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MusicI’m Mike Darlington, Co-Founder of Monstercat, an Indie Label whose artists have been streamed over 5 Billion times. AMA

Jan 11th 2018 by mikedarlington • 24 Questions • 1971 Points

Hi Reddit! Brian Volk-Weiss here to chat about The Toys That Made Us, and much more.

I am an avid toy collector but also run the entertainment company, Nacelle Company which owns and operates the company Comedy Dynamics.

The Toys That Made Us premiered on Netflix on December 22nd. Netflix gets on the nostalgia-train with this eight-part series focused on iconic 1980s toys, including Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Barbie, He-Man, Star Trek, Hello Kitty, and Lego. The documentary includes interviews with some of the most important people involved with making the icon toys that we all know and love.

The second part of the series will premiere this Spring. Watch the first four parts on Netflix here.

And you can learn more about the series here.

Read more about me and how the show was created: Brian Volk-Weiss's Mount Rushmore of Toys.

Proof

Proof

Proof

So, Ask Me Anything!

Thnak you for all your questions!! Was a lot of fun!!

Q:

Do you have a genre you'd like to see more of in 2018?

A:

Your mom was perfect as Bonnie. Did you have to coach her on how to deliver the lines or did she just intuitively understand the character?


Q:

I know a guy that works there I'll ask him.

A:

What was up with that thing in the background of the interview on the Barbie episode? You know the one.


Q:

More traditional prog house and further crossover between indie and electronic music

A:

I don't think we ever gave my mom any direction, my sense of humor comes from her so we had an Elliot/ET thing going on all throughout GAYLE


Q:

Yes! Let me know

A:

:) It's a piece of art work Jill had in her office when we shot her interview.


Q:

What was the decision behind the brand split? Wouldn't that split the fanbase and possibly see a cut in profits?

What genres can see see with each brand?

A:

Hi Chris, in love with your whole Gayle concept. It’s absolutely hilarious. My favorite one is “mall kids.” Will you be doing more Gayle in the future? Also, where did your inspiration for Gayle’s character come from?


Q:

Hi! Do you have any plans to cover Japanese kaiju / monster toys?

A:

I found that there were disconnects occurring between the type of music we were inspired by, the clothes we wore and the shows we went to. It just didn't seem cohesive enough and I knew our artists would feel the same way. This change allows everyone to have more flexibility and a home that aligns best with their visions.

Yes we could see short term profit loss but long term potential. Both projects should grow simultaneously and offer new values for different people who we may not have reached before.

It's not so much about genres but feelings and vibes.


Q:

mall couples is my fav too! thank you I believe we will return! I'm exploring other things right now. I got too consumed by that as did my family and friends. Everyone wanted me to do something else but we're all starting to miss it a little...we'll see

A:

If we get more episodes ordered then there is a very good chance we do that. we went to japane for our transfomers and hello kitty epsiodes and would love to go back!


Q:

What are the most important do's and dont's when sending a demo? What is the best way to stand out/get recognised by a label (besides ofc producing quality tunes)

A:

How should I punish my family for disrespecting my beach towels?


Q:

Is there any talk of an episode about the retailers - specifically, Toys R Us which was a mega giant in the 1980s? I would LOVE to see footage of toy aisles from that era.

A:
  • Do have your project ready to go, visual brand in place, a vision for your own music etc. Have all your social accounts up and running, clean and a social voice. Do use common sense, is your music ready?
  • Don't send an unmastered demo or an unfinished demo. Don't start every line "Supported by x" we don't care.

Produce quality tunes, network with other producers/blog owners etc. People share their favourite tunes/artists in group chats etc all the time


Q:

Making them drive around with a ham flag on their Kia sends a loud and clear message

A:

We would LOVE to do an epsiode about the retailers, and how much the market chnaged from the 50s to the 90s, then how Amazon chajnged everything again.


Q:

also, best monstercat collaboration that i didn't expect to see on the label was last year, Bassnectar and Dirtyphonics with Ragga Twinz. Blew me away. What a wow to get it on the label.

A:

Your car rants are beyond amazing, but besides your masterful quick edits, do you write everything out beforehand, or is there an element of ad-lib?

Also, do you plan on working with more outside musicians after the success of showpig? (asking for a friend....me)


Q:

Omg. Please.

