interview | steve tannett, marshall’s music director

photography. Mike Palmer Photo courtesy of Marshall

The Marshall Group has a knack for amplifying emerging artists, whether that be through their recording studio, unparalleled speakers and amps, or booking studio. Their recent merger—combining Marshall Amplification and Marshall Headphones—has only strengthened the company, adding to an already impressive 60-year legacy. 

Hosting eight up-and-coming musicians and bands at two Hair of the Dog parties during The Great Escape festival in Brighton, Marshall continues to promote new talent. Marshall’s Music Director, Steve Tannett, was in attendance, supporting the artists booked through Marshall Live Agency, speaking on Marshall’s merger and plans for the future, and promoting their state-of-the-art products. 

Having had a successful career in the music industry as a part of the punk band Menace, Steve is no stranger to the trials and tribulations of promising musicians. This experience has led him to manage The Marshall Studio, Marshall Records, and Marshall Live Agency with the artists in mind, telling Schön!, “We have created an environment where the artist’s voice is the most important in the room.”

Chatting with Schön!, Steve details Marshall’s commitment to their artists, the formation of the Marshall Group, and the future of music.

What is your vision for Marshall as the Music Director?

My vision for Marshall is that we continue to put music at the heart of everything we do. From the recording studio to the Marshall Amps factory to the record label and our education division, musicians are at the heart of our company.

How has your experience in the industry as a musician helped you within your role at Marshall?

Great question. I think that having a dream as a young person to try and emulate your idols—in my case Jimi Hendrix, and staring at the poster of him with his Marshall amp—I understand how important the feeling of belonging is, which is what I felt when I got to own a Marshall amp. I was no Hendrix that’s for sure, but that sense that anything is possible has followed me throughout my career and being at Marshall gives me the chance to offer that same understanding and sense of belonging to the artists and staff that I get to work with.

photography. Mike Palmer Photo courtesy of Marshall
band. Projector

How does Marshall help amplify young musicians?

We do this in many ways, through our record label and our booking agency (Marshall Live Agency) where we are enabled to book artists’ shows without the profit motive. We believe that helping artists get work and experience is essential to ensure the next generation of bands can thrive in an increasingly challenging industry. Our education department is creating a set of tools to help demystify the music industry, something we believe will empower many young artists and musicians.

What kind of artists do you look for with Marshall Records?

Good ones! No seriously, we love artists that are self-starting, artists that understand the need for hard work on the road to build their fan bases, artists that understand the value of teamwork, and artists that know who they are.

Why does Marshall Records stand out within such a competitive industry? 

I think that Marshall Records stands out because we care about artists; we never seek to own an artist’s work, and we offer truly competitive deals. We have the experience to help guide younger artists to make good decisions and we have created an environment where the artist’s voice is the most important in the room.

photography. Mike Palmer Photo courtesy of Marshall

How will the recent formation of the Marshall Group change or elevate the work you are doing?

The formation of the Marshall Group is the most exciting development for the company in many years. The leadership team is outstanding and having worked alongside many of them over the last few years, I’ve always been impressed by their respect for the heritage of the company. They truly care about what Marshall stands for. This is why the future looks so full of possibilities. Their commitment to the Music Division and of course the amp manufacturing base in the UK is a testament to their belief that the next 60 years of Marshall will be just as ground-breaking and important as the previous 60 years.

What is the future of rock and why is it so important for Marshall to give it a voice?

The Future of Rock and Roll is being written in clubs and bars and bedrooms across the world. Every time a musician picks up a guitar and plugs into a Marshall Amp they are channelling an energy that is unstoppable; their dreams and their aspirations pour out through those riffs and chords. Whether it’s Blues, Metal, Pop, or progressive Jazz, Marshall will be there to accompany them on their journey from bedroom to stadium. That’s why it’s important for us to give them that voice in whatever way we can.

How do you see the music industry changing in the future? What are Marshall’s plans to adapt to these changes?

The music industry has been in a state of change from the day the wax cylinder was used to convey the sound of an artist performing their work. People have always gathered in numbers to listen to something special; the methods of delivery may change but the music does not. Marshall will always stand at the heart of the music industry. Just as Jim and Terry Marshall listened to Pete Townsend’s request for something louder to compete with his drummer, Marshall listens to the players and consumers. Innovation is at the heart of the company and always will be.

Marshall has created a strong name for itself within the speakers and headphones industry, too. Known for their ‘legendary sound’, Marshall’s portable speakers have been given an upgrade, including more hours of playtime, Stack Mode—an innovative addition that connects multiple speakers to one device—and competitive sound. With the company providing new music and the products to play it on, it’s no wonder Marshall is taking the music industry by storm.

photography. Mike Palmer Photo courtesy of Marshall
band. Dream Nails

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