Published Sep 22, 2015Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a profile on Turing Pharmaceuticals founder Martin Shkreli, who controversially purchased the drug Daraprim (most commonly used to treat cancer and AIDS patients) and raised its price from $13 to $750 per tablet. The plot thickened yesterday (September 21) when Bullett revealed that Shkreli's profits are used in part to finance Geoff Rickly's independent label Collect Records.
The article went into great detail about Shkreli's love of emo and pop punk, showcasing the young millionaire's collection of emo shirts, live concert photos and Saves the Day references spread across social media. "According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, Shkreli is also a major investor behind Geoff Rickly's Collect Records," the article read.
In a new interview with Noisey, Rickly explained he met Shkreli on Twitter and the two soon became business partners. Describing himself as "naive and loyal," he said, "Martin has a history of saying things that are very provocative, so I initially chalked it up to that."
He went on to explain that Shkreli allowed him to create a label where the artists had more power than any label he'd been on before. He added that "though I want to believe that there is some reason that he would do this that is some remotely positive way, the only thing I can see is that it is totally and completely heartbreaking."
Finally, Rickly said the future looks bleak for Collect Records:
I can't see my future at all in the label. I have to see what the bands want first, and see if there is any meaning or any mission following all of this. More than anything, I want the bands to see that I hold art as the guiding force in my life. Ultimately I see this going in the same way it always does, where all the artists get blamed for everything and capitalism is never held accountable. I really think that if Collect is going to be scrutinized as being capitalism, but that is how music survives. I'm not making excuses for what has happened, but there is no corner of the music industry that doesn't live and breathe from subsidies from business. It's reductive and hypocritical to hold us and only us accountable though, we are all at fault in some greater way.
Nothing frontman Dominic Palermo expressed disgust at Shkreli's actions in the same Noisey article, saying, " I hope we can separate ways without things getting any uglier than it is now." He also released a statement via Facebook, saying he didn't know anything about Shkreli when signing with the label, adding that he's contractually obligated for his band to keep working with them. His statement can be read in full below.
Responding to comments on the post, Palermo was quick to defend Rickly's business relationship with Shkreli. "Geoff did NOT understand what kind of person he was dealing with," Palermo wrote. "I vouch for him 100%."
The Collect Records roster currently includes Black Clouds, Cities Aviv, Creepoid, Wax Idols, Sick Feeling and Nothing, among others. This week, the label will also issue Permanence, the new album from No Devotion — a band Rickly started with former members of Lost Prophets.