Eisley Leave Warner Brothers Records

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After what has seemed like a turbulent relationship, Warner Brothers and Eisley have parted ways. The band posted the following earlier this week:

We have been complaining for years. You have no idea how long we’ve wanted this. In September of ’09, just before the Say Anything tour, our contact at WB called and outlined an option for Eisley to leave the label. He agreed we were likely going to get over-looked (screwed over) again. Big layoffs, several well known acts tanked… he had the power to help: “If Eisley wants to be one of those bands who just sits on the label and basically makes records… fine – you should stay… but that’s not what I’m getting…”. Us: “We never wanted to re-sign. We made it very clear a year ago; we wanted out…but you guys pushed us into staying… if we can get off, yes!”.

Ever heard of an annulment? More like the ripping up a contract we worked on for a year. The ink was barely dry! Surprised by this news? Of course you aren’t. Upset? You might be – but only because youwere expecting a record this Spring. But I’ve heard the silent screams and the verbal complaints all along the way. Sorry if we’re being candid or whimsical with this info; this is old news. We’ve been operating indie since before Fire Kite ep was ever manufactured but haven’t had the urgent sense to drag you guys into the chagrin.

Short run down of what has happened during the last year: 1.) Began working on current LP Summer ’08 completely outside of WB’s knowledge (we decided there was no point in continuing). 2.) We begged to get off the label (actual quote: “Please… tell us where we sign to get off this label”). 3.) They held our feet to the fire, said they wouldn’t drop us (option on a 3rd); they insisted we negotiate something that would be good for both of us… spoke of their “retooled label” and about how everything would be different (you can trust me). 4.) We continued working on the record (they got involved financially) 5.) We eventually signed a new deal, made plans for the SA tour 6.) The phone call (para 2) with the good tidings that they would let us out of our deal 6.) We amicably ended of our relationship (hand shake. legal shiz in process) and hit the road happy campers (SA – main support) 7.) WB held up the EP order and you got pissed 8.) WB failed to provide the merch they had promised (we had to scramble, pay out of pocket w/ only about a week before first showdate) 9. We got happy… returned back from the tour 10.) Holidays. People got married. Current. Life is great.

We’re not choosing this post to articulate super-personal feelings on this issue but surely you’ve been reading between the lines. WB’s questionable handling of Eisley‘s career from the dating all the way back to 2002 has been the source of much frustration both from the band and fans. I’ve been speaking cloak & dagger for nearly 2 years. What a relief to be at a place where we can talk openly about the future.

Business is business. Sometimes things go wrong. The industry basically crashed, burned and began rebuilding during the time Eisley was on WB. Hey… there was a lot that went right. The band made music, grew, toured, made more music, toured… repeat, etc. We are still in relationship with the key people at WB and have many friends there who came out to the LA show. This isn’t sour grapes. We appreciate what WB did for Eisley and hope the best for them. I think it’s fair to pose the question: where would Eisley be today without WB? Whether it was the best road… it was the road. We can all ask – “what if…”. It’s best to be thankful.

It might be fun to go back and talk about all the ridiculous problems we experienced at some point such as wb not releasing Eisley‘s major label debut in the UK… or perhaps – why they pulled the plug on that ridiculous fan site they insisted on (remember the failed attempt to send fans their cheesy prizes earned through point accumulation?)… we could talk about why they (admittedly) didn’t push “Combinations”… or why after 7 years being on a major, the word “single” referred only to text on the paper label stuck to the cellophane on the jewel case (featuring the single: “Invasion”) but let’s not dwell on the past. Let’s talk about the future.

No more being on a label with only one super-fan. Even if your torch is super powerful, you can get overlooked – especially if he isn’t as powerful as you thought. We were always dealing with some uninspired, rank and file ‘ney-ney’ person behind the veil who didn’t care or was given another band to push instead. Labels sign SO many bands. Sometimes you are technically ON the label, but practically, you’ve been dropped. You just don’t know it.

Eisley‘s radio person was never on-board. She once told me: “yeah, i just don’t really get Eisley… never have…” (quote). Everyone loves what they love but critics have to write based on many variables. They can’t just slam say – hip-hop because it’s not their thing. I’m not saying Eisley writes singles; I am saying that ‘radio’ was a battle we could have never won on WB. Not sure we care. There were many reasons to part ways.

NOTE: there is alot more of this on Eisley‘s website, these thoughts are just the highlights

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