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How Lawrence Got Live Nation To End Merch Fees

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Lawrence on the New Music Business Podcast

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.
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How Lawrence Got Live Nation To End Merch Fees - The New Music Business Podcast

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This week, Ari is joined by Clyde Lawrence, Gracie Lawrence, and Jordan Cohen from the band, Lawrence.

00:00 – Welcome
07:29 – Tour experience, setlists, and logistics
11:22 – Operating as an independent band, partnering with John Bellion, touring with a team
21:16 – The dynamic within the band, Lawrence, and maintaining a tight group of people
33:08 – The early years of the band
38:20 – On Live Nation eliminating merch fees for certain venues, the economics of the live music industry, and representing independent artists at a Congressional hearing
48:22 – Lawrence advocating for artists to Live Nation
01:01:50 – Songwriting and Lawrence’s new single coming out soon

01:11:13 – What does it mean to you to make it in the new music business?

Edited and mixed by Mikey Evans
Music by Brassroots District
Produced by the team at Ari’s Take

Transcript:

Clyde Lawrence
When you as a fan spend $40 on a ticket between the service fees and the whatever you at least, like the feeling of feeling that you’re supporting a band that you love. And if you find out that only $12 of that 40 is actually at the end of the day going into the band’s pocket, and then you and then you say something like, Well, yeah, cuz it’s tough, you know, because this venue is taking 20% of our merch gross, which really comes down to like 40% of our merch, profits, and then, and then seven more hands go up. They’re like, wait, what I think

Gracie Lawrence
also because people in general, when they’re supporting a band, at our level, they want to feel like when they’re buying a shirt, it’s going in the band, and that they feel there’s a good feeling there to find out that that band is maybe not being treated the way you understood them to be treated or whatever that’s upsetting to us, like a fan or a consumer or someone who feels invested in this small foot.

Jordan Cohen
When you do years of touring and you have hundreds of these conversations. It just kind of built inside of like something needs to happen here. Like we can’t keep just doing this forever.

Ari Herstand
What’s going on? Welcome to the new music business. I’m your host, Ari Herstand, author of How to make it in the new music business. The book third edition is out now. However you listen to books, how do we find books or read books? Yes, people still read books, but I do have an audio version if you prefer to listen to books these days. Today my guests are Gracie Lawrence, Clyde Lawrence and Jordan Cohen from the band, Lawrence. Gracie and Clyde are brothers sisters. And Jordan is not technically related. But they’ve all known each other well, while Clyde and Jordan have known each other since they’ve been six years old. And they’ve been in this band now. Touring almost consistently. The three of them plus five others so eight total musicians for 10 years. They have had songs that their song Don’t lose sight reached top 40 hit number 33 on top 40 It was featured in the international Microsoft commercial, they performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Show with Stephen Colbert and they performed on the today’s show. They have appeared at they’ve played Coachella and Bonnaroo and Outside Lands and Firefly hang out in summer fast. They played last Call with Carson Daly. They are a touring enterprise but like a DIY touring enterprise, and we’re going to talk all about how they’ve made it work from the beginning of playing small small clubs with eight people and how they made that work to today where they’re now on tour playing stadiums. Yes, stadiums supporting the Jonas Brothers. This tour is massive. There’s they’re they’re opening every single show. The Jonas Brothers tour and playing stadiums It’s pretty wild. You know, personally, I’ve seen them countless times everywhere from a tiny tiny tiny stage at Bonnaroo in I want to say 2015 to the hotel cafe, playing in front of 100 150 people in 2016. To actually I buy my band Brasseurs district opened up for them when they played the Terra gram in Gosh, that was probably 2018 in LA they’re one of my favorite bands. And I’ve been a fan of them for years. As long as is long since I first saw them at Bonnaroo way back when and till today where the music straight and they’re they’re releasing new singles, I should check out their new songs that have just been released off the new record they’re working on. But I think why a lot of you who are tuning in today is because Clyde Lawrence and Jordan. They gave a testimony to the United States Senate a few months back earlier this year, about Live Nation and about what it means to be kind of a touring operation and they pulled the curtain back for the legislators for the senators while sitting next to some of the top brass at Live Nation on kind of the inequities of the live music industry and how just the realities rather of of how touring works or doesn’t work and how the deals are structured, which most people don’t really realize and how much money is taken off the top and taken away from the artists, namely, taken out of their merch and how you know for so long it has just been standard practice that venues and promoters take 20% Sometimes 30 40% of the artists merch which is for the record completely unknown. fickle and unfair. It’s just been a standard practice. Now, the big news of the month is that Live Nation has revealed that this new initiative is on the road again initiative, in partnership with Willie Nelson, that a lot of their small to mid size clubs around the US and Canada. There’s about 75 of these clubs, they are doing away with merch fees, merch cuts, no longer will they be taking a cut of the artist merch. And not only that, they will be helping artists cover their tour expenses offering $1,500 for the headliners and the openers, which is pretty fantastic and pretty incredible. On top of the show compensation, we talk all about how we got here, Clyde and Jordan tell the story from how they got to appear in front of the Senate, how they testimony, and then also the conversations that they have had with Live Nation over the months to get us to this point. So this is an exclusive interview. You’re not going to hear this anywhere else. This is something that you know, I’ve been friends with Clyde and Gracie for years now. And I was so happy and honored that they decided to come on the new music business podcast and tell their story and discuss how they made this real change work. So strap in. This is jam packed and I know you’re going to enjoy it. You can find the band Lauren’s on all the social platforms. It’s Lauren spelled l a w r RENC II just search them on on all the platforms. And check out their music, their new music, their music is fantastic. You can find all of us that make the show happen at our ease. Take on the socials on Tiktok and Instagram and X. You can find me @ariherstand and on Instagram and X formerly known as Twitter. Visit Aristake.com. Get on the email list. That is the best place to kind of stay in touch and get notified about new episodes and the new music business and all the new episodes that were released. We’ll send you an email about it. Get on the email list. But if you can right now just pause this pause the episode right now. Hit the subscribe button hit the Follow button. Leave us a five star review on Spotify or Apple podcasts or however you listening to the show right now. If it’s on YouTube, give us a thumbs up. Subscribe if you want us in your in your feed. And yeah, we’ll keep these going. All right, let’s kick into the show. What’s up Lawrence? Welcome to the show.

Clyde Lawrence
Thanks for having me.

Ari Herstand
Yeah, I’m so happy that I get all three of you today. And first off, Gracie, how are you feeling? I saw that you were so sick a few nights ago that you actually had to miss the show. Is that right?

