Erlend Gjerde is partner and GM at Indie Recordings, Indie Distribution and the Country Manager of Believe Distribution Norway. Recently he added a publishing company, a live agency and a management company to his roster. Having been in the industry for more than a decade Erlend has vast experience in several parts of the music business and a broad global network. Erlend loves all kinds of music, but has an extra passion for rock & metal, which also at the center of his recording and publishing company.
What has been your focus lately?
Having put behind us our most successful year of our recording business ever, we are now looking to new areas of development. We`ve started a publishing company, a booking and promoter agency, and we are slowly moving into management business. It has been a lot of structural work, organizing the business etc, but at the same time we`ve found, signed, and worked on some very talented new acts like Fight The Fight. There are several new bands still in development, and we can’t wait to show everyone what we`ve been working on.
The most important piece of advice you have ever received?
To be patient, shut up, and let “the other guy” do the talking. It`s incredible what you can learn if you only take the time to listen.
Your best industry-tip?
Never give up, don’t carry a grudge, and work harder than the next guy. It`s a staying game, and you need friends everywhere.
Whats your golden moment to share with the rest of us?
It`s not a “golden moment” in itself, but one I remember very well from my early days in the business. It was day 3 or 4 at Midem, and it was getting late for everyone. 4am at the station bar (not the fancy Martinez hotel bar where all the usual suspects hang out, but where all the metalheads are) I bumped into a guy that turned out to run a solid US metal label. He happened to be a huge fan of many of our bands, and by 5am we had agreed on what still is one of the biggest licensing deals we ever did. 4 hours later, at 9am we met up at the Norwegian stand inside the festival and signed all the paperwork. It just taught me in a very concrete way how this business can work, and how it differs itself from other businesses. Lesson: Never go home early!
Why Norway, why now?
For mainstream music, it`s different than for rock and metal. And in the wake of all the streaming-friendly successes spawn out of Norway lately, combined with our massive conversion to digital, we are shooting above our weight right now. So, we got to use this opportunity well before the bigger markets are fully converted. That said there are really a lot of talented musicians, songwriters, lyricists and not to mention the rapid growth of a more professional industry to support the amazing talent we have here. I feel we see this trend in rock and metal as well, new artists taking the step, and labels and managements following suit. It`s a great time to be in the industry, and I feel we`re just getting started.
Who in the Norwegian music industry deserves a high five?
No doubt the brothers Erik and Espen Røhne. They were the original founders of Indie Recordings and they took me in, taught me the ropes, and later gave me the steering wheel.
They are both invaluable members of our team, and still the ones I turn to for advice. High Five, guys – u rule!