BlogOctober 8, 2013 2:26 PM ET

A Day To Remember frontman dishes on Victory Records and Tony Brummel

Unless you don't pay attention, you've heard things about Victory Records; some of them good, but most of them bad. Whatever the truth may be, A Day To Remember has released their new album, Common Courtesy, likely much to the dismay of Victory and owner Tony Brummel. Of course, ADTR has won the battle, but the war is far from over. Regardless, ADTR has a ton of fans, and we're sure a good many of them have bought (or will buy) the album. And with frontman Jeremy McKinnon now out front openly discussing his issues with Victory (see interview quotes below), many of ADTR's loyal fans are loudly expressing their displeasure with Victory. Here's a look at Victory's Facebook posts this morning (one of the comments references this amusing voicemail, purportedly from Brummel to the band's videographer):

Victory Facebook

Today AbsolutePunk published an interview with McKinnon, during which he went into significant detail regarding the band's strange relationship (or lack thereof) with Victory and Brummel. Here are some telling questions/answers:

Well, speaking of being blunt and tossing it out there - looking at the album's tracklisting, number twelve is titled "The Document Speaks For Itself" - I'm going to assume that means exactly what everyone thinks it means.

It is. It's basically me talking directly to our label owner. And really, man, I'm disappointed. Ok, we kinda knew getting in, when we signed the contract, that there was the possibility that this was going to happen one day, if we ever did sell a large amount of records. Because, well, that's just what has happened to people who signed to Victory. But, at the same time (when they signed that deal), nobody cared. We were going through a hard time, we lost a drummer, we lost one of our main songwriters, Tom Denney, after he quit. And we were going to break up and go back to school and probably head down a different path in life.

And then Victory Records comes in and they were the only label that's interested, and were actually going to fund us in a way that we thought was good enough. And we realized that if we were going to put a huge portion of our lives into something, we at least wanted the opportunity to sound how we wanted it to sound. And they were the only label that was going to do that, and when you look at it like that I'll always be grateful to them for giving us that opportunity. But, at the same time … what you don't see … from being in the band vs on the outside … is that there is just no possible way of working with him.

He's just …

I don't even know how to put it ..

It's a terrible thing. We have been trying to settle with this guy, literally, the entire time. We didn't want this to happen. We don't want to be in a huge legal case. We don't want to have to pay lawyers this outrageous amount of money to do this. But there are times where I just straight up lose it because he can be so weird, and just lying, and it's obvious that he's making jokes about it … and it's like, "come on man, let's just go into another room."

And we did once. Just me, Josh, and him. And we start talking to him and we're like, "you know what? If you would just do what you said you would do. Then this wouldn't happen. If you just treat us the way you said you were going to in the first place, we would have stayed with you for our entire careers." And I told him that to his face. And look, if you look at what we've done over our career as a band, we are fiercely loyal band when it comes to the people that have helped us, you know? Our photographer, we work only with him when we have a choice. Andrew Wade has worked on all of our albums now. Chad Gilbert is part of our team. So is Tom, he's gonna be part of every album we do - that's just who we are and how we go about doing what I want us to do - which is make a better more updated version of us. And, we would have loved to just be with them (Victory Records) the whole time, but you just … you can't work with the guy. He's a person that cannot be understood even if you try. And for years, he's surprised us every single day.

Was there ever a time where you thought that maybe Common Courtesy would come out on Victory Records? Or was that off the table from the start?

Never. It was never off the table. It's on the table right now if he would just be reasonable. Just a few months ago Josh and I were flying around Chicago almost every weekend because we were trying to settle this and he would write us an email saying, "ok, let's talk settlement" -- so me and Josh would fly up there. Once on Josh's birthday, we flew on his BIRTHDAY to sit in court, and then at the end of it, Tony just said, "nah, we're not gonna talk, I'm going home." And then Josh missed his flight. I know, I know, it's just a day, whatever, but you know what I mean? There's something sort of special about your birthday.

So, it's like, I don't know man. We would have loved for this to have been settled before this, because really it's just a misunderstanding. It's a misunderstanding because of how terrible, just terrible, he set this whole contract up. You know?

Yeah, in my reading of it - a lot of it comes down to that original contract, right? And what it is that defines "an album," correct?

Yeah, it's just all over the place. I mean I'm sure other labels have done that too. But it's not just that, he uses this contract as leverage. And that's his whole game, the whole thing is that he makes people sign these "deal memos" and the reason there aren't any long form contracts is because it's his way of pretty much being able to say, "I can do whatever I want and it's encompassed in this legal document" … and you're scared. And we were scared. For years.

