Black Collar Workers


  • Axl Rosenberg


We’ve heard lots of not so great things about the way Trustkill Records treat their artists, who have been jumping ship left and right as of late (see: Terror, Throwdown, etc.) – but we’ve never printed anything because no one was ever willing to go on record about it.

But now Bleeding Through have done a guest piece for Headbanger’s Blog in which they allege that Trustkill have basically joined the Tony Brummel club. Read the article in its entirety after the jump.

“It has been months and we have kept silent. But this latest slap in the face from our supposed record label has pushed us over the edge. We just read on the Internet that Josh Grabelle plans to release a ‘special edition’ of our 2006 album The Truth one month before releasing our new album.

“Let it be known that Bleeding Through is 100% against this so-called ‘special’ edition. We did not approve the title, cover artwork (whatever it is), track-listing or bonus features for this transparent and obvious cash-grab of a re-release from a record label that despite selling a quarter of a million of our albums worldwide is having problems.

“Over a year ago we suggested the idea of a re-release of the album to Trustkill — on our terms, of course, with our artistic vision — and he said he’d consider it if we could land a “big” tour. We confirmed a tour with Marilyn Manson and Slayer, followed by a tour with HIM, and he said, ‘NO’ to us. He thought we should put out a new album instead.

“Now we have a new album finished that we are very proud of and he wants to squeeze our fans and our band by throwing out an unapproved ‘special’ edition in a fast and overt attempt to pay some bills.

Trustkill no longer employs his sales guy, his art director or his publicist. “Trustkill” is now Josh and one employee in his basement, as far as we can tell.

“We have kept silent about the fact that we made our new album with a loan from our singer’s dad, a loan from our management and less than 25% of our recording fund from Trustkill. They breached our contract (not for the first time) on March 31st, 2008 when we hit the studio without proper funding and have failed to cure the breach.

In five years we have never gotten a royalty statement on-time, let alone paid on time. Right now he has owed us royalties since March 31st, coincidentally the same day this album began and when 50% of the budget was due!

“We wanted to keep our business with Trustkill private but with this so-called “special” edition going forward despite our numerous, outspoken and clear objections, we feel like our fans have a right to know what is going on here with both this obvious attempt to milk money from them to pay his debts and what is happening with our new album.

“Several labels have contacted Josh to help put out our album but he has jerked most of them around and has not come to terms on a deal to get this album out, which we are SO proud of, with the push it deserves. As of right now we have no idea who is supposed to be releasing our album overseas, or even really in the US for that matter.

“Josh’s website says our album is coming out in August but he hasn’t paid for it so we don’t see how that’s possible. For years now, we’ve watched photographers, graphic designers, equipment companies, bus companies and producers struggle to get paid their invoices and wait for months and months before being compensated for their work.

“Josh Trustkill will undoubtedly respond in public to this as a ‘miscommunication’ as he did with Hopesfall but our real fans and peers will know this is THE COMPLETE TRUTH about the situation.

“What’s great is we did that Manson / Slayer tour in a van and trailer and we have always been self-sufficient and have relied on our road crew, our families, our manager, our booking agent in the US and overseas, clothing sponsors, merch companies and others to help to pay our rent and feed ourselves. And most of all, OUR FANS!

“That is why we are confident that thanks to loans and credit cards, we’ll be able to go out with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE this summer and to go to Europe to play festivals as we have always been self-sufficient.

“This is the last ‘option’ in our Trustkill contract. And despite the fact that he is in BREACH and has not cured it, we have still been patient about him getting his crap together because we want you to hear it so badly, and we want our INCREDIBLE producer Devin Townsend to get the rest of his money. We have waited and waited.

“Josh has told us ‘today or tomorrow’ in numerous emails and conversations for MONTHS now.

“Josh’s distributor has been working to help resolve this financially and we appreciate their efforts. But this isn’t their fault or their responsibility. And Josh’s financial problems are not our fault and shouldn’t be our concern as we’ve sold a quarter of a million albums for him and countless t-shirts while taking very little in tour support over the years.

“It’s now June 6 and nothing has really changed about the situation. We have sat back too long and we are tired, frustrated and beyond angry.

“We have weighed all of our legal options with Trustkill but we really wanted to resolve this face to face and direct. Josh has given us no resolve other than a lot of broken promises. We have told him we don’t want the fight. We just want our album to be paid for and to come out so we can move on from this crappy situation. He still hasn’t paid.

“Meanwhile while we wait… He comes up with this ‘re-release’ scheme. It’s one slap in the face too many.

“In better news, here are the song titles (for the first time anywhere) from DECLARATION, which we hope actually comes out someday! We want you all to hear it so bad. We know Trustkill doesn’t have the resources to get it out there and we’re prepared for low sales as a result, BUT, there’s NO WAY we’re handing over a master without the minimum money that was due to everyone so we can pay off Devin, Brandan’s dad, our manager and credit cards.

“Josh PROVE US WRONG by meeting your obligations, or LET US OFF YOUR RECORD LABEL ENTIRELY.

“1. Finis Fatalis Spei
2. Declaration (You Can’t Destroy What You Can Not Replace)
3. Orange County Blonde and Blue
4. Germany
5. There Was a Flood
6. French Inquisition
7. Reborn from Isolation
8. Death Anxiety
9. Beneath the Grey
10. Seller’s Market
11. Sister Charlatan

“We will see you on the road, where we have always survived and thrived.

“With Love and Respect,
Brandan, Brian, Ryan, Derek, Marta & Jona AKA Bleeding Through”

There isn’t even that much we can say about this. Neither Vince nor myself are even Bleeding Through fans – in fact, I’ve made fun of them at least twice that I can remember – but this is totally fucked.

The only person we ever knew at Trustkill was that publicist the band says no longer works there. Still, I’ve got an e-mail out to try and get some kind of comment on the situation from someone on the inside. Stay tuned, hopefully there’ll be more news soon.


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