Among the most passionate people about music are those who work in the music industry: at labels, as press relation people, as concert promoters, as booking agents, as managers, as music critics, and so on. RREVERB proposes to its readers a series of interviews with passionate music artisans.
Today, we meet…

BEKAH ZIETZ

What’s your name, what’s your role in the company you are presently working at, and since when are you working there? Where are you from and where do you live now?

bekah zietz subpop profile 2013Hello RREVERB, my name is Bekah Zietz and I work in the Publicity, International and A&R departments at Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA where I’ve worked since 2010.

When did you begin working in the music business?

I started working in Music in 2004. After I graduated from college, I moved out to Seattle for a internship at Sub Pop which turned into a part time job in the radio department shortly thereafter. While working part time at Sub Pop, I also worked as the office manager of a local venue called Chop Suey, and the assistant to the NW rep for ADA distribution. From 2005-2010 I was the Label Manager of Suicide Squeeze Records, until returning to Sub Pop in 2010.

At what age have you started to love music?

Though my parents are big fans of music and always had something playing throughout my house and or cued up for long card rides, I had a few stand out teachers and friends with older siblings that really played a role in moulding my musical taste.

Once a week my 4th grade teacher, Will Starr would teach a class that he called “musicology” where he would play music for us and provide some history on the band. Through Will, I learned about the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Beach Boys. Upon attending High School my history teacher, Dave Calamaro introduced me bands like Sonic Youth, Pavement and through my best friends older sister, Rose, I was introduced to artists like X-Ray Specs, The Slits, Crass, The Sex Pistols, the list goes on. I’m forever grateful to my parents, teachers and friends for continuing to introduce me to new music.

Playlist!

 

When you were 20, what was your dream (in the music world)?

To work at Sub Pop, dreams really do come true.

Have you ever been a musician? Tell us about your career.

For 2 months in college I was in a band called Video Pigeon where I played Keyboards and Drums. I quickly learned that I was not musically inclined and my participation to the music scene was probably best served behind the scenes.

ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS

Do you live from it?

I do indeed, and feel extremely lucky to have been a part of this industry for the last 12 years.

Is it still possible to make a living with music today? What do you need to do to make ends meet?

I definitely think it is possible to make a living in music. I believe that if you want something bad enough in this world, you will find a way to make it happen.

Suicide_Squeeze_Records_logoWho did you meet in your musical path that was key to your development / success?

I have a very long list of people who have helped me along the way, but a few standouts are Susan Busch (former head of radio at Sub Pop) who gave me my first job in music and David Dickenson (owner of Suicide Squeeze Records) who trusted a 22 year old to help run his company and played a huge role in my music business development.

What do you like about your current position?

I feel very lucky to be a part of three different departments at Sub Pop, which means that my daily responsibilities are always changing and redefining themselves. I also very much love organizing people’s schedules so doing marketing and A&R is the perfect combination for me.

What would you change about the music business today?

The music industry is always evolving and changing, and though I love the evolution I definitely would love to see a world where people continue to support local record stores as well as print media. I’ve learned so much about music from various magazines over the years and it’s always sad to see a publication have to close shop.

Which great personal goal have you not achieved yet?

Man, I’m sure I have a bunch that I’m not thinking about, but off the top of my head it would be to smoke weed with Willie Nelson. Willie, I’m waiting for my invitation onto your tour bus, Honeysuckle Rose.

willie nelson weed

Vinyl, cassette, CD or digital?

Vinyl is my preferred method of listening to music, but still listen/own Cassette’s, CD’s and subscribe to a few different streaming services.

ON ARTISTS AND MUSIC

What are your preferred music genres? Was it always the case through your life?

I go through phases where I tend to listen to one genre over another, but find myself listening to a lot of Soul and Psych Rock, especially African and Turkish Psych.

On a desert island you bring those 5 albums (no more!)

My answer to this question is always changing but here are some constant favourites:

Beach Boys / Pet Sounds
The Rolling Stones / Sticky Fingers
The Velvet Underground / Loaded
Sonic Youth / Goo
and Otis Redding / Dock of the Bay.

Playlist!

 

Who is the friendliest artist/music celebrity you’ve met?

Ha, it’s probably easier to out the lame ones rather then the friendliest, as most people I meet are awesome.

Thank you Bekah!

Check out Sub Pop’s website to hear all the great music on this legendary label!

sub-pop-logo

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.