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ROCK SOLID TALENT ENTERTAINMENT's Phil Taylor: "The ZUGU Project is very dear to me as mental health can affect anyone. It can be your mother, brother, fireman, mail-man, or preacher. It will affect anyone. In fact, I suffer with PTSD..."

Interview with Phil Taylor from Rock Solid Talent Entertainment
by JoJo Hamilton at 15 November 2022, 7:32 AM

Phil Taylor is the co founder and owner of the highly successful record label company Rock Solid Talent Entertainment. He has been in the industry for a long lot of years now but has NEVER given an interview to any magazine, not that they haven’t asked him on many occasions. Today Metal Temple’s Co-Editor In Chief Jojo “Rocket Queen” Hamilton has the pleasure of being in his company as he very graciously offered her a weeks working holiday at his home where Phil will be giving you a sneak peak into his very busy life in his first & only interview and not only that, I got to sit through a video call between Phil & Mark S Berry Chairman of AMG.

Phil first thank you for inviting me to visit for the week. It’s great to finally meet you after working with you on several occasions with Metal Temple magazine. Phil can you tell me a little about how Rock Solid Talent Entertainment came to be? What made you decide this was the musical path you wanted to walk & did you explore other avenues in the music industry before RSTE?

That is a good question. I never intended or wanted to start a record label. I was working various jobs throughout my life and quitting school at a young age did not give me many opportunities to land a good paying job so when I was 17 I joined the US Army. I have always had a passion for music just like most people and had the opportunity to work with some small garage bands and thought it be fun to help promote the seek gigs and try make an extra buck. Well it turned out it was something I enjoyed doing and over the years I started promoting, managing and got into developing I found what I loved to do. Then to skip ahead I was working with a young artist she was 13 at the time a Canadian young actress that had a very good talent so after her bugging me to listen to her music I would block her and she kept creating new accounts and finally i said ok if i listen to a demo will you leave me alone? I listened to her demo she sent me and I seen something in her music so I told her I would work with her on a development project at that time I was in the UK and she was in Canada. Well it got to the point I needed her in the UK to start some serious work and record her well, she was 14 at that time so I said your a child and we are at the point I need to talk to your parents. So in 2014 she came to the UK with her mother she wrote 2 albums and I recorded her with members formerly of MEGADETH her first album Glen Drover was on and her second album his brother Shawn wanted to get on it as a session drummer. Shawn was still with MEGADETH at the time so we had to work around MEGADETH’s tours. Well she wanted me to get her on a record label but She was not ready for a record label as she was a solo artist with world known musicians as her session players so it is not like they were her band she took guitar lessons with Glen and worked close with both Glen and Shawn so she was upset that she thought I wouldn't try get her on a label so I said lets start our own label just for an image for you. so we went about it legally registered etc. and she was only going to be the artist on it. But it blew up over night. The artists name was Sophia Radisch and she is a co/founder of Rock Solid Talent Entertainment and was a Co-owner. Then just before the pandemic she held 50% of the company shares and my C.O.O. felt that she wasn't offering nothing to the label and owning 50% my team kind of over ruled me and had her sign all her shares back over to the label as she was not helping in anyway so it was a sad situation not something I wanted to but it ended our friendship and sadly we have not spoken since. But since I had already established the label and it was growing I decided to keep at it so that's basically how Rock Solid Talent Entertainment was formed. I really enjoyed working with Sophia and hope some day we can sit down and fix our friendship.

You’ve worked with some pretty big artists over the years. Tell me Phil, who is your favourite artist to work with & why, what artist got you gripped? Who’s got you addicted?

Well funny you should ask that it is a very good question but I think the answer I give will not be what you expect. Yes it is all out there I have worked with and managed some of the biggest names in the industry and I have a close bond and friendship with them but they already reached their dreams The ones that really get me going is the artists that no one knows and helping them guiding them developing them and helping them set goals higher than they can ever imagine reaching and seeing them go past the hurdles and reach their goals that to me is one hell of a rush and knowing that I was a part of their journey that is what motivates me..

When you first got into Rock & Metal as a career, did you aspire to have your own company managing other artists and bands music careers or was it something you came to decide upon over time?

Actually it was never planned it was something I enjoyed doing it was more of a hobby than anything. That's why I feel school is over rated if you have a dream or your good at something follow your dream as doing what you enjoy you will be more successful at it. I find it better than a 9-5 job doing something I don't like I am a firm believer follow your dreams..

How long did it take from the conception of the idea to actually creating RSTE? Like from the thought of “I want to create a record label” to “May I present Rock Solid Talent Entertainment”

Well when we were first registered in 2014 I didn't have time to think it was like it was meant to be  it went from an idea of just a backing image for Sophia to an overnight success it was like a whirlwind I had no time to think it just happened like it was meant to be..

You must have some stories to tell about bands you’ve looked after & managed at RSTE. Tell me a story about one of you’re bands that will make the readers laugh, have you got any funny stories?

Oh god I have loads but If I publicly told them I would probably be sued. It is Rock N Roll man some things are best kept with a lid on it hahahaha

When your not working hard what do you do for leisure & pleasure how do you relax?

Well to be honest I’m probably boring to most I love nature and going for walks with my dog. Just something about nature it recharges me and takes away the stress when I was younger I enjoyed partying going to concerts travelling (I still love to travel,) I like to relax I am not a spring chicken any more. I do miss going to as many concerts as I use too, but in my position I’m not in the crowed I am back stage in the dressing rooms where it smells like piss, vomit, stale beer, and cheap cologne.  (The cheap cologne is probably mine) Don't know if I can say that in an interview but hell its the truth haha..

