Whether they perform or create, all artists aspire to make it big. This summer, Ian Rothenberg ’16, a communication major, is experiencing the behind-the-scenes interactions between musicians, producers and record labels while interning at Sacred Bones Records and Terrorbird Media. He is working in Brooklyn with support from the George & Martha Darcy Internship Support Fund.
Rothenberg found the internships through friend Dan Knishkowy ’12, who is currently working in the music industry. “There’s a great overlap at both internships between my passion for alternative and independent music and my academic interests in the field of communication,” Rothenberg noted.
He is enjoying working in an environment “where everyone is similarly interested in music,” and has a hard time believing it’s his job “to listen to and write about great new records and bands.”
At Sacred Bones Records, Rothenberg creates promotional content, such as artist biographies, for the website, and assists in “assembling vinyl sleeves, collating book pages for upcoming releases, and packaging and shipping merchandise ordered online.”
At Terrorbird Media, Rothenberg works in the radio promotions department, “sending new CD's to radio stations, compiling press updates for clients, and writing content for emails promoting new albums and contests.” He is also fortunate enough “to preview and write short reviews on upcoming albums, and to suggest tracks to interested radio stations.”
Although neither Sacred Bones Records nor Terrorbird Media can offer all the same opportunities as larger companies, their artists are given something else. Describing independent bands and record labels, Rothenberg said, “a lot of the bands that are signed to Sacred Bones Records and bands that are Terrorbird clients chose not to sign record deals with the major labels, sacrificing some of the major labels’ resources but maintaining their artistic integrity and control of their own musical direction.”
While many might not understand this decision, Rothenberg affirmed that “an album’s financial success or wide audience accessibility isn't the only measuring stick for its impact or effectiveness.”
Although he has not yet decided the precise avenue he would like to pursue after graduating, Rothenberg said, “hopefully I'll get to continue writing my own music while working in publicity, communications or journalism in the music and entertainment industry.”
Ian Rothenberg is a graduate of William H. Hall High School (Conn.).