New York City is one of the most diverse melting pots globally. When it comes to the music industry there’s no difference. New York has been at the forefront of metal since it came over from the UK in the last 70s. Much of the diverse metal scene exploded with the legendary venue L’Amour in Brooklyn starting in the early 80s. It was this metal scene that we saw some of the greatest bands and industry executives rise up from it’s underground metal scene.
Resting within today’s realm of record companies and underground metal venues like St Vitus & Duffs’s in Brooklyn + Three Of Cups rock & roll basement hang in NYC. Rests an independent radio promotion company called Skateboard Marketing Ltd. They have been at the forefront of independent metal radio promotion since August of 1991.
Rising from the ashes of a genre that is constantly evolving and rediscovering itself. Skateboard Marketing Ltd. has been in the scene for 24 years evolving right along with it.
Formed by the former Director National Metal Promotion for PolyGram Records Munsey Ricci. He left a lasting mark by creating the household name in record promotion. In 1989 Ricci created the first metal department for PolyGram Records which was the last of the majors not to have their own in-hose department. Handling an artist roster consisting of Kiss, Mortal Sin, Yngwie Malmsteen, L.A. Guns, The Scorpions, Mother Love Bone and Onslaught. It was the beginning of a long journey which brought the young label executive in his early 20s, up through the ranks of the music industry.
Born and Raised in New York, Munsey cut his teeth on the same metal scene that has become so predominant world wide. It’s this chemistry that has enabled them to dominate at Independent metal radio promotion nationally. The company focus mainly on commercial, college, public, NRR and syndicated stations where metal breaths. They have a formula for artist development getting legendary as well as Independent artist airplay at radio.
While in college at City University Of New York. Munsey spent 4 years as PD & MD for their college radio station WQCC. As well as working part time for CMJ Media, one of the predominant radio trade journals based in New York. In 1987 that experience led to his first label gig for the legendary Combat In-Effect Records based in Hollis, Queens. When asked what was his most memorable moment at Combat, he replied “My supervisor was Pokey the drummer from Leeway. It was one of the best gigs a college sophomore could have”. It taught me an important lesson! Who you know gets you in the door. It’s what you know and how you play your cards that enables you to advance in your career.
In 1991 Skateboard Marketing Ltd. started with him buying the office furniture from Metal Blade Records after closing their New York office. A 2 line phone and then launching in his old bedroom at his parents house. To moving to a second floor apartment for 15 years. Until finally moving Skateboard Marketing into the second floor of a private house with 3 people on staff.
At that time there was fierce competition among all the radio promotion Indies. In 1993 Atlantic Records hired Skateboard Marketing Ltd. to handle Overkill and Savatage. later that year they were put on retainer for Singerman Entertainment to handle Motorhead exclusively for metal radio. Motorhead, Judas Priest & Doro Pesch are the companies 3 longest running artists on their roster. That year also brought Skateboard, Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio, Judas Priest, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins and Pantera. In 1995/1996 they picked up Testament, Iron Maiden & Monster Magnet. But one of the most proud achievements was being awarded his first gold record for L.A. Guns. It was the Cocked & Loaded album in 1989. “It was a milestone in his career”. Being in your early 20s, major label and being awarded a plaque. “It gives you a sense of a job well done”. But working with Kid Rock had to be one of the most memorable and fun artists to work with states Munsey.
In the last 24 years they have grown to one of the leading companies in the genre. Skateboard Marketing Ltd. Maintains a steady roster with label retainers in place. They represent radio in North America for Nuclear Blast USA, Napalm Records, Metalville Records, Singerman Entertainment and Niji Entertainment respectfully.
They also handle select artists on Columbia and Epic Records, Warner Bros and Century Media Records to name a few. Looking at the over all client base of the company it’s quite impressive. One glance at the past roster page at skateboard-marketing.com it’s evident this is a company that earned it’s place within the realm of the heavy metal genre. They have become a mainstay for radio and records at the format.
Today there are close to 400 stations nationally who have some sort of metal programming. It’s essential that in artist development you target where it lives and prospers. With their staff they have maintained a consistent pipeline between radio and records to deliver stations new developing artist as well as legendary established bands. It’s all a piece of the puzzle of radio and records. The record company brings you on to develop and pull chart numbers. In return the band sells records, merch and tickets. As any seasoned pro will tell you, it’s not just picking up the phone and calling radio and records. The big picture is simple, if you do that it won’t happen. You need relationships and have to deliver on them. If you have that and the compassion for the music, scene and artist. Then you can make it happen all day every day. Not everyone is wired for radio promotion. There aren’t any college classes or schools that can teach you the gig. You have to learn on your own and work under someone.
For those that do well the rewards are “you’ll have one of the best gigs in the world”. In 2016 Skateboard Marketing Ltd. will celebrate their 25th anniversary. It’s a milestone for a small independent radio promotion company. As Munsey stated on how he felt he replied “I’ve been graced by people that believed in my ability and gave me the opportunity to prove myself”. I have to thank my family & God. Not to mention Sky Daniels, Johnny Barbis and Tim Hyde for giving me the opportunity in my early 20s. “My gig doesn’t suck!
LENGENDARY PROMOTER - MUNSEY RICCI
1150 Agnes Court, Valley Stream, NY 11580
T: 516-328-1103 | F:516-328-1293