WCU Student Receives Music Contract

Senior political science major Seth Uldricks received a call unexpectedly in November 2007. It was an agent, hoping to make a contract with Uldricks’ metal band Southern Cross. Southern Cross’s album Written in Stone will be finished in May with a tour and tour dates to follow.

At first, Seth thought the phone call might be a joke. “I wasn’t sure if this was real,” Uldricks commented on the call. “We have a Myspace page for our band. I was bored and thought I’d add one more friend who looked similar to Southern Cross. It turned out that it was agent Sean Pellet with record label Season of Mist. I got a call the next day to discuss the originality of our work.”

Band members Brett Wilson, drummer, and Adam Ranke, base, were amazed they got the call. The deal with the agent ended up including a U.S. and international tour, iTunes, and merchandise in stores all over the globe. “We feel pretty glorified,” Uldricks related. “It doesn’t feel real sometimes. Slaving at night in clubs for two years. Slaving at parties for six years. It’s weird to think a break was going to happen. It’s who you know and luck. We are a good band, but it happened by luck.”

With MySpace becoming a large social network for bands and labels, the music industry seems to be turning its’ head to making record deals without the traditional paperwork. “With the internet, bands don’t need to be signed,” Uldricks said. “You can put together a contract. This helps an independent label like Season of Mist put a clean label together. This is a rough business, especially if you go from clubs to MTV. Step by step, go in deeper. The best part is, our label is excited about us. They feel successful if we are successful. It allows us a lot of creative freedom.”

Southern Cross formed in February 2006 with marine Ranke being its’ only original member. Uldricks played in bands at bars or clubs since he was fourteen, finally growing tired of most metal on the radio. After playing with some bands in Asheville while at WCU, Uldricks met Ranke, who felt that Uldricks had the sound he was looking for. Some rough spots in 2006 left Southern Cross short one drummer in 2007, but Wilson ended up fitting the bill, even though he was still in high school at the time. Shortly after jumping on with Uldricks and Ranke, Wilson commented that he “jumped from nothing to signed.”

When asked to give advice to fellow students aspiring to make a career out of music, Seth felt you should “keep your nose to the grindstone. Just talk to people. Don’t expect things to just happen. Even though it was luck, we formed Southern Cross for ourselves. It teaches you more about the business. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. There’s so much out there on MySpace. If you’ve got something, go for it!” Brett commented “Don’t have an ego. It’s the quickest killer of a band. Don’t build a fantasy around being a rock-star. It’s a job. There’s a lot of disappointment and pain. Work hard at it or at least have some stories to tell.”

For the latest information on the band and songs visit: http://www.myspace.com/southerncrossband