A:

Anything is possible!


Q:

Thank you! There's a script but I'd spend a long ass time in my car usually parked outside someone's home trying to get the Adventure Dad lines just right and whatnot, lot of making stuff up in a hot car and having people tap on my window asking if 'everything's cool'

A:

We would LOVE to do an epsiode about the retailers, and how much the market chnaged from the 50s to the 90s, then how Amazon chajnged everything again.


Q:

Does anyone ever recognize you in public? Do you ever hear anyone go, "Hey, that's the guy that founded Monstercat!"?

A:

Is everything cool?


Q:

I choose this one.

A:

Happens occasionally at conferences/festivals. Some kids were following me around Pax last year and I could hear all of their conversations. Was funny


A:

We would LOVE to do an epsiode about the retailers, and how much the market chnaged from the 50s to the 90s, then how Amazon chajnged everything again.


Q:

How would you hide a giraffe?

A:

"I'm Afraid to Talk to Men" led to one of the most sincerely revealing chats that I (a cis gal) have ever had with my (cis male & pretty masc) husband, wherein I learned that he is also, similarly, afraid to talk to men. As am I. My question: do you think that, deep down, everybody is afraid to talk to men?


Q:

I choose this one.

A:

On a boat.


Q:

I dunno but I sure am!

A:

We would LOVE to do an epsiode about the retailers, and how much the market chnaged from the 50s to the 90s, then how Amazon chajnged everything again.


Q:

It wouldn't be hidden though, people could see it

A:

I grew up in Acton MA and LOVE the accuracy of your depiction of the neurotic suburban Massachusetts house mother.

I have been scrutinizing all your GAYLE videos to figure out which town you're from.. WHAT IS NORTHBREAD IN REAL LIFE?!


Q:

Seriously. All those he man creators and we can’t find out the truth behind Wonder Bread? Someone knows

A:

Gotta find the boat first, ocean is big


Q:

Northbread is right above Southbread, and southeast of Groton/Dunstable

A:

We looked into it EXTENSIVELY and could not find anything or any one to support the theory. this topic alone could get its own episode. but you can rest assured that we put a LOT of time an energy into this question and came up w nothing. we spoke w wonder bread as well.


Q:

What happened to artist merch? It isn’t on the store anymore. Is it coming back? I really wanted that Tokyo Machine hat.

A:

Chris, what's the point of slithering slow so you won't wake if you're just going to shout your sexual orientation later?


Q:

Any chance for a Real Ghostbusters episode??

A:

Gone for now. We need to re-think our artist merch strategy. Our Monstercat Uncaged line out-performs the artist merch 10x. We have a small merch team and need to pick where our time is spent.


Q:

I think in hindsight it's poor planning by someone who's just barely holding on

A:

Absolutely a chnace if we get more seasons green lit!


Q:

Why is Tommy West from SiriusXM your favorite radio personality of all time?

A:

Yo Chris! Used to go to your highschool, although I'm a number of years below you. My friends and I were always obsessed with your old sketches like Tag, the weird bird one, Dayquil/Nyquil and my personal favorite, Old Man Stillborn. My question is: 1. How did you come up with the name "Old Man Stillborn" 2. Will we ever see this incredible yam man's return? Has he been in Shaws all these years?


Q:

Any chance for one on kenners alien/predator line?

A:

HI TOMMY! Because there is no better guy get a beer with and talk about literally anything with! Hoping to see you soon man :)


Q:

Oh hell ya!! Old Man Stillborn was based on a man I saw in a Greyhound station in Albany. I saw the oldest woman I've ever seen in my life, then I panned over a little and saw her dad... Old Man Stillborn will ride again

A:

If we get a big order for more epsiodes we would absolutely look at toys like this that have a unique story that's worth telling, despite not being iconic lines. lot of fans of those toys here!


Q:

Hi. The past year has been nuts.

1.Could there be an EP released in both on Instinct and Uncaged? For example Sight of your Soul to be on Instinct and the rest of the Vantablack EP on Uncaged? Same for remix EPs.

2.Do we still get remixes and free releases on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday?

  1. Any chance to visit Eastern Europe this year?

  2. Any Pegboard Nerds EP in the near future? And does Troll get released soon?

A:

Hi Chris! My boyfriend and I saw you in Columbus and he used a picture we got with you after your show (complete with your can of La Croix) as his “most fun memory” when we celebrated our one-year.

