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Mark Abramson, Bringing Metal To The Masses

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Mark Abramson, Bringing Metal To The Masses
By RR

You would be hard pressed to find a more passionate proponent of rock and metal than Mark Abramson, Vice President of Promotions at Roadrunner Records. Abramson has been at Roadrunner for over 20 years, seeing the label through many phases while working tirelessly to promote the label’s epic roster of artists. Mark was kind enough to share some advice and answer questions about his background, interests, and role at Roadrunner Records.

Tell us a little bit about what you do at Roadrunner Records?

My position at Roadrunner Records is to oversee the promotion of our acts to radio in the Active/Mainstream Rock format. Along with the rest of the RRP Promo team, I work with all Active/ Mainstream rock stations nationally to get our bands played on the radio. That includes all Roadrunner acts along with select other acts within the “family”. I coordinate with the product managers and upper management in laying out the timelines and plans and then we go and implement them.  

You've been a part of the Roadrunner family for quite some time now...

I am a long time Roadrunner Records staff member - I have 20 years under my belt working for RR - and was there when it was an independently run company. I saw the partnership with Island Def Jam and then again when we briefly went independent before joining the Warner Music Group family. This is a very exciting time for Roadrunner, the label is more focused than ever and looking to re-invigorate an already healthy and exciting Rock brand. There is a vibe and an excitement on the 28th floor that I haven’t felt in some time. It really feels like the beginning of an exciting and great new era for the label with a great vision, focus and lots of kick ass new bands coming down the pipeline!

What’s the most important thing to be aware of regarding your job?

Well, you have to be aware of what stations are playing and what is happening at the format in general. The key is to not get overwhelmed and to focus. Don’t look at the whole panel, the whole country, and all of your records and then try and get them all at once – it won’t work. You make a logical plan of attack and then put together the right presentation to try and get it done. It’s so much about focus, common sense, and awareness of what the station is all about so you aren’t bringing the wrong kind of record to a station and thus make them think you don’t know what the station is all about.

Do you personally get to work with the artists on the label?

Yes, I deal directly with pretty much all the artists on the roster to some level or another. The more activity at Rock radio the more I get to interact with them - from setting up interviews, taking them to radio stations for promotions and/or acoustic sessions, and updating them on the progress of their records.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to work in promotions at a major label?

I got started in this business as an intern and if your situation would allow for it there is no greater way to show your worth than to, well, literally show what you can do. If you can’t do that then it is simply a matter of being aggressive and creative - two traits that are very necessary in the music biz.

With the evolution of the music industry, do you find your job to be more challenging now than it was in the past?

I love what I do. While it is true that it is harder nowadays with the age of consolidation it is a very exciting and fulfilling job. Radio is still a very effective way to reach people and there are more new and exciting ways to connect through the business and grow our bands as the business evolves. While it is a difficult era right now I find it exciting to be a part of the growth and evolution and it’s an exciting time.

Quick Fire Question Round!

What's your favorite drink/ cocktail? 

I love a good single malt scotch, I love Macallan, Lagavulin and I love Glenmorangie’s Nectar D’Or.  Of course beer and I are very good friends as well, haha.

What's your favorite record at the moment?

Well, the latest Killswitch Engage record (Disarm The Descent) has been a VERY important record to me for quite some time now. I am loving the new Sevendust acoustic album and the Dio tribute album. Roadrunner has some VERY exciting records coming VERY soon though that I am loving some early stuff from.

What item can’t you live without?

After Hurricane Sandy I found that there is very little I can’t live without, but I will play along. As pathetic as it is, I need my iPad. I also need my tunes... I am a “relic” and still use an iPod classic 160GB so I can have tons o’ tunes!

What’s your favorite sport?

Hockey all the way!  

Your favorite team?

Rangers for life!  I am also a football fan and have been a Giants fan forever.

What’s your favorite NYC restaurant or bar?

I love Idle Hands!  Also, I love the Bar and Books cigar bars (both Hudson and Lexington) – great vibe! 

What's your favorite music venue?

That is still around? Machine Shop in Flint, MI.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? 

Mint Chocolate Chip!

What would be your best year(s) ever? 

1995 – the year Type O Negative was certified Gold (my first and Roadrunner’s first, after a 2 year blood, sweat and tears “life-mission”), 2002 – the year I married my best friend and soul mate, 2004 – the year my daughter was born, 2008 – the year my son was born!

Click here to check out Mark Abramson and Phil Freeman on the Roadrunner Podcast and be sure to subscribe to future podcasts featuring exclusive interviews with artists and new music!

