Saturday, March 31, 2012

Interview with Tooth and Nail Records' Director of A and R Conor Farley

Give us a brief description of what your background is and why you feel qualified to do this job?
I have been working in music now for about 10 years at the label level and also as a music publisher.  I feel like I have had the opportunity to gain a variety of experience that I hope helps me do this job effectively. I for sure do not think that I have the magic ear or anything, but through my experience have gained a perspective on how business intersects with ministry in this unique industry we are in.

How do you distinguish which artist will be a hit, and which artist to let be?
I wish I knew the exact answer I really try to listen to the music as a fan first. Does it move me emotionally?  Does it make me ask new questions about my faith? Does the live show inspire me?  I then will go through a broad mental checklist of the commercial viability of the artist, the market conditions, songwriting capability of the artist, what our current roster looks like, the time required to invest, as well as the work ethic of the band. This process gets more and more involved the further down the road we may walk with a band.

When approached by Tooth&Nail what was your initial reaction and what did this opportunity mean to you?
I was so excited and flattered.  I have been a fan of the brand for a long time and have been greatly impacted by a lot of the records from their past and current artist roster.

What artist's are you most looking forward to working with?
Well I work with a the majority of our roster, so that is a tough question, I would not want to leave any one out  As a fan I have loved everything Aaron Sprinkle has been a part of. Underoath's, They're Only Chasing Safety impacted me a ton so I am loving working with Aaron Gillespie on The Almost stuff.  I also get to work with one of the most influential core CCM acts in Jeremy Camp which is a total honor.  Those two statements sum up to me what I love the most about my job. There is a great breadth and diversity of incredible artists that I get to serve. Also, super excited about some of our newer bands like Icon For Hire and The Museum.

Are there any artist's you wish to try and bring back?
Poor Old Lu and Mae

Can we get a sneak peak as to who is up and coming or developing?
We will have a bunch of great new music this year–can't say too much at this point, but most of our biggest acts on on the BEC and Tooth and Nail side will be releasing or working on new projects.

Where do you hope to take Tooth&Nail while you're there?
I just hope I can be a good steward with the time I have here. I recognize the great responsibility we have as believers to make excellent music that is honoring of the God who saves us. I do not take that lightly and my expectations for our artists is to steward their incredible gifts as well. I think we will be successful if we do that.

Who's your favorite band or group of all time and why?
Impossible question...but the shortlist would probably include Wilco, The Beach Boys, U2, Nirvana, and Daft Punk. These were all so impact-ful to me in that they crafted songs with incredible melody that had broad appeal.  Also their songs connected me with emotionally at different stages of my development and faith.

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