This is Sim from Southend based transgressive satirical noiseniks, Fashoda Crisis. Thank you for taking the the time to contact us with your blanket generic email.
I am genuinely interested to know exactly which of our songs caught your attention? What is your favourite Fashoda track? Actually on second thoughts what is your favourite Fashoda Crisis lyric? Is it ” I am wearing the skin of Vernon Kay and I’m on my knees wanking like a primate” from The Berry-Brown Face of Robert Kilroy Silk? That would be one that I’m particularly proud of.
Obviously when you are casting your net for wide eyed gullible young bands to squeeze money from, time is an issue. So many kids with dreams of getting a record deal out there and so little time, eh? I sympathise, I really do. But surely even a cursory amount of research into the bands you are contacting would be worth your while? Had you actually “checked out” our “stuff” online, as you claim, you certainly would have stumbled across our biography. Had you truly been interested in us, as artists rather than potential investors, you would have read this and understood that we are a fiercely DIY band that do things on their own terms. We are not a commercial concern. I deplore the idea of creating music as a career. I create music as art. If I was interested in using to music to make as much money as possible, I would not write the songs that I do. We are a band with niche appeal. We understand this and will never compromise our integrity by changing our approach to be more financially viable. This band has been going for nearly eight years, and we have poured money into it, because we love what we do. We believe in what we do. We only ever work with people who understand that ethos, and are interested in our music.
I am also stunned by the logic of your business plan. You ask for a monthly fee in the region of $200 rather than a percentage, and argue that this is your incentive to do a great job, because there are no contracts. In practice this means that you can easily take your first payment and do absolutely nothing. There is no incentive for you to work hard as you have been paid in advance. You argue that if you want to keep getting paid, you’ll need to work hard. But that only applies if you want to be paid again by the same band. If you snare six bands into paying this first instalment you will receive the same amount of money for doing nothing as you would working very hard for one band over six months. Where is your incentive?
Your manifesto states that your managers are all musicians too, and know the hardships of being in a band. I would love to know what bands these people have been in, that have led them to this particular career path. Were they in bands that could afford to fritter $200 a month? If so I wonder why they have sidelined their successful musical projects to manage others?
Obviously as a rational man I have spent a little time researching your company, and would like an explanation of the benefits of entering in to an arrangement with yourselves. As your message states you believe we “would be a good fit”. You offer a range of rather vague sounding services, that unless I am very much mistaken are easily attainable by any band on their own with a little bit of legwork, please elaborate on how we fit into your structure:
1) Tour booking services: We have played extensively throughout Europe, and are in the process of arranging a return tour of the Ukraine. Perhaps your extensive US coast to coast contacts would be of use, although your FAQs clearly state that unless there is a fan base ready for us to play to, you won’t be arranging a tour. If the fan base is there, why on Earth would we need you to arrange the tour?
2) Record Label Shopping: We have no interest in signing with a record label as should be clear from your extensive research into us. Your own website states how the record label model is changing in an Internet focused industry, but yet still dangles this outmoded carrot in front of the noses of the naive.
3) Gear endorsement: I have heard of none of these brands, perhaps they are well known US brands, but in the UK they would be fairly useless to me. I can buy my own strings, and still save approximately $195 a month by not joining you.
4) Consulting: I wouldn’t dream of questioning your company’s knowledge of the music industry, and although I have never heard of Full Sail University, I am sure it is a fantastic and reputable educational establishment. However, we detest the music industry and almost everything about it. Not the best fit so far…
5) Music Distribution: Oh come on, this is just plain ridiculous. If you were “checking out our stuff online” you would know it is already digitally distributed. For about $20 a year as well.
I think that is probably more than enough to go on for now. Perhaps it was one of your other services that you had in mind that you thought would be particularly mutually beneficial for us. If so I look forward to hearing a breakdown of it.
Your website states quite clearly that “we are all here for the love of music and art” and if I’m honest this is what has particularly irked me about you contacting us. I argue that you are not here for “art” in the slightest, you exist purely to profit from those that do not know better, and for this I deplore you. I am an artist. I create art with no concern for commercial appeal. Perhaps if you send me a payment of $200 I will write you a song about it. You see if you have already paid me and I am not contractually obliged to provide you with the song, surely I have more incentive to write it. That I believe is your argument is it not?
I am questioning the integrity of your business practice, quite strongly in fact, and if you have any decency you will answer all of my queries and concerns in full. Otherwise I shall have to assume that my instinctive mistrust of your company and all I have said in this message is cold, hard, fact and that sadly your company is indeed just another leech in an industry of leeches, who instead of enabling the creation of art, smother it.
So now we just sit back and count the royalty cheques, or checks as I believe it is spelt in America, where I am sure I will soon be residing. Possibly in Axl Rose’s old house. Because I am such a big fucking deal.