Decemberists Sign to Capitol

I picked a heck of a day to stay up till 8 and sleep till 4. (link)

So what do you guys think? Will this “change” their music? Is it a bad move financially because it’s unlikely that the Ds will be able to make enough in sales to recoup the money Capitol spends on them? Is it good because they’ll reach a larger audience?

24 thoughts on “Decemberists Sign to Capitol”

  1. “He revealed to Pitchfork that his girlfriend, artist Carson Ellis, is pregnant with their first child. (That high-pitched moan you hear is the collective wailing of a nation of heartbroken indie girls.)”

    Guilty as charged. I let out a big sigh after reading that first sentence

  2. I don’t think it’s going to be much different than when other popular indie groups get signed.

    Death Cab and Modest Mouse seem to be working well in the major label system, although I do miss the small venue shows and the cheap merch.

  3. I read that today. The way that they spoke about it, it was as though they expected a major label to change their spots and accomodate them…. personally I think they’re being ridiculously niave. If the next record isn’t unremarkable, and dire then I will be shocked.

    A real shame, but as much as I hope it doesn’t affect the output, I half expect them to be pushed in the direction of being an OC friendly radio band…… or else, there major label career will end quicker than you can say Milli Vanilli.

  4. dammit… not another band whoring themselves out..
    why do these bands do this? just look at all the restrictions put on WAS and have we seen a full length yet?
    Modest Mouse’s sound changed drastically… just think of what will happen to the Decemberists…

    I’ve lost respect for these guys now.. it’s apparently more about money than it is about music.

  5. I will be honest, when I first heard about The Decemberists signing I was extremely upset because (likewise) the first thought going through my mind was everything about their music is going to change. After I began to think about it…I felt sort of selfish, egotistical, and just being a plain indie snob to think that. I think the Decemberists are smart enough to know not to change their sound, and they have a wonderful sound now, so I think them being signed to Capitol was completley appropriate. They certainly have the talent to succeed, and hell, if they don’t, the indie world will gladly take them back (hopefully).

  6. I think Colin Meloy was right in terms of the idea of “selling out” being an antiquated idea. Especially with the Decemberists, a band that is absolutely not part of some lifestyle-centric “scene.” Most of the people who were crying sellout back in the day were people whose identity was linked to their favorite bands and the fashion and lifestyles that surrounded them. I have been to numerous Decemberists shows since the very beginning and have never seen a pervasive fashion/lifestyle scene. I know that the Decemberists have very broad tastes and musical interests and have always enjoyed expanding their audience. I think that the kind of people who dig the Decemberists also like Magnetic Fields, Laura Veirs, Wilco, DCFC and other bands that are already very much on majors and I honestly think that the records they made for Hush/KRS were professional enough to be on a major. I hope that they got a good deal with Capital and I don’t think anything will change except that more people will hear their music. I guess that kind of sucks for people who pride themselves on being *in the know* on music, but whatever…now everyone will know about them and they won’t feel as special. Too bad.

  7. i don’t really care what label they are on if the music is original and creative.

    i don’t agree with the pitchfork writer saying picaresque is their best album… i would say it is the worst one – clearly. (in comparison to the others)

    the live whale thing has to go – i am not big on audience participation.

  8. ” just look at all the restrictions put on WAS and have we seen a full length yet?”

    Umm… Andrew, what are you talking about? We Are Scientists has indeed released a full-length in the UK (out in the US on Jan 10). Not only that, but their sound is consistent with what it was with their self-published Wolf’s Hour (though that was a change from earlier). It is for that reason that I have confidence the Decemberists move will go equally well.

  9. The music will clearly change. No more well crafted literary tales, just cheap Harry Potter references in the chorus. Give me a break Some people here are too hung up on labels.

  10. I don’t think the Decemberists have the potential to attract a large mainstream fanbase. There is no way Capitol is going to be happy with this deal. But things can go either way. Good News… from Modest Mouse pissed me off, but professional production seemed to really pay off for Death Cab in my opinion.

  11. This is really disappointing news because lately the major labels (such as Capitol Records’ parent group, EMI) have been pulling a lot of dirty stunts in the name of copyright protection, and I am aghast that a progressive-minded bunch such as The Decemberists would choose to do business with such a rotten crowd.
    I know Colin Meloy claims that his band will have total control over their music after signing to Capitol, but for more than a year now EMI has been putting DRM onto their albums, despite the protests of the artists. I, for one, have a big problem with that.
    Also, you may recall that last year EMI, citing their ownership of the Beatles’ White Album, served DJ Dangermouse with a cease-and-desist letter to keep him from distributing his Grey Album. Then they threatened to sue the fans if they continued to share the album. To think that having a remix album would keep listeners from buying the original works! – it is honestly the most ludicrous idea that the record industry has ever come up with (which is saying a lot). It hardly makes sense to me that The Decemberists would choose to conspire with such an idiotic and morally questionable corporation. But I guess money speaks louder than principles. Or, alternatively (and hopefully), The Decemberists are just somehow ignorant of what they are getting into.

  12. the only good thing about this is that i’ll now be able to steal a life size cardboard colin meloy from best buy when their next albums comes out. :)

    cant wait!

  13. First off, I hope their music does change, although I hope it’s not because they’re on a major, but because they’re trying new musical ideas.

    And second, I’m kind of curious about the average age of readers here. In theory, signing to a major should be a good thing for an indie band, but does anyone here remember what happened in the early 90s? Majors went nuts signing every “alternative” band they could get their hands on, and then proceeded to drop every one of them when they didn’t turn out to be the million sellers the majors hoped for, leaving lots of bands with no home. Do we have any reason to believe that history won’t repeat.

  14. i think it is great that they have an opportunity to make a little money off of their band. and how can you judge their heart about this? saying it is more about the money than the music. dollars are hard to come by these days.

  15. The truth is is that the band more than likely would have been able to make more money (in terms of actual cash) by sticking on an indie (or for that matter self releasing). They may very well have got some great sort of signing bonus (what is this, the NFL?), been given a touring bus, and made things some what “easier” on them selves, but as far as cash flow goes a well managed indie band/group/artist is going to do better than a major lable act. Major’s have been fucking over artist for years and years now, it’s just sad to see that each generation has to learn it’s own leasons… I kind of thought that after the 90’s grunge (for lack of better word) debacle , the independant music community would have finally learned their leason, but alas, the temptation of riding in a decked out bus as opposed to a van will always win I guess (Sonic Youth survived only because they were never ment to make money for the lable only to lure in other bands under the premise of “wow, look how cool DGC is, Sonic Youth’s there and they’re not complaining” which of course did work… remeber Nirvana?).

  16. Maybe the Decemberists should take a good look at the Shout Out Louds, Idlewild, The Redwalls, The Magic Numbers, Supergrass, and The Dandy Warhols releases from this year so that they can get a really good glimpse into their future and see how much they are NOT going to be promoted.

  17. … lets be fair, I hate major lables as much as the next guy, but the new Dandy Warhols album didn’t deserve to be promoted, that thing is hot steaming pile of crap (not that any thing they’ve done has been much more than that… dig?)…

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