Gracie Lawrence
Yeah. Um, we’re on tour right now opening for the Jonas Brothers. And it would take it takes a lot to like make me not perform. I think I had food poisoning. It was a it was a rough. It was a rough one in a moving vehicle. That’s probably the thing you want the least I’d say. It’s probably the thing. That’s the most annoying so. Yeah, it was not good. I’m okay right now. I’m like, I think I’m like exhausted from it. But I’m so

Ari Herstand
how did you guys do the show without Gracie. I mean, is this the first show in the history of Lawrence that did not one of the two. Have you heard

Clyde Lawrence
this is the third show that we’ve done without Gracie ever we did one show went on our tour opening for John Beilein without Gracie because she had an acting gig that she couldn’t get out of. We had one. We had one show opening for Charlie Puth in which Gracie had COVID So we’ve actually had some pretty high profile gigs and I always like to just try to like we make a setlist based around the songs that I sing

Gracie Lawrence
I give five my Yeah, I just say run with it.

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah. For this for this one we do have a new signal that we recently put out called I’m confident that I’m insecure that I have never attempted to sing before and I did my best to do it. And it was pretty funny I have a video of it I’ll probably post

Jordan Cohen
it that’s great for the band because it really makes it spiced up we get to see

Ari Herstand
you grow yeah nice. I yeah sweet I want to see that video. Speaking of

Clyde Lawrence
you also that’s true they did want you have

Ari Herstand
yeah oh shit

Gracie Lawrence
boasting because we like didn’t think through the setlist in terms of like transition so I just was so it’s like I somehow just saying I think I just saying so much in such a short period of time. I was almost exhausted we’ve ever done.

Ari Herstand
But oh man. Yeah. Well, other than that. How is this tour been opening for the Jonas Brothers in? What are you playing stadiums that I see I saw you played Yankee Stadium. So you’re playing? I mean, yeah, how is this? Are these the biggest venues you’ve ever played?

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah, I think that the smallest show on this floor is around the size of the biggest show we’d ever played before that. Wow. It’s been it’s been really epic. I mean, it’s just crazy to play in front of that many people every night. And hopefully, even if a small percentage of them who are brand new to us are like becoming either Lawrence fans or at least intrigued enough by Lawrence to be open to becoming Lawrence fans, then it’s a really then it’s great for the band, but also the sudden experience level like we’re such logistics junkies and such like people that love to like see how things work. And so like, you know, to be able to like see a tour of this scale. I mean, it’s really the Jonas Brothers put on like, the most like amazingly high production like arena stadium concert to be able to just like get an inside look everyday on how something like that comes together in a new city every day has just been cool on an operational level, too.

Ari Herstand
I love how you guys function as a band. And I love this new Docu series that you’re rolling out. I just watched this morning, the one you released yesterday on the drunkest show you’ve ever done and that was fucking amazing. That was That was hilarious. And as a Dodgers fan, a hardcore Dodgers fan. I really appreciated how much you trolled the Astros fans and the Houston audience on that because they are fucking cheaters and the Dodgers were the ones on the losing end of that stick. Yes, Clyde, get them get.

Gracie Lawrence
funniest part of that, to me is just like, drunk Clyde as like an entity like I like it’s just an alternate person and you don’t get like most people when they get drunk. Like it’s a really bad side of their personality that comes up or some some like specific thing for you. It was like specifically, we’re just like, mad at injustice about in baseball.

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah, just, that’s that’s what happens. I guess.

Ari Herstand
That was fantastic. But also what I watched the another episode, where you guys kind of pulled back the curtain on your operations. And it was cool to see. I mean, really how DIY the operation is. I mean, you guys are playing, you know, when you’re headlining tours, you’re playing sizeable rooms, I mean, you know, 1000s of people a night and a lot of these cities, to just see how much you guys are. So hands on with it all, was actually really inspiring, and someone who, you know, geeks out about, you know, the production in the behind the scenes, and just kind of how it all works. Talk a little bit about how your operation functions and works these days. Yeah.

Clyde Lawrence
Um, yeah, I mean, I think, you know, we try to operate, we’re an eight piece band and have been the entire time, you know, the three of us are just three out of eight people in the band. And so from the beginning, we knew that, from a financial standpoint, from a like literal bass in a vehicle, or in a room standpoint, like that’s already a lot of people, you’d never start like a tech startup with eight people, like from the beginning, like, so we just kind of thought, Okay, if we’re all going to do this, then we need to all bring a lot of skills to the table. And I think we also really trusted that everyone in the band had a lot of skills, a lot of the things that go into running a band are things that sometimes other bands take on other people for because they they don’t know how to do those things. But we were just like, we think we can know how to do a lot of these things from being our own production manager or tour manager or business manager, or merch manager or VIP coordinator. You know, those are all tasks that it’s just kind of like oh, like, who, who feels like they can kind of run that. And then we do have a lot of elements of a traditional team. Like we do have management. We do have an agent and a lawyer wasn’t kind of the main ones that we

Ari Herstand
have, but no label right now.

Clyde Lawrence
No label while we’re on. We are partnered with John Bailey and his labeled beautiful nine records. But that’s not like a label in a traditional sense. John

Ari Herstand
Beilein, your producer of the last couple of records and then Yeah,

Clyde Lawrence
well so I mean, I kind of all of our recorded music, we’ve always kind of self produced, but always had like another producer that we worked with on it. So like on our first album, like Eric, Eric Krasno, produced that album. We also like did a lot of the production, but like, worked with him on it. And then our second album, we had another amazing producer named Eli Cruz. And then for our third album, hotel TV, we worked with John and the relationship kind of lost and beyond just him helping with the music, but to him also just becoming such a, like, not only such a close friend, but also somebody that got really involved in helping us grow our business and helping us promote ourselves. And you know, he’s just such a person with so much creativity in the business and you know, on and off the court so to speak. Um, so like we signed this this label deal with him with his with his was a brand new label at the time for mind walkers. But functionally, the band operates independently, it’s just kind of us and John against the world vibes. And, yeah, so everybody, everybody in the band kind of has their own different talents that they use to like, fill a role that a lot of other bands might be bringing entire person to do that job on the show. And we found that it’s worked for us. And then of course, there are times when you can’t like, at a certain point. You know, we can’t do our own sound while we’re on stage. So we need a sound person. So

Jordan Cohen
we thought about it. Yeah.

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah, exactly. We brought on an amazing sound person, but probably like later than bands usually would. And now like, we have an awesome sound person that and even their role is more than just doing sound. And then like, same thing with lights. At some point, we brought on an amazing lighting director, and she’s incredible. And she often does more than what just the traditional job of doing lights and be it’s just kind of about adding people to the team with that sort of can do attitude.

Ari Herstand
So are you touring with 10 people now? In a vehicle? Is that kind of what the operation is?

Gracie Lawrence
It’s 12 on a bus. So we’re a full we’re full bus. Yeah.

Ari Herstand
tour bus. Oh, yeah. tour

Gracie Lawrence
bus.

Ari Herstand
Wow, is this the first is have you guys done tour bus tours in the past?

Gracie Lawrence
This is our third, I think. Um, but this is definitely the longest run on a bus, which is really helpful.

