When interning at different music labels and PR companies around New York City in her early days, Caiti Green had a very simple diet. “I’m completely, 100% serious when I tell you I ate Ramen, and grilled cheese, and eggs everyday because that’s what I could afford.” But hearing her talk passionately today about her position at Atlantic Records as a marketing director, you can tell the sacrifice was worth it.
Now, she finds herself creating timelines and marketing plans around releases, all the while staying true to the art. “It’s super important to me that things come off authentic and that we can break that major label stigma.”
This is the story of Caiti Green.
Caiti Green: You say thank you to every single radio programmer you meet in like bumfuck, Iowa. You say, thank you so much for playing my record. And you just have to be like, you know, just massage your ego and just sort of be like, all right, let’s try some other things and come up with something else that is hopefully equally as dope in your mind.
Intro: Hello and welcome to Landed, the story of the music business told by the people behind the scenes. On each episode, we’ll welcome in someone from the music industry, discovering how they started out, how they got the skills to work with the biggest artists in the world, and what advice they have for up and comers. Each conversation will show how they’re navigating the ever evolving landscape of music today. On this episode, music producer and author Jesse Cannon will be speaking with Caiti Green, a product manager at Atlantic Records.
Caiti Green: Cool. I am Caiti Green and I am a director of marketing at Atlantic Records, also known as a product manager.
Jesse Cannon: So, what does that actually mean you do here on a day to day basis?
Caiti Green: Basically, a product manager’s job is to unite all the different departments at the label around a marketing plan for a release. So once A&R has sort of finished the music with the band, a marketing person is assigned and we decide a release date for an album or an EP or a single whatever that might be and sort of work backwards to come up with a great marketing plan and a timeline. So, we sit with all the different departments. With press, we’ll come up with a list of press targets, digital marketing, we’ll identify sort of where the artists, fans, demographics lie. Different demographics use different platforms so we know how to first market to those fans that already exist if they have some.
And then sort of like expand beyond video production. Also working with the artist and different directors to find video treatments through a video commissioner that works at Atlantic radio promo. When are we going to radio? Are we going to radio? What format? Different formats of radio or like alternative, which is what I mostly work with, alternative artists. Top 40 which is pop hot AC, AAA, college, non-com.
There’s a bunch of different formats. So, determining where we’re going with that, if at all. We have our touring and artist development department that helps sort of connect the dots with touring agents, which is like a whole different company or companies that we work with. Yeah. And more, you know, production of actual CDs, getting the music out to digital service platforms like Spotify and Apple. It’s everybody. So, we’re sort of in the center of the wheel and all the spokes kind of go out and do their thing.
And those are all the experts in the field. So, we are sort of in between everything making sure that there’s a cohesive plan and everybody’s doing what they need to be doing. Is everything working? If not, what else can we do? Is there a new tour? What can we do around that? Album release, what can we do around that? So, it’s a lot of organization and sort of working with a lot of different personalities and then also creative marketing on top of that. We also liaison most with artists themselves and their managers. So, we’re sort of the point of contact between management/artist and the label when it comes to, you know, all the goings on outside of music creation.
Jesse Cannon: Wow. That’s a lot.
Caiti Green: It is. You have to be a bit of a control freak and have a touch of OCD, but also be really good with people. My boss, Nina Webb, who is incredible, she always says it’s like 90% psychology. We don’t even need to go to college for psychology because we get lessons every single day. Artists always, well most of the time have big personalities. It’s also finding the best ways to work with the staff in the building because everybody works differently and, you know, you need to know who needs a little more motivation and who is … Like say you mentioned something offhand in the hallway in passing and that person just goes and does it and you know that like they’ll do what they need to do. And then some people need a little bit more. So, it’s just sort of knowing everybody in the building and the artist and manager pretty well to make sure we are all working together harmoniously.
Jesse Cannon: That’s really rad.
Caiti Green: Yeah.
Jesse Cannon: So why don’t we shift gears and get into what made you want to work in the music business?
