Bonus:Unedited interview with Johnny Marines
Remolacha.net:Qué se siente ser manager de Aventura?
Johnny Marines:I have to be Honest and say That I haven't really taken the time out to ask myself that question. I am extremely focused on the things that need to get done so that the Group can continue to Grow. I feel like we are definetly heading in the right direction of the type of success and respect that the group deserves, but not completely there yet. I don't want you to misinterpret what I'm trying to say. I know we have accomplished alot and have taken Bachata to a level probably never imagined. What I'm trying to say is that in the industry we still have work to do so that Bachata can be viewed at the same level Pop music is and as Aventura I still see alot of big things that we can accomplish if we stay focused and continue to work the way we are.
R:Como llegaste a ser el manager de Aventura?
JM:Wow good question. I actually started out being security for the group in 2002. I met Romeo in a restaurant where a mutual friend of ours who goes by the name of Juan Carlos introduced us. Being that I was a New York City Police Officer it was more natural for me to land a security position than a managerial position. I soon started to work security for the group after meeting Romeo, During my 1 year stint as security for the group the guys got to know me better and started to confide in me for advice. At the time there was some legal issues going on with their Music contracts and I helped them get legal representation and represented them while their Music Contract was being disputed and renegotiated. I soon found myself in more of a managerial position rather than a bodyguard. Soon after their contract was renegotiated where they went from having one of the worst contracts to probably the best contract in Tropical music I was asked by the guys to be their Manager.
R:Para que la gente este clara, hablenos de tu trabajo como manager?
JM:First and Foremost being a Music Manager especially one for a artist at the level of Aventura is extremely stressful. The responsibilities are Massive. You are the person who is in control of the operation and if anything goes wrong the blame is heavily placed on you. A managerial position requires alot of time and effort. Everything has to be "Perfect", and if not than you will have alot of questions to answer to the artist. As a Manager I have to make sure that the artist is Happy, even if you are under great stress. It is important that you keep the Artist motivated and focused on what he has to do which is entertain and not the problems that arise. Honestly speaking you wouldn't want to be in my shoes because a Managers work never ends, even when you to sleep there is still work to be done. I can tell you that not everyone is cut out to do this job and many who attempt it don't last because in this business you have to deal with alot types of characters and not everyone can take the heat in the Kitchen.
R:Cuales son las cosas behind-the-scenes que se hace para la preparacion de un tour?
JM:You don't want to know the amount of work that it takes to put a tour together. There is so much stress that I laugh because I don't know what else to do. "The Last" being the first organized tour that Aventura is doing in the United States I have learned to appreciate all the other Managers and booking agents that have done it before me. Luckily for me I have someone by my side who goes by the name of Angelo Medina who has done tours for many years and has represented some of the biggest Latin Artist (e.g Ricky Martin, Mana etc.) I consider myself lucky to have someone like Angelo to learn from. I can not begin to explain to you the amount of work and stress behind a tour. I sometimes wish I was just a fan and not in the business so that all I would have to do is buy a ticket and sit and enjoy the show. Putting a tour together is so hectic. It takes months of preparation, by the time the Tour starts everyone is exhausted including the Artist from doing months of rehearsals to make sure that the fans are given the best show possible. Putting together a staff of about 60 ppl and making it work isn't easy. Not to mention traveling from state to state on tour Buses isn't the most glamorous thing neither. Last but not least putting a Stage production is very hard and requires the collaboration of about 30 people. All this is done so that the Artist is able to put on the best show possible.
R: Resúmenos como se logró la presentación de Aventura en la Casa Blanca. Cómo recibieron ustedes la noticia?, Que impresión se llevaron los muchachos de Aventura del presidente Obama¨?
JM:I was the first person to get the news from our American Publicist John Reilly. At first I almost didn't believe it. I thought our publicist was joking but soon realized it wasn't a joke. I immediately reached out to the guys in the group and told them the great news that President Obama had invited the Group to perform in the White House as a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The guys were surprised as well., After our performance, I remember all the guys talking and saying what an Honor it was for them to play at the White House. Especially since we was the only artist that was invited that represented the Dominican Republic.
President Obama left a great impression with all of us. When we was with him he acted just like one of us. He didn't act like he was more important than any of us and the weird thing was that we thought he would have secret service men all around him but he didn't. The greatest moment between the group and President Obama came when Romeo was explaining to him what Bachata music was and President Obama came out and told us. "Man you guys act like I don't know what Bachata is"? I can't tell you how proud I felt to be Dominican to hear the President of The United States say he recognized our Music.
R:Como le ha ido a Aventura en los Billboards?
