Mike Ragogna: What advice do you have for new artists?
Todd Rundgren: I’ve got one word for you… YouTube! That’s two words stuck together, but yeah, I think that you know, a lot of people still make the mistake in thinking that their success will come by getting signed to a record label. The real foundation of your career is live performance. If every iPhone in the universe disappears tomorrow, we’ll still be playing music live. The more you do it, the better you get at it. This whole distraction of trying to get a record label, first of all, is not practical any longer. Second of all, the record label is going to try to keep all of the money you could make for yourself. If you just figure out how to use the tools that are available, it’s no longer necessary to have tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding in order to go into an expensive recording studio somewhere. You can, for a couple of thousand dollars, buy yourself a top of the line laptop, the software and the hardware interfaces necessary to have your own traveling recording studio. Any impediments have disappeared along with the need for companies. The other thing the record company was supposedly good for was getting you on the radio, but syndicated radio has been freakin’ tight as an a**hole for the last 30 or 40 years, you know. It’s a tiny little playlist managed by a tiny little bunch of people, unless you’re lucky enough to get on satellite radio. But everyone knows satellite radio does not break new artists. New artists get broken through YouTube nowadays. If you can figure out how to get your music recorded and get yourself a little video camera and you and your friends make some video just like Rebecca Black, you can be a worldwide sensation without ever having anything to do with a record label.