In the 22 years of their existence, the majority of Darkest Hour’s releases have been on Victory Records. And when they signed with the label in 2000, they were one of the hottest independent record labels around, with bands like Hatebreed and Thursday on the label. In fact, having stayed on Victory for a whole decade, releasing five studio albums on the Chicago-based label, you wouldn’t think that the band had any issues with them. That’s not the case, however. When appearing on Silverstein frontman Shane Told’s ‘Lead Singer Syndrome’ podcast, the band’s frontman John Henry referred to them as “the worst label on earth”
“We were one of the few bands that completed a Victory contract. Five albums, yeah, ten years baby. Still haven’t seen a royalty check. Hundreds of thousands of units SoundScanned—not one penny. Maybe someday, we’ll get something from them—not that it’s all about the money or anything…”
Henry goes on to say that founder Tony Brummel will email guitarist Mike Schleibaum for business stuff every so often, but the owner refuses to talk to Henry or the band’s manager. If they haven’t made a single penny from the label, it’s hard to imagine what kind of business talk could be going on between Brummel and Schleibaum other than the guitarist saying “fuck you pay me.” And while as recently as last year, Victory lost a lawsuit against A Day To Remember and they’re far from the last band to sue or be sued by the label over business practices. That being said, there are two sides to every story, and if the band and management were that unhappy, they probably could have gotten out of their contract. Either way, the band’s excellent Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora is out now on Southern Lord.