Victory Tactics

Tony Brummel has gone from hero to zero in my book.

Here was a guy trying to do it a different way.  Signing acts the majors weren’t interested in and marketing them without radio.  We applaud that.  But concomitant with a bit of success Mr. Brummel has come out of the hole from which he resides to reveal himself to be a paranoid megalomaniac who believes the rules don’t apply to him.

I blame Bill Clinton.  For lying about getting a hummer.  Oh, he parsed the words pretty good, but if the President of the United States lies under oath, essentially saying the rules don’t apply to him, what message does this send to the struggling man on the street?

Or maybe it was Reagan.  Who ushered in the winner take all game we now find being played in America.  It’s no longer about helping your brother but becoming so fucking RICH that you don’t even have to ENCOUNTER your brother.  Even though it’s your brother coughing up the dough for you to live your zillion dollar lifestyle.

We don’t need a top cop, we need a referee.  To blow the whistle on George Bush.  And miscreants like Tony Brummel.  I mean is it that hard to play by the RULES?

One knows Tony is delusional because of the inane indie versus major battle he’s cooked up.  No one cares.  Other than his buddies trumpeting the match on hitsdailydouble.  Certainly the public doesn’t care.  A record’s a record.  Good is important.  Distributor?  Label?  That’s almost irrelevant.  That’s like worrying about who makes the alternator for your automobile.  Does the car look good?  Does it go fast?  That’s all people care about.

Make no mistake, we’re experiencing a music revolution.  The means of production AND distribution are in the hands of the artists.  But this has nothing to do with Tony Brummel.  Tony Brummel is just a money-hungry businessman looking for respect from those richer and more famous than he.  Victory Records isn’t about changing paradigms as much as giving Mr. Brummel a platform from which he can spout his inane philosophies.  His success means people who would normally want nothing to do with him take his phone calls.  He’s got a spot on the map.  And he LOVES it.  Yet his dementia is evidenced by the lack of an end game.  What IF indie wins?  Will Hawthorne Heights change the face of pop culture?  Is it about money?  Mr. Brummel essentially sold his label once, yet pulled it back.  And despite endless meetings he seems to have no desire to sell it again.  Even Clive Calder sold.  But Tony Brummel doesn’t want to sell.  For then, he’ll be irrelevant.  No one will listen to his inane ramblings.

Today Tony Brummel instructed his minions to behave in a fashion that I’m not sure even Morris Levy would risk.  Today Tony Brummel wasn’t satisfied with selling his wares in a retail store to anybody who desired them, rather he needed to PREVENT CUSTOMERS from buying OTHER records!

Does Tony really think that IDJ is worried about him?  Worried about Hawthorne Heights?  Really gives a shit?

Hell, we’ve been hearing about it for months.  How Hawthorne Heights is going to enter the chart at number one.  And then Ne-Yo came on the scene to rain on Tony’s parade.  God, real music aficionados know it’s not about the first week, but the LONG HAUL!  Does it REALLY matter if you’re number one or two or ten?  If you’re selling a lot of records?  To Tony it does.

Tony says he’s only doing it for his artists.

Well, I’d like to hear how he explains to his charges how they’re not getting ANY iTunes revenue because he’s in a personal battle with Apple.  He’s denying them heat and money because HE’S on a vendetta.  And all those TV commercials.  My understanding is they’re 100% recoupable from artist royalties.  I ask you, WHERE IS THE NEW SCHOOL HERE?

One thing we know for sure.  Tony Brummel will eventually get cold, and he will be forgotten.  Because EVERYBODY gets cold sooner or later.  I’d like to believe the following missive will put a stain on his career, make him an untouchable, but the business is rife with those who’ve pulled shenanigans.  Yet, none quite so bold.  And, even if they did, WHO WOULD BE STUPID ENOUGH TO PUT THEM IN WRITING!!

Below is a message that was sent out to the Hawthorne Heights myspace members and street team over the weekend to try and boost sales for the release this week.  The second section is another email that was sent out today to ALL Victory Records street teams.  If you haven’t got time for the pain, just scroll down to the VERY END and read the last couple of paragraphs.  They’ll make the hair on your neck rise.

Feb 27, 2006

Tomorrow, our second album, "If Only You Were Lonely" will be in stores. We are reaching out to you because Hawthorne Heights can use your help. We need you, your friends and anyone else you know that likes ROCK music to buy our album tomorrow. The only reason we are able to be a band is because of your support. Without you we would not be able to do what we do.

You buying our album tomorrow has much greater meaning than simply supporting Hawthorne Heights. ROCK music needs your support. Our society and culture has put rock music on the backburner. If our album can debut at #1 all of us will have taken ROCK music back to the top of the charts where it belongs. You might ask, how has ROCK been put on the backburner? A current example is an artist that we are up against called Ne-Yo. Many people are saying that Ne-Yo is going to outsell us because Ne-Yo has had a tremendous amount of over the top, mainstream media coverage. His album will be in stores tomorrow. Radio has played his single 160,000 times. Our single has been played 3,800 times. We know that does not seem possible but it is the truth. Ne-Yo is on a major label. Hawthorne Heights is on an independent label.

