Rock Band Sues "Don't call us Christian"

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Rock Band Sues "Don't call us Christian"

Postby Be still on Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:02 am

Buzz band takes legal action over religious tag
Staff and agencies
05 March, 2006




By Todd Martens 42 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Rock act Mute Math is so frustrated at being branded a Christian band by Warner Music Group‘s Christian outlet Word Records, it has taken matters into its own hands, self-releasing its debut album February 1.

And last September, Billboard has learned, Teleprompt Records -- a label co-founded by Mute Math keyboardist Paul Meany -- filed suit against Warner Bros. Records and Word.

The suit is for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, and seeks punitive damages. Warner, however, might be somewhat pardoned for the marketing approach.

Mute Math was formed by Meany, formerly of the unabashedly Christian act Earthsuit. Mute Math claims to have sold about 10,000 copies of its debut CD in one month, relying on word-of-mouth among its largely Christian fan base. The album followed an EP -- released by Word Records -- that sold nearly 30,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, with the bulk of sales coming from the Christian market. The act‘s buzz began when it played a string of Christian festivals last summer. And in October and November, the act supported fellow Christian band Mae.

All of which would be just fine, but for one nagging detail: Mute Math does not consider itself a Christian act.

Meany says he never wanted an EP to come out on Word, a well-known Christian brand. "It was just assumed that because that‘s where I once was, that was where I was always going to be," he says. "I had no desire to be the Christian version of a real band."

Teleprompt argues that releasing the EP via Word caused significant damage to Mute Math‘s brand. It claims it was misled by Warner Bros.: When the Nashville-based label agreed to a joint venture with Warner Bros., Meany‘s attorney Kevin Kookogey says, it was under the impression its releases would not carry the Word name.

"We had an offer to do a deal with the EMI Christian Music Group," says Kookogey, who is also a Teleprompt partner, along with Meany and producer Tedd Tjornhom. "We did not do that deal because we were not promised that we would have direct access to Capitol and Virgin. We wanted total mainstream credibility, and then have it sold back into the Christian market if it were successful in the mainstream."

For Meany, it was never a question of faith. He is openly Christian, and so is the rest of his band.

"We‘re not the first band to share these challenges," Meany says, "and there are going to be a lot of Christian fans upset. But I believe the majority of our fans in the Christian community are in support of what we‘re doing."

Mute Math routinely sells out 500-capacity venues, and Kookogey estimates that Mute Math‘s full-length album is selling about 100 copies per day via the band‘s online store. Teleprompt financed the disc, which the band is selling on the road and online.

"Warner Bros. was yanking our chains," Meany says. "We were being fed a bunch of lines to comply and give them the new CD. But they were going to market it the exact way we didn‘t want."

A Warner Music representative says the company is unable to comment on pending litigation. Kookogey says Warner Bros. recently made overtures to settle and inquired about going forward with the band.

Mute Math has yet to decide its next move. It was recently offered a slot on the Vans Warped tour, and sources say other labels are hot on the band with Sony BMG‘s Columbia said to be actively pursuing the act. The Mute Math camp says Warner Music voided their contract when it was breached. But Meany also acknowledged that his band cannot sign elsewhere until the lawsuit is resolved.

On January 16, Meany posted his disgust with Word online. "While I recognize that there‘s a purpose for the type of music carried on Word, we simply do not share that purpose," he wrote. "It‘s sad to me that, at the end of the day, no one at Warner cared enough to intervene and take our vision as seriously as was promised us."

Kookogey says, "There‘s a credibility gap. Mute Math is not a worship artist. They don‘t preach from (the) stage. They don‘t preach in their interviews. Those things are required of you when you work in the Christian market."

As Mute Math‘s feelings spread across the Internet, the band risks alienating some of its most diehard fans. John DiBiase, president of 10-year-old Christian Web store still sells Mute Math‘s CD. But, he recently posted on myspace.com, if the band "so desperately wants mainstream attention without support from the Christian community, why release the EP via Word . . . Why tour with other artists branded as ‘Christian‘? And finally, why play Christian festivals?"

