DW Norton is the guitarist, major songwriter and founding member of Australian Nu Metal band Superheist.
Formed back in 1993, Superheist went through many incarnations from extreme death metal, before finally finding commercial success in the late 90’s/early 2000’s with the Nu Metal sound many fans recognise today. DW is also an accomplish audio engineer and producer who has worked with many successful pioneering Australian metal bands like Damaged, Destroyer 666, and my band Alchemist to name a few.
After a thirteen year hiatus Superheist are back with a new album, new vocalist and new tour.
If you haven’t heard of Superheist go and check them out below. They really were a great band in my opinion.
Now Superheist are a very interesting music business case study and I often talk about them in music business lectures. Particularly when I’m discussing image, which is obviously very important component of the successful musician equation, and song writing, which of course is the most important element of success formula.
You see, Superheist were a small Aussie metal act that used to support my band Alchemist back in the day- and I remember when Ritchie (DW) told me that they were essentially going to completely change everything that they had done up until that particular point, and that they were going to essentially sell out (or ‘buy in’ as Ritchie states).
The band had realised that there was not enough money in death metal in Australia at the time, and that they we’re going to write a record based on what was happening on the radio at the time. And if my memory serves me that was Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, Silverchair and Rage Against The Machine were the “creative brief”.
I can remember thinking at the time- these guys are crazy- that’ll never work- they’re a death metal act!
Well guess what- It did work! The risk paid off. Yes, they did lose a core majority of the fans that they had at the time but they replaced those fans tenfold with new, more commercial radio fans. They signed a good (for the time) recording and publishing deal and after the release of their new record, seemingly overnight, they were on high rotation on Triple J, Channel V, getting all the international supports like Fear Factory, and Sepultura, and playing Big Day Out, programming Rage, and selling out venues. I was amazed! Then it was my band trying to support them.
So it’s a pretty cool story and I wanted to dig in and try and find out exactly what was true and what was myth.
So in this conversation we discuss numerous music business related topics including copyright ownership, line up changes, record deals, music publishing, and the huge mistakes that Superheist made.
Anyhow, I hope you enjoy my interview with DW, Dick Willie, Big Duds Norton- the main man from Superheist! Enjoy!!
Well, there you go people! I hope you like my chat with DW. As I mentioned, he’s been a good mate of mine for many years, and even recorded my band a few times. So it’s great to see him back on the live circuit with a new record, and it’s going to be really interesting to see if any of those old fans come out of the woodwork to support him, and I suppose see if they can attract any new followers all these years later.
Anyhow, if you’re interested in catching Superheist live you can check out the tour dates at Bands In Town (http://www.bandsintown.com/Superheist)
And by the way- If you’d like to look into any of my music business courses, an awesome one I’d recommend this week is the one I’m just completeing with Opeth and Devin Townsend’s manager Andy Farrow. Andy is a supremely smart music business man and if you’d like to look at his course head to www.howtomanagebands.com
Until the next episode of the show I’ll leave you with this quote of the day. As it was the legendary Frank Sinatra who stated-
The best revenge is massive success.
Think long and hard about that when ever anyone asks you why you bother or tells you you’ll never make it.
Ok take care people. This is Rodney Holder signing off for MusicBusinessFacts.com