Linkin Park, who have sold more than 35 million records internationally over five years for Warner Music Group, are now seeking immediate release from their contract. The rockers object to the IPO initiated by the new ownership of the music company, claiming that the deal will make investors rich and not compensate the artists.
"We feel a responsibility to get great music to our fans," the group said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we believe that we can't accomplish that effectively with the current Warner Music."
The band claims that the new owners of Warner Music Group stand to make a profit of $1.4 billion on their late 2003 purchase of WMG and that a mere $7 million will go toward the music company's own operations and none to the artists themselves.
Linkin Park fear that this will make it impossible for WMG to properly promote their next release. WMG includes the labels Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic, Elektra and Maverick and encompasses artists as diverse as R.E.M., Madonna, Rob Thomas, Faith Hill, Eric Clapton, the Used, Tom Petty and Alanis Morissette.
WMG takes issue with the picture Linkin Park is painting of their pending deal. "While Linkin Park's talent is without question, the band's management is using fictitious numbers and making baseless charges and inflammatory threats in what is clearly a negotiating tactic," WMG responds in a statement. "Warner Bros. Records has made significant investments in Linkin Park, and they have always been compensated generously for their outstanding worldwide success."
Linkin Park's last album, 2003's Meteora, sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. The band's next effort is currently slated for a spring 2006 release.