Interview mit Eric Walden von AGR Publicity
Interview mit Eric Walden von AGR Publicity
Hi Eric, my name is Amir and I´m one of the founders of metal-heads.de, the music magazine for fans of the heavy side of music. Our attitude is: Distortion is our passion! So anything goes, using an electric guitar. I was interested to hear of the start of AGR Publicity and wanted to learn more about it and tell our readers the story. So here we go…
MH: I bet you must have a strong relation to music to decide to deal with this subject as a business. How did your musical interest develop and when/why did you decide to focus on „heavy“ music?
How it all began…
EW: Hi Amir, Thanks for asking. Growing up, I was really into video games. Some of those games had great soundtracks, like Need For Speed Underground, Guitar Hero 3, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Those games introduced me to some great aggressive music like Story Of The Year, All That Remains, and Static-X.
MH: let´s start quite in the beginning of the company. I´d be interested to know, how you got into starting this company? Who´s idea was it and how did it begin and develop?
EW: I started going to rock and metal shows pretty often and was given the opportunity to write reviews and interviews for Soundcheck411. I wanted to switch my focus to local bands, so I started my own site By The Barricade the following year. We worked with some bands and created a compilation album. That prompted the creation of Awfully Good Records a few years later. The most recent addition is AGR Publicity and it focuses on connecting aggressive bands with journalists.
MH: If you would like to advise people, starting such a business. What would you recommend to do (or better not do on the other hand)?
Ask for help and be surprised
EW: We ran into a lot of hurdles with each new business iteration. The biggest advice I can give is, to ask for help. Lots of people who work in music are eager to lend guidance, ideas, and advice. People who I originally saw as competitors, became friends over the years. You would be surprised, how many influential people in music will answer e-mails.
MH: Who supported you in your efforts and how is the structure of your team nowadays?
EW: There are so many people, who supported me over the years. I’m extremely grateful for all the help. Some that come to mind would be Elvis Cortez of Smelvis Records. He was one of the first people, to actually answer my questions about record labels. Andrew Andrade of Rise or Die Records got us into Alternative Press really early on. And Nicole Lemberg of Soundcheck411 was the person, who opened the door to this music rabbit hole.
I first hired a lawyer Ben McLane and a graphic artist Mathew Upton to help out. AGR’s team has grown over the years and is currently 15 people. Some work on specific projects and others work specific times. It’s great to see the team growing so fast.
MH: Are you satisfied with what you reached so far and where do you see AGR Publicity in 1, 5 and 10 years?
EW: We’ve accomplished a lot of the years, but there’s still a lot of room to grow. Right now, I’m focused on working with as many artists as possible. In the next few years, I would like to get more involved in booking west coast tours. It’s our goal to become a one-stop-shop in the future, but right now we’re focused on connecting aggressive bands with journalists.
Let´s dream together
MH: Of course, it´s allowed to dream. What bands would you like to work with and why?
EW: I would really like to work with ASSUMING WE SURVIVE. They were one of the first bands, that we saw grow out of the local scene. It was great to meet them at tiny bars and see them now playing huge festivals. ANTI FLAG is also on my bucket list. Lastly, DRAGGED UNDER is a great new band. Their first album is great! I think they will get really popular over the next few years.
MH: I bet, you visit quite a lot of concerts – for the business (and maybe also fort he personal interest). What do you prefer? The sweaty club gig, the huge arena or maybe even a large festival? Please explain us why.
EW: I really like small sold out shows. There is this tiny venue called Chain Reaction, that I used to go to a lot. Having excited fans bumping into me and crowd surfing over my head, just makes the show a lot more fun.
Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas
There is this great festival in Las Vegas, Nevada called Punk Rock Bowling. They have a festival until late at night at a big outdoor venue. Once the main show is over, the whole street is covered in punks and club shows. It’s the best of both worlds and a great weekend.
MH: the final words is always to our interview partners. Here YOU get the chance to tell the people out there something, that you think is important, regarding music in general or whatever. So, here we go…
A final advice from the founder
EW: Start! A lot of people have big goals, but do nothing waiting for an opportunity. If you want to write, write for free when you’re not working. If you want to play music, hop on Youtube and try matching some tutorials. Show people, you have experience (even if it’s from volunteering) and you’re more likely to find paid gigs.
MH: Thanx for your time for this interview. I bet, it´s interesting for our readers to get these insights in the business. We have a category called „behind the scenes“, where we will publish this. Have a great year of 2020 and all the best for the coming efforts!
- Logo AGR Publicity-White: Eric Walden, AGR Publicity
- AGR-Circle Logo: Eric Walden, AGR Publicity
- Eric Walden Photo: Eric Walden, AGR Publicity