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  Industry Profile

Industry Profile: Rodney Afshari

— Jane Cohen & Bob Grossweiner

Rodney Afshari of Freeze Artist Management says he always knew he was going to go into the music business. The only problem was figuring out which side of it.

A 1995 internship at Zoo Records made the decision for him. "I realized that I definitely wanted to get into the management side of it," he says. " In June 1996 I was approached by an old friend, Michele Fleischli, who at the time was managing the bands Bad Religion and Gaunt, with a job offer to relocate to New York where her company (The Talent House NYC) was. I took the job as her assistant. During that time I was managing two acts myself (Footsie and Elijah).

In 1999, Michele and Rodney joined forces with Danny Heaps' company (ID Entertainment). During Rodney's time with ID Entertainment, he brought Leona Naess (MCA) to the company. He also started managing the band Glassjaw, introduced to him by his good friend producer Ross Robinson. Shortly after taking on Glassjaw, Rodney left ID Entertainment to open his own company. Rodney was also approached by some bigger management firms.

" I got a phone call from John Reese who manages my buddy, producer Ross Robinson. He said he heard that I've left my old company and he gave me an offer. After extensive thinking, I decided to join John Reese and his firm, LA-based Freeze Artist Management. In 2000, I opened the New York office for Freeze. My signings are Glassjaw- just signed to I AM/Warner Brothers Records - and is the first rock act to be signed by Tom Whalley and Craig Aaronson on WB. The band is in the studio right now recording with Ross Robinson; Vex Red, who are about to release their LP in Europe on I AM/Virgin. They are releasing their album in the U.S. this summer. The album was also produced by Ross Robinson. The group has Bush and Staind European tours under their belts; and A Static Lullaby, who are currently writing their album. They have numerous majors after them and are looking closely at I AM Recordings. Ross Robinson will be producing their album.

Aside from his management responsibilities, Rodney is also in the nightclub and special events business, and is a partner in Manhattan's A-list nightclub, Veruka. "My partner, veteran club owner Noel Ashman, and I have thrown events for artists and companies such as Lenny Kravitz, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, Miramax Films, MTV and VH1 among many others.

What’s the climate for new acts in 2002?
The climate looks nice and bright for new acts. I think labels are hungry for something new and cutting edge.

Do you prefer indies or majors for your baby acts?
I prefer majors for my baby acts. I wouldn't sign a band that I didn't think is ready to have a push.

First industry job
I was an assistant to band manager Michele Fleischli.

Career highlight
Joining with Freeze Artist Management and working closely with I AM Recordings.

Career disappointment
Taking on a band without checking their record label out thoroughly

Greatest challenge
Finding the best bands.

Best business decision
Becoming self employed.

Worst business decision
To work for a company and not believe in the guy who headed it.

Most memorable concert/event
The first 2002 Supercross at Anaheim Stadium!

What people would be surprised to learn about you
I entered this business from the nightclub business; I'm still a partner in two of the top nightclubs in NYC, and I love to motocross.

Office paraphanelia
Motocross posters!

Industry mentor
Freddie DeMann.

Industry pet peeve
Indie Record labels that manage their roster as well.

Rodney can be reached at 212-822-8882; e-mail: ramgmt@aol.com


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