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By Stampede Press UK, May 16 2017 08:48AM

We’ve been seeing public awareness for mental health grow and in recent times more concern for musician’s well-being in this fast evolving music industry.

As someone that quit a full-time ‘traditional’ job in my late twenties to join a band and then go on to form my own business in my late thirties, I strongly feel the need to highlight concern about mental health. Not just for musicians, but also for people who work behind the scenes in the music industry and struggle with keeping a balanced mental well-being. I’m one of those people.

Like many, through hard work I am extremely grateful for opportunities the music industry has given me. Respect where respect’s due, I’ve been fortunate to meet good people that have enabled me to continue doing what I do. However, like many others, my time spent working in this business has had an adverse effect. Stress and anxiety is an all too common thing nowadays. The easy connection to

social media and the internet (in my opinion) has bred negativity and unrealistic outlooks that are easily confused with challenging possibilities.

The internet gives us a warped reality and seemingly offers up opportunities that are easily within reach when the truth is the music business is one of the tougher business to be in. Add to this that the hard rock & metal market is extremely small when compared to the likes of pop, hip hop and r&b genres.

The “rock star” no longer exists in the rock world. Rock is dead in the sense of it being a cash cow and from my experience, the majority of people that work in the offices of music companies are doing it because they love music. If a career choice was based on the money, working in the music business is probably not going to be the first option people choose.

I don’t claim to know everything and everyone. What I know is from my own journey and meeting great experienced people along the way who have been in the business a long time and/or understand the current standing of the music industry. Thanks to these people, I feel like I have a handle on the situation, but it’s taken me a while to get here.

Trying to help people on their own journeys understand my perspective can be tough and an emotional task for both sides. I’ve been asked on occasions to manage bands but the honest truth is that’s just not me. There’s still too much artistry in me and I prefer to mentor bands, giving them honest advice and show them the pitfalls I’ve fallen into on my journey, so that it helps them avoid what’s happened to me.

Flashback… In 2008 I was still playing in Panic Cell and if I look back, we were still achieving good things. Yet at the time, I just felt like there was no financial longevity in what we were doing and after spending six years fully immersing myself in the band both onstage and behind the scenes, the “crash” finally started to settle in. I tried to leave the band on a few occasions but was dissuaded. A big part of me still had that “But what if ” can do attitude (I still do). And so, for two years I continued, but all the while I was sinking deeper and deeper into a miserable place. I started to develop stress and anxiety, and so began my battle. It was in 2011 that I finally came crashing down and announced that I was leaving the band, and it was around then the awareness I wasn’t firing on all cylinders was realised.

I was experiencing problems in my sleep. I was waking up in the middle of the night in sheer panic. As time went by, the problem really manifested itself. I began having seizures, waking up panicking as my body convulsed to the point that I thought I was being lifted off the bed. The nearest I can describe this terrifying experience is epilepsy. On a few occasions an ambulance had to be called out and I was taken to hospital. This went on for four+ years. I was placed on epilepsy medication which combats these “night terrors” and whilst itlooks like I’m stuck with the meds for life, they have had a positive effect.

After numerous appointments with medical staff, they couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with me, but it was agreed that stress and anxiety was a major factor, if not THE factor as to why I was experiencing these seizures. Fortunately these experiences have got better.

In this industry, I find there’s always going to be an element of self-doubt, “am I good enough” attitude, but it is something that can be worked out eventually and you learn to deal with – if you want to work in this business.

As for business… it’s not a faceless organisation. It’s made up of human beings all trying to do the best they can about something that’s supposed to be fun and passionate for them. But, passion in this world can be lost so quickly now-days. There’s a fine line between success and failure and the two are blurred constantly.

I question sometimes why I do what I do and why I seemingly won’t go back to a “traditional job”. It all stems from the fact that I care, a lot. For instance, I might hear a story from a band or a friend in the music industry about a negative situation where they have been wronged and that just spurs me on to do something right. A lot of what I do is about giving something back, because we are all in this together and if we can’t pass on the lesson of learning from a mistake to help others, what’s the point? Mentoring, in my opinion, is more precious than ever, especially in a world that’s constantly looking for its next fix and doesn’t take enough time to savour the riches that’s come before.

