One of the least talked about and perhaps most important topics for musicians to understand is copyright. What is it, how do you copyright your music, and what’s the point of doing so? On this episode, we cover the basics of copyright with IP lawyer Peter Vaughan Shaver and musician Simon Tam. We also hear from Jessica Sobhraj, CEO of Cosynd, a platform created for creators to protect their work.
On this episode we spotlight two people making change in the music industry. You might know Meredith Graves from her band Perfect Pussy, or from her work as a full time MTV News host. She also freelances and runs her own label. Meredith discusses her various jobs, the state journalism, hot takes and PWR BTTM. We also hear from musician Simon Tam about his groundbreaking Supreme Court case dealing with the trademark of his band’s name, The Slants.
Whether you love it or hate it, if you’re in a band, touring is something you’ve got to do. Touring has long been important for building a fanbase, gaining experience and making money. Now that other income streams have diminished for artists, revenue from live performances is more important than ever. On this episode of The Future of What we talk to bands about their different approaches to touring. We hear from Hutch Harris of The Thermals, Zach Carothers of Portugal. The Man, Jack Cooper and James Hoare (Ultimate Painting), and Simon Tam, founder of The Slants.
In an industry where it’s difficult to make a living, musicians have had to become more and more creative to survive, especially with shrinking royalties in their pockets. One way some artists have managed to succeed is to tap into — or create — a niche market. Whether it’s inventing a new genre or signing to an obscure label, their stories prove that there’s not just one path to success in the music business. Our guests on this episode share their unique approaches to what they do. We hear from Simon Tam, founder of Asian American dance rock band The Slants, who saw a lucrative opportunity in playing anime conventions. Charmaine Clamor, creator of Jazzipino, a genre combining Filipino folk songs with American jazz and blues, also joins us. Finally we talk with Eric Isaacson, founder of Portland’s enigmatic Mississippi Records.