Black Collar Workers


  • Axl Rosenberg


This is gonna be a long post. You’ve been warned.


Honestly, I had never even heard of Endwell before last night, when word got out that they had been kicked off of Emmure’s “Mosh Lives” tour. And having now listened to their music, however briefly, I can’t say I’m like a huge a fan or anything (I don’t really like Emmure’s music, either, but that’s neither here nor there).

But like The Three Amigos before us, wherever there is injustice, MetalSucks will be there. And this sounds like some real unjust shit.

In a statement posted on their MySpace page, Endwell explained why they were booted from the tour:

“…we have been kicked off of the tour because of a T-Shirt….yep that’s right. Apparently some people can’t take a joke… some of our good friends receive an email from a certain Tyrant telling them that if we weren’t removed from the tour immediately that they would have hell to pay and the outcome was us being asked to leave the tour. We basically drove 30 hours straight to meet up with the tour in Texas and now 2 days later were driving 20 hours back home, it was a good waste of a few hundred dollars in gas.”

Well, any idiot can read between the lines: “a certain Tyrant” would have to be Victory Records head honcho Tony Brummel, right?

So then Emmure released a statement of their own, this one considerably less polite than Endwell’s. Excerpts from the statement read as follows…

“Endwell has been surrounded and plauged with bad decision making since day one. As youll recall they were kicked off a bayside tour as well for lack of any morality, respect, or loyalty to the people that were helping them and were supposed to be friends with.

“They are quick to talk shit but what they won’t tell you is that when they first got signed to victory they were pumped they loved it… Victory put them in a Hollywood recording studio for over a month which excessivly exceeded their budget and time. They were provided with one of the top directors for their music video and put in every major music magazine… You would think they would be thankful.

“After their record bombed to put it gently they started getting pissy and blaming everyone underneath the sun except for themselves which seems to be the trend of that band. And all but 2 members quit.

“Before this tour started we started hearing how they were talking shit about us… which we confronted them about and they confessed and with a good heart and them being our supposed friends we let it slide… The very first day they show up they have a shirt they are selling that is blatantly a slap in the face to victory records and us.

“I don’t know if they are just fucking dumb or naive but how the fuck do you show up to a victory records band headlining tour with that type of shot and think its funny? And expect for it to be ok and get away with it?”

Well, Emmure may have a point – selling that shirt probably is “naive” (at best) – but Emmure don’t exactly come off looking like the good guys here; for one thing, they never refute that the “Tyrant” in question told them to boot Endwell from the tour, and their statement practically reads like someone on Team Tyrant wrote it.

So now Endwell have taken the gloves off and responded to the response:

So we tried to keep this as impersonal as possible due to the fact that Emmure were at one time good friends of ours. But apparently that is no longer the case.

a) When we signed to Victory we were actually on tour with Emmure, and yes of course we were beyond excited to be signed as any band would be. From day ONE we pushed Emmure to the Victory staff as much as we could. Giving staff members CD’s and shirts and hyping them up… because that’s what friends do. When we were told we were going into the studio in 4 weeks we handed Emmure a fully booked US tour w/ Farewell To Freeway that our old bass player had booked himself (due to the fact that we had recording obligations). Every chance we got we would try to help get their name out there, whether it mean wearing their shirts in promos or talking about them in interviews at one point we were even considered ‘brother-bands.’

b) In response to Emmure’s statements about our Hollywood recording budget: we didn’t get a say in the matter, the studio time was booked and the director was chosen for us. Bottom line… we were immediately disgusted by the budget and the outcome and because of that we made it a point to record our next release on a much smaller budget. In fact it was 1/40th of the Victory budget! We started recording it with no labels in mind and we had our friends Bryan Goldsman and Aram Abgharian record and mix it for us. We figured we could do things right and be able to help out some up and coming engineer/producers/friends, and we’re very happy with the outcome. Once we recorded it we decided to work with a smaller label that has integrity and passion for music and even a some compassion for human beings as well.

c) As for shit talking, I think Emmure did enough of that in their statement which began ‘Let me first start by saying we as a band have been friends with these guys for a while so this is in no way partial to one side or another’ and then proceeded to bash us for 5 paragraphs. I think it’s obvious that someone was influencing their words.

We don’t have to sit here and ‘tarnish’ anything. Facts speak for themselves I think it’s apparent whose true colors are shining through in this situation. There’s nothing else to say. This whole situation sucks. When we left the tour it was all hugs and friendly goodbyes the best way to put it is in the words of John Joseph, ‘musicians are just assholes waiting to happen.’”

Look: it isn’t difficult to believe that Victory would book Endwell in a big studio, hire a big director, etc., etc., without the band’s permission – especially in light of Tony Brummel’s reputation for being an Douchebag with a capital “D.” Vince already reported on this back in August, but in case you missed it, here’s an excerpt from former Victory employee Ramsey Dean’s confessional on his time at that label:

“Royalties were payable quarterly and, before each quarter ended, I’d get the amounts, totaling into millions of dollars, that were to be dumped into bogus marketing programs to prevent the band from getting a royalty. It was nothing short of malicious. ‘Fuck those guys, they’re not entitled to that money,’ was his quarterly lament. The royalties, which ranged into hundreds of thousands of dollars, would be calculated and I’d get the amounts I’d need to spend. The last quarter I was there he laid $360,000 of Taking Back Sunday’s money on me. I couldn’t even find enough places to dump it: television advertising, print ads, sale pricing, endcaps, and then we’d play around with dating to try and make it stick, but sometimes even that didn’t purge it all.”

So while I think it’s safe to say that Endwell didn’t exactly show the best judgment, I also think it’s pretty clear that what we have here is another instance of Brummell fucking with a young band’s career (and if you think that doesn’t make me nervous for good bands currently signed to Victory, like Between the Buried and Me, Darkest Hour, and Nights Like These, well, you’re wrong). Of course, that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a t-shirt to go order.


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