Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Morgan McRae’s plan for Headphone and Foxhole Studios

“You can put out a single or three or ten,”

Photographer to Headphone: “Try to look pensive.”
Photographer to Headphone: “Try to look pensive.”

Many musicians seem to stumble into their profession. Morgan McRae was not one of these. He had a plan from the start. While attending St. Louis University he studied piano and business management. He is utilizing both at the moment by serving as the keyboard player for Headphone and co-owning (with bassist Darren Goldberg) Foxhole Studios. He is attempting to make a living in the music industry, even though the college he attended didn’t have a firm grasp as to how that is accomplished.

“I noticed they weren’t teaching any business sense to any of my music school cohorts,” McRae explained. “You learned about music, but you didn’t get any tools to make money off of it. It’s confusing anyway, which is why I think they don’t teach it. That’s why they’re professors at music schools. That’s how they make their money.”

He continued through laughter, “I asked a music professor once, ‘How do I make money in all this?’ and his response was to laugh at me.”

McRae is part of a savvy collection of younger musicians that seem to slowly be figuring out sustained existence in a turbulent industry. Headphone is a trio that tours in a car. They have a stripped-down set-up that makes it work. Most bands with guitars, drums, and amps need a van to transport the entire showcase across the country. McRae and his bandmates have tweaked that system. Instead of waiting to tour nationally or losing money by using a van which would hemorrhage money, they just plug in instruments direct and cap the band at three members.

McRae and Goldberg employ the same logic with Foxhole Studios. They passed on a stand-alone physical space for the studio to instead work as a sort of travelling production service that utilizes other studios when they are contracted by bands. They have a workspace in Goldberg’s house from which they can produce music as well.

“I think it’s a really good time for music, and I think all of this confusion in the industry is going to start making more sense — if you’re smart about it. I feel like we have all weathered a storm. The legalities of streaming and royalties. The desire to get offline and go be romantic and be in a room with a band playing out of amps. I think that’s coming right back,” McRae said.

On the local front, Headphone has spearheaded an indie-rock showcase (Indie In OB) at Winstons in Ocean Beach. The thinking was that there are many fans of the genre in the neighborhood, but not much live representation of it.

“I have a lot of friends [in Ocean Beach] and when I go to their houses and we’re all partying they’re playing indie music. We were just like, ‘Let’s curate a night,’ and we fucking packed that place. It was packed! The Winstons staff, the owner, they’re all stoked. We already have a date for the next one. It’s twice now that it’s worked. It’s just been a hopping night. I think it’s so cool,” McRae said.

Indie in OB #3 will be going down on November 9. Between now and then, expect some more singles with videos from Headphone, but not a full-length album.

Video:

Exclusive Reader preview "Ready Steady Run" by Headphone

"Ready Steady Run" is the latest single from San Diego indie rock band Headphone

"Ready Steady Run" is the latest single from San Diego indie rock band Headphone

“From now on, there’s videos coming out every two to three months from us. We just want to have enough out ahead of us that we’re not rushed.... I think the album is not dead, but the video and a single can have the same impact. We could write a series of three songs and put those out. There’s no need for a certain amount of structure anymore because of the way music is distributed. iTunes is dead. There’s not even downloads anymore. It’s going total streaming. You can put out a single or three or ten.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nature joins antifa, burns large swaths of California in protest

Fiery and Not at All Peaceful
Photographer to Headphone: “Try to look pensive.”
Photographer to Headphone: “Try to look pensive.”

Many musicians seem to stumble into their profession. Morgan McRae was not one of these. He had a plan from the start. While attending St. Louis University he studied piano and business management. He is utilizing both at the moment by serving as the keyboard player for Headphone and co-owning (with bassist Darren Goldberg) Foxhole Studios. He is attempting to make a living in the music industry, even though the college he attended didn’t have a firm grasp as to how that is accomplished.

“I noticed they weren’t teaching any business sense to any of my music school cohorts,” McRae explained. “You learned about music, but you didn’t get any tools to make money off of it. It’s confusing anyway, which is why I think they don’t teach it. That’s why they’re professors at music schools. That’s how they make their money.”

He continued through laughter, “I asked a music professor once, ‘How do I make money in all this?’ and his response was to laugh at me.”

McRae is part of a savvy collection of younger musicians that seem to slowly be figuring out sustained existence in a turbulent industry. Headphone is a trio that tours in a car. They have a stripped-down set-up that makes it work. Most bands with guitars, drums, and amps need a van to transport the entire showcase across the country. McRae and his bandmates have tweaked that system. Instead of waiting to tour nationally or losing money by using a van which would hemorrhage money, they just plug in instruments direct and cap the band at three members.

McRae and Goldberg employ the same logic with Foxhole Studios. They passed on a stand-alone physical space for the studio to instead work as a sort of travelling production service that utilizes other studios when they are contracted by bands. They have a workspace in Goldberg’s house from which they can produce music as well.

“I think it’s a really good time for music, and I think all of this confusion in the industry is going to start making more sense — if you’re smart about it. I feel like we have all weathered a storm. The legalities of streaming and royalties. The desire to get offline and go be romantic and be in a room with a band playing out of amps. I think that’s coming right back,” McRae said.

On the local front, Headphone has spearheaded an indie-rock showcase (Indie In OB) at Winstons in Ocean Beach. The thinking was that there are many fans of the genre in the neighborhood, but not much live representation of it.

“I have a lot of friends [in Ocean Beach] and when I go to their houses and we’re all partying they’re playing indie music. We were just like, ‘Let’s curate a night,’ and we fucking packed that place. It was packed! The Winstons staff, the owner, they’re all stoked. We already have a date for the next one. It’s twice now that it’s worked. It’s just been a hopping night. I think it’s so cool,” McRae said.

Indie in OB #3 will be going down on November 9. Between now and then, expect some more singles with videos from Headphone, but not a full-length album.

Video:

Exclusive Reader preview "Ready Steady Run" by Headphone

"Ready Steady Run" is the latest single from San Diego indie rock band Headphone

"Ready Steady Run" is the latest single from San Diego indie rock band Headphone

“From now on, there’s videos coming out every two to three months from us. We just want to have enough out ahead of us that we’re not rushed.... I think the album is not dead, but the video and a single can have the same impact. We could write a series of three songs and put those out. There’s no need for a certain amount of structure anymore because of the way music is distributed. iTunes is dead. There’s not even downloads anymore. It’s going total streaming. You can put out a single or three or ten.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Fall equinox, smoggiest days, Chinese flame trees, Saturn and Jupiter near moon

Natural San Diego, September 21-28
Next Article

Floating Outdoor Cinema on the Bay, Toy Piano Festival

Events September 27-September 30, 2020
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close