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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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have you heard the new !TOOH! album?

Well, it's now likely that you won't..

:::deep breath:::

Earache, or more specifically Digby Pearson, appears to have deleted the title from their catalogue. There are very few mentions to this album on the Earache website, it's not for sale on the Euro mail order anymore and the press guys appear to have been told not to bother.

Why? That's a very good question.

First off, the band split primarily due to arguments about money. Earache didn't pay their recording advance until AFTER the album was actually released, leading to the band initially having to pay out of their own pockets to get the studio off their backs. This is despite a clause in the contract saying that the advance would be paid upon receipt of the Master (yeah, right... this never happened once in three years...). These are guys from the Czech Republic earning about $600 a month, so having to find $3000 to pay a studio must have been a lot of fun.

Next we had the artwork. The band sent limited artwork, and it was then sent to an outside guy to put it all together. He actually changed it 95%, but it was all approved by the band so that was cool. Unfortunately Earache didn't pay the art guy. The art guy called me personally, said he was about to turn up at Earache's offices with a bat unless he got his money since his phone calls and emails were being ignored for weeks. I offered to pay him from my own pocket to help him out and to smooth things over. I would then invoice Earache myself and (inevitably) wait.

This was in August and I still haven't been paid (about $600). At first I was told this was because the art guy had not signed a copyright sign-off form. I argued (correctly) that this minor inconvenience hadn't actually stopped Earache from releasing the CD, but this fell on deaf ears. After six months of frustration about this and other shit (Don't get me started on the Farmakon and Wolverine fiascos... ) that lead to me having no choice but to end Elitist, I threatened to take this invoice to a small-claims court to get it settled. I'll point out now that Digby does not answer emails or pick up the telephone if there's a problem, making this whole exercise 2000% more frustrating than it already is. Everything has to go via a staff member in both directions, and these guys cannot do a thing without Digby's say-so. It's a very weird situation, since there's a lot of very experienced and very good people working there, but their hands are tied. Earache's like having a car with a great engine, only for Mr Magoo to be behind the wheel...

Anyway, after my continued persistence at trying to get my money back, I got a very bizarre thing in the mail. It was the !TOOH! contracts torn in half. No note, no explanation. I then checked out the Earache website and all traces of !TOOH! had vanished. They weren't even listed as a "Past Artist" (which, incidentally, is where the Elitist bands discovered if they were dropped or not since they weren't informed otherwise. Classy, eh?). Obviously bemused by this latest turn of events, I called the accounts guy. He informed me that Digby felt that Earache had "already spent enough money on this album, and were not going to waste any more". It was also labelled a "flop", despite the fact that it has had no advertising, limited press and it was pushed out in December when it'd be easier to sell herpes than metal CDs to chain stores with an Xmas budget to spend.

So, there you go. I'm not going to get paid and all the hard work that !TOOH! put into making such a great album has gone to waste simply because of an idiotic, unmoral, Despotic prick that doesn't care about bands or music and hasn't got the balls to confront problems directly.

This isn't about the money. I won't starve because I lost $600 (although I’m not Donald Trump either. It will be missed...), but it does hopefully show how Digby chooses to operate...
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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... and I suppose Earache retains the rights to the album forever as well. *sigh*
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, I have the contract and it's in bits. Not quite sure what that means legally. I do know that as a gesture it's fairly pathetic, mind
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Old February 15th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was wondering because I had to review it and found no info on the Earache website...The music is not good, but that's no nice treatment at all for a band...
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Old February 15th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occam's Razor
The music is not good, but that's no nice treatment at all for a band...
You are wrong. And right. In that order
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Old February 15th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, okay. It is a matter of taste really. They can play, but fail to compose stringent songs, and the vocals have a humorous character at tmes that makes me take them less seriously. Considering the lyrical content, these guys are obviously a little sick in their brains, and this makes the band appear to me almost like fun-grind. 15 years of band history should procreate something more elaborate.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Is there PHYSICAL PROOF that Digby Pearson is alive and Still Breathing?

I kinda doubt that
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Old February 16th, 2006, 04:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMech
Is there PHYSICAL PROOF that Digby Pearson is alive and Still Breathing?

I kinda doubt that
Who should have killed him? - Napalm Death?
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Old February 16th, 2006, 04:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occam's Razor
Who should have killed him? - Napalm Death?
Nah, somebody from a band nobody cares about.

Misery Loves Company, for example. The best example of a fast-forward-when-their-track-comes-up-on-a-comp EVAR~!
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Old February 16th, 2006, 04:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim LotFP
Misery Loves Company, for example. The best example of a fast-forward-when-their-track-comes-up-on-a-comp EVAR~!
Are you really this big of an idiot, or do you only enjoy pretending to be one?
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Old February 16th, 2006, 05:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downfall
Are you really this big of an idiot, or do you only enjoy pretending to be one?
I really, truly don't like Misery Loves Company. Sorry. Especially that My Mind Still Speaks songs that was all over the comps. aaarrgghhh.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, this is your forum so who am I to judge...
Still, mistaking one's taste in music for a univeral truth is something that makes so many music reviewers' text unbearable to read for me. In other words, I couldn't resist the urge. Not with MLC in question...
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Old February 16th, 2006, 05:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downfall
Still, mistaking one's taste in music for a univeral truth is something that makes so many music reviewers' text unbearable to read for me.
eh, it's not so much thinking it's universal truth as it is treating my opinion as truth.

