Q-and-A by Matt Crowley/The AS Review

For the up-and-comers of the music industry, information and advice from true professionals is few and far between. On March 5 and 6 beginning at 11 a.m., AS Productions will hold its annual Pop Music Industry Conference, which will give students and community members a chance to gain valuable insight into the industry.

The conference will include keynote speakers and panels touching on aspects of the industry including artists, talent representation, venues, promotion and media, all of which will take place in the Old Main Theatre and different locations around the Viking Union. There will also be a Saturday concert at 7 p.m. in the Old Main Theatre headlined by Spokane band The Globes and a Sunday brunch in the VU Multipurpose Room shortly after the opening keynote speaker at 11 a.m. where attendees can get valuable face-to-face time with speakers and panelists.

Although the panels are free, the concert and Sunday brunch cost $8 for students with their Western ID cards and $10 for general admission. You must register to participate in both the free or paid portions of the conference, and you can do so at http://bit.ly/popmic2011registration. To learn more about the event, we sat down with ASP Pop Music Coordinator Sam Eisen-Meyers.

AS Pop Music Coordinator Sam Eisen-Meyers. Photo by Joe Rudko/The AS Review.

The AS Review: Who came up with the idea for the conference?
Sam Eisen-Meyers: The construct of the conference was put into place last year. It was manifested by last year’s coordinators Hallie and Jen.

Review: Why did you decide to bring it back this year?
Eisen-Meyers: It offers insight and a different aspect of education for a career pathway that is prominent in the U.S. but doesn’t appear in the form of a B.A.

Review: Was last year’s conference in the same format you are planning on using this year?
Eisen-Meyers: We’re using the rubric and format from last year to build and develop this conference. The idea is that future committees will continue to expand on the ideas and approach from the years before.

Review: Would you say it’s geared toward people with more musical experience and knowledge, or will beginners find it useful as well?
Eisen-Meyers: Both. It’s geared towards Western Washington students and community members, anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of the business on a smaller scale so they can apply it to the bigger picture down the line.

Review: So there’s the four different tracks, if someone wanted to do both the media and artist track, would they be able to go to multiple panels?
Eisen-Meyers: When you register you have the option to sign up for an individual track depending on your aspirations. However, as an attendee, you are welcome to bounce around from panel to panel.

Review: How did you decide which speakers to bring to the conference?
Eisen-Meyers: By utilizing connections made in the past and in the present, we reached out to local and regional industry professionals and representatives who have been involved within the music community. We are fortunate enough to have Ben London of the Music Commission and Chris Porter (director of Bumbershoot) at this year’s conference as keynote speakers.

Review: As someone who works in the industry and as a musician, why do you think the conference is important?
Eisen-Meyers: As an artist, you’re kind of under the water a lot of the time where you’re not really sure how things work. It can really open your eyes and show you what works and what doesn’t, and how one may go about networking and building bridges.  The conference is a great platform for musical artists and independent musicians to utilize the knowledge and professionalism of community members who have been part of the business for a long time. After working as the Music Coordinator for over seven months now, I have gained a lot of knowledge, and hope that this conference can benefit other like-minded individuals so they can pursue their goals and dreams.