Woody Platt knows music… and he knows the music business.
He is well known as a successful band leader, lead singer, guitarist, song writer, and festival producer.
I was priviledged to interview him over the phone on May 23, 2012 while he and the band were in transit between gigs in the northeast.
The transcript below is a portion of Woody’s response to my question…
What does it take to be a successful working musician?
“Well, you know, I think you have to have… I think you have to… have some natural talent. Um. I don’t think that, you know… it necessarily… the only kind of… that there’s all different types of talent, but I think as far as the musician goes, you have to have some talent, and some… you know, have some background that you can go off of, but, you know, I also think you have to have a… very strong work ethic and commitment. Um, and you need to be willing to sacrifice… other parts of your life, other aspects, um, to succeed in this business. You know, for us, as much as we’ve had to tour, to develop our career, it’s taken a lot of sacrifices, personally, with our families, you know, and being home and other hobbies and other passions.”
“It kind of has to be your number one thing, and…”
“Yeah, I think, I think it takes a certain type of person, you know. I think early on, as a musician, you have to be humble, and willing to learn, and willing to accept… you know, negative reviews of your record, constructive criticism, and… once, once you put something out there… all bands have had bad reviews and all artists have been criticized at some point in their career, and so I think that it’s just a combination of those things, you know. Having some talent and having… having a little passion and having a little, being goal oriented and being willing to make sacrifices. Um, and then being able… being, be humble and willing to move through the obstacles. You know, there are so many times when you’re not the best band on the show or the best singer on the show or there are so many times when you don’t get the pay you want or the gig you want, and that can’t be discouraging, you know, as long as you’re continuing to work hard and staying focused and uh, you gotta be smart. You know you can’t get an agent and you can’t get a manager until you have some value.”
“You know, if a band is making a really little amount of money, it’s hard to get an agent that wants 10% of a very really little amount of money.”
“So, it’s just this constant kind of growing market that I think starting young, when you’re more care free and it’s not really about whether you’re making a living, it’s about making music, is a really good, uh, time to start. For example, we started in college and it just was a more free time of life for us because we didn’t have families and we didn’t have a need to be too successful. We just wanted to play music. We’d play anywhere and everywhere.”
“So, all those things are kinda… what I feel works for us. Timing, commitment, sacrifice, a little bit of talent, a lot of really… all hard work and… resilience.”
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