PlayRadioPlay Splits With Label

Categories: DFW Music News

Less than four months after the release of Texas, Aledo-based PlayRadioPlay is no longer affiliated with Island Records or the label’s distributor, Universal Music Group.

Dan Hunter, the man behind the bubblegum electro-pop, announced the release with a two-page letter outlining how things went sour between him and his label and why he was frustrated with the label’s outdated business model. More than anything, he sounds relieved to be able to go back to putting out records at his own pace.

“Not only did the time I spend with Island Records not benefit my career, it hurt it,” he writes. “Even for an artist like me, who gained interest from thousands of fans in a completely new way (The Internet, if you, like Island Records, haven't heard of it, you should check it out), Island records simply wouldn't depart from their sluggish, outdated, and clearly flawed corporate model of trying to 'break' a new artist.

“Major record labels, due to their lack of ingenuity and their fear of change, are going the way of the cassette tape (and cassette tapes SUCK, vinyl lives!). And for that reason, major record labels deserve every multimillion dollar loss that they suffer. Music is not dead, the industry is.

(Although sometimes the music I see on TV makes me think otherwise...)”

Shortly after the announcement, Hunter began answering fan questions on an absolutepunk.net bulletin board thread. After the jump are a couple of questions and answers about how well Texas has done and whether the split was Island’s or Hunter’s call. Hunter’s entire unedited announcement follows the questions. --Jesse Hughey

Originally Posted by Until The Bombs
How many copies did Texas sell? Spring tour still on?

Dan Hunter: Fifteen thousand. The mistake Island made was letting the momentum die between the Frequency EP (which has sold as much as Texas) and Texas. They wouldn't let me post music between the two albums, which hurt me substantially. I disobeyed them and posted “Elephants As Big As Whales,” and that song is a fan favorite that's received some big placement, including a three-and-a-half-minute-long spot on One Tree Hill. If that doesn't demonstrate that posting demos is a good thing, then I don't know what would.

Originally Posted by harveyn590:
Did you ask to be released or did they release you?

Hunter: Over the last few months my management and I have been considering our options for getting off of Island Records so that we could pursue some new methods of releasing music that Island would not allow. Things have been dormant between the label and I the last few months. They're firing people left and right. In the end, the best thing Island ever did for me was let me out of my contract so soon. So, technically, they released me, which we were hoping for. The entire operation of a major label is frustrating in itself. It takes forever for decisions to be made.

...Hunter's Myspace bulletin announcement:

Good news, everyone! (Sorry. Futurama reference.) PlayRadioPlay is no longer affiliated with Island Records or Universal Music Group.

As much as I'd like to say that it was a good run, it wasn't. It was a nightmare. When I signed my life away on the dotted line to Island Records almost 2 years ago at the well-seasoned age of 17, my outlook was optimistic. I knew that the music industry, especially major record labels, was a dying place rotting carcass, but I thought that I could be an exception to the hundreds of major label horror stories.

2 years, 2 albums, and many months of exhaustion later, I am a free man, and I certainly was not an exception to the horrors of the music industry.

Not only did the time I spend with Island Records not benefit my career, it hurt it. Even for an artist like me, who gained interest from thousands of fans in a completely new way (The Internet, if you, like Island Records, haven't heard of it, you should check it out), Island records simply wouldn't depart from their sluggish, outdated, and clearly flawed corporate model of trying to "break" a new artist.

Major record labels, due to their lack of ingenuity and their fear of change, are going the way of the cassette tape (and cassette tapes SUCK, vinyl lives!). And for that reason, major record labels deserve every multimillion dollar loss that they suffer. Music is not dead, the industry is. (Although sometimes the music I see on TV makes me think otherwise...)

All I have ever wanted in PlayRadioPlay has been to create music and share it with you. In the year 2006 I thought that a record label was my best means of reaching that goal. Now, in the year 2008, I realize that I don't need the clutches of a record label to share my art with you. I was doing just fine, if not better, when I was able to release as much music as I want, whenever I want, for as cheap as I want. And, in this age of information, I don't need a greasy old record label loaning me money to do so.

Hindsight is 20/20, I guess. I apologize to you, my most loyal supporters, for not thinking of your best interests. I sit here, only 3 months after releasing a full length record on a major label, an unsigned artist.

With all of that being said, now that I am a free man, I'm going to be giving you so much new music, you're not going to know what hit you. Fuck the major label "album cycle".

In late 2007, early 2008, shortly after finishing Texas, I recorded an EP entitled The Organic/Synthetic EP, and VERY recently, I recorded an entirely new EP that is thus far unnamed, but, for fun, we'll call it This is why we can't have nice things! EP. Island Records didn't want you to hear either of those EPs, or any new music, for that matter. They threw little baby fits every time I ignored them and posted new music. (See: "Elephants As Big As Whales", "Selfish Introvert", "1989".)

Luckily for all of us, those days are over. The Organic/Synthetic EP and This is why we can't have nice things! EP will be compiled into a full length album that I will re-record and release THIS YEAR.

The way in which you, the supporters of PlayRadioPlay, are going to be involved in the creation of this new full length album is revolutionary, something a major label would never allow me (or us) to do.

I hope you're as excited for the future as I am. More details will follow.

Explore.

Dan

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