Archive | Gloom And Doom
After officially revealing that he was diagnosed with leukemia, the support for Behemoth’s Adam “Nergal” Darski has been overwhelming with fans and bands reaching out to see how they can help. And for the first time since making his illness public, Nergal has released an official statement. In addition to thanking everyone for all of their support, Nergal assured that not only will he fight the disease, but that Behemoth will in no way be put on hold.
But if that wasn’t enough to give you hope that he will indeed beat this, then his words about changing his anti-religious ways will. You can read the entire statement here, but here is an excerpt that proves that no illness will prevent him from taking on religion:
“Finally, I want to comment on some opinions which, provoked by religious circles, lead to far-fetched and inaccurate interpretations. I was surprised to hear my illness became a pretext for some people to embark on their own crusade. Opinions suggesting I might come closer to God or abandon my ideals and grovel to the only correct world view in this country not only surprised but also frightened me. This is a typical example of supporting one’s own views by preying on someone’s misfortune. ‘He fell ill so he will convert to Christianity, he will discover the religion he fought against is actually close to him.’ Halt! Why should the illness change my point of view? It is true this is a difficult time for me and the thoughts of ultimate matters are hard to chase away. But the idea that I will change my opinions, priorities, and values as a consequence of my illness sounds as if someone regards my head, and not my body, ill. Suggesting I might convert are ridiculous. To what would I convert? After all, I know Christian mythology pretty well, not only in its literary version, and I find nothing good, creative or beautiful in it. I read books better and wiser than the Bible. War, blood, blackmail, rapes, incest, pedophilia, zoophilia, collaboration and treachery – each page emanates with evil. Some may say I don’t understand the message of the Bible. I’d rather say the Christianity is nothing more than a rusty and archaic structure that is going to fall down any moment. It lasts only because of the gullible that follow the shepherd blindly; without any questions, without any consideration, not to any promised land, but to an intellectual slaughter. So, I say to those, who see some chances to break my rules, and myself because of the illness: over my dead body!”
In other words, even in difficult times, Nergal is still the black metal God we all love. In so many ways, this is a great sign of hope for Behemoth fans and concerned metal heads. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Nergal and his family.
A few sites, including Metal Sucks and The Gauntlet, have reported that Behemoth frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski has been officially diagnosed with leukemia. This news comes just two weeks after Darski revealed he was seriously ill and was forced to cancel the band’s upcoming tour plans.
No official statement has been made from Behemoth’s camp, but MetalUnderground.com revealed the following:
“According to the Polish celebrity news site TVP, the disease has advanced to the point where chemotherapy can no longer be an effective treatment and can only be cured through a bone marrow transplant. Within the country of Poland, there are only 100,000 donors out of a population of 38,192,000. Nergal’s fiance Doda has already donated her bone marrow but it’s unknown if her bone marrow will provide a DNA match.”
We wish the best for Nergal and his family during this extremely tough time. We will keep you informed when more is revealed and official confirmation is made.
UPDATE: Behemoth has made an official announcement confirming the tragic news.
Hypebot is reporting that EMI revealed to investors this morning in their annual report that they experienced a net loss of $802 million this past year. If that wasn’t bad enough (after all, it wouldn’t be EMI without more bad news), they are also expecting to need another cash infusion as early as next year and will also fall short of its banking covenants until at least 2015.
EMI basically is pointing their finger at iTunes for their problems. They feel that the online store’s dominance in the download market and pricing is a huge risk to EMI’s future profit. With everything going wrong for EMI this past year, I’d say that iTunes isn’t the only thing risking their future. That said, this isn’t the first time the label group has experienced problems, and they’re still here.
