Introduction Alex Freise
Rock-guitarist, performing artist, songwriter & Man of business @ Mandrake’s Monster (booking, communication, finances, networking, planning). In cooperation with all the people involved in this company.
Bachelor of arts – ArtEZ Popacademie Enschede : main subject: guitar, minor: musicmanagement (2009-2012)
Master of arts – ArtEZ Popacademie Enschede: guitar, musicmanagement (2014-…)
What gives you your drive or motivation in your profession?
The answer is simple: clearly defined goals that I’ve set for myself. My attitude is to just do what I really love and want in life, in other words, I do what makes me happy, every single day. Furthermore, I surround myself with the right people, those who inspire me and keep me motivated. All these components are bringing me forward!
Who or what is your major source of inspiration?
All kinds of successful entrepreneurs, and not only from the arts sector. I am inspired by the entrepreneurs who do what they love and what keeps them satisfied, but especially those who can manage their work-life balance at the same time.
What is your vision of entrepreneurship in the arts?
My vision about entrepreneurship in the arts sector is not very different from how I see it in general. I think that entrepreneurship is an art of its own, but a lot of people don’t see it that way. It all comes down to an idea, a creative process that makes a really good idea, so simple that it can help or inspire people. Every other special field within a company, for example management, finances, logistics, planning, etc. isn’t entrepreneurship in particular. A successful entrepreneur is usually not doing a scope of duties, but she/he delegates them, to focus all the energy on developing the idea of the company. It is all about a creative process whether it’s in arts or in selling any other product/ service. I don’t differentiate here, because it is the way you look at entrepreneurship itself, which makes the difference.
How did you start your company?
In between finishing my bachelor’s degree and starting the master’s program I spent two years to find out what I (from the bottom of my heart) really want to accomplish in the music business. Before that I was involved in many projects and they went into all kinds of musical directions.
From the very beginning on I knew that I wanted to become a rock musician. But I had to learn more about music and the music business in general. When I came to Holland to get my bachelor’s degree, I had to become more open minded, build up a network and had to gain as much knowledge as possible.
After the bachelor’s degree I went through months of personal development, which means forming clarity in life concerning carrier goals, social life, health, norms and values. Accordingly I quit all those different projects to focus on one band, named Mandrake’s Monster. I returned to my roots, rock music.
Building up a band is much more than just being on stage and performing, actually this is just a small fragment of the whole picture. (But definitely the fun part!) Besides songwriting and studio-recordings there are a lot more jobs to do. Business challenges like branding & marketing, social media & online presence, networking, booking, finances, merchandising and many, many more. I almost spent as much time with the band’s business as with making music. But this is an important part while starting your own company.
Which difficulties did you encounter and how did you resolve them?
We, as a band, face lot of difficulties every single day. I won’t describe them in detail. Since there is something else that is way more important to point out here. No matter how hard we fall, we always stand up again and again. That’s a fundamental attitude for solving any kind of problems.
How do you envision your future? Where do you want to be within five years?
Our debut record „Regrets“ was self released in December 2014. We are currently working hard on new stunning material, perfecting our sound and songs. While doing so, we have a summer full of festivals ahead, followed by clubshows in fall. Meanwhile, our management and other partners are looking for the right label to release the upcoming official debut album. Current Partners: Booking Agency in the Netherlands (Mojo/Live Nation), Management (Rock’n Roelvink/NL), Producer (Ralph Quick/GER), Live Crew.
My mission is to build a Mandrake’s Monster’s company, which means to write, play and perform the best music possible and reach/inspire as many people as we can. At the same time this mission implicates to take care of the band’s business. My vision is to make Mandrake’s Monster the biggest Rock band in Europe. It is my ambition to gain as much knowledge and practical experience as possible to turn this vision into reality. Together, with all the people, involved in this company it is our strategy to work very hard on our current business plan.
What is a real “must have, do or see” for every artist / artist?
Be authentic in what you do and don’t hesitate to think big.