Are you still afraid to talk to men? And do you still hold a beer with two hands?


Q:

Hello! Great show :)

Any plans on making an episode about TMNT?

Abrazo desde Mexico 🇲🇽:)

A:
  1. Yep, it's just a home to post the music. The label is still Monstercat
  2. Still deciding what we want to do with free releases/remixes. 2.1 Potentially. I'd love to do more touring in europe but it's been a bit more challenging than NA/Asia etc 2.2 There will ALWAYS be more Pegboard Nerds. They produce a crazy good amount of music

Q:

Oh man that night I chugged so many La Croixs I became an influencer, I had to get my stomach pumped. My top button started buttoning itself. And yes, less so, every time I release one of those things I feel slightly better about the problem. Like now I have no qualms about people shrieking Baby Got Back and lighting fires doing so on dance floors

A:

Thank you!!! We absolutely will do TMNT and MLP if we get a second season!


Q:

How did the name "Monstercat" came about?

A:

thoughts on Sufjan Stevens?


Q:

Omg! Can’t wait!

The he-man episode is AWESOME.

Congrats again!

A:

A friends old Video game alias was Monstercatx. It was either Monstercat or Velocilobster at one point


Q:

I just saw him actually in the greenroom at Thalia Hall in Chicago, he was riding around on a pekignese crying about how soft the shirts are at the GAP

A:

Thx you!


Q:

Have you ever picked any artists up in an inconventional way? If so, what's your favourite "recruitment" you've done?

A:

But, seriously - how was the Yanni concert? Can you tell us more details about how it went?


Q:

What was your favorite toy to shoot?

A:

Puppet wrote a really powerful/real Facebook direct message which I normally would have ignored so much text. Something caught my eye and we started talking.

I don't select the music anymore so please don't hit my inbox haha


Q:

I got kicked out! It was soooo hard to get over the barrier that close to the stage. After I rushed the stage, the security guard said to me "Ok honey, you gotta go."

A:

Didn't have a fave because it was all amazing but some star wars things we saw were amazing!


Q:

Hey Mike, I've been following the label for the best part of half a decade now. As you know (and obviously had a part in doing) the scene has changed drastically for artists and labels alike.

My question is; what do you personally see for both Monstercat and the industry as a whole in the next five years?

A:

I told my coworker Topher how you were my favorite comedian and explained the Gayle bit and tried to summarize your style. He recommended I check out Jim Gaffigan "if I'm into that sort of thing"

Please advise?


Q:

What kind of toys do you collect?

A:

One of the great things about the music industry is that the only constant is change. The way we approach and view things now is vastly different of that even 5 years ago. I believe keeping our sights forward rather than clinging onto the status quo of 'now' has been a major difference maker for getting Monstercat to where it is today. For Monstercat, I am excited about the immense growth in our licensing and gaming departments on top of course our music and merch. I truly believe that our versatile company structure will allow as not not only adapt to whatever the future brings, but thrive in more sectors that simply in traditional music industry standards


Q:

oh dear

A:

Star wars is in first place, and then a close second is tied for gijoe and transfomers...and of course LEGO!


Q:

Hi Mike, I have been a huge supporter since 007 and I have always wondered how the process of getting a song on Monstercat worked.

I knew it was somewhat complicated but now that the family is huge as ever, my question(s) is this:

How do you pick a song to publish? E.I. What makes you choose to upload a Wrld song on a Monday then a Muzzy ep on Friday? Is there some sorting that helps picks this process or is there just a huge collab with the MC crew working with the artists to get them to publish a song on a specific day? Lastly, I can guess how many submissions you get to publish a song but if one were to get through, how long on average would it take to be published?

Thank you for everything you’ve done and here’s to more successes in the future.

A:

Im a peace corps volunteer and Gayle literally is the highlight of my day. I feel like I'm with my mom. I literally fall on the floor laughing so thank you. So many questions: what was your exposure to B girls and do you drink coffee, if not, what do you drink the AM?


Q:

[deleted]

A:
  • Jon "Going Quantum" schedules all releases. Artists, managers and our team schedule releases based on marketing plans and rollout strategies. Some artists prefer certain days over others especially if Spotify playlisting is a major goal for their release.