Ari Herstand
Nice. Yeah. And that Docu series I saw where you guys tweening a Tesla. I was trying to figure out what was happening there. Because you

Clyde Lawrence
know, the guys that were on tour doing the documentary because we in on that tour, we were 11 people in a van. And that’s not including the documentary, The documentary team, which was like two to three people. So those points they had a separate vehicle that was sometimes just like a rented car or whatever. So yeah, I like they had a Tesla for a window of time and I just like rode with them. Sometimes someone from the band would ride in their car, either just for fun or because they wanted to like interview one of us in their car

Ari Herstand
or whatever. Yeah, I saw you were making you’re making like little little productions on there on the screen there. Yeah,

Clyde Lawrence
I was so drunk I honestly don’t even like Wow, pretty good job.

Ari Herstand
Got it. Okay, so you have 12 So other than the 10 with your front of house engineer your lighting designer who are the other two right now

Gracie Lawrence
there’s eight of us than we have Yeah, LD we have front of house we have video wall person. I don’t know what the technical title for that job is. But someone who’s helping us out come on video wall and like helping out in a lot of other capacities. And who am I missing

Clyde Lawrence
photo video video? Yeah, like social media video. Nice. But yeah, like even those people’s roles are like not strict. We’re not just like our video wall guy is not just like showing up and like doing the video while like he’s also he’s also like helping set the stage kind of acting as like you know, just general like tech of the of the gear and like helping set the stage put down the setlist? Like a number of everyone kind of has a number of different tasks. And I

Gracie Lawrence
think it’s quite sad like when we’re bringing people on board like that’s not Something we spring on them when they arrive on the tour that’s like in the process of trying to figure out who might be a good fit for us to work with, like, first and foremost, someone whose personality we just feel like we want to hang out with all the time, because that’s a big part of being on tour is like, a lot of time together. Yeah, but also, you know, in advance of bringing someone on tour, obviously, being super upfront with like, the job you do is the job you do, we also tend to be a band that like when someone else needs help with something like that, you know, stepping in and helping, is that something you’re comfortable with? Definitely excited about, like those kinds of things. And getting a gauge for people’s interest in that. Yeah, that isn’t for everyone. And that’s totally fair and respectable to think it’s

Jordan Cohen
also important to say that, like, we don’t really hire crew for a tour, we’ve always really looked at it as hiring like the next member of the lifelong team. Family. It’s a family band that extends to every new member. And I think when you have that attitude, and you treat everyone as being part of a team, people are just willing to go above and beyond, rather than just showing up and doing their one specific hour long job.

Ari Herstand
Yeah, yeah. Well, and that’s a really great point. And I appreciate you mentioned that because, I mean, you know, I know, your guy’s history for a while I’ve been following you and, you know, friends for a while, but for people that aren’t as familiar, it’s, it’s fascinating to me, I think that all eight of you have kind of been there since the beginning. And the three of you have been there since what you were 13. And then like, the two of you have been there since, like, 760. Just kidding, even earlier. So it’s like, yeah,

Gracie Lawrence
zero, right. Yeah. And then I met Jordan Ross, too.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

Jordan Cohen
I used to see Gracie running around as a two year old trying to sing and I’m like one day.

Gracie Lawrence
Jordan and Clyde, to listen to me. I actually remember this, saying the entire Christina Aguilera

Clyde Lawrence
that first.

Gracie Lawrence
Like, like, before, you could like guys like it, like sit down. We’re

Jordan Cohen
like just trying to play Xbox. Yeah.

Ari Herstand
Amazing. So we’ll speak to that a little bit. Because that’s really unique, that you have a band of eight people that one has lasted this long. And that, you know, and it speaks to a lot, you might not consider us this word, but it speaks to a lot of the culture of the operation and kind of the enterprise is just like that you’ve maintained this tightly knit group of eight. I mean, most people don’t stick in jobs this long, let alone you know, and the fact that you guys, and this is one of the most grueling professions on planet Earth, and you’ve been able to make it work for this long with with eight people.

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah, it is pretty, it is pretty cool. I often cited as like, one of the biggest points of pride for me and us as a band, I think and not and you know, like, what, if you had asked me 10 years ago, if that same group of eight people would still be going now I’d be like, I really hope so. But like, you know, life happens, who knows? And like, the fact that it has worked out that way is like, definitely by design to your point and like, speaks to culture, but also like, speaks to each individual person, like putting in a lot of work to make it be something that still works for them. But yeah, I mean, so Gracie and I are siblings, Jordan, we’ve known since we were little, little kids. Our drummer, Sam was someone that I went to, like middle school, high school with, and then to college with as well. And then he was a little bit older than me. So I met him in middle school jazz band.

Gracie Lawrence
And I met him then too, but I was just a bunch of years, right? Yeah, we

Clyde Lawrence
were both in middle school and then, and then we were in high school together. And then he went to Brown. And, and then I went to Brown a couple years later, and he was still there. And then through him. I met a few of his friends that then became members of the band. And then I met a couple other guys that were in the band. So everybody was the latest entrance to the band. We were actually just talking about this because we just hit the 10 year anniversary. Remember, you’re on your phone, you’re like oh, what was 10 years ago today? We just hit the 10 year anniversary of the first show that our most recently entered band member played if that makes sense like that. Yeah, I think it was Karsch cars his first show as our basis was like it Exactly 10 years ago to the day, like a couple of weeks ago. And so every band member has been in this band for at least 10 years, essentially. Wow. And there are in college, we had some other people that like, you know, like, we had like, multiple different people that knew all the drum parts or the bass parts. Because you know, if someone had like a essay or something, then like, I was free. So shout out to all those other awesome people that were part of like the broader collective of it for those first couple of years. But every single member of this eight person group has been a part of it for over 10 years now.

Gracie Lawrence
And I’m only 18. So that’s

Ari Herstand
right. So it’s, but I mean, it also, like speak a little bit more to because, you know, most people don’t see how the meat is made. And the fact that all eight of you are wearing several different hats and have since the beginning, I mean, just from my vantage point, that seems to me the only way that you could possibly make something like this work with so many people. I mean, I honestly have no idea how you made it work in the early days with eight people playing Clint like I saw you guys at the hotel Cafe, which is if people don’t know in LA 185 cap room back in. Actually, I remember the day because it was the day that they that Trump that like Trump won the election, the day after, it was fucking nuts. And Gracie were your your nasty, lasting woman t shirt on and it was a fucking crazy day, it was a whirlwind. So wild, because everyone was just like an alternate reality in an alternate universe there. But like you’re playing small rooms like that. How did you make it work then with eight people?

Gracie Lawrence
Well, we started, you know, our, our gigs in college basements, and not venues. And they’re also probably like fire hazards and absolutely not fit for eight people to perform, let alone one really. We, I think that we kind of cut our teeth, so to speak in those environments where like, just learn how to be as engaging of a performer you learn how to perform in ridiculous conditions that are not conducive to necessarily sounding good, but learning how to try to sound the best in those kinds of rooms. Very limited space, but still learning how to take up the space that you can. So I think like a lot of very valuable lessons were learned in those first few years of just playing shows while I was in high school, and Clyde was in college. And then we pretty much directly took those skills learned and applied them as soon as we hit the road the following year, really. As soon as we both graduated, as soon as I graduated from high school, and Clyde graduated from college, we made our first album and started touring pretty immediately. So those skills were directly transferable. And as Clyde said, it was the same group of people that had been playing this college shows that came to do you know, the tour? So there was a lot of that background?

