Zac Abroms was born in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1985. He immigrated to Australia and has called Melbourne home since. In 2007, Zac joined Forum 5 Management & Recordings, undertaking the development and marketing of their artists and releases including ARIA-Award-winning albums for Bertie Blackman and Kimbra on her platinum-selling debut ‘Vows’. In 2010, Zac launched Viceroyalty, a boutique artist management & music publicity provider specialising in online PR in addition to management and A&R for Manor, Kate Martin and Alice Ivy. Zac is also the talent co-ordinator/booker for the Maroochydore Music & Visual Arts Festival and the co-programmer of the Face The Music summit in Melbourne.
“Do what you love and you’ll never have a problem with Mondays”, or so they say anyway. There’s little question that I am indeed fortunate enough to do what I love but boy do I hate Monday mornings with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. People outside of the music industry are often familiar with the job titles manager or publicist but they can seldom havoc a guess as to what it is I actually get up to between the hours of nine (or when I wake up) and five (do people really get to go home this early?). In a word the answer is emails. Of a Monday there’s typically a hundred of those suckers vying for attention in my inbox. For a brief reprieve I cast my vote in the Age Music Victoria awards (and exercise some managerial bias by voting for Alice Ivy in the category of Best Emerging Act.) Monday evening I pay a visit to another duo whom I manage, Manor, at their exceptionally well-appointed loft in Flemington. We dine on vegan risotto over a bottle of red in the company of their adopted greyhound Joan before retiring to their home-studio dubbed “Elysian Fields” and I’m treated to a private listening session of their latest compositions.
In the publicity racket Tuesday is primetime for servicing music to the media and in this context “servicing” is a fancy way of saying “sending a billion emails”. In the early afternoon I tram to the CBD and meet my Face The Music programming co-conspirator Ash Sambrooks ahead of a scheduled talk with the students at Collarts. Having imparted countless priceless wisdoms to the generation in waiting Ash and I head to City Square for a caffeine fix while we brainstorm whom we want to invite to take part in Face The Music’s many speed meeting sessions during which delegates will have opportunity to pitch their music and seek career advice from the summit’s best and brightest. In the dying hours of the day I swing past Viceroyalty HQ tucked away in a Collingwood hub that hosts some of my favourite operators in the Melbourne music business including Good Manners, Wondercore Island, Outpost, Zero Through Nine and Waving At Trains. My evening belongs to Victorian youth music organisation The Push’s annual AGM and dinner takes place at fellow board member Quincy McLean’s Melbourne rehearsal institution The Bakehouse. We reflect on the activities and successes of the organisation’s past twelve months and our forthcoming signature event Face The Music over a mighty feast.
A curious aspect of my role as a co-programmer of Face The Music is that it gives rise to various public-facing media opportunities (such as this feature) with which I’m not overly accustomed. I suppose I’m finally receiving a taste of that which I subject my music publicity clients to. This morning’s homework due our stellar publicity team at Remote Control is a playlist for Poncho.tv highlighting some of the artists performing live at Face The Music’s newfound comprehensive live music program. I wax lyrical about my favourite tracks by performing acts Jaala, Hiatus Kaiyote, Saatsuma, GL and Corin for the piece during which it occurs to me what an incidentally high number of female artists we’ve booked. How fantastic. I visit my third management ward Kate Martin at her apartment in East Melbourne for homemade rolls while we plot the finalisation and release of her new album due 2017. By midweek the to-do list in the app I have come entirely to rely upon in order to stay afloat is looking menacing and I decide to work late. Pizza comes to the office courtesy of Uber-eats and I burn the midnight oil.
Thursday morning I’m preoccupied with email (are you beginning to detect a pattern here?). Around lunchtime I meet with an old friend at Wide Open Road in Brunswick to brainstorm ideas for a publicity campaign she’s working for a series of live music events throughout November. Knowledge share and supporting your peers is a mainstay of the independent musical community and contributes to the sustainability of the industry as a whole. (Come at me good karma). At the end of the working day I pop my head into Laneway Rehearsal studio for a visit and a beer with one of my oldest friends and his new band. We celebrate the release of their debut single and discuss plans for their impending live launch. Thursday night I head to Howler to catch Melbourne duo friendships’ album launch supported by an ensemble of my favourite local acts including Null and Habits. Predictably it’s completely amazing and leaves me in an excitable mood that lasts well into the wee hours.
Friday morning is foggy and I blame friendships. My brain kicks into gear over coffee and a salami focaccia on High St, Northcote where I await Ash to return to his terrarium rich home office. Once we’re at our battle stations we work through lots of odds and ends associated with Face The Music. Since we delivered the program a couple of weeks ago it feels as though everything we can contribute to the event at this juncture falls firmly into the ‘icing on the cake’ category. It’s a good feeling. We finally break around 9pm. Tired and hungry we traipse to Ash’ favourite local pizza dealers and eat-in whilst fervently discussing our favourite new releases by Dorsal Fins, Jaala, Yeo, Foreign / National and more. Even at the end of an eventful week utterly dominated by all things music we can’t resist talking ad-nauseam about that which we love the most. Back at home I treat myself to a knock-off can of Melbourne bitter and take in the last half hour of The Lord Of The Rings on telly with my housemates before retiring to the boudoir for a deep and dreamless sleep.