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The Fueled By Ramen Intern IMPOSSIBLE Interview #4's picture
on November 21, 2012 - 1:30pm

Subject: Erick Charles, Director of Street Marketing
Interviewed By: Adam Walker, Marketing Intern

Since you’ve been at the company from the beginning, what is your favorite FBR moment or memory?
I officially started at FBR in 2004 when the label moved to Tampa, we redesigned the street team and launched a dedicated site for missions. But my connection with Fueled By Ramen started way earlier in Gainesville, FL in the late 90s. Friends of mine were already working there and my old band even played with some of the early FBR bands. So as you can probably guess, I have a lot of great memories from different eras. Probably some of the best times came in Tampa from 2004-2006. I obviously love many releases before that time and went to a lot of great FBR shows too, but a huge turning point was when we signed The Academy Is…, Gym Class Heroes, Panic! At The Disco and so many other great bands. And some of the best times happened when our bands would came through Florida on tour. There would be so many mini-road trips and really fun after parties at one of our apartments. It was just a special time when the label and our bands were growing at the same time so it definitely felt like we were all on a journey together. If I had to pinpoint one great memory for the sake of this question, I'd go with seeing Panic! At The Disco play for the first time. They were on tour with Acceptance on the Take Cover Tour in 2005. It wasn't only the first time for pretty much all of us meeting the guys and watching them play, but it was also like their fourth real show ever! You can feel right away that something special was happening and the band would be huge. We all got to witness and be a part of a pretty dramatic meteoric rise of a band in the months to follow.

What do you enjoy most about your job as Director of Street Marketing?
My job allows me to work very closely with some of the biggest fans that our bands have. With each release I get to come up with different ideas that true fans can help us carry out. Fueled By Ramen works really well because everyone at the label is reachable and we like to meet fans and communicate with them via our sites or at shows. Running the street team and planning what we do at Warped Tour or other festivals requires me to stay in contact with literally hundreds of true fans. I think there can't be a more fundamental function of working for a label than cultivating a fan base.

How do you see the music industry developing and/or changing in the future?
I think the future is always a bit unknown but it has also arrived in a way. Everyone from the label, managers, and booking agents have to really believe in their artists and be involved in as many aspects of their careers as possible. You can't take anything for granted since there are so many bands out there and tons of new music being released digitally each week. One actual change I see happening more is management companies becoming even more full service and bringing in designers and marketing people.

What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to make a career & life in the music industry?
The best way to get a job in the music industry is to intern while you're in college. I would even suggest doing up to three or four internships if you can. Live in NYC or LA for a summer and meet as many people as you can. Get a taste of the life you would have working in music and try to just be a sponge for all of it.

Being a Florida native where you started with Fueled By Ramen, and then relocating to New York City; what is your favorite thing about Florida that New York doesn't offer, and your favorite thing about New York that Florida doesn't offer?
I love this question. They are definitely very different from each other and I truly love aspects of both. Florida made it easier for everyone to just hangout at someones large condo or house. In New York City, everyone tends almost never go to each other's places except for big occasions. While I do miss being able to load up my own car with groceries, I prefer not having to drive everywhere and I love NYC's public transportation. There's a bunch of stuff I miss in Florida like Publix, cheap rent, close friends and family, and Cigar City Brewing! It makes it easier though to replace all those things with some of the best restaurants in the world and every single tour/live show you can think about on an almost nightly basis here in NYC.

Special Thanks to The IMPOSSIBLE Project for providing the film for our polaroids!

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