Byzantine's Chris "OJ" Ojeda has commented on the release of a "new" Byzantine album yesterday via Crash Music. Ojeda had the following to say:
"I have been getting a slew of emails and messages about the new Byzantine album released today through Crash Music, INC. People are wondering why we have not mentioned it on our MySpace. The reason is very simple... the people who have released this album have done so under a false contractual agreement. Let me explain...
"In 2003, we signed a one album deal with a small label out of NY which shall remain unnamed at this time. It was for European distribution only. We went into a local studio and recorded 10 songs. We didn't spend much time or money on the project. No Pro-Tools, no click track, just count it off and go! One copy of the masters were handed over to the NY record label. We kept the other copy. The next thing we hear is that the label didn't have the funds to fulfill the obligation. They sent us 50 advanced copies to have and never put out the release, therefore breaching the agreement.
"We decided to use that recording to shop ourselves to labels. Within a few months we had signed our first legitimate deal with Prosthetic Records. They wanted us to go in and completely re-record the demo, song for song, which we did. This demo became what you guys know as 'The Fundamental Component.'
"Fast forward 5 years to now. I hear from a friend that someone is releasing a new Byzantine album complete with artwork and everything. This floored me. Somehow the record label Crash Music, INC. out of Phoenix, AZ had a Byzantine release coming out. We have never spoken to Crash Music and I am sure they couldn't pick the members of Byzantine out of a lineup.
"Come to find out, the unnamed NY record label that we signed a one album UK distribution only deal with in 2003 sells the masters to Crash Music, INC for an unspecified sum without contacting anyone from Byzantine. Now some friends and fans whom have heard this demo that was originally called 'The Broadmoor Demo' has said they liked it better than 'The Fundamental Component.' Much more raw, off the cuff, angrier. We as a band sat on this recording for 6 years because we quite simply didn't think it was that good. It was a demo. But obviously, unnamed NY record label and Crash Music, INC. thinks it is the right time to capitalize on this product since Byzantine is no more. They also believe that not contacting the band before hand was an honorable business practice. We think otherwise.
"So, obviously our legal attempts at filing an injunction to stop this release has failed. They are selling the product on various websites for varying costs. I feel that if anyone benefits from our hard work and music, it should be the musicians themselves. So please, do not purchase this product from Crash Music! You will be helping to fund musical piracy which obviously goes on much more often than I ever dreamed. Byzantine will not see a dime of it! In order to combat this, we will be selling 'The Broadmoor Demo' digitally on www.bandcamp.com for $5.00. You will also be able to purchase this through our myspace at www.myspace.com/byzantine. These will be WAV quality recordings straight from our master recording. This will be accompanied by the original never before released artwork, available for download as well. This will be available for purchase as of midnight on 3/10/09. I will post the exact link tomorrow for the album. Till then."