Marketing

A Band Tries To Disappear From The Web

Erasing-historyBy Tyler Hayes of music discovery site Nxt Big Thing.

Asked to do one thing and you do the other, people on the internet can be jerks.

Today I received an email from a music management company asking that I remove all references to a specific band from my site. The email had specific posts listed including a highly praised review of the band’s newly released EP titled, ‘Los Angeles & I’. I was confused and surprised at this email, but let me back up for a second and try to explain why none of this makes sense.

The band in question had been together awhile, enough time to release a handful of “demos” and rack up thousands of plays and Youtube views. This was not a fly by night group of musicians, if there is such a thing. More recently they had even successfully funded a Kickstarter for their first official album, raising more than $13,000. They delivered on that album releasing it to backers within the last month and putting it up for sale on iTunes as well. Everything was going really well. And for a good reason, the band was a talented group of individuals writing great songs. Then came the email.

The guys are in the process of removing as much online content about the band as possible. This is a bit of a strange request, but it would be hugely appreciated if you could remove the following posts:…

One of the requests involved several actual songs and so with enough respect for artist rights, I removed the music. Any text posts however, those won’t be going anywhere.

Searches for the band result with Google having knowledge of the group, but Soundcloud, Tumblr, and Bandcamp having a sketchy memory after the pages were all deleted. While you can’t erase the internet, you can definitely try.

After a small back and forth, I still don’t have any answer to my question that was a combination of how and why. I was under the impression that when bands broke up, they exploded, leaving pieces of themselves around as a distant reminder. This was always my experience and now it’s something totally different.

Even as insignificant as a music recommendation site is, I can’t see altering the past. So, when asked to do one thing and remove references, I chose to do the opposite and talk about the strange request.

Follow Up:

I have received a follow up to my inquiry of why the band is no longer together from one of its former members.

It is of no real concern to you, considering the fact that the band doesn't exist anymore, and it is of personal concern to me and others involved… As for reasons for breaking up and such things, there are not enormous reasons for doing so, we just felt that it was time to move on a pursue new things, life changes, etc.

And that, if you’re wondering, is not how you handle this situation and type of request.

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13 Comments

  1. Seeing something like this makes me think they’re either incredibly naive about how the web works or they’re trying to do something shady (or both).

  2. The Royal Sons is their name. “Keep My Head Up” is a really good song (I hunted it down).
    Thanks for posting this, because I never would have found it otherwise!

  3. Sounds almost like some sort of publicity stunt. Apparently no one ever told them that if you don’t want something on the web forever, don’t put it up there in the first place. Sounds like I’m lucky I never heard of them or their music…

  4. Where can we get the album by The Royal Sons? I’d like to have a copy for listening purposes and to remember this (what sounds like) awesome band.

  5. I’m interested, from the reader’s perspective, if this request shouldn’t be followed by an invoice to the person requesting removal – for time spent hunting down and deleting content.

  6. I completely agree with Tyler Hayes on this one. If, like Tyler, your living is made off of content others provide and you’ve taken the time to actually listen to their music and put pen to paper about their work product how dare they ask a favor of you! As for publicly airing your dispute to show what “jerks” they are…now that is the professionalism every musician hopes to find in this industry.
    If I was an up and coming band I would bend over backwards to get an interview with Tyler. I mean, why seek out a blogger inclined to respect a band even after they’ve ended the gravy train??
    Band break ups are tremendously unpleasant. You want to judge from the sidelines, that shows a lot about who you are as a blogger and virtually nothing about the band. At least you’ll be getting lots of clicks this month.

  7. wonder if they’ve made similar requests to any print media as well. i wouldn’t re-write your words either. nob ‘eads, and no desire to hear them.

  8. Many thoughts here, so bear with me.
    It’s so rude to ask a webmaster to remove entire posts/URLs. DO NOT (folks). It’s all just so bizarre, too.
    You reacted appropriately: “Any text posts however, those won’t be going anywhere.”
    This is also not cool: “More recently they had even successfully funded a Kickstarter for their first official album, raising more than $13,000.” They delivered on an album but fans probably feel an investment in much more. We know bands and lovers break up, but this is shady and/or immature. Fans should be able to search for this album in ten years, etc. (Nothing’s promised but web archives of scattered, swiss-cheese texts, sure.)
    I feel like if I ever were to get a request like this my mouth would get me in “trouble” but also that in this case these folks are probably just pussycats.
    This:
    “invoice [to] the person requesting removal – for time spent hunting down and deleting content.”

