10.22.2006

Paragon: This will be long

Let me preface this by stating: This is purely my opinion and perception of things, and a history of how they went down, as I saw them. Of course, there are always two sides to every story, and you are free to do your investigation or draw your own conclusions, but I'm quite confident in the validity of my version of events.

OK, so, Friday night. There was a very good reason we were on at 8pm: We asked to be put on that early. And as of right now, I still don't know who won or placed.

We're not really fans of "Battle of the bands" type things, but I've known (not drinking buddies, but talked to each other about the scene, and business) the organizer of Paragon for a long time, and have talked to him about being in his show for awhile, but we always had to say no or pull out. He has always said (and this is not a quote, but "the gist", if you will) that he wanted Paragon to be a night that was way better than Supernova, which has a bad name in the scene as an organization that preys on young bands who are looking for a gig, ANY gig. He said that the judging was based solely on the quality of the music, and not based on ticket sales.

I didn't like that the tickets are $10 in advance. It's tough to get people, especially friends and fans that have supported you for a long time, to spend $10 to come see you when they don't know who the other bands are. Another thing is that the amount of tickets you sell determines what time you go on; you sell the most tickets, you get to choose when you go on. Fair enough, although if I was running it, I would make it reverse order, since you want the most people to stick around the longest, since that's the best thing for the bar, and ultimately, as a promoter, you need the bar to do well. But getting people to spend $10 to come see you, when they don't know/like who you're playing with AND they don't know when you're on? That's a tough sell.

I told this to Mike, and he said that the plan was to have 3 nights, and that all the bands on our night would be in the same genre as us. So, based on that, we said yes. It would be a good way for us to network, and perhaps we could get some new fans from it. And all of our people would be happy and enjoy the other acts, regardless of when we were on.

Well, as you can see from the previous post, that was a lie. NONE of the bands on the bill sounded anything like us, and when people found that out, they actually backed out of buying tickets. I don't blame them. I wouldn't want invest $10 and my entire Friday night on 9 bands, of whom I only wanted to see one, either.

Mike called me a week before the show and asked me if we were going to "qualify". I asked him what the hell he was talking about. Apparently, you have to sell a minimum of 30 tickets. Well there was nothing in the verbiage about that. So much for nothing being based on ticket sales! And when I asked him about the original plan to have all the bands on our night be in our genre, he said that they would've liked to have done that, but they just couldn't. Well, a brief perusal of the bands on the other nights leads one to believe that he just couldn't be bothered. Because I could have organized a more cohesive line up with the bands provided, easily. No, he just said what he thought we wanted to hear to get us in. There is more later on that leads me to believe this about him.


So, Dave goes to drop off the money for the 30 tickets we sold. Some bands sold more, so they got first pick. Then it came down to 3 bands that sold 30 tickets, and he suggests they draw names to see who picks. Then, one of the bands decides to throw $50 into the kitty, so they won't have to draw. He's not even pretending that there were 5 more tickets that he forgot he sold, he is just giving Mike the money, and Mike is OK with this. We get a choice of 8pm, or 12:40am. Dave called me, and I, sickened by this nonsense, told him to get us on first, so we can be done with this all the sooner. Mike does not ask to have anyones extra tickets back. So, how do we know that ANYONE sold ANY tickets, and weren't just giving $300+ to Mike? There's no way to tell.

Mike only cared about how many tickets you sold, about how much money Paragon was taking in. Period. Which is fine, if you want to conduct business that way. But that's not how we were sold on the show. If we had known this, if we hadn't been sold on how cool the night was going to be, that it wasn't about the money, that Paragon was really looking to forward the scene, we wouldn't have been involved. It's hard enough to get people out to see you in a scene like Toronto, without being involved in sketchy and embarrassing fiascos like this. And that's how we are right now: embarrassed. And we've got feedback from people we respect saying "You guys are better than this stupidity". We should've listened and dropped out I guess.

Now, before you say "Hey, he's in a business, and out to make money", I appreciate that. However, he shouldn't hold himself up as someone that's in it for the music, and to help out the local scene.

