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Geoff Rickly Speaks On The Future Of Collect Records & Severing Ties With Martin Shkreli


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Thursday/No Devotion frontman Geoff Rickly had a chat with Altpress.com regarding his embattled Collect Records label, which has had an uncertain future since severing ties with controversial pharmaceutical exec Martin Shkreli, who was silently funding the label venture. Rickly‘s current No Devotion bandmate Stuart Richardson (formerly of Lostprophets) also sat in on the chat. Some excerpts from the conversation include:

On potentially having continued taking Shkreli‘s money rather than having severed ties:

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“If the bands didn’t start getting so upset… I don’t know what I would have done. I may have kept it there. To me, funding for the arts is something that we ignore in America. We have one of the lowest rates of funding for the arts in the world, per capita, 47 cents a person. It’s so shameful, because art is the foundation of thought. For me, why we have society is because artists and thinkers come up with a better way to live. But part of a better way to live is to say, “I won’t stand for this kind of behavior from the people that I associate with.” That’s why people are so upset.”

On his conversation with Shkreli regarding the split:

“I talked to Martin. It was like: “Hey man, you kinda threw this all under the bus.” He said, “Well, you need to throw me under the bus. You need to break ties with me because you have to think of your bands and your bands hate me.” I was like, “Okay, you’re right. I need to think of my bands, number one.” My bands, my employees, health care, all that stuff… I’ve made a lot of promises to the bands and I always keep my promises. If I said, “I’ll protect you,” I’ll find a way to protect you.”

On the apparent $600,000 Shkreli put into the label:

“You know, people are talking about the amount of money that Martin spent on the label and I just think, they can’t imagine how much of myself I spent. People don’t realize how much money Martin has, but it was a very small amount of money for him. For me, [Collect] took over my life in ways that Norman told me maybe this is a good thing. Because he’s gonna stop worrying about me not sleeping three nights a week and not taking care of myself because I’m thinking too much about every band. I know the amount of capital I put into this: it was everything I had. And I’ll keep doing that until everybody has a home.”

“People don’t realize that by the end of next year, we would have had 17 acts on the label: $600,000 with 17 acts and three employees, an office and health care… People don’t realize how much it costs to press records. Then there’s tour support and everything. You can’t make a record for less than $50,000.”

As for the above mention of health care, apparently Shkreli had pushed Rickly into setting bands on the label up with it. He recalled of that:

“He was like, “Sign bigger, better bands, sign cooler bands, sign bands that are doing crazier stuff, get them health care.” He wanted me to give everybody on the label health care and I was trying to figure that out. He had goals that were very philanthropic, so you just don’t see this kind of thing coming when you have these conversations with somebody talking to you about schools, revamping basketball courts so poor people in New York City have a place to go. That doesn’t sound like somebody who’s gonna wake up being the most hated man in the world.”

There’s a lot more to dive into over at Altpress.com.

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