The saga between Hawthorne Heights (HH) and Victory Records continues as the label launches a set of counterclaims against the band, suggesting the band’s suit is “really about greed” and about looking for a way out of their contract in order to sign with a major label. After denying HH’s claims that Victory “severely damaged the band’s reputation and relationship with fans” via “overly-aggressive…schemes and tactics” to promote their music, the label suggested that HH “now seek to destroy [Victory’s reputation] by making false and wildly scurrilous allegations…as well as planning a carefully orchestrated smear campaign,” as evidenced by a lengthy post on HH’s web site trashing the label. “The plaintiffs are now willing to say anything — no matter how untrue or defamatory — as a strategy designed to free themselves from their legal obligations to the independent record label that made them famous, in favor of the ‘greener pastures’ and financial inducements offered by so-called ‘major’ record distribution companies,” the countersuit reads. “Unfortunately, it is a common story in the music business.”
Victory — which says its CEO, Tony Brummel, is “responsible for putting the group on the map” and that the band “dogged [Brummel] for months in 2003 when they were ‘a young, untested group of musicians'” — suggests HH’s allegations have caused the label “considerable harm.” The label now seeks to prevent HH from making records with any company other than Victory until the band “have discharged their duties” of the contact, which include producing two more full-length studio albums. “Victory is doing what every record company would do in the same situation to protect its legal interests and financial investments,” Victory’s lawyer, Robert Meloni, told SPIN.com.
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