Here, lets do some simple math:


At least 7 bands on 1 night (2 ended up dropping out of ours, it was originally 9)
At least 30 tickets per band at $10 each (some bands sold more, but as I said, 30 was what you needed to sell in order to "qualify", whatever that means)
= $2100
Tickets at the door were $12, and there were several of those sold. And this is ONE preliminary night. There are two more, and then the finals. So, lets take that bare minimum average:

$2100 x 4 nights = $8400.

What are his overheads? Well, as far as I can see, not much:

  • The $5000 grand prize = donated.
  • The Studio time = donated.
  • The "promotion and management contract" = donated.
  • Photo shoot: donated.
  • Graphic Design: donated.
  • Now, there's supposedly an opening gig for a signed headliner next year, the headliner TBA. I'd like to know who that is, and what it is, but you can bet that Paragon isn't spending the big bucks to book this headliner.
  • The bar couldn't be charging much, of anything. In fact, if they are, then Mike is not doing a very good job, since there are plenty of bars in the city that are better suited for this night that would be happy to take the bar, and let him have the door.
  • The backline and gear is donated by L&M or Just Drums.
Basically, everything is paid for.

So, his overhead. As far as I can see, it's the printing of these little flyers that he gave to each band to hand out(mine went directly in the garbage bin), and the tickets he printed up. Those couldn't cost much. And I also saw NO promotion on the part of Paragon, outside of myspace invites and mass emails. No press, no radio, no anything.

So, he sits on his ass, and makes $8400 (again, at LEAST), while a bunch of bands promote his night. Nice racket.

Now, one of the prizes is a 1 year contract with Metal Queen Management. As you can tell by the name, they handle hard rock and metal acts. And the OWNER was one of the judges. I'm interested to see what she had to say about us, as obviously we're not a band that she can really work with. I'm not accusing her of a bias, as I don't know, but I wouldn't blame her if she was; wouldn't she want the band that wins to be a band that she can work with? I f she's judging, wouldn't she obviously tend to give them the best marks? Nothing against her, I'd do that too. But it's unprofessional of the promoter to have her be a judge.

On the tickets, it says "All Ages". I didn't realize this, as he told me it was 19+. Friends of ours that are playing this upcoming Friday have been selling their tickets to high school kids, and when I told them it wasn't all ages, they were understandably concerned. So, I called Mike and asked him about it, and he said "Oh, I didn't realize it said all ages. But Reillys won't turn away underage kids." This puzzled me, because I know a bar can't just have underage kids in their venue at the drop of a hat. There are things that must be done, rules followed. So, it turns out on our night, a bunch of underage kids show up for one of the other bands, and the bar has to scramble to hire extra security and cordon of an area for the underage kids at the last minute, so they wouldn't lose their liquor license. I asked the bartender about this, and she was pissed. Apparently, they would charge Paragon $600 for an all ages event, and weren't pleased about not being warned. I'd had it at this point, so I told them that he was FULLY aware that under age kids would be coming to these shows, because I myself had told him that, and that he told me that the bar wouldn't turn them away. Piss poor organization, or 'trying to pull a fast one'? You be the judge.

Anyway, to sum up, we played at 8pm SHARP. The judges wanted us on at our start time, no matter what, and that's fine by me; it's a competition. So we played our 30 minute set (got an encore even!), and tore down quickly and got ready to leave. We had some drinks with the people that had come to see us, apologized for them having to pay $10-$12 for such a short set, and told them we'd make it up to them. Funny thing though, the next band was supposed to go on at 8:40. They didn't go on until we were leaving, at 9:20. I wonder if they had points deducted for that? I highly doubt it.

As said before, we are embarrassed to have been any part of this show. We will never EVER do this again. Simon put it best:

"No more shows that we can't get excited about".

Just before we played, I was sent a few emails about Paragon with links to people complaining about it. Well, I hope that this blog post becomes viral and gets emailed and posted all over the Toronto scene as well, to help other bands avoid the frustration and not waste their time. And I hope more bands do the same, stand up for themselves, look out for each other, and put an end to this kind of nonsense.

26 comments:

Unknown said...

Sounds like, smells like, tastes like... bull shit!

brokenengine said...

Wait, what is? Paragon? Or my post?

Anonymous said...

i was gunna be in one of those
how can u sell 30
honestly, especially for bands they don't even know
i agree that is mad retarded dood!

