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The DMW Interview with The Liquid Experience Group
/ July 30, 2007 1:10 pm

The Liquid ExperienceIf you haven’t heard of the Liquid Experience Group, you will soon enough.  They’ve created a new product in the often turbulent energy drink industry to accompany a unique marketing strategy and company mission.  In the face of initial criticism from skeptics who say they’re yet another company exploiting a famous name, the company has stepped up its efforts to explain their goals.  The Liquid Experience is, first and foremost, dedicated to supporting musicians in an industry notorious for leaving its former stars in the dust.  To put its money where its mouth is, the company has teamed with entities such as MusiCares, In Ticketing, The Plant Studios and more, to evolve the cause.  DMW sat down with Kelly Kalichman, CXO/Chief Creative of The Liquid Experience Group, to hear about the company’s strategy.

DMW: Tell us about The Liquid Experience

Kalichman: The Liquid Experience was founded in the early part of this year.  At the core of all of our goals is to encourage people to become involved in a movement of charitable living. That’s our main focus.

So it’s about creating an unmatched revenue stream, obviously from the sales of the drink, so that we can accomplish all of our goals of supporting music and the artists who create it.  This is something that’s beyond overdue.  We’re about promoting awareness within the global community regarding this cause and more.

What it isn’t about is slapping some celebrity’s face on a can for no other reason than to furnish pockets, or to callously capitalize on anyone’s namesake.  The drink, for us, is a doorway, and that doorway is there to hopefully create an entirely new way of thinking within the music industry, with 401K’s, retirement plans, hospital plans, insurances, residences, rehab centers, educational centers, endowment funds, etc.  The drink  as well as our future events, tours and digital distribution channels and an artist-owned label will support the necessary revenue.

Why the motivation to help musicians?

For a few reasons: 1) although not a musician himself, the founder and CEO Josh Glass always knew he wanted to do something philanthropically with regards to music and music education and after meeting with the Estate, jumped at the chance to bring that right team together and do just that: 2) I was an artist myself and missed my own opportunity and would’ve benefited from this kind of support, and 3)  most importantly, music, if not the first form of communication, is the second.  And here we are, literally thousands and thousands of years after its creation, still doing almost squat to help our artists.  I don’t need to tell you how many young phenoms are out there that were 25-years-old, had a multi-platinum selling album, and by the time they’re 28 they have a couple million dollars in the bank, but by the time they’re 32 they’re strung out somewhere on Santa Monica Blvd. 

But it’s not always about drugs.  For the most part it’s the lack of support and lack of education. 

And what about the millions of folks who never even got a chance at those hit singles – and not because of any lack of talent – but perhaps due to that same lack of support and education from the industry as a whole?

Music brings people together.  It forms lifelong relationships.  It’s central to almost everyone’s life.  And we don’t do enough to support the people who create it.  Buying an album or a single is not enough.

There’s only a few ways people make money in music today and performance and digital distribution are right there alone at the top.  There’s almost no album sales, although we personally would like to see more of that digitally.  We hope to recreate lots of that with the tours and events we’re planning with partnerships like The Plant Studios and In Ticketing and the digital syndication and distribution of that content.

We’re a very unusual company, especially for a consumable manufacturing organization.  We have manufacturing, distributing, retailing, marketing, and advertising backgrounds. Then combine that with over 12 years in digital production and distribution, and you’ve got a formidable partner in us.  Add in the other ingredients like strategic partners MusiCares (of The Recording Academy and The Grammy Foundation) as well as The Plant Studios, In Ticketing, and our digital partners and it’s forming into a great story.

Tell us more about the relationship with MusiCares

MusiCares is an integral part of the puzzle and our first partnership in this endeavor…a monumental first step towards realizing the overall vision-quest for The Liquid Experience Group. The two organizations share many common thoughts, including but not limited to music education, the protection of music legacies, artist assistance and rehabilitation programs.  A portion of every purchase is donated to MusiCares and other causes that exemplify our vision, as well as Jimi’s indomitable spirit and
love for others.

Some will think our intentions are questionable, but we can’t control that…however we mean what we say, and our partnership with MusiCares is one of many ways we demonstrate that: We want to help artists and now.

But regardless, we need to make profit and need to make a lot of profit so that we can see things through to fruition.

Where we differ from them is that in the end, although they are the purest of altruistic organizations like ourselves, they’re also a political machine and we’re a business.  We can move much more quickly than them and get things done in real time…which of course helps them and their cause as well. It’s going to be a fruitful long lasting relationship…we complement each other well with the tasks each entity can perform in support of the other.

The energy drink industry is littered with failure.  What are you guys doing to ensure the business plan is carried out as planned?

One thing we’re doing within our Advisory Board and Board of Directors is we’re not only going after music people.  About 75% of both Boards will be music-related. With Arnie Frager from The Plant Studios, Michael Frondelli, who ran operations at Capital Records studios and who also worked as one of the original engineers at
Electric Lady Studios in New York…Eddie Kramer and Jimi’s home away from home. On the music side we also have veterans from the business and legal side like Daniel Reidy, who is one of the most formidable names in intellectual property and copyright law.  He’s put together some of the biggest deals for, among others, Best Buy.  Still one of the number one selling DVD of all time, a Rolling Stones disc…that was his…helped make a Best Buy exclusive out of the whole thing.

The other 25% will be the heads of brokerage houses, insurance companies, commercial real estate companies, etc…we will have coverage in all the verticals involved with supporting an artist's career, health or his retirement

It seems that one of your biggest challenges will be convincing critics that you’re not callously capitalizing on someone’s namesake, as you say.  What do you say to them?

