|Distributor(s)||RED (US), ADA (US), PIAS (UK), BMG (Europe)|
|Country of origin||United States|
Victory Records is a Chicago-based record label founded by Tony Brummel. It is a privately held corporation. It also operates a music publishing company called "Another Victory, Inc." and is the distributor of several smaller independent record labels. Its artists have included Thursday, Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, and A Day to Remember.
- 1 History
- 2 Another Victory Publishing
- 3 Distributed labels
- 4 Bands on label
- 5 Artists
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Originally focusing on hardcore punk and post-hardcore bands, Victory later expanded its roster to include emo and pop rock acts. The label has had multiple records exceed the 250,000 sales mark, including gold records The Silence in Black and White by Hawthorne Heights and Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want to Be.
In early 2002, twenty-five percent of the label was announced to have been sold to Universal Music Group. However, later that year the deal was terminated by Victory. Victory is currently partnered with and distributed by Sony's RED Distribution.
It was announced in April 2014 that the label would be sponsoring a Victory Records stage for the entirety of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featuring five of their artists: Emmure, Ill Niño, Wretched, Islander and Erimha. They would continue to sponsor the stage through the eighth annual festival with five of their artists to be announced.
Another Victory Publishing
Another Victory is the sister publishing company to Victory Records, founded in 1997. The company holds a variety of worldwide sub-publishing deals, including those with Mushroom Group, BMG Chrysalis, David Gresham Publishing, CTM Publishing, Clipper's Music, FujiPacific Music INC., FujiPacific Music (S.E. ASIA) LTD., Gulliver Music Publishing, Basement Brazil, and Musou LTD. Music Publishing.
Representing a catalog of over 5,000 songs, Another Victory has landed a multitude of big-name placements for its artists tracks various movies, games and advertisements including "Chain Gang" by Close Your Eyes in NHL 15, "Like LaMotta" by Emmure on Secrets and Lies (U.S. TV series), "All I Want" by A Day To Remember in Crazy Taxi: City Rush, "Die Knowing" by Comeback Kid on The Challenge: Free Agents, and "Let Me Teach You How To Eat" by The Reverend Horton Heat on Ridiculousness (TV series).
In July 2012, it was announced that Victory would become the distribution home for Boston, MA based record label, We Are Triumphant. On May 10, 2013 Victory announced they will be distributing I Scream Records. On September 9, 2014 Famined Records signed a distribution deal with Victory.
Bands on label
Relations with label
Victory Records has had mostly negative relations with artists signed to the label. Over the years, multiple bands have cited grievances, conflicts, or filed lawsuits against the record label, while others have stayed with record label for years, or even came back to Victory after releasing albums on different labels.
Former Victory band Thursday has had a conflict with the label, citing issues with royalties. The band also cited an incident involving the Victory Records marketing staff producing whoopie cushions for the promotion of their 2001 album Full Collapse, against their wishes. Thursday stated in the DVD accompanying their compilation album Kill the House Lights that they chose to go to a major label (Island Def Jam in 2002) and after fulfilling their contract, Tony Brummel and Victory Records welcomed Thursday "back with open arms."
On July 12, 2015, Wil Francis of Horror Punk band Aiden posted on their official Facebook that they sold 500,000 albums the whole time on Victory Records and were not paid a dime, which is resulting on their new album being released on Control Records instead of Victory Records
Despite the controversy, relations between Victory Records and its bands have not been all negative. Close Your Eyes and Ill Niño have mentioned positive relations multiple times in interview. Emmure and Endwell stated that Victory Records has always helped them. Emmure has said specifically "Victory does good business, and if you’re a band that is expecting more than what you get, then you’re going to feel cheated and robbed."
Hawthorne Heights lawsuit
On August 7, 2006, the Victory-signed band Hawthorne Heights announced in a "manifesto" on their website that they were leaving the label and filed a lawsuit accusing Victory of fraudulent accounting practices and for "severely damag[ing] the band's reputation and relationship with their fans." Brummel allegedly issued public statements in the band's name criticizing hip-hop and singer Ne-Yo (whose CD In My Own Words was Hawthorne Heights' most prominent competition on the Billboard 200 charts), as well as urging street team members to conceal copies of Ne-Yo's CD in record stores. On September 13, 2006, Victory records countersued Hawthorne Heights, accusing the band of breach of contract and libel.
In October 2006, a Chicago judge dismissed two of the three main claims in the band's suit, ruling that the trademark and copyright violation allegations were unfounded. On March 5, 2007 a federal judge in Chicago ruled that Victory Records does not hold exclusive rights for the band's recording services and that the band can record for any label. Specifically, the Judge stated: "The agreement contains no exclusivity provision, nor does any of its language appear to prevent [the band] from recording elsewhere during the life of the agreement". The judge later reaffirmed this ruling on May 17, 2007, stating that Hawthorne Heights is still contractually bound to deliver two albums to Victory, but may record albums which are released elsewhere.
In January 2008, Victory filed a lawsuit against Virgin/EMI Records alleging that "Virgin/EMI improperly induced platinum-selling band Hawthorne Heights to repudiate its contract with top independent label Victory Records", including allegations that Virgin/EMI funded the initial phase of Hawthorne Heights' lawsuit against Victory. The suit sought actual damages of $10M and punitive damages of $25M.
