Last year, we recorded a conversation with the many women who hold positions in Pearl Jam’s road crew, like sound engineer and production manager. The women discussed life on the road and shared their advice for young women looking for jobs in the industry. We also look back at an interview with Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist, Mike McCready, about the band’s activism and McCready’s own work outside the group.
We talk a lot about how musicians can make a living in today’s music industry, but on this episode we look at the selfless ways artists use their influence. Our guests show that musicians at any stage of their careers can affect sustainable, positive change. Mike McCready, lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, tells us how the band’s Vitalogy Foundation, funded by ticket sales, benefits everything from the environment to the arts. Then we hear from emerging queer punk duo PWR BTTM about how their tour rider is making venues safer and more accessible. Merrill Garbus, the artist behind tUnE-yArDs, explains how one song led to the creation of the Water Fountain fund. We end the show with Coy Bowles of Zac Brown Band, who uses storytelling to change kids’ lives.
Episode #3 of the Future of What focuses on “Direct To Fan” sales, which have exploded in recent years thanks to the internet. Jessica Boudreaux and Marc Swart of Summer Cannibals and New Moss Records talk about their merch strategies as both band and label. James Reling from Kill Rock Stars speaks on his super-fandom and which artists in particular he follows intently. Ben Hubbird of CD Baby explains the changing role that the company has played since their inception in 2003. Tim Bierman, manager of the Pearl Jam “Ten Club”, talks about the importance of giving fans what they want when they want it. Benji Rogers of Pledge Music ends the episode with an explanation of how Pledge Music is different than other crowd funding sites, and the importance of engaging the “super fans”.