JW—Its success brought other offers from bigger labels to your door. Why decide to stay with Zoo Music?
AZH —Yes, it’s true that these “bigger” labels will put more money into PR and can possibly help get your name to places you never thought it would reach before, but it could also mean they will nag you and put all these industry standards of deadlines and release dates and what not on you. And contracts that will bind you with them for the next three records, and publishing rights to your entire catalog that they had no hand in helping establish. I did all that on my own and with the help of my friends. They just want to swoop in when the time is right and snag this free cake? No fucking way. They’ve gotta win me over first. And no fucking label is willing to do that nowadays unless they think of you as a money tree. No labels will invest in weirdos like us that make music we want to make unless they have a statistic that proves we generate dollars.
It just felt like all of them were saying the same thing to me: “Oh yeah, you’ve got some hype now. Let us take you to the next level and milk the fuck out of you, and drop you when you’re burned out and sucked dry. And by the way, we own the rights to everything you’ve ever done.” If your album bombs, and doesn’t make them any money, you owe them the advance that they pay you upfront, which can be anywhere from twenty thousand dollars to fifty thousand dollars. So of course your gonna try and make something that’s more “saleable” because you’re pressured into doing their industry standard bullshit trap. Long story short, whatever will jeopardize your vision for your career and music, don’t sign it. It will be the end of you. Work with your homies; bring your friends on tour with you; surround yourself with people who have always been there for you before all the hype happened. I am really bitter though, ’cause I always naively thought that getting signed meant something – to be on a “proper” label. It’s all just money and numbers in the end. I don’t blame them; everyone’s gotta eat and pay bills. It’s just a business. (LAB MAGAZINE)