. Open Spotify
  2. In the search bar type in your genre. In this example I typed in Death Metal. 
  3. Scroll down to Playlists
  4. Find a playlist with a lot of followers. In this instance I found “Best of Melodic Death Metal” that has 7500 followers. 
  5. Click on the creator. Make sure it’s not Spotify. 
  6. If their profile photo looks like it might be a Facebook profile photo you are on the right track. 
  7. Copy and paste his name into the face book browser. You should be able to match the photo. If they are on Facebook, and most Spotify users are, then open their account. 
  8. Direct message them. Using tactics from the last episode compliment their playlist and their taste in music etc. Build a relationship. Offer to pay to be added if necessary. Spotify publicly shuns payola but they are too large to police every playlist and independent curator. 



Mentioned by Mowery: Lefsetz Letter - Comparing Mediabase Charts


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


Aug 10, 2017


“7 Real World Skills to Master Before You Graduate From College” by Catherine Conlan


In this week’s episode Blasko and Mike go over essential tips to help you master social skills that will help you navigate networking in the industry.


How to network: Learn how to shake a hand, make strong eye contact and dress well for a business event. Attending networking events can help you connect with alumni and professionals in your chosen field. When you attend a networking event, set a goal of having two or three meaningful conversations about your experience and goals for the future.


How to leverage relationships: As you network and make connections, you’ll need to know how to draw upon them to build your career. Keep track of the people you’ve met, how you can help them and how they can help you.


How to write effective emails: Strong written communication skills are essential in the real world. “Being able to write a clear email or cover letter is a must to get the door open. No one wants to read long or poorly written emails in the workplace. Use exclamation points sparingly and never write in all caps.


How to make small talk: “That seemingly awkward banter is the key to building meaningful relationships, Instead of asking what someone does at work, make your questions more specific. For example, try asking, “What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on in the past three months?”And when someone asks you a question, give an interesting answer — tell the story around your achievements. 


How to set realistic expectations: Undergraduates need to learn to set realistic expectations for their professional growth and development, and this is trickier than it seems. “Soon-to-be graduates need to understand that they will not instantaneously have the title, compensation or responsibility that tenured employees have.”

Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


Aug 7, 2017

If you pay attention to the podcast space, there are a lot of podcasts who use the 4th of July weekend to take a bit of a break from producing an episode that week to recap what has occurred during the first part of the year.  We didn’t do that!  We hard charged through the holiday and still found a way to bring you an episode.  But now, as we roll into the first week of August, we want to recap the episodes we’ve done thus far.


This will allow us to reflect on and appreciate all that we’ve covered, and also allow you listeners to reflect on some of the great conversations we’ve been able to have.  As busy guys in the business, we haven’t tried to put together any particular arc or path of what we cover - in fact, Blasko does his digging and brings a topic to the table that he thinks will make for interesting conversation.  What do you think?  Has this been interesting?  Is there anything you’re dying to hear us discuss?  Any topics?  Any articles that you’re finding on blogs?  Don’t hesitate to email us at


Episode 1 - "Welcome to 2017 - Music Business Predictions”

Episode 2 - "How to Find a Skilled, Professional Music Manager to Guide Your Career”

Episode 3 - "The 40 Best Metal Albums Of 2016”

Episode 4 - "Band merch 101: What to make, how to make it, how to sell it”

Episode 5 - "Understanding your band as a brand”

Episode 6 - "Getting Signed To A Record Label”

Episode 7 - "How To Get More People To Your Shows”

Episode 8 - "15 Quick Tips for Music Business Success”

Episode 9 - "Not Boring Legal Advice”

Episode 10 - "When is it Time for a Publicist?”

Episode 11 - "How To Get The Attention of a Record Label”

Episode 12 - "Music Business Myth Busters”

Episode 13 - "10 Steps to a Successful Crowd Funding Campaign”

Episode 14 - "Would You Pay To Meet Us?”

Episode 15 - "Why A Band Agreement Is Important”

Episode 16 - "Break Down the Walls”

Episode 17 - "Succeeding with Cover Songs”

Episode 18 - "Blasko & Mike Answer Your Questions"

Episode 19 - "The Big Question (Part 1)"

Episode 20 - "The Big Question (Part 2)”

Episode 21 - "How To Pick A Great Band Name”

Episode 22 - "Band Managers 101"

Episode 23 - "Instagram Basics”

Episode 24 - "Record Deal Red Flags”

Episode 25 - "Can I Afford To Be In A Band?”

