It was announced last week that John Janick is the new CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M (Eminem, Maroon 5, Lana Del Rey). Who is he? He’s the guy who signed Punchline to Fueled By Ramen. What does it mean? It means he’s about to be running the music industry. How wild is that?!
Hearing the news reminds me of how John got his start in the music industry. At age 17, he approached Vinnie from Less Than Jake about releasing a 7″ record for LTJ. Knowing he didn’t have the experience in releasing a record, Vinnie offered to help with the process, showing John the ropes. That’s how Fueled By Ramen began*.
I remember the first time John called me, just days after Punchline played in Gainesville, FL (original home of FBR) at the Purple Porpoise. A few guys** from the label had come to see us. They liked what they saw. We were obviously thrilled. The deal we were offered pre-dated the now industry standard 360 deal. The agreement was straightforward, much like John and his staff were over the years.
We’d heard record label horror stories from friends and urban legends, but we didn’t have any of that. Based on our experiences, the idea of sticky label situations seemed strange. Why would a record label do anything outside of working with you to promote your music? Perhaps we were lucky in that regard.
To this day, working with John and FBR and seeing bands like Fall Out Boy andParamore skyrocket, inspires me. It’s wonderful to see the relentless hard work and kindness that goes into making it. Maybe one day Modern Short Stories will reach such heights. John, if you’re reading this- congratulations man, we’re all very proud of you and you should sign Badboxes. Cool, thanks.
For more info, check out this Billboard article. Comments/questions? I’d love to hear them.
All the best,
*But where did they get their name? I’d love to know.
Top: Kyle, Adam (punk/pissed)
Bottom: Geis, Steve (goatee)
How John Janick got his start. was originally published on Modern Short Stories