If you care about music and live in Texas, you have probably been to one of Mike Ziemer and Third String Productions shows. Ziemer went from being the guy to know in Dallas to being primed to take over Cali. With So What?! Music Festival (Formerly South By So What?!) coming up (Not fast enough) Mike has been keeping himself extra busy. Luckily he has been able to squeeze out some time for us. Take a look at what all we had to discuss when we chatted with Mike Ziemer below!
BS: First thing, last year you grabbed a headliner in the newly reunited Atreyu and this year the also newly reunited Underoath. The people want to know what the hell is in your pitch? In all seriousness Third String has been doing awesome. What is it like for you to be booking these legendary bands in the scene fresh on comebacks?
MZ: Atreyu kind of just fell into our lap, but with Underoath, I have been asking management and agent basically ever since they broke up. I love that band so much. It’s awesome to be a part of their comebacks. We actually get approached about a lot of bands and I wish we could do them all.
BS: How do you feel about how Third String Productions has grown over the past few years?
MZ: It’s crazy to me, honestly I never expected any of this. It’s going to get even bigger this year. We are in talks with a few companies to have them come under Third String Productions and if those deals work out, we as a company will do over 600 shows in 2016 and at least 4 festivals. It’s mind-blowing to be where we are and even more so to think where we are headed.
BS: How do you feel about the current state of your baby, So What?! Music Festival?
MZ: I love it, I think it’s finally become the destination event I wanted it to be. I want people from all over to come to Dallas, have a great time, and come back again and again. We have people from out of the country in places like Singapore, Argentina, Mexico, and other countries that have been to the festival 2-3 times now and bring friends and it’s so wild. Like how do you even hear about it? The internet i guess?
BS: What do you see for the future of this festival in the next couple years?
MZ: I see us going bigger, going back to 3 days, more stages, bigger venue, doing everything we can to make this into the best all ages festival in the country, if not world. I’m ambitious.
BS: As we previously discussed you’re the man at pitching your shows. Pitch our audience why they should come out to So What?! Music Festival?
MZ: The better question is why wouldn’t you? Even if you have only listened to a few of the bands, if you listen to more you’ll love them. It’s a great event because it’s more than just bands playing, it’s a music community coming together to celebrate their love for music, to make new friends, to see old friends, and to forget about all the bullshit we all face in the world for one day.
BS: Last year you made a big move to California. How’s that change been?
MZ: It’s been life changing. I was scared I might just be hyping it up and glamorizing Los Angeles, but honestly, I have accomplished so much it’s been well worth it and I’ve been able to grow my team, grow the markets we work in, and grow as a business owner.
BS: In this industry things are always changing. What do you feel is the biggest change you have made that has led to additional success?
MZ: Moving outside of just Dallas. When we decided to do Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Wichita Falls, etc. and be outside of just Dallas with promoting, it opened so many doors and it grew the overall following we have the supports our shows and festivals.
BS: You have worked with many young bands that you’ve watched grow and even helped mold. I’m going to make this tough. What band would you say you are most proud of or impressed with where they are now?
MZ: Crown the Empire. 100%. They went from opening shows, selling tickets, and messaging every fan, to being a headliner on our festivals. I also toured with them and saw them grow as people and I am so proud of them. Great dudes.
BS: Where can fans get info on your festivals and shows? Pick up tickets for So What?!?
BS: Anything else you’d like to add?
MZ: Thanks for the interview and I’ll see everyone at So What?! Don’t miss out!