METAL LABELS SIGN METAL BANDS
Seems like there’s been a spate of significant band signings over the last week in the world of metal. Despite all the industry’s woes, it’s good to know that labels are still investing in bands. But that begs the question… what kind of deals are these bands getting? Do their deals have advances? Do they include merch? Do they include mandatory monthly ass-fuckings? Inquiring minds would like to know.
After the jump let’s take a look at the new label homes of Chimaira, A Life Once Lost, Demolisher, Funeral for a Friend and Mercenary, and how those new relationships might work out.
- Chimaira sign with eOne: This makes perfect sense given eOne’s track record of signing established and legitimate metal bands. See also: Darkest Hour, Crowbar, High on Fire, Black Label Society, Hatebreed, In Flames, etc etc etc. I suspect the brass at eOne took a good look at Chimaira’s sales history, figured out how many albums their seasoned team of metalheads could sell, and made some kind of offer that did actually include an advance and decent recording budget. I’m sure eOne will allow Chimaira all the creative freedom they need to make the record that they want to make. Though lovable/huggable bassist Jim LaMarca is now out of the band, I never got the impression he was much of a writing presence. Good move for both the label and the band.
- A Life Once Lost sign with Season of Mist: Season of Mist has really been making a play back into the modern metal world over the past year or two; Cynic, Dillinger Escape Plan, Atheist, and now A Life Once Lost. I’d say the signing makes sense given Season of Mist’s pentient for prog, but they’ve yet to really prove themselves as a legitimate player in the big-boy metal label world and they’re notorious for taking forever to pay their bills (if they pay them at all). Similarly, as much as we love ALOL, they’ve also yet to really break through into the big time. The album is already done so I doubt much cash changed hands… so this essentially boils down to a marketing deal. I’d say this is a gamble for both sides, but ultimately a good match.
- Demolisher sign with Century Media: This is a cash grab; the label knows it, the band knows it, you know it, I know it. Demolisher play a style of metal that’s currently selling well, and Century sees an opportunity to make money on it. Not that there is anything wrong with this, just calling a spade a spade. This band will have their moment in the sun… and then on the dark, dark side of the moon. Hopefully the band was smart (unlikely), or hired a manager or lawyer that is smart (more likely but still unlikely), and were able to negotiate a deal for themselves that didn’t fuck them in the ass like most other young bands who don’t know any better. I’ll bet they gave away merch rights and got a small advance, if any. Sergeant D will be happy.
- Funeral For a Friend signs with Good Fight: This makes perfect sense given that Good Fight — helmed by the team who founded and developed Ferret Records — has a great track record with post-hardcore / screamo / heavy emo. In fact, their first two albums were released by Ferret (with help from Atlantic)… so this is a coming home of sorts for the band. A band of Funeral For a Friend’s stature would I’m sure command at least a semi-decent record deal.
- Mercenary signs with Prosthetic for the U.S.: This match might strike some as odd given Prosthetic’s prog- and genre-busting roster, but this is actually just a licensing deal which means that another label (Century Media, based in Germany) paid for the record to be made but Prosthetic has the sole rights to distribute and market the record in the U.S. This is essentially a gamble for the label; Prosthetic is betting that by spending X number of dollars on marketing (which they’ll do in-house) they’ll be able to sell Y number of units to make a profit, without the added gamble of having to spend money on making the record. I’m sure the Prosthetic brass looked carefully at Mercenary’s U.S. sales history before making this deal… so hopefully they’ll make it work.