Home CELEBRITY NEWS Adult Mom accuses record label Tiny Engines of breach of contract

Adult Mom accuses record label Tiny Engines of breach of contract


“The business model of Tiny Engines appears to be this: Use the money that the more successful bands make on funding small releases and signings. Never pay the successful band for as long as humanly possible”

Adult Mom has accused their record label Tiny Engines of breach of contract, citing various alleged late royalty payments as well as “unprofessional” conduct in subsequent discussions about returning the musician’s masters.

In a series of tweets yesterday (November 9), the lo-fi indie artist – whose real name is Stevie Knipe – took to Twitter with an initial 18-part thread detailing their recent wrangles with the label. They claim that Tiny Engines sent “0 [zero] statements or royalty payments” between signing for them in 2015 and May 2018, and have been “sporadic and irresponsible” in doing so since then. See the key tweets below.

THREAD: I’ve been really cryptic about what I’ve been going through recently in the industry, but I’m really ready to be transparent now. I promised myself I would be as fair as possible in describing my experiences I’ve had with @tinyengines, so I apologize for the length

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 9, 2019

After asking multiple times for statements over the years, they finally sent one at the pressure and request of my manager. The statement detailed that they had owed us over 7,000 dollars (closer to 8k). It took them until December of 2018 to pay out that royalty statement

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 9, 2019

After all of this, I was deeply self conscious and depressed about the security of my records. The contract I signed detailed that Tiny Engines owned my mastered for the rest of my life. Clearly, my work was not in safe or responsible hands.

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 9, 2019

I spoke directly with the owners, Chuck Daley and Will Miller. I told them that they had breached contract multiple times over and I should have control over my masters. Now, here is where it gets a bit unsettling for me, so I apologize if my emotions shine through

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 9, 2019

He proceeded to speak and raise his voice over mine. He said that I was being ungrateful for everything the label had done for me. He also said that losing adult mom would have a lot of consequences, and that he had his mortgage and children to think about

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 9, 2019

Our demands have been simple. Because the contract is breached it is no longer valid, thus all physical and digital ownership must go into my control. Tiny Engines have not responded to my team and continue to ignore our requests, which to me, are incredibly reasonable

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 9, 2019

Since posting the thread, Tiny Engines alumni Mannequin Pussy, now signed to Epitaph Records, retweeted with a comment that appeared to suggest they had experienced similar problems while signed to the label. Knipe also tweeted to claim they are aware of “at LEAST 10 other bands on this label who have experienced this or something similar”.

This all sounds very familiar. https://t.co/5gcrrU2NPn

— MANNEQUIN PUSSSY (@mannequinpussy) November 9, 2019

I am certain and it has been confirmed that there are at LEAST 10 other bands on this label that have experienced this or something similar. It is an abuse of power. It is an epidemic. It is a diseased label. These artists deserve so much more respect

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 9, 2019

Several other bands and musicians have since commented in support of Knipe, including Diet Cig, Titus Andronicus and Speedy Ortiz singer Sadie Dupuis.

wow this is so fucked, so so sorry you’re going thru this ❤️

— ✨diet cig ✨ (@dietcig) November 9, 2019

Damn @adultmomband — I hope you never stop going in and keeping it extra real — this is the lord’s work { @}

— Titus Andronicus (@TitusAndronicus) November 9, 2019

i hate stories like this, and i hate how common they are. drives me crazy when labels of this (or frankly any) size want to OWN their artists’ masters, especially when they conduct their businesses this sloppily. the definition of predatory. make it right @tinyengines https://t.co/qAYv9KnyvI

— speedy ortiz haunted presence? (@sad13) November 9, 2019

The artist has remained active on social media throughout the weeekend, posting messages of thanks for the support offered to her by fans and artists, a list of ways fans can financially support them without contributing to Tiny Engines, and a reminder that there will still be a new Adult Mom record next year.

ps: new record spring 2020 dykes! https://t.co/eY620okiTa

— adult mom (@adultmomband) November 10, 2019

Adult Mom has released two albums to date: 2015’s Momentary Lapse of Happily and 2017’s Soft Spots, both via Tiny Engines. Watch the video for ‘Drive Me Home’ below.

On the Tiny Engines website, Adult Mom is now listed under ‘Alumni’ rather than ‘Current Artists’. There has been no official response to Knipe’s accusations from Tiny Engines at the time of writing. NME has reached out for comment.


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