Report: Indie Emo Label Forced To Cut Ties With Controversial Pharmaceutical CEO
September 24, 2015 at 12:56 PM (PT)
BROOKLYN-based Indie punk-emo label COLLECT RECORDS, run by former THURSDAY member GEOFF RICKLY, has been forced to sever ties with a silent investor, MARTIN SHKRELI over his controversial drug company, according to a report in the NEW YORK TIMES.
SHKRELI’s TURING PHARMACEUTICALS came under fire when it was reported the company raised the price of DARAPRIM, a 62-year-old drug used to treat infections in some AIDS and cancer patients, to $750 a pill from $13.50 after acquiring the drug. SHKRELI's price gouging was criticized by both DEMOCRATIC presidential candidates HILLARY CLINTON and SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS. SHKRELI agreed to lower the price of the medication, though he did not confirm a new price.
COLLECT RECORDS founder GEOFF RICKLY, who admitted SHKRELI invested more than $600,000 in the label, said its artists “have agreed to fully sever our relationship with MARTIN SHKRELI, effective immediately,” adding “never in a million years did any of us expect to wake up to the news of the scandal that he is now involved in. It blindsided and upset us on every level.”
RICKLY first met SHKRELI, a fan and former hedge fund manager, when the businessman paid $10,000 for a guitar he had used to write the THURSDAY album “Full Collapse,” in 2001.
SHKRELI, who offered to be a "patron," offered to fund RICKLY's fledgling label for a minority ownership stake just under 50%, calling it "an endowment for the arts.”
Said SHKRELI about their decision to separate: “I don’t like it — I want to be involved in all this — but I respect their decision.”
RICKLY insisted he was aware of SHKRELI's appoarently shady investments and lawsuits from former employees but appreciated the funding.
“You take any capitalist money and you never know. It’s a dirty system and usually people do something questionable things,” RICKLY told the TIMES.
At least three COLLECT bands — NOTHING, WAX IDOLS and SICK FEELING — released statements saying that they would not continue to work with the label if SHKRELI was involved.
RICKLY admitted losing that financial support might result in the label’s closing.
“This is going to end the career of the record label, no doubt,” he said. “If I were a band on the label I would be having a serious crisis of faith right now. The amount of money I have in the bank doesn’t cover my outstanding invoices. It’s devastating.”