Powerhouse independent Worldwide Record Label, Golden Robot Records, has introduced ROCK THE VAX. It’s a campaign to connect music fans – and urge Australia’s rock public to be vaccinated in return for a free record (vinyl or CD) from the extensive Golden Robot Records (GRR) back catalogue.
GRR’s incredible back catalogue includes artists like Rose Tattoo, Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses), LA Guns, Jefferson Starship, Horsehead, David Campbell, Hayley Jensen, Nick Barker, and many more – with genres which span from rock to country to alternative.
The statistics speak for themselves. Rock The Vax received over 500 entries on day one, and those figures are expected to continue to skyrocket. Following fan feedback, Golden Robot Records has extended its registration deadline from July 30 to August 15.
Australians are now encouraged to email email@example.com with their digital certificate from the medicare app to prove vaccination, along with their GRR album request and postal address.
Rock The Vax
In this day and age, it is important for businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition – and initiatives such as Rock The Vax will linger in the mind of the true music consumer.
Today, FIB chats with President and founder of Golden Robot Global Entertainment (GRGE), Mark Alexander-Erber; who has taken it upon himself to develop his own plan to increase vaccination rates in Australia, Rock The Vax. This initiative comes at a good time, as Australia’s vaccination rates dwindle at 17.7%.
With vaccination rates in mind, tell me a bit about Rock The Vax:
Let’s go back to the beginning of what went on. I normally base myself out of LA, we’ve got 11 record labels and 360 bands. A lot of our business is in Europe and America and when everything started to happen with Covid, I picked Sydney as the best place to be. My family’s here etcetera, and the safest place to be. And I was right, because Australia did a fantastic job with containing the virus. We did a great job at containing it, we’re basically on an island, so it wasn’t too difficult. And then I think that we’ve done a good job since then staying on top of it. But we’ve done a horrible job, a horrible job getting this vaccine out. It’s been a disaster.
Golden Robot itself, we’ve got some of the biggest bands in the world. We deal with music every day, the business has been fine. But I’m watching all of my mates who have got pubs and restaurants cafe’s etcetera, cry. It’s just been a disaster. So I thought, I just can’t sit back and watch people just taking their time to get vaccinated. The anti-vaxxers are out there, I don’t want to get political about it. I’ve got no interest in getting political. It was more an awareness, I wanted to have an awareness campaign.
The initiate is us trying to do what we could do, to get more people vaccinated. Now, giving an album away isn’t going to change somebody’s mind if they’re not gonna get it done. You know, that’s their prerogative. I don’t think that giving them a Rose Tattoo album or a Cherry Dolls album is going to change their mind. However, what it will do and what it has done, is that the people, the rock fans in particular, that have sat there and thought “well, I’ll get it done next month or after”, it actually has given them a timeline to get this done and it’s pushed them to go and do it quicker. That’s how this has worked really well.
And what’s the reception been like?
Amazing, amazing, amazing. The reception’s been great. Thousands of people have taken us up on it, I’ve given away thousands of vinyls and CDs and I just feel really good about it. It’s been a really cool initiative. Sure, you’ve got your anti-vaxxers putting comments everywhere but you know what? That’s all gonna get sorted out real soon, because what the government is doing, like they’re doing in America and Europe is, if you haven’t been vaccinated – you’re staying home. If you haven’t been vaccinated – you’re not coming into this concert, you’re not coming into this cafe, you’re not gonna be able to buy your bread. So it’s really gonna work it out quite quickly.
In light of Covid, what do you think the biggest issue facing the music industry is?
Definitely live. You see, traditionally, the way to get an album released, you really plan your singles, you plan your marketing and PR around the tour. And when there’ve been no tours, well, you’re gonna have to turn everything on its head and to do that, we’ve been releasing more singles and changing the way that we release an album. However, now that there’s no touring, we have to think more – I’m an entrepreneur so I’ve never really gotten caught up in the bullshit of the music industry. I do things in a different way. However, yeah, touring is tough. And this is the problem at the moment, I don’t know how bands like Guns n’ Roses and Kiss are going to tour this year. How are they gonna come here and quarantine for two weeks and what happens if there’s an outbreak? And they go – sorry, Brisbane’s shut down, Sydney’s shut down. So that’s the problem with even local touring, you can go and plan something, we’ve got local bands, bands from America, bands from Europe. Everyone’s just sitting still. I can’t see anything getting back to normal until March or April next year.
And the live festival circuit is a bit of a mess, isn’t it?
It’s a disaster, it’s a disaster. I think people have this impression that they’d click over to January 2021 and everything was going to be miraculously normal again. That’s just not the case. It hasn’t been like that at all, it’s been really difficult. I mean, I want to get back to Los Angeles but I can’t see that happening ’til March next year either…
It’s been a very difficult 18 months. But I think at the end of the day, you know, the government now, I was reading yesterday that – I mean look, they fucked up the whole AstraZeneca thing and that was just a disaster. The PR campaign on that’s been horrible.
I’ve had two AstraZenecas, I’m fine. My wife’s had it, my kids have had it. My mother’s had it, my family’s had AstraZeneca and it’s absolutely fine. You know, there’s a risk in everything. They really screwed up with the AstraZeneca roll-out, they’re now saying that AstraZeneca is more powerful than Pfizer. Now you’ve got Moderna arriving in the next few weeks. So look, you’re gonna have millions and millions of these vaccines out there, so it’s gonna be great. You’ve just gotta get out there and get it done. And if we can help, like we have helped, then it’s exciting.
In terms of the campaign, how can fans request an album?
It started in mid-July, it was meant to be originally from July 15 to the end of July, we’ve extended now until the 15th of August. So what happens is, once you get the vaccine, you get a certificate, you get the passport on your phone, people get that – redacting the numbers, that’s fine – and sending a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. And we’re answering each one individually, personally and basically discussing what’s out there. And we’ve got so many albums, it’s crazy.
There’s been a lot of old Rose Tattoo stuff out, Gilby Clarke’s new album, some LA Guns albums went out, you know, stuff like that. So there’s been, across the board, a whole lot of different genres that have been used to give people this album. So just email us once it’s been done and we’ll take it from there.
And what are your album picks for Rock The Vax?
Grab an LA Guns, for sure. There’s some Gilby Clarke CD’s, there’s Steve Kilbey vinyl from the solo album he did for us a few years ago. Cherry Dolls from Melbourne, there’s a band from Sydney called the Lockhearts who aren’t together anymore. Very doom-fuzz, it’s a great album. There’s lots of good stuff there.
We just wanna get more people jabbed, it’s as simple as that. I just don’t know who else is trying to give incentives. I can’t see anything out there. So I feel like Golden Robot’s a bit ahead of the curve which is great.
To get your hands on an album from the GRR catalog, email proof of vaccination to: email@example.com.
For more information, head to www.goldenrobotrecords.com
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