So one of my favorite musician/singer/songwriters of the past 5 or 6 years has finally signed a major label record deal! Now, this can be considered a bad thing for alot of indie musicians doing well on their own, but Matt’s latest email blast has proved that he doesn’t plan on selling out.
You can read the email below. Before doing that, take a listen to one of my favorite tracks by Matt Wertz, 5:19.
I SIGNED A RECORD DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC!!!Frequently Asked Questions:
Yeah, crazy, huh?
I thought you never wanted to sign with a label?
Nope. Not true. I just never found one that felt right. The people at Universal Republic know what they are doing (see Colbie Callait, Jack Johnson, Amy Winehouse, etc…) and I signed a deal that keeps me in the driver’s seat of my career.
Weren’t you already on a label?
Nope. You may be thinking about Nettwerk (my management company) or Handwritten Records (my little label I created). My new record will still bear the ‘Handwritten’ logo. Kinda like Jack Johnson’s ‘Brushfire’ records.
When did this happen?
Mid-December, but I’ve been working on it for about the past year. Needless to say, I’m thankful to be out of lawyer-land.
You’re just now telling us?
Yeah, you know, with holidays and everything- and I took some time to be with my family, go skiing with some friends and my brain just wasn’t in music mode. Don’t be mad.
What does this mean?
This means that I now have about 30 REALLY AMAZING, capable people working to get the word out on my music. It means that hopefully my song(s) will be on the radio, video will be on VH1, cds will be at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and everyone’s favorite- TARGET, and that maybe I’ll get to meet/tour with some exceptionally cool artists.
So, you sold out, huh?
Once or twice, but I don’t want to sound like a braggart.
Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
Are you available?
Like, to talk? What do you mean?
When is the record coming out?
We’re thinking sometime in May- there’s a lot to do so that we can keep that schedule, so it could change.
What is going to be on the record?
I’m going in the studio to record 3 new songs to put with 9 favs from previous records. The whole record will be remixed and mastered to give it a better sound. It’s kinda like getting a wax job on your car- same car, just looks better. Does that make sense? We’re going to do new packaging, and give it a new name- kinda like what John Mayer did with ‘Room For Squares’ back in the day- except he didn’t change the name…
What’s it going to be called?
I don’t know.
That’s not the name of the record, I just haven’t thought of one yet. Any ideas?
How will this change things?
Hopefully, you’ll hear 5:19 on the radio, and be able to buy my album at Target. Also, this could open up more opportunities to tour with great artists who I never would have gotten to without the recognition that comes with being on a major label.
What’s in it for us?
That’s an easy one. I’ll have greater access to resources that I didn’t have before which will allow me to put more music out, from live and acoustic versions to b-sides that have never been released before, as well as more video stuff, like the music video we’re filming for 5:19 soon, and hopefully a DVD in the near future! So, really there will just be more available to you. Plus, you’ll be able to tell all your friends ‘I told you so’, which is no small thing.
Are they going to make you dress weird and cut your hair like Johnny Rzeznik (from the Goo Goo Dolls)?
No. They’re not the boss of me. And neither are you.
Are you going to start wearing leather pants, wearing eye liner, and using pyrotechnics at your live show?
What do you mean START? You obviously haven’t seen my show in the last year…
What can we do to help?
Ahh, I was hoping you would ask that question. Here’s what I would LOVE:
Be cool. I haven’t changed and I’m not going anywhere, so that’s what I’d love from you. It’s still the same ol’ Wertz.
I’d love help spreading the word on the record, getting folks excited about it- and this time, since people will be able to buy it anywhere, it will be easier to tell your friends where to get it. See? Who loves ya? Wertzy does.
Come see the show- I love seeing you when I come through town, and I’d love to still say hey after I get done playing!
Are you touring this spring?
Not really- just doing college shows here and there- it’s amazing how much work there is to be done off the road to get this thing ready! But keep checking the site- I’ll probably do 5-6 shows a month for the next few months, then a big tour when the record comes out!
What’s the bottom line?
Bottom line is, I’m really excited about the next year- it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I really need you to be with me in this. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to make music for a living- we’ve been doing it for the past 7 years just you and me! That absolutely blows my mind.
I’ll keep you posted as I learn of new stuff- and in the meantime, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’ve got questions or comments and I’ll do my best to hit you back!
Word to your mothers-