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Sebastian Chase is an Australian Music Business leader...

Sebastian Chase started in the industry in the early 70's as an artist manger with the Band Of Light, and Buffalo. In the mid 70’s Sebastian managed Cold Chisel, Rose Tattoo, Dragon and The Reels.

Manager Sebastian Chase organised a trip after the death of Neil for the band Dragon. The single 'This Time' was in the charts in 1976 after being picked up by other states it peaked at number 26 on the Australian national charts. Sebastian organised Dragon to tour Australia. The single was Get That Jive and On the Beachead. This single peaked at number 13 on the charts. The album Sunshine was released, went gold, reaching 24 on the albums chart.

In the early 80’s, Sebastian establish Chase Records, in partnership with CBS (Sony/BMG). The label signed its own Australian artists and offered major distribution to other independent labels such as Survival Records.

In 1988 Sebastian moved to establish rooArt Records together with Chris Murphy & Justin Van Stom. The label had offices in London, New York and Sydney – and artists such as – Screaming Jets, Ratcat, Wendy Matthews, Tall Tales & True, Sean Kelly, The Trilobites and Martha’s Vineyard. Sebastian left rooArt at the end of the 90’s and not long after became a partner in Phantom Records.

Waterfront Records began in 1984 as a shop front and 2003 online; it is run by Luisa Mirabilio, with Sebastian Chase and Frank Cotterell. Waterfront Records acts included: Tumbleweed, Ratcat and the Hard-Ons, as well as licensing international acts Nirvana, Pavement and the Beastie Boys.

During the 90's Phantom Records artists included: Def FX, The Whitlams, Switchkicker & Irratic. In partnership with Tim Freidman from The Whitlams, the Black Yak label was also founded featuring Iota and Pre-Shrunk. Chatterbox Records was established in 1997 with Nik Tropiano and Sebastian Chase. Immersion Records an Australian label launched in January 1998 to accommodate the release of recordings with which Peter Koppes has an association and interests in developing with label partner Sebastian Chase of Phantom Records and MGM Distribution. Acts included: Peter Koppes (The Church) and Margot Smith.

Sebastian started MGM Distribution in the late 90's. Artists with MGM distribution includes: John Butler, The Waifs, The Beautiful Girls and The Panics. Override Records 2000 established by Garry Gary Beers & Sebastian Chase to promote Australian independent talent.

The Ian Sandercoe album Earthday, single Australian and Here I am.. are distributed via MGM distribution, Sydney Australia.

Valley Fiesta 2002 Bigsound designed to shape the future of Australian music including the Australian Record Industry Association’s Chief Executive Stephan Peach, George lead singer Katie Noonan, electronic artist/composer David Thrussel, 4MMMFM Music Director Mitch Braund, Roadrunner Records / MD Jon Satterly and  Phantom Records MD Sebastian Chase.

Rockin' Workshops were held in July 2003 for musicians who have completed writing and/or recording and who are looking for the next step to help them break into the music industry. Vicki Gordon from Transistor Music and Sebastian Chase, a music Entrepreneur were in Alice Springs facilitating an interactive workshop as part of the Original Recipe Festival.

Sebastians Music Industry contributions include: The Indie Special Apra 2005 Roadshow, Amplified 2006 Conference, Board of Directors of Australian Independent Record Label Association (AIR) - AIR formed in July 1995 by Ed Jonker, Michael McMichael, Sebastian Chase and Graeme Reagan. The original aim of AIR was to assemble a group of independent recording labels in order to form an association. In 1996 AIR incorporated, using a donation from Phantom Records and in 1998 received a funding grant from The Australia Council for the Arts. AustralAsian Music Business Conference 2003 Conference, 2002 AIR secured a deal with Qantas that saw an Australian music video program developed by the association called Airplay which featured on all domestic flights. WAM, The West Australian Music Industry Association Inc.2005, ARIA member company 2007, 2005 Aprap - Sebastian Chase, one of the interviewees in our feature article (You can go your own way, page 8), August 2005 Northern Territory Music Workshops, a professional skills development workshops as part of the NT Music Festival program, 2006 The Australian Music Prize and 2007 Financial Contributor: Sebastian Chase and Kylie Greenlees of MGM distribution for The JB Seed - an arts grant fund.  

Sebastian Chase is recognised as a leading figure of the Australian Music Industry along with: Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, Phil Dwyer, Ken Brodziak, Denis Handlin, Stan Rofe, Robbie Porter, Terry Blamey, Michael Gudinski, Michael Chugg, Ray Evans, Dennis Charter, Glenn Wheatley, Peter Karpin, Roger Savage, Ernie Rose, Bill Armstrong, Kevin Jacobsen, Alan Hely, Frank Stivala, Philip Jacobsen, Harry M. Miller, Harley Medcalf, Fred Bestall, Lance Reynolds, Peter Rix, Sam Righi, Ron Tudor and Roger Davies.

Amplified 2006 source: Sebastian Chase says, “If a band has $7, then make a $7 album. If a band has $100, then make a $100 album. Release your $7 album to fund your $100 album then release your $100 album to fund your $2,000 album and so on. Bands are under the false impression that you have to save and spend a fortune to make your (first) album. Just put out albums.”

Aprap Source: Sebastian Chase says 'all artists start out independent– as Missy did till her discovery on Triple J Unearthed.’ He says, 'the artist’s journey is one from self-belief to success. Independent or major doesn’t matter: what matters is the partnerships you make to promote your music along the way'. Missy’s story fits this plotline perfectly. From independent roots her partnerships evolved: a partnership with John Watson of John Watson Management, a record deal with local label Eleven (backed by the significant distribution engine of Virgin/EMI), to the 2002 international deal with Warner Bros Records.

Mark Holden says of Sebastian Chase.... Source: Wealth Creator Magazine July/Aug 2006
“Even at 50 years old I learnt so much from Sebastian. I was very fortunate that [Sebastian] is such a generous person, and such a brilliant and honest person. He just took the time; every time I’d go to Sydney I’d sit in a little coffee shop with him. He’d smoke cigarettes furiously and drink coffee and he’d just share with me what he had learnt.”

Ridiculous Records- Source: My Space
Influences Other well run record companies, Richard Branson, Sebastian Chase, Michael Gudinski, and anyone else who has put Australian music on the global map.

Australian Music Online source: Todd Macalpine - Pandamonium Records & Ozmusicweed AMO 12.04.2004 Describe your most memorable Australian music moment: 'Having coffee with Sebastian Chase from MGM. People call Molly Meldrum the guru, but I think Sebastian is the real guru. The guy is an absolute fountain of knowledge on the Australian music business and isn’t afraid to tell things like they are.'

"MGM Distribution has been at the forefront of nurturing and facilitating the development of Australian independent artists for many years. Sebastian Chase and his team have been pioneers of the independent market and we have great respect for their business ethics. We are thrilled to have them on board with Usync and the next phase of alternative independence." Scott Mesiti GD Worldwide.

Get more information about Sebastian Chase at The Groove Merchants website:

Get more information about John Butlers Workshop at the JB-Seed website:
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Sebastian Chase

Sebastian Chase Music Business leader


Music Clip
John Butler Trio
Good Excuse