My biggest fear for the generation coming through now is how they handle working in the industry and how long the potentially great bands and people will last if they don’t have a realistic support network and understanding how to navigate the industry. Social media is here to stay and it’s not a fast track to fame and fortune. Common sense, experience and mentoring is more crucial than ever.

Bottom line: there are no guarantees. But if you are good at what you do, have potential and are willing to listen, learn, commit and sacrifice; then there is success to be had. How success is measured is entirely down to you and if that’s not managed realistically; this is where things can go wrong. Surround yourself around good experienced people, and never be afraid to listen and talk, and never ever fear failure. It happens to us all. What counts is trying and savouring the victories, no matter how small.

Photo credits: Mark Latham Photography

From surviving to thriving: building a mentally healthier Britain by

First published by RAMzine 11th May 2017:

By Stampede Press UK, Mar 7 2017 09:00AM

Some of the most influential heavyweight names in the rock and metal music industry have been confirmed as judges for the new Heavy Music Awards (HMAs), including Stampede's very own Simon Hall.

Simon is as well known for fronting the metal band Beholder, working as an artist consultant with Stampede Press UK, as he is for his long-standing works at Bloodstock Open Air and 'Metal 2 The Masses'

"I’m genuinely excited to be involved in Heavy Music Awards", said Hall, “anything that highlights and praises the music we all love, alongside the unsung heroes who make it all happen, is something much needed – especially when it’s driven by an entirely independent beast such as this."

“It's a significant endorsement of the strength of the heavy music scene in 2017", (Andy Pritchard, from organisers The Heavy Group), "Curated by a collective of music industry professionals – all of them without exception fans of music first and foremost – the Heavy Music Awards will provide an entirely independent vehicle to democratically crown the best of the year in heavy music. Expanding the panel with even more of the industry insiders who represent the beating heart of the heavy music scene underlines our intention to create a fully democratic scheme, crowning winners that are indisputably the best in their field for the year."

Recognising the rich history of heavy music, the HMAs will also see the launch of the Heavy Music Hall of Fame, and The H – a community award recognising inspiring achievement by an individual, group or organisation.

Public voting for the Heavy Metal Awards opens 22nd May 2017.

. Official Website

. HMAs on Facebook

. About Stampede

By Stampede Press UK, Dec 21 2016 09:02AM

Before my ramblings begin, if you haven't yet: please take a moment to check out the fundraising page set up by Ben Ward (Orange Goblin), the link and details are below:

“On Monday the 19th of December, 2016, 73 members of the Team Rock staff were told that the company is going into liquidation and that they are being made redundant with immediate effect with ZERO pay. These are good, hard-working, committed people that through Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Prog Rock, TeamRock Radio and more, have supported the rock and heavy metal scene in this country for decades and now we, the rock community, need to pull together to help give something back.

Please spare what you can so that everyone may enjoy the festive spirit.”

(N.B. Just to emphasise, as I’ve seen a few comments asking where the monies raised will end up, the proceeds from this fundraiser are going to the 73 Team Rock members of staff whose jobs were unexpectedly made redundant and told they would not be getting paid).

I'm writing this blog, as I do with any blog I've published to date, because I care enough to want to say something. I care because established, legacy magazines that I've grown up with, as of right now, are no longer in existence. Worse still, a lot of good, hard working people are currently unemployed. Hopefully this situation will change shortly.

Regardless of opinions and previous disagreements people may have had with these media outlets, now is the time to unify and steel ourselves in preparation for what's yet to come. Times have changed, we all know this, but I firmly believe we cannot let our flagships die and we need to retain the good, knowledgeable people that exist in our community. From a media perspective, whether it's magazines, webzines, radio etc...all the GREAT people that make things happen for bands, they're not in it for the money...they're in it because they love music and want to work in the industry to make a difference.

We need to nurture and treat all these people right...even when we don't always get what we want. Too often I see great webzines fall to the wayside, because not enough people care and it's left to one or two people to manage, on top of full time job commitments. It's another subject matter that I'm passionate about, the smaller outlets like webzines, internet radio etc are the backbone of our community when it comes to creating exposure for artists, and we should all be supporting them.

