Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trail of Dead Dumps Interscope

Austin, Texas band ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead has dumped Interscope Records. Yes, you read that correctly. The band dumped the label. Five years or so ago, Trail of Dead made the jump to the major label, and it seemed like things were going fine. However, despite constant touring and critically acclaimed albums, TOD's record sales have been declining. So, the band decided to get rid of the big corporate label that was (apparently) holding them back. On their Interscope blog, band leader Conrad Keely let forth this comedic attack on his former employers:
So as has already been announced, ...Trail of Dead has once again made history, this time being the first band to drop Interscope. OK, we're not the first. Actually, Trent Reznor beat us to it. Let's just say we're the first rock band to do so... this year. Ever since label head Jimmy Iovine started dating the lead singer guy of the Pussycat Dolls it became impossible to get him on the phone, so that was a first bad sign. Then their idea of marketing became keeping it a secret that we'd released a record. The industry is in a strange place these days, and the only way they can make money is to sell urban pop music. Which is what I thought we were writing, but apparently I was wrong.

That's not saying the label didn't do great things for us. At the expense of a massive debt to them of half a million dollars, they really helped us to grow. They've taught us about the worthlessness of A&R people, how to yell at idiots running an art department, and how to shake hands with smiling retailers who have no idea who you are. And I love Jimmy Iovine for having worked with John Lennon and Phil Spector on the Rock and Roll sessions. I mean, that was thirty years ago, and the Rock and Roll sessions sound pretty bad over all, and John Lennon is now dead and Phil Spector has murdered people since then, but hey, that was really cool that Jimmy did that, thirty years ago, back then, and dated Stevie Nicks. He's had a great dating record, he just won't have the next TOD record.

The posting was taken down, but a cached version still exists. Here is a video of one of my favorite TOD songs, "Another Morning Stoner," from their 2002 Source, Tags and Codes CD. (h/t Stereogum)

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