Usually a few months at least from acceptance to release. There are deviations to that of course


Q:

I've never had coffee actually, so I usually drink apple cider...I live off a hummingbird diet because my taste buds never evolved

A:

It did! We are in post production on it and it comes out in about 4 months!


Q:

You're an entrepreneur - tell me if there were moments you thought you should quit? what were those moments. why did you persist?

A:

How do you get over the fear of bombing while doing standup?


Q:

If the show continues on for more season ( crossing my fingers!) will you all be looking at smaller toy franchises like say “sectaurs, or Silverhawks? Or is the plane to stick with longer running more popular brands?

A:

We've been very fortunate to be cash positive and without investors since day 1. However, theres been some personal struggles and relationship struggles that definitely took a toll on my mental health. I don't think there's ever been days where I wanted to quit but I've definitely had the "if I sold the company I could move on" thoughts. Fortunately those are few and far between and I'm now more inspired than ever.

Persist because it's as much a part of me as my own life is. Monstercat drives me to be better


Q:

By bombing a lot! And I dry heave before every show

A:

It all depnds on how many seasons we get...if we get a big order then we would absolutely look into the less iconic toy lines, as long as the stories and people behind those lines are interesting.


Q:

Hi Mike, Marisa here! Wrote the behind-the-scenes interview on Monstercat's big changes: (http://tcat.tc/2DffMjE)

I love the re-branding! I'm curious - how will you handle artists that want to be a big part of both brands? Will they be cross-promoted? Featured at both Instinct and Uncaged events?

A:

Chris, I’m in the middle of finals and I don’t want to type anything anymore. What do you do when you need a boost?


Q:

Ever think of doing a show on Charan/ToyBiz and all of the great Marvel action figures they produced in the 90's?

A:

Hey!! Stoked to have artists be on both as it really does showcase the flexibility we have as a label. At the end of the day, it's all Monstercat. If these artists want to play a mellow day party, Instinct is the home or if they want to turn up, Uncaged. They can now do both!


Q:

VEGAN DONUTS 3 pm most days, I suddenly realize if I don't get donuts my whole being will unravel and I will be one of those worm succulents Ursula the Sea Witch keeps in her seaweed soul garden

A:

If we get a second season we will very very likley do something on super heroes, which of course would include marvel action figs.


Q:

Been a fan of Monstercat for 3 years now!! I listen every day.

What’s the biggest mistake you think you or your label have made and what did you learn from it?

A:

What's your favorite place to eat in the greater Boston area?


Q:

Hey Brian! Absolutely loved the show. As an aspiring toy inventer myself, this series was a huge inspiration for me. Spring can't come soon enough. Fingers crossed for season 2 as well. I'd like to learn more about the toy industry in general. Could you suggest some websites or books / reading material about the toy industry?Thanks.

A:

Biggest mistake was taking so long to realize that we don't have to do absolutely everything on our own. I didn't trust people early enough and it definitely slowed our growth


Q:

Veggie Galaxy, where everyone's poly!

A:

Thanks! DM us on face book and we can send you a list of the books we read to help make the show! and good luck w your invetions!


Q:

2 questions, what is/was the hardest part of starting the label and making it successful? And have you overcome it or is it a struggle each day? Also have you thought of making a split channel for artists to do tutorials for music production or audio mastering?

A:

Hey Chris! I was blessed enough to see your show last month, and it was amazing. My friends and I have watched you religiously for years now. My question for you is, when did you know you wanted to be a comedian?


Q:

First of all, I loved the show, completely. The Masters of the Universe episode really took me back to my childhood. Just such a wonderful piece of nostalgia.

My question is --- What happened to all of the action figures you shot for your B-roll? Were they from a personal collection or were they purchased for the show? Who on the staff got to keep them?

A:
  • Hardest part but also most fun part was we knew nothing about running a label or even starting a YouTube channel. We overcame with ignorance and work ethic. We learned and its still a struggle.

  • We've toyed around with the idea of a Monstercat: Academy to provide tutorials, samples etc. Would be a crazy big project that we just can't take on right now


Q:

Thank yoouuu when I saw the show Mork and Mindy when I was very very young! I started signing my papers in Kindergarten 'Chris the Comedian' even though I was too shy to speak to anybody let alone do prat falls

A:

About a quarter of the toys in the show are from my personal collection, and the rest are from the collections of other people who were kind enough to let us shoot them. And thx for your kind words!


