Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recruited (except not really)

A few days ago I received e-mail via the site that hosts our electronic press kit. The message came from Carl at A&R Select, a music licensing company I'd never heard of.

"I listened to all of your tracks," said Carl, "but 'Dry Ground' really stuck out to me more." He left contact info so we could talk about licensing our music "and possibly more."


On the one hand, his message was more targeted and personal than most spam. He did mention one of our songs by name. Then again, his comment about it was more than a little generic. "Stuck out" could mean anything, including "memorably bad."

"Is there any chance this could be legit?" I asked Ron the Drummer.

"Maybe," he said.

I hopped onto their website that night and poked around enough to discern that you'd have to pay for their services. Then I replied to Carl.
Thanks for writing. Please do tell me more about A&R Select. Do you review every track the artist submits and only shop the ones you think are worthy? Or do you submit anything the artist pays you to submit? How does the process work?
Meanwhile, Ron did a little research of his own. He found out that the fee to submit stuff was at least $300. Even better, he found a query from another musician A&R Select had contacted. The e-mail that person received was nearly identical in wording to the one we got.

Funnily enough, Carl never wrote back. Perhaps they only prey upon bands too naive to figure out that they're being sold instead of recruited.


Anonymous said...

It seems like vermin such as this are everywhere. Imagine how much more could be accomplished if these cretins spent as much time doing something useful as they do thinking up and then running these scams (and I mean all sorts of scams, from questionable services all the way down to outright 'Nigerian bank' fraud).

Jannie Funster said...

Yes, there are a lot of entities that do prey, like those ones who send shark letters when you send your stuff for copyright.

cinderkeys said...

D'you think the sharks know how to do anything useful?

Another amusing scam involved an ISP supposedly located somewhere in Asia. They sent me e-mail saying somebody wanted the cinderbridge domain (www.cinderbridge.something-that-wasn't-com). Did I want to keep the domain name for myself? I responded yes. They said there would be fees involved if I wanted to defend my turf.

Come to think of it, I actually got that one twice.