Davey Suicide—one of AP’s former 100 Bands You Need To Know—shared a video last week in which their frontman accuses their label, StandBy Records, and its owner Neil Sheehan for continuous years of fraudulent activity.
Throughout the nearly 10-minute clip—which you can watch in full below—frontman Davey Suicide details the band’s history with StandBy and alleges Sheehan has intentionally tried to sabotage their career. A court date for Davey Suicide and StandBy's lawsuit was initially scheduled for Aug. 2, but it has been postponed to February of 2017.
Suicide spoke to AP about why he decided to make the video, the band’s future and his advice to unsigned bands. Alternative Press also has reached out to Standby Records for comment.
When did you decide to make the video?
After the trial got pushed back from August 2016 to February 2017.
How was it made, and what was your goal with it?
I made it myself on iMovie. I've been constantly asked what's going on with our new album and why our videos were taken off of YouTube. I wanted to let our fans know what we've been going through.
How do you feel now that it's out? What has the reaction been like?
I'm still living through this, so I can't feel good. I am relieved that people now know what's happening. As far as the reaction is concerned, I had no idea we'd get 1.2 million views in two days from it. It's been amazing that people have been so supportive. I'm hopeful that it's not too late to recover from this situation.
Did you expect so many other bands to come forward with similar stories?
I had no expectations. I feel for every one one of these bands though. It's amazing how many bands came forward with similar/identical experiences.
You mentioned that the band was touring constantly to survive, what else did you do to make money over the years?
I'd tattoo, sell my paintings and prints, run a clothing line, make custom clothes for people, do graphics for companies. It's been a nonstop grind to pay for everything.
Where does the band go from here?
Up. We've been strained, seasoned, road-tested and once these legal issues are resolved, there's going to be no stopping us.
What advice would you give to bands starting out looking to sign to a label?
Perform due diligence. Find out the background and see what the patterns of the person(s) you're doing business with are. Make sure you understand every paragraph in the contract and know exactly what the commitments are. Make sure your lawyer is looking out for your interests. Keep meticulous records and retain all the documentation, emails and correspondence with the label. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
Davey Suicide have set up a GoFundMe to help with their legal fees.