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate really. Band's need to understand the nature of
the beast. Many don't, and that
leaves a bad taste in many young
band's mouths.

Wouldn't it be cool, if there were
promotors who actually cared about
talent, and encouraged those with
talent to persue this art form.

It should never be about the money!

brokenengine said...

And we just found out, the 2 bands that went on to win this also just happened to be the 2 bands that sold the most tickets. What a surprise.

Ian C. said...

surprise surprise. we're going to test the zero-ticket theory mate. let you know how it goes. because it's not about the money right?

brokenengine said...

Yeah, let us know what they say. Post it here. There's been 100 hits on this post today, so I think it ight be a topic for awhile...

brokenengine said...

Oh, I just got our answer. Those friends of mine that were supposed to play this weekend have dropped out, because they "didn't sell enough tickets to qualify for the prize". Apparently, if you don't sell 30 tickets, you can't win the prize.

MIKE: YOUR PRIZES ARE 100% SPONSORED. IF TICKET SALES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, AS YOU SAY, THEN YOU SHOULD NOT BE WITH-HOLDING THE PRIZE FROM PEOPLE THAT *YOU* HAVE ACCEPTED INTO YOUR COMPETITION.

YOU ARE A CON ARTIST, AND NOT A VERY GOOD ONE. I AM SICKENED I HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS FIASCO.

Anonymous said...

lol.

Mike Gruneir.

That guy went to my highschool.

If I recall, he was in a number of Supernova or similar showcases back in the day and even put together some "compilation" CDs for amateur bands *shudder*

Good to see that his work has progressed to the "promoter" racket.

sorry to hear about the hassle you guys had.

Cheers!

Neil said...

Sortof sounds like the same scam that company LA Roxport was pulling back when we played the Battle of the Bands back in *gulp* 1994 with the Rsticks. There was always something shading about it and I could never place it.

Always trust your gut on these things..

Also I can check and see if they had to pay L&M money. Usually they do, but it's discounted.

brokenengine said...

I remember LA Roxport. Yeah, same knd of deal. Again, our beef with him isn't that we didn't win or the fact that you have to sell a minimum of tickets. We didn't care about winning and never expect to win. It's that we were told the night was going to be one way, and then it was quite the opposite. Which made me ask some questions, and the answers I got unravelled this whole saga.

I don't like being embarrassed when I was good enough to provide entertainment, and I don't want other bands to suffer the same fate.

Ian C. said...

we're out. mike called me yesterday and i said "look mate, it's unlikely we're going to sell anywhere close to 30 tickets. our fans just expect more than 30 minutes for $10. they're used to 90 minute opus' for that amount of money." all he said was, "fine. i don't want the tickets back." and then click, the conversation was over. that was easy.

brokenengine said...

Yeah, the word is getting out. This post has almost 300 hits on it in 3 days. So, the word is getting spread, and sorry Mike, but actual good bands are going to be hard for you to book in the future.

If you want some advice on how to run a promo business and not get a bad reputation, I'm sure Ian and I would be happy to give it.

* First off, don't pocket the huge door income when your overhead is basically nil, and then withhold the promised prize when people fail to meet your minimums. And why DO you charge such a high door charge anyway? It's not to recoup money spent, as we've already addressed, since your prizes are donated. And if you have a minimum tickets required, it doesn't take Archimedes to do the math to make sure you at least break even, and reduce the door cost accordingly.

* Also, it's best to discuss all of your standards BEFORE the band is booked. We don't appreciate being asked if we're going to "qualify" for the prize 3 weeks after we've been promoting and selling tickets to your show. Seriously, if we hadn't sold 30 tickets and you had told me that (like you have with other bands that have since dropped out), we would've had an issue, because there was nothing in the email nor in our conversations (therefore, the only contracts available) that stated this, and you would've been in breach of contract. Perhaps on a go forward basis, you should have all your requirements in writing and signed by each band first, to cover your own ass, and so bands are aware of what you expect?

* Finally, instead of requiring a minimum of tickets to protect yourself from bands that don't draw, how about do your homework and go see these bands first, and handpick who you want to deal with, as opposed to just holding a cattle call for naive/inexperienced bands with $$$ in their eyes?

