When Death Grips released NO LOVE DEEP WEB allegedly without the consent of their new label, Epic, some of us thought it might be a publicity stunt that was actually pulled off with Epic’s approval (if not Epic’s idea in the first place). That seems less likely now that the band has shared on Facebook a couple emails between Epic and Death Grips’ manager Peter Katsis. The first (above), from Epic, informs Katsis that Epic was not happy with the band’s actions regarding the release of the new album. It goes on to allege that Death Grips have slandered and financially damaged Epic. The second (below), from Katsis to Epic, basically says that the first email should have been sent to the band’s lawyer, not their manager. You should absolutely read both letters in full (FYI might want use your browser’s zoom function here). Drama!

Comments (46)
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  2. This story excites me in a silly “yeah! fight the power!” kind of way. I don’t even like Death Grips, but this is some good stuff, regardless of who’s in the wrong.

  3. I hate to be this guy, but when you sign to a label, you follow the label’s rules. Sucks, but that’s business.

    • They promised their fans that they would release two albums in 2012, though. For Epic to completely ignore that is all kinds of uncool.

      • Sure it can be seen as uncool, but was the promise to their fans a part of the contract? I am behind the band’s ideological stance, but they are reacting in a very immature way. Maybe they should not promise to undertake such an arduous task such as releasing two albums in one year.

        • Yeah, true. Coming from a fan of the band I guess I had the immediate reaction of “they’re releasing more music that I like so they are completely in the right!” but in retrospect it comes across as more than a little immature. I mostly just hope that it doesn’t too heavily affect their ability to make more music in the future.

      • yeah, but epic is a business, and it’s unreasonable to expect it to act on unauthorized promises that its bands might make. also, keep in mind that death grips CHOSE to sign with epic in the first place, and moreover, that epic seemingly affords them ample artistic freedom, money, and resources to do their thing. i know that death grips wants this to look like an act of sticking it to the man, but it’s really coming off more so like dumbshits biting the hand that feeds them.

    • Is Epic paying people to come in here and downvote anyone that sides with the artist? This is a MUSIC website. Artists make art and sometimes that art is controversial. I realize that times have changed since punk first emerged but I can think of several good examples (and I’m sure you can too) of punk/hip-hop/metal bands with major label backing making “fuck you” statments and being almost wholly supported by music fans for making art that pushed some buttons or challenged dominant culture. It’s no wonder the music industry sucks so bad when so called “music lovers” take the side of a corporate giant over the artist.

      Hit that thumb boys, it won’t make me any less right.

      • Again, the point here is that if they wanted to be “punk” and have a “fuck you attitude,” they (artists, apparently) shouldn’t have signed with Epic (the man, apparently). For example, I write an album. I could put it out HOWEVER I wanted. But then I don’t get the money that a label would give me to produce and promote it (along with with distribution, etc, etc). Death Grips took the money, but then they also want to to have the freedom of being on their own. And it’s simply not how the world works.

        • And you (and others here, apparently) are content with how the world works? Lots of people I know are not very comfortable with how the world works right now. I get the point you are making and I appreciate your response but unless you are an Epic shareholder I don’t see what motivation you have to defend the label over the artist. As I said, major labels have a long history of signing these kinds of bands (or making these kinds of mistakes, depending on your p.o.v.) and they still do it because they hope they can still cash in on something. The dominance of the major label is crumbling and I for one am happy that Death Grips is helping.

          • sorry, shuffles. not buying it. it makes no difference to me whether it’s a major label, mid-major, whatever; if you enter an agreement, you’re expected to work within its confines. this concept – contract law, if you will – is a good thing. without it, most all business in the world would screech to a halt. example: i fail to make my mortgage payment on the basis of, “fuck all of you suits, i’m entitled to do whatever the hell i want!” hmm, guess what? i can expect bad consequences to come from that. likewise, death grips should expect to go unpaid for making this album, and to possibly be sued. that’s life.

            forgive me for flying in the face of your johnny rotten gif, but if death grips is helping bring an end to the dominance of major labels, then why in the hell did they sign to one? also, if death grips screwed over, say, sub pop instead epic, would you feel the same way?

