Behind every favorite band their is an artist, and behind every artist there is a fan. Fans are what drive the music industry’s success, but without the blood, sweat and tears of the artist the music would never cease to exist. John Janick, current CEO of Interscope Records, started off as just a fan of music and rose to the business executive he is today. In 1996, as a young college student at University of Florida in Gainesville, he started his own record label with Vinnie Fiorello (drummer/ lyricist) from the band Less Than Jake. The clever man that Janick is, he named it after the one food that every college student eats because they are broke, and in his case really broke because he invested every last dime he had into the label. If you guessed the food was ramen you were right. The label is called Fueled By Ramen. In 1998 the company released an EP that broke the success of the label by a little band called Jimmy Eat World from Arizona. The success didn’t stop there. In 2003, the label released an album called ‘Take This To Your Grave’ by a Chicago group called Fall Out Boy. A few years later Janick and Pete Wentz (Bassist) from Fall Out Boy collaborated to start Decaydance Records (rebranded as DCD2 in 2014) which became connected with Fueled By Ramen. Decaydance Records and Fueled By Ramen success continued by the release of albums by signed artists such as The Academy Is…(2004), Gym Class Heroes (2005), Panic! At the Disco (2005), and The Cab (2008). After eleven years of success, Janick signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Records and moved Fueled By Ramen to New York City where it still lives today (1). Even though Janick is now CEO at Interscope his legacy lives on at Fueled By Ramen where it all started with a kid’s love of music and a dream. So don’t give up on your dream. Continue to fight for what you want, and do everything in your power to build connections and knowledge.
Wanting to be involved in artist development, I am currently reading a lot of books on music business, reading liner notes from albums, and stalking music history of bands online. I have come to realize that everything is interconnected in the music industry and that almost every band I listened to as a teenager, and in my early 20s was because of this guy. So, I guess you can say that this post is a thank you letter to the man that is John Janick. Thank you for caring enough about the music and not the money, thank you for understanding that an artist needs to be involved in all aspects of their identity to have success, and thank you for introducing me to punk inspired rock/ pop that put me ahead of the curve in college.
Click on Spotify Playlist for some of my favorite songs and artists that John Janick had a hand in developing and releasing as Co-Founder at Fueled By Ramen. As Janick said in an interview for the book It All Begins With the Music, “No Food, No Sleep, Just Music.”
(1) All date information was found at www.FueledByRamen.com