Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dear Derek,

We've got to talk.

I received your last two emails, and I just have to know - are you entirely serious, or is this just some cheesey over-emotional marketing ploy. I want to support you. I really do. I just want to trust that your reaction is real.

Last Tuesday, I woke up to coffee and this:
i haven't sent many personal emails to this email list but we're in a situation that has gotten a little out of control and it's time to fill you in. as some of you may know, i've been working for months on my new record, 'stockholm syndrome', which i've recently finished and turned in to the record label. they've been very supportive over the years, but this time we didn't get the response we expected. it seems i've finally found the line beyond which my label can support me, and apparently i've crossed it.

i consider this my most important record and am adamant about all of you hearing it. we had originally hoped to have 'stockholm syndrome' out this month (next week even), but at this point we're not sure when the record will come out and in what form. the majority of the controversy is surrounding one song, which i consider to be among the most important songs on the record. so we've decided it's an appropriate time to break the rules.

but because of various legal/publishing issues we're having to be rather careful with how we do what we're going to do next. that's really all i can say for now and i've probably said too much.

we have a plan and we're moving ahead, but we're not sure what kind of trouble we might be getting into. we'll let you know as soon as we know our next move
Then, this morning I stumble out of bed to the following:
this is turning into a bigger deal than we expected. as a result, we're having to temporarily _pull everything online down (can't explain now). and to be on the s_afe side, i'm going to pe_rsonally go offline while we sort this out. i re_ally shouldn't use my twitter account for now either so _don't expect any updates there.

make no m_istake, our trouble with the label over content i_s very real, and not as simple as one word; we're back_ed into a corner. but we have applied all of our creative resources to th_is, working furiou_sly to create something that we believe not only subverts any leg_al issues but should also be a _pretty wild ride.

so this will be the l_ast email for a while. we'll t_ry to lea_k information via a new tw_itter account, @ssyndrome. you're o_n your own so start payin_g attention. i'l_l see you _on the o_ther side

I'm still trying to decipher the dashes in the second letter, but have been unable to locate my Tony the Tiger secret decoder ring.

To be quite honest, it sounds like you are running from the mafia, rather than confronting CCM label executives. Although... hmm... interesting cover... the NashVegas mafia...

I mean, you knew you were on a Christian label, right? And by Christian label, we mean label designed to specifically market toward Christian retailers and deliver what the majority of Christian consumers feel comfortable buying into. Obviously, the noble thing for the label to do would be to hand you off to one of their non-religiously affiliated counterparts, or release you to go indie and have your fans invest in the production of the album, but I'm guessing the Christian part may end where they're asked to give up their power over the album's production (or non-production).

You and I don’t agree with everything. For instance, I’m not so big on the Solas, and you have them tattooed to your arm. But that has never stood between your music inspiring me and my hard earned cash putting food on your table. Well, food on the record executives’ tables… it may have bought you and Sandra a roll of toilet paper. Remind me, again, why you’re not rolling indie?

All this is to say, if the situation is as serious as it sounds, I will fully support you getting your message to the people.

But if this is all an elaborate set up, around the "Stockholm Syndrome" theme, then you better watch your back, 'cause I've got Guido on speed dial...


Amy said...

It seems to be a marketing ploy. The code in the email turns out to be "paradise is a parking lot" which leads to http://paradiseisaparkinglot.com - from there you are told to go to Ugly Mug coffee shop in East Nashville, Tennessee and order a Stockholm Latte. Then you get a code to email to the website.

At first I was interested - I thought it was sort of cool that Derek was employing a social marketing game. But I tried calling the coffee bar, seeing as I can't exactly jump in the car and drive to East Nashville. But you have to be there in person to get the code. Which is where I lost interest - if you automatically exclude many if not most of your fans geographically, then I call that a Social Media Failure.

Andrea said...

Well now this just makes me mad.