Entertainment's Tommy Floyd, founder and CEO
Interviewed by JP
Another part of our casual, yet never-ending industry profile
interviews I am delighted to bring to you an interview with Mr. Tommy
Floyd, founder and CEO of Outlaw Entertainment. Mr. Floyd has along
history in the hard rock metal scene earning critical acclaim and
recognition for his projects over the past two decades.
Welcome to the Show!! (Inside joke) Thanks for taking the time out
of your busy schedule to chat with us. Can you give us a brief synopsis
of your personal history for some of our readers who may not be familiar
with your name?
"In 1989 a
group of imposters from LA ran ads in BAM magazine looking for a
guitarist to complete their new band "Pretty Boy
Floyd"?!. At the time, I was amazed that any band would even
attempt to capitalize on all of our sweat."
I first started singing for cover bands in my early teens in and
around Vancouver, Canada then graduated to original hard rock and metal
bands when I was about 17. After touring the US I was hooked. At the
same time, I became very interested and involved in the business end of
things. I asked a lot of the right questions and became close with
several industry veterans. When I was in my early twenties I formed a
band called Pretty Boy Floyd (Canada). We put out an Indy EP
followed by a full-length album "Bullets & Lipstik" that
charted overseas and received critical acclaim from mags like Kerrang,
Rip & Burrrn. We toured our asses off, worked incredibly hard and
put every penny back into the band. In 1989 a group of imposters from LA
ran ads in BAM magazine looking for a guitarist to complete their new
band "Pretty Boy Floyd"?!. At the time, I was amazed that any
band would even attempt to capitalize on all of our sweat. I called the
LA band and inquired about the guitar gig and then asked them where they
came up with the name. They openly bragged "some band from
How did the sale of the name "Pretty Boy Floyd" come
about? I hope you took MCA to the cleaners! ha! ha!
Our band publicity suddenly went from killer to filler. People were
writing our fan club and confusing us with the LA band, calling us fags
(and by the names) of the LA PBF band members. After a meeting with my
manager at the time and our trademark lawyer, we all agreed that enough
damage had been done to the name. That even if we decided to hang on to
it (as I owned the trademark) there was significant damage done. There
was so much confusion in the industry and media that know one seemed to
know who was who. But the one single fact, we couldnít overlook was
that they were on a "major". Of course, we didnít let on to
the LA band that we were no longer interested in keeping the name. We
eventually settled out of court with MCA giving us a nice chunk of
Are you aware that PBF is still kickin' around?
Iíd heard the singer was still flogging the act. The band was never
very good to begin with. I was informed shortly after they pilfered the
name from us, that they had written very little if anything from their
MCA debut. Apparently, they ripped most of the songs from a guitar
player that tried out or was in the band for a short while who later
sued them. MCA finally did the right thing by dropping them. Fuckers!
Enough about the past, let's talk about your great new venture,
Outlaw Entertainment. How did you come up with the name and
Iíd always considered the business of touring and being in a rock
& roll band not unlike the Wild West, where Outlaws and gunslingers
ran free. We slept late, drank as much as we wanted and got to hang with
beautiful women. There werenít really any rules as long as (it was in
the name of fun and) you pulled your weight in the band. When it came
time to launch the company, it was the only name that really made any
sense. And given the type of bands Iíve chosen to work with (outside
the mainstream), theyíre true Outlaws in their own right. They do what
they do because theyíre driven to, and make no apologies for doing it.
When was OE founded and who was your first signing?
I founded Outlaw Entertainment in January of 1995. Our first signing
was a 3-piece hard rock trio by the name of the Cartels. We eventually
signed them to Universal. However, the band broke up before they ever
realized any bona fide success. Itís too bad, they really kicked ass!
What are your views on the music industry now, from the
perspective of a musician who was once shopping for deals and now you
ARE the guy who makes the deals?
Having been a touring musician and familiar with the dynamics of a
band and having handled virtually every area of business that went along
with it, I found myself in a rather unique position when it came time to
work with bands on a management level and later with our label. I
understood very clearly what was required. I also understood, what wasnít.
