INTERVIEW WITH ERNST SCHOEN-RENÉ FOR THE EIY HANDBOOK
ERNST SCHOEN-RENÉ, 38 (San Francisco, CA)
MUSICIAN, RECORD LABEL OWNER
YEARS IN MUSIC: 22yrs
CURRENT PROJECT: New Disorder Records, and a sleu of bands over the years.
ROLES: I run NDR; played guitar, bass, and drums in my bands
WHO AND/OR WHAT FIRST GOT YOU INTERESTED IN MUSIC AS MORE THAN JUST SOMETHING ON THE RADIO? My cousin turned me on to the Angry Samoans and the “Repo Man” Soundtrack in 1984.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU FIGURED OUT WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE? I haven’t figured out what I want to do with my life yet.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WHEN YOU FIRST GOT STARTED? My goals were to be in a band that could afford to tour without losing too much money, and to run a record label that helped out bands with talent.
HAVE YOU ACHIEVED THOSE GOALS? Sometimes.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS NOW? To work out a way to do art, music, and writing whenever I want.
WERE YOU ALWAYS ON THE PATH THAT YOU’RE ON NOW, IN THE INDUSTRY, OR DID IT TAKE A FEW DIFFERENT PATHS TO FIND WHAT YOU LOVED TO DO? Right now I’m in transition, trying to find a place in the world for an aging punk rocker and a record label.
WHAT HAVE YOU HAD TO SACRIFICE ALONG THE WAY IN ORDER TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE? All of my friends, and huge amounts of money.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU ON A DAILY BASIS? Awesome music, fearless people.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR SUCCESS HAS COME FROM LUCK? TALENT? HARD WORK? I haven’t had a lot of success, but the success I’ve had has come from luck and hard work. 90% luck and 10% hard work, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of hard work!
HOW HAVE YOU MEASURED YOUR SUCCESS THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER? Success is when I give a band a chance they didn’t have, when I entertain even one person who comes to a show, or when I make something I am proud of.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS SO FAR? I regret not pushing harder to sign certain bands who would have helped the record label. I regret wasting money on some bands who I could tell weren’t in it for the long haul. I guess I regret a lot of things, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be where I am if they hadn’t happened, so I regret nothing.
DO YOU THINK THE BEST BANDS IN THE WORLD TEND TO GET FAMOUS, OR TEND TO STAY UNDISCOVERED? Undiscovered. Definitely.
Read Ernst’s answers to 50 questions about music and the music business in the EIY HANDBOOK, available in print or eBook version at www.earnityourself.com
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