Meet Munsey Ricci, creator of rock and metal radio promos business Skateboard Marketing, which is now commemorating its 30th anniversary. He’s among the many, hard-working names behind numerous your preferred bands, a number of whom you might have never ever heard if it wasn’t for his ability, impact and dedication.
And if you’re associated with college radio, the nearly essential beginning point for a lot of individuals operating in the music market, you have actually been at the getting end of a warm, hearty, “Dude! How are you my brother/sister?” over the phone on a standing weekly call with Munsey, capturing up on the most recent releases and talking store.
This author can personally vouch for this, having actually worked as the Metal Director at a college radio station, keeping routine contact with Skateboard Marketing and forming the earliest relationships within the market in the necessary procedure of networking.
For anybody who has goals of landing a task of any sort in the music market, we describe with Munsey why it’s vital to take that action and get included at the college radio level. Even if you’re not a trainee, there are still a lot of chances for neighborhood volunteers too.
There’s a lot more to Skateboard Marketing than servicing college radio, regardless of our narrower focus here, and over the last 30 years, Munsey and his personnel (the majority of which has actually been plucked from college radio alumni) have actually been dealing with radio stations at the terrestrial and satellite ends too, suggesting there’s a sporting chance that if you have actually heard brand-new and heavy music on the radio, he and Skateboard pulled the strings to get that airplay, spark fan bases and break brand-new bands.
Let’s take it way back for you. Were you listening to college radio at all in high school maturing prior to you remained in college?
I didn’t get turned on to college radio up until the early ’80s. There was a station called WCW at Long Island University and they ran a metal metal program on Sunday nights. They played a great deal of cool underground things that you could not truly discover anywhere else. You were going to hear Iron Maiden or Diamond Head or Metal Church which’s where I got turned on to it. As I ended up high school, I signed up for a class at Post University and the top place I pursued I signed up for classes was the radio station.
Then metal truly got huge however even the industrial stations didn’t play a lots of it. If it wasn’t for those college stations, a number of the bands that we’re blogging about today, that are offering out arenas, no one would have any concept who they are.
The coolest thing for me was that I was putting severe metal on the radio. Anybody might be scanning the dial and they might be met this noise that they didn’t even understand existed in the past.
Did your experience in college radio assist you land your very first task within the music market?
Most individuals do not recognize it’s not how huge or little the broadcast radius of the station is. It’s truly what you gain from it and the relationships you construct. I end up getting a part-time task at CMJ Media, which was the trade journal that released the ‘Loud Rock’ charts.
I moved to City University in New York with WQCC. I made certain I talked to every band, I went to every program, I remained in my workplace all the time simply to get music contact and I did music calls while I was on the air.
It resulted in a task at Combat Records. They got purchased by Sony and after that ended up being Relativity and after that Sony Red, however they had the very first Megadeth records, Dead Kennedys, Death…
I discovered the art of record promo there from ‘Mega Don’ and I existed a year up until, Sony combined whatever into their own system. We all got laid off and a year and a half later on, I discovered myself at Polygram Records prior to they had the merger.
They were the last significant label to get a metal department. I began the department and, therefore, the story starts. We worked albums by Mortal Sin, Onslaught, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony McAlpine, Vinnie Moore and we had KISS, Scorpions and Def Leppard. Working for the label that had KISS — what’s much better than that?
I had fantastic instructors while I existed who would pull me in the workplace like no, you’re doing it incorrect. This is how it’s done. I was 24 years of ages. That’s how you discover.
What resulted in the development of Skateboard Marketing in 1991?
In 1990, Polygram divided up and ended up being Polygram Label Group and Mercury Records. I visited Mercury. Like most record business presidents, they have their own individuals and they reorganized.
Johnny Barbs, and Skye Daniels were my 2 coaches and informed me to work indie. I disliked indie however they encouraged me and after 6 months to a year, Skateboard Marketing was born.
We worked all the Polygram things and we ended up getting things on Red Light Records, Enigma Records, Metal Blade… we were really doing truly well. I was provided a couple of label gigs in between, and I decreased to ride out what I had going.
Congratulations to Munsey and Skateboard on thirty years of keeping the airwaves chock loaded with the heaviest metal! For years now we call him the sixth member in the Overkill camp, as he has actually exceeded and beyond to assist bring our craft to those who crave it. Happy anniversary Skateboard, from Chaly and the young boys! — Bobby Blitz, Overkill
How did you tackle drawing in customers as a brand name brand-new business? Why would someone sign up with Skateboard vs. a pre-existing business doing radio discount?
