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Should Incubus be allowed out of a bad record deal?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Feb 16, 2003.


  1. Yes - Free them from a bad deal.

    13 vote(s)
    54.2%
  2. No - They should have known better.

    9 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. Hasn't this been done before???

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  1. In case you didn't know, you can add Incubus to the list of recording artists who are trying to get out of their record deal with Sony. Despite the fact that they have sold over 7 million units, they feel that they aren't being compensated fairly for their work. They are citing the De Havilland Law (California Labor Code Section 2855) which allows artists to get out of service contracts that are longer than 7 years.

    Do you think a recording artist should be allowed to get out of a bad deal?

    On one hand, we don't want people to be exploited by corporations (which suck, I know...all too well...).

    On the other hand, Incubus should have known better than to sign a recording contract.

    My personal opinion is that Incubus should rot in their record deal. Not because I don't like the band but because the power disparity between recording labels and artists is something that can't be solved through legislation.

    Recording artists should know by now that major labels will take advantage of their lack of business knowledge. Those who do sign with majors are suckers who deserve it.

    ...Has this been done before? I couldn't find it in a search.
     
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Maybe Incubus could get out of the deal, but they also get a televised ass-caning with the scrolling caption, "Dumbass who signed with Sony" running on the bottom of the screen. -seems fair to me.
     
  3. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Music related kids.....lets to time warp over to MISC.
     
  4. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    that's a bit nihilistic.

    are you saying that all bands signed on to a major label are not "real" or "credible" or "smart"? are you saying that the world would be a better place if bands sold cds out of the trunks of their cars after gigs at local venues and never strive for anything bigger?

    :confused:
     
  5. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Yeah, 'cause that's "keepin' it real". :rolleyes:
     
  6. They sure as hell aren't smart. Consistently, 98% of bands that have signed to labels get screwed. Even those groups that are engineered by the record label get jerked around,sometimes worse than the real bands. I think it should be pretty obvious now that after 40 years of bands thinking "this contract'll be different" it never is. Majors never make an investment they don't think they can get a return on, so any band they sign has to have marketing potential and lots of it, or they'll give them some. As a result, bands end up sounding "watered down" and crappy on their Maj. debuts.

    On the one hand, I think its stupid for Incubus to have signed with Sony in the first place. At the same time though, Major labels take advantage of bands that have been living out of vans with no money for years, and offer them a big fat wad of cash, its kind of hard to resist.

    In the end, I think Blisshead's solution is a good compromise.
     
  7. phogchris

    phogchris www.scarsoflife.com

    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    That is ridiculous. I am signed to a major label and am certainly no "sucker". Major labels are really the only labels who can mass promote a band into superstardom. That is the real goal of bands like Incubus and the like. Who doesn't want to sell millions of records?! They have and they deserve better compensation at this point in their career. They have been treated poorly up until now. They are proven sellers, why shouldn't they be able to renegotiate their contract. When they signed it, noone had any clue how they would do. Both parties, mostly the label took a big chance. The label has made millions upon millions off this band. Shouldn't the band be able to make more now? I say "YES!"
     
  8. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Gee, how about doing what we did, when we signed with Virgin? GET A LAWYER!!! If you don't understand something, DON'T SIGN! Geez, it seems like the ones that's NEVER been in this situation, have the most knowledge. :rolleyes:
     
  9. phogchris

    phogchris www.scarsoflife.com

    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    WHAT?!?! They all have been around the world, made alot of money and are international superstars. So, you are saying they should have not signed a recording contract? Should they have stayed a local band forever....wow, you people shock me sometimes!!
     
  10. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Phogchris: Don't waste your time. Apparently you don't have the whole VH1's Behind The Music series DVD's, therefore you know nothing, even though you're a signed artist. :rolleyes:
    However I do agree, that they shouldn't have signed for that many years.
     
