As many people have noticed, the superb record label Manic Pop Records has deleted their entire online presence: their website, Facebook, Email, Twitter, and Soundcloud. This development has worried many bands, whether they already have a release on the label or whether they were told they’d have a release on the label sometime in the future. Because this change has affected so many people I’ve felt it necessary to talk a little about what I know of the situation.
First, I’ll explain how I came to know a bit about the situation despite the label’s refusal, so far, to provide any information themselves. I noticed this change the morning of the 11th, and immediately sought to contact Mike, the owner of the label. I found it impossible since he had deleted every way I had to get a hold of him. He had given me his phone number at some point, but I couldn’t find it. The number published on the website (obtained through Google cache) was disconnected as far as I could tell. Desperate, I Googled “Mike Perry Rochester, Minnesota” and found a number there. I tried it, and reached someone who initially said it was a wrong number. About a half hour later, someone called me back and explained that he was Mike’s father, and that, since the number was from Idaho, he figured the call was someone from The Very Most and not a stranger. It was then that he explained a few things, some of which I feel compelled to share and some of which I can’t share.
Here’s what I can say: Manic Pop is extremely overextended financially, and, therefore is not coming back. Any band that was told they’d have something coming out on Manic Pop should stop wondering if that will happen. The night of the 10th, Mike got quite panicked about this situation, and about the commitments he had made, and decided that the only way to deal with it was to end the label and delete the entire Manic Pop web presence. That’s what I know.
What I don’t know, for certain, is why he dealt with the situation in such an extreme way. I’m sure that, looking back, he probably regrets handling it the way he did. He’s probably just afraid now that if he opens up the lines of communication that it would be a stressful situation that he isn’t ready to handle yet. That’s my theory, though it’s based more on what I know of him personally than on anything else.
One thing that everyone should know about Mike is that he did what he did because he feels that the bands he loves, the bands that get little recognition for the blood and sweat that they pour into their music, deserved to be signed to a great label. In my opinion, it simply became too difficult for him to say no to signing great, underrecognized bands. He wanted so badly to be able to help them, that he signed them even though the label was thousands and thousands of dollars in the red. I have been approached, or heard of, at least seven bands who said that Mike had promised that Manic Pop would release something by them in the future.
There are additional details that explain a bit about why he was so rash in pulling everything down, but I can’t discuss them. They have nothing to do with legal or tax troubles and they aren’t anything that put Mike’s immediate welfare or the welfare of his family at risk. All we really need to know is that Manic Pop isn’t coming back (barring something extraordinary), that they aren’t releasing anything else, and that the reasons were almost entirely financial. I can’t answer any questions beyond this post, especially since the only other details I was made aware of wouldn’t help the Manic Pop bands or any other affected parties.