Look, there are those that came out at the beginning who may have spoken out of line or before they actually knew what The Liquid Experience was really all about…I think I even heard that Flea, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was among them.  But as soon as someone learns about our true intentions there’s an almost instantaneous about-face.  As there should be. Maybe even Flea now feels differently, There’s a good chance our paths will cross soon as his own very important children’s and music education programs continue to flourish, and I’ll be sure to make a believer out of him if not already.

But in fairness to all, I say: If you can show me another way to create potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue so that we can accomplish the things we’re planning to do for the music industry, I’ll do that right now.  But until you can, come aboard, help us drive traffic, sell product, and help us spread the gospel, because every time we do that, something goes back into the artist’s pocket…perhaps even Flea’s pocket.  But more importantly into their children’s pockets.  And better yet, into the pockets of the children we teach.

How many times have you said to yourself, “What ever happened to that one-hit-wonder?” You want to know what happened?  We could go on forever.

So to the naysayers I say fine, tell me, if you’ve got another way, let us know.  But to us, this seems like the one and only option.


  • Kelly Kalichman, CXO/Chief Creative of The Liquid Experience Group has a dilemma — how to help musicians preserve their millions before they turn 32, and wind up broke and are strung out wandering Santa Monica Boulevard. Solution: Sell a line of energy drinks with Jimi Hendrix’s image on the label, give it a cute name, and covert Hendrix/energy drinks fans to buy more and get others to do the same. Then use the profits to support charitable organizations that help musicians.

    Statements like “we need to make profit and need to make a lot of profit so that we can see things through to fruition,” and “If you can show me another way to create potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue so that we can accomplish the things we’re planning to do for the music industry, I’ll do that right now,” are a bit disturbing when you consider that Hendrix, in his lifetime, never allowed his image to sell any commercial product.

    There were many commercial endorsements going on back in the sixties. Cream, another power trio, came up with a jingle to sell Falstaff beer. There were also countless others who used their names to pitch Coca Cola, but not Hendrix. In 2007, we now have Hendrix vodka, Hendrix Coffee, and there used to be Hendrix red wine, the same beverage he choked on the night he died. Do fans really need another Hendrix beverage? What ever happened to the music? Couldn’t Hendrix’s step-sister and his producers donate a portion of each recording, DVD, T-shirt sale to the same cause?

    I think there’s an underlying implication here that the company is not addressing. Hendrix died young, broke, and from a reaction to drug he had taken. In order that we don’t a have a future Jimi Hendrix die of the same situation, you’d better drink this and help the cause. Hendrix was not a pitchman, and like Paris Hilton naming her dog Jimi Hendrix, you’ve further cheapened and distorted Hendrix’s original image.

    Good luck with trying to persuade Flea.

  • “What ever happened to the music?,” is the quote I just pulled from this anomynous moron. To make a statement such as that is absolutely absurd. If you were to ask anyone who hasn’t had their head up their ass for the last half century who Elvis was, any idiot can immediately say the King of Rock and Roll, but wait if im not mistaken Elvis’ name, face, music, and pretty much everything else about him has been used to make money. Name an item and there is most likely some sort of Elvis type of it. The same can be said about the Beatles, Kiss, shit even Led Zeppelin, the kings of keeping it real even have some sort of swag. The point being is what will the world remember of all these amazing musicians, will it be an Elvis mug, a beatles keychain, or a Kiss coffin, I’ll answer the question for you, none of it. IT WILL BE THE FUCKIN MUSIC. MUSICIANS ARE REMEMBERED FOR THE MUSIC. AND IF ANYONE DOESN’T, THEN THEYRE A FUCKIN IDIOT ANYWAY SO WHO CARES. Theres no ifs, ands or buts about it. Its amazing how so many liberal douches get so fuckin upset about exploitation. Ill ask you all a question while you sit there, drinking your pepsi, eating dominos, playing xbox, on your Hp laptop blogging your stupid fuckin opinion thats as useful as Hilary in the whitehouse, what is the difference between a Jimi Hendrix T shirt and a jimi hendrix drink, the only difference is shirt and drink are two different words. So to anyone who wants to say what jimi hendrix wanted, SHUT THE FUCK UP. In this day and age its goin to be impossible to not remember that jimi hendrix was the greatest guitarist ever, because even if this world gets destroyed the only thing that will survive are sound waves, so if your worried that jimi wont be remembered for his axe slaying skills, go hit the bong and dont worry about it, if u dont like the drink then dont fuckin drink it, but remember everything you do or use is most likley the finished product of a corporation, and in all fairness who knows if jimi would have been down for a drink, Led Zeppelin said after Bonham died they would never play again together, oh but wait arent they playing in england in november. So to anyone who opposes this drink, if u really believe that it shouldnt be, then get rid of your hendrix shirts, posters, pictures, lighters, incents, mugs, pens, and basically everything that isnt just his music, because if u oppose one type of commercialism, then you have to oppose all or else you are a hypocrite, oh wait thats right all liberals are hypocrites. And im only bagging on liberals because cmon, what conservative is goin to argue that corporations are bad.

  • I volunteer three days/week to help people quit their addictions. I do it because I believe I can change something in their lives and make them better persons. I am not payed nor I sell t-shirts to advertise my actions. I can’t see how your liquid initiative will help people and not bring profit to your own pockets. Maybe I’m mistaken. Actually, I wish I am….


    Johanna Bartley, Narconon Vista Bay volunteer.

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