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View Full Version : Why they left Epitaph - Dexter's letter



Jojan
05-31-2008, 01:49 PM
Hey,

A lot of people have asked me what the deal is with us leaving Epitaph, so I
thought I would post it here... seems like a good place.

We've gotten a lot of flack about leaving Epitaph, and a lot of that's
because we tried to keep our mouths shut so this wouldn't turn into a press
war. Unfortunately, Epitaph didn't do the same, so the only side anyone
heard was theirs. Well, I'd like you guys to get our side of the story.

Brett Gurewitz owns Epitaph. He's made our leaving the label very public and
very nasty, and that's why we decided to defend ourselves, and that's why I'm
writing now. We all really like the people at Epitaph and the bands on
Epitaph, but we couldn't deal with Brett anymore. Brett's more concerned
about making his label big than he is about helping his bands. That's
basically what it's about, and why we left.

We tried to renegotiate with Brett to do more records on Epitaph starting
last March, because we wanted to stay on the label. We had been trying to
stay on Epitaph all along, actually. When Smash first started getting big in
May of '94, Brett approached us and said he wanted to sell the record to a major
label in return for a royalty override on it. We convinced him not to do it.
In July of '94, when the record started taking off in Europe, he approached
us again about selling the record to a major label in Europe. Again, we had
to beg him not to. We wanted to stay on Epitaph because they gave us our
start, and we like to keep the same people. We have the same booking agent,
the same crew, etc.

So we didn't meet with any major labels - not one. Meanwhile, Brett met with
all of them. Geffen, Capitol, Sony, you name it, and he met with them. They
wanted to buy Epitaph, and he was listening. He told people that he wanted
to be the next Richard Branson. Oh yeah, he met with Richard Branson too.
It's important to a lot of the Epitaph bands to be on a label not associated
with a major. When we confronted him about selling, he denied it. Finally
though, last December, he admitted that he wanted to sell part of the company
to 'raise capital.'

We were concerned about Brett selling part of the company, but there were
other things that bothered us too. Like, we had decided early on to try to
keep a low profile. We didn't do things like 120 Minutes, or David
Letterman, or Saturday Night Live, although we could have. But when we would
turn down an interview request, Brett would step in and do it himself,
pumping his company. He even did interviews with Forbes magazine and
Newsweek. We were trying to avoid being poster boys for punk rock, and Brett
wasn't helping - we felt that if we turned something down, he shouldn't do it
in our place.

We negotiated for about a year, but couldn't get everything ironed out. It's
true that he offered us a great advance and a great royalty rate. But the
last contract he sent had some big problems for us. It said we couldn't do
cover songs. It said Ron couldn't play in his other band. It said he could
use our music on as many compilations as he wanted to. One version of the
contract had a clause in it that allowed Brett to take out a life insurance
policy on me, so that if I died, he would profit. That's when we realized
that this was just about money for him.

He refused to negotiate any more last January, and a week later, he decided
to pull the whole offer. To keep it short, he eventually sold our contract
to Columbia.

We believed in sticking up for the indie label, and we shouldn't have. We
stayed true to Epitaph while Brett met with every major label. Brett says
publicly that major labels are bad but, of course, he was in Bad Religion
when they signed to Atlantic. He wrote a lot of the songs on Stranger than
Fiction that came out on Atlantic. Also, Brett sued us. And, he tried to
force us to stay on his label. There was no indie spirit there anymore.

We took less money to sign with Columbia. We had to sign for more records to
go with Columbia. Our signing with Columbia was not to try and make more
money. We did it because we won't record for someone who thinks he can force
us to. We won't record for a guy who's worse than a major label. We're
gonna do whatever the fuck we want to.

Well, there it is. You heard it first...

Dexter.

Source: http://members.aol.com/delirium4u/offspring/letter1.txt

Many new Offspring fans that probably haven't read this. And it was a while since the subject was up.

Cock Joke
05-31-2008, 01:50 PM
I've read it. Someone posted that in another thread.

Unnatural Disaster
05-31-2008, 02:09 PM
I read this a few years ago.

RODNEYMULLEN
05-31-2008, 02:17 PM
Wow, i never read that before. Thats fucked up.

IamSam
05-31-2008, 02:36 PM
I knew the reasons for leaving Epitaph, but I have never seen nor read that letter.

Paki7491
05-31-2008, 03:23 PM
holy shit. I've been a fan for over 9 years and i had no idea that letter existed! Shit. That's crazy. I'm impressed. Here i was kinda feeling sorry for epitaph.

