Brian Thompson

If this were a bio on Twitter, it would be short and sweet: “Music marketing geek, artist manager, strategist, consultant, speaker, blogger, nerdy web dude…”

But since that’s so brief and lacking any detail, here’s a little more about me.

I’ve had a love affair with music my entire life. It all started when I picked up a guitar as a ten year old after hearing the dangerous sounds of the Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedy’s. As I entered my early teens, early Def Leppard and Metallica became my staples, which eventually led to a long journey of musical discovery from alternative to folk, jazz to electronica, and bluegrass to world beat.

I was the guy who chased down every bit of useless information on my favourite artists while making mix tapes for friends. I started playing in metal bands in my teens and early twenties (Brainless Existence and Random Noise Distributor) while I stocked the shelves of the local record store and wrote music reviews for a few different entertainment papers.

Working in a record store seemed to be my life’s calling, I loved it. I couldn’t imaging doing anything else. I worked for a chain of stores that was highly regarded as having the best selection with the most knowledgeable staff. I was paid to be a music nerd and to share my knowledge with customers. How rad was that? I eventually moved my way up the corporate ladder and became the head of music buying for the entire chain, one of Canada’s most renowned music retailers, A&B Sound (RIP). I managed the purchasing department for twenty-two stores across Canada, managed a multi-million dollar budget, and managed the weekly advertising campaigns and promotions in unison with record labels from all over the world.

I loved my job so much that I lost track of time and before I knew it, fourteen years had passed and it was time to move on. The digital age of music was here, and with it came the demise of the old school “brick and mortar” music stores, including the company I called home.

It was at that same time that my good friend’s band had just finished recording their debut album, Art Of Dying. I had seen them perform live many times and absolutely loved their songs. I was, without a doubt, a huge fan of what they were doing. I had faith in their vision, talent, songs and work ethic and realized they had everything it takes to be a success. I decided I wanted to help however I could.

The next thing you know, I was co-managing one of the world’s best up and coming rock acts, tour managing the band all over the world, and launching an independent record label with two of my best friends. After successfully securing a major management deal for the band, it was time to shift my focus to our company, and its continued development, Thorny Bleeder Records.

Today, my goal is to find the best unsigned, independent artists and help deliver their music to the world. I develop careers, facilitate business connections, negotiate deals, present opportunities, and consult on marketing and branding initiatives. I distribute music to record stores and digital download sites, chase down radio stations for airplay, and execute press and publicity campaigns. I preach about the power of the blog, social media marketing and how new technologies can make your music heard. I understand the music business, the needs of an artist, the desires of a music fan, and the essential tools needed to help artists realize their goals.

I’m excited and confident about the future of music for many different reasons. For the Music Industry, because it’s an incredible time of new discovery where emerging technologies continue to change how we interact with music in our daily lives, while the demand for music has never been greater. And I’m excited for Thorny Bleeder because we’re helping an amazing collective of artists develop their careers in music while teaching them the ins and outs of marketing, promotion and the DIY world, while increasing their fan base. And I’m excited for Music Fans because we’re helping to deliver and expose killer-quality, top-notch, emotion-packed, sweat-soaked, real-life, honest music that truly connects with people on an emotional level.

We’re the voice of a new independent DIY scene and our volume is getting louder. Together as a collective we’re stronger, making the best new music be heard.