So why do I care so much?

Long before I established Stampede Press UK, both Metal Hammer and Classic Rock Magazine’s supported the bands I played in as a fledgeling musician. The bands were fortunate enough to crossover into both magazines, receiving very solid editorial and promotion. Ok, it didn't always smell of roses (that's the way it goes) but it all undoubtedly played a very important part in raising the bands profiles and I’m so grateful we had these opportunities given to us. At the time, little did I know just how much of an impact it would have on my life (all elements combined, I've been able to successfully set up my own business, which is now my full time career).

I’m just as, if not more, grateful for the support the Team Rock stable has given my company, Stampede Press UK. Since forming Stampede in 2012, Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Prog, AOR and Blues Magazines have all supported Stampede and our clients. From reviews, to editorial, to competitively priced advertising to promote our clients, plus interviews and more on Team Rock Radio. They have all been an integral part of promoting our roster and helping raise our bands profiles to enable them to play big festivals, support slots at prolific shows/tours and much more.

Ask any of our bands that's been fortunate enough to receive editorial like "Hot New Band" and "High Hopes" features, cd covermount spots, positive reviews and more within these magazines, and you'll see the sparkle light up in their eyes. It means a lot.

When advising our clients, Stampede does it’s best to lay solid foundations from the start, with one aspect being “be realistic”. With the internet seemingly offering opportunities that are easily within our reach, it's too easy to forget that there are human beings, with emotions, involved in all this.

The staff at outlets like Metal Hammer, Classic Rock Magazine, Prog, Team Rock Radio, Golden Gods Awards and Classic Rock Awards…they’re all like you and me. They’re human beings. They need to pay bills, and regardless of opinions on journalism, they do give a sh*t.

The bitter pill to swallow in all this, and will continue to be, is getting your head around the fact that when you take something that’s emotional as music, and combine it with something that’s clinical as business…the pairings for a lot of the time, shouldn't mix. Especially when we need to consider third party aspects and well-meaning outsiders, who don’t understand the constraints business situations regulary present. It's a potent cocktail, one that when it works, it's amazing. When it doesn' can't win 'em all.

Business factors aside (now’s not the time or place), I truly hope this situation is resolved. In my opinion, we need these magazines (the debate for print vs digital rages on) in place. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there is no denying they have elevated bands and supported the rock/metal scene at many levels, and whether you agree with it or not, we do need filters in this business.

We’re at saturation point (we have been for a while now, for various reasons) and if we’re not careful, we are going to become a community that 100% relies on FREE social media that’s blurred between real and fake news, to give us content. Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm supporter of equal opportunites and freedom of speech (when appropriate and rational)....but we do need 'gatekeepers' at certain times and places in business.

I say, bring back Metal Hammer, Classic Rock Magazine and all the good people involved, as they are the core of all this. Focus on the quality, pull back the quantity, and look to the future. Make right what may have been wrong. The fundraiser has shown there is support in our community, because we do care. And right there, is one way to make a business work. Once people care, once they fall in love with something and buy into the product, it’s a game-changer. Maintaining the demand, especially at a time where content is so fast, furious and free, that’s the tricky part. Yet if we retain the passion and pull together, anything is possible. Believe, and never stop dreaming.

"Make your music matter."

Rob - Stampede Press UK (December 2016)

About Rob StampedeAbout Stampede Press UK Stampede BlogPR Showreel 2016

By Stampede Press UK, Nov 28 2016 06:50PM

Musicians…we’re a passionate, creative, proud breed who long to create wonderful pieces of music and strive to make it the best possible. We pour our hearts and souls into crafting musical landscapes, that we hope, will decimate capacity crowds, resonate with thousands of music fans online, and last a lifetime in the hearts of music fans.

Such is the passion, effort, and let’s not forget…MONEY…that’s poured into everything that comes with music, that it’s easy to forget, especially in this modern digital age, that there are a huge number of musicians and bands out there, and the majority of them have the same aspirations when it comes to delivering music to the masses.

