I just pulled this post off of Fleet Foxes' MySpace blog- it pretty much sums up our mission statement, too...
So, I went to the (truly insane and heart-swelling) Dept of Eagles show at Neumo's tonight (sang along and bought a Tee) and a couple people said something about hearing we signed to Virgin Records and they are reissuing a "special edition" of the CD LP. This is false. I think a Seattle Weekly blog post started this fire, which I will now extinguish, with this statement - "Fleet Foxes will never, ever, under no circumstances, from now until the world chokes on gas fumes, sign to a major label. This includes all subsidiaries or permutations thereunder. Till we die."
I just don't see the point. Most major labels seem anti-music. We've pursued no such deal with Virgin (or been pursued to my knowledge, I think it was just a bit of news they reported) and would be idiots to be unhappy with our fam of label folks. It is true though that all copies of the CD LP will now include a free copy of the EP (like it is currently with the vinyl), but that's not a "special limited edition," it'll be that way in perpetuity, no extra cost or packaging change.
That's all! Also I cut all my hair off.
NEXT MORNING POST SCRIPT: Just to clarify a bit. I wrote the above just to clear up a rumor - if nobody was saying we'd signed to a major, I wouldn't write anything about major labels, we'd just continue on with life as normal - I don't mean to color the music with HellaPunkAsFuck type ideological stuff. It's true that Warner has a 49% interest in Sub Pop, and that Bella Union is distributed by Universal in the UK. Distribution seems to me a pretty mechanical business arrangement ("Put our records on your truck, we will give you some money for gas, thanks"), and that deal only went down when the independent distributor in the UK went bankrupt putting all these indie labels in jeopardy. Neither label has any obligation to nor reports in any way to the shareholders of those large corporations and thus their business decisions aren't nearly as cynical. Every independent label interested in surviving has some innocuous business arrangement with a larger entity - in my opinion that doesn't change the spirit of small organizations or dilute the good intentions of independent labels. As a band I guess we try to make choices based on what we feel comfortable with, not what could bring us the most success, and I feel very comfortable calling Bella Union and Sub Pop independent labels, just as we feel comfortable when we say no to using music in advertising (though we did let World Wildlife Fund use White Winter Hymnal for an ad in Australia, because WWF is kewl).
My perspective is that if we make choices we feel good about intrinsically, it all comes out in the wash, and you'll all know what kind of band we are or are not, for better or worse! As a kid / teen, I'd get bent out of shape when my favorite bands did things that seemed motivated more by money than by art or seemed to not be honoring the core group of listeners that got them to where they were. But I'd be even more stoked on a band when they did well on their own terms. So, every time someone says something like "half a million bucks to appear at the Republican National Convention playing Mykonos BUT you have to say "McCain, Yo!" instead of "Mykonos" and work in something about drill baby drill" I think back to my young self and if he'd be into that. And then say no.
Sorry to get into all this stuff.