Your fur baby Lucky recently had a bit of a health issue that caused her to be in a fairly dangerous situation. I know it’s a sensitive subject, but can you tell us more about what happened and give us a good news update?

Yes she had a urinary track infection I forgot what the proper name of it was, but it turned out to be a tumour in her uterus so she was spade. The tumour was on the inside so the vets are pretty certain it is completely gone, but to be sure we sent the tumour off to the lab to get a confirmation and if any more tests or treatment are needed but they never seen this kind of tumour inside spread she is doing well and back to her old self she just finished her antibiotics but is still on an anti inflammatory meds but she is looking and acting like a puppy. We have another vet follow up Monday to check the healing but last Monday they said looks perfect but we will see them again this coming Monday.

So I’ve got to ask Phil, has anyone ever tried to get one over on you in the business in any way, like tried to steal business or artists you were gonna sign, maybe tried to steal one of your copyrights? It must be a competitive world in metal music management?

You come across bumps in the road but you just try your best to navigate your way around them.  As far as people actually trying to steal any kind of rights, it happens but I’ve rarely come across that.

Phil you have a great deal of involvement with The ZUGU Project. Can you elaborate on how the project will help those with mental health difficulties around the world through music art & poetry?

The ZUGU Project is very dear to me as mental health can affect anyone it can be your mother, brother, fireman, mail-man, preacher (if your a church goer) it will affect anyone in fact I suffer with PTSD which is a form of mental health and I believe The ZUGU Project will help many as they donate 100% towards local charities or even people in need you can follow this link to read more about it. The founder Anthony Albanese, I love him dearly one of the kindest souls I ever met.

https://www.rstelabel.com/the-zugu-project

Can you tell me a story no one knows yet? Are you able to give me a leak or a breaking Story? A journalist’s gotta try haha.
Well at the moment I have nothing, but if anything comes up I’ll be sure to let Metal Temple know just like I did when I had you interview Big Chris Flores and he leaked the Slash and the Late Chester Bennington collaboration “Crazy,” which went viral because of Metal Temple Magazine. You Guys I look at like family and was there supporting me when no others would and one thing about me fame and money don't mean shit to me its how people treat each other so believe me any future leaks you guys will be the first to know. Also now it’s been confirmed that Rock Solid Talent Entertainment has started building a tribute rosta of tribute bands. RSTE will be the only record label taking on tribute acts, however they will only accept 1 tribute for each band or artist. We already have tributes signed up for “Whole Lotta Roses” & “Mistress Of Reality,) featuring Madame Ozzy.

https://www.rstelabel.com/tributebandsroster

What’s been your own personal career highlight Phil? Tell me your very own fairytale from your extensive time in music management & did you have a fairy godmother/father to help & guide you or did you use Rapunzel’s hair to climb your own way up the tower?

This is a tough cruel world I grew up a fighter I had no help no support everything I have done I have done on my own.

During your time in the business, have you ever felt a band was a lost cause or that they were just not going to make it? You must have an instinct for such things. How hard is it to tell someone who has pinned their hopes and dreams on a music career that they just aren’t gonna make it? Must be a hard thing to do.

Well I am very fussy with taking on bands, they don't have to be famous they just have to tic all my boxes it must be in their blood I know talent when I see it trust me I turn away hundreds of submissions a day. To get on my label you probably have a better chance winning the lottery as I am not in it for the fame or the money I am in it to help those who are born to be in the industry to succeed..

You have had a fair few artists come here to tour home to work in your studio, what’s it like having a constant flow of music around? Do you ever miss the silence or does the lack of noise drive you crazy?

Well like I said my artists and bands are like my family they enjoy coming here if it is to work or just visit as they are passing through touring they are always welcome and I enjoy when they are here.

When you started Rock Solid Talent Entertainment you must have faced some set backs. What kind of troubles did you have & how did you overcome them to create such a thriving & successful company?

Actually I never had a setback. The pandemic didn't even set us back I always have a back up plan and a back up plan for the back up plan. there is many ways to skin a cat in this industry you can not give up or you will just be shutdown by a go getter who knows what they want and don't give up..

Phil, your now partnered up with AMG/Sony! That’s a fantastic collaboration if I’ve ever saw one & I’ve saw a few! How did this happen?

Well the correct way of our partnership is Rock Solid Talent Entertainment/AMG/SONY distribution partners. I was approached by Duggie Kyle the VP Director of AMG and they eye on me and offered me a distribution partnership so the correct order is Distribution partners RSTE/AMG/SONY and that was very unexpected and an honour. A week later I was offered a position at AMG as their Vice President over A&R/International Acquisitions. I have held that title now for over a year and I love being apart of their team also. It was a very unexpected honour and there was NO WAY I was turning that down as that was a HUGE step forward for my label.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? What do you hope to achieve over the next few years?

Good question. to be honest I am single no kids my label is like my family I want to continue doing what I enjoy until I can no longer do it so I see my future doing exactly what I am doing now and continue growing my label.

Phil it’s been an absolute pleasure & an honour to interview you today. Thank you so much for sharing your life with me & the readers of Metal Temple magazine & thank you for having me stay at your beautiful home. All the best for the future!

Thank you JoJo and it is an absolute pleasure to have you at my home your welcome anytime Metal Temple is a part of our affiliation program and I look at you as family also! It has been a pleasure Thank you for taken the time to come and interview me as this is my first and last interview as I do not do them. My publicist speaks for me and my label but since your family and you asked. I felt well if anyone is going to get an interview out of me it will be Metal Temple.  Well JoJo, I hope this interview is satisfactory as I never do them its all new to me.  I have sat through many with my bands.

Thanks for having me Phil, it’s a pleasure & you & RSTE will always be family to Metal Temple magazine!



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Edited 01 December 2022
 

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