A group of thrill seekers, musicians strive to break through the "infamous" glass ceiling, and for lots of bands, it’s a nemesis that’s slain many a musical act.

But don’t blame it all on the glass ceiling...It’s hardly its fault it was put there. It wasn’t always obvious, but trust me, it’s always been there, and trying to develop a band's career to the "next level" has always been extremely difficult.

The internet, for everything good that it brings to the table, plays its part in piling on the mental pressures of being in a band in 2016. It’s a rollercoaster of a ride, with plenty of lows and the highs aren’t as frequent as one might wish…HOWEVER…if you’re a true artist...musicians are driven to smash through walls and make important marks, through hard work, great music and that word again...MONEY. But with such passion and drive in abundance, it’s a no-brainer that there’s an ego waiting to step out into the limelight and make a BIG impression.

Egos are crucial…they are integral for musicians wanting to make the leap from average Joe who is simply performing music, to someone larger than life ENTERTAINING on a big scale, and this is where it’s important to know the difference between your alter ego and ego.

1) An alter ego can be our ‘superhero’ self, and should be used for promotional events like live shows, music videos, professional band photos etc. Being larger than life in the public eye can go a long way to taking a band to another level. But there can be two sides to an alter ego. Keep it positive and avoid the destructive side.

2) Ego. Keep it in check. There’s no denying egos are part of an artist’s make up, but don’t be fooled into thinking they’ll carry a band to dizzying heights of success. More often than not, egos can shut doors and be the downfall of a band’s career.

We’re living in an age where communication is instant, the big opportunities are staggered, and doors can be opened and closed shut in the blink of an eye. There’s no room for ugly egos in this business. Don’t get caught out and mistake ego for passion. A solid good dose of humanity to dilute an ego can go a long way.

The key thing to remember in all this; there’s always going to be someone / something better, that we want but seemingly can’t get, and it’s “not fair”. No matter how good we think we are, there’s always someone in a better position (and this can be for so many different reasons, it’s not always about how good the music is/isn’t) and day to day situations can be extremely frustrating for aspiring musicians, who’ve spent much time, money and effort on their music careers. And in that one word, careers, we need to remember its relation to business and everything (good and bad) that comes with running a business.

Letting an ego over-rule common sense is a game changer, and more times than not, it’s not a good one. Taking a deep breath and thinking through actions, whilst not over analysing, before acting on them is an asset, and shouldn’t be dismissed because an ego thinks it should be leader of the pack.

"Make Your Music Matter"

Rob - Stampede Press UK (November 2016)

► About Rob Stampede

By Stampede Press UK, Aug 3 2016 04:32PM

Independent UK music agency celebrates fourth anniversary and announces new addition to team

As featured in Music Week:

Stampede Press UK, a music PR, artist support and consultancy agency that specialises in profiling rock and metal bands, brands and events, has announced the appointment of Simon Hall to the company.

The announcement ties in with the company’s fourth anniversary, and see Stampede continue to fulfil their work ethic of “helping make music matter” for self release and signed musicians, whilst supporting the industry network.

Through his prolific work as a key member of the UK’s number one metal festival Bloodstock Open Air and the Metal 2 The Masses foundation (which has established itself as a premiere platform for emerging rock/metal bands and draws in thousands of music fans at events nationwide and internationally) Simon’s new position at Stampede Press UK as Artist Consultant will see him strengthen the company’s foundations and build on the past four years successes.

Stampede Director / Founder Rob Town says “2016 was always going to be a year of change for Stampede. I knew I wanted to be bolder and build on past achievements but I needed to bring in another person/s that shared my vision and passion. Simon is definitely one of those persons. Whilst we share a lot of experience, knowledge and skills, he also brings a whole lot more to the table and I can’t wait for Stampede’s clients to benefit from what’s to come.”

