UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
On a spring afternoon in 2009, Crush Management partner Jonathan Daniel received a very long and unexpected voicemail.
"Courtney literally cold-called me," he says, noting that he later discovered he had been recommended by producer Michael Beinhorn. "I didn't know what to do with the message. I played it for Pete Wentz, and then I decided I should at least call her back."
Daniel met with her, heard the music she was working on and decided to take her on as a client. This despite the fact that Hole seems like a bit of an odd fit for Crush, an agency best-known for working with such acts as Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco. But Daniel did have one connection to Love: They both kicked around Los Angeles during the late '80s, when he played in glam rock bands Electric Angels, Candy and the Loveless.
"I loved the music; it felt really timely," he says. "Music always shifts, and it feels like rock has been underground for a while and is ready to come back."
Daniel says that he wasn't worried about working with Love, despite her scabrous reputation and penchant for burning through managers. (Past representation includes Q Prime, Janet Billig, Peter Asher, Dave Lory, Asif Ahmed and ex-boyfriend James Barber.) "At this point, she wants someone to manage her," he says. "She's such a big personality it wouldn't make sense for me to try to manage her if she didn't want it."
The first order of business was finishing the new album, which Love had been working on since 2006. She had written a series of tracks with Linda Perry and some others with Billy Corgan, but most of the actual recording wasn't done until fall 2009.
"It didn't take that long because she had already done most of the work," Daniel says. "She had the songs; it was just a matter of getting them done."
Once the album, which Love self-financed, was finished, Daniel set up a meeting with Mercury Records president David Massey. "I knew Massey from working with Fall Out Boy, and I knew she would like him-he's good with women and knows a lot about music." Mercury was the only record company they met with. Both parties were sold, and the deal (which Massey calls a "proper, global, multi-album deal") was signed.
Daniel says, "The deal is a joint venture, almost like an indie deal-it's a 50/50 split, which is fair, because she was betting on herself so much. This applies to any future albums, too. They do have some incentives to sell albums and hit certain numbers, and at the end of the day, we want all the parties to be happy with the agreement."
Mercury has the rights to the album in the United States and United Kingdom; Universal will release it in the rest of the world. Love owns her own publishing, with Randall Wixin handling the administration. Creative Artists Agency is booking a U.S. tour that will start in June, following a U.K. and European tour in May.