Seattle melodic-rock band Barcelona may have moved on, but their ex-manager, BJ Olin, is still biting the dust. Mere weeks before Universal Records dropped the local band, Chris Bristol, Brian Fennell and Rhett Stonelake of Barcelona decided it was time to kick their manager off the bandwagon.
Barcelona ain't looking back, no matter how upset their manager, BJ Olin, gets.
"To be honest, it very much came out of nowhere," Olin says. "I literally woke up one morning (Nov. 30, 2009) to a text from a friend of mine who happens to do all of the band's tour merch that said: 'I just got an email from Barcelona, WTF.' And right as I was responding to her I was like, shit. I just knew."The unanticipated email said some vague things about problems with communication and the band's professional interests, as Olin remembers it. Ironically, in a recent interview, Barcelona said that was one of their main issues with their record label, too. In regards to firing Olin, however, they claimed there were no hard feelings on their end, but that they weren't able to discuss much more at that time because of legal issues.
When asked if he thinks that the label drop had anything to do with the band firing him, Olin says, "Honestly, my ego would love for that to be a direct correlation, but no, I don't think that that was a cause-and-effect sort of situation."
In describing the artist-manager relationship, Olin compares it to any romantic relationship, accounting for his strong emotional response to his breakup with the band. "There are so many parallels between artist management and dating that it's ridiculous: You have to spend time with them, build a personal relationship, be a psychiatrist at some point, deal with their drama, and whether they have fidelity issues, whatever it is, you get all of that, and when they break up with you, they break up with you. You put four years into something and you get dumped via email, it's going to sting, you know? There was a day where I was like I'm never doing this shit again...fuck this, I'm never dating again."
As with any good breakup, Olin is taking steps toward recovery, now working with two local artists, Allen Stone and Jinx, and an Australian, Nikki Kummerow. Olin, however, still feels he deserves something better from Barcelona. "You don't just fire someone after four years because of communication problems...I'm not really buying it."
Barcelona declined to respond to Olin's remarks.