ROCK music needs to win tomorrow.

Independent needs to beat Major tomorrow. If all of you take action we can create history. The mainstream media may not choose to fully embrace this ROCK band from Dayton, Ohio but all of you have. No one can take that away from us. It cannot be bought because it comes from the heart. That is what makes us different. Your support means everything to us and is the most valuable thing that we have. You are the people that we depend on. This is as much about you as it is about us. You hear our voices every night. Now, we need to hear yours. You see us at our merch table every night. We need to see you in the stores tomorrow. We cannot come out on top without you. Passion and music with real meaning has a chance to beat out what the media forces down our throats. No one expects us to win. We need to prove them wrong. They underestimate us. Please help us create history tomorrow. This is a `call to arms’, a `battle cry’, not just for Hawthorne Heights but for all of the other great ROCK bands and independent
labels that we all love. All of us deserve this and it is something that we can do together.

March 1, 2006

Happy Hawthorne Heights day everyone – street date has finally arrived!

It all comes down to the next six days and maximizing our sales at as many stores as possible. We are neck-and-neck with this Ne-yo character on Universal and we need everyone out there tilting the tide in our favor. Our projected numbers for first week sales are about even so we really need to make every unit count if we want to win.

We do this first by selling more Hawthorne Heights, hitting as many stores as possible, making sure Hawthorne Heights stock is in the front and very visible in every store we visit. Get inside, do what
you need to do, and move on to the next store. Move Hawthorne Heights into as many key positions as you can. Remember there are two covers so not only put them together, put them in different places. HH should have spots in all the new release racks toward the front of the store but we can always increase our presence by dropping a few in another displays.

If you don’t see our product on display at the front of the store,
particularly later in the week, then go to the bin and move what you
can. There are a lot of stores that are not as on top of this as they
should be, especially something as hot as Hawthorne Heights, so we
need to give these people all the help they can get.

Also look for HH in the areas where stores keep overstock. Sometimes this is below the bins or on the top of the rack. If you find any CDs,particularly under the bins, try to move those out first to the otherareas of the store.

On the off chance you find a store that doesn’t have any copies of the new Hawthorne, find a clerk and ask him why they don’t have it. If it’s sold out, find out when they have more coming in. If it’s showing as in stock, let him know that you can’t find it so he knows to order more.

Here is a list of the best chain stores to go to:

Best Buy
Wal Mart
Circuit City
Sam’s Club
K Mart
Sam Goody
Virgin Borders
Barnes & Noble
Fred Meyer

As for Ne-yo, the name of the game is to decrease the chances of a sale here. If you were to pick up handful of Ne-yo CDs, as if you
were about to buy them, but then changed your mind and didn’t bother to put them back in the same place, that would work. Even though this record will be heavily stocked and you might not be able to move all the stock, just relocating a handful creates issues: Even though the store will appear to be out of stock, the computer will see it as in stock and not re-order the title once it sells down and then Ne-Yo will lose a few sales later in the week

This is most important in stores were we are competing with Ne-yo,
which is in the big chains that sell pop and urban product. The stores listed above are in the order you should hit them up.

The main thing is to keep the pressure up all week. First day sales
are important but keeping our sales going and having a strong weekend are equally important to grabbing the #1 slot that belongs to us.

Please be sure to email me this week and let me know which stores you have gone to and worked your magic at.

Thanks everyone,


Victory at all costs, Victory in spite of all terror, Victory however
long and hard the road may be; for without Victory, there is no

2 Responses to Victory Tactics »»


    comment_type != "trackback" && $comment->comment_type != "pingback" && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content) && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>
  1. Pingback by Veken’s Blog » Blog Archive » Victory Through Sabotage | 2006/03/30 at 15:05:59

    […] h this is my blog Victory Through Sabotage March 30th, 2006 Lefsetz points out the disgusting and dirty tactics of Victory Record […]

  2. comment_type != "trackback" && $comment->comment_type != "pingback" && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content) && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>
  3. […] 8217;s blog

    Victory Through Sabotage
    May 9th, 2006

    Lefsetz points out the disgusting and dirty tactics of Victory Record […]

comment_type == "trackback" || $comment->comment_type == "pingback" || ereg("", $comment->comment_content) || ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

  1. Pingback by Veken’s Blog » Blog Archive » Victory Through Sabotage | 2006/03/30 at 15:05:59

    […] h this is my blog Victory Through Sabotage March 30th, 2006 Lefsetz points out the disgusting and dirty tactics of Victory Record […]

  2. comment_type == "trackback" || $comment->comment_type == "pingback" || ereg("", $comment->comment_content) || ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

    Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

    1. […] 8217;s blog

      Victory Through Sabotage
      May 9th, 2006

      Lefsetz points out the disgusting and dirty tactics of Victory Record […]

    This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.