The Paper Lions have a problem: they can’t get paid by their label on their latest album, Trophies.
The solution? Release the album for free, and tell your fans all about it. “We have yet to see a paycheck for a single record sold by them,” the band told fans. “If you bought our record on Amazon or iTunes, or even at a record store, we didn’t get that money. We don’t know why. We don’t know if it’s being held somewhere, or if it’s been spent.”
The band told Digital Music News that this is definitely not an unrecouped situation. “The record deal was straight up distribution with a split on all revenues,” a member told us. “We fronted all the money for expenses, so there was nothing for the label to recoup.”
But what label, exactly? The band didn’t disclose, but we tracked this down to MB3 Records, an indie label with worldwide distribution via EMI Distribution and a division of The MuseBox, Inc. Which is where this got pretty strange, because the president of the MuseBox said they’d had no contact with the band, and there was almost no money (‘$100 in the pipeline’) for them. “WOW, very interesting,” Musebox CEO Nadine Gelineau emailed Digital Music News after we informed her of the development. “They completely fell off the radar. I personally sent their manager about 20 emails and left 10 voicemails and never ever got a return call or email from him or the band. My Canadian staff said the same.”
The deeper we dig into this, the messier it gets. Even more baffling is that Trophies seems to be yanked from iTunes, and only available as an import on Amazon. Which sounds like another record label relationship gone horribly wrong (for all sides), and yet another chapter in a long, depressing dossier.
This is what the group (formerly the Chucky Danger Band) recently messaged to its fans while pushing the nuclear button.
Some of you may have noticed that we’ve started doing something that, for us, is a little different. Today, we’d like to tell you why.
In August of 2009, we raised the money to rent a studio, hire a producer, and record Trophies. A few months later, we were approached by a record label that wanted to release Trophies on our behalf. After a period of negotiation, we signed a deal with that company. They released the record in September of 2010, and everything was dandy.
Fast forward to the present: we have yet to see a paycheque for a single record sold by them. If you bought our record on Amazon or iTunes, or even at a record store, we didn’t get that money. We don’t know why. We don’t know if it’s being held somewhere, or if it’s been spent.
We asked ourselves, what do we do now? Hire a lawyer? That would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. Ultimately, we just want people to hear the music. And in reality, this experience has given us an excuse to do something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.
So we’ve decided to give Trophies away in exchange for your email address. And we feel pretty good about it.
Follow the link, click on “Free Download”, enter your email, and Trophies (with Traveling as a bonus track) is yours for the taking.
PS. We will only use your email addresses to occasionally update you with news about the band. We will never give your email addresses to anyone else.
PPS. If you ever bought Trophies directly from a band member (at a show, from the back of the van, etc.) we did get that money. It was used for gas.
PSPS. People have been offering to donate money. That is very generous. Any money that we take in from this donate button will go directly towards funding our next record.