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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2329
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:28 am 
 

In a cost cutting move, Warner Brother Records has fired the entire staff of Roadrunner Records U.K. and Canadian offices today. The label has also laid off several other Roadrunner Records employees at other offices internationally.

Trivium's Matt Heafy took to twitter to voice his disgust stating "I wish I knew who or what to blame specifically, and chew off it's heads - but Roadrunner records just fired some of their best employees. I don't know if it's corporate greed or it's due to the fact that no one puts value in physical art and that piracy created a domino effect. But our friends who are being tossed away so quickly by the label are now out of jobs. These people helped bands get where they are today."

In addition to the cuts at the U.K. and Canadian offices, 16 people are rumored to be on the chopping block at the U.S. offices in New York. CEO and founder, Cees Wessels has also stepped down.

Love or hate the label, they were a major factor in metal both signing and discovering some great and iconic bands over the years. Over the next few weeks, many Roadrunner bands will be dropped and left to find new labels with Warner taking just the bigger more cost effective bands, ie. Nickelback. Fuck you Warner Brother Records.

Source: http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/1225 ... an-Offices

I thought RR was one of the most successful (metal) labels out there...
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Twisted_Psychology
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:55 am 
 

Definitely an unfortunate move though I can't say I was too crazy about the roster with certain exceptions. That said, it's probably only going to get worse from here...
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Abominatrix
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:12 am 
 

I didn't actually know they had been bought out by Warner Bros, but that alone should be an indication that things haven't been right with the label for many years.
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PhilosophicalFrog
The Hypercube

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:08 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:16 am 
 

Bummer, one of the most influential labels in our beloved scene. I mean, thus is business and thus is life, but it's a shame to see 'em go.
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ogmetal
Veteran of the Psychic Wars

Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:22 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:39 am 
 

It's been a shitty label for years. They've done so much to shit on the proverbial chest of their accomplishments over the past 20 years.
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ralfikk123
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:07 am 
 

Not too sad about this. The roster was shitty for a while anyway.
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Ribos
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Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:10 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:12 am 
 

And so begins the downfall of the major label. Warner Bros is cutting costs, but while they're cutting the branches, the trunk continues to suffer until you lose the whole damn tree.

It's not piracy to blame, it's outdated business models. Labels are going the way of the dinosaur, since most of the benefits they provide can be done by the band themselves over the internet. The labels that remain effectively act as loan companies these days, giving bands the funds that they hope to recoup later. Tour setups, promotions... these can be done by the band or associates of the band. There's no need to go to a label for those services.

So goodbye, Roadrunner. You had your time, and put up a good fight. You did actually launch the careers of a number of great bands, even if you've been sucking lately. But now, your end has come.
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Blood Music
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:20 am 
 

Hey Ribos,

What's your business model (in all honesty, I am curious if someone has a solution)? I can tell you firsthand that it is not possible for most bands to fully manage themselves.

Can most bands negotiate all the ins and outs of artwork/pressing/layouts/design, as well as receiving items, shipping thousands of them, booking their own tours in cities they've never been, getting supporting acts, hotels, drivers, buses, etc. etc. etc. and on and on. Think of the work involved. Could you yourself do that? Or would you rather just play music... which is already often more work than the amount of a normal job.

Seems that labels are a half-necessary "evil."
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primitivevoid
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:28 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:27 am 
 

Roadrunner did launch some great bands back in the day. But they have been junk for years now. It just goes to show t4hat smaller labels like dark descent, nwn! and hellsheadbangers wil survive the major labels downfall.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:57 am 
 

Look at this lineup:
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists

They have some artists with large, established, and extremely dedicated fanbases like Dream Theater, Opeth, and Rush. They have some bands that have fans but are struggling to remain relevant (Korn et al). They have some bands with less stable fanbases that are currently popular (Gojira, Trivium). They also have quite a few side projects that are probably really low maintenance since they already know who they're marketing to, and they already have A&R working with the individual artists.

Despite the label's past prominence, this doesn't look like a tough herd to thin. I'm interested to see who they keep, because the progressive and metal bands likely have the most die-hard, album-buying fanbases of these.

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I Am the Law
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:31 pm 
 

Blood Music wrote:
Hey Ribos,

What's your business model (in all honesty, I am curious if someone has a solution)? I can tell you firsthand that it is not possible for most bands to fully manage themselves.

