The Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan speaks openly about music industry


In a relatively rare extended interview, Wallflowers’ frontman and veteran musician Jakob Dylan shares his thoughts and feeling on the record business and music industry as a whole.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

In a rare extended interview, Wallflowers’ frontman Jakob Dylan spoke at length about his feelings on the record business.

Jakob Dylan understands that people are not inherently stupid. Everyone who grows up wanting to work in music will spend their lives being told that the entertainment industry is full of snakes. As he told Joe Rogan in a recent interview, “If you got locked into a bad contract where someone screwed you over — that’s kind of on you.”

Dylan spoke about his relationship with the music business at length during an appearance on the wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience. He talked of contract woes and the nature of working in entertainment. As a lifelong musician and the son of one as well, Dylan seems to live his life with the belief that people are always looking for ways to make money on the talent of others. As much as artists may not believe they need strong business acumen to make it today, they at least need someone who understands money. We’ll let him explain:

A few key takeaways for those of you unable to watch the video:

  • Read every contract. Even if you hire someone to read your contracts, make sure you read them as well. Learn the language of the business to ensure it cannot be used against you.
  • Everyone gets offered bad deals. You have to trust yourself and your trajectory enough to say no when a deal isn’t what you want or need.
  • Surround yourself with people who understand things you don’t and learn from them.
  • If an artist is making money, everyone above them is making more.
  • The good news is everyone can make music now. The bad news is that everyone can make music now.
  • There are no clear paths to discovery and success today. Everyone is trying to find a way to get lucky, and as soon as someone does, that approach gone forever. You have to be original.
  • CDs are increasingly irrelevant. It’s an added cost that labels and artists don’t need.
  • Labels still have a purprose. Label knows the people you don’t know, and they have the money you need to get started.
  • Some people think of labels as banks who give artists loans on good faith that person will become a star.
  • Dylan believes the biggest snakes and most difficult people he’s met in music are other musicians.

The Wallflowers recently released new music.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.



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