BearlySinister: First of all, can I have you introduce yourself and your role in the company?
Finn: I’m Finn Mckenty, and I run the Music & Audio channel for CreativeLive.com (http://creativelive.com/audio)
BearlySinister: How many years have you worked in the music industry?
Finn: One way or another, I’ve been doing stuff in the music industry since I was in high school. I started out making zines when I was in 8th or 9th grade, and I’ve been writing and doing graphics for music-related projects ever since. I was the creative director of Flo Multizine for a few years, and have written for magazines like Decibel, Substream, and Terrorizer as well as a bunch of websites.
BearlySinister: What is the most valuable thing you’ve taken from experience in the industry?
Finn: That trends come and go but good people who do great work will always find a place for themselves. If you want to be successful in the music industry, you should always be asking yourself how you can help others, even if it doesn’t seem like there’s anything in it for you. This is a small industry that moves VERY fast and is extremely challenging to work in at times, and if you help people out when they need it, they’ll remember it and it will come back to you.
BearlySinister: What is the story behind creativeLIVE and how did it come to fruition?
Finn: CreativeLive was founded by my friend Chase Jarvis (http://chasejarvis.com) and Craig Swanson back in 2010 or so. It started out as the two of them webcasting some photography classes out of the back room in Chase’s studio on a shoestring budget. They ended up having tens of thousands of people watching, and realized that they had something special on their hands. Fast forward to 2014 and we have studios in Seattle and San Francisco, 85 employees, and $23 million in venture funding. Pretty amazing stuff!
BearlySinister: Has this been something you’ve always dreamed of, but just recently really acheived?
Finn: My dream has always been “make a lot of money by working on cool projects with my friends.” I haven’t figured out the “make a lot of money” part yet, but the rest of that is definitely happening– how cool is it that I make my living by working with people like Eyal Levi (http://audiohammerstudios.com), Kurt Ballou, Big Chocolate, and Matt Halpern (Periphery)?!
BearlySinister: Are there any other members of the sites you write for on the CL staff?
Finn: Nope, just me! But everybody here is involved with cool projects outside of CL– we have tons of photographers, musicians, crafters, crossfit athletes, etc in our ranks. Pretty much everybody here does something cool outside of work, which is a great culture.
BearlySinister: How does CL work?
Finn: Everything is free to watch when it is streaming live. We have something playing 24/7 on all five of our channels, just like TV. If you want to download it to watch on your computer/phone, then we charge for that– again, just like TV.
BearlySinister: Can you tell us some of the artists you’ve worked with?
Finn: I am really, really proud of the people we’ve worked with so far! In addition to the names I mentioned before, we’ve had Andrew Wade (A Day To Remember, The Ghost Inside), Jesse Cannon (The Cure, Man Overboard), Andrew Glover (Winds of Plague), Steve Rennie (Incubus’ manager), and Andrew Wuepper (Katy Perry, Frank Ocean) to name just a few– and many more coming soon!
BearlySinister: What is the ultimate goal for CL?
Finn: My goal for CL is to make it the world’s #1 place to learn how to make music: songwriting, engineering, mixing, mastering and business.
BearlySinister: What do you see as the future for CL?
Finn: We have a ton of great stuff coming up that I can’t really talk about, but stay tuned– we’ve only scratched the surface, so if you like what we’re doing now, you’ll be amazed by what’s coming next.
BearlySInister: Is there anything that you know now that you would have benefited from starting out in the industry?
Finn: I wish I would have had a better understanding of how a “real business” works. Yes, music is art and we’re all creative people, but at the end of the day we’re running businesses, and I think it’s really critical to understand how you as an individual can add value to the business. I went to school for business and I really can’t say enough about how valuable that was– knowing how the basic functions of an organization work and work together (accounting, finance, marketing, operations, HR) is the best foundation you can have. This applies to people in bands too– you might not think of it this way, but a band is just a small business, and the most successful musicians manage their band the same way as someone would manage any other business.
BearlySinister: What advice would you give to those who are wanting to take these online classes?
Finn: CreativeLive is literally the only place in the world you can learn this stuff. Recording school and Youtube are great for what they are, but when it comes to learning the REAL WORLD techniques used in the studios that are making your favorite records, you can only learn that on CreativeLive. For example, Eyal Levi’s “Advanced Drum Production” class (http://www.creativelive.com/courses/advanced-drum-production-eyal-levi )– the tricks he showed about editing drums and sample layering/replacement are not taught ANYWHERE ELSE in the world. It’s stuff that until now, you could only learn by interning at a studio like Audiohammer– so if you want to learn how things are REALLY done, CL is the best place to go!
BearlySinister: I guess that about wraps it up. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this! Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers or potential students?
Finn: Thanks to everybody who has tuned in so far! Without you guys none of this would be possible, and we all appreciate your support! We have free music classes streaming 24/7, so check out our schedule and tune in: http://www.creativelive.com/calendar
Thanks for the interest!