          • oh wait, i thought that said “no more questions.” my mistake.

        • Death Grips should take a page out of Princes book. Come up with an inaudible symbol and screw them over. Announce the Death Grips has been snuffed out and than just start over.


    Seriously, though. Where is it?

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  6. I hate it when I’m tied down by contracts that I signed with my own free will. When that happens, there’s only one thing to do: bitch bitch bitch.

  7. the Death Grips legacy grows….

  8. fuck the free world nigga, i am down with death grips
    Yeah it was wrong of them to leak an album without Epic’s consent. That’s Illegal as fuck too, but when you’re a real artist, your integrity stands first. You can’t compromise when you have a vision, I respect the living fuck out of them for doing so. They said they would be releasing two albums this year, I doubt it has anything to do with a promise to the fans. They cancelled their tour to do so, Epic knew that. Epic also ALLOWED the band to promote NO LOVE as a fall 2012 release with copies of Money Store for those who bought the physical. Just cause Epic didn’t sign a contract stating of such release, doesn’t make it okay for them to ignore the release until 2013. When you are so emotionally invested in something, you can’t just bitch and wait for something to happen. You have to do something about it, you can’t be a bitch and just bitch about label problems.
    I would have threatened Epic first, like “either you release my album by the end of the year, or we will.” I don’t know if they even expressed that to epic, but fuck it. No Love stands as one of my favorite albums of the year
    Once again, fuck the free world nigga

  9. Death Grips are lucky to even have signed to a major label like Epic in the first place. I know there are thousands of bands who would LOVE to be backed by a label like Epic and who certainly wouldn’t fuck it up like Death Grips just did. You want to release as many albums in a year as you want? Don’t sign to a major label and do it yourself. Sorry, but I’m on Epic’s side here. They took a risk signing Death Grips, and the band just seems like they could give two shits.

    • It’s pretty tasteless for sure, but I’m curious about the end result of all this. Death Grips just got tons of publicity, more than Epic would have gotten them, and probably more than a little underdog/fuck the man street cred to those who want to believe it. But they’re not getting paid for this record, and might get sued? I don’t know much about legal stuff. Similar to Radiohead giving away In Rainbows, I’d love to see the numbers behind this, because I’m a nerd like that. I bet this is an overall positive for Death Grips though.

      • I agree. It’ll be interesting to see how both parties end up after this. A band like Radiohead could certainly get away with something like this, but Death Grips, while they may be popular, don’t have the funds to back it up (I assume). I don’t understand much of this legal stuff either, but I imagine that the contact they signed said something along the lines of they can’t release any official material without Epic’s consent. It sucks that they’re probably gonna get sued, but that’s the way it goes I guess when you sign up with a major label.

    • once again, epic allowed the band to promote no love as a 2012 release, they knew they put a hold on touring to record it, because death grips wanted to put it out by 2012. if epic knew it wasn’t going to happen, they shouldn’t have printed those stickers with money store. and you’re right, death grips doesn’t give a shit, they went in stoned out of their minds to the initial meetings. but that’s as much as i’m saying here, doesn’t do me good to talk online. i really like this album though, aside from all this nonsense

  10. “Hey guys look how we pissed off Epic hahaha DON’T DO ME NO FAVORS”

    Was this really worth leaking, Death Grips? This sounds less like anger and more like legal jargon I don’t care about.

  11. Ah come on now Death Grips, don’t be dicks just for the sake of it.

  12. I’d be more given to care about this is Death Grips was worth listening to.

  13. I mean how much money are we talking here? did they sell maybe a couple thousand downloads, if that? this is an indie band not Madonna. Epic is living in the past. Just drop the band and be done with it.

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