Caiti Green: Oh Lord. So I grew up in Wisconsin, on a hill in the woods. And I was about 30 minutes outside of Madison. So I was a very angsty teenager. And not having access to much. So I don’t want to shit on Madison. I love Madison. It’s so beautiful. I love Wisconsin. It’s amazing. But it’s just like cultural access is limited.
Jesse Cannon: I’ve spent some time in the city, yes.
Caiti Green: Yeah, sure. And it’s a college town and it’s awesome. And we did have awesome shows there and stuff. And I was going to shows at this teen center called The Loft every chance I could get. Weekdays, whatever. I guess I started going when I was like 13, 14 but like have my parents dropped me off in their minivan and go to all those little shows.
And I just met so many artists who … I don’t know. This is so cliché, but it’s like I felt like somebody like got me finally. You know what I mean?
Jesse Cannon: It’s a cliché because it’s true.
Caiti Green: Yeah, totally. Like it was, you know, like being an angsty kid and then listening to this music and being like, oh my God, someone understands. It was awesome, you know? And I got to know all the local bands and it was a lot of like pop punk kids around that time. It was like, you know, early 2000s so that’s what was super hot then. I had a lot of friends around the city and around like from Milwaukee and Chicago and I’d, you know, in the summer or spring break, whatever, go out on tour with my friends’ bands.
Jesse Cannon: You want to mention any of the bands or anything?
Caiti Green: There’s a band called Billy Ray’s Pirates. Good friends of mine. Yeah, they’re awesome. A couple of them are still playing music. 0 to 60 Never was another good one. There was a local ska band called, I Voted for Kodos. I never went on the road with them, but we were homies and from Milwaukee there were a couple of little emo bands called Number One Fan.
Jesse Cannon: I loved that band.
Caiti Green: Yeah dude. I’m still friends with those dudes. They’re so awesome.
Jesse Cannon: That’s so funny. You what’s crazy? Somebody uploaded that record to YouTube a little while ago and I found the playlist and I rocked it for like two weeks straight.
Caiti Green: They’re so great. They’re so great. They’re still playing music too. One of the guys, Nick, is in this band, Gold, and it has like a million Ds and a million Gs. I don’t know.
Jesse Cannon: I’m going to have to search this out now. Because, yeah, me rocking that record again like 15 years later really said something.
Totally. Yeah. Like Snapdragon Records was like this Milwaukee based label that operated out of this dude’s apartment on Locust Street. Yeah, I don’t know. It was cool. And this other band Bozzio. One of the dudes from that is still a good friend. He just goes by Hugh Masterson now and he’s a country artist. He lives in Nashville now, but touring around meeting people at shows. As soon as I got my license I was at the rave in Milwaukee like every weekend and, you know, dipping out to Chicago to go to the shows at House of Blues and Schubas and the Metro obviously.
I just met a bunch of people. I met the booker from Summerfest, David Silva, and he’s so awesome and he was having me sort of filter through artists through their music submission platform. So, I did that for a couple of years to help book small stages and stuff. I met tons of industry people because I would just go to all 11 days of Summerfest. Summerfest is the hugest music festival in the country and nobody really knows that it’s 11 days long. It’s crazy and it’s over 4th of July so it’s super fun. Anyway, I met a ton of people there, became friends with a band that was doing pretty well, hung out with them quite a bit and you know, bounced around on tour with them when they were in the Midwest and Canada a couple of times.
Yeah, I just kept him meeting so many people and at that point I was going to college at University of Wisconsin-Madison for journalism, which made me hate writing. And I wasn’t doing great because I was going on tour and stuff. So, I transferred to Columbia College Chicago to go for music business. To make money in Chicago I was working at Pete Wentz’s bar called Angels and Kings.
Jesse Cannon: Yeah, I’m very familiar.
Caiti Green: Yeah, yep. So that was another awesome place. I obviously talk a lot, so I love-
Jesse Cannon: That’s why we have you on a podcast.