The time when we signed to the label, Atreyu was big, Hawthorne Heights was big, you heard about the Thursday thing, you heard about the Taking Back Sunday thing, but you didn't really know what happened, right? You know, that was before Hawthorne got upset with them.

So, when we signed, and this is what's crazy - because live albums and any reproductions like that - were always supposed to count. And we honestly believed that, for example, when we signed to the label, literally when we were signing, Atreyu put out a greatest hits album -- and it counted toward their contract. And me being the young kid, I took it as that -- those definitely count. There's a band, that's huge right now, they're on this label, this counts toward our contract. And that's legitimately what we thought. And, well, that's his whole game. You put yourselves in this position and it's really written that he can kind of just say whatever he wants and we had to wait this long until we finally had the means to stand up for ourselves.

So now you get to this spot … and, hypothetically, say you lose this case when it goes to a jury - is there anyway this band could go back and work with Victory Records again?

I mean if we're forced to by the court … but, I know what you mean and I'll answer it: and the answer is no. But, really, we're not even worried about that right now. The only thing he was trying to do with this is try and ruin our careers. He would always say that over the years when he would call us up, and we didn't want to do something … for instance … he made us put out "Old Record." And, what he would do is say, "I'm going to give you guys this much money to do this," and then we'd come back with, "well, we don't really want to do that because we would have like two days at home to re-record this entire album" -- and he told us, "you have to do this or I will end your career." And us, being young kids, touring in a van with no money, we absolutely were terrified. And what would you do? I mean we can't do anything about this right now. And we were forced to go into the studio, in two days, and record our entire first album again. And we butchered it. Because it was two days. And it's something I absolutely am ashamed that we put out.

And see, that's where it gets crazy -- he tries to control people. And, well, I won't name the band name, but there was a band that we have been on tour with multiple times, that was an older Victory band, and they were putting out their last album … and, well, we were told that he kind of shelved it. As a way of forcing them to re-sign with Victory. And they said, "we're not gonna do that," so he did what he did and it definitely affected them.

So, the answer is if the court forces us to - yeah, we will - but eventually he will kill the career of our band. I mean that's just the position we're in. It was either let the guy do it, and he's probably going to do it anyway, or do we try and stand up for ourselves? And hopefully the rest of the world will see what's happening and not let this guy do this to people anymore.


Post Comment
anonymous 10/8/2013 11:35:10 AM

"I Love Emmure" Kill yourself, Tyler. gay.

anonymous 10/8/2013 12:08:42 PM

Just pay the fckers and leave?? Go some where else you money hungry fcktards..go with indygogo. They seem legitimate for promotions

anonymous 10/8/2013 12:36:18 PM

Terror got fcked by trustkill and then decided to go to victory? smart move. guess they're still one with the underdogs.

anonymous 10/8/2013 12:55:32 PM

So, this dude is saying he assumed part of his contract with Victory? Dumbass.

anonymous 10/8/2013 1:07:07 PM

I have respect for ADTR as musicians but this guy's claims are ludicrous. I have met with Toney personally and it went nothing like what ADTR claims they went through. My band (Islander) is on an incentives based program with Victory. (For example- if we move over 30k units of our debut we get a 7 day cruise with Toney on his yacht.)

anonymous 10/8/2013 1:08:40 PM

(cont.) When we met with him he literally gave us cash out of his pocket (20k each X5 = 100k) and said come back in a week with a mastered dat with your 10 best songs. It's because he believes so strongly in us (told us we could be as big as Metallica if we work hard) that he treats us so well. Our relationship is going from strength to strength and we couldn't be more elated.

anonymous 10/8/2013 1:34:48 PM

^ok. I bet Toney is stoked.

anonymous 10/8/2013 1:38:19 PM

^you won't move 30k units. so dont worry about getting into this situation.

anonymous 10/8/2013 1:43:25 PM

Can't tell if the ^^ Islander guy is being sarcastic or not. That's how bad it is. I signed a contract with Victory five years ago. Tony called me and made many of the same promises -- i.e. You'll get X amount of money and X amount of marketing yada yada. During the first 6 months he was the nicest dude on the planet. Offered to fly us to Chicago to hang out and sent us gifts -- everything was great.