Episode 26 - "Defining and Achieving Success”

Episode 27 - "5 Ways To Kill A Music Career"

Episode 28 - "5 Ways To Keep A Music Career”

Episode 29 - "How Do I Become A Manager?"

Jul 31, 2017

Blasko and Mike take on a big question this week from listener and aspiring manager, Kyle, on what it takes to be an artist manager, tune in for everything you need to know.


My name is Kyle and I’m an aspiring artist manager and new listener to the manage mental podcast. I’ve spent the last 10 years in the music industry, having founded and ran a band that became semi-successful and signed with a record label and did tons of touring. Since the band folded I have even built a recording studio and run my own graphic design business but ultimately my goal is to become an artist manager and help out others but I’m not quite sure how to approach it.


I’ve noticed many of the topics in the ManageMental podcast are geared towards artists and bands and how grow and develop ones’ own brand. 


But from the perspective of a manager, how does one aspire to become a successful artist manager such as yourselves? 


How does one go about approaching an artist to work with them and what are some important factors to take into consideration when working with artists?


Thanks again for putting together the ManageMental podcast and helping aspiring artists and artist managers such as myself learn and succeed.



Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Jul 24, 2017

Article: 5 Strategies That Guarantee Success

Author: Johnny Dwinell



Mike and Blasko are back at it this week dropping music industry knowledge like you’ve never heard before! In the last episode the hosts discussed ways to kill a music career, now they’ll dig into ways to KEEP a music career with the following topics:


  1. Don’t Look In The Rear View Mirror:There is literally NOTHING you can do about the past, so spending 1 second of energy on it is an EPIC fail and a colossal waste of time.  The past is what got us here; our successes and failures are part of who we are so we have to embrace them.  



  1. Focus on What You HAVE Instead of What You Don’t Have:I promise the answers to all our future career questions and successes lies within the blessings we currently have, NOT in what we don’t have.  Any thoughts we entertain about what we don’t have is a cop out and quite damaging as it only sets up excuses to quit; negative thinking will never help us succeed.



  1. You Can Only Control RIGHT NOW:The past is the past, the future is the future the ONLY thing you ever have control over in your life is RIGHT NOW.  Huge selling artists all had success and record sales LONG before they had record deals.  They went to the negotiating table with the majors that ultimately signed them with a ton of leverage.  How could they have achieved all the record sales and success they did BEFORE they got signed if they were sitting around saying, “if we just had a record deal so we could get paid, then we could be stars.”  They didn’t wait for anything.



  1. Work:Work creates momentum.  We have to work.  When we are feeling really down about where you are there is literally no better remedy for the artistic blues than redoubling our efforts towards our careers.  



  1. Ignore the Haters:Especially the most powerful hater which is our own internal negative voice!  Again, listening to that voice or any other hater only leads to one result; an excuse to quit. I promise you for every reason you and your haters can create to predict your failure, I can find 10 people that overcame the same hardships and succeeded.  It’s all up to you; nobody else.



Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Jul 20, 2017

Looking for insight on the best way to self-release your music? Join Mike Mowery’s webinars Release It Right on July 22nd and Unleash It Right, which includes the Release It Right webinar on July 22nd PLUS an additional, advanced, class on July 29th. Learn the tips and tricks that has helped Mike launch independent releases onto the Billboard charts. Sign up now at and use the discount code MENTALPOD5!


Here’s what former Outerloop Coaching students have had to say:


"Mike showed me I still have so much to learn in this business. I would take back my 10+ years on college debt to pay for this course over and over again!"


"This is easily one of the smartest investments I've ever made in myself."


"Mike was an extremely knowledgeable instructor. I only wish I could spend 8 hours a day with him to gain even more!" 



Jul 16, 2017


Article: “17 Ways To Kill A Music Career” by Paul Resnikoff


Blasko and Mike pick their top 5 ways to kill a music career (out of Resnikoff’s 17). Follow along as they discuss the following points:


1) Relying on a label, manager or anyone besides yourself to build your career.


