2003-11-xx Andy Factor interview
Andy Factor is the former Vice President of A&R at Virgin Records and co-founder of Everloving Records
, here seen having breakfast with Joseph.
Interview by Emmanuel Rivet © www.swer.net
- November 2003
Andy Factor was born and raised in Los Angeles. A member of the infamous Factor family, (for example in 1923, New York's leading narcotics dealer, joined with Al Capone to finance a massive stock fraud in London. The mastermind was John Factor, AKA "Jake the Barber" and half brother to Hollywood's leading make-up expert, Max Factor.) his parents were prominent west coast art benefactors during the explosive pop art movement of the 60s. While one half of the family pursued the family's tradition of crime, (and to some achievement) Andy followed the more noble family enterprise of arts benefactor. He went to UCLA Extension (Los Angeles) and took a music publishing class from Alan Melina, who quickly found him jobs at "Side One Management" and the publishing company he ran, "Famous Music."
After that, Andy joined Virgin Records (Los Angeles). He started in the mailroom. "I worked about every job there was to have there, he said. I finally made it there as a Vice President of A&R and got to work closely with the likes of Ben Harper, Elliott Smith and Heatmiser, Joseph Arthur, Sam Phillips and T-bone Burnett, Brendan Benson as well as some lesser known but equally talented people." He stayed at Virgin for about 13 years. In 1999, Andy left Virgin, but was retained to oversee the production of Ben's album Live From Mars. The following year he and JP Plunier partnered to record Jack Johnson's album, Brushfire Fairytales, and start Enjoy Records (since renamed Everloving.)
How did you live Ben Harper's success in Europe ?
I always had better luck in France with everything I worked on.
I never knew why. I assumed that the heads of the French company (Emmanuel DeBuretel) just had better taste and skills and that the European audience was more sophisticated. I was mostly glad that there was an income stream so that we could continue our efforts elsewhere.
The first thing your teacher Alan Melina said was : "It doesn't matter what I'm going to teach you. It matters who you meet in this class."...
My career is the sum total of all the relationships I’ve grown over the years. This Christmas Michael Andrews has the #1 song in the UK with “Mad World” from the Donnie Darko score. He was the first guy I ever signed as an A&R guy at Virgin (from a band called The Origin.) JP and I run the label Everloving which released the score. I’ve worked with him every day since I met him. It was the same with Ben and JP. JP and I went into business together right after I left Virgin. We were both interested in Jack Johnson, which segued into the formation of Enjoy Records (everloving). We are preparing to release an album by Wan Santo Condo which Ben introduced us all to years ago. Joseph Arthur opened for Ben because I was working with Joe
Why did you leave Virgin ?
That request came from my newly appointed boss. I was defensive about Joseph Arthur, who was at risk of the wrong influences.
The company had given Elliott Smith’s contract (Heatmiser’s leaving member clause) to Dreamworks and I was denied new signings like Jack Johnson.
(You can read the complete interview here
). It's quite interesting, if you have any interest in the machinations of the music biz.
On the Everloving
web site you can also listen to Joseph's 'In The Night'