Ian C. said...

in all fairness i think mike told me on the phone that we had to sell a minimum of 30 tickets to "qualify". or maybe he said "do you think you can sell 30 tickets"...i can't recall the precise words now.

as for promotion advice here's my $0.02:

* $1/band + $1 for the promoter. that's fair. 7 bands on? then cover is $8. only got 5 bands? cover is $6. and forget asking people who they're here to see. that method is retarted. if you don't want to share the profits with other bands learn how to play and entire night by yourself. otherwise it's share and share alike.

* pay the bands. i know you're running a battle, but that doesn't mean you have to rip people off. they've helped you, help them out. if you're going by my $1/band advice maybe you'll end up giving them enough for gas and parking. or a little food and beer. that's reasonable. they helped you, you help them.

that's all i can think of for now.

brokenengine said...

Now, I don't have an issue with the "Who did you come to see" bit, if you're going with an outside promoter. Thats fair to me...if you brought out 4 people, and I brought out 40, why should we split the take evenly? It's not our fault that the other band didn't bring anyone, and it's not our fault that the promoter booked the other band.

However, we have been known, in just such an occasion, to make sure said non-drawing band got enough to cover their gas expenses, if any.

It's all about looking out for each other, but not at a huge cost to yourself.

Anonymous said...

You didn't forsee any of this?

News Flash: People are generally assholes. Animals have more soul and character than 90% of humanity.

Too bad we can't move in with a pride of lions somewhere in Africa and enjoy bullshit-free living...

Anonymous said...

Ah, The loyal lion. Many claim to be but few are...

Integrity? What's that again???

Anonymous said...

Battles of the bands can be good for young and new bands to get their name out there and network. However, one shold never EVER EVER pay to play a show. Which essentially what was going on here. Bands rake in the dough and see none of it. We as a general rule do not play in any battles of the bands. Most people learn this the hard way, but thankfully become jaded enough never to fall prey again to gimmicks and skeemers.
-Jake of Inoke Errati

brokenengine said...

So, Mike from Paragon wrote a long reply and posted it on myspace, and it's mostly full of nonsense, so I thought I would post it, and my reply, here:

We apologize to anyone that this does not concern. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with thousands of bands, but due to a slanderous blog about our name and reputation from Tim Knight from the band +Nurse, we feel the need to express what happened from our perspective and from our opinion. This also will be long:

-First of all, this post was written by me(Tim), but it was run by the other members of the band before being posted, and they all were in agreement. I'd like to know at what point I have commited slander. I have cast doubt on your practices, and invited others to
investigate, but accused you of nothing more than being a poor
promoter.

Look things up before you accuse people of criminal activity.


Despite countless attempts to book +Nurse, they somehow always managed
to find a last minute excuse to drop out of the competition and
inconvenience us, the venue and the rest of the bands.

-Patently untrue. Before this event, we had only ever commited to
one other event, an all ages charity show at the elmo(discussed
later). We NEVER commited to anything else.


Tim conveniently forgets to mention that the first time +Nurse played
a Paragon event it was a CHARITY SHOW. In May of 2006 Paragon put
together a World Vision Charity show at the El Mocambo. Again, we
booked Tim's band despite their reputation for being unreliable
because I had always been a fan of Tim's work in other bands. It is
ironic that a band that played a show where one hundred percent of the proceeds went to a charity, (yes we didn't even charge a promoters fee despite our hard work and dedication putting the show together) would call us money grubbing. This show raised over $1000 for World Vision. How convenient of Tim to forget this.
http://www.paragononline.ca/pictures/436321145812023.jpg

-How noble of Mike to waive a promoters charge for an event that
MIKE HIMSELF told me he only "helped out by getting bands" for
the two girls that ran the event. They also confirmed with me that it
was their event, and I gave them advice on how to make things smoother in the future, since it too was poorly organized. I didn't blame them for that since they were, what, 15? And they thanked me for it. Nice try, but another fabrication.


Wait, this is not Tim's only memory lapse. Paragon offered a recording special with a studio where you could record four songs for $500. +Nurse grabbed this opportunity and recorded their songs and rave about how awesome this experience was. The truth is they would not have the great recording that they have for the price that they got it for without Paragon, and the leg work we put in to put together great sponsors like Studio 8.

