"Matt understands it all. My work experiences with him have shown me that he has intricate knowledge of how every aspect of the music business works and is intertwined together. With that knowledge and creative thinking he has made every event with my artists a great one that has allowed the event to maximize both the artist experience and more importantly the fan experience." - Dalton Sim, Nettwerk Management
"Matt has always offered great insight when it comes to artist development." - Nick Storch, ICM
"Reality Check... is an honest and clear cut, yet clever and entertaining, artist development text promoting the 'DIY' tradition for new and growing musical artists and students of music business." - Julie Viscardi-Smalley, Professor of Entertainment Management, Bay State College (*click here to read her full book review published in the MEIEA Journal)
I wrote this book between 2005 and 2007 because I was (and still am) frequently fielding questions from young people with an interest in the music business, and after looking around for an appropriate resource to supplement my opinions I saw a void in the spectrum of literature about the industry. There are books about business practice, there are great tales of legendary artists, but there is little information available to aspiring industry professionals and artists looking for their first "break." So I decided to fill it.
I do not consider myself a great writer, nor a marketing guru or philosopher/theorist. I bow at the feet of guys like Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin, and suggest all people in all industries consume their bodies of work. Nor do I hold a candle to the ultimate connector in music, Bob Lefsetz, whose blog reaches tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) across the music world, at all levels of the game, whose bird’s eye view is filled with great stories illustrating lessons to be learned by legendary artists past and present. Rather, Reality Check fills that space where the greats rarely go. In a conversational tone, I identify concepts and themes which young people ask me about everyday, and offer nuggets of information intended to make them think about their own surroundings and what they can do to break into the business by traditional and non-traditional means (especially non-traditional means), in terms that can resonate with them. These themes mirror those addressed by Gladwell, Godin and Lefsetz – I even reference Gladwell in the book – but I approach them in a way which I believe more people can relate, in that I don’t assume a reference to the Beatles will resonate with a young person as much as a reference to myself and my own experience, because while you may one day hope to become like the Beatles, in reality you are more like me, just as I am like you.
And although there have been many changes/advancements in the years since the book was written (particularly online), the content stands the test of time because there is an inherent, underlying truth to my words, because they reflect my own experience, my years in the trenches, slugging it out as an aspiring professional, working with emerging artists. And since writing this book, and subsequently taking my own advice, I have come a long way. I am living proof. I am working with some of the great artists of today, and tomorrow. And I hope you will too.
Please enjoy, send me feedback, and I look forward to seeing you on the road!