Ever since I was a kid, I had a weird habit of singing songs over other songs. I'd hear a song playing (radio, stereo, whatever), but I'd hear the melody of another song, and start singing that other song. I don't know how to explain it. I just notice things different than other people.
As a record collector, I've always tried to get every remix of every song I like. As you get all the different mixes, you can start isolating and looping different elements. If you were lucky, a label would release the acapella version of a song on a promotional release.
Nowadays, with 5.1 mixes, multitrack elements in video games and other internet leaks, you can find almost anything you want.
Copyright is a funny thing. So are record labels & publishing companies.
In the world of copyright, there is the argument of "Transformative Work". I've already written a piece on my thoughts of transformative works, and even been cited in an Electronic Frontier Foundation filing to the Copyright Office of the Library Of Congress. The quote: "The maker of several acclaimed noncommercial mashups has been the target of so many takedown notices that he has been forced to self-host his videos, including a mashup of The Beach Boys "God Only Knows" and The Beatles “And I Love Her."" (page 12 of the PDF linked above, if you're too lazy to search for it yourself). :)
The label and publishing part of this is more annoying. These companies are unbelievably quick to claim videos on YouTube, so as to earn money from the ads they put on said videos. This money, by the way, rarely makes it to the actual artist whose video is being claimed. If the video is on a service that does not have an ad mechanism, like Vimeo, these labels and publishers will go and use DMCA takedowns. Why? It's not for the artists they represent. It is solely because they can not monetize the video for themselves.
I had videos on both services. Those videos had a large number of views. Still, due to claims from labels and publishers, I was black listed from YouTube, and currently have two strikes on Vimeo. I went so far as to replace all my Vimeo videos with a still frame, announcing why all my videos are off their service.
An example of the fun of copyrights. YouTube removed my mashup video of Nine Inch Nails vs Rick Astley (the claim came from Astley's label). But, because of "fair use", Kevin Rose and DiggNation can talk about and show my mashup on their YouTube video:
Isn't copyright fun?
TL;DR version: Just go to the Mixes page, and hear / watch / download all my mixes. I'm paying for this server, so I can host and share my own mixes. It's not cheap, but I don't care. I want people to hear my work! When my mixes aired on radio stations back in the day, there was no issue. The internet should be no different!
The artists that I work for are aware of my "extracurricular activities". Whether they like the mixes I do or not, they know I wouldn't use anything that I've acquired through working for them to do one of my mixes. Some of the artists, though, have actually given me bits to use in mixes (which is sweet of them). And it doesn't affect my career, as - and I'm still amazed by it - the Recording Academy (you know...the Grammy Awards) welcomed me into their organization in September of 2018 as an Associate Member. Still need to work on getting that "Voting Member" status. ;)
Back in 1998, I was working in Production over at Groove Radio (103.1 FM), here in Los Angeles. I did a number of radio edits for the radio station (near 100!). As time passed, record labels started using my radio edits as promotional radio edits for other radio stations.
One day, back in April of 1998, I was at Warner Brothers in Burbank, bringing them some edits. I was also proposing a bonus disc idea for the Depeche Mode "Singles 86>98" CD (which did come out, but in an abridged form). After that meeting, I walked down the hall to the New Media area, and asked who was currently running the Depeche Mode web site. When I was asked why, I replied (literally) "Dude. The site sucks ass! I could do a better job in my sleep." Always the professional. :)
A week later, I presented the label with my proposal for the web site (which evolved into The Archives area of the official site). The label then sent a link to the band's manager. After a few days, I heard back from the label. I was told that the manager was not interested in having a fan run their web site. Luckily, the guy at the label was a friend of mine, and he gave me the manager's fax number. The two page fax I sent off was laced with a number of colorful words and suggestions.
The manager then went and faxed my two page fax to the company that were running the band's web site at the time, and told them to hire me.
As of September 2nd, 1998 (the official re-launch of their web site), I have been their webmaster.
Since I am a big fan of the band, and a big collector, I end up being the guy that the management and label come to for answers on a number of topics. As such, I have consulted on a number of releases that have come out since 1998.
A brief list (incomplete - last updated: October 2018):
• "The Singles 86>98": Proposal of bonus CD
• Released Remixes: "Dream On", "Mercy In You"
• Unreleased Remixes: "I Feel Loved", "Goodnight Lovers", "The Dead Of Night", "In Chains"...
• "Goodnight Lovers": Proposal of red vinyl 12" single for German market
• "Bong 52 CD": Proposal, creation and production of bonus CD with the band's final issue of their fan club magazine
• "The Singles 86>98 + DVD": Proposal of second DVD
• Martin Gore "Stardust": Creation of DVD bonus content, with Martin and Andrew Phillpott
• "Devotional": Consultation of content for DVD
• "LiveHereNow": I originally proposed the idea of a series of live CD's from their "Touring The Angel" tour, which was then handled by LiveHereNow
• "Depeche Mode: Video Singles Collection": Creation of track listing, collection of assets, quality control, all as part of my new title, "Depeche Mode: Band Archivist"
• "Global Spirit Tour": I got "Corrupt" on the setlist. You're welcome. :)
• "Speak And Spell - The 12" Singles" and "A Broken Frame - The 12" Singles": As band archivist, I am responsible for picking the correct mixes to include in the box set, as well as suggesting extras to be added to the sets. Beyond that, I am also preparing all the digital files for vinyl (fades, and so far on a few live tracks, hum removal). I also approve all the test pressings. I highly recommend that you buy both Speak And Spell and A Broken Frame. There's more to come!
