Sunday, September 03, 2006

Double-crossed Helix

The major labels do what they do for the artists, you'll remember. An example of how they put their artists' interests ahead of the rest can be found by listening to the story of why the band Helix appear on the soundtrack to Trailer Park Boys, but not on the soundtrack album. This is what Helix's Brian Vollmer has said:

"This week the song 'Heavy Metal Love' officially made the Trailer Park Boys movie soundtrack. Unfortunately, Dean Cameron, president of EMI Canada, decided to withhold the song from the movie soundtrack CD. He did this because the distribution of the soundtrack CD was being handled by Universal, not EMI. Even though EMI would have made money licensing the song to the movie people, Dean decided to make a point. Stupid. Sandbox politics at it’s best. The biggest losers here however are myself, Paul Hackman’s widow, and my former manager William Seip, as we would all have made money from the publishing generated by our song being on the CD, not to mention the exposure of the band which would have probably led to sales of Helix back catalogue which EMI owns. No wonder big record companies are going down the tubes when they do shit like this. And I think of all those years of loyalty to Capitol/EMI-not seeing our families, doing every interview they ever asked us to do, whatever… and this is how the company repays us. Pure bullshit. Thanks a lot Cameron.

Of course, it's possible Vollmer has got hold of the wrong end of the stick, but even if he has, that this would be the conclusion to which he's jumped suggests a less-than-positive working relationship between band and label.

We've said before that if we were in any way an institutional investor and held stock in the record labels, we'd be taking a good hard look at the decisions they're making these days. It's not just that they're capitalists - it's that they're so bad at capitalism to boot.

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