Can most bands negotiate all the ins and outs of artwork/pressing/layouts/design, as well as receiving items, shipping thousands of them, booking their own tours in cities they've never been, getting supporting acts, hotels, drivers, buses, etc. etc. etc. and on and on. Think of the work involved. Could you yourself do that? Or would you rather just play music... which is already often more work than the amount of a normal job.

Seems that labels are a half-necessary "evil."


There will always be record labels. However, I think he meant that the days of 5-6 record labels dominating everything are on their way out. In fact it really has been on its way out since the Internet. You just don't need to go through traditional outlets for music anymore.

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Acrobat
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:36 pm 
 

Let's hope that earache follows suit.
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androdion
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:55 pm 
 

ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Let's hope that earache follows suit.

:D

RR has been a bit of a malign cancer in the past years when it concerns quality, but as many have said it's not only that which counts. The label work is still pretty much needed as some have pointed out, and please don't dismiss the idea that a widely known or recognized name still makes it much easier for a label to make promotion. I know that nowadays small underground labels have a much more pronounced space in this so called "label work", but it's hard to dismiss the power of, say Nuclear Blast?! Mostly anyone will agree how much money-oriented they are, that their bands become streamlined to sell more and all that, but how much promotional and distribution power do they have? A lot I say, and big label names still have this inherent weight that, sadly, small underground labels will never have.

So, am I happy or sad that RR is dead? Neither, but I'm surely not surprised either, because in these labels money is the name of the game. Funny thing is that, as someone else pointed out, they do have a lot of money bands in their roster. It will be interesting to see the redistribution of those through different labels in the next few weeks or months.
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Malthus
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:13 pm 
 

ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Let's hope that earache follows suit.


Exactly. These labels haven't release anything of interest in years. Just mainstream tripe. Good riddance.

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Ribos
Radioactive Man

Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:10 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:00 pm 
 

I Am the Law wrote:
There will always be record labels. However, I think he meant that the days of 5-6 record labels dominating everything are on their way out.
Yes but also no. Obviously the giant labels are falling, but the way I see it, it won't be too long before even smaller labels like NWN start running into trouble. As the internet connects people to an ever-greater degree, it becomes easier to book the "right" hotels, find the venues, and even handle distribution ( more on THAT in a second). The need for a "label" in the traditional sense is shrinking. Instead, that job can increasingly be handled by a single person, sort of like a manager. I see no reason a single competant person cannot deal with all that for a band on the scale of, say, Vader, and still have a "day job."

Re: distribution, brick and mortar stores are also failing in the internet age. More and more purchases are being made online. Ignoring the digital sales, it's not at all difficult to get items listed on Amazon, or set up a "store" section on a band's own website. The band (or, indeed, the aforementioned manager) can hire a few people to handle the shipping once a band gets too popular to handle it themselves.

The point is, everything becomes centralized around the BAND, not a LABEL. Bands may form small groups to help each other out, and this will resemble a sort of label, but again, it's driven by the bands, not by corporate businessmen. Yes, this will force bands to become a bit more business-savvy, but I can only see this as a good thing, as it will also help bring an end to those predatory pay-to-play "promoters" and scammers.

But, of course, this is all future development. For now, we are just seeing the old system crumble.
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Morfiend
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:54 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:01 pm 
 

Wow, that's too bad. I wasn't a huge fan of Roadrunner's roster lately but they did have some good bands. Hopefully those bands aren't in limbo now because of this.
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WaywardSon
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:48 am
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:17 pm 
 

Morfiend wrote:
Wow, that's too bad. I wasn't a huge fan of Roadrunner's roster lately but they did have some good bands. Hopefully those bands aren't in limbo now because of this.


It's the UK/Canadian branches closing down, bands like Dream Theater and Machine Head are signed on to the US branch.
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GuntherTheUndying
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:42 pm 
 

Yea, the US branch is probably the source of power for Roadrunner. They just announced a year or so ago that Roadrunner was opening a sub-label too I think. But you guys saying that this is the end of the music industry or labels are nuts. If y'all remember right, SPV crashed a few years ago, but they turned around and are still pouring out releases. Chodrunner is just the victim of higher-ups.
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ogmetal
Veteran of the Psychic Wars

Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:22 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:03 pm 
 

Ribos, I think you're failing to see the big picture here. Sure, some people do like to order from bands themselves but most people want to go to places where they can pick up more than one item at a time. Especially given the cost of shipping these days. Is it possible that more established bands can produce and distribute their own physical product? Sure...perhaps it is. It's costly and when you add it onto studio costs (not every band records at home still), mixing/mastering, artwork, promotion, distribution, etc....it's still an expensive venture.