Backstage passes are given out by management to various people: celebrities, friends, some fans. I have ZERO ability to put you in touch with the right people in order to make this happen. Sorry. As for "Meet & Greets", those are usually handled by the media relations or record label people. Again, I have ZERO ability to help you. I run the web site. I archive the band's history. I do not run the tours.
Along with "Why aren't the band touring in (name of city)", and "You suck! I want a backstage pass!", this is probably the most asked question. Simply put, you can not contact the band through myself. The band had a fan club, but (sadly) it was terminated. The band do not have public email addresses, there is no form to contact them on their official site, and I do not forward messages to the band. Sorry.
I have a very clear set of rules when it comes to video removal on YouTube:
* Delete ANYTHING that was released (home video, audio only clips, et cetera). It does not matter if you added new subtitles.
* Delete ANYTHING that was taken from depechemode.com. We don't need a "mirror" for the video content.
* Delete any videos that contain Depeche, as requested by third party people. This has, so far, only happened once.
The clips I leave up:
* Anything you shot at a show.
* Anything from television, excluding clips taken from depechemode.com.
* Fan mixes, fan videos, et cetera.
* You playing a DM song on an instrument, or singing.
Keep in mind that EMI, WMG (Warner Brothers) and Sony also police the hell out of Depeche Mode videos on YouTube. EMI and Sony usually will just slap an ad on a video, but Warners will usually strip the audio from the video clip. This is beyond what I have control over. As such, stop blaming me for it! :)
Along with my duties for Depeche, I do lots of other little jobs here and there (ahh...the joys of working freelance). Some of my other current gigs, aside from the occassional remix or video project, are as follows:
The Bird And The Bee: web site, video projects, et cetera - www.thebirdandthebee.com
Breakfast With The Beatles: web site, creation of show intro (as well as other "imaging" for the broadcast show), various audio and video production, computer consulting - www.breakfastwiththebeatles.com
Henry Diltz: web site, archiving of decades of photography and film, computer consulting - www.henrydiltz.com
The Arkivist: web site, creator. I made a site to archive everything you collect. Think Discogs, but not limited to just music. www.thearkivist.com
Fishure-Price: web site, creator. I hacked a toy Fisher-Price turntable to be a "sleeper" DJ battle weapon. I also created a weekly video show, where I talk with lovers of 45rpm singles. www.fishureprice.com
Over the years, companies (Warner Brothers, EMI...) and people have come to me for work on DVD authoring, video editing, video direction, ring tone creation, radio edits...you name it. Some highlights:
• Freelance production work for Los Angeles radio (KROQ, MARS FM, Groove Radio 103.1, KCRW, FREE-FM, KLSX, KLOS and Sirius / XM)
• Production Director for Groove Radio dot com
• Freelance music editor / remixer for major labels and DJ Services
• Video Editor
• Video Director
• Computer consulting
• Web sites for way too many people. :)
I received a Fisher double-deck cassette deck for Christmas, 1982. From there, I started doing "cassette editing" (I literally busted the pause control from overuse). After a few years, I moved on to doing edits on many open reel tape decks. I'd buy the open reel decks used, and use them until they died, which was often, due to my use and abuse. In 1992, I moved onto a Mac IIsi (with an Audiomedia II card), and started doing pro work for radio. Move to today (multiple Macs, Pro Tools, et cetera), and I am still mixing (proper remixes, mashups, remastering, and more). I still keep my old editing block on my desk, so I can remember the hard work it used to be to recreate all those Latin Rascals and Shep Pettibone remixes. :)
Pro Tools, Reason, Logic, Serato Pitch 'n' Time, Serato ScratchLive, and many little Mac utility apps.
Not as often as I would like, mainly due to time constraints. If I have anything coming up, it will be listed on the front page of the site.
For years, I would update the Depeche Mode web site once a week, every week. Many DM fans started noticing a lack of updates in mid 2005. My mom was diagnosed in mid 2005 with Liver Cancer, which was "presenting itself" via a truly vicious Melanoma. From that time, I tried to balance work, a girlfriend I truly loved, and taking care of my mom. Work suffered a bit (but the band were very supportive of my situation), my girlfriend left me at the end of 2005 (grrrrr....), and my mom passed in March of 2006. During that time, she suffered through pain that no one should suffer through.
She went through the usual chemo and radiation treatments, but the Melanoma was spreading at an alarming rate. After a while, the doctor had to "install" a port-a-cath device into her chest. Sadly, it infected after a few days, which caused my mom to have to be checked into the hospital in September 2005. For months she was there, as the hospital tried to figure out what was wrong (a clue: check the infected piece of crap in her chest, idiots!). Every day she was there, she got physically worse, and was treated more and more as a second class citizen. Watching inept hospital employees ignoring the raw damaged skin all over her body, and trying to move her around (and the horrific screams that followed), really took a toll (on me, on her, and her friends). I don't even want to re-live the one night she was forced to stay in a nursing home, due to the hospital kicking her out (cheap bastards!).
I think the worst thing to come out of this (aside - obviously - from losing my mom...my only real family) was my now complete lack of belief in anything. I never went for the whole "God" thing. I just went for Karma. You get what you give. Now even karma is questionable. Blah.
While my mom was sometimes difficult, she never gave anything out horrible enough to be forced to die in such a painful way.
Want to contact me? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. All links are at the bottom of the page.