Cults’ Brian Oblivion: ‘A lot of smaller indie labels are giving bands really bad deals’

Guitarist of US duo says he is happy to release music through Columbia, a major record label

Brian Oblivion of Cults has criticised the independent labels, saying his band is far better off being signed to a major label.

The US duo released their second album ‘Static’ this week through Columbia in the UK. Speaking to Spin about the fact they are signed to a major label but still enjoy underground credibility, guitarist Brian Oblivion said he is happy to work with a bigger company as it means Cults get money to make music videos and work on albums in high quality studios.

“I like to think that what we get from being on a record label is, number one, smart people. Everyone who works there is really cool and professional, and not druggy party people like so many people in the industry. And we get more money up front, so we get to go into nice studios and futz around for months at a time,” Oblivion said on the debate between majors and indies.

“I know indie bands that are really successful who can barely afford more than three weeks in a studio,” he continued. “They can’t make music videos, which is a huge thing our label helps us out with. I have a chip on my shoulder. I feel like a lot of smaller indie labels are giving bands really bad deals and robbing them. You see a lot of labels still give a band a $40,000 advance, which seems like a lot of money, but these days, you split all your money with the label. An indie band ends up in a Hyundai commercial and makes 100 grand, and the label is like ‘Well, fuck you’.” All these bands are trading their cool points for cash, and [the labels are] making out like bandits.”

Cults released their self-titled debut album in 2011. The two piece band, Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, were a couple but split up prior to entering the studio to record ‘Static’.