anonymous 10/8/2013 1:43:51 PM

cont. Then it happened... We got a manager who would actually take a Victory band on and you know what he did? He called me and said if you get a manager "I will end your band". A bunch of lying and bullshit happened. 95% of anything we were listed to get in our contract never happened. Our last album with Victory, he never paid the recording studio. He just said, "Oh well, i don't like that producer anymore so just tell them we aren't paying."

anonymous 10/8/2013 3:08:33 PM

You guys have it all wrong. Tony is great, my bad Islander (who just signed btw) are promised a lavish career within the hardcore scene. Who else can do that but Victory huh? I mean the c-m was hard to swallow but after I choked it down I really started to see where Tony was coming from.

iwilladapt 10/8/2013 3:22:34 PM

this idiot band and idiot record label deserve each other.

SuckMeBeautiful 10/8/2013 3:26:13 PM

Wait, Tony Brummell is scamming bands? No way!

SuckMeBeautiful 10/8/2013 3:31:49 PM

Wait, Tony Brummell scams bands? No way....

anonymous 10/8/2013 3:55:13 PM

wow, glad to see NOTHING has changed with Victory in 20 years.

anonymous 10/8/2013 4:03:00 PM

I just called Brummel and told him im gonna sue his cokehead ass. His number is 1-312-666-8661 (press 2, then 2786)

anonymous 10/8/2013 4:10:55 PM

fck labels, DIY, it's not about money

malachi 10/8/2013 4:59:08 PM

Tony has been a piece of shit since day one. I know people who worked for Victory and he's the biggest jerk on the planet. I don't feel bad for any new band getting dicked over by him. You should have known...but no, every band pretends to be invincible or the exception. Keep thinking that.

anonymous 10/8/2013 5:04:57 PM

You emo pussies aren't going to do shit to Victory. Victory sucks yeah, but everyone is going to forget about this in like a week. Remember theyve been fcking over bands forever and it never changes.

anonymous 10/8/2013 9:57:05 PM

hahahahah I just called Brummel and told him im gonna sue his cokehead ass. His number is 1-312-666-8661 (press 2, then 2786) That's real!

bellini 10/9/2013 3:54:01 AM

Oh my god. Who the f uck cares? This band blows and all its teeny-bopper fans can suck a high hard one.

anonymous 10/9/2013 5:56:26 AM

Who at Victory do I contact about getting the 4 minutes of my life back that I wasted listening to that Islander band? Even the 1400 people that like their Facebook arent stoked.

anonymous 10/9/2013 6:29:05 AM

Whats even funnier is how much of an uneducated moron he is regarding the voicemail.

i_talk_shit 10/9/2013 10:10:59 AM

He is totally describing Tony Brummel very well. "The Art Of War" is his mantra.

anonymous 10/9/2013 1:05:33 PM

maybe Victory records doesn't like piece of shit Cho Mo's that fck under age girls

anonymous 10/9/2013 1:19:30 PM

Drunk Brummel is amazing. Call Victory and ask Tony about his gay brother, his father's love of black women, how he cried when Dwid stole his girlfriend and how the name Victory is derived from Seig Heil. Long live the Rat and hail victory!

anonymous 10/9/2013 1:24:46 PM

Islander is stoked.

anonymous 10/9/2013 11:03:23 PM

Get your lawyers ready... Causeyergonnabesued

anonymous 10/10/2013 11:46:44 AM

This happens at more labels than is actually reported. I applaud this band for talking publicly about this. The reality is the entire national metal and hardcore scene is run by a bunch of Hardcore and metal dudes. Dudes who in the grand scheme of things don't know shit about shit. I wouldn't trust these people to flip my burgers at burger king, let alone release my music, book my tours and protect our interests. I hope more bands come out about their experiences with these crooks.

anonymous 1/22/2014 6:49:30 AM

I think all this shit is just stupid. You try to screw over ADTR and you really don't know what the hell you are doing. Like just sign them a damn contract! ADTR will never die

anonymous 1/22/2014 6:52:19 AM

Victory is a bunch of fckd over fckd up ftards! I will never sign with them. LIVE ON ADTR!!!

anonymous 1/22/2014 9:45:25 AM

So to me it looks like Victory is making ADTR do what they want. And they won't do it because Victory is not giving them the money that they need and giving them crazy short deadlines. Like why are people still signing to Victory? Ok know that ADTR is my favorite band and deserves to be the number one band in the world. So my band will NEVER sign with Victory.

anonymous 8/14/2016 7:50:25 PM

Can someone send a memo to Islander to inform them that it is no longer 1998.