One in a Million? 

Local garage-rockers The Taste sign licensing deal with MTV

Local garage-rockers The Taste sign licensing deal with MTV

"They say that the odds of getting a record deal are one in a million, but it's actually less than that," Blackie Lawless, guitarist for the shock metal band W.A.S.P., observed in a recent radio interview published online. "Those who get a record deal average 1.4 albums, and of those 'one in a million,' less than 2 percent will have any real success. It's almost an impossible scenario." Consider as well the slump the industry's been in, the notion that a major label won't sign you during Grammy week, or on a Friday, or between the months of October and December, and an already impossible scenario becomes nearly hopeless—unless a band can find a way to create the kind of buzz that opens doors without selling 50,000 records out of the back of their van.

Local garage-rockers The Taste just signed a licensing deal with MTV's Bunim/Murray Productions, best known as the reality TV pioneers responsible for The Real World, Road Rules, Making the Band and The Simple Life. Using a growing strategy among young bands courting label attention, The Taste are venturing beyond DIY tours, shopping demos, playing showcases, hustling for local airplay and the otherwise exhaustive pursuit of the "big prize" by licensing their music to film and television. Bunim/Murray now may be only Murray, but the independent production company hasn't slowed in seeking both established and unknown groups as soundtrack material for their voyeuristic situational narratives. Current or onetime buzz acts like Dashboard Confessional, Superdrag and Hot Hot Heat have gone this route before The Taste, who have given Murray worldwide rights to use of all five tracks on their self-produced EP, More Where This Came From.

A plug on The Real World certainly wouldn't hurt: The show reaches 71 percent of the country and 336.8 million households worldwide—not a bad start for a group who've only been around for a year. The next time you hear The Taste, it might be when the noncommittal jock fights with the clingy sorority girl about their hot tub escapades in a possible future episode of The Real World: Puerto Rico.

—Tracy Moore

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