Not Surpringsly, Hawthorne Heights is suing Victory Records.Â It was a matter of time.
Due to recent events we have decided to leave Victory Records. Our departure is anything but amicable. We have decided to leave Victory, in part due to the actions of the man who sits at the head of the label, Tony Brummel. Tony Brummel is a man that cares more about his ego and bank account than the bands themselves. Tony is a man whose greed knows no bounds. After selling more than 1.2 million copies of The Silence In Black and White and If Only You Were Lonely, we have never seen a single dollar in artist royalties from Victory Records. Tony will claim that we have not recouped, a term used by those in the music business which means the label has spent more money in advertising than has been made by CD sales.
You may be wondering, why now? Why did they wait three years before saying something? Why did they sound happy in that interview??? Like being in an abusive relationship, we let certain things slide as we were afraid, as many of the bands on Victory are, to stick our neck out for fear of being beaten, in this case represented by the threat of not being promoted as has been the case with certain bands on the roster. Were done being abused. The reasons stated above represent the final straw in a huge pile of hay that broke our backs.
– Hawthorne Heights
The complaint consist of damages including lost record sales, lost publishing revenues, lost merch revenues, lost touring revenues, and damage to Hawthorne Heights reputation. Victory also sent out an email blast to street teamers without the bands consent directing those to misplace copy of CDs of “Ne-Yo” to boost record sales of Hawthornes sophmore record. According the document, Tony Brummel referred to this as a “joke”. KOAR fell for the joke.
Courtrooms are filled with jokes. Check out the PDF of the complaintÂ (via Velvet Rope)
Check out the article in Fortune Magazine titled
‘Big musicians flex their muscle with record labels’. Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of the Firm says he is trying to diversify the Firm into a company that not only manages music clients but can produce and promote their records and oversee publishing, touring, and merchandising. He says this is what record companies did in the 1960s and ’70s.
After meeting with various labels, Ice Cube one of the Firms clients chose to release his record himself. Ice Cube felt it was only fair that he own the music and reap all the profit from its sale in the U.S.
“We have ring-tone checks coming in. We’ve licensed music to TV shows. We’ve licensed music to films. It all goes into his pocket.”Says Kwatinetz.
Radiohead’s contract with EMI’s Capitol label has expired, and the band seems to be in no rush to sign a new one. In July, Thom Yorke, Radiohead’s lead singer, released a solo album, “The Eraser,” on an indie label. It was promoted on the homepage of Apple’s (Charts) iTunes Music Store and became the No. 2 record on the Billboard 200 without a major label.
Record sales became so profitable that the labels gave up their revenue streams from ticket and T-shirt sales. Napster came along and CD sales plummeted. Kwatinetz argues that now these same companies are so focused on making their quarterly results from album sales that they can no longer build long-term careers for their artists.
Let’s put this all together. If your a megastar or use to be a megastar with somewhat of a fan base, then yes, you don’t need a major label given you have enough capital. The same platforms labels use (I Tunes, MTV, Internet) to launch artists are available to anybody. The problem isn’t with megastar artists, the problem remains with new artists.
-Several labels including Virgin, IDJ, Columbia, Epic and Universal attended the Powerspace performance in Chicago, IL. For more information contact
Dan Friedman. Check out the track Right On Right Now.
Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI Group Plc, and Warner Music Group Corp. has sued LimeWire. The lawsuit has been filed in a Manhattan federal court. LimeWire has promoted digital piracy by letting users share digital content without permission from the owners. The RIAA said in a statement that they had tried numerous times to engage LimeWire but the site owners have â€œshown insufficient interest in developing a legal business modelâ€?.
The labels are demanding $150,000 in damages for every song digitally pirated on their service.
Tower Records who just launched its own digital download store is in serious trouble.
Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group Corp. and EMI Group confirmed each had stopped sending albums to Tower Records, and record executives said the the cutoff is due to unpaid bills, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. If the music companies shut off Tower Records for long, the company might have to shut down its 89 locations, including their famed location on Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip, the Times said. The writing is on the wall, the sale of physical CD’s is at its tipping point.