Vocalist Maurizio Iacono (KATAKLYSM, EX DEO) issued the below message in the wake of the news that Roadrunner Records was shutting down its European offices, and that their CEO Cees Wessels was stepping down:
“This is just the beginning Not buying albums is affecting the labels who in return invest in the bands, tour support, recording .. it’s destroying all newcomer bands and its making middle class musicians poor. You’re not hurting the labels by illegal downloading, you’re killing the bands.
Starting a band these days is a suicide mission. If music becomes a hobby for musicians, then no more tours, no more good music. Dark times ahead. Well, wait, we have holograms now, don’t need REAL people on stage… my bad …
It’s not true that bands don’t need labels. Ask a 16-year-old kid who just started a band what to do. The power of record labels to fly journalists, to market, to distribute is SUPER important. With time you get the knowledge to do a lot of things, but to run a business (yes running a band is business) + touring worldwide to please fans that want to see you is nearly impossible. You need labels. Even if they become more of a management thing in the future, you need them.
Right now, with record sales getting lower and people buying less and less product, labels are saying ‘Sure, we’ll buy your flights, we’ll promote the band, we’ll give you tour support to buy a van or rent, but give us your merch.’ After you do that you starve to death.
Again, it’s not about me. I’ve had a great 20 years; if it ends tomorrow I can keep my head help up high for what I’ve done, but what about the new comers and the future of music? NOT good. It’s not you the fans’ fault, don’t get me wrong. It’s the system that let it happen. Governments, etc. could have stopped it. They didn’t. Now it’s up to us, the fans, to help out.
Buy a shirt, CD, vinyls, download on iTunes, Amazon, the songs you like .. DO SOMETHING! I love you all, and always remember, you guys have all the power to build or destroy, we are only messengers of your voice.”