Published Aug 17, 2017Gone are the simple days where bands would just announce an album, set a release date, and deliver said album on said release date. There are all kinds of stunts that come along with releasing new music, some that work and some that fail miserably. For an example of the latter, the Domestics, a Portland-based alt-rock band, have made an incredibly bad first impression with their PR stunt.
The group sent out a series of 63 creepy-looking "Trump/Comey" cassette tapes to various music biz honchos. The tapes contained clips of the band's music, as well fake recordings of the supposed FBI recordings that James Comey had threatened to leak after Trump fired him.
Making matters worse, the band chose to list their return address as the Ku Klux Klan, the Westboro Baptist Church and Infowars. It was a fairly racially charged move, particularly considering the fact that a number of the people who received the tape were Jewish and found the return addresses to suggest an anti-Semitic sentiment.
The above image was first posted by Stephen Judge, and you can read his post about the package below.
The band's frontman Michael Finn has since spoken to Paste, saying, "I'm a little bit of a mess at the moment and wanted to call you and put a voice to it. The idea, in its original incarnation, was just to get our record out to people in a unique, different way."
UPDATE (08/30, 5 p.m. EDT): The Domestics have sent the following statement to Exclaim!:
On August 16th, 2017 it was quickly brought to our attention that our label Tender Loving Empire had made a huge error in the promotion of our album Little Darkness, which was set to be released on September 1st. In short, an employee at the label used return addresses of hate groups such as the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church on viral marketing campaign mailers without our knowledge or approval. Tender Loving Empire published an official statement today acknowledging this and issuing an apology. Our purpose in restating these details here is not to malign the character of our record label, but to clarify that the elements of the publicity stunt that frightened people and understandably caused this controversy was one that was impossible for us to prevent, because no one in our band or management knew it was happening. We have mutually decided to part ways with Tender Loving Empire, and they have agreed to let us walk with our full catalog on good terms. Additionally, they have agreed to match the donation of our proceeds from what was intended to be our record release show on September 19th. These contributions will go to The ADL - Anti-Defamation League and the Multnomah County Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program.
To our friends, family, and community who have reached out in the past week: Your support means more to us than we could ever explain. Thank you.