Clyde Lawrence
I think that’s like the answer about like how we made it work from a like putting on good shows level, there’s a few different levels in which you can answer your question. There’s like, also, as you said, like, the band, camaraderie and culture level, which is like, how do you and I think that that is honestly the same answer that it is now, which is just like having really good systems for communication. And like transparency and comfort and trust within the band. Like, I think that we’ve always tried to create really well structured like, kind of, like systems. We’re very systems oriented, like, you know, what happens if someone misses the show? Like, do they just not get paid for that show? Or but what if that shows the highest paying one, and they actually couldn’t make it? Like, that’s unfair? So okay, why don’t we aggregate all the monies over the course of a show and pay it out? According to however, many of the shows you made, like, you know, we come up with tons of systems and have these documents that are almost like a constitution of the band’s operating agreement. And they’re not actually formal contracts, but like, we all have abided by them for years and amended them when new, like edge cases come up, where it’s like, oh, this is kind of a specific case. We didn’t think of let’s like, let’s amend our system for that, you know, so I think that that kind of thing is like part of the culture of it that allows it to work from the beginning and up through now. and acknowledged

Gracie Lawrence
that like each person, that like there’s fairness and we want to be fair to everyone, but that there are like specific ways in which different people operate in different ways. And that that constitution has to account for that, for example, I can’t literally physically carry as heavy of a bag. So an Uber might be necessary for me to be cut, whatever, like those kinds of things are taken into account for the fairness and the well being of everyone in the band.

Clyde Lawrence
And then there’s like the financial aspect, which might also be a question of like, how, as eight people did, we literally tours? And I mean, the answer is like, we have like, no costs, like literally, we had like, almost no costs, like, because we all did all of the things. No one was engaged. Yeah, yeah. So like, we had like the cost of like,

Gracie Lawrence
you’re not allowed to eat in

Ari Herstand
front of the Constitution.

Clyde Lawrence
There’s like practically no cost of touring that we would normally have. We had, we were just talking about this, we literally pretty much didn’t rent a hotel room, like get booked a hotel room for the entire first year and a half of us touring. Where it was. Because we, I mean, the nice thing about having eight people in the band is that like, we have a lot of friends. So like that, try to use that as a benefit as well. Whether it’s one of our families, or like a generous friends, like we see with a lot of our college friends parents, like because they would have like

Gracie Lawrence
we also stayed with a lot of people our age and just slept them. Yeah,

Jordan Cohen
we also slept in the van. We slept

Clyde Lawrence
in the van like once or twice. Yeah, I would say like the good nights. We were like staying with some buddies or friends family and like some really nice home and then they would like be so hospitable and like cook for us and whatever. But then there were many nights were just sleeping on like a just out of college friend’s floor. And then many nights were sleeping in the van. And that was kind of that we had Gracie and I like bought a van, a used van from the the savings that we had at that point. And so yeah, gas and gas and you know, people’s food, you know, we paid out like a small I think we paid out a $20 a day per diem to everybody in the band, which was like in advance against any profits. So like, and then every and which there weren’t any profits for the first year. Plus, and then almost everyone in the band had found other jobs that they were able to make no one in the band was making a living off of the touring for the first couple of years. Sure, everybody found other jobs, whether it was like tutoring giving lessons, freelance remote, software engineering work. You know, when someone was like writing grants for a non a nonprofit, thankfully, everyone in the band is like super smart and capable, and was able to find ways to Jordan was playing tons of weddings whenever we weren’t on or teaching. Yeah, it was a mix of like finding jobs that allowed people to have other sources of income.

Gracie Lawrence
I also think style of touring, like, you know, obviously, the conversation around mental health has progressed in a great way over the past few years. I think that style of touring worked for us at that time, because it was our first few years of touring, there’s a certain level of excitement. There’s a lot of youth, there’s a lot of energy and sort of willingness to, for lack of a less Gen Z term, like send it and and, like, I think that, you know, if that was perhaps still the way we were touring 10 years in, that would be really tough. And I’m sure we would have really hard conversations about, you know, mentally how can we make this better for ourselves physically, physically, how can we make this Fortunately, we’re not in that exact position, and we’re not having to have those those exact conversations. But yeah, I think like, that was also reminiscent of a specific time and place in all of our lives that we kind of had a mutual enthusiasm and willingness for that kind of touring and we also didn’t tour as back to that we had Cigna, If it can’t break, so I would say in between our touring periods are like, you know,

Clyde Lawrence
a few. Think of it that way. But maybe we did.

Gracie Lawrence
I mean, I just think we had time. I wouldn’t say that we toured for like an entire year that we had. Yeah.

Ari Herstand
Yeah. Nice. And Jordan, you’ve been tour managing since the beginning on my mat until present day. Is that is that been the case for 10? years?

Clyde Lawrence
Very, very first, like, the first right, like via me? Yeah, it was, yeah.

Ari Herstand
How did you learn to do this? Where did you like, and how has it evolved over the years?

Jordan Cohen
evolved over the years? Essentially, there’s no rulebook, there’s no guidelines. There’s no standard practices, and every day is kind of a new, exciting, terrible day. Yeah, I kind of like, thrive off of the dealing with whatever the day might throw my way. How is it grown? I mean, in a real sense, I think that’s something that’s like really nice is that as you grow in a band, people start to kind of listen to you a little more like you have more say in how the day is going to run. In the early days. It’s literally like, here’s when you’re showing you tell me what I need to know. And they say, Yep, sure, I’ll bet for you’ll have a 12 minute soundcheck and no one will be able to stay like we need three hours of soundcheck and time dressing rooms, make sure it has XYZ. Yeah. For our headlining tours. Sure. In terms of stage and production, like we’re able to kind of make some demands in which some of them get met, which is nice. Yeah, I often like and as you know, this is just a byproduct of our band and culture. Like we’re super super organized when it comes to tour management. And most venues are honestly like shocked at the level of nuance and like granularity that I expect them to be able to give me information. And then I have a high standard of expecting each venue to actually stand by their words. Yeah. which often leads to many arguments. And like many late night, as you saw in the documentary, just like stressful moments right before this, like, I’ll literally be arguing with someone until I walk on stage. And then

Clyde Lawrence
people we work with Dev know, realize, not just visually Jordan, but how many of the people in the band are in the band, right, because like Johnny, who is our production manager, usually wears like, all black during the whole day. And like, only looks like he’s just our roadie. He’s got like a walkie talkie. And he’s like, setting up all the equipment. And then like, he’s talking all the stage hands, and the way of production manager would, and then it’s like, same with Jordan. He’s like talking about the logistics of the day off and like, there, everyone’s like, Alright, we gotta go get on stage. And people don’t even realize that these guys are in the band, which is like, the funniest thing. Yeah,

