Archive | Shady Business
After the cancellation of some Blood For Blood shows, rumors started swirling around about the reasons for the hardcore band backing out of the shows. It turns out that frontman Erick Medina is out of the band and is currently being investigated by the police on accusations of rape.
The Gauntlet spoke with a source close to the band, with the source stating that there has been:
an accusation of rape made against ‘Buddha’ [Erick Medina] about a month ago, but at this time I have no details regarding this except for he was arrested and booked for rape. I tried texting him on Monday but haven’t heard back from him. We were told the incident happened at a BBQ over Memorial Day weekend where Medina got a bit drunk pinned a 13 year old girl against a wall and began kissing her as she struggled. The Massachusetts department of social services Department of Children and Family has already investigated the incident.
The band itself also released a rather vague statement, however it makes one thing very clear: Medina will not be a part of Blood For Blood from this point in time onwards:
Make no mistake, the nature of the alleged activity, true or false, is an affront to EVERYTHING this band is about. Some of the members of this band have been mistreated and abused as a children, personally. We would never, COULD never ignore, condone, or even associate with such behavior. At this time we are too emotionally drained to make plans for the band’s future, but due to the nature of these allegations, we feel it is impossible to continue with anyone linked to such allegations, thus, whatever the future holds for Blood For Blood, it will not include Erick. Lastly, We are unable to make concrete plans for the band’s future.
We have yet to see just how the band will continue after this, but booting Medina was definitely the right thing to do. The Massachusetts police department has yet to release any official statement regarding the incident.
[via Metal Injection]
Touring’s a bitch. If the nonstop driving and wear and tear of being in a van with four or five guys for 18 hours a day isn’t enough, there’s shady promoters, nights blending into days, and the possibility of getting into an accident as a result of those nights blending into days. Add to that, every now and then, some douchebag decides to steal your van and trailer, like what just happened to Veil of Maya in Chicago. “Our van and trailer was stolen last night in Wicker Park, Chicago, IL,” reads a post on their Facebook page. “Please keep a look out for our 98 White Ford 15 passenger van with the trailer shown attached to it. Please call Chicago police if you happen to see it.”
That really sucks. I’d assume it means that their instruments were in the trailer as well. And it’s not even a nice van. If you check the picture, there’s either rust or a shit stain on it. Whatever dick decided to jack their van probably only wants it for what’s in the trailer, so they’d be smart to check pawn shops in the area as well. At least the trailer’s already got graffiti on it. Maybe whoever stole it will tag it with “Honky Lips,” as that’s been known to happen in Chicago… If there’s any silver lining, it’s the the band weren’t on tour, so at least they’re not going to lose out on playing any shows.
Heard of NYC death metal band Divine Infamy? You will soon. Their vocalist, Purgatory (or Shanna Spalding), has just been arrested for several robberies, one of which was done while she was wearing a cat mask. She was arrested in Manhattan yesterday after walking into a store in SoHo with a gun and demanding cash while wearing a burqa as a disguise. She’d gotten the attention of the New York media after robbing a high end gallery wearing a cat mask. We’d make a bunch of cheesy cat jokes, but the New York Post has already beat us to it. At any rate,the 28 year old Queens woman is wanted for robberies in Queens and Manhattan. I think it goes without saying that their show this Saturday at the Water Grill in Brooklyn is cancelled. You can see a picture of her in cuffs after the jump. Remember kids, crime doesn’t
spay pay! Also, being in a death metal band, you’d think she probably could have come up with some better disguises. Maybe she should have consulted Portal.
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Arizona has passed a bill that essentially legalizes racial profiling. There are people for and against it, and obviously on the entertainment side, many are against it. Among them is Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha, He started an organization called The Sound Strike that’s essentially boycotting Arizona. Among the artists participating are, of course, Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, Tenacious D, Massive Attack, and Sonic Youth. Here’s some of Zack’s call to arms:
Fans of our music, our stories, our films and our words can be pulled over and harassed every day because they are brown or black, or for the way they speak, or for the music they listen to. People who are poor like some of us used to be could be forced to live in a constant state of fear while just doing what they can to find work and survive. This law opens the door for them to be shaked down, or even worse, detained and deported while just trying to travel home from school, from home to work, or when they just roll out with their friends.
Some of us grew up dealing with racial profiling, but this law (SB 1070) takes it to a whole new low. If other states follow the direction of the Arizona government, we could be headed towards a pre-civil rights era reality. This unjust law was set into motion by the same Arizona government that refused to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr. day as a national holiday.
When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, they arrested her. As a result, people got together and said we are not going to ride the bus until they change the law. It was this courageous action that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. What if we got together, signed a collective letter saying, “we’re not going to ride the bus”, saying we are not going to comply. We are not going to play in Arizona. We are going to boycott Arizona!
