Being a (Formerly) Independent Artist

In the words of the great Tom Petty,

“You don’t know what it’s like to be me.” 

From 2005 up until late 2011, I was an “independent artist” by every definition of the word. I had worked with small labels, but they weren’t real labels. I did it all. Writing, Booking, Promoting, Touring. In fact, most of the year was spent jobless. I had quit my full-time position (with really great benefits, health insurance, 401K) packed our four door and I took my wife and 2 year old son on the road. That was what we did. 

We loved it.

During days off, I would route new tour stops, e-mail hundreds of booking agents and attempt to fill up the calendar as we went. I was wearing all the hats: Tour Manager, Husband, Dad, Driver, Sound Guy, Roadie, Guitar Tech, Booking Agent, Social Media, Merch Girl. I mean boy.

I found that half way through our time on the road, I couldn’t do it anymore. The shows became less worthwhile and more costly than anything. 

At the time I had a great mentor and friend of mine ask how he could be praying for me. We had just finished all the dates on the calendar. I told him to pray that we would figure out what to do next. I knew that I couldn’t keep doing this music thing with the same business model I had used for years. I needed some assistance. 

That guy was a hero of mine named Davy Baysinger. If you don’t know who he is, then you are missing out on some great music history. Just go buy “Again, for the First Time” by the band Bleach and put it on repeat until you die. You will die happy. 

Long story short. Davy runs Slospeak Records (formerly known as Eden Records).

At the time I didn’t realize this. That winter, I signed to the coolest and sweetest record contract with the coolest record label ever, ever:


Since then, I’ve had some of the best people around me encouraging me and helping in every way that they can. 

But with this new found assistance, came something I wasn’t used to. People pushing me to be better. To write better and do something bigger. 

In December 2011 I began working on my newest full length album. Just when I think I am about done, I get that nudge from my peers and mentors to do it again, and make it better.

I am sorry to say, I am STILL working on this record. I’ve got to be honest. It’s been a hard time for me creatively. The old independent version of Owen Pye would have already pushed out a mediocre record or two. But as iron sharpens iron, I’m hoping to put out 1 excellent record at a time. 

My biggest resolution for 2014 is just that. Finish the record. 

It’s coming guys. It’s coming.


About owenpye

Owen Pye began playing in 2005, with just a guitar and a plan: To share music with willing listeners. As cliche as that may seem, it’s exactly what he’s doing. Pye was getting a lot of exposure on myspace, with his boastful 20,000 fans and thorough independently booked tour schedule in his early years supporting his debut album “If That’s Cool With You.” To date, Owen Pye has shared the stage with some of the best up and coming artists including Deas Vail (Mono VS. Stereo) Dr. Manhattan (Vagrant) and New London Fire (Eyeball.) He has independently booked over 250 shows in the United States. In 2008 he teamed up with some friends to form a consistent full-band line-up known as “Owen Pye & The Sunday School Band.” With the help of producer and engineer Andrew Osenga (Caedmon’s Call, The Normals) they released their self-titled record to the masses in late 2009. During the summer of 2010, Pye began his solo project with Blackroom Records. When asked about the upcoming project, Owen Pye responded, “This is very, very exciting and I am SO pumped to work with these folks for the next year in support of the record.” To learn more about Owen Pye, pickup a CD, download an MP3 or come out to a show near you.
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