DefaultNinja
05-31-2008, 03:35 PM
We negotiated for about a year, but couldn't get everything ironed out. It's
true that he offered us a great advance and a great royalty rate. But the
last contract he sent had some big problems for us. It said we couldn't do
cover songs. It said Ron couldn't play in his other band. It said he could
use our music on as many compilations as he wanted to. One version of the
contract had a clause in it that allowed Brett to take out a life insurance
policy on me, so that if I died, he would profit. That's when we realized
that this was just about money for him.


This whole letter is a real eye opener, it's a shame the guys have to go through this.. in fact it's a shame for anyone who has to succumb to someones need for wealth and power (see; the human race).

Bold Part Ron's other band? Speculating on this stuff never leads to conclusive answers, but could this have been the reason they couldn't work with Ron anymore? More contract problems? I'd like to think this is the reality, but who knows?

Blackball_
05-31-2008, 03:37 PM
i got this on the mailing list back in the day. theres another couple he sent about differant things. quite cool.

Free?
05-31-2008, 03:47 PM
Thanks for posting. Too bad that Offspring lost many fans with Ixnay thinking they sold out to a major label...

the hitcher
05-31-2008, 03:58 PM
rons band back then would of been spinning fish right

crrrN
05-31-2008, 04:00 PM
Old :P ;) ;)

the hitcher
05-31-2008, 04:08 PM
i never new this and i wont see brett the same again
especially since ive got the epitaph dvd
fuck money grubers

LowEndLem
05-31-2008, 04:17 PM
Wow.

Brett's a bag of throbbing dong.

Blackball_
05-31-2008, 05:00 PM
this was over a decade ago, though. theyve all kissed, made up, and turned themselves into multi millionaires. everyone is happy. no problem.

now you should read what brett gurewitz wrote just after he left BR about greg graffin... no idea how they could be in the same room after that. haha.

Amiralanal
05-31-2008, 05:41 PM
''We won't record for a guy who's worse than a major label. We're
gonna do whatever the fuck we want to.''

Dexter Fucking Holland!!!!!!


http://uk.geocities.com/iluvdexuk/dexter119.jpg

nameless
05-31-2008, 06:10 PM
id heard the reasons but thats the first time id seen the letter!

Jack-UK
05-31-2008, 06:13 PM
i read that ur a twat hahahahahaha

RobinoZombie
05-31-2008, 07:52 PM
Thanks for posting. Too bad that Offspring lost many fans with Ixnay thinking they sold out to a major label...

whilst it should be Epitaph fans who would go home and jump of the nearest cliff, people nead to be more openminded.

The_BlackSwordsman
05-31-2008, 09:39 PM
I haven't seen the letter. Thanks.

Conspiracyof1000
05-31-2008, 10:11 PM
I had seen it before, but never actually read it. Thanks for putting it up.

Short_Attention_Span
05-31-2008, 10:58 PM
Bold Part Ron's other band? Speculating on this stuff never leads to conclusive answers, but could this have been the reason they couldn't work with Ron anymore? More contract problems? I'd like to think this is the reality, but who knows?

That can't be right, or else they couldn't of had Atom for as long as they did because of his work with Angels and Airwaves. If that was going to be a contractual problem, wouldn't Columbia have done something before Atom started going on tour and stuff with them?



now you should read what brett gurewitz wrote just after he left BR about greg graffin... no idea how they could be in the same room after that. haha.

I've read that one! Is that the one where he calls Graffin a hypocritical snob who only sees his fans as dollar signs or something? Man, Brett did a lot of public flame warring back then.

As far as this letter is concerned, I've never seen this before. I've been a fan of the band for a couple of years, but not since '94. I've never actually heard their side of the story--I've only heard Brett's. Interesting, thanks for posting, man.
________
WetLana (http://www.girlcamfriend.com/cam/WetLana/)

ad8
06-01-2008, 01:36 AM
Thanks to Jojan for posting this! It's important to hear this again so everyone can see that they didn't leave Epitaph for the money but for Brett being such a dick.

The_Bass
06-01-2008, 02:10 AM
Wow, Brett, the asshole.

keonii7
06-01-2008, 02:36 AM
I like how Dexter was professional about it. He wasn't mean, and he was very reasonable in that letter.

Jesus
06-01-2008, 02:52 AM
I'm surprised by the amount of no votes. I read that letter like 10 years ago. I'm old :(.

weezly
06-01-2008, 03:40 AM
do u no how many people have told me 'the offspring sold out and went to a major' i never read this!! thanks for posting

danitanev
06-01-2008, 03:53 AM
Well that is quite interesting, it makes me feel proud of that this is my band THE OFFSPRING! Thanks for posting this letter Punk friend!