Ari Herstand
that’s always a fun. That’s fantastic. Which this is a nice, natural segue. I mean, as you know, because you guys are so involved in the business operations of everything. You know, and you and you are so detail oriented and granular with how kind of the deals are structured and all of that. I mean, I was watching in the in the documentary, kind of how there was one show where you were charged 500 bucks for a production manager who didn’t show and you’re there and then if, you know, so speak, you know, a lot of people are listening right now, because because of your Senate testimony. And the big news of the week, of course, is that Live Nation has done away with merch fees for about 75 of their small to mid level venues, which is huge. I mean, this is honestly this is such a sea change. And I think it took a lot of people by surprise because not a you know, we we there’s a lot of grievances grievances in the music industry just across the board. And very rarely does something actually happen that actually helps real musicians in a real way. And this happened and it’s it’s being celebrated you know, across the industry. I think a lot of us are still in shock that this this actually went down. Not only are they doing away with the merch fees, but everyone from the headliners to the openers are getting paid $1,500 on top of the show compensation to cover other expenses and now I Got a lot of questions about this. I got on the phone with someone at Live Nation last night, because I’m just like, Alright, what’s the catch here? Is this like, is this like, is you have to submit gas receipts or like, what’s it like? No, no, it’s literally envelopes of cash. I’m like, Are you serious are like, yeah, go look on mine, like people are showing the envelopes of cash, they’re being of this. So, you know, first off, on behalf of the entire independent music community, I like to just offering an immense amount of gratitude. And thanks to both of you for what you did, because this wouldn’t have happened without your advocacy and your Senate testimony and that everything you’ve done behind the scenes in between, you know, the testimony until now, talk a little bit about the journey of how you started with the grievances in the green rooms of we’re being charged for this and that, and they’re not here and what this is absurd to today, and and this incredible deal.

Jordan Cohen
Yeah, first of all, thank you. That’s like, so nice. And it’s so cool to see these changes, finally happening. I think kind of what we were just saying, like, Clyde and I walk into every settlement of a show meaning like after the show happens, time to get paid time to look at the paperwork and talk it over, we walk in and we’re like so thorough in a way that most artists maybe aren’t because they’re outsourcing tour management to people that are like not part of the team. And they’re being paid to do a million things. And this is just one of them.

Clyde Lawrence
I think that’s a really critical part of it is like reexamining the responsibilities of the tour manager at the club level. Yeah, tour managers, often a person that is like, a really great can do spirit hands on attitude with not necessarily a ton of experience. And even if they do have a ton of experience, it might be in like the logistics of making the show happen, not on poring through the details of a settlement that they actually don’t stand to gain or lose if the money’s right or

Jordan Cohen
Yeah. So in the settlement rooms very often just be seeing things that on the face of it seem to be like unfair. And we’ll have really like often pleasant conversations with staff, you know, venue representatives discussing, like, why is it this way? Why is this the system? How did we get here? And every so often you’ll find someone who’s willing to have that conversation and agree that like, yeah, no, yeah, no, that does seem a little bit unfair. And when you do years of touring, and you have hundreds of these conversations, it just kind of built inside of like, something needs to happen here. Like we can’t keep just doing this forever. Yeah, I

Clyde Lawrence
mean, so we just always were having these conversations with each other with other people in the band with other bands or fans, with our fans. Yeah, like, you know, we would have meet and greet q&a sessions that would devolve into, like us talking about, you know, the economics of a show or whatever, um, and

Ari Herstand
a little bit more than your fans probably signed up.

Gracie Lawrence
Yeah, they’re, like, more interested in that.

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah. Really. We often get questions from fans, just like the ones you ask them, like, how do you start off touring economically at this level, like, all these things? And then you and then you say something like, Well, yeah, cuz it’s tough, you know, because this venue is taking 20% of our merch gross, which really comes out to like 40% of our merch, profits. And then, and then seven more hands go up. They’re like, wait, what like run, you know, people like when you start to tell them some of the numbers people start to like, really be interested whether they’re a musician or not. I think

Gracie Lawrence
also, because people in general, when they’re supporting a band at our level, or they feel like they’ve gotten in, on the ground level, they want to feel like when they’re buying a shirt, it’s going to the band, and that they feel like there’s something there’s a good feeling there. When you find something early, when you feel like it’s your secret to find out that that band is maybe not being treated the way you understood them to be treated or whatever that’s upsetting to you as like a fan or a consumer or someone who feels invested in this small thing.

Clyde Lawrence
Also, when you as a fan, spend $40 on a ticket between the service fees, and the whatever you at least like the feeling of feeling that you’re supporting a band that you love. And if you find out that, I don’t know, maybe only $12 of that 40 is actually at the end of the day going into the band’s pocket, partially because of deal structures being messed up partially because of the high costs on various sides of things. And then that’s not including our cost. So then only $6 are actually the band’s profit or whatever, like those then you’re like, wait, tell me more about that. So anyway, we have a lot of those kinds of conversations. And we. And I just think that there was this moment around that whole Taylor Swift debacle where there was just all of a sudden a more like mainstream national interest in hearing about the economics of the live music industry in the most broad sense. And I say that in a broad sense, because a lot of the issues Jordan and I were dealing with on a day to day basis, the ones we’re talking to you about right now have very little or only tangentially related to what happened with the whole Taylor Swift thing. But it was just an arraignment, where I think that there was an opening in like, the general interest mindset of the average person, to hearing about the economics of the live music industry in general. And so we were kind of encouraged by a friend of ours to write something, thinking maybe it’d be an open letter thinking maybe it would be picked up in some random whatever. And literally, like very randomly, The New York Times ran it. And then that was like, whoa, okay, this is about to be like a whole different ballgame. Like, literally, it was like, it went from literally being like, oh, yeah, like if we liked the way this turns out, we know our fans think that we care a lot about this, like maybe we’ll post it on socials, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, to like, literally me getting an email being like, Hey, this is the head of New York Times editorial, read your piece from a friend of a friend. We’d love to run this, like in the next week. And then like, like, it was literally that so then it’s like,

Jordan Cohen
that came out. Yeah. And then shortly after that, then everything, everything started coming together, including getting an email similar to that from Senator Amy Klobuchar, his office, basically saying that she’s putting this panel together for the Senate Judiciary committee’s hearing on all of this ticketing stuff, and they want to have an artist and they want to have, they were like, wondering if we would want to be that artists. And get like in those weeks and months, everything just kept leveling up and intensive. You

Clyde Lawrence
really I was, I’ve said this to you before, but like you really come to understand how a person becomes like that guy that’s on every news channel. Because literally like it like in the days leading up to and right after the Senate testimony or the Live Nation out that it was like CNN, NBC, CBS, like all the different things being like, do you want to come do a five minute talking? And it’s like, you really like, oh, like, I get like, I don’t know, it was just one of those moments where I was like, this is how this is how this happens. We can be like, and then it’s like, do we want to do that? Like, like, what is the benefit? Do we want to be choosy about what we’re saying? Like, how, like, are we going to just be what’s the goal? Yeah, exactly. When it became like, what’s the goal? And the goal is to create change. We can. And so then we talk in front of the Senate again, like, totally don’t know what that’s going to be like, but it turns out to like, literally go viral on Tiktok. And like, we’re told in advance. And I think Amy Klobuchar has even has even mentioned this, like publicly, like, we were kind of told in advance like, yeah, we wanted to have an artists perspective. So like, you guys be on the panel, but no one’s probably going to really ask you any questions. They’re going to spend 90% of their time on the Live Nation guy. And and then of course, we’re getting asked a million questions, just to talk to the artist and all of us want, you know, probably a like fun video of like them conversing with the artist said

