We all have our favourite artists. We follow their journey to fame (or fail) throughout their releases and across their social media channels, and we see all of the shiny and awesome things that they get up along the way, but have you wondered what goes on “Behind The Music”?
Welcome to the first installment of BTM – a new series that we hope will shine a spotlight on some of the hard-working people “Behind The Music”; the artists managers, booking agents, publicists, indie label owners, music website editors and so on.
We’re kicking it off today with this great guy from Melbourne called Hugh McClure. He actually used to be an Acid Stag writer/reviewer before he moved into artist management and built an agency called Good Manners (with Huw Nolan), which then also became a record label and publicity agency.
Hey Hugh, tell everyone who you are, what you do, and who you represent?
I’m Hugh and I do a lot of things. I co-founded Good Manners with Huw Nolan 4+ years ago, initially as a management company that developed into a label and then into touring and publicity. We manage Kllo, Lucianblomkamp, Two People and Eliott, have released music from Oscar Key Sung, Billy Davis and Marcus Whale, and have toured the likes of Jacques Greene, Clark and HVOB. We also just launched an agency, Here For Good, which will focus on artist consultancy, publicity, content creation and a lot more.
How did you get into this line of work?
I used to do music reviewing early on which allowed me to get to know people and artists within the industry. Huw and I just clicked and things just really fell into place – it was written in the stars (an artist of ours uses this phrase a lot and it really makes sense when thinking back to the start of Good Manners).
What are some of your biggest achievements?
Perhaps on the management side of things, it’s seeing artists succeed internationally – it takes a lot of hard work and emotional energy but when you start seeing things really go well it’s a real rush. On the personal side, it’s building a company that now employs people. In an industry which is really difficult to navigate financially that makes me really proud.
Tell us one thing that you would love to see change or happen that you feel would help make the music industry a better place?
This is pretty vague, but working out a way to level the playing field would be nice.
What is your least favourite thing about the industry or what you do?
People being unwilling to take a chance on supporting artists who don’t necessarily fit within what is thought to be what the general public will respond well to.
What is your most favourite thing about the industry or what you do?
The brilliant people I get to spend my days with, the artists and the other bts people I work with.
Where do you see the future of the industry heading?
I have a gut feeling that the industry is about to change drastically, which is where all the fun stuff happens. I have no idea what or how, I just have that feeling that a few things are about to burst.
What do you do to unwind outside of the industry/work?
I hang out with my 3-month old and my partner, I like to cook and listen to basketball podcasts.
Let’s finish up with two recent Good Manners releases; ‘Come To Light’ by Lucianblomkamp and ‘My Angel Goes Before Me’ by Lonelyspeck.