There was just 2 radio indies. Usually, when something was on Polygram, they understood that we understood how to move things up the charts and play the video game and make it occur.
It simply visits experimentation. Let’s deal with the truths — some records simply aren’t going to respond. You need to take a look at the station and what they program and what they have to do with and understand how to approach each of them.
Every company begins with an objective declaration. What was yours when you began Skateboard?
To head out there and make things occur and bring the direct exposure to a great deal of the little artists who would have never ever gotten any direct exposure. Everybody begins a band and their dream is to make records, head out and trip and play arenas and make a great deal of cash.
In most cases that does not truly exercise, however every artist requires that chance to shine. You begin with press — you go work with a press agent and a radio discount business to get your airplay and after that you purchase onto a trip and it costs a great deal of cash. It’s not low-cost.
What are a few of the most significant distinctions you’ve seen about how college radio has had the ability to cultivate advancement for bands pre and post web?
With the web, when you’re a significant interactions business, you have a huge market/cumulative audience, you have the app for your phone, the streaming station… Regular web stations are going through a streaming service and if you do not have the bandwidth, it’s going to restrict the variety of listeners you can have. You can just perhaps have 50 or 100 listeners at any offered time, which type of draws, however that’s the ruthless fact.
It’s a growing procedure.
We can go to the little stations and if 3 individuals discover who the band is and purchase the record, we did our task. With the stations with a bigger broadcast radius and signal strength, we’re reaching hundreds and countless individuals. We stop and take a look at SoundScan numbers and we would see numbers leap by a couple thousand that’s how you understand a station truly has sway in the market.
Skateboard Marketing, under the passionate stewardship of Munsey Ricci, have actually assisted regularly move Motörhead’s music to the ears and hearts of thousands upon countless ears for over 3 years. Munsey stays that uncommon mix of class and action. — Todd Singerman, Singerman Entertainment
Those smaller sized stations are how you develop your B-market for a band so they can explore beyond significant cities and more city locations.
The secondary markets are quite crucial. I do not care if you are among my industrial stations or not — if they’re playing my record, I get them what they require, which is interviews, free gifts, unique promos. Hook the station up and it’s just great for artists advancement, which is something that we’re seeing less of nowadays.
What bands have you worked over the last thirty years that really broke through and got popular off the back of college radio?
Sevendust was among them. We began on the very first Sevendust record and now they’re a huge band. Another huge band was Nothingface and we worked the Pacifier EP prior to they got signed. They had a supervisor in Washington, DC who employed us and it exploded.
Those are 2 bands that we had from absolutely nothing that ended up being something. They had fantastic tunes and they were all heros and understood how to speak with individuals and how to treat them and Tom Maxwell went on to play in Hellyeah, who we dealt with, too.
How many individuals have you worked with either as a full-time worker or as an intern who you initially was available in contact with through college radio?
Through the years, about 90 percent of my personnel.
I like to pull everyone directly from college due to the fact that they currently understand the video game. They’ve currently had journalism and broadcasting classes and they have actually currently configured. So, that’s half the fight.
What about other associates in this huge, broad world of the music market? How a number of them started at college radio?
Coming up in the ’80s when I remained in college radio, we basically all originated from college radio and the couple of individuals who didn’t most likely composed for the school paper or they operated at a record shop or worked for a record supplier.
For anybody aiming to get their foot in the door of the music market, it’s the natural beginning position. That’s where the networking starts and you end up in contact with rather a great deal of individuals.
Even today, if you speak with individuals, a lot of of them originated from college radio. That’s truly where you need to discover and get your start.
Did the introduction of satellite radio modification what you do?
Actually, it assisted us considerably. The advantage is that they can play specific material. When satellite radio occurred, it filled that space where Headbangers Ball and MTV had actually ended. Jinjer would most likely not have actually broke in America if it wasn’t for satellite radio.
How numerous radio stations — college, satellite, terrestrial — are you in contact with in overall?
It’s near to 400 now.
You have stations that do not [formally] report [their airplay] that send us their playlist weekly then there’s stations where I understand they have a program and they do not send their playlist and I simply need to call them weekly and get them on the phone and after that simply get their tracking and compose it down.
You simply need to be ruthless. You simply can’t state, “Well I can’t get them on the phone, forget about it,” due to the fact that the ones that are going to suffer are the band, the record business and the entire scene in basic.
Again, thirty years of Skateboard Marketing — congratulations, Munsey. Now, what are your objectives for the next years?
I’m going to keep doing the exact same thing. If it ain’t broke, do not repair it! We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and I’m going to simply keep going up until I physically can’t do this gig any longer.
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