Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Eversons

We signed The Eversons years ago. Their music was quirky and satirical, which roughly suited our sensibilities as a label.
When their song “Harlot” came along though, we unfortunately didn’t give it any thought at all, it was “just a B-side”, and when we started to receive complaints we initially tried to stay out of the fray. We soon realised however that the song was not one that we wanted to be associated with and, after talking with the band, we pulled the song. A statement was issued, which we now recognise as being somewhat evasive.
Between 2012 and 2013 some allegations about Mark surfaced, generally regarding the same incident - invariably from third parties and always denied by him. As a small label run by friends and musicians we had neither the tools nor the experience to get involved. We referred those making the allegations to the appropriate authorities because we never saw ourselves as being an arbiter of justice.
In the light of things that we as a scene and society have learnt in the #MeToo era, we now see our hands off approach was inadequate, and on reflection is something we are not proud of.
We are against sexism and sexual misconduct in any form and from now on we will be vigilant in holding our artists to these same principles. We are no longer prepared to give anyone the benefit of the doubt or abdicate our responsibilities. Where allegations arise we will listen carefully and respond appropriately.
Applying that approach, we find that we are no longer able to comfortably continue to distribute The Eversons while these issues are unresolved. We have made the arrangements for their catalogue to be taken down. In hindsight we wish we had done that years ago but we didn’t and we accept the responsibility for that inaction. We apologise unreservedly to anyone we have hurt.

9 comments:

  1. What will you be doing to publicly demonstrate that you are taking a victim centred approach to this, and are actually committed to transformative change? What professional survivor support services will you be engaging to provide consultation for you on this? How will you ensure accountability?

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    1. Hi Kirsten, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I would love to discuss them with you via phone or email (talktous@lilchiefrecords.com). It is difficult for us to comment publicly on much of this due to NZ laws and, as evident in the story from Pitchfork, we are talking about someone who is not afraid to use them.

      We are committed to transformative change and supporting survivors. We no longer take an innocent until proven guilty approach. The last few years have opened our eyes to how horribly prevalent sexual abuse is. We were naive on these issues, giving Mark the benefit of the doubt. This is to our great shame.

      We have a lot to learn though and I would value talking to you to figure out how we can do better.

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    2. @Kirsten. For there to be accountability, it must be first shown that there is a victim and a perpetrator. We must, all of us, fight this tide of assuming guilt on the basis of allegations alone. We can't fight injustice with injustice.

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    3. "We no longer take an innocent until proven guilty approach." wow.

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  2. yes let's just delete and censor all art that someone finds inappropiate or includes someone who has been accused of something... coming from a label names lil' chief makes it even more absurd

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    1. The label name - and logo - is hilarious, really. It's almost like they knew they'd run into strife messing with MÃ¥ori imagery, so figured Native Americans are too far away to complain about their twee Pitchfork-fellating brand.

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  3. This is a real god damn shame to see this from one of my favourite nz labels.
    I don't doubt for a second the eversons put out some of the best releases of any new Zealand band and to censor that really sucks. Particularly the with a little help from our friends record which featured most of your artists.
    All of the politics aside the only people losing out are the ones who like the music and listen to it regularly and have for a long time, the true fans. They were a mainstay of NZ music history, a part of the nz scene for the best part of a decade and to pretend they don't exist is doing a disservice to NZ Music history.
    Little boxes full of plastic no one wants to buy. Good luck with the label.

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  4. You still sound evasive. What exactly is the problem, which has led you to remove an artist from your catalogue and make such an announcement?

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    1. I'm suggesting the fact one of the Protagonists has taken Legal Action will limit what can be said.

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