JM:We continue to do very well on the Billboard charts With our recent production "The Last" we have managed to already have 3 # 1 singles in a very short period." Por Un Segundo" which was our first single from this production hit #1 on Hot Latin Songs, Soon after the singles "All up to you" and "Su Veneno" both hit #1 on Billboards Latin Rhythm chart. Recently I became aware that Aventura is tied with Juan Luis Guerra for the most songs to hit # 1 on Billboards Tropical Chart. We are tied at 7 # 1 songs each. Now we are ready to start promoting our forth single titled "Dile al Amor" which we recently shot the video for with the Director Pablo Croce. We are set to premiere the video very soon.. I have high expectations from this particular song as it has pretty much become every one's favorite song from the Album.
JM:Yes it is a record for Latin Artist. Honestly speaking I felt that with the success and growth that the group has gotten that we could definitely sell out 1 concert 360 Degrees like we did in the K.O.B Tour in 2007 and possibly sell out a 2nd concert depending how fast Tickets would sell. So when we put Jan 20th on sale and the concert sold out in just 3 Hours. Me and the guys were as surprised as we were when we made History in Puerto Rico last December where we sold out 5 Coliseos. We then decided to put the 2nd concert for Jan 21st on sale and that concert sold out in just a few days. Again I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I was also getting alot of emails from fans requesting to put a 3rd concert on sale. So due to popular demand we put a 3rd concert on sale for the date of Feb 01, 2010. That concert is almost sold out and I suggest that if you haven't purchased your Tickets by now, that you don't wait any longer so that you wont be left out and miss the opportunity to see History in the making. Tickets to any of our concerts for this tour can be purchased at (www.ticketmaster.com) . I also want to tell the people who might have attended our Last concert at MSG in 2007 that Last time sales caught us off guard and we didn't have the stage in the middle of the Arena. This time we were better prepared and decided from the start that we would open up the ticket sales for 360 Degrees and put a Rotating stage in the Middle of the Arena. Why the Rotating stage you might ask? Well if the stage rotates it will give every fan in the Arena an opportunity to see part of the show directly in front of them. So it doesn't matter where your seat is at because no matter what, at one point or another you will have a great view of the show.
R:Han cambiado de actitud de usted y los miembros de aventura por la fama y el dinero?
JM:Jaja NO ! Absolutely not. Money comes and goes I would say It's actually the contrary. I don't see any of these guys trying to act like superstars and Divo's. Each one of them still act like the guys I got to know when they wasn't famous. In fact I see them always getting involved in projects that have to do with giving back to the community and neighborhoods where they grew up in.We have and continue to participate and donate in Toy Drives for under privileged kid's as well as working with Halie Rivera from Hands on New York where we Donate Turkeys so that Hundreds of Families from Low Income neighborhoods can have a Turkey on their table for Thanksgiving. Max who sometimes gets a bad rap for some of the controversial things that has gotten media attention in the past is actually the biggest Humanitarian of the group. Max has visited countless children's hospitals and has even recorded songs where 100 % of the proceeds from the sales of the cd go completely to the children's foundation. Max is involved with a foundation called "Healing the children". He and the foundation are holding a charity benefit concert in New Jersey on Jan 17, 2010 where he will be joined by many artist. All proceeds from the Benefit concert go to the Healing the Children foundation. Anyone wishing to Donate or purchase Tickets to the Benefit concert please log on to www.htcmidlantic.org
R: Que va ser el futuro de Aventura?.
JM:I see a bright future for Aventura. We continue to have great success in the United States and throughout the world. We are set to kick off the first leg of the U.S Tour Nov 20 in Chicago and End in New York in February. We are also taking "The Last" to the Dominican Republic where we are set to have a concert on Feb 13, 2010 en El Estadio Olimpico. We are also breaking into new territories like Mexico and Spain where we are now working hand in hand with Sony. Sony is making the group a priority in these territories and we are looking forward to going to Mexico in March of 2010 and Europe in the summer. I know your question was probably more directed at what's going to happen with the group? Are they splitting up? And the truth is we have alot of touring and work to do. We are still Aventura and will continue to be Aventura.
R:Que va ser el futuro de usted con Aventura? Piensa hacer algo fuera la musica?
JM:My future in Aventura is what it has been since my first day as manager. I will continue to manage them and Look forward to all the new challenges ahead. I will continue to wake up everyday and act like I represent a starving artist because it is that Hunger that keeps me focused and never allows me to become satisfied until we reach the Level that me and the group have in vision.
As for outside the Music Business I consider myself as being an entrepreneur. I already own a very successful Organic Deli in Lower Manhattan (www.eswholesomefoods.com) and plan on opening up a supermarket in the near future. I also have interest of either working in Radio or owning a radio station one day.