To this day, the last thing I would ask a band to do - is something I
wasnít willing to do myself. Itís amazing just how many managers,
agents or label owners will do that; put the artist in compromising
situations that will ultimately lead to the bands undoing. By the same
token however, I wonít work with lazy people or whiners. If Iím
going to work with an act theyíd better be prepared to work as hard as
I noticed your promotional material is top-notch, well designed,
full-color, it is obvious you have put a lot of time and money into this
very serious venture. I must ask this tough, but I think fair question.
Do you think there is a substantial market for good ol' kick-ass rock
'n' roll in North America? I know the obvious answer is "Yes!"
or you would not be doing this BUT...do you think that your roster of
older artists, guys like Eric Moore, (ex-Godz) Ron Marks (ex-Celtic
Frost), Randy Rampage (ex-Annihilator) and Michael Hannon (ex-Salty Dog)
have what it takes to compete in this highly fickle and competitive
I agree itís a fair question. But, ultimately yes I do think there
is a large "rock starved" market in North America. All you
have to do is travel a few miles outside the city limits of the big 3
(LA, New York & Nashville) and there are thousands of fans dying to
rock. Iíve witnessed it personally. As far as our roster goes, I
signed all of these artists because Iím a huge fan of their music and
I respect them as people. I donít see any competition. Our signing
these bands and making their music available was an absolute necessity.
With the amount of crap out there and a new generation of kids growing
up without being exposed to "real" rock, I felt it was the
very least I should do.
A type of follow up question to the last one, are you considered
finding and nurturing younger, inexperienced talent in the same rockin'
vein or do you plan to work with specifically name artists who have some
experience and history?
It just happed that the artists I thought kicked ass - had some prior
success. Iím not apposed to working with younger or newer bands. If
they rock and genuinely believe in what they are doing, Iíd consider
Tell us about a typical (if there is such a thing) day in the life
of Mr. Floyd and Outlaw Entertainment.
Iíll use today as an example. Although, each day seems to have itís
own unique challenges.
4:30am Ė 6:00am: called overseas labels, licensors,
publishers & promoters to set up business meetings at Popkomm
6am-8am: returned email & faxes.
8am-9am: contacted American Dog reviewed album art with
Michael Hannon. Contacted art designer, suggested changes. Also spoke
with Eric Moore regarding recording sessions and release deadline.
9am-11am: contacted east coast associates, distributors and
promoter at Sturgis, SD.
11am-11:40am: Spoke with producer for Billy Butcher regarding
Pete Parker wanting to redo guitar on all 13 tracks. Heís not happy,
but has agreed.
11:40am Ė12:00pm: Treadmill (so I donít have to drink
12:00pm Ė 1:00pm: Lunch meeting with Pete Parker. Peteís
not happy with sessions. I agree to attend the studio later in the
1:00pm-2:00pm: return more email & msgís.
2:00pm-4:00pm: West coast calls and msg. from lawyer regarding
damage at a club & hotel. Promoter withholding balance of payment.
Contacted band, then promoter direct. Turns out his girlfriend was at
the party with a band member. Damage greatly exaggerated (his pride
hurt). Agreed to cover a minor amount of cost. Told promoter to get a
4:00pmĖ 6pm: Demo listening session with Suzanne Marie &
6pm-7:30pm: Dinner w/wife & family.
8:00pm-10pm: Studio w/Billy Butcher. Things are back on track!
10pm-11:00pm: Review live video footage (American Dog). Made
note to call Michael in morning w/comments.
11:00pm: Watched the Osbornes
11:30pm: Returned last e-mailís of the day (including
What have you got on the horizon, what are your next releases and
have you got some tour plans for some, any or all of your acts?
Subsonic is being released as we speak. American Dogís new CD
"Red, White, Black & Blue" will be out early Sept. And
Eric Moore is in the studio recording bonus tracks for his retrospective
"20 Moore Years!" which is scheduled for release this fall. Iím
currently talking to promoters about touring several of our acts
together on the same bill.
Where can people learn more about you, your label and your artist?
Do you have any last minutes, comments rants or raves for our
Weíve got some very exciting things in store for kick ass rock
fans. Keep in touch with our website and thanks for taking the time to
read my rant. Rock & Fuckiní Roll! Tommy Floyd