-Yeah, of course we did. And why not? We've been receiving your
promo emails for a couple of years, and we hadn't the misfortune of
working with you. You offer me a deal, I'm taking it. Whats wrong
with that? This really has nothing to do with anything we've been
talking about though, it's just some leger de main on Mikes
part. A red herring if you will.


No mention of Paragon and that this was a Paragon Special . . .

-Perhaps I was remiss in that. Either way, it still has nothing to
do with my blog.


Now lets look at +Nurse and their participation in Paragon Stage
Stars. First of all the reason +Nurse went on early is because the
band that brings out the crowd gets first dibs on their set-times.
It's a fair way to ensure that people come out to the show without
being corrupt and making the judging based on ticket sales or crowd votes.

-As stated elsewhere, we were given a choice of first or last,
because we sold 30 tickets. We requested first because we were pretty much done with the show by that point, but were commited to playing by that late date.


In fact, we let the bands see their judging sheets at the end of the
night and announce our judges. The judging is solely based on the
quality of music and not on ticket sales, and in many cases bands that
have not even sold close to the most tickets have been Paragon
winners. So was the case on Tim's preliminary round – Japhy Rider was
not the biggest seller and they ADVANCED.

-And as also stated elsewhere, we were given incorrect info about
who placed and who sold what tickets, and I have admitted this. But other bands have said the same experience happened to them. In fact, since this blog went out, I've received at least 30 emails from other people concurring and thanking me for it. The more people that do, the more I want to share it.


About the tickets being expensive, $10 is cheaper than going to see a
movie, not to mention cheaper than our competitors. Should we work
for months putting together events for free? I'm sure when +nurse
does their own shows they make money. So is it wrong of us to make a living?

-This is such a lame argument. Movies are totally different kettle
of fish, and a movie costs MILLIONS of dollars to produce, and as
we've already said, I don't think your overhead is that much. And
again, it has nothing to do with this. If your competitors are
charging more, then they're complicit too. But my point all along is that you come off as someone that cares about the T.O. scene. So, why do you only want to do what your competitors do? Secondly, you work for months doing what exactly? I mean, you put out the emails
to attract the bands, then you contact the bands, then you narrow down the list, you make sure the night is booked....i mean, Mike, do you think I don't know what it takes to book a show? Even with 7 bands? I used to run an all ages club! Monthly shows, with 5 or 6 bands. And we didn't even have prizes to attract them, I had to go seek them out. Finally, no, actually, +nurse doesn't always make money when we play. We were quite content not to make any for your show. But the difference Mike, is that my band was providing the entertainment. You were exactly this: The middle man. So, yes, make money, thats not the issue. Whats at issue is, the amount you make, compared to the amount you spend, and the fact that you let people work hard to promote your night, and then spring your minimum on them at the last minute(more on that later). And thats not even OUR beef, but I was chiming in that it was a bad practice that other bands felt cheated by.


About the genre thing, THERE WERE NO METAL BANDS on the night that
+nurse played (despite Tim's accusations). In fact, many of them were quite mellow and went nicely with the band +nurse. The heaviest band was Liar and a Thief and even they were melodic. There was only one band that night that may have been considered heavy and that was "The No Jimmies" but they were more of a fun classic '80s type heavy.

-Every band on that night, with the exception of "The Way" was a
classic rock or hard rock act. Even EJUNE, which sounds like a cross between Philosopher Kings and Seal, had some long assed guitar solos. But thats not the point. The point was, it was not the night that was advertised to us in the first place. Secondly, Mike has neglected to mention that there WERE 9 bands until a week before the show, and one of them was an Ozzy Osbourne Tribute band. Funny how he neglected to mention that.


Metal Queen by the way, helped decide the winners, who were
coincidentally the mellowest bands of the night. I guess this
disproves your theory Tim.

-Which theory was that?

