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Interview with Kurt Seidnitzer

Written by on June 28, 2018

Interview with Kurt Seidnitzer, Atticus Indepandance/Area 51 record label executive.

Kurt Seidnitzer, is a former Sanctuary Records music executive.  Until June 2007, Sanctuary Records was the largest independent record label in the UK and the largest independent music management company in the world. It was also the world’s largest independent owners of music intellectual property rights, with over 160,000 songs, whose artists ranged from Black Sabbath, Helloween, to Pet Shop Boys. Kurt Seidnitzer sat down with Rich FMX in his airy offices to talk A.I., madness, and the dark side of the music industry.


You graduated from Higher Technical Education Institute and began your career as an record executive at Echo Records (Echo-Zyx) and later TIME Productions and Sanctuary Records. Over the years, you had many hits. Where did the confidence in your hit instincts come from?

Kurt Seidnitzer: We were the distributor of many international labels. We tried very hard to not to be the number one in the charts all the time.

You have criticized the media’s intense speculation surrounding your exit from Sanctuary Records as “insane”. Do you feel any sympathy for people when they make similar claims?

Kurt Seidnitzer: Today’s media are mostly on sensations, so my answer is yes.

How healthy is the music industry?

Kurt Seidnitzer: The music industry does not feel very healthy for quite some time. Right now the feeling is that lot of music out there is simply not good. There are periods when I can’t listen to it and right now I don´t like the kind of things I’m hearing.

What factors? What are your views?

Kurt Seidnitzer: It’s almost impossible to say. There are a lot of young good artists, a lot of young DJs out there, but it’s not the label that is making the music. Aside from the fragmented nature of the music industry, probably the biggest barrier is the fact that the industry is generally uncomfortable with technology discussions. Nevertheless, we believe that the future of music will be created through the collaboration between artificial intelligence and humans.

You’ve been in the music business since 1981. What’s important in the music business today?

Kurt Seidnitzer: If you don’t have a real hit track, try going on (DJ) tour profitably.

You had the opportunity to work with some of the top artists like De La Soul, Technotronic, Megadeth, Anthrax, Motörhead etc. What was it like to work in old days with Technotronic?

Kurt Seidnitzer: Being an artist means you’re not easy. You are an original. Being a great artist means you’re different, but Technotronic was not complicated.

What about Rain Man? Does he ever allow the label to participate in the recording of his tracks?

Kurt Seidnitzer: Rain Man? We’ve been at Rain Man’s sessions, but wouldn’t it be ridiculous for the label to try to tell Rain Man how to make a track?

Do you still talk to Rain Man on a daily basis?

Kurt Seidnitzer: We still talk a lot. We’re also friends.

Is there a backstory on why then the label boss decided to use the name “Area 51 Records“ for label?

Kurt Seidnitzer: I don´t know, I can only guess that he had some close encounters of the third kind, and that inspired him.

How big is the Area 51 Records crew?

Kurt Seidnitzer: Can you keep a secret? We Are Legion. No, seriously, we are a small conspiratorial group of music people with external co-workers.

What happend to your festival plans?

Kurt Seidnitzer:  We had the idea to start the festival in Croatia, but after the possible Croatian partner turned out to be a big circumventor, we stopped everything in this context. And after a short time later, our closest friend and partner unexpectedly died (in Ibiza), we stopped all our Ibiza promotion / festival plans for this year too, but we will re-start our plans again only when the time of mourning is over.

Mr. Seidnitzer, thank you for this interview.

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