The more the music industry changes the more it stays the same. Hard work and building a network of contacts will always be the basis of making headway. Even with the challenges of the past couple years, these factors have helped the hard workers continue to succeed.
We had the chance to chat with legendary manager and booking agent Nick Grima who rules the metal scene of Europe. Take notes and learn below:
What first drew you to the music industry?
Hi Keith, thank you so much for having me doing this interview and interest in my agency: NICK GRIMA MGT.
Basically, I grew up in a Rock music background environment at home thanks to my father who was a huge Beatles and Rolling Stones fan… moreover, through him I have discovered several other artists such as Blondie, The Police, Santana & Black Sabbath among others in my early years of life! Both of my parents used to also work in a local nightclub close to where I grew up and at this club used to do Las Vegas style shows and booked 70’s/ 80’s bands which I got to see when I was still in my early teens!
Moving forward I have had the opportunity to see several local bands playing live plus I was already heavily listening to Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne. In the early 90’s I got introduced to the first underground bands through cassette trading! I am the proud owner of several demos from bands who are now heavy weights in the Metal Industry. (Btw still have the cassette tapes in my collection). From 1994 onwards I was attending underground Metal gigs nearly on a weekend basis.
That is what drew me to the industry and where it all started.
How did Nick Grima Management and Booking get started?
In 1999 I have started organizing my very first gigs and later festivals which I have been organizing until 2005. From then on, I have turned my attention to help local bands to break through the international scene. My background is mainly in management but wore loads of different hats and was hands on every aspect of the music Industry from scouting, developing, managing, organising, and promoting bands. I tried hard the best way I knew!
My main mission is to sign local bands to major labels and have them booked on tours and festivals. Nowadays, I do also help and represent artists/bands from several other countries apart from the local ones.
Labels & promoters please check us out www.nickgrima.com
What were the first steps in building up your connections with venues and other music professionals?
In the past my connections were built up through traditional mail, phone calls and fax machines, traveling to events / festivals and later digitally via email / socials. Some of my connection’s dates to over 20 years.
Is the Music Festival scene returning in Southern Europe after the pandemic?
This pandemic brought a total halt to the live industry, but we must turn negative into positive. I am in constant communication with bands, promoters, industry experts, etc. As of today, another variant has spread so I can see some of the tours, events and festivals are being postponed or cancelled. Certain countries are also imposing new restricting laws. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of bands playing live and I have also attended festivals in mainland Europe. As long as there are bands and fans the live industry will go on one way or another.
How does a band get Nick Grima’s attention?
My attention is mainly drawn by the band / artist music and live performances.
Moreover, many of the artists that are with my roster were introduced to me via an industry expert or I knew them since my early teens.
What do you look for in a band that wants to work with you?
To join my roster, artists must be experienced, have a good music industry background, are severely committed, hardworking and ready to tour at a moment’s call.
What type of vehicle do you feel is best for a band to tour in?
Well basically, early on any band would tour with their own private cars or a small van. Nowadays there are several professional companies out there who offer logistical support for touring bands.
Share some advice for a band just starting out.
Practice, support your local music scene by getting involved, have a good presence on all socials, make connections with both fans & other bands and play live as much as they can!
If you think you have what it takes you can get in touch with Nick Grima HERE.