Caiti Green: No, I love meeting people and I just wanted it so bad. I was just like, I can’t see myself doing anything else. Like when I met the band that I met that was big, The All-American Rejects. When I met them, I just met so many people in the industry and even like their crew and everything, it was so cool to just be surrounded by all these people who just live it every day.
And I just wanted that so bad. So, it was awesome to work at Angels and Kings because I met all the Crush guys and all the musicians that would come through. It was just … It spurred me on, you know? And then I finished college and realized I was only a cocktail waitress and that was not part of the plan. So, I came to New York for a week, met an A&R at mom and pop named Craig Winkler, who is a fucking awesome human being. He now runs his own label called Grand Jury. He offered me an internship, so I moved the week after that to New York. And you know, ate ramen and eggs for every meal for like four years. Interned there, interned at an indie PR company.
I was managing this French artist for a minute and, like as much as you can do when you’re 22 but with no experience. But did a couple of cool things and then became a personal assistant to a musician for about a year and then got a marketing assistant job at Island Def Jam and I was working for David Grant who actually works here now and is also I guess SVP, EVP, one of the heads of marketing with my boss Nina.
He’s awesome and he really taught me a lot and really let me be hands on, which was super cool because I learned a lot in a really short amount of time. 10 months after I started there, this sort of like marketing position out of the A&R department, they sort of created this new position because David Massey who was the president of Island was signing all these baby acts the wider Island Def Jam couldn’t necessarily take on just because it was like crazy. It was like Kanye West and Justin Bieber and, you know, the whole Avicii, like huge, awesome roster. So yeah, they created this little new position. It was just a weird thing and I reported to the head of A&R Steve Yegowell, also awesome dude. I’m super fortunate to have worked with all these people that I’ve worked with through my career.
He sort of led it and we had this really dope little roster. One of the artists that was on that roster was Tove Lo. So “Habits” really blew up like six months after I started being a product manager and I was like, what do I do now? Like what is going on? Her manager Laura Haber who is like a queen and one of my besties Tove and Laura and I got really close and we just pushed through it and none of us had ever done anything like what happened. So, we just did the best we could and chased after it and we had a number one pop single, like the first year of me having a product manager job, which was crazy. I worked hard. I worked really hard, but I can’t be like, yeah, I knew what I was doing so everything went super smooth.
I accidentally fucked up on something and an entire European tour had to be adjusted because of my fuck up, which is one of the craziest things about being a product manager. Like when you have your fingers in all the pots and you’re the person in control of making the timeline and all of that stuff, like shit falls through the cracks and it’s just your fault. Regardless of who fucked up, like you should’ve known. Which is fine, you know, we take that on and it’s cool. You know, we have relationships that hopefully that stuff can be smoothed over most of the time. But anyway, so then David Grant had moved over to Atlantic at that point and he brought me over here and it’s awesome. And I love it. Atlantic is the best label out there I feel. Totally unbiased opinion. But you know, it’s like family. You know, it’s really cool. That’s like the abbreviated version of how I came to …
Jesse Cannon: Yeah, very abbreviated. Very good story though.
Caiti Green: Thanks.
Jesse Cannon: So, there’s that meme like what my family thinks I do, what my boyfriend thinks I do.
Caiti Green Oh my God. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jesse Cannon: What I actually do. Run down the list.
Caiti Green: Well, so my dad is the chief medical officer of a hospital. He just retired. But anyway, and my mom was a nurse. They didn’t get it at all. The whole time they were just like, “What are you doing?” Like from when I was a kid, they were just like, “You’re insane and wearing too much eye makeup.” And all your friends-
Jesse Cannon: Well it was the My Space era.
Caiti Green: Yeah, totally. “And all your friends have mouth piercings and tattoos. Like what are you doing?” They have always supported me. They’re just so … They’re amazing. They’re amazing people. Even without sort of like fully understanding. They know I’m very strong willed, so they just got behind it and it’s awesome. They do not know what I do.
