By Steph Moore
Scott Lee has never been one to live a 9 to 5 life. Instead, the MA native has focused on building an empire of music-business upstarts that includes everything from launching bands’ careers to creating exciting opportunities for fans to meet those bands. He’s all about making the music experience better for everyone.
After more than two decades in the music biz, Lee, co-founder of the three-day New England Metal and Hardcore Festival (NEHMF) that takes over The Palladium in Worcester each April (Pulse was lucky to attend all three days this year, which was the Festival’s 14th…Check out www.thepulsemag.com for our online coverage and photos!) and ~ for those of us into harder bands ~ signals the start of the summer music season, is casting his entrepreneurial net even wider with the launch of Sound Rink, a company dedicated to connecting fans with the bands they love.
Lee created Sound Rink along with partners Jason Mageau and Cody Delong as a way for fans to go beyond the music and get up-close and personal with the artists they love by offering special packages that include meet & greets, photo opps, autograph signing, and Q & A sessions ~ all the things that make music a much more fulfilling experience than just paying for a ticket to see your favorite band perform. Packages are sold directly at www.soundrink.com.
Lee shared that “Over the years, I have seen how much it means to fans to be able to meet their favorite bands. Rather than making fans stand outside of a backstage door for hours hoping for a chance meeting, we decided to come up with a way for fans to not only meet them, but to actually have time to chat and take pictures.”
Since its launch just few months ago, Sound Rink has already exceeded Lee’s expectations. “We knew something like this would get a warm reception, but we had no idea it would be this hot,” he said. “We have plans to expand and add other elements to provide the music fan with an experience they will remember forever.”
Sound Rink is just the newest arrival to Lee’s musical empire. Lee, who has been working for independent concert promoter MassConcerts since 1992, stormed onto the scene as the man behind the madness at NEMHF. Lee was inspired to create the Festival after attending a similar type of event and witnessing how it was run; he knew he could do it better and wasted no time setting the gears in motion. He got John Peters, his boss at MassConcerts, to partner up with him and together they began to build what would become the premier festival of its kind in America. The festival has become a launching pad for many bands’ careers, and bands clamor to play the fest every year, sometimes rearranging touring schedules to make it possible. NEMHF has done more than its share to improve Worcester’s immediate economy, too. April is unofficially known as “Metalfest Season” for the city’s bars, clubs, restaurants, and hotels, and brings a surge in revenue surrounding the event each year.
“Fans travel from all over the world for this fest in a town they can’t even pronounce correctly,” said Lee. “They are very loyal. After 13 years of doing this, we now see fathers coming with their sons…and both raging hard during the fest.”
It’s also likely that Lee’s name sounds familiar because he has run Crimson Management (www.crimsonmgt.com) with partner Leah Urbano (a very familiar name here in Worcester and beyond!) since 2000. The company manages a roster of about a dozen bands, including The Acacia Strain, Mychildren Mybride, and Vanna, all of whom have a fiercely loyal fanbase here in Worcester County and nationwide. The dynamic duo also runs Anthem Agency, a booking agency dedicated to the metal and hardcore scene.
“Leah and I started out managing the Acacia Strain 10 years ago,” said Lee. “We were seeing so many great unsigned bands and we knew we could help them go farther. The business has grown so much over the years and we now represent a great bunch of bands. It’s exciting to take an unknown band and build them into stars.”
Lee has also ventured into clothing, creating Shook Clothing with partner Nick Holman in 2009. Shook Clothing’s mission is to be the brand that connects the hardcore and metal scenes with the streetwear culture, allowing the influence of those music scenes as well as the skateboarding, hip-hop, and tattoo cultures to shine through. Shook is sold at select retail outlets, concerts, and online www.shookclothing.com).
With all these companies and projects to his name, to what does Lee attribute his success across the board? Honesty, a strong work ethic, and attention to the finest detail…and, of course, a love for music and the fans who support it.
1 Comment »
Leave a comment