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Shawn Milke: Alesana, Integrity & Revival Recordings

Joining us this week is lead singer of post-hardcore band Alesana and founder of Revival Recordings, Shawn Milke. To date, Alesana have released 2 EPs and 5 full length albums, and have recently brought out a novella – Annabel, which is what inspired their Annabel Trilogy.

With Revival Recordings, the message is clear: it’s all about art and the people who create it. The team and artists signed to the label are a community where creative and artistic integrity are paramount. It’s not just music, it’s good music by good people – and this is why we think Shawn is a perfect guest for the show. In this interview, we talk about Shawn’s work with Alesena, the advice he’d offer to artists who want to sign to a label, and the importance of integrity in the music business.

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Highlights:

  • Shawn is ambitious and follows through on his ambitions
  • “When you first start out, you make decisions based on where you hope to go” – Shawn Milke
  • Shawn shares the tough decisions that Alesana had to make in the beginning
  • “We wanted to have artistic success, and if that ended up being commercial success, then great” – Shawn Milke
  • Shawn shares how dedicated the fans of Alesana are
  • We hear about some of the opportunities that Alesana was presented with, and how they handled those
  • “We made the decisions we wanted to make, which has benefitted our art and our fanbase” – Shawn Milke
  • We talk about the importance of maintaining your integrity
  • Shawn shares how he loves crazy challenges and has always wanted to offer more than just the music to Alesana’s fans
  • “Our fans’ devotion to what we’ve created has inspired me to keep giving it to them” – Shawn Milke
  • We talk about the importance of having a supportive team around you
  • Shawn shares how it was tough to be taken seriously as a label owner in the beginning
  • Shawn shares how being an artist has helped him earn the trust of the artists they sign
  • Shawn tells us what he looks at when considering signing an artist to his label
  • “The industry could use a lot more honesty” – Shawn Milke
  • “Our mistakes are just as important as our successes” – Shawn Milke

Advice:

  • If you want to be signed by a label, you have to consider yourself a professional band
  • You can’t sell your product when your product isn’t finished
  • A label’s job isn’t to make your band good, it’s to give your band exposure
  • Social media is great, but going back to the grassroots is also very important
  • Fans want that real person interaction – be real, and physically interact with them

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