Tim made a specific point of approaching me on the night of the show to tell me that they couldn't get people out because nobody wanted to come out and watch a bunch of metal bands and that he thought it would be all "indie bands" like them. Why don't you guys judge for yourselves if ANY of these bands would be considered metal:

-And again, Mike is making stuff up. And he's kneecapping himself
here. He approached me on the night, and I told him this. Because it's true; Dude, people listened to the bands, and weren't interested in paying $10 to sit through all of them. These people said they were metal. I listened to them, and told you that they were all a lot heavier than we are. It doesn't change the fact that what you told would be done was not done. And then you tried to tell me that you WANTED to do it, but it couldn't be done. But if we look at the other bands on the other nights, it EASILY could've been done. And Mike is also "forgetting" again that two bands are not on this list, that they
cancelled a week before the show. Once again, you're just trying to
cover your ass. But since you mentioned it, lets look at these bands:

+NURSE
EJUNE www.ejune.ca (Genre stated above)
JAPHY RIDER http://www.myspace.com/japhy (classic Rock and Rock)
LIAR and a THIEF www.liarandathief.com (alternative rock, and by my
judgement the coolest band there, but a LOT heavier than us)

SIN www.myspace.com/thesinproject (their own Myspace page lists
them as METAL)

THE NO JIMMIES www.myspace.com/nojimmiez (their own myspace says
METAL/PUNK/THRASH)

THE WAY www.myspace.com/thewayonline (only band even close to our sound)

So, one mellow band with classic rock undertones, one unabshedly
classic rock sounding band, one band not very but kind of similar
genre, and 3 heavy bands. Not to mention the 2 very heavy bands that
were originally on the bill that dropped out last minute.

Busted again.


Now, Tim if your issue is that none of the bands sound exactly like
you, then I'm sorry but there is only 1 of you and I think diversity
is a good thing.

-Mike, it's called reading: Not exactly like us. But at
least something our fans can get into. Before we even said yes, what was stated was that there would be some similarity. Diversity is good; no cohesion whatsoever is not, we're not interested in it, and we told you that before we said yes. So why do you think we feel the way we do?


I think a major problem with this situation was a breakdown of
communication in the band +Nurse. Tim did not know that we had a 30
ticket qualifying minimum even though I told two of his band members on numerous occasions about this.

-You only spoke to one other member before the tickets were picked up, and they have both told me that this is untrue. So, you might call them liars if you like, but saying "Do you think you can sell 30?" is not the same as saying "You must sell 30, or you're not eligible for the prize". We never would've agreed to this, even
though we DID sell 30.


It would be unfair to assume otherwise, as clearly EVERY other band that showed up at our event meeting knew about everything. Perhaps one spokesperson would have made it easier than dealing with three different band members.

-You dealt with Simon in Aug because my son was born and I took the month off from anything but being a dad. Sorry to inconvenience you. But if all the other bands knew this, why did one band buy in for an extra 5 tickets at the last minute? Why have 6 (yes SIX) bands contacted me saying "We didn't know about the 30 tickets 'Qualifying' either!"? Busted yet again Mike.

As far as the 30 ticket qualifying minimum goes, we feel no need to
justify ourselves. 30 tickets in a full month of promotion time is not
a lot to ask if a band is going to take part in a competition where
you have a 1 in 21 chance of winning almost $20,000 worth of prizing.

-Agreed. Again, we need to know about it up front. Sorry, you did
NOT tell my guys. I believe them over you, especially considering other bands have said the same thing. And again, we
didn't really care about the prize. Our beef is that it was a giant
waste of our time, and we did a lot of promotion for you and got
nothing out of it.


If a band wants to play to an empty room with a couple of other bands
they can do it on any other night and in any other venue in the city.
Paragon does not work that way. The reason we have sponsors (who by
the way we need to work our asses off to maintain) is because we are
able to deliver their messages to a fairly large audience.

-Really? Because one of your judges told me that all you had to do was ask the main sponsor. And one of your judges WAS a
sponsor. And one of your sponsors was supposed to be a judge. Lots
of work to maintain those contacts?


When we began and did not have ticket minimums, or the type of
sponsorships we have recently had, bands were walking in and bringing
out 2 people and walking away with prizes that we spent months putting
together.

-And thats because you let anyone enter, without doing your homework.

This type of behaviour is not fair to the sponsors, to the venues, to
the promoters, or to the bands.

-Agreed. So don't enter bands that will do that. It's not hard.

About doing promotion in magazines, no offense or anything but putting the name +nurse in Eye or Now magazine would just be a way for
+nurse to see their name in a magazine – its not like we are promoting the Stones or say Metric who have the type of following that this type of advertising would benefit.

