Creative Complations - Article on Kates
Missionofburma.com - Official Site
Mark Kates aka DJ Carbo
"I may not have pictured myself running Grand Royal in my dreams, but I suppose it is the best example of what I have been seeking for a long time a smaller operation, independent of corporate influence. Hard to say what I would have done differently other than get into A&R sooner. I have learned to be patient, that like-minded people eventually get together in creative situations, and that the great artists know what they are doing."
Those are the words of DJ Carbo, whose given name is Mark Kates. Mark was president of Grand Royal Records from 1998 through 2001. Prior to working with Mike D at Grand Royal, Mark was a seventeen-year veteran of the music industry. More than likely you have heard of his other label; he was an A&R exec for..Geffen. While at Geffen, Mark Kates signed another one of our favorite artists... Beck, who we all know went on to work with the Dust Brothers and produce the award winning Odelay album. It should also be noted that as listed in this online biography, he also has provided A&R guidance to many other artists including: Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Sundays, Teenage Fanclub, White Zombie and Hole.
Bio information borrowed from sites in relevant links. In DJ Carbo's words:
"My first job was as Media Coordinator for Ace of Hearts Records in Boston. Mission of Burma was my favorite band, and I was committed to helping them become huge. They, along with their manager Jim Coffman, hooked me up with Rick Harte, who ran the label; before I knew it, I was living my dream. Of course, [the band] broke up six months later, but they are still my favorite."
"I was lucky, in that the two jobs that I got in between this one and that one were those that I was approached for. I don't think I had too much of a secret weapon other than my passion and intensity towards music. Those are definitely things I look for from interviewees. Basic knowledge and intelligence are also very important, as is not trying too hard. Those of us who have been around know the difference between passion and jive."
Mark Kates has been around and he isn't just another record label suit. While in Los Angeles, under the name DJ Carbo, Mark was known to spin at the Viper Room from time to time. He also performed in 1999 at the internationally known SXSW (South By Southwest) Festival in Austin, Texas. Currently though, he has relocated to Boston, MA where he is heading up a new label called Fenway Recordings.