As much as I don’t care for Hawthorne Heights’ music, I dislike Victory Records even more, so this is the greatest thing to happen all week!
Victory Records superstars Hawthorne Heights have not only left the questionable independent record label, but they’ve turned around and are now attempting to sue them as well. In a “manifesto” they posted on their website, the band says:
Due to recent events we have decided to leave Victory Records. Our departure is anything but amicable. We have decided to leave Victory, in part due to the actions of the man who sits at the head of the label, Tony Brummel. Tony Brummel is a man that cares more about his ego and bank account than the bands themselves.
At the spine of the split is Brummel’s shady marketing strategy during the February release of Hawthorne Heights’ album If Only You Were Lonely. At the time, Brummel hoped to boost HH’s chances of debuting at number one on Billboard charts by asking fans to hide the competition’s albums so people would not only not be able to buy them at select stores, but the store scanners would still show the record as being in stock and therefore they would not order more. His main target was Def Jam artist Ne-Yo.
As for Ne-yo, the name of the game is to decrease the chances of a sale here. If you were to pick up handful of Ne-yo CDs, as if you were about to buy them, but then changed your mind and didn’t bother to put them back in the same place, that would work. Even though this record will be heavily stocked and you might not be able to move all the stock, just relocating a handful creates issues: Even though the store will appear to be out of stock, the computer will see it as in stock and not re-order the title once it sells down and then Ne-Yo will lose a few sales later in the week.
Def Jam, rightfully, got pissed, and the head of Hawthorne Heights’ street-team (who took the fall for the letter) even ended up resigning after the fact. Ne-Yo still debuted at number one that week while HH came it at number three. At the time, though, Hawthorne Heights was pleading with their fans via their website and Myspace to support “rock” and bring “rock” back into the countdowns and Billboard lists. Now, though, the band is less concerned with their placement on TRL and more worried about the money Brummel has kept from them.
Tony (Brummel, Victory Records founder), is a man whose greed knows no bounds. After selling more than 1.2 million copies of The Silence In Black and White and If Only You Were Lonely, we have never seen a single dollar in artist royalties from Victory Records. Tony will claim that we have not “recouped.” In fact questionable accounting practices are the culprit and we are in fact owed substantial amounts of money.
Hawthorne Heights aren’t the first in Victory’s infamous history to take the label to task. Both Taking Back Sunday and Thursday are among the list of artists who have left the label and since spoken distastefully of their relationship with Brummel and his business practices.
Read Hawthorne Heights’ full statement below the jump. It’s pretty scathing.
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