While we’re definitely against the bill, and can’t really fault De La Rocha for actively speaking out against it, the motives are a little off. For one, we agree with Damian Abraham from Fucked Up, who got into a Twitter war with some band we never heard of called Stars. “All this does is not give the people that like your band enough credit and assumes that they are in someway supportive of the bill,” he responded to Stars’ announcement they were boycotting the state.
Also, look at that list of performers boycotting Arizona. Way to go, Rage Against the Machine. When was the last time they toured again? Massive Attack? They’re from the UK, and only tour once per album. Street Sweeper Social Club? Wait, who’s in that band again? Oh right, RATM guitarist Tom Morello. Tenacious D? Is Kyle Gass going to not drink Arizona Iced Tea? It’s not like it’s not a worthy cause, but how much pull will these acts have in urging people to join the boycott? The biggest name on there is the guy that’s directed a few Rage Against the Machine videos, Michael Moore. He’s definitely got the biggest reach (and likely the biggest gut, but that’s a different story).
At any rate, sign the petition here.
Too Much Joy weren’t metal, but anyone in a band looking for a major label deal needs to read this now. The band, who broke up in 1999, put out three records through Warner Bros., and never really caught on, but that’s beside the point. In an amazing and sobering blog post, the band’s Timothy Quirk writes about receiving a digital royalty statement for the three Warner albums, which, while out of print physically, had been available digitally for five years.
While the band had been collecting thousands of dollars in digital royalties from their four independent albums, the statements from the three WB albums kept being showing $0 in digital sales against the band’s ridiculous unrecouped balance of $395,277. It took Quirk 13 months to finally get their digital royalties added, with a grand result of $62.47. Here’s why it’s really ridiculous, though. Quirk works at Rhapsody, so he knows a thing or two about what his band should be making digitally. And it was only through his job that he was given the favor of getting anything to show up on the statement at all. He’d appeared on a panel with someone in business affairs from Warner Bros., and mentioned that he’d been trying to get their iTunes sales reported.
What the fuck?
I mean, we all know that major labels are supposed to be venal masters of hiding money from artists, but they’re also supposed to be good at it, right? This figure wasn’t insulting because it was so small, it was insulting because it was so stupid.
Granted, a band that never made the label money is much lower on the priority scale than a current multi-platinum band that demands proper accounting. But reading Quirk’s blog post details how sloppy and lazy WB is, and while he was able to get his (badly accounted for and ridiculously low) royalty statement because of his persistence and someone he randomly met, what does that mean for the countless other bands without connections that aren’t the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Linkin Park?
Hey musicians, did you buy a guitar from musical instrument giant Guitar Center between 2005 and 2007? If so, you might be eligible for a settlement. A class action lawsuit has been filed against both Guitar Center and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), claiming that the two conspired to fix pricing on fretted instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, banjos, violins, and more.
The suit claims that NAMM organized meetings and programs where competing retailers were encouraged to agree on strategies for price-fixing, which is anti-competitive.
“Guitars and other fretted instruments comprise a multi-million dollar industry in the United States alone, and one that’s heavily influenced by a handful of industry giants like Guitar Center,” said Steve Berman, lead attorney and managing partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, who filed the suit. “We contend that, even with its market domination, the company acted illegally to rig the marketplace to its benefit.”
The suit, filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles, also claims that defenants tried to quash competition from online retailers by threatening to boycott manufacturers selling through online competitors. If you bought a fretted instrument between 2005 and 2007, you can become part of the class action suit here.
The Wall Street Journal published a pretty damning article last week about Ticketmaster and its CEO Irving Azoff, revealing an allegedly attempted plan to pass premium tickets directly to ticket brokers (scalpers) in exchange for a percentage of the profits.
The deal, allegedly codenamed “Project Showtime”, only fell apart because of distrust between the participants. That was not before the secondary ticket outlets were given hundreds of premium tickets in a back room deal for Van Halen’s (a management client of Azoff) reunion tour that reportedly netted the band an additional $1 million.
Project Showtime was allegedly shut down in a meeting led by Azoff in the summer of 2007. “I always knew we’d end up in a room together,” he reportedly told the group. “I just thought it would be a courtroom.” Present were senior executives from Ticketmaster, promoters AEG Live and MSG Entertainment, as well as the owners of ticket brokers Boston-based Ace Ticket, LA’s Barry’s Tickets Service, Floridas’ Total Tickets, Chicago’s Gold Coast, New York City’s Elite Ticket and Alliance Tickets, which operates in Denver, Las Vegas and Seattle.
