Saturday, August 11, 2007

Switchfoot leaves Sony

Switchfoot and Sony BMG/Columbia have suddenly split ways mid-contract. The details (as interesting as they would be are not yet avalible). Anyways this is the end result of a growing riff between the band and the label, that I've been aware of for some time now but have avoided publishing in full for fear of hurting the band. However that concern seems to no longer exsist, so here goes. Following the release of Learning to Breathe (and the Walk to Remember Soundtrack which sold almost as many) Switchfoot signed a five record deal with Sony BMG's Columbia label starting with The Beautiful Letdown. The added plublicity of the major label helped propel Switchfoot to 2.6 million sales, all between the label and the band was good as the band began recording their next album Nothing Is Sound on the road. Switchfoot origionally planing for the title track of Happy Is a Yuppie Word to be the lead single, recorded a video for it. When Sony choose to release Stars as the single instead, Switchfoot accepted this and reshot the same video for the new song. However, Sony started getting on Switchfoot's nerves by leaking the song Stars to a few radio stations, before the band truly wanted to (perhaps to force Stars to be the first single). The real trouble started in September with the release of the album. NIS was found to be released with copy protected tracks that were difficult to access and listen to, and also instaled root kits on users computers. Switchfoot not a fan of DRM on their music, and Tim who has a computer science background quickly posted an elementary way around the protection (burn and re-rip). Jon would later say that the album was "tainted" by this and that for a time they had sony people following them around, scared that they were going to do or say something. Then the very next summer Sony decides that they want to rerelease NIS to boost sales with an added on track or two (assuming Circles and Faust). Switchfoot feeling that it would cheat their fans (which it would) and wanting to release their recently recorded Awakening decided to record and release an EP instead as a NIS rerelease would also likly postpone any future album's an additonal year. Sony ok's the project but then chooses not to release any singles from spring to late november (almost a nine month gap). Soon after the relase of Oh! Gravity Sony drops all support, and Switchfoot goes ahead and promotes and records a video for Awakening on their own. As I've said this has been a long time comming, it's just that I assumed that Sony wouldn't be willing to allow Switchfoot to walk, I'm just hopeing that Switchfoot didn't give up too much to get out...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

and you're assuming switchfoot bought their way out? that is HIGHLY unlikely considering it is extremely rare for those conditions to be set in the contract from the get go, and if they weren't, sf would not have been able to leave at all unless they were dropped.

i think most of your theories are correct but, you should get over yourself. no one cares if you knew ahead of time or not.

August 11, 2007 12:38 PM  
Blogger Ebscer said...

they can't just be dropped though as sony is just as bound to the contract as switchfoot is. And although I see reason for switchfoot to go, and no reason for sony to give up control, I have to assume that switchfoot bought their way out (not in a pre-set condition but recently)

Thing is I didn't know ahead of time, other wise I would have told everyone sooner. In fact I didn't think switchfoot would split until the contract was fulfilled...

August 11, 2007 11:43 PM  

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