Even with a label deal, bands can find themselves de-prioritized, or flat-out ignored.  But these days, labels rarely sign bands that aren’t successfully working and developing their audiences.  If you’re not investing in your music career, day in and day out, neither will a label.  Which means that DIY isn’t some alternative approach, it’s essential for the survival, breakthrough, and growth of any artist.



2) Not selling merchandise.


If you’re not setting up a stand at all shows with a full range of merchandise, then you’re missing out on serious income.  This is money that could fill your gas tank and pay for food. Fans want to help you build a successful music career.  But you have to make it easy for them.



3) Not being completely available.


A good manager will feed you opportunities, online and off, because that’s what you paid him to do.  You need to show up to them, and feed the momentum. The era of the distanced, untouchable rock star has ended.



4) Being in it for the money.


You’re delusional and will probably make more money working at McDonald’s.  The reality of this business is that an extremely large percentage of artists are poor, and most of the successful ones were poor at one time.  Even worse, sometimes a successful music career means survival, not lavish luxuries. All of which means if you’re not motivated by the the music, the passion to create and play, and the camaraderie of it all, you should honestly be doing something else.



5) Paying to inflate Twitter followers, Facebook likes, DatPiff downloads, and YouTube views.


Labels, venues, and potential managers are all-too-familiar with these scams.  But more importantly, paying for fake followers distracts precious resources away from developing organic fans, the lifeblood of any successful artist. Without real fans, you don’t have a real band, period.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 




Jul 10, 2017


In this episode Blasko and Mike tackle the subjects presented in Carlos Castillo’s article “Defining Success and How To Achieve It with A Career In Music”. Follow along as they show you the ropes from personal experiences and give context to the article, to help you define your own success.


The first requirement for being successful in anything is to define what success means to you. That is one of the biggest challenges musicians face today. There is no standard to follow. It’s not like going to college, where there is a defined set of measurable parameters. You attend classes, you pass exams, you write papers, and after completing all of the requisite steps you succeed in earning your degree. That’s an ideal scenario where you can demonstrate that you are making progress and, therefore retain the ever so important support of your friends and family. Unfortunately, the pathway to a career in music isn’t so cut and dry.


So how do you turn music into a viable option as a legitimate career choice and convince your friends and family (and more importantly yourself) that you can and are succeeding? Here are a few traits that you need to embody if you are going to go against the grain and make music your full time income.


  1. Avoid Self-Deprecation.Always remember that you are your own worst critic. When you are in front of other people, the last thing you want to do is feed their beliefs that you can’t make it as a musician. 


  1. Show No Fear.“confidence is key.” That’s how you accomplish the impossible. The fear will alwaysbe there. Once you know that, you can choose not to let it control you.


  1. Be Authentically Confident. In the business world they say, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” It is because of the peripheral psychological effect that comes with dressing and acting the part to which you aspire. The same thing goes for music. You wanna be a rock star? Then start acting like one. Maintain your performance persona from the moment you walk in the door until the last embers of the after-party die out. The trick here is that you have to believe it.


  1. Welcome Criticism. Nothing helps you learn and grow faster than constructive feedback. It’s easy to get lost in the universe that you create with your music. Of course, that universe can easily be shattered when it collides with the “real world.” 


  1. Develop Your Talent.You must commit to spending time every single day practicing your craft. I know there is a lot of other stuff to do like performing, networking, booking, marketing, and tweeting. But it’s all for naught if you aren’t consistently creating mind-blowing music and advancing your skills.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 



Jun 28, 2017

Blasko and Mike get into more listener questions based on the costs associated with being in a touring band. This week the question comes from new listener David Woolfall who writes:

“I just discovered your podcast via an ad on the Lead Singer Syndrome podcast. I’ve listened through maybe half of the podcasts so far and they’re great! I am not in the music industry at all just an interested spectator. I have questions related to money…

  • I would love for you to give an example of a small band income vs. expenses ie. A band that can sell 500tickets 1x or 2x a year in a place like Denver. How much does this band earn from the venue, merch, VIP, etc?
  • Lets assume they get minimal radio play so that their music sale income is Spotify + iTunes.
  • What does it cost them to tour, hire a few techs, gas, food, some hotels or an RV?
  • Basically, do most band members have regular jobs at home to make ends meet?


