Life of Agony Frontman Says Roadrunner 'Destroyed' His Solo Career
Blistering.com recently conducted an interview with LIFE OF AGONY frontman Keith Caputo. An excerpt from the chat follows:
Blistering.com: Looking back to 1997, "Soul Searching Sun" was just released and "Weeds" was heating up radio charts. Why did you leave LIFE OF AGONY when it looked like they were finally breaking into the mainstream?
Keith: "I wasn't ready to be famous back then. Even though I was bigger than I thought I was, that wasn't my determining goal. I didn't really have any goals. I liked the more indie aspect of it, and I still do now, but it's a different story. I'm going to be 32 years old this year; we're becoming a much better band musically, creatively. Things weren't right in the band's marriage and even if we did blow up, my happiness wouldn't have been genuine. I really didn't give a fuck at that point. It just wasn't right back then. I wear my heart on my sleeve, that's just the type of person that I am, and if I'm not 120% behind something, or if I'm not really feeling something, then I'm not going to put myself in a situation to make other people happy and to make other people money. We had a lot of people around us just taking, taking, taking. We didn't have the proper keys around us, the proper management or the proper label. I fucking hated Roadrunner. I hated how they treated and robbed the band. I hated all of it, the lawyers, the management, the band. I felt like this band was trying to do so much good and I just couldn't handle the negativity that came along with it; the drugs, the lying, the cheating. It wasn't me. So I fucked it off and I stuck to my roots. I believed in what my heart was telling me and I followed my heart, and to me, that's the most important thing to do in life. Creativity has got to be pure, you can't fake it. It's got to be nurtured with the utmost respect as you possibly can. Creativity knows when it's being used in the wrong. The universe is a very sensitive thing. It wasn't right and you just know that. I'm not the type of person to just sit and procrastinate and be in a situation where I wasn't feeling good about it. That was that."
Blistering.com: So then you went and recorded a solo record, "Died Laughing", which is one of the most beautiful records that I've heard in my life. You have so many great songs on that record.
Keith: "What a gorgeous record and Roadrunner fucked that up too."
Blistering.com: That's what my next question was going to be. It wasn't released here, what was that like as an artist?
Keith: "Oh, it destroyed me! It destroyed me. I thought I'd delivered Roadrunner the greatest record musically that they'd ever had in their entire glossary of bands. I gave them a record that they could not handle. It just goes to show you that their staff was not strong enough to really work this. After working with Epic Records and realizing how serious these people take their jobs and their titles, Roadrunner is a fucking soup kitchen compared to Epic. It's fucking ridiculous what they did to me. I moved to Europe for that fucking label! I was still robbed and taken advantage of and… fucking whatever."
Blistering.com: Did that crush you musically?
Keith: "I'm still crushed about it. I have a whole roster of music that when the moment comes again to do a proper solo release with all-star musicians, I'm going to take that opportunity and run with it. Roadrunner just destroyed it, they destroyed that record and that record has so much life; it's so beautiful."
LIFE OF AGONY's latest album, "Broken Valley" (Epic), has sold 24,000 copies in the United States since its June 2005 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This number pales in comparison to the total sales of each of their proper studio album released through Roadrunner: 1993's "River Runs Red" (158,000), 1995's "Ugly" (83,000) and 1997's "Soul Searching Sun" (65,000). The band's sole release for SPV Records, the "River Runs Again: Live 2003" live album and DVD, has sold approximately 13,000 copies in the U.S. between its various formats, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
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