-Sigh, you don't get it. YOU ARE A PROMOTER. You're supposed to
promote your night. I don't care if my name or the bands name was
anywhere on that. The bands SHOULD bring a lot of people, but you
should do your bit too. What kind of promo did you do, beyond email?


If a band is to benefit from the exposure that these large shows
offer, it should be a band that is willing to work the show. Nobody
ties a ball and chain to your leg and forces you to play our events.
Many bands do not feel comfortable with a minimum and drop out.

-Already said my peace about the minimums.

We have and still do maintain relationships with many paragon
competitors – even those who have not won – and in fact have received
many thank-yous and mentions in CD inserts and have been responsible
for hooking many bands up with: managers, industry contacts, shows,
venues, prizes and exposure. If you did not understand the rules,
then that is the fault of other members of your band for not
communicating properly with eachother.

-Once again, the minimums weren't our beef. We mentioned them because A) we WEREN'T told about it, B) Lots of bands mentioned THEY weren't told and C) It's a lazy practice. There may be lots of bands that loved Paragon, but I've heard from at least 3 dozen that didn't. That have cheered this blog on. They have spread it throughout the community.

To break down how much money we make is really not fair. You don't
know our expenses. It is a lot more than you think.

-You're right, I don't, and I said as much, that I didn't know, but I was estimating.

There is more to putting together a competition than you know. Are
you really bashing us for obtaining prizes for the bands and taking
nothing for ourselves from these prizes?

-Again, you're assuming I have no expertise in this sort of thing,
and assuming I was saying you should get nothing. I only called into question whether the take far outweighed the cost. And I think it does.


Do you work for free Tim?

-For my music, a lot of times, yeah. But again, see above...

Reilly's by the way is all ages all the time – so oops you're wrong there too.

-HAHAHA this is a great lie. I spoke to the owner and the bartender when we were leaving, Mike. They were not pleased with the unannounced under agers, and not pleased you knew in advance. Nice try though. If you want to call him a liar, do it to his face.

Are you really complaining that we actually started a show on time and
were punctual?

-Not at all.

How many times have you actually started on time?

-If we're first, almost always. We always go on when we're told
to. If the organizer says wait, we wait. So, the judges said go on,
we went on. No problem. Until...


Doesn't that make us organized?

-Well it would, if the rules had been applied to the next band,
that wenton 40 minutes late. So, then, I would say no.


The reason we do that is so that the last band gets a chance to play
in case there are difficulties like the one after your band where a
band doesn't go on stage on time.

-As I saw it, they were chatting and moving slowly. 15 minutes is
more than enough time to change over. Now admittedly I wasn't on
stage, so I don't know. But 40 minutes? Did one of them have to go home and get an amp...on the streetcar?


Sounds like someone is a sore loser – sorry the judges didn't like +nurse Tim.

-Heh, once again, it's called reading: we didn't expect to win,
didn't care if we won. We just didn't like our time being wasted.
Everything else has stemmed from the questions I asked, the answers I got, and the fact that I actually CARE about other bands, that might
get sucked into being a part of one of your shows. And you can mail
those score sheets if you're so interested in showing us how much the judges didn't like us. But since the sound guy said he REALLY liked us, and the other two judges are hard rock fans, I'm skeptical and not surprised at the same time. If that makes sense.


By the way, because your band members didn't tell you some things I am sure you don't know about this either – there are three wild card
spots in any Paragon. This is to ensure that if a certain night has
very high scoring bands, since only two can advance per night and each
night is separate we can send high scoring bands to the finals. It is
also there so that if we REALLY disagree with a decision that the
judges made, we can over ride it for one band per night. We WERE
strongly considering +nurse for this position because I really like
your songs- heck, I even like Zoolab. But of course we can't send you to the finals anymore.

-You don't get it. We don't want to be involved anymore. We
wouldn't have played if we had WON.


Again, all the best to +nurse in the future and I am sorry that you
feel this way. I am not however, going to put up with this kind of
slander and I hope that people see this and understand that there is
more than one side to every story.

-And I said that in the first paragraph of my post. But I think
I've succesfully refuted your claims. Also, again, not slander.


