The frontman of Darkest Hour, John Henry, was recently interviewed on the podcast Lead Singer Syndrome, where he revealed that the band has never received royalty money from their former label Victory Records.
Lead Singer Syndrome features different artists interviewed by Shane Told of Silverstein. In response to Told mentioning they used to be label mates on Victory Records, Henry stated,
“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 further stated that the band has had minimal contact with Victory Records founder Tony Brummel, who also refuses to talk to Darkest Hour’s manager. Henry didn’t say whether or not Darkest Hour would be suing Victory, but if so, it wouldn’t be the first time the label has dealt with legal issues.
In 2006, the band Hawthorne Heights sued Victory of fraudulent account practices and for damage of the band’s reputation. The band alleged that Brummel had issued public statements in the bands name criticizing their current competition in music charts, which at the time was Ne-Yo. Ultimately, a Chicago judge dismissed the band’s claims. Later in 2011, A Day to Remember filed a lawsuit against the label claiming that they were owed $75,000 in royalties. The case amounted in the band being allowed to cut ties with the label and record their album Common Courtesy without the label’s involvement. More recently in 2015, Victory sued the ska group Streetlight Manifesto after years of a tumultuous relationship. In the suit, the label alleged that the band breached their contract and owed one million to the label. The lawsuit ended with a settlement in 2017, in which Victory was required to sell all of the Streetlight Manifesto master tapes back to them.
Darkest Hour are cherished in the heavy metal world as a decades-old band originating from Washington, D.C. The band’s most recent album, Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora was released this past March via Southern Lord Records, although they had originally wanted to entirely self-fund and self-release the album. Read our recent review on Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora, which received a mix of average and high ratings upon its release.
You can catch the band on tour throughout the east U.S. this July with Havok and Jesus Piece:
07/14: Washington, DC – Rock N Roll Hotel
07/15: Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz
07/16: Virginia Beach VA – Shakas
07/18: Spartanburg, SC – Ground Zero
07/19: Orlando, FL – Backbooth
07/20: Margate, FL – O’Malley’s
07/21: Tampa, FL – Crowbar
07/22: Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (Hell)