  11. phogchris

    phogchris www.scarsoflife.com

    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    The problem these days are long contracts. My friends signed a deal that is a 1+7.....that's just crazy!!!! Some bands just have to sign these long contracts to get their "chance" at the big time.
     
  12. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I think that 3 years are about as long as it should get.
     
  13. I'm surprised that Incubus were so naïve as to get into this situation in the first place--they are from wealthy backgrounds (Mike Einziger in particular--his father's a cardiac surgeon who did a bypass on the father of a friend) and should have had access to excellent legal representation.

    BTW, phogchris, there are dozens of bands out there who have had long and successful careers on independent labels, and make good money (Yo La Tengo is the best example). The difference is, they don't have visions of millions of dollars dancing in front of their heads, and they don't live like Rock Stars.
     
  14. BTW, phogchris and Woodchuck, I hope you've read Steve Albini's and Robert Fripp's writings about how majors operate. It's sobering stuff.
     
  15. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Being that they are signed to the majors, I think they might know firsthand...

    Personally, I wouldn't do anything without talking to a lawyer, and talking with the legal dept. of other bands on other labels. I'd rather pay consulting fees with six other lawyers than get screwed out of six times the amount because I didn't know what I was signing. Not that I would: my folks brought me up SMR..SMART and frugal. I wouldn't sign anything unless I personally understood every ramification and stipulation therein.

    Of course, you could just not live like a rockstar. Have a normal house in a nice neighborhood, travel in a couple of nice vans that still would cost a quater of what a tour bus would, and focus on music instead of stage shows....but what kind of life would THAT be? :rolleyes:
     
  16. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I've had read those books, as well as Khashif's book as well. Very sobering! Mike Selverne, our attorney, and a very powerful one at that, walked us through the whole thing.
     
  17. Actually, Albini's never been signed to a major. As a producer, though, he's dealt with several major-label bands (the Pixies, the Breeders, Nirvana) in various stages of getting jerked around by their labels. Also, his band Big Black was the subject of an intense bidding war--but never signed a major-label deal.

    Woodchuck, it's good that you guys got a good attorney. I have some friends from here who are in the process of getting signed right now (look for We Should Run in the talent pipeline in 2004), and I have a feeling that they're going to get screwed...the oldest of them is 22 and none of them have worked as so much as an intern in business.
     
  18. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Tell them to read the current issue of Rolling Stone. They have an article entitled "20 Ways Tha Rock & Roll Will Destroy You." Also, MAKE them buy those books.
     
  19. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I have it on good authority that Incubus' deal makes no mention of how many years they're signed for. It stipulated the delivery of a certain number of albums and at the moment they owe sony 4 albums.

    Our deal was amended to include a time limit and an album by album option (independant label, lawers help). Yet I still feel like I've got my head in a noose.

    My prediction, Sony will only release them if someone pays them enough money. Most likely another record company will fork out the cash but it will counted as a recoupable cost, meaning Incubus will start their association with the new record company significantly in the red. However, they have anough mass appeal to make it worthwhile.
     
  20. phogchris

    phogchris www.scarsoflife.com

    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    I am aware that you can do very well being on an independent record company. But most do not have the resources to promote an album like a major. For a popish-rock band like Incubus, an independent is not the right choice, IMO. Independents often do not have the financial resorces to get spins on radio. When we leave Geffen, IF we decide to continue in the radio friendly direction our CD has taken, we will seek another major label. If we do not, we will go to an independent label. When Incubus first started, they we not directly signed to SONY, it ended up that way, so I do not necessarily blame them. They became a radio band after their SONY affiliate went under(I think it went under, either that or they had a chance to utilize SONY's radio/promotiom departments). If our band was on an independent label, we would not get the tour support we now recieve, which just about pays the bills. I am not "above" travelling on a van, but a bus in a great thing!

    We also have a very good lawyer, but its almost impossible to negotiate a record contract in the artists favor. We did what we could...lol.

    On a side note, our band are acquaintances with the guys in Incubus and wish them luck, they are great guys and are certainly not stupid or greedy...