So, Century Media pulled its repertoire from Spotify, and Vince Neilstein of Metalsucks has been spouting off on that decision in a series of rants. As far as I’m concerned, Century Media can do what they want with their music, and really, I have so much other shit to spend my time thinking about than whether that was a dumb business move or not.
Today, Sumerian Records founder Ash Avildsen posted a blog on Facebook, which we here at Gun Shy Assassin would love to host future installments of, and he ripped into Vince and Metalsucks. Lucky for Ash, he lives on the West Coast and doesn’t have to run into Vince at shows, so he can say whatever the fuck he wants. But I have to say, the dude makes a lot of fucking sense and basically, takes issue with a lot of the same shit I’ve pointed out in the past and then some.
Something tells me the long-predicted backlash has begun.
Here’s what he had to say: “I believe all music should be able to be heard for free. This is why every song on Sumerian can be streamed on our YouTube channel, for free. However I don’t agree with the popular modern trend of just conditioning humans to always go for the most convenient, quick and lazy way possible to do anything and everything. This happens regardless of the consequences on our culture, the consequences on the quality of the activity, the experience or the product, or the consequences on community and the negative impacts made on the equanimity of society.”
It gets better.
“I don’t mean just music specifically. You can text your best friend to congratulate him on something incredible happening in his life, or you can call him on the phone and express your feelings with pitch, tone, inflection and human emotion. You can microwave your pizza (i.e.; prepare food by means of radiation) or you can cook it in a conventional oven. I prefer my crust crisp and crunchy. I like a little golden brown goodness on my mozzarella. I have to wait a little longer for a better outcome? No problem. Other people will send the text while eating a nuked, soggy pizza.
“So…about this Century Media vs MetalSucks beef,” Ash starts. “I get really tired of people who hide behind aliases on the Internet [Edit: Amen.] I get even more fed up with these characters when they attempt to write articles about why their uneducated opinion and perspective on the music business is accurate, factual information. I want to thank Ben Umanov, a.k.a. Vince Neilstein, for being so exceptionally ignorant in his latest ramblings towards Oliver Withöft, the owner of Century Media. It has inspired me to throw in my two cents.
“Three or four years ago, Ben and his other buddies who also hide behind Internet aliases began posting pretentious, overly opinionated blogs on a website called MetalSucks.net and started to get a bunch of people to read them. After awhile, he got enough hits to where he started selling ad space on the site to a lot of metal record labels…record labels who are advertising albums to buy. He got so many labels to write him checks, he then quit his day-job and just ran his mouth as a blogger on MetalSucks.net full-time, earning a nice living.
“Recently he has been telling Century Media, along with everyone else who looks at his site, that record labels shouldn’t bother to sell recorded music, that the concept of paying to have albums recorded and people buying these albums is a dead thing of the past and that the only real way to survive is for record labels to become management companies for bands. He also said that almost none of these bands can actually live off their music anyway. Hmm, that’s an interesting business model. The bands can’t live off their music but maybe other people can?
“Like Ben ‘Vince Neilstein’ Umanov?,” Ash asks.
“The fact that he is arguing selling recorded music is no longer a way of life for anyone to live but yet he pays his bills by selling album ads to record labels is just the most painful case of irony since Alanis Morisette circa 1996. All the labels who spend money on Ben’s site (the ad rates on MetalSucks are expensive [Edit: Which is why you should be buying ads on Gun Shy Assassin, label folks]) need to stop and instead use all that money to shoot music videos for their bands and give them financial support to stay on the road. Touring bands who have a great live show and their own distinct identity or who will have careers and who will survive. There are more artists on Sumerian Records that live off their music than those that do not. This is because they work hard and have both fans and a label that are there to support them. Talented musicians shouldn’t have to be broke because guys like Vince Neilstein say so.
“According to Ben, record labels need to wake up tomorrow and just shift to management companies. Maybe nurses should show up to hospitals tomorrow as surgeons. Until then, let’s talk about Ben’s management career.
“He has one band on his roster, who happens to be on one of my tours in September. They are a great band and are from Europe. They are coming to the U.S. for the first time and cannot currently yet afford to live off of being in their band. I wonder what he will do to pay for their immigration costs/visas, international flight tickets, van and gear rental. His first phone call will be to their record label. Hopefully they are willing to invest the money in bringing the band over. Hopefully they didn’t blow all the money on MetalSucks.net banner ads.
“In a perfect world, Ben would front the money out of his own pocket to his band as a real deal manager and make sure the show gets on the road,” Ash continues. “Let’s see what happens. Speaking of seeing things, I see Century Media ads all the time on MetalSucks…I bet that’ll end quick. I work with bands on CM and they are a label that still spends money on music videos and tour support. Let’s keep it that way.
“This guy Ben tried to start his own label a while back. It was called Wrong Records. No, I’m serious. It really was and he couldn’t have picked a more suiting name. I found a quote from him upon the launch of his label…Ben Umanov, of Wrong Records, said, ‘Wrong Records is founded on the principal that we put out quality music that we like, and we have the experience and resources to make it happen.’ This guy is like a living, breathing, oxymoron. Well maybe they had the experience and resources to make it happen, but they lost them all…Or maybe the experience and resources he was talking about never really existed? Kinda like the Tooth Fairy…Or maybe they just streamed them and couldn’t find them afterwards? Regardless, I couldn’t seem to find any albums he has ever released. Ben is just a guy who runs a blog site that sells advertisements to record labels who haven’t yet realized they are wasting their money.
“But it’s OK…I have been guilty of it too. I’ve bought his overpriced ads for new albums before and I’ve even allowed them to sponsor some of my tours like Summer Slaughter in exchange for some free ads to promote the tour. You won’t see that happening anymore. Every company/label with a logo on the SS Tour Poster paid to be there to support and promote the tour and for the marketing of their bands and brand. MetalSucks got there for free, because that’s what they do: figure out ways to make a living off other people’s ignorance.
“As my boys in Karnivool say…’It’s a Newwwwwwww Daayyyyyy!’ See ya, Ben. You better start soliciting some ad proposals to Spotify and Grooveshark [Edit: Like that hasn’t happened yet]. After all, that’s the future according to you, our favorite industry fortune teller.
“Oh and by the way, I heard that Axl Rose (not to be confused with Vince Neilstein’s co-founder Axl Rosenberg) is going to be sending you a cease and desist for your Appetite For Destruction MetalSucks shirt you’re selling. You might want to take it off your site right away.”
[UPDATE: The GN’R shirt has been removed from the site’s merch store]
Damn Ash. That was brutal. We here at Gun Shy would be happy to sponsor tours and run promos with you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. And seriously, we’ll host your blog, no problem. Just let us know.
I’m expecting a response from Vince any minute now.
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