Deerhoof claims that Daytrotter’s management is anything but helpful to indie musicians.
Lies, bullying, legal harassment, and finally, a lawsuit threat. That’s what indie band Deerhoof says they faced when recording a session with Daytrotter. Now, the band has finally spoken out about its three-year ordeal with the site.
Daytrotter bills itself as the “source for new music discovery and MP3 downloads.” Fans who go to the commercial site will find thousands of trending recordings sessions from indie artists. The website also features a curated music collection from artists and bands like Rosie Thomas, Bad Luck, Rodrigo Amarante, and more.
Deerhoof is among the celebrity clientele, but definitely not a fan. Deerhoof’s drummer, Greg Saunier, explained his history of his less-than-stellar experiences with Daytrotter. On a Facebook post, he warned indie musicians to avoid using the website at all costs.
“Being for the benefit of musicians who have recorded, or are considering recording, a session for DAYTROTTER:
“Daytrotter’s been around for many years and done many great sessions, and the vast majority of musicians have no doubt had a good experience working with them. But not everyone. I make this statement without malice or intent to achieve anything other than letting my fellow musicians know what Daytrotter can do, so that you can decide for yourselves whether this is ok for you. I am not legally permitted to say whether any of the following happened to Deerhoof, but please be aware that if you record with Daytrotter, you might…”
He outlined what the website would do with your music. The commercial streaming site would put your music behind a paywall, apologize, and then do it again. You also won’t get paid, according to the group. If you complain about the company’s tactics, they would cease all communication. They would then illegally press your music without your consent and sell it. After complaining, the company would threaten to sue you if you speak out to the community.
Then, to make matters worse, Daytrotter allegedly continued these tactics for three years. Saunier wrote,
“[You will be] referred instead to the owner of Daytrotter/Wolfgang’s Vault, who does not apologize, but in his first communication to you threatens to ‘take appropriate action’ if you ‘disparage Daytrotter in any way’ to the music community…
“Giggle a little and decline their offer… Feel sad because you had actually genuinely enjoyed recording the session.”
In a statement to Pitchfork, the streaming site disavowed Deerhoof’s claims. Dismissing Saunier’s post and taking the opportunity to promote its own site, Daytrotter said,
“Over the last eleven years, Daytrotter has recorded more than 7,000 bands and 32,000 songs in…sessions. [The company] has had a membership model for 8 and a half years. The price of the monthly membership is used to keep our studio open and cover our costs. [The company] has never in its history been profitable. Daytrotter sincerely appreciates all of the artists that it has had the opportunity to work with, and looks forward to continuing to having artists from all over the world coming to… well known studios to produce great music and share this music with everyone.
“Deerhoof recorded its session 8 years ago and there was an agreement between Sean Moeller, the founder of [the company], and Deerhoof in regards to releasing [the] session and vinyl. The current… team looks forward to continuing to record and promote bands for years to come.”
Image by Fifi Strom (CC by 2.0)