A little while ago I had a rant about bands getting companies to endorse the hell out of everything related to their music. Singer/guitarist Paul Blue from the Hovercraft Pirates was quick to comment and put his side of the story across.
Here I gave him the opportunity to respond in a little more detail.
Would you be willing to be endorsed by any company at all or is there something you particularly like about Jagermeister that means you work with them? (Would you work with say, Country Life Butter, if it gave the career a boost?)
Haha, no, definitely not. Jager is the only brand that we work with that
isn’t directly involved with music as such (compared to Marshall, ESP and Planet Rock) and thats because of how involved in music they are.
Jagermeister have helped us in so many different ways and actively sponsor tours, have stages in festivals and hook us up with other bands and studios.
Do you have to make the first approach to companies to get their endorsements?
Yes, we have always made the first approach, I think its important to
approach people that you believe in and believe that can help you
otherwise your going to feel like you’ve sold yourself for using a make or brand that you dont even like!
Has any company asked for any conditions on you using their stuff/logo? (for e.g. not changing your style of music or something simpler like gigging a certain number of times in a year).
Not at all, through our last albums we have incorporated a wide variety of genres within our music, I think the people who help us understand that and that its constantly growing and changing. That’s why they got involved in the first place! That is getting the balance between independent and being controlled. You need help to stay independent and keep your control.
Would you (or do you already) put company’s logos on your merch as part of endorsement deals? Do you think your fans do/would mind this?
Only if the situation depends on it. Not as part of a deal but if the
company wanted to pay for the t-shirts as promo then that’s great.
Jagermeister have done this before by paying for a run of t-shirts with
their logo on the sleeve. Fans don’t seem to mind when we give away t-shirts or are able to sell them dirt cheap! But if they are our product and we are expecting fans to pay good money then no!
Do you have any concerns about promoting alcohol to your fans, some of whom I’m sure are under 18?
Not at all for the simple reason that we don’t actively promote it to under-18s. At our all ages gigs etc. we don’t mention our endorsement with Jager and don’t glorify it. Seeing the logo in a video or whatever it might be has just the same effect as a Bacardi advert on TV. We have always made a point (in our music and in person) towards our fans that we all need to think for ourselves and make educated decisions.
Have you had any other reaction to your endorsements from fans or anyone else commenting?
It’s mainly been people who are quite excited to see free Jager merch and asking why I chose my particular gear. With this stuff there is always going to be a ring of `sellout` from a few people but I’ve been doing this too long and I simply don’t care. I’ve seen hardcore bands and great artists struggle in the gutter and eventually give up. With so much crap about and this pretty boy/pop with guitars syndrome happening at the minute is real hard to survive with genuine music. Is this about me getting free stuff, cool sponsors? No, it’s about me getting heard and to continue doing what I love. I’ll do anything for my music as long as I keep control.
Do you have anything else you’d like to say on the subject?
I think people should start LISTENING to music and take a step back. With so many things thrown at us nowadays, it’s usually the older and wiser amongst us that notice bands using logos, endorsements etc. The reason a lot of people have problem with it is because they remember better days.
The industry and music is changing in a sickening way and there may be bands who will sell their entire soul and life to get seen and heard. And when you see them? You might just call them sell out b*stards and tune out. I live what I believe and I believe what we are doing is the best for us, for our fans, and for music.