They don’t understand it. My mom’s been to the office a couple times when she’s come to visit and had nothing to do, so she just sat on my couch during a workday and heard me on phone calls and just like, “whoa, like this is crazy.” But you know, they tell everyone like, “Oh yeah, she’s a manager.” I heard a really good one from one of my mom’s best friends. She was like, “I hear you’re managing Justin Bieber.” And I was like, “Absolutely incorrect. I have never met Justin Bieber. I’m sure he’s a person that is great.” And I … whatever. I love Justin Bieber. He’s awesome. Sorry, come on. Like total smash forever. So it’s just funny. They’re just like, yeah. I always hear it from their friends. I went to my dad’s retirement party and they’re like, “Wow, you manage all these bands that are on the radio?”
And I’m like, “No, but sure. Fine. Like whatever. You’re all doctors. It’s cool.” One guy on my dad’s retirement party goes, “I hear you work in music.” And I was like, “Yeah.” And he’s like, “So I just got a new car and I can’t figure out how to play music in it because it doesn’t have a CD player.” And I was like, “Okay.” He’s like, “It’s a Volkswagen. You know it has something for an SD card. Do you know what that is?” And I’m like, “Oh my God, I can’t have this conversation.” I’m like, “You know what, I do work in music. I am not an expert in SD cards. I didn’t even know SD cards were still a thing. I had an SD card for like my Canon camera when I was in high school.” But it was really funny. It’s very cute.
They’re all like, “The music industry is in the toilet now, isn’t it?” And I’m like, “No, it’s not. It’s actually… We’re doing great.”
Jesse Cannon: Just work at a company that probably makes over a billion dollars every quarter. I think we’re doing okay.
Caiti Green: Yeah, super chill. Super chill. But it’s like, you know, they don’t know. “Have you ever heard of Link Wray and the Wraymen?” It’s like, “Yes. Actually, my dad plays that for me all the time.” Music industry stuff, you know, SD cards, Link Wray.
Jesse Cannon: How about a-
Caiti Green: Boyfriend?
Jesse Cannon: Yeah. Go there.
Caiti Green: Well my boyfriend’s a musician so he gets it a little too much. You know what I mean? I’ll be ranting to him about work and he’ll be like, “Oh, you’re such a fucking label person.” And I’m like, “Yes, but you’re such a fucking musician. So like you get it. Come on.” But no.
Jesse Cannon: You need people like me.
Caiti Green: Yeah, totally. No, it’s actually cool because we were at Lalapalooza this past weekend and we were sitting with Maureen Kenney who does A&R at breakfast here at Atlantic. She does A&R. We work together a lot and we were sort of like bitching about a situation we’re dealing with. He was just sort of like quietly listening and Maureen looks at him and was like, “Oh my God, I’m so … Do you think we’re horrible? Do you think we’re … Like if you knew that people were saying this about your manager or you, what would you think about it?” And he was like, “No, actually I wish people would have said that stuff about my old manager because he wasn’t great. But I wish people had said that to me from the label,” which we can’t for legal reasons. But it’s cool because we bounce stuff off each other and get in cool, I’m not going to say arguments, but debates. Debates is a good word about the processes and sort of like ways of thinking about releasing music and all the fun miscellaneous stuff that goes with it.
Caiti Green: It’s great to have a different perspective, you know?
Jesse Cannon: Little objectivity.
Caiti Green: Yeah, yeah, yeah sure. He likes to say it’s objective.
Jesse Cannon: You’re not convinced?
Caiti Green: I don’t think anything in music is objective. I think everything is very subjective, which is one of the debates we always have, but it’s like there’s no right answer, which is another crazy part of this job. It’s like you try something and it might not work and that sucks for everybody. Especially when it’s a developing artist, you’re like, “Fuck, I wish this would have gone a different way.” But it’s like, yeah, there’s just no right answer. It’s crazy. But you know, you try different things and if one thing doesn’t work you move on to the next one.
Jesse Cannon: So what do you actually do??