Adding to what’s already been a terrible 2010 in the world of metal, Behemoth first pulled out of the Finnish stop of the Sonisphere festival, then cancelled the remainder of their touring schedule following frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski being taken to a hospital following an undisclosed ailment that has him “seriously ill.” Nergal left a statement on their official website, and the translation of his statement is as follows:
“I do not want to bore you with details, but I can no longer hide the fact that I am seriously ill and waiting for my multi-stage treatment, which can take up to several months. Thus, we have not choice but to cancel the coming summer festivals, planned for September and October tour of Russia and the Baltic States and the November tour of the USA. I’ve got a rather difficult period, and a lot of work but I became hardened in the fire, is not it? You know me, so that you know that out of this I will become stronger than ever. We will then rebook all the concerts and return with greater momentum. At this time, I feel good, my head is ready to fight the disease, everything is under the control of professionals. I have with me the most wonderful and loving woman, family, team, managers and people from publishing companies who are doing everything to support me. I do ask of you just a little bit of patience. I would add that the fact that in the near future we will not be touring but will not be in hibernation. We have a lot to offer you in the coming months, Behemoth will be working on many other fronts. In coming days expect release of our latest clip “Alas, Lord Is Upon Me.” Ensures that this is the most perfect, the most provocative and stimulating I have ever made a picture. In addition, we will finish work on the DVD release “Evangelia Heretika” which will be released in November of this year. We will keep you informed about what is happening in our camp. Horns Up!”
This sounds like it’s pretty serious. On the other hand, it seems like he’s got enough of his faculties about him to both address rumors of his health and make a statement. The 33 year-old has age on his side, and from the way the press release reads, at least has a positive enough mental attitude to get him through whatever the ailment is. The Polish media reported that he was taken to the hematology division of the Gdansk Medical University Hospital, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Either way, their November and December tour of the States is now off, and we join the metal community worldwide in wishing him a speedy recovery.
It’s been a bad enough for major tours this Summer (as if you didn’t know). So imagine how bad medium level acts are doing on tour right now! This past weekend, Metal Injection posted an account from Oh, Sleeper guitarist Shane Blay explaining the financial struggles that a mid-level band can expect to experience on the road.
After breaking down the profit made and lost in merchandise and guaranties (rounding up to $300 each), Blay proclaims that once you take out bills and costs, each band member on the tour (amongst four bands in his example) makes only around $13 per day. You can take a look at Blay’s whole breakdown over at Metal Injection, but get ready to be downright depressed.
It’s sad to read this, but sadly not all that shocking. Touring was never all that bankable for mid level artists, but this Summer is proving to be a struggle for even major artists (when the Jonas Brothers have to cut dates, you know times are tough). It’s simply a shame anyway you look at it. And while it’s been thought that bands make the majority of their money on the road via merch, Oh Sleeper’s account kind of pokes a hole in that theory, mainly because they use American Apparel merch, which of course is the most comfortable. I guess if you go to an Oh Sleeper show and the shirt you buy is uncomfortable, you know they cut a corner.
It’s been a brutal summer for the concert industry, with tours being cancelled, select shows being yanked, and attendance down across the board. Following an investor disclosure last Thursday, Live Nation shares dropped nearly 12% on Friday, and fell 21% in the past week. Among the downbeat news given to investors on Thursday was that ticket sales for Live Nation’s top 100 tours dropped almost 10% in the first half of the year. There’s a lot of information in the presentation they gave investors, which can be viewed here, and we’re not sure how we feel about it.
For one, page 17 of the report states that “more bands are on the road faster now.” Under their “old model,” it took 2-5 years for a band to sell out an arena, with milestones like “write song,” “get label,” and making two albums. Under their “new model,” it should now take three months, there are now three: “post video/song online,” “sign promoter deal,” and “sell out arena.” Wait, WHAT? Who’s selling out arenas three months after they post something online? Lady Gaga isn’t, and neither is Justin Bieber. I guess that means that the Double Rainbow guy is coming to an arena near you soon. It’s also interesting that according to their study, only 15% of concertgoers find out about shows via radio and print advertising. 53% find out via e-mail and online, while almost 30% find out from friends and family.
The report also takes a look at the math behind a typical concert ticket. Using the average face value of $55.65, talent fees range between $34 and $47 dollars, and according to Live Nation’s math, the promoter makes between $3 and a loss of $10 per show.
Don’t feel bad for Live Nation though. It’s obvious that people aren’t buying as many concert tickets any more. The cost has gone way up, and anyone that’s been to a Live Nation show in the past few months has seen that it’s been much easier to buy cheap tickets as the shows get closer. It’s one of the few industries where the die hard fans that buy tickets first get hurt. And as demonstrated on page 62 of the report, $10 lawn seats, discounted 4-packs of tickets, and no service fees drove up attendance. Hey Live Nation, maybe you should drop service fees altogether, ya greedy bastards. It’s obvious from your stock price and the investor report that the model you have now isn’t working.
