Yesterday, we brought you news of Philadelphia shoegaze act Nothing speaking out against the business practices of Martin Shkreli, the head of Turing Pharmaceuticals who is in headlines for upping the price of an AIDS medication from $13.50 a pill to a whopping $750. The reason why Nothing spoke out against Shkreli is because he was outed as being an investor behind Collect Records, the independent label founded by Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, which had recently signed Nothing. Since then, more members of the Collect family have spoken out, including Rickly himself.
Noisey was able to reach Rickly [pictured] in the midst of a European tour with his band No Devotion. “I was just excited for the opportunity to work with him and to have someone who believed in my vision for the future,” Rickly says of his initial meetings with Shkreli. “Martin unconditionally supported me, and I found that refreshing and felt that his silent involvement could only make Collect a creative and positive space. Clearly I didn’t [plan] for today’s events.”
Rickly goes on to say, “My head is still spinning, and 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.”
Another one of Collect’s acts, Philadelphia quartet Creepoid (who released their new album, Cemetery Highrise Slum, via the label in June) also took to Facebook to speak out against Martin Shkreli, saying in part, “We would never knowingly work with Martin Shkreli, or anybody willing to walk across the backs of the sick and dying with a smile on their face for the sake of making a profit. As long as Shkreli is involved with Collect Records, directly or indirectly, we cannot be.”
We have reached out to Collect Records GM Norman Brannon for comment but he has yet to reply.
UPDATE: Collect Records has issued a statement severing all ties with Martin Shkreli. It reads as follows:
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.