Gracie Lawrence
was very interesting and compelling and perhaps unexpected. Yeah, I think in a way that probably made them gear their questions slightly differently. It’s the

Clyde Lawrence
same as what I said about the VIP meet and greets, you know, I start talking about some of the economics of this all of a sudden people like wait, what, like, I have a question. Literally, like, all these questions, by far the most vile, like, spread clips from the whole event are the ones of us doing our thing. So just like this crazy Snowball thing, where it’s like, really, the none of this was like part of some big calculated plan. But then again, there’s a whole new round of like opportunities to talk to press about it, like okay, what’s the goal and then it balloons into like, opportunities to talk to other government powers about it, and pursue that route and then it turns into opportunities to talk in a more serious way to live nation directly about it, in which we’re like really given an opportunity to like voice, not only the things that we wanted to say that were directly related to the Senate hearing, because again, the Senate hearing was all about ticketing, consumer ticketing issues. So we were kind of trying to Trojan horses, many of our like, artist advocacy issues into that, not that we don’t care about consumer ticketing issues. Sure. But then like, you know, through that, given a chance to actually sit down with Live Nation in an in a non Senate setting, in a more undefined period of time, and air, all of our concerns that whether or not they’re related to the issue of the moment, and then, you know, I think that we kind of just spoke about a number of things had a number of continued conversations. And it became clear very quickly, that this merge issue was one that we were really being heard on, you know, I think that it became clear immediately, that like, not to say that they’re not open to some of the other things that we have brought up. And hopefully those, you know, these programs will expand, and we’re continuing our conversations with them. But from the get go was like, Oh, the merch thing? Yeah, no, yeah, let’s figure that out. You know, that was kind of the tone.

Jordan Cohen
Yeah. Which was honestly, like there in this one epic meeting that we had, right on the heels of all of this craziness. It was really nice. Like, we had, again, like, it was a big, long, undefined amount of time with some pretty high up people at Live Nation, which was the first time we had ever had the opportunity to, like, be heard out on that level. And we’re met with like, a lot of listening, and like appreciating our concerns, and agreeing with us on a few of these things, including the merch thing that like, ultimately led us to this point, kind of in, you know, six months of working with them.

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah, I think so much of their business, is the super high level artists and high level concerts. And so I think that like, honestly, not to say there, they weren’t paying attention, but I think that it’s like, I just think that like a lot of the people making the biggest decisions there are understandably focused on, like, not the club level, economics as much for artists like like not to say that they’re not thinking about that. And they’re obviously thinking about it on their own. And the thing is that the margins at the club level are razor thin for everybody. I’m sure. But But yeah, I think that, like, there was almost a sense of like, we’re coming in with all of these issues that club level artists are facing, and it was sort of just like a moment of them being like, okay, yeah, like, let’s just try to fix some of these issues. Like that was honestly the tone like, okay, yeah, like, fair enough. Yeah.

Ari Herstand
Then where did the oh, sorry, gone?

Clyde Lawrence
No, no, go ahead.

Ari Herstand
Where did the $1,500 per artists come from? Do you? Did you guys discuss that? Or was that as much of a shock to you, as it was everybody else,

Jordan Cohen
the specifics of that were not really something that we were involved in as, but we were very much kind of illuminating the issues that like, in these deals, all of the venue, expenses are always covered. And none of the artists expenses are covered? Yes, that was kind of the main point that we were bringing to the table. And we, you know, suggested some solutions in which this is one of them. But there I think there are other things that can be happening industry wide, to help alleviate that pain. But yeah, they kind of took that pain point and ran with it. To this specific point,

Clyde Lawrence
we definitely we definitely, like brought up on our you know, we literally, I mean, we have a list of bullet points, and definitely one of them was like a both like messaging and financial acknowledgement of the artists costs in the form of some type of reimbursement, because obviously, artists can sometimes have guarantees, but it’s small clubs, those are often not even enough to cover their costs. And that money is commissioned by a whole litany of people. So yeah, I think that that was well yeah.

Ari Herstand
And for the openers, I mean, you know, it’s, it’s no it’s no secret that a lot of openers, especially first to three openers, or something like that. Might be getting paid a couple 100 bucks to open the show, literally one to $300 to open a show in front of you know, 800 people or something like that. So like going from making $200 to making $1,700 That’s a huge is different

Clyde Lawrence
thing that’s happening that openers, and headliners are each $1,500 Wow, got it. That’s honestly, to be totally honest with you. That’s when we added when we spoke with Live Nation about what the program was going to be. It wasn’t exactly that. So that’s really amazing to hear if that’s what it has evolved into. It was yeah, the numbers are a little different. But it’s super. Now,

Ari Herstand
the other thing is, is is, you know, all of this is incredible. And in the fact that it’s really nice to hear kind of the behind the scenes of just like that you were heard and that you brought these grievances. And like you said, then you expenses are always covered. And artists expenses are never really discussed and never part of that conversation. So the fact that they are they not only heard that, but they’re addressing it, you know, now there’s a lot of naysayers out there. I don’t know if you’ve seen the commentary, especially from kind of the independent venue associations, namely, like Niva, national independent venue Association, and some of these other independent venues that are like, well live, this is a this is a move by Live Nation to just push out and put out of business, the independent venues, and then once all the other their competition is out of business, then they’re gonna go back to their old own ways. What would you say to that?

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah, I mean, look, as I said, Before, the margins at at this level of very thin, so I’m totally, like, sympathetic to that perspective. And obviously, like, we want independent venues to be able to not only exist, but thrive. We also want artists to be able to exist and thrive. And it’s really hard because you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, as far as, you know, having everybody that deserves to make a comfortable living doing this amazing thing, which is putting on club level shows where everyone should we want all of that. Yeah. And like we look forward to or hope that there’s an opportunity for us to, like, come up with ideas for how to make positive change for the economics of independent club level venues. Yes, but I don’t think that the solution is clinging on to what feels like not totally good. Policy from like a philosophical standpoint. Like, I think that I think that’s a really interesting conversation to be had. But I think that getting rid of artists merch cuts at the club level is the right thing to do. And I don’t think that Live Nation should be discouraged from doing that. Like, as to what their motives are, look like, Jordan, I’ve had a number of conversations with them in which to our, to our ear, they’re interested in solving some of the problems that that small level artists are having right now. And like, yes, you’re able to make that change. Like that’s, you know, hopefully this program is permanent. And that is exactly like how that proves to be. So it’s it’s such a complicated issue, obviously, but the only thing I feel confident in is that them getting rid of artists merch cuts is good and something to be celebrated. That’s kind of like Absolutely, let’s go from that agreement and move forward and hear everybody’s concerns.