"I rreeaallyyy don't like <band x>." is both fact and opinion.

"Band <x> sucks." is just opinion.

"I have never before met or talked to anyone that had anything good to say about Misery Loves Company." is a fact.

And we're so far from the subject at hand now.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 05:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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that is LAME.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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"Band <x> sucks." is just opinion.
Well, I disagree here, and that is my opinion
Quote:
"I have never before met or talked to anyone that had anything good to say about Misery Loves Company." is a fact.
And the next time you say this it will not be a fact...

But, like you said, this is pretty far from the topic.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think I remember Misery Loves Company, but I don't remember any of their songs. Kinda like Paradise Lost, methinks.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 09:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I remember Midas Touch (a poor name choice if there ever was one).
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Old February 17th, 2006, 01:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downfall
Well, I disagree here, and that is my opinion
And the next time you say this it will not be a fact...

But, like you said, this is pretty far from the topic.
How's this for both an opinion and a fact: Earache sucks swetty, hairy and shitty moose balls that have been up Digby's own ass.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 01:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think Anal Cunt had the same problem as you do now Lee. They had a song called "Earache was better when Dig answered the phone" on their Top 40 Hits album. If only you listened to them then.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 04:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Stefan Zell of Wolverine gave permission to post this:

"What can I say? The story about !TOOH! is pretty much identical to ours, except we did the artwork ourselves so we didn't have to pay for that. They simply didn't pay the studio for the recording which not only pissed us off but also the guys at the studio who threatened to erase the tapes. Luckily that never happened. After several months of e-mailing back and forth with the label and the studio we managed to end the relationship with Earache which was the best thing that could happen to us at that point. We ended up going to the bank, paying for the entire recording ourselves.

Luckily there's an upside to all of this and that upside is Lee Barrett. Not only did he help us through the mess with Earache in an examplary way but he has also managed to find us a new label. The contracts have been signed by the band and we are now waiting for the label to return a signed copy to us and then we'll announce everything. To say we're indebtet and thankful to Lee is an understatement. He definitely saved the band from breaking up.

Right now I just feel sorry that there are people at Earache who needs to work for a guy like their boss. Must be really frustrating with a guy who handles business like a child playing some sort of really annoying game. As an example there was something we needed to know from Earache and Lee handled the correnspondence with Digby. The whole thing was pretty urgent. He sent three mails about the matter without even a reply. After the fourth mail he got a mail back simply saying "Silence means no". I think that kind of says it all. That's how easy it was to work with Earache towards the end. I have other examples as well but I'll keep them to myself a while longer. :-)

For us it worked out great in the end but I'm just sad to hear about !TOOH! and Farmakon. It kind of tells me that Mr. D.P hasn't got a heart..."
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Old February 17th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I don't know if he has no heart, but he has definitely a personality problem (being an ass?) he should solve or else his business deserves to collapse. How could he keep up so long with such manners?
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Old February 18th, 2006, 11:08 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Digby was on the cover of Jim's SCUM for a reason
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Old February 18th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think you should write a lengthy article on the shady aspects of Earache, Jim. It would seem to me that you are in the perfect position to do so (well not perfect, but close enough perhaps), since the other person who had an opportunity to take a close look at Earache is certainly not going to have anything terribly negative to say about the label’s practices:


Quote:
DM: I have one last question, and I honestly don’t know what to expect from you from this, but I’ll go ahead and ask anyway. Digby from Earache has quite the reputation for being a little bit of an asshole. Is he really as much of a dick as everyone says?

Albert Mudrian: [Laughs] Digby has always been very sweet to me. Whenever I needed something, he’s always been around to help. [Laughs]

DM: [Laughs] We can leave it at that.

AM: No, no no. I’m going to do this in a way that is as diplomatic as possible.

DM: [Laughs]

AM: He has a reputation, some bands have complained about him, his practices and his label, and I think in a lot of instances they have a lot of points. But I think he’s also managed to keep this thing going for… it’s going to be 20 years next year, so he’s obviously not pissing everyone off if he’s able to bring in a band like the new Akercocke. There’s a band who signed to the label two or three years ago knowing all the stories and knowing all the tales, and I know those guys. They’re not stupid! [Laughs] I’m sure there’s elements of truth to things, but there’s two sides of every story, and I did my best to kind of let everybody have their say in terms of Digby in the book. Now, if you call Jeff Walker and ask him that question, you’re going to get a different answer. If you call Nicke Anderson or Barney Greenway, you’re probably going to get different answers.

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Old February 19th, 2006, 04:17 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBB
I think you should write a lengthy article on the shady aspects of Earache, Jim. It would seem to me that you are in the perfect position to do so (well not perfect, but close enough perhaps), since the other person who had an opportunity to take a close look at Earache is certainly not going to have anything terribly negative to say about the label’s practices:
I don't think I have the patience to do an articulate treatment of the subject. At best, maybe ask for statements from past and present Earache bands and just print those as-is.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #25 (permalink)
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well well well

this story seems to be throwing up more or and more "amusing" detail about the bullshit practises of that label.

I dunno if any of you read the interview i did with Eywin from frantic bleep, but theres a bit more about this in there.
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