Geoff Rickly’s Collect Records has found itself in some hot water when the identity of one of its major investors was uncovered. The Thursday frontman revealed that one of the major investors in his record label was “World’s Most Hated Man,” Martin Shkreli. For those who are not familiar with Shkreli’s name, his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, is the one that recently purchased the rights to Daraprim, a medication used to help treat malaria and infections suffered by HIV-positive patients.
With the acquisition, Shkreli pulled a “dick move” and increased the price of the medications from $13.50 a tablet to $750; a 5,000 percent increase. Backlash soon reached an all-time high resulting in Shkreli, reportedly, lowering the price.
Originally, Rickly spoke with Noisey about it and expressed his surprise and regret that someone who invested in his record label would act in such a manner. “My head is still spinning, and though I want to believe that there is some reason that [Shkreli] would do this that is some remotely positive way, the only thing I can see is that it is totally and completely heartbreaking,” he said. Rickly added that Shkreli’s greedy decision might force the record label to close.
Since the news broke overnight about this, Rickly has finally spoken out in detail about what will happen. In a statement, Rickly has revealed that he has severed ties with the hedge fund manager with full support from the artists signed to Collect.
“Today, Collect Records — with the support and encouragement of all of our artists — have agreed to fully sever our relationship with Martin Shkreli, effective immediately.
When I decided to get into business with Martin, we took him on as a patron. He was completely silent and allowed us to do business as we pleased. His only ask was that we sign bands that we believed could make great art given the right environment and not to focus on a profit, no matter how dire the bottom line.
Never in a million years did any of us expect to wake up to the news of the scandal that he is now involved in. It blindsided and upset us on every level. As such, we know it is impossible for us to continue having any ties with him. For my part, I’ve always strived to make Collect a place that was so liberal, encouraging, and artist-friendly that no one would ever walk away from us willingly, though to do so at any time would be very easy. To that end, I hope that our bands continue to believe in our guidance and passion. Any of them that have had an incurable crisis of confidence will be allowed to leave with nothing but the kind of encouragement that we’ve built our label on.
For all the kind words of encouragement that I’ve received over the past two days, I’m forever grateful.
From all here at Collect Records, thank you.”
Rickly’s decision to cut off all ties with Shkreli comes on the heels several of the label’s artists speaking about leaving the label. Dominic Palermo of Nothing told Noisey that his band “will never be a part of a label that involves Martin.” He also went onto Facebook to post a long post about this, even though he said he would remain loyal to Rickly.
Label mates Sick Feeling mirrored the sentiments when they spoke to Fader about the incident. “One thing is clear; as long as he has a part in the label, we, Sick Feeling, cannot. Our experience with Geoff, Norm, and Shaun has been nothing but positive, however, we cannot continue to work with Collect as long as Martin Shkreli has any part in it.”
At least something is looking up for Rickly. His new band, No Devotion, will be releasing their new album Permanence this Friday, Sept. 25.