There's this conception that bands make their money on the road, and if you're looking at Chevelle's business model, that very much seems to be the case. Chevelle just completed their six record deal with Sony and revealed that, oh hey, they never actually made any money from record sales.
To be clear, Chevelle is no small band. They've sold over six million records. And yet nothing in return? Frontman/guitarist Pete Loeffler told ‘The KiddChris Show‘ for WEBN “We just finished our record contract. How many bands can say that? We just handed in our last one for Sony/Epic, and we’re sitting here wondering what’s next. Where do we go now? Do we go back to being an indie band? I mean, that’s kind of cool. That sounds exciting. I don’t know. I don’t know where we’re gonna go now. Do we start a label? Do we do it ourselves? We’re not a TikTok band necessarily; we don’t have that platform.”
“We’re trying to change, but not change too much to lose your core fanbase, and yet you do wanna grow, and yet you don’t wanna be stuck in the same archaic music-business model.”
Asked if the band will be re-signing with Epic, he quipped “Contracts are a bitch, and we’ve signed some raw ones. And we need to start trying to make some money off of our catalog, which is 10 albums deep, plus all the side stuff. We haven’t made any money off of record sales, album sales. It’s all gone to the major labels. A lot of people make money off of us; we just don’t make money the way the deals are structured. We just aren’t excited to get back into any kind of contract. So if we find a new home at a new label, wherever it is, it’s gotta be a special deal where you get something for your hard work.”
“It would be nice to do something different and actually make a buck off of an album for once; it just hasn’t happened for us. We’ve sold six million albums for Epic Records, and they’ve made 50 million dollars. It’s lopsided. And the artist — just like Dave Chappelle said, he knows he signed a deal with for the Chappelle show long ago, and it’s a raw deal. It went to someone else, and they can put it on any platform they want, whether it’s Netflix or HBO or whatever, and he went to them and said, ‘Look, I know I did that, but it’s wrong — it’s still wrong. You need to compensate the artist.’ And that’s kind of where we’re ending up too. It’s a bad business model for the artist.”
Loeffler said that even though their deal with Epic is done, the label still owns the masters. “The fact of the matter is when you sign a record deal with a major, they own it for, like, 20-something years. We said, ‘We’d re-sign with you if you just sent some of it through the pipeline to us.’ All the profits, they’re keeping everything. ‘And if you just send a little bit through, maybe we can talk about this, [about] continuing on.’ I mean, there’s some good people at Epic. And then, in a lot of ways, we feel burned.”
Read those contracts, kids. Chevelle's new album, Niratias, is out now!