The Domestics Quit Label After Trump / Neo-Nazi PR Stunt
Portland-based band the Domestics have quit their record label in the aftermath of a controversial promotional campaign that linked them to extreme-right organizations the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church and InfoWars.
The band stressed they’d had no involvement in the campaign aimed at drawing attention to their new album Little Darkness and, as a result of the negative publicity, they’ve agreed to leave Tender Loving Empire, taking their catalog with them.
The label mailed cassette tapes labeled “Trump / Comey Recordings” with Russian text beneath to a number of media outlets. Early reports suggested that only Jewish industry operatives had been targeted, but that was quickly denied. By that time, however, severe damage had been done to the Domestics’ image.
In a statement entitled “Neo Nazi PR Stunt,” frontman Michael Finn told Diffuser, “We met with Tender Loving Empire on Wednesday and severed all ties with the label. We were able to get out of our contract and walked with the masters to our catalog, including Little Darkness, which was set to be released on Sept. 1.
“As you can imagine, ‘Indie Band Pretends to be the KKK to Promote New Album’ is a difficult headline to weather, regardless of updates and clarifications. In the last days we have seen an outpouring of support from our local community, as well as peers like Tucker Martine, members of My Morning Jacket, the Decemberists and Blitzen Trapper.”
Finn added, “This isn’t the story of a band using inappropriate and inexcusable marketing tactics – it’s the story of a band who took the fall for their label’s monumental error in judgment, and the ensuing backlash that has been unjustly thrust upon out band.”
In a public statement on their Facebook page, the Domestics reported that, following the split, the Sept. 19 concert that was intended to be their album launch event would instead become a fundraising show for the Anti-Defamation League and the Multnomah County Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program, and that Tender Loving Empire would make a donation matching the amount raised on the night.
Confirming that the parties had separated on “good terms” the band added, “Our purpose in restating these details here is not to malign the character of our record label, but to clarify that the elements of the publicity stunt that frightened people and understandably caused this controversy was one that was impossible for us to prevent, because no one in our band or management knew it was happening.”
Little Darkness will be released at a later date.
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