BlogOctober 19, 2013 10:42 AM ET

Anybody remember the Tony Brummel and Steve Jobs emails?

When the whole A Day To Remember and Victory Records drama played out during the past few weeks, I was reminded of the infamous email exchange between Victory owner Tony Brummel and then Apple CEO Steve Jobs. This took place in early-2006 after many months of Brummel not allowing his label's catalog to be sold via iTunes. In February of that year, Brummel penned a scathing opinion piece on iTunes, in which he said that "iTunes makes music disposable. It makes it a faceless impulse item. It steals its soul." These emails apparently following soon thereafter. And yes, this is old stuff, but many of the people now listening to A Day To Remember probably weren't old enough to read in 2006.

Tony Brummel:


I doubt that this will reach you but I figured I'd give it a shot.

As a fellow entrepreneur I find it quite strange how your "music" people have treated my company. I am not like the guys at the major record labels. I am a self-made entrepreneur. My counterparts are ultimately employees that do not have the flexibility or ability to operate with real creativity in an industry that requires such.

Victory Records is a lifestyle company and a brand that has always marched to the beat of its own drum and operated contrary to industry standards. That is a major reason why we are the #1 Independent label in the country. The entire music industry and many music fans also know that we are not in business with iTunes.

I have tried to engage your folks in proactive discussions regarding how we can work together since April 2004. Unfortunately, they showed no interest, creativity or entrepreneurial thought regarding a relationship between our companies/brands. In fact, the dialogue was extremely disrespectful and typified everything that I thought your company was not. Wal-Mart has shown us more respect. We currently have our second Victory Records only endcap at Best Buy. Why are we the only label that Best Buy has ever worked with in this capacity? Because the Victory consumer is a coveted one.

The majority of the people that buy our albums are 12-24 year old music fanatics that are typically two steps ahead of the next big trend. As the leading independent label in the country we are very in synch with our supporters as they are with us.

From a business standpoint I was always a fan of your work and Apple. Was everything I read false propaganda? I'd prefer to see our companies working together in a proactive and revolutionary way but your "music" people elimated that via their pompous, uneducated and condescending demeanor. That does not help you. It does not help me either.

I believe that there are synergies that could benefit us both. I hate to see collectively wasted opportunity.

Tony Brummel

PS: Right now, the Victory Records Podcast is the 9th most popular 'Music' category podcast on iTunes.

Steve Jobs:

So what do you want that we are unwilling to agree to?


Tony Brummel:

I want to work with people that respect and care about our brand beyond being sent a weblink to fill out an "app".

For Victory and iTunes to work together it should be something special.

"The #1 Independent label joins forces with iTunes".... its a great headline/story and business. More importantly, its a great PR campaign if people are prepared to think outside of the box and see the bigger picture here. It would be cutting edge, "anti-corporate" (which fits the Apple image) and revolutionary.

Everyone would win.

I am always looking for new allies and partners where everyone can mutually win.

Steve Jobs:

I don't see us doing a major PR campaign around this - we have too much on our plate that's more important to our music efforts right now.

But we can get your music on iTunes. What's holding that up?


Tony Brummel:

At least I now know that being the #1 Independent Record Label in the biggest music market in the world has no meaning to Apple.

The majors were not thinking when they gave you their content for free without negotiating a % of each hard drive sold and/or equity in Apple or bonuses on increases in the company's valuation. I have had 4 iPods die on me already (I ripped my 'physical' music collection). Kudos to you though- it was a masterful plan and you preyed upon and capitalized on the major record company's desperation for a new revenue stream.

The Independent sector is where new trends, ideas, thought processes and innovations always originate. Apple's corporate image projects innovation, individuality and being 'ahead of the curve'. My small, 40 person, privately held operation had three albums on my industry's Top 200 last week- two of which were in the Top 50. Not alot changes in the music industry though so Apple seems to be fitting right in.

Your response will save me alot of time and effort moving forward. I appreciate the courtesy of you responding to my attempt to be in business together.

As a human being - congratulations on beating cancer last year. Take Care.

