10 Essential songs about hating the music industry

January 15, 2014 by Scott Heisel

10 Essential songs about hating the music industry

THE GET UP KIDS - “Red Letter Day”

When the Get Up Kids were blowing up at the end of the ’90s, every label wanted them—and Doghouse Records didn’t want to let them go without something in return. Thus, the Red Letter Day EP was created, its title track aimed directly at Doghouse majordomo Dirk Hemsath: “If it’s a lie/I don’t want to be the one who signed/I’m not the one who falls down/It’s over now… I trusted misleading promises worth repeating/How could you do this to me?” (Red Letter Day EP; Doghouse, 1999)

INTO IT. OVER IT. - “Contractual Obligation”

One of the first artists to ever work with No Sleep Records, Evan Weiss took his Into It. Over It. project elsewhere for his second proper full-length. Everything seemed copacetic until the final track of Intersections, “Contractual Obligation,” where Weiss opines, “I watched you from down the road/I watched you grow/I watched you disrespect the landscape/Where will you go when the going’s slow/When the well dries up in your parents’ basement?” Burn. (Intersections; Triple Crown, 2013)

MEMPHIS MAY FIRE - “The Victim”

Memphis May Fire’s career trajectory is nothing short of impressive, from wallowing in obscurity on Trustkill Records to becoming a massive force in modern metalcore, thanks in huge part to Rise Records. Frontman Matty Mullins cuts right to the heart of the matter on “The Victim,” howling, “You killed the trust/All of the trust that I put in you/You killed the trust/And I’ll never trust you again.” (The Hollow; Rise, 2011)

SET YOUR GOALS - “The Fallen…”

Set Your Goals exploded onto the scene with 2006’s Mutiny!, and when bigger labels came knocking, Eulogy Recordings didn’t want to let the band go. It took a sizeable chunk of change (we’ve heard amounts ranging from $30,000 to $150,000) to free SYG from their contract. In return, they wrote this: “This is the last time you will have us/You’re lawless and purely dishonest/A scandal that we have funded for you/Make no mistake, this all is about you.” (This Will Be The Death Of Us; Epitaph, 2009)

YOU, ME & EVERYONE WE KNOW - “Shock And Awe”

Pulling liberally from the Max Bemis songbook, Ben Liebsch has certainly never been one to shy away from talking a little shit. The opening track to his band’s first (and currently, only) full-length fires shots at the Dangerous Summer’s Cody Payne and touring with bands “with only half of our pull,” as well as spitting, “This is a fuck-you to Richard Reines/Who told me I should lose some weight.” Of course, the very next song on the album is called “I’m Losing Weight For You.” Mix messages much, Ben? (Some Things Don’t Wash Out; Doghouse, 2010)

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