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Ashbury Heights upplöses efter konstant skivbolagskonflikt

Posted on 12 October 2010

Ashbury Heights upplöses efter konstant skivbolagskonflikt

Efter att nyligen annonserats ut som ett av banden i årets lineup för årets ElectriXmas festival har Anders Hagström, hjärnan bakom svenska Ashbury Heights, beslutat att upplösa projektet tillsvidare. Den huvudsakliga anledningen är bandets bestående konflikt med skivbolaget Out Of Line.

Anders gjorde nyligen ett officiellt uttalande; (publiceras enligt önskemål på originalspråket.)

“Ashbury Heights turned five this year. This should be a cause for celebration but after the last 24 months of constant fights and arguments with our label this band has begun feeling like a prison. For this and many other reasons I do hereby announce that I am disbanding Ashbury Heights.

This band was never meant to be a niche act, circumstances outside of our control made us sign with a niche label however and in hindsight it was probably not a good idea. It is quite clear that there is no future for us within the confines of the obscure Germanic subgenre that we’ve been a part of since our conception. After five years of hard work we’re still not selling any records and during that time we’ve had less than 20 paying gigs. I want you to know that we have tried to savour each and every one of these as if it were our last.

We’ve soldiered on despite catastrophic results mainly because of the few but stalwart fans that have gathered around our banner, you have all been amazing. You have given us strength and purpose when we had nothing and you’ve kept us going through the long nights because we wanted to be worthy of your praise.

But lately the situation has gotten worse and gigs are fewer than ever, we can no longer justify the amount of time this project is taking up considering that it doesn’t give us anything solid in return.

We have expressed a wish to leave our current record label and try our luck under different management. Part of the blame for our lack of success at least, must be attributed to their lack of marketing.

We should of course also be prepared to acknowledge the possibility that our music is rubbish and all our fans simply have awful taste (bless you). In that case this would have to be the very definition of the expression ‘good riddance’, no?

Naturally, if such a thing was to be true then our label is also guilty of having terrible judgement in picking it’s bands. Oddly enough they have refused to negotiate in any way and even claim that any songs I ever make in the future belongs to them. Our contract really does give them the right of ownership to everything I do musically but it’s hard to understand why they would choose to maintain this standpoint considering that they’ve never made any money off of us so far. Why would they want to keep me under contract when it never gave them anything in the first place?

I feel that after five years with them without any real progress it wouldn’t be fair to ourselves or to the fans to allow them to continue their mismanagement of our music. Therefore I will not be releasing any music at all until the matter has been resolved. When and if we can get out of our contract with our label, Ashbury Heights may be reunited but until then all my musical projects are on hold.

We’d like to express our gratitude to all the tour managers, bus drivers and other heroes who have supported us through the years and to the small and exclusive group of promotors who dared to take a plunge and book a small and unknown act such as ourselves despite the financial risk. A thanks also goes out to our booking agent Jan Winterfeld who’s always seen to it that the few gigs we’ve landed have been wonderfully organised.

I would also peronally like to thank my band members through the years: Yaz, Johan, Kari and Tomas. You helped keeping this rusty train rolling. Thanks.

And of course, our amazing fans.

Unfortunately a great chunk of you who have expressed approval of our music, hail from countries we’ve never visited. It’s a shame that we haven’t been able to perform live in places like Australia, Mexico, Canada or the United States. To all of you fans over there we express our heartfelt thanks for the unyielding support and lament that we never got to meet you on the road.

To the people we did meet down that road, we salute you all. You have been wonderful and you have cheered even though steadily failing health meant our last performances have been pretty awful. We really do love you, you’re the one good thing we’ll remember from all of this.

We’ll see you down the road.

Anders Hagström



Foto: Ryan Garrison

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One Response to “Ashbury Heights upplöses efter konstant skivbolagskonflikt”

  1. Petition says:

    Hello everyone, please sign so Ashbury Heights will be able to continue creating music and to protest against all bad labels that restrict artists. Let’s spread this!