Bitchin': Hi Cliff, it's been what, about 4 years since I saw you last? Catch me up, what's been going on?
Cliff: Well, to make a long story short, DKL (Dry Kill Logic) signed a worldwide record deal with Roadrunner/Island Def Jam Records and released our debut album worldwide June 2001, and we toured the US, Canada and Europe in support of it. I was offered a position at Universal Records in 2002, which I took, as their marketing coordinator for Uni/Republic and Motown Records. We're currently working 3 Doors Down, Godsmack, Elton John, the BeeGees, Robert Plant, Jack Johnson, and a host of other new artists with debut records coming. I also own Psychodrama Records, and we are in the process of negotiating a distribution deal with a major label.
Bitchin': You've landed a recording contract with Roadrunner Records and a job at Universal Records. That's pretty impressive. How did the job at Universal come about?
Cliff: I worked in the industry prior to signing with RR, and once we came off the road to work on the next record I decided that it was time to further my business career and go after some goals on that end as well. A friend of mine told me there was a job available at Uni; I came in and spoke with the VP of Marketing and Artist Development and here I am.
Bitchin': Do you have a Grammy story you'd like to share?
Cliff: Nope. When I win one I will share it with you. =)
Bitchin': You mentioned your own record label called Psychodrama ? How's that going? I'm sure now that my readers are wondering if you're accepting demos? (if so where do they send them)
Cliff: You can send all demos to P-Drama Records, 505 Franklin Street 3rd floor, Rye Brook Ny 10573. It's going well; we did a lot of grassroots development with DKL on P-Drama in the beginning; we are trying to do things with a new business model, not the same old business model the majors are losing money with now. We are looking to set ourselves up the way Atlantic Records started - with everything in-house.
Bitchin': With your own record label, a recording contract, and a job at Universal Records I'm wondering what a typical day is like for you. Do you have time for a social life?
Cliff: It all depends on what your idea of a social life is! I am engaged to a wonderfully understanding girl Katrina, I have my close friends that I spend time with and the rest of the time I am in the studio, at the office or on the road playing gigs. It may not be for everyone, but its perfect for me.
Bitchin': Your band, Dry Kill Logic seems to be getting its share of mixed reviews, but the one clear message is that you either love DKL or hate it! How does a performer really feel about reviews and while we're on the subject just how important do you think they are?
Cliff: Some performers get all wrapped up in the press coverage; personally I don't care what people think of us. When we play shows the kids in the pit who buy the record, come to shows and support the band enjoy the music and that is who we aim to please. The media knows nothing about heavy music; they only know what labels buy ad space in their publications. I don't mean to be a dick; I know they have to feed their kids and all, but I hope they don't think that anyone really cares what they think of a record. People make their own decisions.
Bitchin': Ok! I have to ask. Whose sick idea for the cover art on "The Darker Side of Nonsense"? It's totally macabre. Was that your sick idea Cliff? (laughs)
Cliff: lol...it worked! We wanted artwork that would grab you and repulse you all at the same time. Something appalling and intriguing, and I think we did it! =)
Bitchin': Every artist reading this is thinking that you've had all the lucky breaks. Are they right? Do you consider yourself lucky or is there something else you credit your success to?
Cliff: Not really. I mean, I have been a musician since I was 14 (I'm 29 now) and we have been around as a band trying for a record deal since 1994, and didn't sign until 2001. Its been a long strange trip, but if this is what you want to do, then you can never give up. Success in the music industry comes from being in it long enough to reap the rewards; hard work and perseverance is what helped us out in the long run.
Bitchin': As you know, Bitchin' Entertainment has always been there for the local musician in whatever capacity we could help with. We've taken this a step farther by implementing a nationwide search for "Label Ready" artists to host on our website. In your opinion would you say it's a good way for an artist to become discovered?
Cliff: Absolutely. Success in the music industry is all about the path of least resistance; having your name out there and having other people work your music and helping you to advertise & promote is very important. Being passionate about your music and working with passionate people is the other part, and I think anyone one associated with Bitchin' are working with people that do this for the love of the music.
Bitchin': If you could say one thing to my readers about succeeding in the music business what would it be? Any last minute thoughts?
Cliff: Never give up. Adversity not only builds character, it reveals character. Stay in the game long enough and it's sure to pan out.
Bitchin': You're certainly someone who meets his goals head-on. What can we expect next from Cliff Rigano?
Cliff: A new Dry Kill Logic record in the summer, a new label with real possibilities in 2003 and hopefully even more good stuff! Check out http://www.psychodramarecords.com and http://www.drykilllogic.com .
Bitchin': Thanks for the interview Cliff, it's been fun probing your