We caught up with industry legendary drummer and producer Garry King to provide us with valuable knowledge and tips based on his impressive music career so far.
Garry co-founded the melodic/power metal band ACHILLEA as well as producing the bands album and EP. He is also the drummer for international Melodic Doom Metal Band EXORCISM as well as the producer of Gothic Metal artist DARKYRA BLACK.
King has been fortunate to travel the world whilst working and being associated with the likes of Jeff Beck, Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple) Ian Parry (Elergy, Consortium Project), Grammy nominated producer Rick Hale and Grammy winning producer Tom Bee.
When did you start out in the music industry and what were you involved in?
I started professionally around 1985 when I joined a band and moved to London from the South Coast. We had a publishing deal with what was then called Peer Southern Music in Denmark Street. They where one of the biggest around at the time so, it opened a few doors back when people still bought music.
What is the biggest change in the industry since then?
Obviously the Internet has changed the industry in some bad ways but a lot of good as well. Free downloads are killing us all including studios, producers and manufactures of high end gear as people don’t have the budgets to record like they used to, everyone wants something for nothing, that’s something we don’t buy into!
However being able to record, work with and contact people all over the globe is amazing as well as being able to promote via the net. Mainly the industry has now got to a point where most artists run their own carriers which I think is a very good thing although without company support its hard work and even more hard if you want to tour especially!
What are your roles in the industry now, and how did they come about?
Drums are still the number one thing with studio and live shows/tours although I have done a lot of mixing, editing and administration over the last few years. I love doing all this and it’s given me a better grounding for projects overall but was also a necessity to keep busy on a day to day basis.
Do you think it is more important these days to be diverse in your skills and services?
Yes 100%! It’s like working in the building industry, if all you can do is paint and there is no painting jobs out there you will be struggling, but if you can do a bit of tile work, carpentry and so on you will have more chance to stay busy, however you still have to be able to do those other jobs well not be a Jack of all trades. That’s the main reason I got more involved in production, so that I would be able to keep working on music, if I just relied on playing drums it would be very tough.
In your opinion, how powerful and important is collaboration in the industry?
I think its super important, after all it’s still who you know and not what. Still, you have to be careful who you collaborate with as there are still many advantage takers out there looking for a free ride on your ship.
Music Gateway is changing the face of the industry by opening doors and connecting likeminded pros together. How do you see our platform being an asset for the industry?
So far from what I have seen it’s looking good and I like the idea of M.G working like an old style agent, but with the way things are in the industry I’m not sure about bidding for work against others that could end up in bidding wars. However, I like the attitude of the staff a lot especially, but as with everything time will tell and things take time to grow.
You have a wealth of experience in the music industry. What is your best advice for writers and musicians looking to forge their career?
Working with a lot of artists in the past globally and with companies, from my end the most important thing is to learn how to communicate, sounds simple and most people seem to think they already do this but it's not the case.
Communication is everything, when you are well practised at this people will tend to listen more. Second I would say ‘listen’ to others who have more experience and don’t take advantage of peoples talents, it’s taken years of hard work to get them. If you can pay something or offer something in return for services not matter what, then it has true value to both parties, most things for ‘Free’ and I use that word a lot have little if no value in the long term.
Lastly I would say ‘Keep the Faith’ in yourself, always move forward, never give up and keep learning new ways to get out of this industry what you need and what you want.
Valuable words and advice from Garry indeed. We thank him for his time and advice. You can check out his website by clicking here and make sure to listen to his brilliant drumming skills!