Hall is currently preparing for what’s set to be Bloodstock Festival’s biggest year yet, and as a champion of new blood bands and legacy acts, he’s kept a keen eye on the ever shifting landscape of the music scene, “For some time now, I’ve felt the filter has been broken, in terms of talented bands being able to achieve all the potential they can in the music industry. Through my work as a musician (Hall is frontman for the British progressive metal band Beholder), Bloodstock Festival and Metal 2 The Masses, by now coming on board with Stampede, I see this is a great opportunity for Rob and myself to dispel misinformation and help musicians navigate away from self-serving platforms that can have a negative effect on an artist’s momentum.”

Town agrees, “It’s a creative time for artists, especially having opportunities to self-produce their music, but we need to strive to find a balance, so that potential to be great / GREAT music gets a chance to shine and artists don’t miss out on opportunities to work with key people in this business, that can help raise their music to another level. In my mind, it’s got to come back down to how GREAT is the song / collection of music, and should it be marketed, or maybe rather, how strongly should it be marketed, in the public domain, before it risks becoming another small drop in the ocean?”

“What we’re looking to achieve”, continues Hall, “is for Stampede to build on its reputation as a solid, honest, trustworthy company that believes in its clients and acts as a conduit to help develop dedicated, committed bands reach realistic goals.“Realistic”, Town chimes in, “it’s so important to be realistic and to achieve clarification where possible. The internet, for all its ‘power’, for musicians trying to ‘make it’, it’s a double edged sword. Unless you’re switched on or working with someone that’s reliable, switched on and gives a damn about what you’re doing, bands will otherwise risk crashing and burning before their time, and amongst the wreckage could be true gems that should have shined.” “Right now, it’s an exciting but unsure time for rock and metal music and all that surrounds it, we need to have our eyes wide open. I’m looking forward to working with Simon and others in our community, to help support and strengthen the bands, brands and events that energise our beloved scene.”

Stampede Press UK will be attending Bloodstock Festival UK and available for press in the media area on Sunday 14th August 2016


About Stampede Press UK and Rob Town:

Throwing caution to the wind, Rob ‘Bobby’ Town quit his full time career in March 2004 to join a band. Previously bassist / co-manager in the successful British heavy metal band Panic Cell, he’s been fortunate to tour the world, sharing stages with the likes of Metallica, Disturbed, Alice In Chains, Slayer, Anthrax, Staind, In This Moment, Alice Cooper, Papa Roach, Devildriver, Skindred and more, playing legacy festivals like Download, Sonisphere, Wacken, Bloodstock, Fields Of Rock and SXSW. During this time Rob was a director of an independent record label and involved in numerous UK / European tour / show promotions including SOiL, Drowning Pool, iLL Nino, American Head Charge, Testament, Stuck Mojo and more.

In July 2012 Rob formed Stampede Press UK Ltd.

To date clients have included legacy artists, such as SOiL, Terrorvision, Winger, Toby Jepson (Little Angels), (hed)p.e, Jizzy Pearl/Love/Hate, Straight Line Stitch, Richie Ramone and more, plus working with up and coming / breaking bands like Anti-Clone, BlackWolf, Buffalo Summer and Krysthla, helping them promote their releases proactively and navigate the music industry effectively.

By Stampede Press UK, Jul 26 2016 12:00PM

So, I quit music…Today marks the fourth anniversary of Stampede Press UK. Four years ago, I officially took the plunge and formed my own limited company, in essence I evolved into self employed acrobat, juggling balls and balancing a thin tightrope that is the music industry…and for the majority, I love it.

25 year old me would disagree…

In 1998 I quit music. It was a dark period in my life, a lot of things had changed, and for the most part it was not for the best. Worst of all, I had fallen out of love with being a musician and being in a band. So I quit. I cut my hair, went "back to school" and got a career. Not very rock n’ roll, but it was major turning point in my life and on reflection, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Sometimes you NEED to fall out of love with something, to realise just how much you are in love with it.

Thanks to the support of my parents, family and friends, I was able to rise above, and during that period as a full time employee, I harvested so many new skills, knowledge and experience. It rooted me, gave me a better all round understanding, and truly embedded the blueprint of who I am today.

But once a music lover, always a music lover. The band bug "bit back" and just a couple years after "quitting music" I joined a new local band, and at the ripe old age of 28/29, went on to join a band that would change my life forever and lead me to where I am now.