  • You would be hard pressed to find a more passionate proponent of rock and metal than Mark Abramson...
    Our Label
RR's picture
on March 17, 2014 - 3:26pm

You would be hard pressed to find a more passionate proponent of rock and metal than Mark Abramson, Vice President of Promotions at Roadrunner Records. Abramson has been at Roadrunner for over 20 years, seeing the label through many phases while working tirelessly to promote the label’s epic roster of artists. Mark was kind enough to share some advice and answer questions about his background, interests, and role at Roadrunner Records.

Tell us a little bit about what you do at Roadrunner Records?

My position at Roadrunner Records is to oversee the promotion of our acts to radio in the Active/Mainstream Rock format. Along with the rest of the RRP Promo team, I work with all Active/ Mainstream rock stations nationally to get our bands played on the radio. That includes all Roadrunner acts along with select other acts within the “family”. I coordinate with the product managers and upper management in laying out the timelines and plans and then we go and implement them.  

You've been a part of the Roadrunner family for quite some time now...

I am a long time Roadrunner Records staff member - I have 20 years under my belt working for RR - and was there when it was an independently run company. I saw the partnership with Island Def Jam and then again when we briefly went independent before joining the Warner Music Group family. This is a very exciting time for Roadrunner, the label is more focused than ever and looking to re-invigorate an already healthy and exciting Rock brand. There is a vibe and an excitement on the 28th floor that I haven’t felt in some time. It really feels like the beginning of an exciting and great new era for the label with a great vision, focus and lots of kick ass new bands coming down the pipeline!

What’s the most important thing to be aware of regarding your job?

Well, you have to be aware of what stations are playing and what is happening at the format in general. The key is to not get overwhelmed and to focus. Don’t look at the whole panel, the whole country, and all of your records and then try and get them all at once – it won’t work. You make a logical plan of attack and then put together the right presentation to try and get it done. It’s so much about focus, common sense, and awareness of what the station is all about so you aren’t bringing the wrong kind of record to a station and thus make them think you don’t know what the station is all about.

Do you personally get to work with the artists on the label?

Yes, I deal directly with pretty much all the artists on the roster to some level or another. The more activity at Rock radio the more I get to interact with them - from setting up interviews, taking them to radio stations for promotions and/or acoustic sessions, and updating them on the progress of their records.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to work in promotions at a major label?

I got started in this business as an intern and if your situation would allow for it there is no greater way to show your worth than to, well, literally show what you can do. If you can’t do that then it is simply a matter of being aggressive and creative - two traits that are very necessary in the music biz.

With the evolution of the music industry, do you find your job to be more challenging now than it was in the past?

I love what I do. While it is true that it is harder nowadays with the age of consolidation it is a very exciting and fulfilling job. Radio is still a very effective way to reach people and there are more new and exciting ways to connect through the business and grow our bands as the business evolves. While it is a difficult era right now I find it exciting to be a part of the growth and evolution and it’s an exciting time.

Quick Fire Question Round!

What's your favorite drink/ cocktail? 

I love a good single malt scotch, I love Macallan, Lagavulin and I love Glenmorangie’s Nectar D’Or.  Of course beer and I are very good friends as well, haha.

What's your favorite record at the moment?

Well, the latest Killswitch Engage record (Disarm The Descent) has been a VERY important record to me for quite some time now. I am loving the new Sevendust acoustic album and the Dio tribute album. Roadrunner has some VERY exciting records coming VERY soon though that I am loving some early stuff from.

What item can’t you live without?

After Hurricane Sandy I found that there is very little I can’t live without, but I will play along. As pathetic as it is, I need my iPad. I also need my tunes... I am a “relic” and still use an iPod classic 160GB so I can have tons o’ tunes!

What’s your favorite sport?

Hockey all the way!  

Your favorite team?

Rangers for life!  I am also a football fan and have been a Giants fan forever.

What’s your favorite NYC restaurant or bar?

I love Idle Hands!  Also, I love the Bar and Books cigar bars (both Hudson and Lexington) – great vibe! 

What's your favorite music venue?

That is still around? Machine Shop in Flint, MI.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? 

Mint Chocolate Chip!

What would be your best year(s) ever? 

1995 – the year Type O Negative was certified Gold (my first and Roadrunner’s first, after a 2 year blood, sweat and tears “life-mission”), 2002 – the year I married my best friend and soul mate, 2004 – the year my daughter was born, 2008 – the year my son was born!

Click here to check out Mark Abramson and Phil Freeman on the Roadrunner Podcast and be sure to subscribe to future podcasts featuring exclusive interviews with artists and new music!

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