Find out answers to these questions and more in this episode.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Jun 26, 2017


“Record Deal Red Flags” by Byron Pascoe:

Mr. Pascoe is a Canadian Entertainment Lawyer with Edwards PC, Creative Law and can be reached at


This week Blasko and Mike tackle the warning signs that you may see in a record deal. That first record deal can seem very rewarding on the surface, but in reality it might just be a total nightmare. Entertainment attorney Byron Pascoe’s article “Record Deal Red Flags” is the basis for this week’s episode. Follow along as Blasko and Mike break down the following points from the article:

  1. Inconsistencies between what you are told and what’s in the contract

It may be on purpose, or not, but just because the A&R gal at the label told you one thing, doesn’t mean the record deal you’re asked to sign is completely consistent. An obvious example is if you’re told you’re getting an advance of $5K, but the agreement doesn’t provide for an advance. 

  1. Being asked to give more rights than are needed

A record label doesn’t need publishing rights to distribute your music. As such, if you are being asked to provide publishing rights to the label, then you’re being asked to provide more rights than are needed to accomplish the label’s main function – distributing your music digitally and physically.

Unless you’re being appropriately compensated for the publishing rights, and the label is the right fit to be both your distributor and your publisher, then the requirement to grant publishing rights to your label is likely excessive.


  1. Future sales advances

Labels generally ask for the option to extend their rights. The label may promise you an upfront cash advance (against future sales) if they decide to extend their rights – which is referred to as exercising their option(s), but are you automatically entitled to get an advance? The label may have written the agreement in such a way that based on prior sales, they can access those additional rights by paying you a lower advance than the number in the agreement, or no advance at all.


  1. Uncapped expenses

The formula used to determine how much money you make from music sales from the label might be gross revenue less the label’s expenses multiplied by a percentage. However, without any limitation on the label’s expenses, you may never get paid anything.


  1. Not getting it in writing

What do you want the label to do? Spend some money on marketing and promotion? If they aren’t willing to put their verbal commitment in writing, maybe the label isn’t going to do what they verbally promised.


  1. No provision to get details

The label is responsible to pay you. As such, they should also have an obligation to give you details about how they calculated your payment. Also, you should have the ability to make sure the numbers are accurate by having the right to take a look at the label’s records (referred to as an audit).


  1. Lack of clear termination provisions

If there isn’t a clear way for you to get out of the contract, you will wish you had a way out, including if the label isn’t paying you what you are entitled to receive, but are still selling your music.

Also, if you’re told a label agreement is take it or leave it, and the label won’t answer your questions about the agreement, they may not be the most trusted partner.

On a brighter note, if you read a record label agreement before signing, get some assistance from fellow musicians and/or a music lawyer, and the label is willing to discuss and reasonably negotiate the agreement, it may be the start of a beautiful relationship…


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


Jun 19, 2017

 Reference Article:

Mike and Blasko tackle basic marketing strategies on Instagram for musicians. Follow along as they go through each point with real world examples and in-depth details so you can make your own account stand out from the crowd.


  1. Pick a Username


Pick something easy and predictable. All of your social media handles should make sense together. Don’t add numbers, symbols, or underscores if you don’t need to.

  1. Get a Decent Profile Photo

Instagram profile photos are relatively small and users can’t click on them to blow them up. Use a profile picture that is easy to see on a standard-size phone. Use a band logo or photo that is clear and easy to make out.


  1. Leave a Bio that Makes an Impression


Your bio can only be 150 characters - almost the same length as a tweet. Write something that leaves an impression. You don’t have to take up the whole space either.


  1. Website Link


With a social platform like Instagram, it can often be hard to explain what you do through a photo. People will see snapshots of your life, but they won’t necessarily get a well-rounded idea of what you do for a living or who you/your band are. This is why a link is so important. Give people a way to find out more about you. It will most definitely enhance their appreciation of your photo posts.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

Want to get your band to the top of the charts with your next album release? Sign up for Mike Mowery’s “Release It Right” and “Unleash It Right” webinars at

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Jun 12, 2017

Bonus Episode: This week Mike is filling in for Blasko as the host with the most and is joined by his Outerloop Coaching partner, Paul. In this episode Mike and Paul cover some highlights from the first Outerloop Coaching webinar Sixty Days to Signable, and talk about the new classes they are launching this week: Release It Right and Unleash It Right.


The Release It Right webinar will take place on July 22nd at 2pm EDT and cover the best strategies to help participants successfully release music independently, reach the biggest possible first-week sales, and maximize fan engagement.