Q:

Hello mike <3 You did a poll on twitter a while back asking wether people preferred the hard hitting, melodic or experimental music on Monstercat, then this year you unveiled the beginning of the two Uncaged and Instinct channels, respectively for hard hitting and melodic music. Many people believed you were doing a third channel as well for experimental music, to follow the pattern from the twitter poll. Did or do you you have any plans or thoughts about doing a third channel for experimental music? Why or why not?

Also, when the fuck are you gonna get your ass to Scandinavia?

A:

If you were to do a Gayle spinoff series, who would be the main character of said spinoff? Is it Bonnie, because she can now text? Would it be the SAT tutor? Dr. Bruce?


Q:

If you could only keep one toy, which one would it be?

A:

Considered it, decided that experimental music can exist on Uncaged and Instinct. Doesn't need its own brand. I want to vacation in Scandinavia! Especially Norway, Denmark


Q:

Rick Gausmann 100%

A:

It would have to be my die cast millenium falcon that i've had since i was about 3 years old...it's the first piece of my collection and it still has crayon all over it from when i was a kid.


Q:

How come you guys released Saving Light by Gareth Enery, Standerwick and Haliene, and not a more trance-oriented label?

I mean, the track is awesone, but not quite what I'd expect from Monstercat to be honest.

A:

Hi, Chris! I've been a big fan for a few years now and regularly binge your Gayle shows. I was wondering, what was your inspo behind Gigi the Christmas Snake? Also, what's your favorite candle scent and when do you think you'll come to Kansas City next?


Q:

What is your opinion on art toys like Kidrobot?

A:

We loved the record, knew we could market it as well if not better than others and believed in the campaign + vision around it. Plus, Gaz is one of my favourite musicians to date. I'd say we made the right decision


Q:

Last month Gigi started volunteering at an Enterprise Rent a Car but lost his position for screaming his exe’s name “REBECCA!!!” into all of the Kia’s. Now I heard he’s giving unsolicited, rogue tours of Madame Toussaud’s Orlando, getting kicked out daily because he’s not employed by Madame Toussaud’s.’ All the while he’s been working on a screenplay that bears an almost word for word resemblance to every episode in chronological order of Black Mirror and he claims that the Notorious B.I.G. wants to buy it.

A:

Love them because they're so original and in many ways trend setting.


Q:

Good... morning? Or evening? It doesn't matter now - welcome, Mr. (Magic) Mike Darlington. :D

Monstercat has been a big part of my life since 2013 ("Flight" has ignited it) and I really look up to label, artists and community as a whole. I would like to ask you some questions about the future of the Monster Kitty:

  1. Will LPs come back to Monstercat? Some of classic releases from the label are the longplay ones and... it was really great to hear and see some new possible directions, coming with this type of releases (Haywyre's albums, "New Age | Dark Age" - especially Deluxe Edition, such a fantastic piece of not so human art, "The Ancient & Arcane").
  2. Could you tell us something more about your education, Mr. Darlington? In fact, I'm really impressed by your way of managing Monstercat and it would be really great to know if it's (partly, of course) because of your degree - your management strategy is one of a kind and hard to reproduce/recreate, but easy to take inspiration from. Are you going to host the AMA about label management in the (near) future?
  3. Is Karma Fields going to return (hopefully, with an LP) to Monstercat? We haven't heard from that creation for a while - "New Age | Dark Age" is my favourite album of all time and inspired me to learn music production, graphic design and programming, a new album-masterpiece in 2018 would be a fantastic gift for the community.

Thanks a lot for things that you've done, shoutouts to Monstercat and... keep it up! Bad Kitty is still "taking me on a journey", Instinct and Uncaged are great. Thanks again! :3

A:

If you come to Toronto, I will personally deliver you a briefcase of maple syrup based products. Deal?


Q:

Would you ever consider doing an episode on my absolute favorite toy line of all time --- DC's SUPER POWERS?

A:
  1. We're always open to LPs, EPs singles, any form of music as long as it's creative, unique and quality.

  2. I have a degree in Biology, so obviously that was necessary when starting a business in music /s. I'm actually a pretty terrible "label manager" but understand brand, marketing and ideation. Fortunately I have an incredible team, business partner etc that have made us so effective.

