The 5-piece refuses $50,000 to release their debut full-length.
Olympia trans-feminist punk band G.L.O.S.S. (which stands Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) have gained a ton of attention for their Bandcamp-released EP Trans Day of Revenge. Enough that iconic punk label Epitaph has offered them $50,000 ($20,000 in advance and $30,000 for marketing) to put out their first proper full-length.
Epitaph is home to a legion of bands who act as a rite of passage for young punks. While originally a hub in the 1980s for the band Bad Religion to release their own albums, its first proper release was 1988 self-titled debut from L.A. spitfires L7, one of the primary influences on riot grrl.
In the ’90s, the label put out releases from The Offspring, Pennywise and more. Bands like Alkaline Trio, Thursday, Descendents and Refused have released albums through Epitaph. They are now instrumental to the self-proclaimed emo revival and feature bands like The Menzingers and Joyce Manor.
TL;DR – Epitaph has been helping to push forward some of the best and most influential alternative music for the past 30 years – it would be weird to turn them down, no?
But G.L.O.S.S. is known for their value system and part of that means not signing with a Epitaph because of its distribution deal with Warner Bros. While still technically an independent label, it is a part of Warner’s Alternative Distribution Alliance, which means working with Epitaph still means you’ve gone corporate.
The band’s lead singer Sadie Switchblade – who says she grew up on Epitaph bands like Rancid and Descendents – took to her personal Instagram account to explain why the band would be eschewing the money, even though it could help them buy a van and give to causes they feel passionate about:
“We floated the idea of cutting a radical organization into the profit-sharing model if we were to sign with Epitaph. How cool would it be to make thousands of dollars for the homeless shelter here in Oly, for AMP in San Jose, Black Lives Matter groups, disabled queers? But if we can do the work of self-releasing an album, we will not only refuse to enrich corporate music but also in the long run make more money.”
Their plan now is to continue to self-release via their guitarist’s label Total Negativity to maintain the fanbase they’ve established off of self-generated buzz: “While signing to a label like Epitaph would be in many ways relieving, it would probably mean the death of the feeling that so many of you have told us means so much to you.”
Switchblade adds: “What I’m trying to say is that we don’t have to jump into their world, we can create a new one. Thank you for being a part of this feeling. It means so much to us!”
Listen to Trans Day of Revenge below.