Caiti Green: Sure. I spend a lot of time writing emails that no one reads. No it’s part of a product manager’s job to be organized and make timelines and next steps and blah blah blah. And I love those emails being like, “You never asked for that. You never told me this was happening.” And I’ll be like, scroll through my sent emails attached. Please see attached, thank you, from two weeks ago. But it’s fine. Like whatever. Everybody’s got a ton of shit to do and it’s crazy. Like this industry is crazy so it’s fine. But emails, I tried to do two laps around the building a day, saying hey to people I work with and catching up. Whether it’s just personal stuff or checking in on projects or what else they’re working on, like whatever. You know, just because again it’s so important to have relationships in the building. Or just like high fiving or like patting on the back, being like we nailed it on this thing.
Like way to go. Thank you for all your hard work. That’s something that I feel like not enough people do is just appreciate other people’s work. This industry is a grind, you know what I mean? And people, … The digital department is sometimes working until… On release days they’re working ‘til one in the morning cause they’re flipping Facebook skins and posting on Instagram or whatever, announcing new stuff. People work really hard. Weekends. The touring department is all day, every day. They are getting artists from A to B, making sure everything’s running on schedule. Working with agents, you know, if there’s some sort of incident where like a flight gets canceled and they’ve got a bunch of radio … It’s crazy that like everybody works so hard and I really, really try to be appreciative of everyone’s hard work. But we can always be more appreciative.
Caiti Green: You know, stuff like that. I travel a lot. I go to LA a lot. No artists live in New York anymore, which is a tragedy and I plan to be part of the reason that it turns around. I’m working on it. Video shoots, photo shoots, it’s all like we are the quarterbacks and the cheerleaders in the building and we are supposed to be the ones who know the artists and their vision the best so we can communicate it. So, interacting with them is really important and you know, there’s no better way to get to know somebody than being on a 14-hour video shoot that starts at 6:00 a.m. You’re like, “Let’s share this Starbucks together and get through it.” Yeah. So, a lot of that healthy debates about strategy. Yeah.
Jesse Cannon: How about, you tell me a little bit more about how the artist’s vision stuff plays into what you do and the decisions it makes you have.
Caiti Green: So, every artist is different, especially in that regard. I am super fortunate to work with a lot of sort of left of center artists who have a pretty clear identity. I worked with Melanie Martinez who is just a queen. Literally every piece of creative, no matter how small, comes from her. We are not making anything for her. I mean she’s a creative genius. It’s amazing. A lot of my artists have an idea of like, well this is who we are, this is what we want to say through the music and through our visuals. Whether it’s like writing their own video treatments or obviously being really involved in their photo shoots and album art creation and all of that. Like it’s to really understand where they’re coming from and also try to make them understand where we as a label who are trying to push their aesthetic and music out into the masses, what we need in order to do our jobs the best way we can.
Because sometimes they’re not thinking about the marketability of stuff. I hate that. I hate it because I don’t want it to cheapen anything that they do at all ever. You know? Like, I always make sure to say, especially with developing artists who just signed to a major for the first time, I’m like, “Dude, I get it.” I’m not trying to be like, “Oh you need to do everything this way.” Like I’d never want to sound like that or be like that. Sometimes an idea is really, really cool and has a really cool like root. But there’s something that might turn people off and sometimes they’re like, “I don’t give a fuck, I want to do it anyway.” And then sometimes they’re like, “Okay I see where you’re coming from.”
I don’t know. It just depends on the artist. Like, I would never ever, ever, ever want to change anything Melanie does ever. Because she’s just like, she knows who she is and it works. She’s a force. I’m not saying that I want to change things other people do. It’s just like massaging it a little bit.
Jesse Cannon: Some artists you need to fill in the blanks.
Caiti Green: Totally. You need to fill in the blanks. You need to kick it up a notch a little bit. You know like artists who are super used to doing DIY, like DIY is fucking awesome. But when you’re working with bigger budgets and I have money dude, like I’m going to throw you some loot, like let’s work on this together. And sometimes it’s like 100% let’s do your thing. Like let’s do this part that you really want to do.
