Charity That is Supposed to Receive Proceeds from New Austrian Death Machine Album Hasn’t Even Been Contacted by the Band
More than a few of us were surprised/a little grossed-out when Austrian Death Machine announced that they were releasing their new album, Triple Brutal, despite vocalist Tim Lambesis being accused of attempted murder (an accusation to which he has since pled guilty). Even in the world of metal, where we love to break taboos, there was something about Lambesis potentially profiting from a record with the words “death” and “brutal” in the title that just seemed, well… too soon, y’know? The only thing which made it seem okay, in fact, was that proceeds from the release were supposed to go to World Vision Charity, “a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide.”
Only one problem: not only has World Vision Charity yet to receive a cent from Austrian Death Machine (maybe not such a big deal — the album has been out less than a week), but (very big deal) they haven’t even been in contact with anyone from ADM.
According to Noisey, Sheryl Watkins, World Vision’s senior communications officer, claims that “as of the album’s release, neither Lambesis nor the band had established an account with World Vision or any formal relationship with the charity.” Ms. Watkins then adds:
“Unfortunately, in this case neither Mr. Lambesis or the band approached World Vision before stating that proceeds of the record would benefit us. Regrettably, we’ve found over the years that individuals and businesses will make that claim, and not follow through. Our legal department is currently looking at the band’s website to determine our next steps.”
Noisey apparently reached out to Lambesis via e-mail for comment, but, unsurprisingly, Lambesis has not responded to that e-mail.
This news would obviously be deeply upsetting in and of itself, but it actually gets worse. You may recall that the album was originally crowdfunded. And while fans who paid for face time Lambesis (dinner or a workout session with the vocalist, etc.) have already been warned that, for obvious reasons, “in-person perks are on hold of course until we hear more… about Tim’s availability,” apparently fans who paid for perks that don’t involve meeting Lambesis have gotten screwed, too. Lambesisgoat notes that “hundreds of people who paid for an early digial download or exclusive digipak” are now complaining on Facebook because “many of those campaign contributors haven’t yet gotten their money’s worth.” Here are some of those FB complaints, once again courtesy of Lambgoat:
For their part, Artery Records, the label that ultimately released Triple Brutal, have tried to calm fans via the following statement (once again-again, courtesy of Lambgoat):
“We came into the picture a few months back licensing the record with Tim and we have been also helping with making sure the kids all got their packages. Every person who contributed either got mailed a package that included download links or have been notified there are a few things still coming. The only people that have not been sent packages are people that were suppose to get USB sticks and or the Vinyl packages. These items are still in production. Also if the people input the wrong mailing address and or email address of course their packages aren’t their yet. People on indiegogo can also contact Tim’s team there if there are still any issues with not getting their packages and we are doing are best to track it. Our friends are MerchNow have printed and mailed the packages for us and if I really have to post a ton of tracking numbers online to prove Artery helped get these kids their packages i will. Myself and the company I work for have always done legit business and have always done the right thing. We have a pretty solid track history as many can agree with.
“Also to address the matters of Tim’s royalties going to charity. The World Vision charity is the charity Tim chose for the money to go to. Seeing that is it only 5 days after the release of the album i haven’t received any money from sales yet. When we do statements the charity will be receiving a check in the mail from the team and everything will be done as we said it would. Why would i contact a charity before we had money to give them?
“People also ask why we got involved with licensing the record. Tim has been a friend for a long time. The opportunity to help release this record and get people their campaign packages was something i wanted to do. Tim stated he wanted to give his money from the sales of the record to charity and i see that being a very awesome thing. This is why I got involved.
“For those of you who haven’t gotten your indiegogo packages can submit on the page and Tim’s team will help you out.”
Most of this explanation seems pretty reasonable to me… although I do think you could absolutely contact a charity before you have any actual money to give them to say “Hey, we’re going to give you whatever we end up making from this album” — especially if you’re going to publicly state as much in an effort to get people to buy the album. That just seems like common sense, in fact.
I’ll be curious to see what happens in the coming weeks — if fans do get everything they paid for, and if the money does go to charity. I think we can all agree that the last thing Lambesis needs right now is a PR fiasco like this one.