HOW TO MESS UP A MASTODON RECORD 101: BROUGHT TO YOU BY WARNER BROS.
Mastodon’s “Blood Mountain” was undoubtedly one of the best metal records of 2006. Appearing at or close to the top of nearly every year-end top albums list, “Blood Mountain,” the band’s major label debut with Reprise / Warner Bros., took the Mastodon sound to the next level by seemingly turning every element of their sound up to 11. Why then, according to this report from blabbermouth.net, has this record only sold 76,000 copies since being released in September? It could have something to do with the morons over at Warner Bros. spending precious marketing dollars on complete wastes of time like this stupid video game.
For you kiddies out there, or for those just not in the know, 76,000 copies while it may seem decent is a pitiful showing for a major label. If Mastodon had sold 76,000 copies of their prior releases on the independent Relapse Records they no doubt would have recouped costs and would be getting royalty checks in the mail. But, for a band to start earning money on a major label release, brace yourselves — the album needs to sell close to a million copies, sometimes more. While it may seem harsh, the reality of it is pretty simple; all the money that the label spends to record, market, shoot videos, buy the band equipment, etc etc etc must be earned back or “recouped” before the band starts earning money. To make matters worse, that money is recouped at the royalty rate the band gets. So, for instance, if Reprise / Warner spent $1,000,000 (they probably spent more) on this record and Mastodon gets $1.00 per record sale (they probably get less), that cool $1,000,000 is recouped $1.00 at a time, record by record, before the band even makes a cent. Do the math.
So why then, are the assclowns over at Reprise spending money on complete turds like this stupid piece of crap video game? For one thing, the damn thing doesn’t even work. There are no instructions for what the controls are, and upon figuring them out the game still sucks, with poor play control that leaves you falling into non-existent holes every other step. Secondly, even a decent game would not have earned the band any new fans unless it were something spectacular; this is just going to appeal to the fans the band already has. Seems to me Reprise could have much more effectively spent the money they paid some bunghole to make this thing; banner ads on blabbermouth.net and MySpace, a good publicist, buying a slot on the Ozzfest second stage, ANYTHING. I feel bad for the lads in Mastodon who have to put up with this bullshit. Hopefully they can make some decent money on the road touring, enough to get them through to the next record.