I know people and bands who book their own shows but it's not easy as you make it seem to be AND these are short five or six gig tours. Can you imagine the amount of coordination it takes to book a band like you mentioned on a 30 tour date? One person could certainly do it, perhaps, but now how is all the rest of the stuff getting done? These tour managers don't just take on one act and call it a day...they work for several bands. This is their sole purpose...they don't distribute product. Even physically distributing product is touchy...do you think a company like RED wants to take on 2000 bands distributing one single title? Not likely, my friend.

You may get your distribution as a band, but it's tough, a lot of work and frankly, it's not a chore most bands wish to take on themselves. They want to play shows and make music...that side of the business can be a major pain in the ass. Record stores may be dying and places like Amazon and online stores may be the future, but you still have to have an in and it still takes effort. It's not as easy as printing up some CDs and saying "HEY GUYS, I GOT SOME CDS, VINYL AND DIGITAL FILES ON THIS BLOGSPOT...COME AND BUY THEM". It takes a little more work and money...especially if you want to expand your reach.
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ogmetal
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:06 pm 
 

And trust me, labels like NWN are doing just fine. It's about a niche, connecting with your audience and putting out product your audience wants. Roadrunner has been disconnected for years. They were a bloated, large label with too many expenses. It happens to businesses all the time.

HEY WAIT, didn't some car companies fold a few years ago? Shit, maybe the car is dying out?
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FasterDisaster
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:08 pm 
 

The quality of Roadrunner recently may not have been great, but job loss is never a good thing.
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ogmetal
Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:12 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
The quality of Roadrunner recently may not have been great, but job loss is never a good thing.


Depending on what they did at the label, I'm sure they'll find a job elsewhere. I see this happening all the time...buyers or people working at one label, working at another eight or ten months later. The reality is, a lot of these guys know the ins and outs and have connections. If they have knowledge, they'll get another job somewhere else. Besides, we're definitely not talking layoffs in the amount of the numbers that somewhere like Yahoo has been letting go over the past few years. These numbers are miniscule compared to those.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:17 pm 
 

When a major label such as Roadrunner falls apart or is dismantled it simply means more business for the myriad other labels who will jump in to take it's place, who have more relevant product, less burdensome contracts, and a finer sense of what makes money. In Metal, the small, basement run mail orders and distributors will always be there to make sure that the bands get their releases out to people who really want to hear it.
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FasterDisaster
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:42 pm 
 

ogmetal wrote:
FasterDisaster wrote:
The quality of Roadrunner recently may not have been great, but job loss is never a good thing.

Depending on what they did at the label, I'm sure they'll find a job elsewhere. I see this happening all the time...buyers or people working at one label, working at another eight or ten months later. The reality is, a lot of these guys know the ins and outs and have connections. If they have knowledge, they'll get another job somewhere else. Besides, we're definitely not talking layoffs in the amount of the numbers that somewhere like Yahoo has been letting go over the past few years. These numbers are miniscule compared to those.

Job loss is still job loss and it's still shitty. It doesn't have to be ten thousand-plus for it to still suck. With videogame companies who are working under a larger corporate master, if a game they developed doesn't reach the astronomically large sales that have been set, the entire studio is usually let go with only a very small, select people integrated into the rest of the company. This is very rare, though.

Employees taking the brunt of an outdated corporate model is still shitty regardless.
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aaronmb666
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:56 pm 
 

Havent given a shit about Roadrunner since they were a death/thrash label. Even then, the bands would talk shit about them, especially Deicide.

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TheUglySoldier
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:52 am 
 

I see what Ribos is saying, and it does make sense. I don't know if we are quite there yet, but there are some bands who are beginning to make waves without being part of a label.

Essentially, I think what Ribos is getting at is that we will see bands as the employers, not the employees? That probably is a bit of a corrupted analogy I'm making.

