Ever thought you could pick better music then what's on the radio? Ever wonder why certain bands get signed ? Well here you go, I managed to swing a few question with my friends Sinji who is an A&R guy at UNIVERSAL RECORDS. He offers some good ideas on how to get into the music business and how to get your music heard.

What does an A&R guy do?
In a nutshell, find and develop an Artist. It's the foundation of a record company.

How did you get involved in doing A&R ?
When I was an intern at Columbia Records in the Promotion Department I realized the importance of good A&R. Without A&R, there is nothing to market, publicize or promote. At the time, bands like Shift and Texas Is The Reason were making waves. I thought both bands could benefit from being on a major label.

Everyone thinks that working in the industry is really easy and just listening to demos all day, tell us about an average day for you.
You're right, it's not that easy! Besides listening to demos, it's a bit more than that. It's constant communication between myself and the artist and the artist's manager. If a band is in the studio, I will check in with the producer and mixer. Some number crunching. I have to make sure a project stays within the budget. Going to the clubs to check out new bands. Making sure everyone at the label remains excited about an artist I am working with. I gotta wave the flag and get people excited. Basically, act as a liaison between the artist and the label. I'm always busy. There is always something to do.

What are some of your favorite bands right now (major and indie)?
Hatebreed. I am so proud of Jamey and the boys. They worked really hard to get to this point. I think kids are gonna flip when they hear it. I'm also obsessed with a certain unsigned band right now. I'm trying to sign them so I think I'll keep my shut and not jinx myself. Oh yeah, the Mars Volta demos are awesome. And I like that new Unwritten Law single too.

What would you say to someone that wanted to get a job at a label, is there any short cuts to get your foot in?
There aren't that many short cuts. My advice, get an internship and treat it like it was a paying job and your life depended on it. Ask a lot questions. If you don't ask you'll never learn. I see too many interns just mope around and learn nothing.

Have you ever passed on any bands that have now made it?
Creed. I got the indie album while I was at EMI Music Publishing. Many people passed on them. I'm just man enough to admit it.

How do you go about hearing new bands and music?
I read a lot of mainstream music magazines, and zines. I'm always buying and listening to new music. Many times, managers and attorney's will send me music. I am also obsessed with Pop Culture. Pop Culture and Pop Music go hand in hand. I want to know what the kids are wearing, what they are doing, where they hang out. I love going to the mall just to see what rock band t-shirt the kids are sporting.

Do you recommend bands sending demos to major labels?
it seems like so much stuff goes there and may never get listened toI will always accept demos. The next Kurt Cobain is out there, so you never know. Demos should be no more than 4 songs. I just don't have the time to sit through a 45 minute 12 song demo.

What do you think the next trend in music will be?
Well, now that bands like The Strokes and Jimmy Eat World are being accepted and selling some records, hopefully this will lead to more soulful and less "rappy" rock music. I don't know what to call it. I'll let the press come up with a catch phrase.

Any last comments or shout outs?
Jay, you're a good man. And pick up Hatebreed, in-stores on March 26th!