This series is written and curated by publicist and industry mastermind Bill Meis. When not helping your favorite band planned their next phase of promotion Bill is a family man with an interest in sharing the creative people he’s met through music with the world. Through his official blog he recently started interviewing those he finds interesting, and with his permission we are going begin sharing them on our site as well. You can find Bill on Twitter and Tumblr. Follow him.
I work with a lot of interesting people.
Each of these industry war-hogs have their own stories and a shed full of tools they use every day.
My Callsheet blog series showcases these well oiled machines of the music business.
I met Seth W at a show in upstate New York about 13 years ago. I played with my band, and Seth was his own. Since then he’s become one of the sharpest blogging minds in the country.
Name: Seth Werkheiser
Location: Pennsylvania (at the time of this interview)
Your Current Role: Founder of Skull Toaster, purveyor of nerdy metal trivia since 2011.
One phrase that best describes your work style:
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Your mobile hardware: iPhone 5 with Mophie Juice Pack, laptop, Logitech wireless mouse
Your computer: 2008 Aluminum MacBook
Your 5 Go to Web/Mobile Apps and why:
1. Rdio: New releases every tuesday, old favorites, social works well with people I follow, and the Recommendations are pretty spot on. Waiting for Metallica, though! Argh.
2. Google Apps for Business: Email + Docs + Drive for the storage and easy sharing of files.
3. TweetDeck: Twitter on the web is awful, and I don’t like the Twitter Desktop app, so this works best.
4. TweetBot: 80% of Skull Toaster is done through Twitter, so I need an app that’ll keep up when I’m mobile, which is most of the time.
5. Evernote: Perfect sync of notes between my laptop and phone. I couldn’t do Skull Toaster without this. Holds all my client work info, travel details for when I’m on the road (like screenshots and phone numbers). Can’t recommend Evernote enough.
What’s your workspace setup like?
Just a laptop on a desk, or kitchen table.
What’s your best time-saving tip or trick?
Using followupthen.com to remember to follow up on certain items. This means I don’t have to set a reminder or a Calendar item to follow up. That may only take a minute, but add that up over a year and that’s too much time. I just forward the email and it pops up in my inbox when I need to act on it.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I don’t use one.
Which area of technology excites you most?
Mobile web. Blogs ruled in 2006. Social media rules now. I think mobile web becomes the wild west and I can’t wait to see how that plays out.
Besides your cell phone and computer, what gadget can’t you go without and why?
Mophie Juice Pack. I don’t fault the iPhone at all, since I use this amazing piece of technology that fits in my pocket every hour of the day.
What everyday thing are you better at than everybody else?
Managing email. Inbox zero, always. As I mentioned before, followupthen.com let’s me get emails out of my inbox to follow up when needed. Then forwarding emails toEvernote, and organizing them by client or project helps me stay super organized. So when someone asks for details on a project I can go to Evernote (on my laptop or iPhone) and find the details in seconds. That means no folders or “tags” or whatever in Gmail. I’d never go back to organizing things in email ever again.
What was the last book you read?
‘Show Your Work’ by Austin Kleon. Great read.
Where do you get your industry news?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?
“Ship,” from ‘Linchpin’ by Seth Godin. Ship something. Get it out of the door. Make a website. Produce a video. Have something to show for your expertise, no matter how bad the first version is. Ship it, anyways. The next one will be better, and the one after that. Always be shipping. Five years from now you’ll wished you started today.
What’s the one activity you use to escape?
Long walks with no music. I force myself to 100% be in the moment, and not let the problems follow me. If shit is on my mind I look at a tree and think, “tree, tree, tree.” Look at a house, and think, “house, house, house.” The faster I get out of my head, away from everything, the better I’ll be when I sit back down at my computer to get back to work.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I’ve been couch surfing since 2010, and have only had my own bed for seven or eight months during that whole time. Right now I sleep on a couch. Asleep at 3am, up by 9am most everyday, or earlier.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“We’re not saving lives.” Shit happens, deadlines are missed, managers are angry, label doesn’t like a review, at the end of the day, hey, we’re not saving lives. Relax.
Are more a phone call person or email/text worker?
Email and text.
What music app do you use to consume music the most?
Proud paying subscriber to Rdio for the past few years.
I’d love to see _________ answer these questions.
Inspired by the fine folks at LifeHacker and their How I Work blog series, the Callsheet series gives the spotlight to the people behind the scenes that keep the music business going. The managers, road dogs and 3am phone call takers who live and die making things happen. Callsheet gives you a chance to learn their secrets, tips and tricks that make their day easier.