Spotlight: Dead Day Revolution

Dae Bogan
Dae Bogan
August 25, 2017

Royalty Claim Initiative client and Los Angeles rock band, Dead Day Revolution, is the epitome of a DIY band that balances art and business.

Dead Day Revolution (Left: Skeeter Joplin (Drums) Right: Mike Sandoz (Guitar, Vocals))

Dead Day Revolution is self-managed and self-published, owning 100% of its masters and copyrights. Its lead singer, Mike Sandoz, is a savvy musician who makes it a priority to learn about the music business and learn new strategies to improve the band's exposure on the Internet. He is diligent in the sense that he spends endless hours making sure that their music is properly registered, not only on the publishing side, but also for discovery. He reads SEO marketing guides, submits his metadata to metadata databases like MusicBrainz, and implements website optimization strategies all to improve his band's presence on Google Search. And so far, it looks good.

Dead Day Revolution presence on Google Search

Dead Day Revolution presence on Google Search

Dead Day Revolution is the kind of DIY band that one would think would not fall through the cracks in the music licensing system. With Mike's diligence and CD Baby Publishing Administration as support, one would imagine that this band would have all of its ducks in a row when it comes to being properly licensed when their music is distributed to services such as Google Play Music. But an RCI investigation found that despite all of the band's effort to "get it right," their music still ended up in the Royalty Claim Platform's Unclaimed Licenses database, not least due to Google's own potential negligence. (Read more about the investigation here.)

We caught up with Mike via email to learn more about his perspective of the music industry in this interview:

Royalty Claim (RC): As a DIY musician, how do you juggle the responsibilities of creating music, playing live, and being your own publisher?

Mike Sandoz (MS): Let me tell you, I'm always working for the band. There probably isn't a day that goes by where I'm not working on something band related. It's difficult to do everything at the same time. So when we are busy playing and booking shows things like updating the website might be on the back burner.  

Right now we are on a small break from playing shows.  Since June most of my attention has been on the website, SEO, researching how to have a stronger Google Knowledge Graph in search results, interviewing writers that specialize in technical writing and Wikipedia page creation and the list goes on! People might not realize it, even other musicians, how much it really takes to run a band like a business and a record label. Making sure your songs are registered with a PRO, update music databases with metadata on sites like MusicBrainz, updating entries for your brand on wiki data, monitoring the use of your music and I almost forgot about writing music! It can be tough wearing so many hats, but also very rewarding when you achieve some success through hard work.  

RC: Many DIY musicians tend to only focus on their music and not the business side of their careers; why has it been so important to you to try and understand the music business and actively take control of your business? 

(MS): Well like they say, "it's not going to get done by itself"! It has been necessary for me to be proactive and actually first spend time searching for the questions that I later need to find answers to. We haven't had very much guidance along the way and Dead Day Revolution is my first band. So I've put that good ole college degree to use and have been learning along the way. I really do have a great interest in learning to complexities of the music industry, although I would most definitely entertain the help of a third party.  

RC: How did you feel when you learned that a Section 115 NOI was filed against "Down the Road" after all of the effort you've put in to be diligent and ensure that your music was properly registered? 

(MS): Well, I felt disappointed but not surprised. To my knowledge I had done everything I knew of to ensure that we would get credit for our music wherever it would be played.   

RC: If you could get them all in the room, what would you say music rights organizations, rights administrators, and the big digital music services? 

(MS): I'd probably tell them to buy my album! All kidding aside I believe it is time to implement a decentralized platform that can store and manage the meta data pertaining to rights holders of creative works so there can be no discrepancies about the ownership of a work. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Blockchain!  

RC: What are your thoughts on the work that the Royalty Claim Initiative is doing? 

(MS): I'm very hopeful. It will be a great tool for artists, and also a motivation to those companies who's practices may abuse the system and do not take the time to properly give credit to the artists out there who spend all of their money creating content for the world.  

RC: What should we look for next from Dead Day Revolution? 

(MS): We are preparing to record an EP that will follow up our 2016 debut. There isn't a release date yet but our goal is to get it out as early as January 2018. You can check our website for developments as we will be updating our site periodically.

Discover Dead Day Revolution at

Dae Bogan

Dae Bogan is a serial entrepreneur, educator, consultant, researcher, writer, public speaker, and business advisor interested in music rights, metadata, financial pipelines, transparency, interoperability and collaboration within the greater music industry. He is the Founder & Chief Researcher of Royalty Claim, a music licensing research initiative and an online database of music licensing entitlements. He is also the Founder & CEO of TuneRegistry, a music and rights metadata management platform.


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