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, meet…

MIKE CUBILLOS

PRESENTATION

What’s your name, what’s your role in the company you are presently working at, and since when are you working there?

My name is Mike Cubillos. I was born and raised in California. Grew up in the San Fernando Valley but moved to the coast (the South Bay section of Los Angeles) in the early 90’s after the Northridge earthquake. I own and operate Earshot Media, which I founded in the late 90’s.

When have you started to work in the music business?

I started working in the music business during college, starting out as an intern, then eventually getting hired on full time after I graduated.

At what age have you started to love music?

MIke CubillosFrom a very early age I can remember being obsessed with music. I’d spend any extra money from allowances etc on records and would spend hours in my room listening to records and reading magazines, books  etc. whatever I could get my hands on about my favorite bands.

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

I just wanted to be able to make a living in the music business in some capacity.

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

I can’t play music at all. I believe I can sing ok but my friend and family would definitely disagree.

ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS

Do you live from it?

Yes it is my one and only source of income though my wife also works as a teacher.

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

Yes anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard.

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

I have had a lot of mentors over the years. Many former bosses and other people I looked up to in the music business. I also had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of my favorite musicians over the years (people like Bowie, Matthew Sweet, Ringo Starr and bands such as The Specials, Tool, etc) which also inspired me to stay in the music business.

The Specials

The Specials

What do you like about your current position?

I like being my own boss and being the one that decided which projects Earshot works. I like working directly with the labels, bands and their management to help take an artist’s career to the next level. I like that every day brings a new set of challenges. I like that I work with a diverse roster of clients so I never get bored.

What would you change about the music business today?

I wish there were more major outlets that were willing to take a chance of newer, unproven developing artists. It would also be nice if there was a little less cynicism and snarkiness in the industry. I’m guilty of it myself.

Which great personal goal have you not achieved yet?

I didn’t really set out with some master plan for my career if you can believe that. So everything I’ve been able to achieve so far has exceeded any expectations I had when I first started out.

Vinyl, cassette, CD or digital?

Digital and vinyl.

ON ARTISTS AND MUSIC

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

I’ve always loved punk/indie/alternative music. I’m a sucker for a well written pop song but even better if it’s slightly warped, left-of-center, fuzzed out, and a bit lo-fi. I’ll take a band with a lot of heart and passion over a technically great one any day.

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

  • The Pixies – Surfer Rosa
  • The Specials – self titled
  • The Ramones- Rocket To Russia
  • The Clash- London Calling
  • The Velvet Underground & Nico self titled

Playlist!

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

Too many to count.

The Least? Why?

Would rather not say but he’s pretty well-known. 🙂 Arrogant, ungrateful and a complete lack of self-awareness. Not a good combo.

Which brilliant artist should have made it big, but didn’t (yet)?

I’m drawing a blank but there have been so many. There are a lot of factors that come into play that determine whether an artist will be successful or not. Sometimes even when you have all of the right elements (a great record, a hard working artist, a killer publicity campaign, a passionate label and manager ) things don’t work out the way they were supposed to. Ultimately though I do have faith that if you put good music out there, eventually it will find an audience.

 

To know more about the latest projects Mike is working on and the latest bands promoted by his enterprise, make sure to check out Earshot Media’s website (click on the logo below).

earshot 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.