Scott Bergstein Bio.

Scott Bergstein, originally from Midland Michigan, was co-manager of The Kats and The Nu Kats 1979-1980 (as well as The Knack and The Naughty Sweeties). Bergstein has been at Higher Octave Records since the late 1980s. They've had 15 or so albums nominated for Grammy's over the years. Virgin/EMI bought  Higher Octave about 6 years ago.

May 12, 1978 Los Angeles, California.

"So Scott Bergstein, from Casablanca Records, who is sort-of managing us, got permission for us to rehearse/showcase on the Casablanca soundstage...We're going to have Scott book some club dates for us." - Doug Fieger 

Scott Bergstein is now Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Higher Octave Records.

RE: Higher Octave Records founded by Matt Marshall and Dan Selene. "The first thing they did was what everyone starting a label should do," says Scott Bergstein, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "They hired people with experience. We're firm believers in farming out services," he continued, "We hire independent promotional companies, marketing firms, and sometimes even public relations firms. Having said that, I would also advise people just starting a label to not spend more than they can afford."

One thing they don't need outside help with is spotting talent, as they proved when Marshall and Selene discovered Ottmar Liebert. The two got a call from KTWV DJ Talaya reporting that response to Liebert's independently released album was blowing out the phones. Liebert was signed, and his album renamed and resequenced. Nouveau Flamenco proceeded to sell a million and a half copies--catapulting the then-small label into a major player.

 Bergstein recommends aspiring label founders subscribe to Billboard and join NAIRD and attend their convention and workshops. "These activities are good opportunities for networking, and can help secure distribution or publicity," he says. A label needs to secure distribution to survive. "We mostly deal with independent distributors. We do have a few direct vendors, but we didn't start selling direct until we had been established for years." Bergstein recommends finding unique places to sell your music. "Our type of music allowed us to sell to bookstores and gift shops. I doubt a label that specializes in heavy metal would be able to sell to those vendors, but there are other places they could sell to that we couldn't."

Bergstein also offers this advice to unsigned artists: "There are definite advantages to signing with an indie label. There's a level of enthusiasm and personal service you're not likely to find at a major. And you won't get lost in the bureaucracy." For many, it's preferable to be on an indie label with limited resources whose staff works hard promoting your release than to be a small act lost in the shuffle at a major label, Bergstein has found. What's the secret to getting noticed by a label? Says Bergstein, "Make the best possible demo you can and try to get airplay. We've signed several artists from radio reports. We also look to see if an artist has exceptional press or sold a lot of units on their own." 

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