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Jul 1, 2010

Chris Vranian - Artist Intersect

Meet Chris Vranian – smart, savvy, business entrepreneur who is always one-step ahead of the game. In 2000 Chris founded the Rock and Roll Gallery - the first virtual rock and roll art gallery on the web. Now, in an age where digital media is king, Chris is giving the indie artist a chance to get ahead. Realizing that the digital revolution is changing business models in the entertainment industry Chris started Artist Intersect. The goal of Artist Intersect is to assist the DIY artist in taking their musical career to the next level by offering all their business solutions in one place; thus, allowing them to take control and manage their career. Truth be told, the digital era has revolutionized the way people listen to and access music. If you’re an indie artist looking to get ahead you can’t afford to not check out what Artist Intersect has to offer.



How did the concept for the Rock and Roll Gallery come about?

I used to practically live at the Whiskey Bar, at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, in the 90's, and they had all these Jim Marshall iconic prints on the wall. I would hear the patrons ask the staff where they could get one and no one knew. So, I started thinking that with all my connections I could create a place where you could go online and find several different photographers on one central site. This was 10 years ago and there was nothing like on the web.

What makes the site so unique?

At the time it was a first and now I have some cool exclusives.

How often do the current photographers update their selections on the site’s gallery?

We have a concept of having the best of the best and did major editing in the beginning, so we really only update if the photographer discovers some lost classic images that we may have missed originally. We focus on classic rock images and most of what we put up is the "money shots," so it more like shopping from the ultimate coffee table book.

If someone is looking for a specific print would you seek it out as a special request?

We do try and succeed if it is from a photographer that I represent.

You also have another project called Artist Intersect. Can you tell me about the concept behind it?

This is my new baby! As most people are aware of the music industry is in a transition, and the power now belongs to the artist. We are creating a platform for the artist/bands to be able to take care all of their business of music in one place and completely manage their online presence in a more professional manner. The artists now have to be a small business owner and with our streamlined digital tools they can do this efficiently, so they can put more focus on what they do best....music!

Who else is involved with the project?

My business partner Branislav Gjorcevski (Banne) is my co founder and CTO - that is where the technology expertise comes in. He and his team are absolutely brilliant!! We have assembled an all-star advisory board that includes Joe Elliott from Def Leppard and Joe Bonamassa, who basically wrote the book for the "Do It Yourself" movement in music. We also have Phil Soussan, who has played with too many artists to list here and is on the board of Governors for the Grammy's, and Chris Squire from Yes. That is just some of the musicians we have so far. There are more to come. Then we have the business side of the advisory board, which consists of the legendary Jerry Greenberg who was President of Atlantic Records back when they were the biggest record label in the world. Jerry signed Genesis, Abba, ACDC....he also was instrumental in guiding the careers of Led Zeppelin, the Stones, and Michael Jackson to name a few. We have Bruce Kirkland, who ran Capitol Records in the 90's and was responsible for The Beatles Anthology project for starters. Bruce is now the music consultant for Target in the US and Tesco in Europe and is president of Tsunami Entertainment here in Los Angeles. We have Steve Miles, who is one of the most respected veterans in the music merchandise world. Steve's company, Brothers Merchandise, works with Britney Spears and Bon Jovi and Steve has worked with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Motorhead, The Allman Brothers, and just about anyone you can name. I could go on all day about what our growing team has accomplished but I don't like to brag. All I will say is that Artist Intersect is proud to have this Board.

How would a musician or band benefit from this service?

This is simple. The artist or band is now forced to do something unnatural to them and this is to become a small business owner. This is daunting and there is a lot of confusion on the web about which way to go. They all have profile pages but what we are offering is a more consolidated, professional, and coherent way of managing their online business. We are developing a systematic way for the artist to handle their day to day music business needs and be able to grow their fan base, do ecommerce, organize their tour schedules and accounting and have it all done from one central place - their official website.

What advice can you give to a musician/band that is just starting out and/or to someone that wants to start their own web based business?

You better be good and have a real purpose because if you don't in today’s world you won't survive.

You also had a hand in the revival of the Led Zeppelin vintage tees. Can you share the story?

Back in 1991 when Jimmy Page had Bravado doing their merchandise the owners of Bravado came to me because I have one of the more extensive Led Zeppelin collections in the world. I consulted them and loaned them my original concert tees to knock off. The first one I got to put out was the "1977 US tour" shirt and that is still the best selling Zeppelin shirt in history. I see them everywhere and just laugh knowing that they all came from my old shirt.

That’s awesome! I heard you have a pretty impressive collection of vintage concert t-shirts, which one is the rarest?

Probably my Led Zeppelin 1973 "Showco" shirt.

What else do you collect?

Memories now ...HA!!

When you were growing up in Virginia did you ever think you’d be where you are at today? 

I didn't think like that back then. I just knew that I would always get what I wanted in this life and that is was up to me to make it happen...so far so good...stay tuned!

To learn more about Artist Intersect visit http://www.artistintersect.com
To check out the Rock and Roll Gallery’s impressive photo collection go to www.rockandrollgallery.com/

Interview by Nikki Neil, Photo Courtesy of Artist Intersect

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