Tom Davies, 37 European marketing director and project manager for Secretly Group record labels
How did you get into the music biz?
'I was playing in a band. I put out a couple of records and got to know people in the industry. Then I got a job working for Digital Hardcore Recordings, Atari Teenage Riot's label - this was the late '90s - doing their mail order. Then I got to know more people; it's really important to go to shows. I asked them for work, I was a pushy little bastard. And eventually I started doing management stuff for independent labels.'
What band were you in? Anyone good?
'I'm not going to tell you. It's such a shit band name. I'm not willing to say what it was. Plus I've got an ungooglable name - Tom Davies! There are thousands of us!'
Foiled! So, what is it that you do at Secretly Group?
'I've got two roles. One is project management: I look after the album campaigns for bands like Destroyer and The War On Drugs. I set release dates, commission videos, speak with publicists and distributors, handle the creative stuff. The other side is marketing: getting people excited about records by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ryley Walker, Viet Cong. Itís really awesome.'
Are bands ever a nightmare? Do you have any war stories?
'Not at Secretly. But prior to working for them, I handled a really big artist who refused to do press in Italy. I saw red and told them: "You're behaving like a complete cunt." After that, I wasn't allowed to speak them directly, and I was banned from their shows. I was persona non grata - and it was one of the biggest records I ever worked on. It was pretty funny!'
Doesn't that kind of thing put you off?
'Not really, it's secondary to the music, which is what I care about. And I get to work on the music day in, day out. I wouldnít change my job for the world. Not many people are getting rich in music these days, so you need to be there because you love it. It's a personal thing.'
Interview by Michael Curle