Halfway through his first term as the Director of the Texas Music Office, Brendon Anthony has already taken great strides for the Texas music industry. After touring with Pat Green’s band and working for One Live Media, Anthony replaced former Texas Music Office director Casey Monahan in February. KUTX recently had the opportunity to ask him about his goals, accomplishments, and love for Texas music in a brief interview.
What are your priorities regarding the Texas Music Office?
Continue to act as an ambassador for the Texas Music Industry. Increase the connectivity of the office statewide and work to bring industry concerns to state leadership. Actively work to support and expand the Texas Music Industry.
In your first year of office, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
I want to be clear that I think we have a long way to go in this endeavor I am about to describe and have barely begun to scratch the surface. Texas’ existing music economy is vast. There are hundreds of passionate individuals working hard to create and maintain important businesses in our major markets and in communities of all sizes around our state. I have worked hard to get out of the office and begin personally connecting with them to demonstrate that the Texas Music Office is interested and supportive of their work. These people are event promoters, talent managers, agents, talent buyers, creative entrepreneurs, studio owners, musicians, venue owners and managers, the list goes on and on…. The sheer number of high quality industry contributors in Texas is something that we ought to be really proud of. It is their ranks that make the Texas music economy as unique and successful as it is. Our office is working hard to get out there and listen to these individuals we are beginning to make some real progress. I feel that this process of connecting the office to industry players of all types is extremely important and worthwhile and it will continue to expand during my time of service to the Office.
How are you increasing the Texas Music Office’s online presence?
We have taken several steps early on to change our way of utilizing the ever evolving technology at our disposal. Firstly, we have eliminated physical correspondence and have begun an email only system for updating our vast (15k+ entry) database. This will save thousands of postage dollars and keep our data far more up to date than ever before. The Texas Music Office’s industry database is extremely diverse and in order to maintain accurate data we required a new way of purging out of date entries and quickly updating current and new entries. Hopefully this will make our data more accessible and our service will be more often utilized.
Secondly, we were able to begin maintaining an active social media presence that had not before been activated. To date we have added thousands of engaged followers and used the various platforms to highlight creative projects around the state, praise Texas musicians and industry contributors who have been honored for various accomplishments, and post offerings for Texas based music industry jobs that become available. These efforts, along with updating the look and feel of the Texas Music Office website to reflect a more forward facing view of the Texas Music industry, are hopefully making the TMO a little more connected in a way that industry professionals can relate to.
What is the office doing to keep music in the state?
The Office is committed to retaining talent and music business here in Texas. We are actively seeking ways that the state can support and expand the industry.
The Austin Music Census highlighted several issues within the local music community, including the rent increases for music venues. How do you plan to respond to the information form the census? Is the Texas Music Office working to keep venues in business?
The ATX Music Office helmed by Don Pitts and their researcher, Nikki Rowling, did a wonderful job in compiling the census data and it did much to highlight the fault lines in the industry here in Austin. We are all aware now (with real data to support what we were anecdotally aware of) of the serious issues faced by venue owners as they struggle to maintain their businesses in the face of rising rents and a changing real estate landscape in downtown Austin. Our office is in close communication with the ATX Music Office, the Austin Music Foundation, Austin Music People, and other groups who are actively working on a municipal level to address these issues.
When you toured with Pat Green, what was your favorite Texas venue to perform in?
Almost impossible to answer this. I was very fortunate in that band to have the opportunity to play venues of all sizes in almost every city, every college and small town. I will say this. There was a period of several years that we spent most of our time on the road out of state building up various markets around the country. Whenever we got to come home and play a Texas show, regardless of the market, we knew it was going to be a great turnout and a better show. Nothing like a hometown show at Stubb’s Amphitheater when you’ve been touring out of town for two or three months!
Who are your favorite Texas musicians?
My personal list of Texas Musicians whom I couldn’t live without is too long to even begin to say. My very favorite artists are Texan born or got here as quick as they could. Speaking for the Texas Music Office, we couldn’t be more proud of the contributions of Texas Musicians of all stripes both yesterday, today and going forward. Texas has produced and will continue to produce many of the industry’s most unique and impactful personalities.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring Texas musicians, what would it be?
Just one piece of advice? Practice hard; it takes a whole lot of hard work, determination, and time to make it in the music industry. Have questions? Give us a call at the office 512-463-6666, we’ll be happy to help in any way that we can.
What’s one thing many people may not know about the music office?
It is truly unique. It speaks volumes about the State’s commitment to the industry that the Office was established as a stand-alone entity within the Office of the Governor nearly 30 years ago.