Interview with Robert Bryan, President
Bob: Pocket Kid Records is an interesting company. Most people think of it as just Dead Sara’s label, but I have read prior interviews with you where I see it has a much larger aspiration.
Robert: Yes, the intention behind Pocket Kid Records from day one was not just to be Dead Sara’s label, but to be a viable indie label on its own. Emily and Siouxsie and Stan were very interested in that aspect from the very beginning.
Robert: Stan Medley, the original backer/manager/ and still current business manager of Dead Sara.
Bob: Of course… Now is the band involved in the day-to-day workings of PKR?
Robert: No, they are too busy being a rock band to worry about that stuff. Maybe sometime in the future, after they have hit it big time.
Bob: Pocket Kid is remarkably one of only a few indie record companies to successfully launch a new band. How do you account for that?
Robert: Well most of that has to do with Dead Sara. When you have talent that good, it is hard not to be successful. And on top of that we were fortunate enough to assemble a very god team of people.
Bob: Yes that’s true, talent does have a lot to do with it, but there are still many examples of talented “failures”. Now Pocket Kid Records has distribution agreements with Ingrooves/Fontana and now EPIC Records and a publishing agreement with PEER publishing. Those are great relationships. How did those relationships come about.
Robert: Those relationships were mainly the result of Dead Sara’s attractiveness. There was a two-page article in Billboard about PJ Bloom, Peer and Dead Sara and how that relationship came about. Most of the other things were the result of normal management contacts.
Bob: Is Pocket Kid or does Pocket Kid plan on developing any other bands?
Robert: Well, we are working with several acts right now. So yes, those are our plans.
Bob: Any new acts you can tell us about? I think after setting the standard with Dead Sara, we are all a little curious whom Pocket Kid would come up with next.
Robert: No, not yet. The first thing a band or entertainer has to do in developing their career, no matter how talented they are, is figure out who they are. The people we are working with are still in that stage. Dead Sara was a little different. As Stan has said, Emily and Siouxsie knew who they were from day one. And according to Stan, they have matured but never have wavered from that identity.
Bob: Well that is some good advice for all the would-be-rock-stars reading this.
Robert: [laughs] We get hundreds of submissions a year, but we are looking for that same level of quality that Dead Sara has.
Bob: [laughs] The best female rock vocalist ever? And the best female rock guitarist ever? That is going to be a little hard to match.
Robert: I guess we will just have to find some equally talented men.
Bob: That may be hard too.
Robert: [laughs] Then maybe we will have to switch genres.
Bob: Yeah, [laughs]. That might work….So does Pocket Kid have a philosophy on how to develop an act?
Robert: All the management at PKR and ITVI are artists and understand artists. So we try to stay out of the creative process as much as possible, and only give the artist the help that they need and ask for.
Bob: But what if an artist falls short of the mark? How does your philosophy handle that? Would you release their material anyway?
Robert: Of course not. We want to stay out of the artists’ way so that they maintain their integrity. But at the same time we must maintain our integrity. We demand that all of our artists are first and foremost prolific. If they have to write fifty songs in order to get us twelve we like, so be it. We are not going to tell our artists how to write those fifty songs. We will leave that up to their integrity. But we also are not going to release twelve songs that we don’t like. That’s a matter of our own integrity. This way we both win and each get to maintain our integrity.
Bob: Cool. I like that philosophy. So what is next for Dead Sara. Has the album been recorded or completed yet for EPIC?
Robert: Yes Dead Sara rented a house in Malibu, turned it into a recording studio, lived there for a couple of months and recorded the second album with Noah Shain, the producer of the first album.
Bob: Great! When can we expect its release or is there some sort of problem? I am hearing rumors about some sort of disagreement with EPIC.
Robert: Well there is really no problem with EPIC. The problem is with Dead Sara’s prior management, who went to work for EPIC and became Dead Sara’s A&R guy at EPIC, after being let go as management for Dead Sara.
Bob: That sounds awkward.
Robert: Yes, indeed. I don’t think I need to say any more about that.
Bob: So then I assume Dead Sara must have a new manager?
Robert: Yes, 19 Entertainment, headed by Jason Morey. Dead Sara signed a contract with them a few weeks ago.
Bob: Wow! 19 is a huge, huge company!
Robert: Yes Pocket Kid is pleased with Dead Sara’s new management and looks forward to working with them.
Bob: Great, Robert. Anything else you can tell us about what to expect from Pocket Kid Records in the near future?
Robert: Just that I think fans are really going to like Dead Sara’s new album.
Bob: Cool we are all looking forward to that. And thank you for your time here today Robert, we appreciate your doing this interview today.
Robert: Thank you, Bob.