My advice to 25 year old me? Take one day at a time, what will be will be. But whatever you do, do what’s right and make it count. You never know where life will take you.

"Make Your Music Matter."

Rob - Stampede Press UK (July 2016)

About Rob Stampede

By Stampede Press UK, Mar 20 2016 06:00PM

I read a very interesting article regarding a solo musician who successfully profiled herself on You Tube in the early days of the platform, gathering hundreds of thousands of views and lots of interest; including major labels knocking at the door.. There’s no doubt this artist worked extremely hard to gain this attention, it was certainly no fluke and yes, she was eventually signed to a major label. Unfortunately things didn’t work out and as far as I know, she’s working extremely hard to pull back the success she previously achieved. I'm sure she'll make it work.

To cut a long story short, anyone that knows me, REALLY KNOWS ME; know that I love music. Whether it’s performing live, in a studio or simply just discovering music or revisiting the classics that helped shape my life….I love music. But when it comes to being a musician, in all the years I’ve played in bands; ‘backstage’ the workload never stops…even if there are labels involved. From the early days of handing out flyers, passing on demo tape cassettes, to quitting music and then achieving "success" in the ‘noughties’….I was always part of a machine that was working 24/7. The biggest lesson anyone can learn in the music business…is that it’s just that…it’s a business. People that work in the industry are there to work, they’re there to earn a living, to pay the bills, just like you and me….whether it’s a full time job, part time, semi employed, freelance. It's a job based on a rock n' rollercoaster of passion, that more often than not, just about keeps the wolf from the door.

And that’s where the tricky part comes in for musicians / bands…especially in this day and age…it all boils down to passion vs business and understanding / coming to terms with the reality of this situation.

My take on it all: if you are serious about performing music and taking it to mass market, then you will need to come to terms with the business / hard work / investment required, and be as realistic as possible, whilst retaining the passion. If you manage this, and you're music is the best it can be possibly be, you’ve got a shot at having great times, with some great people, who will support your music. Even when soul destroying times can seemingly beat us down, the highs that can be achieved in this world far out way the lows. Always savour the great moments, and keep them handy for when the dark clouds appear.

Never forget what made you fall in love with music in the first place. Keep that passion alive and be happy.

"Make Your Music Matter."

Rob - Stampede Press UK (March 2016)

About Rob Stampede

By Stampede Press UK, Aug 24 2015 06:00PM

Do you know that feeling when close friends have a baby - then life gets in the way and you don’t see your friends as much - and then one day, perhaps 10 years later you see that baby again, they've grown up and instantly you’re taken back to when they were born and's a time capsule.

I had that feeling at Bloodstock Festival 2015.

This past weekend I returned to Bloodstock Open Air, 10 years on from its birth - with me older, wiser (I think) and amazed to see how the festival had grown and flourished since it’s debut in 2005. Instead this time, I wasn’t on stage - I was working behind the scene for one of my bands playing this years event .

A few things struck me on my return. Aside from the obvious growth of the festival, what really hit home was the comradery . Whether it was the fans, the bands playing the event, the press/media or Bloodstock staff working the event - you couldn’t miss the fact that this is a very special festival which brings music lovers together. Now this isn’t new to me BUT sometimes you need a "kick up the arse" to remember why you connected with music in the first place.

Playing Bloodstock is a feeling I remember well, from the Assembly Rooms in 2004 and again at BOA’s debut at Catton Hall in 2005 (nervously perfroming in the first band to ever play BOA). Another thing that caught my attention was the organisers. I always remember to this day, back in early 2004 - playing a showcase gig in Boston, Lincolnshire, there was literally a handful of people at the show (and even they were a rugby team watching a match on tv) but in that dimly lit room with practically one man and his dog watching, there were two people who would help change the course of our careers - enter Vince and Lee from Bloodstock. If there was ever any doubt that Bloodstock isn’t true to its word about supporting the rock/metal scene, I can 100% confidently blow naysayers out the water right now.