Kookogey says the band has received regular feedback on the topic from fans, but that no one has said they would not buy the record. But other comments, the attorney says, run more toward the "sad and empty."



http://localnewsleader.com/jackson/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=152983
Last edited by Be still on Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bob the Quiet on Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:16 am

As professing Christians it is their repsonsibility to spread the Gospel...are they refusing to meet this responsibility..this command straight from their LORD to spread His Gospel? Just so that they can be marketed on the mainstream?
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
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Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
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Postby carpentersdaughter on Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:57 am

Is this person a true Believer? I don't know, but if he is why is he denying his faith.

Is it not God who gave him his talent?

This bothers me a lot. If he is not a believer, then why did he ever go with Christian bands, or promote his music to the Christian world?

Maybe some like to use the label "Christian Music," to further their heathen goals.
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abondon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
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Postby grace2all on Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:54 am

I bet these guys wouldn't mind being called a "Christian band" if Christian rock was fully embraced and accepted by our secular and mainstream society/media.

It's all about the Benjamins....
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Postby FamilyMan on Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:29 pm

A true Christian would not be ashamed to admit their faith. In fact, they would be proud to admit they are in the service of the Lord.
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Postby tsth on Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:45 pm

Heaven forbid, that a band made up of supposed Christians, be labeled as Christian??? We are most definitely in some strange times, aren't we?

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Postby biblebeliever on Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:46 pm

Amen,familyman
Acts 2:38,39 Then Peter said unto them,Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,and ye shall recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children,and to all that are afar off,even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
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Postby jesusphreak on Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:22 pm

I don't know if agree with what they are doing, but I know exactly why they are doing it.

As professing Christians it is their repsonsibility to spread the Gospel...are they refusing to meet this responsibility..this command straight from their LORD to spread His Gospel? Just so that they can be marketed on the mainstream?


Its quite the opposite, in their minds, being called a Christian band limits their audience to mostly Christians. If they go mainstream, it vies them a chance to reach many more people for Christ than they ever would have before.

That may or may not be the mindset, but let's not condemn them when we don't know all the details.
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Postby simplicit on Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:45 pm

I think this band definately is still spreading the Word. Pretty much all of their songs have a Christian theme and message. Maybe they are in the process of stearing away from that? If so, it would be a shame. They are very talented. I have to wonder if they want to move into other areas where they may be able to reach people who exclusively listen to secular music. Most often, when a band get's categorized as Gospel Rock, they have trouble reaching anyone other than those people who are already saved. I'm sure they want to keep their Christian fans and even continue playing at Christian concerts. But they probly want to get listeners outside of that "scene" so they can contribute influence in the world that way. There are other "secular" bands that fill that role. I think there's a need for more of them. Pull those folks on the fence a little closer. Soften them up, and then drop the "Real Thing" on them (no, I'm not talking about Coca-Cola).

"Peculiar People" by Mute Math:
We can fly with the wings of eagles
We can fly with the wings of eagles
We are peculiar people this i know
We can fly with the wings of eagles

We are peculiar people
We are peculiar people
We must set our hope and future to the sky
We are peculiar people
We are peculiar people
We will shed our human skin and learn to fly

With a word we can drown a mountain
With a word we can drown a mountain
Into the seas surrounding dont you know
With a word we can drown a mountain

We are peculiar people
We are peculiar people
There is more to who we are than meets the eye
We are peculiar people
We are peculiar people
And no one will convince me otherwise

We were born to, we were born to fly
You and i, we're summoned to the sky
We were born to, we were, we were born to fly

AND

"OK" by Mute Math
Down on my knees down on my face
You just say it's ok
So many days I've thrown away
You just say it's ok
I don't think I could ever repay
Your perfect grace, but it's ok

It's ok, It's ok
It's ok, It's ok
You've become my embrace
Just tell me it's ok

Your precious words intoxicate
A heart that aches; it's ok
You don't recall my past mistakes
You just say it's ok
And this human mind can't calculate
Your perfect grace, but it's ok

Even though you've seen a thousand times
I've let you down
You're always there if I should call your name
You're unashamed, oh unashamed
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Postby jesusphreak on Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:49 pm

Wow, I listened to Peculiar People on the radio today and didn't realize that it was them that sang it.
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Postby carpentersdaughter on Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:11 pm

This is just one form of denial of Christ.

Jesus said those who deny Him, He will deny before the Father.

They are treading on dangerous ground if they are saved at all.

It's not my place to say they aren't, but their actions don't coincide with being a Believer.
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abondon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
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