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The fact that I’m being empowered to staff up a label at a time when everyone else is scaling back is a very strong statement.
——Lava chief
Jason Flom
FLIM-FLOM MAN
Lava's Jason Flom Talks, We Listen

The good news for Jason Flom is that he’s just concluded an elephant-bucks deal that makes him the chief of WMG’s newest full-service record label, Lava. The BAD news for Jason Flom is that he’s just concluded an elephant-bucks deal that makes him the chief of WMG’s newest full-service record label, Lava. Amid difficult times, (relatively)  young Jason plans on continuing his remarkable winning streak. Unfortunately, he’s made things more difficult for himself by agreeing to speak with HITS’ biggest White Lion fan, Marc Pollack.

Did you really get a $50 million check?
No comment [chuckles].

How come Matchbox Twenty and Sugar Ray are staying on Atlantic, while Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker are moving with you?
We kind of did it chronologically. The nature of the Lava deal changed in 1999, between the time that my first three bands were released and the time next three were released. So we just figured that this was the logical way to divide up the spoils of Lava, so to speak. It also seemed fairly equitable.

How big is Lava going to be?
We’re going to have about 40 people. Lisa Velasquez will be the head of promotion. The whole staff of Lava, which is 10 people as it exists now, will make the transition. We’ll bring in additional promotion people because we’re going to have national and field staffs. The other additions are going to be in marketing. We’re going to hire a product manager. I’ve already got my video promotion person, as well as the head of publicity. I pretty much have the people in mind that I want, and now it’s just a matter of getting them signed.

Who have been the major influences in your career?
Well, Doug Morris’ influence on my life can never be overstated, because on top of teaching me the business, he also saved my life. That’s a standard you can’t hold anyone else up to, but certainly Val [Azzoli] and Roger [Ames] have shown great faith in me. The fact that I’m being empowered to staff up a label at a time when everyone else is scaling back is a very strong statement.

Do you feel under increased pressure to succeed?
As I said to my staff, if this thing fails, there will be no one to blame but ourselves. I’m putting together a fantastic staff, talented executives, and I’m going to empower them to do the job that has to be done—to break records and break bands. And most importantly, we have a fantastic product coming up. The first release will be Uncle Kracker’s follow-up to his double-Platinum album in July. I’m not nervous; I’m just excited and ready to go.

Who called first to congratulate you on your deal, Dee Snider or Mike Tramp?
Neither. I talk to Dee more than I talk to Mike, so I expect the call will be from him.

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