*** K-OTIX Universal Varsity Tee. Deep Orange. Unovel Seal on shoulder***
Again, let me state that the opinions stated here are my own (Damien), and not necessarily those of the other members in the group.
Bronx Science told us a few weeks before the release that they were excited because they’d already had 25,000+ pre-orders for the album, which was impressive by indie standards. They finally paid the first half of our advance, which was supposed to have been paid 3 months before. We eagerly anticipated the day in October when it would finally go on sale.
Words cannot convey the level of rage that I felt when we received our copies of Universal in the mail. Part of my anger was masked at the time by the fact that we had an actual, legit album in stores. But I didn’t break the seal on the vinyl or CD for the first week or so. I didn’t want to see it. There was a naked, Silver Surfer-looking dude floating around in space on my cover. The label says that they didn’t get our artwork in time, which was a lie. One of Bronx Science’s cronies wanted to make some pocket money, so they put him on the payroll and commissioned a cover. THAT cover.
Frustrations aside, Universal was received well – surprisingly, almost. According to the label, they went through the first run and were pressing more. We also found out that the album was being distributed in Europe, which was unbelievable to us at the time.
They’d already paid the first half of our advance late. The date had already past for the 2nd half. SO we began a game of cat & mouse in an attempt to get our money. They kept asking us for more singles, but our contracts clearly stipulated 3 singles, which we’d already fulfilled. So they took it upon themselves to press up another single for “Take A Breather” without telling us. We found out when we went record shopping in Denver and saw it there. We started calling again, with no success. David was always busy or out of the office. ALWAYS. Sources inside the label said that they were waiting on sales receipts from another artist so that they could pay us out of that. Not a good sign. David finally got back to us and said that the check was “already in the mail”, and apologized profusely. He asked us to send over the instrumentals for the album so that they could do more singles. He promised to pay us for them.
A few weeks later, Bronx Science released a promo-looking single for Love Song. This is when legal action finally came into play. Miraculously, the check came shortly thereafter. 18 months after it was originally supposed to. We launched an investigation into their books, and they claimed that they took a loss because they were only able to move “1500 units”. Far cry from the 25,000 pre-orders. Turns out that Bronx Science pressed up our albums with 2 sets of barcodes. The “1500” set was the one that was officially reported to Sound Scan. The other barcode, which sold upwards of 30,000 (maybe even as high as 50,000) went directly through a 2nd distributor, who was not reporting sales. In a nutshell, they did us dirty.
Bronx Science filed for bankruptcy shortly after and re-emerged as another company (which also went bankrupt.)
Industry Rule #4080: Record company people are shady.