Unleash It Right webinar will include the Release It Right session in addition to a second class on July 29th at 2pm EDT for advanced students to understand how to get the most out of streaming services, get physical albums into brick and mortar retail stores, and learn how to get streams and sales to count towards getting a release onto the Billboard charts.


Head to to sign up and learn more about the classes.


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

Jun 5, 2017

Oh Lorde, pray leaving your manager wasn't a mistake


5 Types of Artists Good Managers Will Never Work With


This Is What Managers Think It Takes To Be Successful In Music In 2015


What Does A Manager Actually Do? - @patthemanager


This week  Mike and Blasko answer listener Shaun Paramore’s questions about choosing the right manager. She writes:


Please discuss the importance and many things to take into consideration before choosing professional management. Choosing the wrong management can take the wind out of your sails over a period of time and in many cases have led to the disbanding of a group that excelled musically but did not know the industry and trusted their team and was mishandled in every way. Such was the case personally with my old band


-Should you go with management who has a similar sounding artist who have found a certain degree of success or the other direction with management that doesn't have an act like you yet? Will you fall into a formula of what's worked for those before you or create your own path


-How do you go about determining how much success a courting management has been apart of or responsible for when looking into their existing lineup?


-How much control and influence do you let your management and label have? Many managers and label personnel are not artists themselves so there can be conflict in terms of direction. How much conflict should be allowed?


-Once comfortable with your choice for management. What kind of contract should be discussed? Should a band be held to contract if they feel their management is not fulfilling their duties with the upmost attention and competence?


-Lastly. Your personal thoughts and opinions. Would either one of you work with an up and coming artist you believed to have a sound, drive and plan if they firmly decided to stay independent from label representation at that time in their developing career?


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


May 25, 2017



This week Blasko and Mike dive into tips on naming your band inspired by songwriter Matt Blick's article "10 Easy Steps to Naming Your Band". Follow along as they go through each point with real world experiences and lay out the best advice for naming your band. 


  1. Brainstorm A List Of Names: Write down at least 50-100. Write them ALL down. Every single one. No matter how silly. Don’t judge. Don’t debate. The stupidest will make a cool talking point during interviews.
  2. Mix And Match The Names You Have: When you can’t think of anymore, try taking a word from one name and adding it to another. Look for unusual juxtapositions like Sound-garden, Radio-head or Led Zeppelin.
  1. Change The Numbers: If any name contains a number, try multiple versions with different numbers. Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch 22, was originally called Catch-18, but that’s less, erm, ‘catchy.’
  1. Google It – For Rival Bands: Google “YOUR BAND NAME band” or “YOUR BAND NAME music” or “YOUR BAND NAME lyrics” If there is another active band with your name YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT USE IT. Yes, you might beat them to the punch if they haven’t registered it, but what’s the point? The one caveat is ‘active band.’ Was the last gig mentioned on their Facebook page in 2004? Is their web presence limited to a MySpace page? You MIGHT be OK. But don’t assume – your namesake may be gigging like crazy but lousy at social media.
  1. Google It – For Rival Brands (And Other Things): What if your chosen moniker isn’t a band name, but a ‘thing’ out there in the real world? If it’s a trademarked product or a person – forget it. Disney, Pepsi and Simon Cowell have bigger and uglier lawyers than you. If it’s just a ‘thing’ you may be OK, but ask yourself – is your band going to get lost in the internet ‘noise’?
  1. Does It Mean Something Bad?: Does your name have nasty or unfortunate connotations? Think about it and ask lots of other people. Check Urban Dictionaryand a regular dictionary too. If you have a multiword name, try typing it without spaces as in ‘’. Sometimes a perfectly inoffensive name can create a terrible URL.
  1. Is It A Song Title?: More specifically, is it a song by a band that you are heavily influenced by? Then Don’t. Just don’t. Nothing marks you out more clearly as a slavishly unimaginative copycat.
  2. Can Everyone Spell It?: Think carefully about this. Is it something that people are going to have trouble spelling? Or remembering? The only exception would be spelling your name ‘wrong’ to help people get it ‘right’. Led Zeppelin went with the ‘Led’ spelling to prevent people saying “leed”– as in ‘lead guitar’.
  1. Don’t Pick A Name That Sound Like A Completely Different Genre.: One day a hundred, very unhappy, very drunk, thrash metal fans will show up to watch your folk trio play the local art gallery. Your ironic name won’t seem so funny then.
  1. Live With It: Once you’ve got it, stick with it and get on with the real business of making music. If you do a good job with that, the music itself will come to define what that name means, not the other way around. 

Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 



May 22, 2017
Part 2 of our “The Big Question” seires - How Do Bands Break Out and Become Famous?
Here is the article by Matt O'Dowd, Band Dude, Songwriter, and Composer
Be extremely good at marketing and relationships.
Some ways to achieve this:
  • Become friends with people involved in music. Bookers, band dudes, bar owners, journalists, and music fans. Friends will help each other out, come out to shows, make introductions. Emailing Mp3s to strangers is largely a waste of time.
  • Develop a local following of people who like your music. This does not have to be a huge group of people, but if you invite a journalist to come check out your show, it should feel exciting. When people are dancing and singing the words, that excitement is contagious.
  • Develop a "story." Something that makes it really easy to talk about your band. Two twin sister lesbians singing harmonies? Cool! The band met in a barfight? Cool! This guy's sleeping with a Hearst daughter? Cool!
  • Be kind to people. Real rockstars are not assholes. They have a presence that makes those around them feel special and energized. 
  • Use the internet with expertise and keep in touch with fans and contacts. Always have something new to talk about.
  • Work hard and be patient. Recognize that this will likely take a long time and that there is no such thing as an overnight success.

And if any of this seems like a hassle, go to Medical School instead. You will help people, earn the respect of your community, make nice money, and never have to worry about a job. Music is high risk you are almost guaranteed to fail. Many are called. Almost none are chosen. But if you can make it work its one of the greatest adventures ever.
We encourage you to email us any questions or comments you may have for the podcast to me directly at
Follow Blasko on Twitter and instagram @blasko1313
Follow Mike Mowery on Twitter and instagram @mikeoloop
May 12, 2017



How does a band break and become famous? We all know there is no simple answer to this. However successful people do have habitual similarities that have been theorized as the foundation for their success. So... it stands to reason that perhaps there are reoccurring themes and actions that can be found in successful bands that can be reverse engineered for a new generation. 


So… How do Bands break out and Become Famous? According to Matt O-Dowd a self proclaimed band dude, songwriter and composer the answer is not easy, but attainable. He writes: 


Be extremely good at music. So good that people can't ignore you.


Some ways to achieve this:

  • Develop a unique sound that is unmistakably you. Most successful artists of all mediums become famous for a signature style. 
  • Write extremely good songs that total strangers are interesting in hearing again. Your friends and your mom will say everything is great. They cannot be trusted.
  • Listen to tons of music in a diverse range of genres, thus acquiring better instincts, greater knowledge, and better tastes. Listen to songs and sounds you love, and try to figure out why you love them. 
  • Find excellent creative partners and collaborate with them. Most great music is a team effort. Get used to the idea of ditching bad ideas and freely exchanging criticism. 
  • Be awesome at playing live, and find ways to make your shows memorable and unique.
  • Record good stuff on your own. In your bedroom. In a friend's studio. Whatever. You really don't need very much money to make an excellent sounding record. 


Mentions in this episode: Lorna Shore commercial (, Refused’s Shape of Punk to Come (, and Cryptic Slaughter (


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 


May 7, 2017

This episode is dedicated to answering questions from you, the listeners. Blasko and Mike tackle the following questions, submitted via email, with great detail and real world examples.


From Jesse: “My question is if you could explain the different types of record label deals for bands. I work with a few bands that have been approached to sign 360 deals. Please explain the difference in some deals you know of for artists.”

From Cat: “I have been fortunate to find myself in a lot of songwriting writing sessions. Some with local acts and some with more established names in the music business.  My question is what is the best way to handle oneself in these situations when it comes time to discuss how things should be split?   I have received many opinions on this from: ‘you should establish this before your start writing’; to past mangers telling me not to discuss it at all, because they (manger) are going to do that. Would love to hear from your perspective how things should work. Is there a standard?”

From Bobbi: “I was wondering about your opinions on street teams. When should you assemble one, how do you decide on incentives for the fans involved, and are street level ones really necessary anymore or is viral the way to go?”


Email any questions or comments to

Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313

Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop

ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. 

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