Those two guys watched that band play to nobody - practically a few people anyway. And we must have done something right, because later that year we were placed on the main stage at Bloodstock and things just snowballed from there. I guess what I’m trying to say is, Bloodstock and much like Download and Hard Rock Hell as well, Bloodstock gives new bands a chance. Now don’t be under any illusion that it happens overnight - all bands that played Bloodstock Festival 2015 have grafted hard and walked a long road to get to perform. BUT if you get out on the road, cut your teeth playing live and hone your skills online and offline, you just never know who will be watching you.

We need festivals like Bloodstock and Music 2 The Masses and without them, our music scene will flounder. Off the back of this years event, I discovered and rediscovered so many bands. Bands that I’m now checking out and looking at their gig listings. Bloodstock makes a difference.

To summarise - Bloodstock was a blast. It’s hard work behind the scenes but we’re all in this together - All the Bloodstock team, the Gregory's and notably Simon Hall are proof of this. Lots of fantastic awe inspiring moments, seeing lots of friends old and new, working hard, lots of fun - Bloodstock’s exactly the kind of positive boost we all need.

"Make Your Music Matter."

Rob - Stampede Press UK (August 2015)

► About Rob Stampede

Photo credit: Mark Latham Photography -

By Stampede Press UK, Jul 26 2015 11:00PM

If I had to pick two life defining business moments, I’d have to choose that day, back in 2004, I left my full time job to play in a rock band and the day my own company was realised.

3 years ago today, Stampede Press UK was officially formed. In a moment, of what can only be described as "chaotic clarity", I decided that I was going to have to take the "bull by the horns" (no pun intended) if I wanted to carve out a career in the music industry.

It was 2012 - I’d spent the best part of two years unemployed and the pressure was on. In a climate where the shockwaves of 2008′s recession were still being felt - I could not get a job for love nor money. Nothing. Admittedly my personal circumstances had changed - for the most part, it was better (marriage and relocation) but there were emotional stuggles and on a personal level, more importantly, my 4 year dawning realisation of just how difficult the music industry was had come to fruition. I was at a crossroads. On one hand, I was trying to co-manage / play in a new band, but on the other, I was becoming my own worst enemy. When you’ve had a taste of success, especially in this business, it’s very hard to forget. So with this in the back of my mind, I was forging on, trying to remain positive but all the while the waft of my dwindling savings was in the air and a very patient and supportive wife was by my side keeping me from going insane - I knew that I had to do something.

I went "back to school" and honed / built on the skillsets I had developed over 20+ years in business and playing semi-full time in a band. Literally, I was investing time and money in myself, learning more lessons about the music business and attending marketing / social media courses so I could add more "strings to my bow".

And so on the 26th July 2012 - Stampede Press UK was officially formed. And you know what - it’s the hardest, busiest, most stressful job I’ve ever had to do. That’s not me moaning - that’s me giving me 3 years ago a pat on the back. Because I do LOVE my job and if I hadn’t made that decision, I’d hate to think I may have have stepped away from the music business. Music is in my DNA, it’s a passion and life force which spurs me on and I knew if I wanted to move forward, forming my own company in an ever changing climate was the way to do it.

Self employment is not for everyone and you do need a lot of patience, BUT if you put the hard work in, and are savvy in your approach and work ethics, success can be achieved. How you measure that success though is down to you.

To coin a phrase (and tweak it) the biggest lesson I’ve taken from Stampede is “Ask not what the music business can do for you – ask what you can do for the music business.” As cheesy as that may sound - it’s true - it’s clear to me if you want to succeed, you need to work with the music community and support each other whenever possible. Everything costs money and in age where music is no longer the ‘treat’ it should be and bands have staggered opportunities/self believe that rewards are deserved easily; co-operating with your music community is a must…and that means investing. Whether its investing money by placing an ad with magazines/webzines, helping a local promotor out by lending your backline for an event, paying out for a studio and engineer or even a simple gesture like passing on a personal recommendation…it all helps keeps the wheels turning.

Anyone that’s genuine and carries the same passion that you do will respect you for it and that’s when things can really get exciting…you just never know where it may take you.

"Make Your Music Matter."

Rob - Stampede Press UK (July 2015)

About Rob Stampede

Stampede Press UK is a trading

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