  3. I know he's working on a new album!


Q:

Yes as long as the syrup is loose in the briefcase

A:

If we get a second season then that's very likely! :)


Q:

if you had a task to break a femur which employee would you send?

A:

Also, my friend wants to know: Who is Phil and why is he so tough?


Q:

Did George Lucas give a reason why he didn't want to be interviewed? Do you think he felt it would look bad on him to talk about the toy deal he did for the original film?

A:

Cody 100%


Q:

a guy I worked with at Cafe Ziba in 2005

A:

We were given no specific reason for him not wanting to do an interview, but his people were extrememly nice and tried to be as helpful as they could.


Q:

Hello, Mike! Been a huge fan and follower of Monstercat since Everything Black. So my questions are:

•How do EDM artists get their tracks onto Monstercat? How long does it take?

•Any intense headbangers coming soon to the label? If so, who are the artists releasing them?

•When is Muzzy’s new EP coming out?

•What advice could you give to an aspiring EDM artist, like myself?

•Is Infected Mushroom releasing another track soon on Monstercat?

•And finally, what is your favorite track out of the Vantablack EP??

A:

what do you find to be the most difficult part about starting out/being succesful in comedy?

and bonus question: what do you use to coif your mane?


Q:

Did George Lucas give a reason why he didn't want to be interviewed? Do you think he felt it would look bad on him to talk about the toy deal he did for the original film?

A:
  • Demo submissions, industry friends recommending artists, meeting at shows + conferences, collabing with current artists, remix contests, remixes. There are endless ways
  • Always. The next Uncaged album goes hard
  • Not sure on the date, he will probably announce
  • Keep working at it, this shit is hard to break into and people are more critical than ever. Be real
  • Likely! We had a great experience working together and they are long time friends. I first reached out about music in 2012-2013. It's been a longtime coming
  • Sight of your soul

Q:

1)Having access to a good sea salt spray 2) Sea salt spray

A:

The chair is a piece of art and no, we did not dicuss removing it because it's in the office where she wanted to film and we like to show people's environment as it normally is.


Q:

Hey Gnarlington, long time fan. First, any artists you want on the label?

Second, do you favorite a specific genre or do you like all genres?

Favorite song(s)?

Lastly, why are you not on the Discord server?

It’s been a journey for the label and I know it won’t be over anytime soon, can’t wait for what’s to come :)

A:

Hi Chris! Who are your biggest influences/inspirations? Who is your favorite comedian?


Q:

If you get more seasons in the future, would you consider doing episodes on 90s hits? Despite being born after these 80s toys were crazy popular, I can still appreciate the spectacle of it all (especially as a toy collector now, it's really cool to learn about), but to really hit that nostalgia bone would require moving forward a few years in history. An episode on Street Sharks, for example, I'd find very interesting.

A:

I'll be back on the Discord soon enough! Answered the other questions above


Q:

Noel Fielding/Robin Williams/Maria Bamford I think? JB Smoove makes me laugh the hardest, I also reallly like Jen Kirkman.

A:

We will do stories on as many eras as we can, as long as the stories are good and the toys had some sort of impact at the time of their release. we love the 90s era, fyi!


Q:

If you were to make music and release music, what kind of style and/or genre would you see yourself making?

A:

Ambient, chill etc

Although I can't forget about my Bigroom Side project. Michiel Von Gnarlington makes Big Room and Big Room only.


Q:

Hi Mr. Darlington,

First congrats on making the BEST label in all music. I absolutely love the way y’all are involved with the community and of course put out amazing music.

Do you guys have any plans for an MMW event this year?

I look forward to seeing all the amazing music y’all have for us this year!

Thank you!!!!

A:

Our biggest (non-festival) show to date will be in MMW this year! AWWWW YEAHHH


Q:

Hey Mike! Super stoked to see all Monstercat has in store for 2018. I support this idea because I'm sure you guys are ready and prepared for this big change.

My question is about the Uncaged/Instinct diversion. Do you think 2018's Monstercat comments trend will be "This belongs in the other one"? What about vocal bangers? How are you planning to decide where to release a mixed type of song? Thanks in advance, love you!

