2 Minutes With … Max Weinberg, VP of Marketing at Interscope Records

On being ready to do anything and everything at any given time

Max Weinberg is an entertainment industry executive who has spent 15+ years mixing his love for music, media and marketing with a passion for technology, innovation and disruption. 

Max is currently vice president of marketing for Interscope Records, where he works with artists such as Machine Gun Kelly and DJ Snake. Earlier, he led marketing at the relaunched Geffen label, guiding artists such as Avicii, DJ Snake, Yungblud, Jacob Collier and Mura Masa. Before that, Weinberg was VP of digital at Control Music Group.

We spent two minutes with Max to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Max, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in New Canaan, Conn. (about an hour outside of New York City) and currently live in Los Angeles.

Your earliest musical memory.

My first concert was this crazy radio show at Madison Square Garden where they must have invited everyone and anyone. Young Max was so unhappy that Britney Spears only hosted the show and didn't perform. But some of the random acts included Gloria Gaynor, Shaggy, Luther Vandross, Kylie Minogue and Chaka Khan. The finale was Liza Minelli singing a duet with Ray Charles.

Your favorite bands/musicians today.

Above & Beyond is my number one and I have no shame in saying it. I grew up on pop/punk and still listen to those bands religiously. 

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on. 

When I was with management for the electronic act Dada Life, I broke the Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Pillow Fight. Easily the most stressful work initiative I have ever been a part of.

A recent project you're proud of. 

I was brought in to head up marketing for Machine Gun Kelly between his albums Hotel Diablo and Tickets to My Downfall. He was already incredibly successful, but brought on a new team given his transition to pop-punk. After relentless marketing, led by MGK's creative, we were able to achieve two No.1 albums in a row and truly felt this brought guitar music back to the forefront.

One thing about how the music world is evolving that you're excited about.

Unique marketing. We're past the stage of any one magic bullet making a difference (radio, streaming, etc), and now it's about how you do something creative with the artist to stand above the pack.

Someone else's work, in music or beyond, that you admired lately.

I love what Taylor Swift did for her direct-to-consumer products around her last album. Making fans purchase four albums to place around a clock was absolutely genius to boost her first-week sales.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Bob Iger's The Ride of a Lifetime. He is the epitome of growing from the mailroom to arguably the most important person in entertainment, while valuing creative first.

An artist you admire outside the world of music.

Banksy. I love the concept of Dadaism and he encapsulates it perfectly.

Your favorite fictional character.

Jonah Hill in Get Him to the Greek. You have to be ready to do anything and everything at any given time.

Someone worth following in social media.

I love an interview with Mr. Beast I heard recently. He said (and apologies on the paraphrasing) that if you're not on YouTube, you don't exist to him. It encapsulates the need to be anywhere and everywhere to hit every audience possible, and if you don't do that you're intentionally leaving out a huge contingent of potential fans.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

In the current music space, it really needs to be divided twofold. You need to saturate all the traditional marketing partners while figuring out that "special sauce" that positions your campaign above others. It begins with the song, and then nailing the "throw the darts at a board" method I always preach where it's about the quantity of looks you can achieve.

Your biggest weakness.

The "throw the darts at a board" method does take a lot of block-and-tackle as opposed to the past where you could depend on a handful of impactful marketing tactics.

Something people would find surprising about you.

I'm a second-degree black belt in hapkido and taekwondo.

One thing that always makes you happy.

My amazing fiancé Ali who I will marry in December of this year.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Definitely the state of Los Angeles is disheartening as someone who has no plans to leave the city.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music business.

If I were just looking to make money, then selling insurance is a great way to make a living. That said, growing up I always wanted to be a roller-coaster designer (thank you Roller Coaster Tycoon!). But the need for a physics background was a bit of a turn off.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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