Ari Herstand
Well, and that’s the thing is just like, I think we all agree that merch cuts, artist merch cuts are an unethical and they if we’re not getting a cut of the bar, then then the venue and the promoter should not be getting a cut of the merch. It’s it’s pretty understood that that that just makes a lot of sense. That’s just conceptually just makes sense. And so, you know, I took I in response to a lot of these independent venues or people saying, well, like, the live nation’s motives are XY and Z and like, regardless, I mean, yes, we’re in a capitalist society, they’re a massive multibillion dollar corporation, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t trust them fine. Nobody, you know, whatever. But that doesn’t negate the fact that they are doing something really really good in the right direction and making strides and that hopefully will inspire every other venue independent major, whatever to do what’s right and that is to do away with with merch cots and just like, no matter how, you know, it turns out like that just is the right thing to do.

Clyde Lawrence
Yeah, they’re just doing the right yeah, like that’s exactly. You know, we’ve had our conversations with the people there every everyone might have every artists might have their own relationship with Live Nation the like, Sure, which and by that I mean like nation the corporation as a concept, Live Nation as a collective of individual people that you’ve met throughout your career, because if you’re a touring artists, you have a relation. Yeah, I’m set of people that represent my nation. Certainly our relationship with both the corporation and the people that are that make it up has evolved. So everyone’s gonna have their own different opinions about their level of what they think the reasoning is. But I think it boils down to what you just said, which is like, let’s not stop a company from doing a thing that really benefits artists, and is the right thing to do right now.

Ari Herstand
Absolutely. Yeah. And you’re right. I mean, there are some of my friends, good friends work at Live Nation. I mean, there are people, there are really good people that make up you know, a corporation and all of that and like, but the concept of, of Live Nation live, you know, like, in your song Live Nation is a monopoly. I mean, like, calling them out by name. It’s like, it’s, that’s, that’s an idea. That’s more than just like, you know, the actual substance of it all. So well, above all, you know, again, thank you guys, for your advocacy and your work. I mean, this is massive stride, huge moves in the right direction. And it’s going to be I mean, it’s going to benefit 1000s and 1000s of artists. And, really, I mean, it’s going to make, I mean, they estimated it’s going to put 10s of millions of dollars back into artists pockets, just in the next few months, is what they’ve calculated. And I’ve the Live Nation rep that I spoke to last night, she said that this is going to be ongoing until further notice. So there’s no end date to this program, which is great. And this is really the conversation that has needed to happen. So it’s great to see real change in on that front. So just to kind of finish up, I want to just kind of get back to the music a little bit. Because you know, you guys, you know, we get lose every talk business. We are in the new music, business podcasts, after all. So we are, we do have to talk about the business a little bit, but, but I’m really excited to hear about the new single that you guys have, well, by this point, as Aaron has just released. And just to talk a little bit about unconfident that I’m insecure, the previous single now the the version that you put out, I’m confident and I’m insecure. You kind of call it the well there’s I saw the video, which was fantastic, the kind of acoustic ish version and all of that, which is super fun. Is this part of like, is this the version that’s going to be the version? And is this part of the rollout for the new album and talk about that and then talk about the the new single?

Gracie Lawrence
Yeah, I mean, well, the official songs been out for I guess, a little over a month, right, like, six weeks or something. And then we always we are not always but we found when making the last album that you know what, what we do in the studio is one thing but we do it the live show is another thing and then there’s always this version of Clyde and I love working with like a million singers and like that’s like the dream and Clyde is amazing a vocal arrangement. So I think we we were really excited on the last album to do you know, these acoustic ish versions, or I guess we really only did them for two of the songs. And people seem to really like like those videos we don’t want for don’t lose sight that definitely have this like viral moment. And then when we were just starting working on this batch of new music and release, I’m confident that I’m insecure. We thought it would be really fun to do an acoustic ish version of that song that felt really different than the studio recording. And just kind of like gave people a different lens into the song and featured like our favorite singers and friends. So yeah, I mean, I think we’ll continue making those kinds of videos and maybe one day I’ll have a home somewhere on something that’s released but that is that version is on Spotify also or any music as well as the official Yeah, that song is a it’s a means a lot to I think all of us I wrote that the beginnings of it in like the pandemic in a particularly low moment mentally and brought like the first half of the song to Clyde and was just like, What do you think about this? You know, I’m struggling with this feeling of like, insecurity in my life even though I’m a seemingly like confident and outgoing person given my job. And I thought it was a cool idea to play with like confidence and insecurity in the same song whereas usually we only hear about like, one end of that spectrum. And don’t hold those realities and The same song or piece, and or mindset. And I think I often oscillate between both within one sentence. So I like the idea of playing with that. And Clyde really liked what I’ve written. And we just kind of finished the song and worked with Jordan and Johnny, who’s the other producer in our band and Jon Bellion. And there’s that song and

Ari Herstand
I love I love the line in the afternoon. I’m a rising Pisces and a fucked up moon. That’s my favorite. It’s my favorite part. It’s a great, it’s a great line.

Gracie Lawrence
Thanks. Yeah, I think like that, that song is a good example of the ways in which we try to like infuse our songs, a lot of comedy and humor and like, talk about things that are, you know, important to us. But from a perspective, that’s not necessarily so heavy handed or overly sad, or overly sad. Just kind of conversationally, as if you were writing it in your diary or talking to a friend. So that’s sort of cool.

Clyde Lawrence
And then we do have yeah, by the time this is out, we will have not released probably but announced the upcoming release of our new single 23 which is one that we’re really excited about. It’s it’s another song featuring Gracie on lead vocals,

Gracie Lawrence
which usually many many songs

Clyde Lawrence
usually we try to go back and forth between like ones but this one felt like a really good one to release right now. So we’re doing a rare back to back Gracie, lead vocal? You know, yeah. It’s a fun one. And part of the reason why we wanted to release it is because we’ve been playing it live not on this tour, but a number of times on our like previous headline shows. And so our fan know about it, they’re excited for it. I think it’s fun I think like I think it’s a really really like fun song that feels like Lauren’s but also has some like, slightly different feeling like production in a way that I think will be cool for this song and is really cool.

Gracie Lawrence
I also think it might be our most succinctly written pop song ever.

Clyde Lawrence
What do you mean, like how it took us? Well, no.