For me, please can we also do this other thing? And then let’s see what comes out. You know what I mean? And sometimes I’m all the way wrong, which is totally fine and I never really get butt hurt about it. And that’s another thing that’s really important when you work at a label. You could have this idea that you think is like the fucking coolest thing ever and it’s totally going to work and whatever and the band hates it. Or the manager’s like, are you fucking kidding me? We’re not going to do that.” And you just have to be like, you know, just massage your ego and just sort of be like, all right, let’s try something different and come up with something else that is hopefully equally as dope in your mind. But that’s my favorite part about working in my job is working closely with the artists.
It’s super important to me that things come off authentic and that we can break that sort of major label stigma. I never thought I’d work at a major label. No way. Are you kidding me? No way. Now I’m so grateful. I’m so pumped to be where I am. I get to work with people all the time, which I need and I get to exercise my OCD, which is fantastic. And I get to work really closely with artists who I’ve always surrounded myself with, since I was a teenager, you know, and really like being around them because their brains work in a totally different way than mine does. And it’s fascinating. I’ve also had so many friends, not so many, but I’ve had some really good friends just get totally fucked over by their managers or whoever and I’ve always just been like really eager to protect artists from people who like are in it for ingenuine reasons.
Caiti Green: That’s the most important thing to me is taking care of the artists the best that I can and making sure they feel confident and real and the best version of their artistic selves.
Jesse Cannon: Love that. So, let’s get into some advice for the youngins.
Caiti Green: I told you earlier, I just totally scared an intern off.
Jesse Cannon: How’d you scare the intern? What’d you say?
Caiti Green: Okay. So obviously we’ve learned through this podcast that I talk a lot, so people send their interns to talk to me about what I do and everything. When I was a youngin, I thought this job would be very glamorous and it is not glamorous even a little bit. The one thing that I love and think is, I guess the most “glamorous” thing is going to a show or a festival and standing backstage while they’re playing so you can see the whole crowd and watching an entire crowd of people screaming the lyrics to songs that you have put your blood, sweat, and tears into. And just being like, we did that. We helped that happen. Like of course the songs are amazing and do their thing and oh my God, there is no better feeling than that. Where it’s like, shit I have put my whole life for, you know, half a year, a year, more than that, whatever into this album or this band or whatever. And it’s like whoa. That is very gratifying. And that to me is glamorous.
Kids, tour is not glamorous. You think that’s shit’s glamorous. You sit on a bus for a million hours with the same people and everybody smells and you know, you learn that lesson real fast or you’re in a fricking van and sleeping on people’s floors. I’ve done all of that.
Jesse Cannon: Cockroaches crawling on you. That’s what made me run.
Caiti Green: Totally, totally. Traveling, awesome. I love traveling. Traveling all the time is exhausting. I hate airports now. Also have a long-distance boyfriend so that’s like a whole other thing. But you know, it’s … And this is what I said to the intern the other day too, like I love my job. I love it so much, but it is super hard work. You cannot like fuck around. You can’t miss something. You have to be super on top of it and you have to be on all the time. Like I said earlier, you’re the quarterback and the cheerleader, right? So, it’s like if you’re having a bad day, it’s like … Nina is always like, “Fake it til you make it.” And I’m like, I never want to hear that phrase again, but she’s so right. It’s just like goddamn it.
It’s like a ride. It never stops. You’re never done with a project. Like I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with Portugal. The Man on this last album, “Woodstock: and their single “Feel It Still.” And you know, they’ve been a band for 14 years and they’ve barely been off tour in that time, but this album cycle has been especially brutal because they have had to do all this crazy radio promo and stuff and everybody wants them because that song low key was number one in four radio formats and won a Grammy and everything.
Jesse Cannon: Some people kind of liked it.
Caiti Green: Yeah, it was pretty chill. No. So they’ve been grinding it out and they’re so tired. They’re still doing it. They do everything, which is so amazing. Cool. We’re winding down. It’s been a year and a half since the album came out.
