Former Greta Van Fleet manager Michael Barbee discussed the band choosing to sign with a major label in the latest installment of our Alternative Nation interview series, and how it led to expenses going up. Barbee said that he and the parents were guiding their careers before these decisions were made, and he thought they should stay independent.
“I think if everyone believes in it, there is a certain dignity to it, a belief, where people felt something, and there was a magic to it. It’s like cool, you can meet some famous people. That doesn’t help your music, it doesn’t make things better, it’s just kind of like I’m rubbing elbows with these people, great, super. It can’t be what drives you, the music is what it’s all about, and reaching it to the masses.”
Greta Van Fleet singer Josh Kiszka recently discussed a hiatus for the band. Barbee added, “I think to grow as musicians, you need to hear that criticism. It can’t just be, ‘You’re the saviors.’ It has to be, ‘What the hell is that? That song is not going to cut it.’ But at that point, everyone wants a slice of the pie.
To me it’s amazing, when we went into the studio, we paid $550 per day, when we were at Rust Belt Studios, $550 per day and that’s what got us through most of Black Smoke Rising, and suddenly when you sign with a label it’s $5,000 a song.
It goes up from there, so the second a label gets involved, everything is more expensive, that’s where $1,200 hammers come from. If you’re independent and do it on your own, you can go into a studio for $550 per day, now with a label and the same studio and producer, suddenly it’s thousands of dollars. To me, that’s just fucked up, but everybody wanted a big payday, and they got it.” A Greta Van Fleet member’s hospital injury was revealed last week.