Kelly Gaiser of the Fabulous Tuscaderos
Photo Jack GouldNowadays, it seems every time a band gets superhuge, they get that automatic label of a sellout. I don't necessarily think that's true. If you sell a bunch of CDs, sell out giant venues, etc., etc., that makes you a success—not a sellout. Most bands are in it to become "Rock Stars"! Then they make it, and they get shot down for being big. I think you have to stay modest.
Look at Green Day. I've never really gotten into their music too much, but I have a level of respect for them. They've been around for 10-plus years and have proved to be a successful band. They've paid their dues while keeping the integrity they've always had. They don't compromise their musical style or the values they've always had. On the other end, Epitaph just dropped Zeke because of low record sales and now is preparing to drop the New Bomb Turks for the same reason. In the past, they've also dropped the Cramps. In a certain light, that makes Epitaph, "the punk label," a bit of a sellout to me. I know they are big business nowadays, and it's not like it was back in the day when they probably didn't have to answer to a greedy bunch of suits, but I'm sure they do well enough with enough of those bands not to stress over some having low sales. That just doesn't make sense. But I'm sure the bands won't have problems getting picked up on another label, and Epitaph will keep plugging away with their deal.
Everyone has their own stance on selling out. As long as any band—no matter if it's Blink 182 or (insert your favorite band's name here)—keep loyal to what they love and don't bend the rules for anyone, they don't deserve to be called a sellout by anyone. Keep it real, yo!
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