Words and opinions by Ryan Getz. This article should be considered stand-alone, and not indicative of a formal position of Tuned Up or I Am Tuned Up, LLC.
I’ll admit, I kind of pulled the title for this article out of my rear. But I want to let off some steam on this topic.
By now, you are probably mad about that CEO that raised AIDS drug prices over $700, otherwise known as Martin Skhreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals. This dude is also one of the main financial backers of Collect Records, the indie label founded by Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly. Predictably, people are getting out their pitchforks and pointing them squarely at Geoff.
Well, in the words of GloZell in the circa 2008 viral video “My Push Up Bra Will Help Me Get My Man,” Calm it down. Calm it down, calm it down. Calm. It. Down.
By all means be mad at this dude for showing something that has yet to present itself in any form other than greed at the expense of the less privileged victims of HIV. But don’t take it out on the artists. Please.
Community is important. Especially in times like these. And Wax Idols frontwoman Hether pointed out something important in a status speaking out on the situation:
1) I have never met this man and did not know anything about him beyond the fact that he was a young millionaire who wanted to be a patron of Collect Records and Geoff Rickly, because he was a huge fan of Thursday.
2) I use the word “patron” rather than “investor” because as far as I know, Martin does NOT recoop a dime from Collect Records. He essentially donates money to the label.
3) Therefore by supporting Wax Idols and buying our record, you are NOT contributing to this asshole’s bank account.
I don’t know what arrangement Martin has with Collect Records. I do know that boycotting the label and that a mass exodus of bands from Collect will drive a hard-working musician, who has displayed integrity toward a multitude of folks toward ruin. The way to drive the practice of Martin toward ruin (not that he can’t experience redemption down the road) is by talking about his shady practices. And apparently, all the talk of the past day has already resulted in a TBD reduction in the drug price of his AIDS drug. No word on how close to the original $13 a pill it will be.
Still not convinced? Still want to stop supporting Collect? Okay. Go through your wardrobe and throw out every clothing item you find that was manufactured in Asia. Chances are it was sewn in a sweat shop, or at best by severely underpaid laborers. Point being, if you dig deep enough anywhere, you can find dirty money or a skeleton in someone’s closet. Where you decide to prune your life will come down to your personal conscience.
Collect Records is a rare entity that has an ear for awesome music. Tuned Up has yet to find an artist we don’t like on this label.
Music has become so political, and people are so quick to jump down the throat of artists. Can’t we endorse the art and attack the issues at their source, rather than those suffering collateral damage?