NETTWERK: More Than a Major

Learn something: Read Terry McBride’s blog. In a cyber world polluted with nasty snark and mindless gossip, McBride-co-founder of Nettwerk, the progressive Vancouver, B.C.-based independent label and publisher-mines cavernous philosophical straits too rarely addressed online. “Don’t let your spirit dance alone,” he wrote recently. “It’s about letting go of one’s desire for control and to fit into social boundaries, in essence the removal of ‘ego,’ and just learning to how to dance with your spirit, body and soul as one.”

Learn something: Read Terry McBride’s blog. In a cyber world polluted with nasty snark and mindless gossip, McBride-co-founder of Nettwerk, the progressive Vancouver, B.C.-based independent label and publisher-mines cavernous philosophical straits too rarely addressed online. “Don’t let your spirit dance alone,” he wrote recently. “It’s about letting go of one’s desire for control and to fit into social boundaries, in essence the removal of ‘ego,’ and just learning to how to dance with your spirit, body and soul as one.”

Of course, removing ego-novel concept-from the music business is an insurmountable proposition. But the fact that McBride even suggests it defines a fundamental truth about Nettwerk: This isn’t (music) business as usual. American Songwriter caught up with McBride as he prepared for a transatlantic flight in early July.


What attracted you to Old Crow Medicine Show when you signed the band to the Nettwerk label?

It was the songs, the melodies, the lyrics…then I saw them live. Also, they are really good people and that counts a lot to me personally.


Your blog on the Nettwerk site is compelling reading. The eleventh entry, which you wrote on June 16, focuses on optimism. “Are all emotions simply choices?” you write. “For me, they are, so I choose how I want to feel and that, in turn, affects everything all around me.” Tell me how optimism factors into Nettwerk’s business philosophy.

[Laughs] It’s the way I am, thus in many ways the way Nettwerk is. We are having fun releasing music we love and see a great future in continuing to do so.


Your roster of artists-from Abigail Wasburn and the Sparrow Quartet to Jimmy Eat World to the Clumsy Lovers-is incredibly diverse. Covering such a broad scope of music, what’s the common thread that ties all of them together?

They are all singer/songwriters.


How important is placing music in film and television for an aspiring songwriter in today’s market?

Very. It’s exposure to a targeted audience. It also plays on basic psychology in that humans remember things better when presented with multiple sensory sticky points. In the case of TV if the music really suits the visual it has more emotional impact, thus is far more reactive sales wise-you cannot get that with radio.


Say an unknown songwriter is interested in working with you. Tell me the best way to grab your attention.

Write great songs from the heart and get a compelling live show together.


What’s your general take on the current state of the music business? And what are your thoughts on where we’re headed with the digital revolution?

I see a lot of opportunity and the digital revolution has flattened the economic part of the paradigm, which allows niches to be feasible as the world is the market. Now [we need to] go market this music with a respectful eye to different culture codes.

Check out Terry’s Blog at www.nettwerk.com; www.nettwerk.com/terrysblog



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