Lead singer and guitarist, Jari Mäenpää, of the Finnish, prog-metal band Wintersun took to his band’s Facebook Page, with over 300,000 Likes, to explain why they can’t create their next album, why crowd funding won’t work for them, why it took them nearly 10 years to release their second record and why they may never be able to release their third.
In his broken English, Mäenpää posted on Wintersun’s Facebook Page:
“I’ve been thinking about this Kickstarter/Pledge crowd funding thing for a while and I’m very confident now that there is enough of you guys that would help us raise the money for the Wintersun studio! This would give me the freedom to make music efficiently and nonstop. It would eliminate lot of the problems I’ve struggled with all my life and still continue to struggle everyday”
Mäenpää says that he’d like to build his own studio to properly record and mix his new albums. He says that he has never gotten “satisfactory results” from 3rd party studios “for the insane prices they charge.”
He goes on to say that his Los Angeles based label, Nuclear Blast, are “totally freaking out” about the prospects of crowd funding. Even if Wintersun did raise the amount they’d like to reach, Mäenpää protests that the label would take half, the Finnish government would take 40%, leaving Wintersun with virtually nothing. Mäenpää says:
“It’s really like this, because they [Nuclear Blast] can’t or won’t loan me enough money to build a studio and fund an album, they don’t want other people (the fans) to fund it either… unless they get a crazy big cut of the funding (for doing absolutely nothing)”
“They actually told me point blank that I should just stop making music and they will never release Wintersun from the contract.”
It seems Mäenpää and band signed a pretty crappy deal. Why any band would sign with a record company that can’t even provide a big enough advance to record an album is beyond me. But then again, it seems they signed this deal back in 2004 when iTunes hadn’t even made it to Finland. Times were different.
Nuclear Blast is one of the premier metal record labels in the world whose acts include Slayer, Meshuggah, Nightwish, Suicide Silence, Sepultira, All Shall Perish, Symphony X and many, many more.
Well Jari… (can I call you Jari? I can’t figure out how to pronounce your last name) seems to me you need to hire a lawyer to get you out of your record contract. Start a crowd funding campaign with your 300,000 Facebook fans, pay your label back for the (shitty) advance they gave you for the new record, and make the record you are envisioning in your heart. Best of luck!
Photo is a press photo of Wintersun from their Facebook Page.
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake