What Linkin Park taught me about the Music business
I recently watched an interview with Linkin Park about the success of their debut album Hybrid Theory. After 10 years, Hybrid Theory has sold over 27 million copies. In the interview Mike Shinoda (one of the lead vocalist) went on to talk about the graphic design of the album cover for Hybrid Theory. Linkin Park completely created the graphics for the cover. They decided to put the album name Hybrid Theory in parentheses to make it stand out more. After their success every graphic designer was using parentheses in the 2000’s. MTV even started using the technique on their graphics.
The lesson to be learned here, is that in the music industry (or any industry) people steal. People may not flat out steal your music (which did happen to Linkin Park) but people steal your ideas and concepts. This weekend I was at the Chicago Recording Company (CRC Studios) downtown Chicago with legendary producer Joe Ali. Joe Ali is a musical genius who’s musical business skills go all the way back to Kool and the Gang. Joe’s was in the studio co producing a gospel track for We Give God The Praise (WGGTP). I was a photographer getting background shots of the studio and I decided to get some video too. Joe warned me to be careful with my footage and not to release anything until the the song was completely finished: mixed, master, copy written, and ready to be released by the label. If someone heard the song before it was released, they could steal the concept and release it before WGGTP release their version.
Unfortunately even in the church, choirs are in competition with each other, for that new sound. So if you’re in the music business, no matter how big or small you are; Protect yourself and your intellectual property at all times. Trademark your logos, copyright your music, and be very careful who you release your music to until all the paperwork is in order. Remember what happened to Linkin Park people may not still your song completely, but they can steal you concepts. Pharrell Williams was ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s estate 7 million dollars, for using Marvin Gaye’s concepts and beat pattern. That’s the lesson I learned from Linkin Park and Joe Ali about the music industry.