Seymour Stein – Keynote Interview


24 July 2014

WHO: Seymour Stein, founder of Sire Records. Interviewed by Pete Tong.

WHAT: Even Tong can't help but show a little reverence as Seymour narrates his personal story of almost five decades of hit-making. His instinctive ear for talent and his will to grant artists creative freedom helped to launch the careers of Madonna, Talking Heads, The Ramones, The Pretenders, The Cure, Depeche Mode and many others too numerous to mention.

HIGHLIGHTS: Seymour explains how he turned EMI cast-offs into million selling artists, why he had sleepless nights over Talking Heads and the reason Malcolm Mclaren hated him. He offers his thoughts on the current state of the industry, why the song is everything and the biggest mistake ever collectively made by the recorded music business.

CHOICE QUOTES:

On his vision for the label – “We didn't really know what we were doing but we took chances”

On Madonna – What does success mean now as an independent? “She was the most important person in her career. The best thing we could do was get out of her way”

On advice for anyone starting a label – “"The last place you should look is where everyone else is looking. Once there's a trend, it's over"”