…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead frontman Conrad Keely celebrated Halloween not by dressing up or eating candy, but by posting an angry message on his band’s blog, lambasting Interscope head Jimmy Iovine and his label.
The post was quickly pulled, but not before it made the rounds of the blogosphere. Aside from the rantings, there was one particularly interesting point; Keely claimed to be the first band, save Nine Inch Nails, to voluntarily leave Interscope.
The band has been keeping quiet ever since, but their manager, Asif Ahmed, spoke to Billboard about the situation. “It was a mutual decision to leave Interscope,” said Ahmed. “We were never able to forge a relationship with the marketing folks, and all the rounds of layoffs didn’t help.”
Ahmed claims there were a number of problems with the band’s latest effort 2006’s, “So Divided.” “It was supposed to be an EP, originally,” he said. “They wanted to make it a full-length, and then there was a huge time lag before the release of the full-length. They ended up rushing to get it out in the fourth quarter, the record wasn’t promoted, the single didn’t hit radio and that was it.”
“So Divided” entered The Billboard 200 at No. 181 and has sold just 24,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. By comparison, Trail Of Dead’s previous record, “Worlds Apart,” debuted at No. 81 and has sold 54,000 units. The band’s 2001 Interscope debut, “Source Tags & Codes,” has shifted 123,000 to date.
“We could have re-upped if we wanted to,” said Ahmed. “Trail Of Dead were signed by Jimmy, and in the beginning, there was passion. He used them to court other acts, like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And Interscope has a great legacy.”
As far as the future goes, Ahmed says the band is keeping its options open. “We have some offers from indies, but nothing is final yet,” he said. “Right now, they are gearing up to record in early 2008 and shooting for an August release. We will also work on getting on more tours and getting the band more active in marketing.”
Trail Of Dead members had not responded to questions via e-mail by deadline. An Interscope spokesperson declined comment.