Not quite, but just about, and they’re getting off tour in October and then straight back into the studio right in the next one. And they’ve already been writing, so hopefully we’ll have a new album at the top of next year. So, it’s not like you’re done. Even if there’s a hiatus between albums, even if someone’s not putting out an album for two years, it’s not like you don’t work on stuff. You still need to … If there’s press stuff that comes up or if they’re still touring or you need to help with social media all the time, you’re not done. It is dealing with a lot of personalities and a lot of conflict, just the job in general. And it’s a lot of the time everybody’s emotional because everybody is so connected to music.
Caiti Green: It’s not like an insurance job or something where it’s like I’m not going to get emotional about-
Jesse Cannon: The claim that just got filed.
Caiti Green: Yeah, no, totally. I’m not going to be like, “Oh my God. They just don’t understand my point of view about this insurance claim.” Everybody’s emotional about it because everybody gets emotionally connected and especially when you know the artists really well and you know your team really well and whatever, when there’s conflict it gets really hard and it is that psychology factor, and waking up in the middle of the night like, “Oh my God, I said the wrong thing,” or like, “I forgot to do this or whatever.” I have those nights all the time. It’s full on. And again, you have to just take responsibility. You can’t just be like, “That wasn’t me. Like I didn’t do that. It was this person.” It’s like, “Maybe it was that person, but I should’ve been on top of it.” It’s a lot of responsibility but it’s great. I love it.
Jesse Cannon: How about what you would tell a college kid who’s hearing you going, “I want to be Caiti, I want to be Caiti.” What do you tell them to focus on?
Caiti Green: Oh God. Terrible role model. I would tell them … I know I’ve told this to a couple interns before. The practicing psychology thing, like it sounds so silly, but I tell them to get to know their friends in a way that if you were working with them, who you could rely on and who would need that little push, right? Just who’s that person who’s always 30 minutes late, you know what I mean? And what do you need to do? Do psych experiments on them and be like, what do you need to do in order to get them to be on time? Do you need to white lie and be like, “Oh we’re meeting at 10 instead of like actually 10:30.” Or do you need to be like, “Dude there’s puppies here.” You know, like whatever it is. Like do that stuff.
And then also exercise hyper organization for sure. Surround yourself with creative people so you get an idea of how their minds work. That’s super important. And self care. I guess like learning how to take a lot on and still take care of yourself, which I also need to be better at. But it is, it’s like a big job. It’s long hours. It’s high pressure. I like to say to myself and other people, there’s no such thing as a music business emergency. Like I said, my dad’s a doctor. He had to discipline doctors who came in drunk to surgery and stuff. That’s an emergency. Like the stuff we deal with, yes it is important. Yes, careers are at stake. Everybody is emotionally attached to music, especially fans. Some fans are like, “Oh you saved my life.”
Like that’s super important and amazing. It’s just like keeping things in perspective, I guess. And remembering to take care of yourself. You’re going to struggle in the beginning in the music industry. You’re going to get a shitty first wage, period. So get used to that idea. And if you’re living in New York while you’re interning or whatever, I’m completely 100% serious when I tell you I ate ramen and grilled cheese and eggs every day because that’s what I could afford. And also I hate vegetables. So, it’s a grind and just remember to exercise and eat right as much as you can I guess. But sleep is so important especially to avoid those days when you want to tell everyone to fuck off. Because you can’t do that.
Jesse Cannon: Yes. How about some advice for the artists? What’s something that you’ve seen really change in how artists get broken in today?
Caiti Green: Oh my God. Work your ass off and be super appreciative of the people who are helping you. You have no idea how far a thank you, I appreciate you, will go in this building, especially. If your team and your manager, everybody, your fans – take the time to get to know your fans even if you’re scared, you’re going to get norovirus from shaking their hands or whatever. Take that time to be like, thank you so much for your support because people will remember that. And that’s actually something the Portugal guys are so amazing at. They’re just nice and being nice takes you so far and I get it, you as artists know that your brains work differently than ours. It is our job to help you navigate the shit with the label and the marketing and whatever it might be, management, agents, whatever.