A Day to Remember lawsuit
On December 15, 2011, it was announced that A Day to Remember planned on filing a civil action against the label for breach of contract. Legal action was reportedly initiated on May 31 of that year, in which the band claimed that Victory owed them over $75,000 in royalties. Victory Records has said, on their behalf, that the lawsuit is actually about the band's refusal to fulfill their five-album contractual commitment to Victory and their newfound desire to move to a major label.
On October 5, 2013, news outlets reported that A Day to Remember had been given permission to self release their new album Common Courtesy without any involvement from Victory. The album was released digitally on October 8, 2013. Victory released the following statement in response to the court ruling:
While Victory is disappointed with the ruling, and disagrees with the court's conclusions, it comes as no surprise. Courts rarely grant negative injunctions of this nature, but the circumstances of this case presented a unique opportunity for such a ruling. Having said that, in denying Victory's motion, the court's reasoning actually contained silver linings that significantly favored Victory. First, the court held that it supports Victory's argument about the construction of the recording contract – that ADTR is still obligated to deliver two more albums to Victory -- "at last equally, if not more so, than that offered by ADTR." That is the core issue in this case and the only one that really matters in the end, so Victory is heartened that the court agreed with Victory's position on that core issue. Also, the sole basis for the court's denial of the injunction was that Victory would not suffer "irreparable harm" that could not be compensated by money damages if the album were to be self released, in that it has ample evidence to prove its damages against the band (in the form of lost profits if ADTR does proceed to self release Common Courtesy). That is, even if the band self releases it, Victory is likely to be awarded any profits the band makes on that album, plus additional lost profits suffered by Victory based on the fact that Victory would undeniably do a far better job at marketing the album had Victory released it, which is what Victory is known for and is the reason why ADTR signed with Victory in the first place. In sum, it is a "successful" defeat in a way, and one which Victory welcomed because of the manner in which the Court rendered its opinion.
-Robert S. Meloni
This case will proceed to trial, and Victory is looking forward to the opportunity to vindicate the baseless claims filed by ADTR.
The band released a statement regarding the case:
"In May of 2011 we joined the long list of bands that have filed suit against Victory Records. Although our case is still ongoing, we are very pleased with the judge’s decision to allow us to release our next record. The only thing that has mattered to us while dealing with this lawsuit was getting new music to our fans. We are finally going to do that on October 8th and we couldn't be more excited!"
Design the Skyline criticism
Beginning in May 2011, the label was widely criticized for signing groups perceived as inferior to many of the bands they signed in the past. Some bloggers called Design the Skyline "the worst band ever." Although Victory refused to comment on the signing, they continued to promote the band regardless of the criticism. The band however, did comment on their controversy, stating; "We really don’t mind. We can honestly see why people give us negative feedback for one, the way we look and the fact that we got signed to a mainly hardcore metal label with just one song; we stick out like a sore thumb. And not to mention how young we are."
Streetlight Manifesto lawsuit
Ska-punk group Streetlight Manifesto has had numerous conflicts and has a generally poor relationship with Victory Records. The band left the label after their album The Hands That Thieve. In February 2012, Streetlight Manifesto went so far as to request that their fans boycott their (Streetlight Manifesto's) music and other items from the Victory record label's online store.
On October 20, 2015, media outlets reported of a $1,000,000 lawsuit filed by Victory Records against lead vocalist Tomas Kalnoky. The lawsuit was filed in regard to the band not fulfilling their record deal of four studio albums to be released under Victory. The band released five albums while on the label, however Victory claims that "... the band agreed not to count this album as one of the four albums under its contract to receive a $10,000 emergency advance." Victory also claims that the band's album 99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1 does not count towards the contract due to it being a covers album. The lawsuit claims the $1,000,000 is to be paid for Streetlight not fulfilling their 4 album record deal, as well as damages for copyright infringement relating to the release of their last album The Hands That Thieve in which Tomas Kalnoky released an acoustic version of the album under his pseudonym Toh Kay titled "The Hand That Thieves". The Toh Kay release was officially cancelled, however the release was later made available online. On October 23, 2015, Streetlight Manifesto posted a correction on their Facebook page, stating "THE REPORTS ARE SIMPLY NOT TRUE. Tony Brummel / Victory Records are NOT suing Tomas for $1 Million...He's actually suing Tomas for FIVE MILLION DOLLARS".
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- VH1.com : Taking Back Sunday : Taking Back Sunday's New Album Not So New After All - Rhapsody Music Downloads Archived October 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
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- Powell, Dylan. "These Hearts: Forever Ended Yesterday". Mind Equals Blown. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- Caraeff, Ezra. "Is Design the Skyline the Worst Band in the History of Music?". End Hits. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
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- "Record Label Puts Screws on Ska Band". www.courthousenews.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
- "Update: The Continued Struggle". streetlightmanifesto.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
- "THE REPORTS ARE SIMPLY NOT TRUE". https://www.facebook.com/SManifesto/photos/a.10152012684420747.1073741827.366037625746/10153696598860747/?type=3&theater. Retrieved 2015-10-23. External link in