A:

This will definitely happen. Internally we already categorized our entire catalogue and had disagreements on many. This is a new project and there will be bumps in the road.

It's more about the feel of the record, how it flows in a "playlist" sense than hard rules by genre or vocals vs no vocals etc.


Q:

in the spirit of monstercat only signing singles, what are your favorite song(s) you have released completely disregarding the artists attached, play count and popularity etc.? what songs were you most proud to put out?

A:

Bad Computer - New Dawn


Q:

How long ago was the Instinct launch planned?

A:

The entire last year


Q:

Hello Mike. These are my questions. -There' something I found on the Monstercat logo. I mean, it's a fantastic design, but I noticed something about it. So Monstercat, the cat himself, has his headphones on the sides of his head, while his ears are on the top of his head. Are headphones just resting on his head or is there, um, something wrong? It's probably not the latter, but I have no clue. -Is there ever going to be another one of those collaborations like the one with Rocket League again? I'd be hyped to see one this year. -What do you guys do for fun over at the Monstercat HQ? Thanks for everything, and I hope 2018 will be great!

A:

The logo isnt perfect but thats exactly why we love it and why its so memorable. Hopefully another RL comp.

For fun? We did Archery Tag as a team last month w/ Snails.


Q:

Hi Mike! Can you tell us a little more about your Linkies strategy? Will they in-fact go to the moon?!

A:

HODL


Q:

Any clues or sneak peaks to what is next for Monstercat after the rebranding with Instinct and Uncaged?

A:

More evolution! We've only just begun rolling everything out


Q:

Is there also a line up poster for the uncaged artists? (like the one u made for instinct)

A:

Not currently. If our designers have time I'll likely make one.


Q:

Hello Mike, I’ve been a fan of Monstercat since 2014 and I wanted to ask you some questions.

•How did you came up with the name Monstercat when you created the label?

•What college did you go to?

•What’s your favorite song?

•What’s your favorite movie?

•What’s your favorite artist that you will love to join Monstercat?

•Any pets?

A:
  • Friends video game name
  • University of Waterloo in Canada
  • Saving Light was my favourite song last year, not sure I have a current yet
  • Favourite movie? Battle Royale
  • Would love to work with Knife Party (Rob + Gareth) or Madeon. Both inspirations since day 1
  • Had fish, none currently

Q:

Hi Mike, can we expect another Monstercat art car at EDC or any other festival? It was the most fun art cart at EDC! Also popup shops/shows are pretty cool too. Can we expect any other popups like the one Delta Heavy had at a skate park? Thanks!

A:

Definitely more pop-ups to come. Hopefully EDC will have us back as that show was so much fun!


Q:

Hey Mike! Hope you're well! :D

  • Looking back 6 years ago, did you ever envision Monstercat mustering the large fanbase it has today?

  • What were your thoughts on the future at the time?

  • Where do you see the label heading 10 years from now?

  • Finally, what can we hope to see from the shop this year?

A:
  • Always hoped it could, had no idea we would be here.
  • Back then, I just wanted to improve and have fun, go to shows etc. Really was pretty clueless
  • A lot more work in gaming/media. Festival/conference etc
  • The upcoming Uncaged/Instinct lines are so good. We will work to further improve the quality, cut and sew nature of the clothing this year.

Q:

Are there any plans on having Monstercat tour in the UK? Specifically, Wales?

A:

I can’t tell you how much I love the UK. And this question seems to be popping up quite a bit, but I’m more than happy to say again that we are working our ass off to bring the Live Monstercat experience to as many places as possible. I promise you the UK is on our radar.


Q:

Will there be separate compilation albums for both Uncaged and Instinct?

Will there be any plans for UK live shows in the future?

A:

We’re very excited about how Uncaged and Instinct will impact our schedule, both on individual release days, and for compilations. Point blank: yes, there will be separate compilations for each brand, Uncaged and Instinct!

As for events, we’ve been trying (and succeeding) at bringing our shows to as many places across the globe as possible. The UK is definitely on our radar. Love the UK fans!


