Jon Phillips - co-CEO of Silverback Music Management on blending the Cultures of Southern California Reggae and the Sounds of New Orleans

This interview features Jon Phillips is the CEO of Silverback Music Management with offices in Los Angeles, CA and New Orleans, LA. One of Jon’s first artist’s in his management career was Sublime. Other artists on Silverback include Slightly Stoopid, The Expendables, Dumpstaphunk, Fishbone, The Aggrolites, The Grouch & Eligh, The Beautiful Girls & MatMchugh, and Ethan Tucker. This is episode 3 of our New Orleans series, which has featured Erick Greene of Huka Entertainment (EP#018) and Ivan Neville of Dumpstaphunk (EP#019) so far.

I first met Jon during New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2013, when his band Slightly Stoopid performed at House of Blues. From day one, he was super kind and open to make friends with anyone. We crossed paths at a show during that Jazz Fest weekend, and he remembered me and bought me a drink. That may not seem like much, but I was the assistant of the guy he was doing business with. We talked maybe for 30 seconds during that first meeting? That just showed how down to earth and humble Jon is, and doesn’t judge anyone based on what they do. If you’re a cool person, you’re a cool person. At least it seems like that is one of Jon’s values.

In this episode we talk about when Jon first started working with Sublime to getting them their first record deal. We talk about the release of the self titled album which sold over 27 million copied, and due to the unfortunately loss of singer Bradley Nowell before the album came out, never had a band to tour behind the record. We talk about how Jon tried to blend the cultures of Southern California Reggae with the sounds of New Orleans, and much more. Thank you for listening and sharing!

Highlights from this Episode
Jon’s first experience into New Orleans (7:15)
About Silverback Music Management (11:45)
Discovering Ian Neville (13:25)
Jon’s realization that he wanted to work in the music industry (18:00)
Jon’s introduction to Sublime (25:25)
What drove Jon to start Silverback Music Management (33:20)
How to prioritize and overcome challenges (36:45)
Four week crash course on becoming an Artist Manager (42:50)
Favorite Sublime story (46:40)
Favorite New Orleans Jazz Festival Moment (51:25)
Jon’s scoop on Dumpstaphunk’s new single “Justice” (56:15)
Most shared piece of media (1:02:50)
Advice for the aspiring artist/student (1:04:20)
Making it to Jon Phillips (1:09:40)

Quotes from Jon Phillips
“I wanted to help artist the most because there is a long history of just artist getting ripped off.”
“The thing that will never change is that you have to be prepared to deal with the worth thing anybody tells you.”
“Be educated in everything you can be.”
“Have a veracious of an appetite for knowledge as you can.”
“Stick with what you believe in because most people, for anything you love, gets tested the most.”
“Believe in what you’re representing and that belief is what can take you the furthest.”
“Expose yourself to as much as you can, so you know what area interest you the most.”
“Try to gain perspective of how everything is working and where you fit.”
“The more you absorb and the more you experience the better chance you have to succeed.”
“If you can establish a good rapport and a good relationship with something you’re passionate about, you may be able to go and discover the next Sublime.”
“No one is right, music is subjective.”  

Links to Things & People Mentioned
Silverback Music Management
Slightly Stoopid
The Expendables
The Aggrolites
Art Neville
Neville Brothers
40 Ounces to Freedom
Bradley Nowell
Jacob Nowell
Grateful Dead
Dr. John
The Radiators
George Porter
The Meters
Mardi Gras
Voodoo Festival
New Orleans Jazz Festival
Rebirth Brass Band
Stick Figure Reggae
Rod Stewart
Randy Phillips
Neil Young
MCA Records
Gasoline Alley
Atlantic Records
Led Zeppelin
Butthole Surfers
Andrew Woods
Mother Love Bone
Long Beach Dub All-Stars
Trombone Shorty
Lucas Nelson
Tower of Power
Sly and the Family Stone
Mike Gordon
G Love
Bob Weir
Angela Moore
School of Rock Broadway
Hootie and the Blowfish
Wesley Willis Fiasco
Bob Lefsetz

Get in Touch with Jon Phillips
Facebook: Silverback Music

Jon Phillip’s Definition of Making It
“Making it is surviving everyday. Waking up happy the sun is shining and continuing to be able to do what you enjoy doing. It’s being thankful for where you have gotten”