Still, Roadrunner were very important - I was going to say it was bittersweet, but it really isn't; the reality is that musicians and people who work at the label(Yes, they are people to - I'm waiting for the bashing of the faceless super villains who answer phone calls at record label offices) are loosing their jobs (Not so much for the musicians, but in a way) whilst Warner Bros remains. So, this isn't really the fall of the record labels yet, as the big cats still exist. It is just the smaller dudes getting shafted.
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MikeyC
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:31 am 
 

Malthus wrote:
ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Let's hope that earache follows suit.


Exactly. These labels haven't release anything of interest in years. Just mainstream tripe. Good riddance.

Just because they have not released anything you two like does not mean the poor shmucks working there deserve to lose their jobs.
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Blood Music
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:08 am 
 

Ribos,

Not sure if you've ever released a record or worked in booking/production or anything, but I encourage a try to see just how much work it is. Ever booked a trip? Ever booked a trip for 4-5 people? Ever booked at trip that included precise timing and transportation for 4-5 people, as well as a whole load of equipment, making sure you always have a way to get there (600 miles away), play, have a place to sleep, have food to eat, have the money managed correctly.

Then, ever made an album? Where do you record? Do mixing? Mastering? Do artwork? Make layouts? Decide where to press? Decide exactly what to press? Receive the thousands of records? Get the packaging to ship them? Make the central web location for selling them? Deal with all the web orders and customer service? Ship out 1000+ packages in a short time without pissing people off? Get them the material distributed into stores? Etc. etc. etc.

When did you find time to write and record the album? Hang out with your friends? Hang out with your wife? Your kids?

There are some bands doing this, but you might notice that their output is ultra-limited, as well as their merchandise. And at some point, they usually give up on selling the merch.

You have to be pretty fucking intelligent to know how to do all this stuff. And beyond that, organized. And beyond that, you will hate your life and quit making music.

I am seriously curious what the solution is. I agree that the music industry is in a major problem/flux period. But no one has the answer now. And just saying that "the business is broken" isn't gonna help.

No offense, I just wanna hear what other people think is a legitimate answer to what's happening now. Because, I think ANY band (especially major band) will tell you, they are losing sales big time due to downloading. I have a few friends in major metal bands, and some of them work at regular jobs that are considered "unsavory" by society. They are only gods on stage.

Not only that, but I think they'd admit they'd have not had a chance at the big time if they hadn't signed that contract with that centralized monolith. Because a label's greatest assets are marketing, organization, and its own identity.
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LordOminous
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:05 am 
 

A lot of people saying here that record labels book tours. This doesn't happen.

Booking agencies book tours. The only time a label gets involved if is the guarantees for the shows aren't high enough to cover transport costs, in which case the record label does the "bank loan" thing, and throws a few $$$$ at the band which they will recoup in other ways (record sales, taking a cut of merch sales if they're douchebags).

Sure these days a lot of labels are expanding their business models to take all this extra revenue from bands, but at the core of it, they're only there to release records and do promo for the band.

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lennonlikesmetal
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:13 am 
 

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DestruicaoMetalica
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:54 pm
Posts: 406
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:49 am 
 

Malthus wrote:
ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Let's hope that earache follows suit.


Exactly. These labels haven't release anything of interest in years. Just mainstream tripe. Good riddance.

I'll be the first (And probably last) to say I fucking love The Browning. Also, they do have great metal bands like Anata, Hour of 13, Savage Messiah, and Wormrot.
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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:57 am 
 

Blood Music wrote:
Ribos,

Not sure if you've ever released a record or worked in booking/production or anything, but I encourage a try to see just how much work it is. Ever booked a trip? Ever booked a trip for 4-5 people? Ever booked at trip that included precise timing and transportation for 4-5 people, as well as a whole load of equipment, making sure you always have a way to get there (600 miles away), play, have a place to sleep, have food to eat, have the money managed correctly.

Then, ever made an album? Where do you record? Do mixing? Mastering? Do artwork? Make layouts? Decide where to press? Decide exactly what to press? Receive the thousands of records? Get the packaging to ship them? Make the central web location for selling them? Deal with all the web orders and customer service? Ship out 1000+ packages in a short time without pissing people off? Get them the material distributed into stores? Etc. etc. etc.

When did you find time to write and record the album? Hang out with your friends? Hang out with your wife? Your kids?

There are some bands doing this, but you might notice that their output is ultra-limited, as well as their merchandise. And at some point, they usually give up on selling the merch.

