INTERVIEW WITH MIKE CUBILLOS FOR THE EIY HANDBOOK
MIKE CUBILLOS, 41
(Hermosa Beach, CA)
YEARS IN MUSIC: 18
ON THE WEB: earshotmedia.com // facebook.com/earshotmedia // twitter.com/earshotmedia
CURRENT PROJECT: Earshot Media
WHO FIRST GOT YOU INTERESTED IN MUSIC AS MORE THAN JUST SOMETHING ON THE RADIO? My parents, who were passionate about music, and an older brother and an aunt who were constantly discovering and turning me on to new music outside the mainstream.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU FIGURED OUT WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE? I originally wanted to go into journalism, then advertising, then television, but when I was in college in my 20s, it finally occurred to me that my true passion was music. When I discovered I could make a living at it, I stayed on that path.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WHEN YOU FIRST GOT STARTED? As an intern at a label in college, my goal was simply to get hired on when the internship ended and as I was graduating college. There were no guarantees, and a lot of people are vying for these positions. Luckily I did end up getting a job and the rest is history.
HAVE YOU ACHIEVED THOSE GOALS? Absolutely!
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS NOW? HOW HAVE THEY CHANGED? My goals now are just to continue to learn and to expand the business and to hopefully keep working on quality projects!
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? I interned at a few different record companies and bounced around between a few different departments (artist development, video promotion, etc) before figuring out that publicity was my thing.
WHAT HAVE YOU HAD TO SACRIFICE ALONG THE WAY IN ORDER TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE? This is definitely not a 9-5 job. It’s more like 24/7. Over the years, I’ve been able to find a way to balance my personal and professional lives (with kids and a wife, you really need to), but I’m sure I still work (and stress out on work) more than I probably should.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU ON A DAILY BASIS? Great music. My clients. We’re lucky that we get to work with some pretty amazing artists, and they inspire me every day.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR SUCCESS HAS COME FROM LUCK? TALENT? HARD WORKD? I’d say 20% luck, 20% talent and 60% hard work! Ask me tomorrow and those percentages could change.
HOW HAVE YOU MEASURED YOUR SUCCESS THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER? I consider myself successful because I’ve been able to continue to do what I love, independently, for well over a decade now. When I first went out on my own and started Earshot Media after working at various labels, I didn’t really know what I was getting into or how long it would last. The fact that Earshot is still here doing this, stronger than ever, is (I guess) proof that we know what we’re doing. Ha.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS? First off, I have an amazing family. My wife and kids are happy and healthy and they support me 100% in everything I do. That is one way to define success. The other is simply being able to make a living doing what you love. That doesn’t have to mean you are rolling in money and own 20 cars, but that you are able, day in and day out, to make a career doing what you are passionate about. Not many people can say they have that. So if you have it, I’d say you are very successful.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS SO FAR? No regrets!
DO YOU THINK THE BEST BANDS IN THE WORLD TEND TO GET FAMOUS, OR TEND TO STAY UNDISCOVERED? Many of the greatest musicians aren’t fully appreciated until after their gone. That said, some amazing bands are also hugely successful (think U2, Radiohead, etc). Most of the bands I love sort of exist on the fringe. They’re not exactly household names but they do enjoy at least some sort of cult following.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE (as-of-yet) UNDISCOVERED BANDS? The Darlings – yet another great punk rock band to come out of the South Bay area of Los Angeles. They’re amazing live, and they’re awesome guys!
Read Mike’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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