Q:

Was the reception to Uncaged/Instinct better or worse that you and the team anticipated? (This also includes the reception to the Uncaged compilations from last year)

A:

The team and I know we have an incredible network of fans that don't just take whatever we give them. We love how passionate they are and constantly challenge us to create the best and most innovative campaigns for them. So far the recepton of Instinct/Uncaged has been fantastic. People are starting to really see the benefit in the split

Statistically it's blowing away all our expectations. We hoped to have 25k subs on the new channel in the first week, we're going on 50


Q:

Hi mike iven a monstercat fan since 2015 So my questions are:

Are you thinking realese something like monstercat vinyls? I know is weird but i bet some fans would like the idea

Is there a posibility that a monstercat show could come to south america? (Chile in my case)

Is there going to be a LP this year?

Thanks for your time ;)

A:

We've always wanted to do vinyls but it wouldn't work for our compilation albums since you can only fit a few songs per side. We would have to do large multi-vinyl bundles which isn't affordable for fans. We will find a unique way to do it!

South America is on our radar!


Q:

Hello Mr. Darlington, I have a question that I’m sure all the ravers and festival goers would love to hear about!

• Are you planning on making any more appearances at major festivals? The only one i’m aware you have had a stage at is Tomorrowland, but a stage at another music festival would be amazing! (Specifcally but not limited to Imagine 2017 in Georgia because I will be attending this year ;)

Thank you for your response and for doing this for us!

A:

Absolutely. We have a couple partnerships lined up for 2018 already but actively looking to add more if it makes sense


Q:

What was the hardest thing in your opinion you've had to face so far leading up to Uncaged & Instinct?

A:

My own team was definitely pretty anxious about the changes early on. Took a lot of explaining, showing stats, and doing experiments to get them all behind it. I try not to ever lead with an iron fist but sometimes felt like I was going to have to


Q:

Hey mike, been a fan since 014, love the label and everything it’s done over the last couple years.

Serious question first, what’s the music/EDM landscape like right now, especially when it comes to quality? Monstercat has been a huge part of my life and has inspired me to produce music as well but sometimes I feel like the competition is more intense now more than ever, so I’ve been conflicted over whether it’s worth the effort. How difficult do you think it is to ‘make it’ now?

Besides that, some lighter stuff I wanted to ask was

• after being around this much music we’re you ever tempted to get into music production yourself? •what’s the story behind Stephen Walking? Out of all the artists I’ve ever listened to, he’s got the most unique sound by far imo, but I have no idea about how he came to be.

Thanks for doing this ama!

A:
  1. It's incredibly difficult to break an act right now. You need to have incredible music, a great team behind you, strong marketing, drive and willing to get kicked when you're down. You have to keep going. It's definitely not easy.
  2. I try to keep my focus on the brand/business side but have always been curious. Stephen Walking is a very old friend, he thinks differently than most people. He's incredibly creative!

Q:

Hey! I'm a huge fan of this label! It's brought so much great music into my life and was the introduction to EDM for me, so thank you for helping to create and shape monstercat. My question is, what other changes should we look out for in the coming weeks and months? And what should we look forward to this year?

A:

More music! More shows! More clothing lines! More partnerships!


Q:

Hey Mike ! You have always been my favorite channel for work music. You know something electronic while doing programming jobs and such. Is it true the podcasts ended? Like thats all i listened always. Also who is the biggest newcomer on the scene right now?

A:

Podcasts are now Call of the Wild radio shows and can be found on Soundcloud, Spotify etc just not on YouTube.

Biggest newcomer who's now taking over is Rezz (headline status), she's incredibly talented and her following is cult-like. Love it!


Q:

Hey man! Huge fan!

Been listening to Monstercat releases for 5 years now, you guys are a huge part of my life and a massive inspiration for creating.

As a team, do you all have a primary videographer or someone in charge of your music video productions? Or is it different project-to-project?

Also, what’s it like hearing the evolution of sound since starting Monstercat (ex: Ephixa’s “Some Wobbles”) to the most recent releases and newest dubstep songs being put out?

Thank you for all the beautiful tunes!

A:

Different project-to-project although Timelapse in Vancouver does most of our video work here. They are the best! The evolution has been pretty natural, our tastes change, artists change and the industry has changed


Q:

Hey Mike! When will Monstercat be taking submissions again and have you heard of Sekai? :)

A:

Soon and yes, think we're friends on FB


Q:

Hi Mike,

In terms of artist merchandise (since the store recently took it down), should we expecting a large wave of merch to come or will they appear gradually?

A:

Not anytime soon