A Message To Bands: If A Label Exec Says He Loves You, Check Him Out (And Don’t Give Him Money)

noah | June 10, 2009 3:30 pm

Fresh from the inbox: An e-mail with the subject line “UNSIGNED BANDS: BEWARE OF LABEL STAFF IMPOSTERS [sic] & IMPERSONATORS,” because apparently people are going around to metal bands and trying to engage them in some sort of 419ish scam deal where they pay to “get a record deal,” or “get on Ozzfest,” etc., etc. The gist of the message is pretty simple–even though the music industry is going through rough times right now, a “label guy” who asks you for money up front is probably not legit. But there are more smart tips for bands that might get stars in their eyes the first time they hear someone from “the biz” claiming to “really be into their music, man.” Common sense, sure, but flattery can make people stupid sometimes, you know? The full missive after the jump!

You’re an unsigned band playing a local show and someone approaches you claiming to represent Nuclear Blast or Metal Blade Records. They say they want to sign you, book studio time for your band, buy you plane tickets, or even put you on Ozzfest, yet no contracts are ever involved. Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. There’s been a rash of imposters in several states claiming all of the above and more. Some try to extort money from bands by claiming they need it to place a deposit on whatever it is they’re promising. Others want free entry into a show, free CDs & band merchandise, or backstage access. Whatever the case, what’s clear is that these imposters have such low-self esteem that they’re willing to lie about who they are. Bands, DO NOT LET YOUR HOPES OF GETTING SIGNED BLINDSIDE YOU. Staff members at Nuclear Blast and Metal Blade: • conduct official business via their official office e-mail & telephone number. • can produce a business card with the label’s logo, official office address, and official telephone number. • NEVER ask unsigned bands for “deposit” money. Nuclear Blast and Metal Blade Records wish to keep their reputations among metal fans & metal musicians in good standing, as we understand how hard bands work to bring their music to the metal community. These imposters are mocking everything we stand for as independent metal labels, as musicians, and as fans. If ANYONE approaches your band claiming to be from a label and asks for money, for free entry into a show, free CDs or merchandise, or backstage access, your FIRST response should be to be skeptical. Call the label asking to verify staff names and positions. Or, take your photo with the imposter/impersonator and send it to the label’s general e-mail address to inform them of what they are promising. Nuclear Blast’s general e-mail address is: mailATnuclearblastusaDOTcom Metal Blade’s general e-mail address is: metalbladeATmetalbladeDOTcom

I can already hear the drummer jokes posting this is going to inspire. 419 Eater [Official site]