Gracie Lawrence
Not in the actual how quickly because right. But I think because of that, like some people have this, when we talk about songwriting a lot people are like I wrote in in 30 seconds, and that means brilliant. And that’s sometimes true. Like don’t lose sight I feel like which is a song I think we both liked immediately was a very quick write like an hour. But this song was the opposite experience of literally, like, I think every single word has been changed 20 times

Clyde Lawrence
song about a few different things. It’s a song about beat turning 23. And feeling like you have high hopes, or you had high hopes for turning 23. But then like, someone breaks your heart while you’re 23. And in a way that makes you sad. And that’s sort of like so it’s like, it’s right, like, that’s kind of what it’s about. It’s about getting broken up with while you’re 23. And it was like, how much do we want to talk about the breakup versus just the age like we could focus verse, you know, when you have those precious moments in your verse to like, tell some story? Are we telling a story about what it’s like to be 23? Are we are we needing to like set up the character of like, this relationship that you’re in that’s getting broken up? You know, it’s like,

Gracie Lawrence
hitting your real estate. Sometimes

Clyde Lawrence
songs have like, such a limited amount of real estate that if you’re kind of like telling a story, it’s not just like, Oh, I’m 23 and it’s not just like, oh, breakup song. It’s like, breakup at 23. So I feel like it took us so long to keep adjusting like, where we were kind of like focusing our attention lyrically and

Gracie Lawrence
melodically just we had a hook that we really liked. And just framing that as as perfectly as we could with John, who’s such a master at that John belly and like we just, we all were like racking our brains to try to figure out this song for the longest time. So on that level, I’m very excited for it to come out because a we can’t change it anymore, and be very happy with where we landed because we really, it took so much consideration and sometimes that’s actually I mean, I don’t know what that means in terms of how it will perform or how successful will be or anything like that. But from a personal success level. I’m really happy with where it landed and sometimes that does take three years to

Clyde Lawrence
get joy. You did have the idea at some point or make it of like putting out an EP that’s just like five days. versions of

Jordan Cohen
all the different produced the song in one night, like 80% of it three years, of course.

Gracie Lawrence
A full version of the song Three years ago, we

Jordan Cohen
were like, This is so good.

Clyde Lawrence
We need to sit. It was right at the tail end of us, right, we should have put in a

Jordan Cohen
hotel TV. Oh, good. We got to save it for the next one. And then we just three years of tinker, tinker with every beat,

Gracie Lawrence
but it’s better now.

Ari Herstand
So. So you’re telling me that the song is not about Michael Jordan? That’s, that’s

Speaker 5
what you’re saying? Or is it about talking about what our songs are? Okay, okay.

Clyde Lawrence
You’re talking about verse version? Seven. That was?

Ari Herstand
Right. Sorry. I was going off of a live version from

Clyde Lawrence
a whole time where it was written about the year 2023.

Ari Herstand
Yeah, okay. Okay. Yeah.

Clyde Lawrence
We kept tinkering with it. We did at one point, we were like, We gotta just have this song done in time to put it out in the year 2020. Note as nothing about the

Ari Herstand
Yeah, cool. Well, guys, this has been such a treat chatting with all three of you, I didn’t realize I was gonna get all three of you. And I’m so happy that we all got to shoot the shit over the last hour. I have one final question that I asked everybody who comes on the show, and I’d love to hear each of your answers. And that is what does it mean to you to make it in the new music business?

Clyde Lawrence
Great question. I mean, we kind of have to start

Gracie Lawrence
No, but

Clyde Lawrence
really, I think there’s literally a conversation about this in episode three of our doc series, in which people literally different members, Episode Five, two talks about more, what does it mean to be famous? And episode three talks about what does it mean to be successful? And, you know, yeah, I’ve often described being in the music business to like, being on a ladder hanging, just free floating on a ladder, and knowing that there’s like a million rungs above you, and a million rungs below you, but like not really knowing where you are in the course of the ladder. Um, and I think that that is like, that’s kind of how I feel like it is. So I think, like, my advice to people is just like, try to enjoy the ladder, try to enjoy the rung you’re on and take it one rung at a time. And if you happen to jump three rungs great. Like, that’s my advice, but how do I define like, where on that ladder is making it? I think, like, for me, it’s always been at like, being able to make exactly the music that I want to make not compromise. My artistic or operational values, like having the band culture be exactly what we want it to be all those things being paramount, and being able to make a good living doing it. while not sacrificing any of that like, to me, making like making an even better living, but sacrificing a bunch of that would be less making it to me than keeping all of that keeping everything what I want it to be and then making a living doing that. At the very least, that’s the version of making it to me.

Gracie Lawrence
That’s a good answer. I would agree with that. I’ll give a like very emotional, potentially hormonal answer. But I recently at one of our shows, we’ve been doing these off day headline shows in between the Jonas Brothers tour dates in some of the markets, and we did one show and I was feeling really just like out of it after the show. And so I went backstage and the, I guess the manager of the venue, or the someone who was working at the venue that day came backstage and said, there’s a bunch of young girls like probably around eight or nine, who like have waited here for a while and they want to talk to you and I didn’t know that. And I was like, oh, okay, yeah, I’ll come out and talk to them. And I spoke to them for probably, like 15 minutes or 10 minutes. Maybe not even that, you know, they they were like not trying to be obtrusive, in any way. Although, like for me, they didn’t notice but I was like, So do you guys want to talk? I was like, so excited to talk to

Clyde Lawrence
them. When you say eight or nine. You mean that’s how old? Oh, that’s how old they were not the court there. Were probably

Gracie Lawrence
like five girls, and they were around eight or nine years old. And yeah, I had I got I came backstage and just was like, really moved by it. Because it just reminded me of what it was like to be an eight year old girl who wanted to be a musician, all of them played music and all of them. You know, we’re interested in songwriting and that you know, and having a conversation with them about that. And then kind of reflecting on where I was currently at. That was like a very emotional moment for me. And I think the way that they respond to our music, I think if I’m able to have and continue to have those connections with people in general, but maybe, particularly young women, I think that that’s become over the past few years very apparent to me that that’s something that’s really important for for me and to feel like excited about this job. And and that’s something that really like fuels, fuels me, so shout out to those roles. They were really awesome. That’s great in life. Yeah.

Jordan Cohen
My answer, I could tell him two anecdotes. One is that when we played that show, in hotel TV, a hotel cafe 250, people, like I, that was it, I made it, we thought we made it, then that’s the coolest thing in the world, we went across the country. And there are people here that care about us. And like, that was such a pure feeling of having made it. I also have, without name dropping, met someone in a band that is like one of the biggest bands that mankind has ever known. And I was so blown away to be in His presence. And he was like, Oh, where are you from? He said, New York. And he said, we’re playing the MetLife Stadium, you got to come you got to buy tickets, you got to we need to sell tickets. And he was selling me so hard on bought and I was like, Dude, you’re in the biggest band ever. Like you’re doing this hustle of like meetings. And it was really like wow, like kind of like a real life representation of life saying like, the spectrum is just so wide from what it means to have made it you could be playing hotel Cafe feeling like you’ve made it or playing MetLife Stadium and like being stressed about selling tickets, so I don’t know. I don’t think there ever is a real moment. Anyone. Just be happy to be happy.

Ari Herstand
I love it. Jordan Clyde Gracie, Lawrence. Thank you guys so much. So

today’s episode was edited by Mikey Evans with music by Brassroots District and produced by all the great people at Ari’s Take

 

About The Author

Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.

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