Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Feb 10th 2010 2:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"They own a piece of our souls we put down on CD," Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore tells Spinner of Sony. "They own that. It's almost like selling your soul to the devil, when you look at it in a certain way."
Among the tracks in question was 'Slow Bus Movin' (Howard Beach Party),' a tune from the 1988 album 'Truth and Soul.' Moore isn't one to dwell on past mistakes, but if he had it to do over again, he says, he would have taken a different tact with the label's "stingy businessmen."
"If we would have known back then to say in the contract we wanted to have unlimited usage to our songs -- we can use our songs in anything we want, and we don't have to pay you anything to use our songs, because we can use them, and they're ours ... " Moore says, too worked up to finish his train of thought. "But we weren't thinking about anything like that back then. We were just enjoying the music and enjoying the singing. We didn't realize a record company would do some evil f---ed up s--- like that."
Although Fishbone's stint on a major brought a fair amount of publicity, the group has never quite found a mass audience for its one-of-a-kind ska-punk-funk-metal-jazz-you-name-it sound. John Cusack wore one of the group's T-shirts in 'Say Anything,' and such latter-day California ska acts as No Doubt and Sublime big-upped the band in interviews, but Fishbone remains more influential than anything else -- "famous, but not rich," to quote one of Moore's onstage rants.
Still, the band -- now down to two original members, Moore and bassist John Norwood Fisher -- retains a respectable cult following, and this month, it teams with the legendary 2 Tone ska group the English Beat for a U.S. tour. 'Everyday Sunshine,' meanwhile, which chronicles the band's three decades in the business, is set to debut this spring, possibly at the SXSW festival in March. Theatrical screenings and a DVD release are also in the works.
In light of the Sony debacle, Moore has a message for musicians just starting out. "Do it yourself," he says, "so when it comes to stuff like this, you won't have no one saying, 'You can't do it because you're under my contract.'"