As reported by Pitchfork, Deerhoof is speaking out against subscription-based music site Daytrotter for an alleged history of hostile business practices involving an authorized LP, angry messages from lawyers, and years of being outright ignored. Or, to be more specific, Deerhoof is speaking out about things that hypothetically might happen to a hypothetical band that works with Daytrotter, because Deerhoof is “not legally permitted to say” whether or not it has had any issues with the site. Either way, the issues are extensive.
For those who don’t know, Daytrotter is based around bringing in bands to record exclusive sessions that users can flip through at their leisure in order to discover new music. Some content is free, some content is behind a paywall, and some of the paywall content is packaged up and sold separately. Apparently, Deerhoof did a Daytrotter session in 2009, and the site made an LP of that session in 2014 without notifying the band or giving them any money from it. Daytrotter initially ignored Deerhoof’s questions about this, but as the band continued to push it, lawyers got involved and notified Deerhoof that Daytrotter would “take appropriate action” if the band continued to “disparage” the site in any way. The band laid this all out in a Twitter post over the weekend:
Daytrotter also released a statement, essentially pinning any hypothetical blame on site founder Sean Moeller, who left last year:
Over the last eleven years, Daytrotter has recorded more than 7,000 bands and 32,000 songs in Daytrotter sessions. Daytrotter has had a membership model for eight and a half years. The price of the monthly membership is used to keep our studio open and cover our costs. Daytrotter has never in its history been profitable. Daytrotter sincerely appreciates all of the artists that it has had the opportunity to work with, and looks forward to continuing to having artists from all over the world coming to Daytrotter’s well known studios to produce great music and share this music with everyone. Deerhoof recorded its session eight years ago and there was an agreement between Sean Moeller, the founder of Daytrotter, and Deerhoof in regards to releasing their Daytrotter session and vinyl. The current Daytrotter team looks forward to continuing to record and promote bands for years to come.