It’s easy to get caught up in your head about stuff, but that’s what your team is there for, to talk to and really try to understand you. Your team and your fans and people outside of your team, like radio programmers. Doing radio programming is really tough. But you say thank you to every single radio programmer you meet in like bumfuck Iowa. You say, “Thank you so much for playing my record. Let us know if we can do anything to help you.” It’s unbelievable how far that goes. You could hate everybody around you. Totally. But if you know they’re working hard, just say thank you. That’s all. Do your thing, be you, be authentic. Never let anybody tell you to change, but say thank you.
Jesse Cannon: I love that.
Caiti Green: Seriously. I mean-
Jesse Cannon: It’s great advice. How about what are you interested in outside of work that sometimes helps out inside work?
Caiti Green: Gardening.
Jesse Cannon: Yeah? And how does that help at work?
Caiti Green: I just really like taking care of things. Okay. Like I said before, my job is never done, like a project is never done so I always fantasize about doing construction work because you can finish a house and be like, “I did that. That’s over.” And move on to the next one. That’s just not a thing. So look out for Caiti Green construction worker at some point in my life.
Jesse Cannon: I could see it.
Caiti Green: Thank you. Thank you. Just twigs of steel over here. I have no upper body strength. No, it’s like gardening, you take care of something every day, you water it, you pull the weeds, you watch it grow and it’s beautiful and people are like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you have this awesome garden.” I’m like, “I know. I did it.” But it’s like, it actually helps with the sanity with coming here and being like, I’m not done. Like ever. I’m not done. But it is also kind of the same thing. It’s like taking care of something and watching it grow and helping it get what it needs to go on. I’m a caretaker I suppose.
Jesse Cannon: How about a musical style or a group you wish would come back into fashion?
Caiti Green: Indie rock. Oh my God. I mean it’s happening. It’s happening. And I’m really excited because I have a couple young artists who are coming up that are indie rock bands. Wallows are so amazing. They’re an indie rock band and they’re cool and they have fans and it’s awesome. Like they have tons of teenage girl fans. And I said this on the Wallows’ podcast. It’s so exciting. It’s so exciting to see kids moshing to their Violent Femmes cover. Like what? It’s 2018. That’s so, so cool to me.
And I have this band called Arlie, A-R-L-I-E. They are fantastic. They’re a totally awesome little indie rock band from Nashville and they just slay live. They’re so incredible live and their songs are amazing. They have a really fun, weird, offbeat, creative vision and I really have high hopes for them. And I also think that Portugal. The Man, there’re obviously pop songs on this last record, but you go to their show and they’re playing Metallica covers and Pantera interludes and all this stuff. It’s awesome. They’re paving the way for rock bands to enter the mainstream again. So, I’m really hopeful that artists like that kind of kick it up a notch, you know?
Jesse Cannon: I like that. How about any artists alive, dead, whatever that you wish you could work with?
Caiti Green: See that’s hard because I never want to work with anybody that I idolize. Why is that? There are only a couple that I’m like, it would be a dream if they asked me to work with them. I would be very honored and I would be like, hell no. Like The National … I’m such a fucking nerd, but I’m so obsessed with them. Like I revere them to the highest extent. I have a couple of friends who work with them. I ended up at their album release after party somehow. I won’t meet them even. I just won’t because I want to keep them in this reverie.
Jesse Cannon: Even after that movie, I feel like that movie made them be like, see that they’re just such normal dudes.
Caiti Green: I know, but it’s like even that, I don’t know. Even that it’s like I just can’t. I love watching the sad romantics from a distance. You know what I mean? The Strokes. Another one. Love them. Would never work with them. Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve gotten to work with some bands that I’ve been a fan of since college, like Miike Snow and Portugal actually, which is pretty dope. But I like up and comers. I don’t want to work with my faves because I don’t want to destroy the gloss I guess. That said, if The National signed to Atlantic records, anyone else got to work with them, I would be pissed. Which is a contradiction, but it’s fine.
Outro: Thank you for listening to Landed. Subscribe to the show for free at your preferred podcast service.
Today’s music is courtesy of Wallows.