Remember when people used to pay for music? Neither do consumers, according to Nielsen SoundScan. A Businessweek article claims that Nielsen found that downloads of songs to iPods, computers and other devices have stalled, growing only 0.3% this year. While that’s an increase, it sure isn’t much of one. Market researcher NPD Group reports that the number of people using digital music stores like iTunes and Amazon has leveled off at around 40 million people, with streaming sites like Pandora increasingly becoming where many go to hear music.
The article also claims that another way labels are losing money in the digital space is ringtones, or lack thereof. It’s hard to think that anyone is paying for ringtones these days, but they’ve only fallen 24% since their peak of $714 million in 2007. While it’s hard to feel too much sympathy for an industry that ten years ago was charging $19 for something that cost $1 to make, labels still have way more distribution and marketing than trying to do it yourself, so if you like an artist, download their music legally.
It’s no surprise that album sales have been on a steady decline since 2000, but according to Billboard, the week ending May 30 was the fewest number of albums sold in one week since Soundscan began compiling the list in 1994. The total of 4,984,000 albums stands in stark comparison to late December 2000, when there was a one week sales total of 45.4 million. Even last year, the week ending May 31, 2009 showed album sales of 5.76 million.
There’s no real way to get exact number of albums sold before the Soundscan era, but Billboard compared the number of albums shipped (the way album sales used to be counted by the RIAA) to the number of albums sold as Soundscan reported, from 1992-2009 and found there were about 30% more shipped than there are scanned. Using that equation, you’d have to back t0 1973 to find a time when there were album sales anywhere near as low as they are now.
While some point to the fact that there weren’t any blockbuster releases in the week before May 30, it’s definitely a sign that piracy and file sharing is on the rise, and as one executive puts it, is “pretty scary.” And with June releases by Miley Cyrus, Eminem and more, sales should rebound. But that’s definitely temporary, and a wake up call to any label or artist expecting to get by on album sales alone.
Going hand in hand with Bram’s recent article over the state of music industry are the startling statistics that have come out of this weekend’s NARM convention. Digital Music News is reporting that on top of the staggering statistics revealed was the fact that a total of 98,000 albums were released in 2009. Of these albums, only a few crossed the million-mark and just 2.1% managed to cross the 5,000-mark. These records also accounted for 91% of total record sales, which altogether makes it increasingly obvious that DIY marketing for up-and coming bands is getting harder everyday. NARM president Jim Donio did have some ‘positive’ stats, which included the fact that 75% of albums sold in the US are still physical and are mostly CDs although vinyl is becoming more and more popular among consumers.
NARM 2010 may be coming to a close, but the picture it has painted about the state of physical sales in the music industry has many industry officials baffled. The fact that CD sales have been declining is nothing new to anyone that knows what Pirate Bay is. The fact that people are listening to and engaging in music more than ever before is the issue that hasn’t been solved since the RIAA started its witchhunt against downloading. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to be solved anytime soon.
Anyone that’s been following our coverage of EMI Music knows that the music group has been on some pretty shaky ground financially. The group’s owner, Terra Firma, is asking investors for about $557 million to keep them from being sold. Now Reuters reports that Sony Music may be considering a bid for them.
Back in March, EMI had held talks with both Sony and Universal about a licensing deal in North America, but nothing came to fruition. However, in a quote in German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (that name beats the hell out of the Times!) Sony Music head Rolf Schmidt-Holz was quoted as saying “We are in a position that allows us to seize every opportunity in the market – including EMI.”
Meanwhile Terra Firma needs the financial support of 75% of its fund’s 200 investors by this Friday (14), when they’ll present a compliance certificate to Citigroup showing they can meet its current obligations. New EMI Executive Chairman Charles Allen is apparently looking at some new business plans for the company, according to premier-finance.com. Those include selling off their Japanese business and possibly having Warner Music distribute them in America, with them making an upfront payment. However, unlike Schimidt-Holz, Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman gave no comment.
EMI Labels include Capitol and Virgin, while EMI distributes metal labels including Century Media, Nuclear Blast and Earache.