They say variety is the spice of life, so here at The Daily Dose we thought we would run a mini-series of Q&As on Mondays dedicated to Scottish people involved in the music media.
First up is Stacey Walton, who is involved with PR – and management – with The Art Of…, coordinating press for the likes of Los Campesinos!, Rolo Tomassi and Errors.
Could you explain your role as a PR person?
I work alongside artists/management/labels to coordinate and execute press campaigns in the run up to a release, covering a whole variety of avenues – reviews, features, blogs – and aiming to make these as creative and tailored to each release. Depending on who I am working with I can cover print as well as online press, but my main focus is for the online side of things.
What’s been your proudest PR achievement so far?
Being able to do this on my own terms and set up on my own has been pretty amazing – I didn’t think I would be my own boss, ever! I couldn’t single one campaign out as an achievement though.
Are there any bands you’d particularly like to do PR for somewhere down the line in your career?
I am very happy with my lot and I have a thing about meeting my heroes – I tend to either babble non-stop through nerves or be rendered mute so working with somebody that I hold in such high esteem would be hilarious. Knowing me, the pressure that I would put on myself would take away some of the enjoyment. I just want to continue working with amazing artists who are decent people and deserved of any successes that come their way.
You also do management too. What’s your favourite out of the two?
I can’t really choose a favourite. Both are completely different but press is what is currently taking up the majority of my time (I am sure that will change very soon though).
Do you do it for the love of music or is just a job?
You need to be into ‘the music’ before you embark on a job like this. It can be very time consuming (working during the day, shows at nights, sometimes called upon at weekends to deal with something) and is not as glamorous as people would like to think. It’s a lot of hard graft so you really need to be a fan of who you are working with. People can tell a mile off if you aren’t enjoying something and when you are communicating with people for hours on end every day, you need to be genuinely enthusiastic and interested.
I presume it’s all come off your own entrepreneurial back. How hard was it to get The Art Of… running at the start?
It was already established by Jason Edwards who was looking for an extra set of hands with the management side of things. I moved back to Scotland after three years in London. We had known each other already and worked together so he asked me to come on board. It has been a very natural progression. The initial intention was for me to only be involved in the management side of things but as word got out that I was still involved, the press work just started coming in. I was very lucky that I had three years of living in London and working in the industry before the move so had the experience and contacts. I don’t think it would have been easy without those three years behind me.
You’re originally from Aberdeen and now live in Glasgow. How closely do you watch the local Scottish music scene?
I must admit I am still a bit out of touch with the scene at the moment. Having just moved to Glasgow a month ago I am very much looking forward to getting out there, so if you have any recommendations, pass them on!
And if so…who’s been impressing you?
Copy Haho (and no bias there, they are one of the best new Scottish bands around at the moment). Moon Unit were great supporting Mogwai last week. I’ve been hearing very good things about Milk, Bwani Junction and Midnight Lion. I’m seeing Fox Gut Daata next weekend at the Dam Mantle EP launch – what I have heard so far is really exciting.
And finally, are bands really that hard and unpredictable to work with or are they actually just tea-sipping ladies and/or gentlemen?
Thankfully, I haven’t encountered a nightmare artist/band…yet (touch wood). When you’re working with an act, they appreciate what you do so causing a fuss or being hard to work with is just poor form. I am sure some of my fellow publicists will have horror stories, but luckily, I don’t.