DJ and producer Jimmy Asquith must be seriously wondering whether this week is going to get any worse. He has already faced multiple allegations from multiple sources of things all the way from drunken behaviour to sexual assault, and had his entire Lobster Theremin label staff resign from the company. And it’s only Thursday.
Ears To The House has been told by a reliable source that one of the people who haven’t gone public with their story is “seriously considering” pursuing legal action against him. All of Asquith’s gigs for the next few weeks have also been cancelled, something which we understand is likely to cost him a five figure sum of money.
But amidst all this, spare a thought for those artists which had releases with the Lobster Theremin empire. At the time of publication this morning, the label and all sublabels underneath it are currently closed. It’s unclear whether the closure is temporary or permanent – Jimmy Asquith declined to comment when we contacted him yesterday.
This, however, leaves the label’s artists in limbo – in particular, all the ones who are meant to have releases forthcoming on the label. We have it on good authority that around 40 of Lobster Theremin’s next releases were lined up and ready to go – and the majority of these were due to be released on vinyl. We contacted The Insider to ask him a few questions over this.
Can’t these releases simply be pulled from the schedule? The Insider says “If these were digital releases, it would be less of a problem in some ways. A quick email to the distributor would normally be sufficient. But with vinyl, it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Mastering, pressing to vinyl, artwork, promotional costs and so on costs a lot of money. And there’s also the question of who ultimately owns the master.”
“Whilst I don’t know the inside and out of Lobster Theremin, most vinyl labels stick to the older style contracts where the label retains master rights in exchange for an upfront payment and then royalties once costs are recouped. I would guess they have something similar in place, so for any of those artists wanting to pull their music from the label, they could be in for a potentially very expensive fight.”
So what’s the situation the artists will be in now? The Insider said in response “If any of those artists do come out on Lobster Theremin now, they’re quite likely to flop. And in the vinyl world, this can be expensive. I’ve seen contracts before where if a physical release fails to recoup the label’s costs, the artists are liable for the difference. There might be something like that at this label, meaning they could have to pay Asquith money.”
“They might also have to pay a lot of money to get their releases pulled. There would be vinyl to be rebranded at best with new labels and artwork or melted down at worst. No label which goes to the expense of pressing vinyl is ever going to simply hand back master recording rights just like that. Unless they’ve gone soft in the head or there’s some sort of special deal in place, it simply wouldn’t happen.”
It’s an absolute mess, isn’t it?
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