Furthermore, you write on a blog that can only be enabled by the blog author – so if anyone wanted to defend us or if we wanted to comment – it would not be possible now would it? Its like running your own little bashing dictatorship – good for you!

-Mike, there are plenty of comments from non-blogger profiles on this, as well as non-friends able to post on our myspace blog. Hell, you posted this ON OUR MYSPACE BLOG! Just proof again, you're making stuff up. Grasping at straws.

Let me close that I received an email on tuesday or wednesday from
Mike, where he stated he had read this blog, was disappointed, and
that was that. I wonder if this email is prompted by the fact that
this post has inspired other bands to drop out of his competition, and
some of his sponsors to rethink their sponsorship? Again, I don't
know, but I wonder.

Tim
+nurse

Ian C. said...

more real life facts: we were slated to play the nov. 3rd slot (but have since withdrawn because we didn't sell 30 tickets). paragon mis-spelt the name of my band (see http://www.paragononline.ca/news.php?id=57) AND gave the web address of some completely different band. i emailed them repeatedly over the last month to have this error corrected and no one ever returned my email or fixed the problem. the exposure it's pretty much useless if: a) the name of the band is wrong; and b) the website points to someone else entirely.

brokenengine said...

To be totally honest, I did edit some of Mikes letter. I didn' change anything, or change the context, I just excised in the interest of brevity. But you can read his full and original comment here:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=17905147&blogID=183960206&MyToken=31381656-a9ad-4aae-a72d-c15ea3c5a45e

. said...

you've both made your points. let it go.

brokenengine said...

Yeah, I was only ever going to do this for this week, as the next Paragon night is tonight. However, I don't think he's made any points.

brokenengine said...

I'd also like to mention that I have asked Mike to remove me from his mailing list 4(FOUR!) times now, and I'm still getting emails telling me who won the preliminary rounds of $tage $tars. Mike, fix this immediately!

Anonymous said...

okay take a deep breath and let it go. You got taken by the oldest promoter scam in the book. I think its great that you posted to warn other bands but you dont need to justify what you said when they respond. You cant argue with someone that you say is lying because they will only respond with more lies.

TOO ALL YOUNG BANDS OUT THERE PLEASE READ THIS.

I have working in the music industy for a long time and manage a number of bands. You really need to understand this.

Battle of the bands are a scam. (with the exception of ones that are linked with real radio like edge102 or real festivals like CMW) They are a way to make you feel like your doing something because your playing in a legit venue. In reality you are playing for free (bad but exceptable in some cases) or paying to play (worse).

Paragon, supernova, emergfest, hottboxx etc. will not help you move forward in any real way and these guys make money off of you.LOTS OF MONEY

If you want to do shows either deal directly with the clubs booker or with a legit freelance booker. HOW do you know they are legit?

Its easy. You find out how the door is being divided up. If the booker is taking more then 20% (and thats high) then they are not legit (usally). Thats how it works guys.

You will end up with bad nights and crappy set times at smaller venues at first but
if your good, promote and start building a draw the promoter will give you better shows.


ALso someone said that all bands should make the same off the show.
WOW, talk about not understanding the music industy and the business in general.

I currently work with a band that puts 120+ in rooms in toronto. If you put 20 people in that room do you really think that you should be paid the same as the bigger band? Are you nuts. Bands that draw sell booze, this makes the bar money, more sales means more money for the bar. Bands that make money for the bar expect to be paid accordingly.

I really feel for young bands because of these scams but buyer beware. There are no shortcuts. If you dont draw your not going to get a legit booker to put you on at 11pm on a friday at a legit club.

For god sake people stop working with these kind of scammers because if they could not scam bands any longer they would not make money and would disappear.

Tim you have been around long enough to know better. LJ would have never let you take that show.

brokenengine said...

Hmmm, who is this? I *THINK* I know, but please email me.

Oh, and yeah, I've dropped this now. Not pushing it or sending emails or etc etc etc. However, you're wrong; LJ actually WAS trying to get us on this before she had to stop managing. Thats the thing; Mike comes off as VERY genuine, talking a good game about how he wants to fwd the scene and how he cares about bands etc. We ignored our gut instinct, and yeah, we should've known better, but we got suckered. Hence, this long post; I don't like getting suckered.