Ashbury Heights blames label, The Simpsons, in short the whole world for not having success

Posted on 13/10/10

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Ashbury Heights blames label, The Simpsons, in short the whole world for not having success
Side-Line is all about supporting bands and labels and sometimes a label does things incorrectly and if it's really bad, Side-Line will address the issue as we have proven in the past. But, whereas labels are often - wrongfully - considered to be the bare devil, we couldn't get rid of the impression that this time it's a band who goes a bit too far in twisting the truth.

In a post on their Facebook, which also ended up on the Side-Line forum, Swedish electropop act Ashbury Heights - and in particular Anders Hagström - blame their label [Out Of Line] for not having achieved the success the band hoped for. Says Anders Hagström: "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."

He also says that the 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." We're kinda of wondering where the label made an error there, the band was free to choose from the start.

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The public slander - because there is no other word for what has been posted - smells like a very uncool way to get under the contract from the label. Read along: "Therefore I will not be releasing any music at all until the matter has been resolved (...) 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 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."

Lack of marketing? Every journalist and label we contacted about this were 'unisono': Ashbury Heights have had the maximum of marketing that a band can dream of. It gets a bit ridiculous when the band says: "We should of course also be prepared to acknowledge the possibility that our music is rubbish (...) if such a thing was to be true then our label is also guilty of having terrible judgement in picking it's bands." Well, why not blame the label because it's raining today?

Quite honestly, in the whole history of Side-Line we have never met a band shooting itself so in its foot by posting this. We seriously doubt that any label from this scene (which they do not want to belong to) will consider signing them up after seeing such public attacks about something which should remain between both label and band anyhow. We asked Out Of Line for a reaction, but they declined to comment on a matter between a band and a label.

Nevertheless, the band is seriously pissed of: "It is quite clear that there is no future for us within the confines of the obscure Germanic sub-genre 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." Perhaps a change of attitude wouldn't hurt the band... Most promotors will know what we are talking about.

And Anders Hagström, don't get us wrong, we still think that Ashbury Heights rocks, but this move stinks big time. We are pretty sure that Side-Line will be the only magazine saying openly what many think, but that's what we are here for. Let the flaming start!

Update: Ashbury Heights singer Kari Berg had this to say on what Anders Hagström posted: "This fight is between Anders and the label. Not both of us. I'm grown up and I wouldn't have posted something like that. So I have nothing to do with this."

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