And Justice For All?
By James Kennedy
This week I won my year long legal battle against my band Kyshera’s former Record Company Rising Records**.
Whilst I am glad that all the form filling is over, I’m not left hugely optimistic about the state of the Rock/Metal band scene. During the course of the case & my research into the going’s on of the company etc, too much information came my way about other players on the ‘scene’ that were in the pocket with the well known label boss Mark Daghorn. Certain well known Magazines & bookers were all party to dubious deals & must have been in the know that what they were doing amounted to ‘Payola’. So it’s interesting to see many of these same people now either completely silent on the subject or proclaiming a little too loudly that Mark was a ‘bad guy’ – he wasn’t that bad when they were accepting holidays & large sums of money – or so I’ve heard ;)
Daghorn wasn’t the only guy on the scene who was engaged in, shall we say, less than honest activities, but he was the one that was perhaps a little less subtle than the others who are now ‘saint-ifying’ themselves by proclaiming him as the sole culprit. A few of the bands aren’t in a position to complain either – don’t be surprised when someone who you consciously gave bribe money to, just runs off with it. We also have to include some of Daghorn’s sub-contractors who were happy to turn a blind eye in order to get the contracts –let’s just say they haven’t fared too well from that strategy either.
Daghorn has now left the country & there is a large campaign currently being waged against him. Whilst I hope that Daghorn’s victims all get whatever it is they’re after, I’m not left with much hope that anything of much significance is going to change on the scene in general, as all the other players are still here. I guess it’s old news that the music business is as corrupt as any other & that the quality of your music is completely irrelevant compared to the size of the cheque you can pay or the back you can slap. The Rock/ Metal scene seems to think it somehow has a purity of culture, it doesn’t. The scene works exactly the same way as all the others – you gotta be in the club – and most people’s time in the club is very short lived.
Our partnership with Rising was only for Promotion & Distribution and we pulled our album back when the warning signs began. Luckily for us, the whole debacle hasn’t caused us too much pain, but other bands have broken up, homes have been re-mortgaged, marriages have ended etc all because of the senseless career aspirations of not just Daghorn but many other ‘institutions’ of the Rock & Metal scene as well. Let’s not forget that without the bands, none of these other companies could exist & that maybe we should stop competing against each other in a scramble for attention from the scenes ‘masters’ & realise that the scene begins & ends with us. Let them do the scrambling to be a part of OUR club. And when did Rock’n’Roll become so f##king career minded anyway?
**Daghorn’s Rising Records should not be confused with the existing Rising Records from Sheffield who were around long before.**