You have to be pretty fucking intelligent to know how to do all this stuff. And beyond that, organized. And beyond that, you will hate your life and quit making music.

I am seriously curious what the solution is. I agree that the music industry is in a major problem/flux period. But no one has the answer now. And just saying that "the business is broken" isn't gonna help.

No offense, I just wanna hear what other people think is a legitimate answer to what's happening now. Because, I think ANY band (especially major band) will tell you, they are losing sales big time due to downloading. I have a few friends in major metal bands, and some of them work at regular jobs that are considered "unsavory" by society. They are only gods on stage.

Not only that, but I think they'd admit they'd have not had a chance at the big time if they hadn't signed that contract with that centralized monolith. Because a label's greatest assets are marketing, organization, and its own identity.


This.

For a new band, to accomplish all these things alone it's simply impossible. Not just cause to do all those things requires knowledge/expertise in a lot of shit, but also time, MONEY, CONTACTS and a Well known Name- things most of small bands don't have. Sure, if you wanna have just 50/100 cd-r pressed and sell them in your local area you can do it somehow, but to have worldwide distribution with centralized location and logistics for fast and secure shipping and storage, with always-available cd's, printed in top quality with the best of designers, recorded at the best studios with the best engineers and all that stuff requires an insane amount of money.

Not even the big bands that live well out the music do the job by themselves! Unless you wanna keep your band in the underground, the bigger labels is the way to go.
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AcidWorm
Veteran

Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:37 pm
Posts: 2752
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:38 am 
 

I hate what Roadrunner has been promoting and what they turned into, so I am not sad at all about this. Good riddance. They were once a great label in the 90s with some very good metal bands on their roster but then they shifted to the more mainstream stuff rather than quality signing shit like Trivium and Throwdown. Lets keep metal metal and get rid of this limbo shit of bands that can't decide if they are one or the other. Of course one label closing down makes no difference but I can still dream.
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Malthus
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:32 pm
Posts: 740
Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:13 am 
 

MikeyC wrote:
Just because they have not released anything you two like does not mean the poor shmucks working there deserve to lose their jobs.


So they deserve to keep their jobs at a sinking ship of a business? Doesn't work that way, bro. Fairly basic economics. If the $ ain't coming in, the staff can't be paid, and hence, they are forced to find work elsewhere. If you're that concerned about them, feel free to start a charity fund in their honour though.

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FasterDisaster
OMG WAT DOES THIS CAPS LOCK KEY DO

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6341
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:39 am 
 

Blood Music wrote:
I am seriously curious what the solution is. I agree that the music industry is in a major problem/flux period. But no one has the answer now. And just saying that "the business is broken" isn't gonna help.


Stop putting restrictions on everything, and adopt a business model that is hassle free and gets the product to the consumer as quickly as possible, the way they want it. Or, as my man Jeff Gerstmann likes to say:

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Reginald
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:38 am
Posts: 164
Location: 'Straya
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:28 pm 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
Trivium's Matt Heafy took to twitter to voice his disgust stating "I wish I knew who or what to blame specifically, and chew off it's heads...


It was I, my one man boycott resulted in Old Yeller finally being taken out behind the barn! Chew my head as I climax in rageful ecstasy!

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Corpsey the Clown
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:38 pm
Posts: 214
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:45 pm 
 

aaronmb666 wrote:
Havent given a shit about Roadrunner since they were a death/thrash label. Even then, the bands would talk shit about them, especially Deicide.

Quoted for truth. And they deserved it too, after throwing so many talented bands out on the street in the 90's. I enjoyed the re-releases of Obituary, Pestilence, Disincarnate and a few others, but Roadrunner today might as well not exist as far as I'm concerned.

It sucks that all those people in their UK/Canada branch are out of a job, though. Hope they form some new labels and adapt to the new age of music, because the old labels sure are doing a shitty job of it.

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Chainsaw Omega
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:43 pm
Posts: 105
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:56 pm 
 

If I were you guys posting, I would definitely pay particular attention to anything ogmetal and LordOminous are saying, as they have extensive knowledge of these things.

Speaking for myself, I have done art layouts, set up manufacturing of albums, distributed it, booked tours and organized them, and every other aspect of being in a functioning band, and my opinion: you need help with these things. For one person to handle all of this, hell, even one band to do it, is nearly impossible. Can it be done? Of course, but having help, particularly with distribution and booking, is huge. A label, even a small-ish one, has more connections than you can get on your own, and on top of that, have a name to back their reputation. When I try to distribute material on my own, whoever I try to work with has to 1. Like the material, 2. Think there is a market for it, 3. Think I am a trustworthy person.