Both moves run contradictory to Azoff’s more recent comments as the now-head of Ticketmaster campaigns for government approval of a merger with promoter Live Nation. It should also be noted that Azoff was not yet the CEO of Ticketmaster during all this “Project Showtime” business, but his Front Line Management firm was already partially owned by the ticket giant.
This Pirate Bay sale (and subsequent legalization) is really starting to annoy me. Rumors of the deal falling apart leaked out last month, claiming financial struggles and infighting at would-be purchaser Global Gaming Factory. Then yesterday saw an announcement that the deal was done. Now Torrent Freak reports that a key partner in the restructuring of the new Pirate Bay is also calling shenanigans:
Peerialism, the company set to provide the revolutionary P2P technology behind the new Pirate Bay, has announced that it is doubtful that it will do any business with Global Gaming Factory. GGF are supposed to buy Peerialism, but CEO Johan Ljungberg said that’s doubtful since the company has no money.
In addition to having little to no money to buy The Pirate Bay for 60 million kronor ($7.8m), GGF also has to find 100 million Swedish kronor to buy Peerialism, the company under agreement to provide the core technology behind the project.
However, Peerialism CEO Johan Ljungberg said today that he thinks there will be no business done between the two companies.
“The [shareholders] meeting gave us no direct answer at all, but based on declarations by GGF before and after the meeting, and the reporting that has taken place in recent days, we conclude that GGF will not succeed in obtaining any financing,” Ljungberg told di.se.
The agreement between Peerialism and GGF states that the full purchase price must be paid by September 30, which Ljungberg says is unlikely. I’ve said this before, but whodathunk a purchase of The fucking Pirate Bay would be mired in vague business practices? Despite insistence that the deal is done (done, done, done – swearsies), it seems that this whole thing could fall apart at any minute. At least I’ve had the fun of typing all these kooky European names.
Korn has announced its next release will come in the form of four digital EPs rather than a formal album. Some non-metal bands like Radiohead and the Bouncing Souls have toyed with the idea of foregoing albums for periodic EPs/singles, and I applaud the idea. It encourages immediacy, lowers the price point and engages fans.
But Korn is doing it the, well, Korn way. The four EPs will be spread out over a 12-month span, and you need to subscribe to a $6.95 per month plan to get the music. Again: 12 month subscription, four releases. And they’re not proper new songs. Per Revivl:
I start doing some research and find out that the material on these EP’s are unreleased tracks and a demo version of a new song which appear on their “real” release.
That’s all I needed to see to know that this is more of a fan club then anything else. Yes they are giving away 4 digital EP’s but it’s not your main release. You still have a major label to push your main album. I can’t say that I’ve ever thought about it before, but unless you are willing to put your best stuff on the line with none of the traditional hand rails to guide you through the process, then it’s not breaking any new ground. I will say in Korn’s defense that they aren’t pushing it like they are the next NIN’s or anything like that but when you read the headline it certainly looks like they are trying something different.
So what if this was their main release? What if they really did separate the main record into 4 EP’s spread out a 12 month span. Well at $6.95 a month, the fans would be paying a much higher price if they stayed in the entire year but if the band could offer more value then it does become a bit more interesting. I love the idea of continuity but I really think you would have to offer a version that could be purchased or given away in combination. However if you did that then it becomes a fan club again. Would users be willing to pay more (like a subscription) but also receive more stuff like tickets, merchandise, etc but without any other alternative to get the album? Legal alternative that is! Yeah that could be a problem.
We’re hoping to get more details on this soon, but for now, it seems kinda sketchy.
I couldn’t help myself.
This Pirate Bay sale was never going to be all smooth sailing (sorry, too easy!). We already knew would-be purchaser Global Gaming Factory had yet to raise the nearly $8 million it needed by the end of July. And as the 31st draws near, Torrent Freak is reporting Wayne Rosso, the former Grokster CEO who was brought in to design a legitimized Pirate Bay’s business plan, says the sale is now unlikely as he exits the company. Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay is giving GGF one week before terminating the deal.
However, Rosso has already quit his position, claiming GGF’s CEO Mr. Pandeya was not straightforward with him.
“We decided that we’re not going risk our reputation further,” Rosso told TorrentFreak. According to Rosso he and his partners never received the payments promised to them and Mr. Pandeya made several other promises he couldn’t keep either.
“The more time we spent with Mr. Pandeya, the less confident we were,” Rosso said, adding that he feels the funding required to close the deal is not going to be raised based on the current lack of workable plans.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any money raised with GGF’s current (lack of) plans,” Rosso told TorrentFreak. Besides Rosso and his partners, the people who were supposed to finance the acquisition were also misinformed.
What? A company interested in purchasing the world’s most notorious torrent site is acting shady? Get out!