The Search Button
06-01-2008, 04:22 AM
I never understood all the trouble around this issue.

I guess the last words of Dexter pretty much explains the all thing.

They do what the fuck they want to with their own fucking music.

This includes the label in which they release it.

RageAndLov
06-01-2008, 04:47 AM
i've never read this before, but i knew the reasons
thanks anyway for posting!!

i get so made at brett and the whole epitaph label
i believe epitaph is only thinking about money, especially sice they have signed a RAPPER!

not punk at all!

shanna_guarana
06-01-2008, 04:50 AM
I've never read this before...thanx for posting it

Jojan
06-01-2008, 06:37 AM
Thanks for posting. Too bad that Offspring lost many fans with Ixnay thinking they sold out to a major label...


I haven't seen the letter. Thanks.


I had seen it before, but never actually read it. Thanks for putting it up.


As far as this letter is concerned, I've never seen this before. I've been a fan of the band for a couple of years, but not since '94. I've never actually heard their side of the story--I've only heard Brett's. Interesting, thanks for posting, man.


Thanks to Jojan for posting this! It's important to hear this again so everyone can see that they didn't leave Epitaph for the money but for Brett being such a dick.


do u no how many people have told me 'the offspring sold out and went to a major' i never read this!! thanks for posting


Well that is quite interesting, it makes me feel proud of that this is my band THE OFFSPRING! Thanks for posting this letter Punk friend!


i've never read this before, but i knew the reasons
thanks anyway for posting!!


I've never read this before...thanx for posting it

You're welcome.

randman21
06-01-2008, 06:47 AM
I read it for the first time a few years ago, but incidentally, I bookmarked a webpage with this letter on it a few weeks ago, because I hated being in discussions with people who say that the Offspring sold out and not having this letter which I knew existed.

skoko
06-01-2008, 06:53 AM
thanks for posting, havenīt read it before!

where and when was this letter released?

Blitzkrieg Bop
06-01-2008, 12:01 PM
To keep it short, he eventually sold our contract
to Columbia.

Thanks for the post, I knew about this part, but not the rest.

Offspring.of.Offspring
06-01-2008, 01:12 PM
Didn't think Epitaph would do such a thing!!!! This really opens my eyes. Thanks Jojan... So now there's only Fat Whreck and Nitro that are punk labels, and some new ones.

The_Bass
06-01-2008, 01:24 PM
Nitro is the way to go!

spidey255
06-01-2008, 01:48 PM
I've always liked this letter. However, I think a lot of the heat Brett gets is uncalled for in this time period. If this was in '96 or whenever this happened I would probably be saying the same as all of you. People do a lot of stupid stuff when they're on hard drugs like Brett was.

I noticed Dexter mentioned a clause where Ron couldn't play with his other band. I wonder who that other band was? Anyone know?

Blackball_
06-01-2008, 01:51 PM
someone in the thread said probably spinning fish. ron and noodles both had a few side projects which you stopped hearing between the americana + co1 period.

pretty_fly_white_guy858
06-02-2008, 12:04 AM
Wow. Never read that before. I'm never gonna think of Gurewitz the same..let alone listen to Bad Religion the same. Crazy. Gurewitz = money hungry bag of cock!!

Dan Ta Life
06-02-2008, 01:59 AM
Epitaph has sucked for a long time. Nothing new. Anybody that wants to disagree can look at their horrible roster of crap bands. Epitaph really took a dive, especially in the past 5 or so years. The bands that made the label (Offspring, NOFX, Pennywise, Rancid) have all left, and im sure they have their own tales of Bretts ass-clownery.

F@ BANKZ
06-02-2008, 02:20 AM
Nitro is the way to go!

I'm all for Black Label myself.
Thanks for posting.

Jojan
06-15-2008, 04:29 PM
Voters: 100. You have already voted on this poll

Homer
06-15-2008, 04:36 PM
Lawl, then they recorded Pretty Fly.

Anyways, why was this letter brought back up? There was no reason for it.

Rutegard
06-16-2008, 03:54 AM
i've read this before...

i don't know but...every time i see something related to the offspring i get to love them even more...does this happen to you aswell?? lol

seriously...it gets stronger and stronger!


now i remember it..because when i finished reading i tought "maann, i love these guys more than i did a few minutes ago!"


i'm always feeling this eheh, it's nice actually!!

for example....with this album? i'm so into them right now...that i love them EVEN more!! :P

Rutegard
06-16-2008, 03:56 AM
Lawl, then they recorded Pretty Fly.

Anyways, why was this letter brought back up? There was no reason for it.

just to remember the old days...