It’s a question I get asked a lot. Often followed with comments like ‘You’re a brave woman’, or ‘I suppose it’s like herding cats’ etc. etc. – I can assure you there is no bravery or herding involved…(well mostly) – It is a team effort.
So how do I manage 8 members in a band?? The simple answer is I DON’T!
I joined Kíla at the beginning of 2018 as they headed into their 30th year in music. I had worked with 2 of the Ó Snodaighs prior to that and knew Colm. While I had experience as a promoter and manager, and a strong academic and professional background, it was my first time managing a band as big as Kíla.
So my attitude initially was watch, learn, trust my instincts. I focused on their social media presence, their fees and the types of gigs they were doing..and I concentrated on improving that presence, increasing their fees and finding decent gigs that would afford them time to record more.
It helped that I liked them enormously individually and it helped that the job was bilingual (Gaeilge agus Béarla), and it also helped that I absolutely love their music.
My instinct was to work with them and for them, and not to work without them. In truth I am part of a management team that consists of the band and of me.
Do I express my opinion? Yep I sure do.
Do I say if I think something is a good or a bad idea? Yep I sure do.
Will I really push an idea that I think could work for Kíla? Of course, all the time.
Do I tell Kíla what to do? No I don’t
‘THE WORD MANAGER IS MISLEADING. PEOPLE THINK WE’RE SOMEHOW THE BOSS OF THE ARTIST. IT’S THE OPPOSITE; THEY’RE THE BOSS.’ (Danny Goldberg)
The managers job is to guide them to get the most success out of their art. Personally I could not work with Kíla if it was any other way. I love their music and their creativity.
You can read about Danny Goldberg’s role with Nirvana below. Interesting reading.