Say a distro wants 10 copies of my album. It generally works 1 of 3. ways. 1. They will trade me 10 copies of their own releases, or 2. they will pay me the wholesale price, which is generally half of what they intend to sell it for, or 3. they will do a consignment deal, which is they pay me the wholesale price if the album sells. Each offer different advantages and disadvantages. Option 1 is good because it is of minimal risk to the distro, so they are more willing to take the release. However, it is not very advantageous to the band since they then need to figure out what to do with the 10 random cds they have. Option 2 is the best for the band, but the distro is at greatest risk here, since there is no guarantee they will move the album. Option three is low-risk to the distro, but can get extremely sketchy for the band.

So you do this, and congratulations, you just distributed 10 copies. 10 down, 1990 more to go...

As for booking tours yourself, here's how this works. So you are in the US and you want to do a full-scale tour. Generally, you will be in a van, with either all your gear in it, or a trailer to carry it. Lets say you get a Ford Econoline van, which is pretty standard. Your gas mileage will be roughly 18MPG. With gas prices on average at about $3.70, figure out how many miles you will be driving. A good estimate for a full US tour: 10,000. Some quick math gets you a price tag for $2055 to fill up. ALWAYS assume it will cost more, because it will never cost less, I assure you.

So you decide to start your tour in Los Angeles on friday night. Generally this isn't a hard gig to book. From there you decide on Phoenix for Saturday. Again not very difficult. Now, its Sunday. Where do you go. You could do Albuquerque. But its Sunday, and no one outside of your home state knows wh othe fuck you are. You convince the owner of the bar/house/squat to front you $70 for gas. Now you are relying on him to set up the show and hope that it goes well, which in and of itself is a challenge that even big booking agencies fuck up all the time. So you play to 30 people in New Mexico and you sell 2 shirts and 5 cds, which is a pretty optimistic approach. You made $140-$170 bucks. Your next show in a Monday and you decided on Austin, Texas, which is 700 miles away. At 18 MPG, that trip costs you $143 just for the gas. You MIGHT just barely cover that if you are lucky.

Those are the types of decisions you are going to make when booking a city. Will it be even possible to play in Kentucky on a Wednesday, and if so, what is the turnout like. Will it even be a good venue or does the promoter know what the fuck they are doing? These are all things a booking agency does for you. They generally deal with actual venues, and work with promoters who will actually work to get people in the door. I can tell you, I have done the DIY thing for years now, and it is tough. It is not impossible, but it is in no way, shape, or form easy and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. Booking a tour on your own is a full-time job. You need to hunt down bands, promoters, venues, fans, anyone who will help you, and then do it another 20 times. You will develop connections over time, but starting from scratch, this is an extremely daunting task. If you are in a band, try it. Pick a city. Now try to find someone to book you a show there 4-8 months in advance on a specific day.

As far as RR Europe and Canada closing its doors, i don't think this is a big issue. These people, whose numbers I would guess are in the 75-350 range, will most likely have connections and can find a new job. If they are good at their jobs, they will have developed a reputation with artists, so the newly laid-off A&R guy who is also great friends with Trivium from when he worked with them might just find a new job at another label because of a glowing recommendation from Matt Heafy, to use him as example since he has chimed in already on Twitter.

There is a bunch more I could say about all these things, but I am rambling.

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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
Posts: 1117
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:28 pm 
 

Excellent post, Chainsaw Omega. I'm not in a band (in any meaningful way), and I've never gigged, but I've often thought about the mechanics of touring and the financial side of it all, and that was a very helpful explanation. Thanks!

On topic: Yeah, this is kind of crappy news. But as others have said, it's not like Roadrunner Records itself is going out. It doesn't bode well for them, but at least for now they remain. And as far as all the shitty bands on their roster go, I just ignore them and think of King Diamond when I see the Roadrunner logo. =]

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conquer__all
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:49 pm
Posts: 247
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:44 pm 
 

fuck this label! They have shitty trendy hipster bands like Opeth and Trivium, and they run and own Blabbermouth the worlds shittiest metal site ever where you get banned for life if you say anything against a RR artist, fuck that label!
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