Ground-breaking multimedia project challenges the Music Industry
A sleepy village in Wiltshire seems an unlikely place for a media revolution – even if it does involve earl grey tea-drinking Vicars, retiring rock stars and (in a twist worthy of Monty Python) a video-blogging flatulent drummer.
The intent of THE VICAR CHRONICLES, based around the exploits of the legendary music producer, The Vicar, and released this week by DGM Ltd, could not be more simple: to expose the ill-treatment of musicians and artists at the hands of the ‘evil empire’ of the music industry. An industry, in the words of guitarist Robert Fripp, “founded on exploitation, oiled by deceit, riven with theft and fuelled by greed.”
Even the copyright statement is a challenge to the status quo: “DGM Ltd accepts no reason for artists to give away the copyright interests in their work by virtue of a ‘common practice’ which is out of tune with the time, was always questionable and is now indefensible.”
No revolution would be complete without a street protest – and Punk Sanderson, author of The Vicar Chronicles, recently took his protest to the London offices of Universal Music Group, the largest record label in the world, releasing a Youtube video of himself holding placards and breaking wind in protest at each broken contract.
“It’s like the OCCUPY movement only smellier. We’ve called bankers, politicians and ‘phone-hackers to account – now it’s time to blow the wind of change at the major record labels. They trample over musicians’ rights and rather than owning up and offering fair settlement, reach for expensive lawyers. It would cost over £300,000 to fight them in the courts – who’s got that kind of money?”
It has taken ten years for The VICAR CHRONICLES to see the light of day. It is only now possible due to recent changes in the media landscape.
“A few years ago, a project of this magnitude – involving novels, graphic novels, audiobooks, videobooks, film, albums, even a potential TV series – could only have existed with the unlikely support, given the content, of a major label and book publisher,” co-creator, David Singleton, explains. “Now it took just two meetings. One with Robert Kondrck, co-founder of iTunes, who flew into London, and the other with Dan Slater, the head of Kindle at Amazon in Seattle.”
The Vicar Chronicles, by Punk Sanderson, are released through Amazon and iTunes. ‘Sherlock Holmes meets Spinal Tap’, an ingenious series of whodunits set in the music industry, blurring the lines between fact and fiction.
Posted on - 28 Jan 13