  9. After tracking this one down, and searching by band member’s names I finally put two and two together. I might not have all the details either but this is what I gathered:
    After releasing demos and free downloads of their music for nearly a year and landing a video on youtube that hit over a million views (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtPNnPwpCCw), the 3 Members- Landon, Grant, Hayden of The Royal Sons released a Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theroyalsons/the-royal-sons?ref=live) asking for $10k to make an album. To no surprise, their now large fan-base overfunded their goal by an additional $3,500. Within a few months, The Royal Sons released their album titled “Los Angeles & I” which landed on iTunes and Spotify. Instagram tag #theroyalsons shows ecstatic fans receiving their pre-released albums and merch from the kickstarter incentives… but all for nothing.
    Within a month or so, everything was taken down- including their social media platforms and iTunes links. They began what seemed like an attempt to erase the internet. Fans, including myself, were left with no where to even connect with other fans to find out what had happened.
    After searching each band member’s name, Google suggested Hayden Coplen with Sir Sly, a band I had heard on music blog, Sirens Of Decay (http://sirensofdecay.com/album-stream-sir-sly-ghost-7/).
    Sir Sly. I had finally found what happened to The Royal Sons.
    After looking at Sir Sly’s facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/sirslymusic/info), I found that they began coincidentally at the same time The Royal Sons were making “Los Angeles and I”. Sir Sly’s pictures show Landon Maslyn- who apparently changed his name to Landon Jacobs for the sake of the new band. Landon began a new band with former Royal Sons member, Hayden Coplen, and a new member, Jason Suwito. No mention of former Royal Sons member, Grant Jensen, being in Sir Sly. On his twitter (twitter.com/grantjensen), I gathered he played with one of the bands at Coachella and is currently traveling and writing with them.
    From the sound of it, it all makes sense now. The Royal Sons broke up because Sir Sly started. They released their music to their fans, but then took it all down as Sir Sly started gaining attention. From the sound of Landon’s voice in Sir Sly compared to what we knew from The Royal Sons, it seems a bit faked to say the least.
    My conclusion is that Sir Sly didn’t want any association with The Royal Sons for fear of people finding out about his real (less sly-hipster) voice.. so they deleted all their content and left us fans in the mud.
    It seems like they’re doing whatever it takes instead of being true to themselves. Good luck to them- I guess.

  10. Ok from what i can see the guys broke up the group Royal Sons after they got there funding from Kick Starter they found a manager here : http://www.windishagency.com/artists/sir_sly. It’s standard protocol in the industry when you reorganize and reform a group which is what happened here that you release a press statement which did not happen here for what ever reason. My thought is there was bad falling out with one the group members and thus why all videos and music being slowly but surely removed from web sites like youtube. So bottom line its a legal thing. I checked out the new groue and Sir Sly +2 music i like half of it and the other half is just ok. Where they really screwed up at and im not sure its there fault really, more or less im thinking the management agency fault. They failed to produce a press release on the artists activity. They renamed him and the group and tried to push the Royal Sons and the stray member out of existence which is the cheap way i guess of doing it. I hope the fans stay loyal. He is “Sir Sly” no matter how you look at it a talented artist! Living up to his new musical identity as Sir Sly!

  11. I am gonna attempt to do some damage control here for the guys although there manager should be doing the damage control for them.
    I have represented bands and musical groups in the past and no i do not represent these guys in any way shape or form. What I am about to say is purely speculative at best but makes the most sense and I agree to extent with the other theories. My feeling is that Landon wanted to go with the style he doing now in Sir Sly and Jensen did not. Putting the third member in the middle who decided to stay with Landon. I’m thinking the disagreement ensued right after the fellas got the kick starter cash to make there album. It more then likely accurate that Landon was playing at the same time in another group as he was with Royal Sons. We got to remember these three said in Kick Starter they was all good friends. The funny thing is when you start off in a band and everyone has there own ideas about what direction to take the group. Some contribute more time and talent then others then you bring the root of all evil in (MONEY) “just listen to his song GOLD” that last bit where “I don’t owe you a god damn thing” it really kinda says it all. Given the response which more then likely was Jensen but not named by Hayes. This is my opinion and its speculative at best. Here my idea of a proper press release that the fellas should have done and it goes something like this;
    Example of a press release.
    The Band Royal Sons decided to break up on ____ ___ ____ due to personal differences. We sincerely apologize to our fans and hope that all of you will still stay loyal to our newly reorganized band “Sir Sly +2” As to our reasons we just did not simply see eye to eye on key issues and felt it was best to try and depart on good terms. We appreciate all the support we haven gotten from our fans through out our time as Royal Sons and hope to continue to gain your support. ect ect ect sincerely band member names
    This was not done because this is new ground to these young guys. It more then likely hurt no doubt that they split and very trying to start over and with money in the picture and fame it makes it all the worse. So i hope everyone will cut them some slack.Move past it. Check out Sir Sly on youtube, there songs are really good. The guys are very talented.

  12. I am a close friend of Sir Sly and I’ll chime in here for a minute because most of the speculation I’ve read on the internet is wrong.
    3 very talented musicians left their old bands (The Royal Sons, Polaris At Noon) and formed Sir Sly because they started writing new music together that was very different and they were excited about the new sound. With a completely different style and member lineup, it makes much more sense to form a new group than to try to adapt one of the old bands. This happens all the time in the music industry.
    Sir Sly has new management and has signed to a major record label and there is no need for them to continue writing/releasing music under their old band names. There were no dramatic breakups and no bad blood.
    As to why no public statements were released, it is not my place to say, and I know they have their reasons. If Sir Sly wants their privacy it should be respected.
    Also, in my opinion, management has every right to ask music bloggers to remove old content, just as music bloggers have every right to ignore their requests (for written content at least). I’d like to believe, however, that common courtesy on both parts will prevail. The artist/blogger relationship is a mutually beneficial one so why not help each other out when you can? Maybe we should all just be a little more grateful that these musicians want to share their music with us in the first place, many of it for free.

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