People that want to get into the music industry typically have their own passions and areas in which they want to be involved. Some people work entirely in, for example, Public Relations or Artist Management. Other people, like Kate Byrne, do a lot of everything. In my interview with Kate, she explains the value of dabbling in multiple disciplines and the relationships you build along the way.
How did you get your first internship at Bloodshot Records? What was your experience first starting out in the industry?
I actually started out bartending at Schubas and Lincoln Hall as a way to put myself through college. While working on the service side of the industry, it’s impossible not to make connections. It was through the bar that I met the good people of Bloodshot, and they took me on as an intern back in 2014. My goal was to experience as many facets of the industry as I could. In fact, that’s more or less still an ongoing goal for me. Not too much later I started interning at Pitch Perfect PR, the public relations firm that probably does publicity for your favorite band. It becomes incredibly insightful when you can start putting all the puzzle pieces of the industry together to see how everything works in unison.
Was there an “Aha!” Moment when you realized you could stay in the music industry for awhile?
I think many people get discouraged because when you’re low on the totem pole, the pay is not great. Thankfully, very early on I realized that I am totally a workaholic, which you need to be in this industry. On top of 40 hours a week at Paradigm, I bartend one or two nights at Lincoln Hall and pick up festival bartending jobs as well. Many people get ahead fast in this industry with monetary support from family, so they’re able to move wherever they want, dedicate however much time they need to their main gig, and make connections faster. If you don’t have that advantage, you have to work. A lot. You figure out very quickly whether you can handle it or not. The support systems I’ve garnered from working at Lincoln Hall and Schubas have been so important to maintain sanity. Whether it’s to get together to vent, seek advice, share skills, my relationships I’ve gained a long the way are incredibly important to my life in the industry.
You’ve worked at record labels, venues, and talent agencies. Since you’ve seen it from many sides, is there an area of the industry you particularly enjoy?
I will always love the venue side of the industry. I worked as Digital Content Manager at Lincoln Hall and Schubas for a few years and putting on a show at a venue is an intricate team effort. All the moving pieces come together for a night of fan enjoyment. There’s nothing better than witnessing someone seeing the best show of their life. I also hosted quite a few Audiotree live sessions, and that experience provided a special front row seat to some of my favorite music performances. Something I’m currently enjoying is the management side. My friend and I started a management company, Slow Burn Management, a few months ago as a side project. We only have one band and aren’t taking a profit right now, but you’ll be hearing from us.
What is your ideal job in the music industry? Are there other jobs or advancements you should do before you get there?
My ideal job in the music industry would be CEO of Slow Burn Management. JK, I already am :). Seriously, though, I want to continue to learn many different facets of the industry. I think every one is looking for a well rounded employee who has dipped their toe in all sorts of jobs, without being a jump-around-er. I’m very happy with my current place at Paradigm Talent Agency but I’m always, like most people, looking for the next step. I think continuing to network, attending seminars or workshops, and constantly setting new goals will power me through.
Got a good industry story to tell at parties?
Not really anything that’s publicly appropriate 😉 I have, however, roughly done the math and I have seen about 2,500 shows in the past seven years alone. [!!!!!]