Footnote: In September of 2006, Brummel began adding Victory release to iTunes.


Post Comment
anonymous 10/19/2013 8:02:50 AM

Islander is so fcking stoked.

amber_rises 10/19/2013 8:34:37 AM

How can something as pathetic as Tony Brummel exist? It's like you took every insecurity and c*nty business person impulse and added it to one singular human being, with the worst case of Napoleon complex to boot.

anonymous 10/19/2013 5:12:23 PM

Tony writes like a douchey, Ed Hardy and Affliction wearing megalomaniac. Oh wait, he is. Hahaha

anonymous 10/19/2013 5:44:03 PM

Steve Jobs answers are the equivalent of "wait who are you again?"

anonymous 10/19/2013 6:08:55 PM

fck yeah Islander

anonymous 10/19/2013 6:37:08 PM

as being a fellow entrepreneur, this fcking guy has no idea how to start a business relationship. This is a joke.Being an elitist isn't a great idea. How good is that label doing now chief? Read a fcking book, take a class on business etiquette because you sound like a 6 year old wining because he doesnt have the coolest toy on the short bus

anonymous 10/19/2013 7:32:53 PM

^ Vemma I presume? Lolol

anonymous 10/19/2013 8:09:08 PM

^ Vemma I presume? Lolol i fcking lost it

anonymous 10/19/2013 10:33:03 PM

alot alot alot alot alot

anonymous 10/20/2013 6:06:13 PM

Steve Job's replies to Tony are hilarious.

Snoopy2 10/20/2013 7:24:14 PM

Because of his arrogance, Tony doesn't get the underlying message that Steve's simply practicing the art of saying as least as fcking possible to shut some fckin moron up

anonymous 10/21/2013 7:43:37 AM

People are actually believing that the responses he was receiving were coming from Mr. Jobs, and not an unpaid intern..?

therearetoomanybands 10/21/2013 8:31:26 AM

Is Victory records the largest independent record label in the world? i wish Tony would let us know

i_talk_shit 10/21/2013 9:18:33 AM

Tony is correct about iTunes preying upon a weakened industry. Amazon and iTunes take AT LEAST 30% off the top of any sale happening in their "marketplaces" plus there is no more direct route to iTunes to sell your materials, there is a middle man now who again takes it's share. It's a joke.

anonymous 10/21/2013 11:18:22 AM

"And yes, this is old stuff, but many of the people now listening to A Day To Remember probably weren't old enough to read in 2006." Oh fck, that's just too good. Kudos, lambgoat.

anonymous 10/21/2013 12:44:37 PM

In 2006, there were probably 10 music podcasts total in existence, so "9th most popular music podcast" was reeeeeally impressive, Tony.

anonymous 10/21/2013 3:06:51 PM

As someone who has been on the receiving end of Tony's stellar business acumen, I think it's classic that Tony would accuse another entity of "making music disposable". Tony B may have plenty to brag about (which he has no problem doing) but the people who were a part of his formative years did him a great disservice by not saying "NO" to him more often.

anonymous 10/21/2013 3:44:03 PM

http://www.underthegunrevi y-brummel-threaten-adtr-on -original-edit-of-the-docu ment-speaks-for-itself/

thetowerofrome 10/22/2013 4:43:23 PM

Wow. This is mindblowing. Like amber said I cannot believe this guy exists. It's almost too good and too pretntious to think this is a real serious human and not a gimmick/joke. Wow.

anonymous 10/22/2013 5:00:24 PM

anonymous posted 1 day ago People are actually believing that the responses he was receiving were coming from Mr. Jobs, and not an unpaid intern..? It WAS Steve Jobs who replied. An intern would not be allowed to send out messages like that using his name. Maybe an intern typed it, but the message was from Steve.

anonymous 10/22/2013 5:02:33 PM

Tony is a fcking depressed insecure loser with OCD, drug problems, and he is afraid of the world. That is why you will only see maybe 3 pics of this guy online MAX. He knows people laugh about him all the time.