Brian Harding of Ex Cops has just publicized a heated statement directed to McDonald’s and its showcase at SXSW 2015. The post was posted on facebook earlier today.
Having performed at SXSW before, Ex Cops knows how things work in Austin. For 2015, they’re already set to perform at Pandora’s Discovery Den and Baeblemusic, and have recently been contacted by McDonald’s to perform as part of their showcase as well. An issue has quickly arisen however as the fast food giant pointed out to them that talent would not be monetarily compensated for playing at the event. Harding proceeded to go off on the corporation as a whole in a letter on the band’s facebook page.
He opened up the message by explaining the nature of McDonald’s’ approach to the band:
Their selling point was that this was “a great opportunity for additional exposure,” and that “McDonald’s will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc.” I don’t, and doubt that they know what this means either. Getting past that rhetoric, at the very least a big corporation like McDonald’s can at least pay their talent a little. Right? “There isn’t a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately).” As of 2013, McDonalds is valued at 90.3 billion dollars.
While Harding admits that money is not by any means the driving force of the band’s music, he expresses a fundamental problem with McDonald’s’ approach:
It is our choice (pretty much) to fly to Austin, play shows without soundcheck, and get paid nothing to a little. But hear this loud and clear, we LOVE making music, it is what we do, and despite some of its very apparent flaws, SXSW still provides a decent venue to be heard by some people who are really there to hear new music and not just do blow with dudes who wear square toe loafers. It is a horrifying and gross reality when one sees the true nature of corporations and their pathetic attempts to achieve relevance with millennials. Doritos received a lot of flack for their stage a couple years ago, but i’m going to assume they paid Lady Gaga.
Responses by fans to the overall statement have been overwhelmingly supportive. Hopefully the passionate words of an honest artist make it to the right ears (and eyes).