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  Rancid Downplay Move To Major Label.


07-7-03 antiGUY
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Can you sign up with a major label and still be a punk band? Thatís the question that Rancid has found themselves answering after inking a deal with Warner Bros. Records. 

The deal reportedly will have the forthcoming Rancid album, ďIndestructible,Ē released under the Hellcat name. Hellcat is the label that is ran by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong and Epitaph records founder Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion). 

Up to this point Hellcat has been distributed by Epitaph but now it appears that Warner Bros, will be the major backing for the label; a move that has some fans critically scratching their head.  

The band will play down the major label association. The album cover will reportedly not even mention Warner Bros., only carrying the Hellcat name, according to a spokesperson for the band. (as reported on several punk music news sites)  

"It's a unique deal that doesn't play by the traditional record biz rules," says the  spokesperson. "It's Rancid putting out an album on Hellcat, with the possibility of additional support from [Warner Bros.]."

Rancid guitarist Lars Frederiksen adds in a statement, "We have absolutely no complaints with Hellcat. Yes, we are considering additional support that Warner Bros. might be able to provide, but whatever happens, we're sticking with Brett Gurewitz. All I care about and all I have is my music, my bandmates and my band. We are going to do whatever we need to do to survive."

And reportedly Hellcat is sticking to Epitaph. The other bands on the roster as well as Rancidís back catalog will continue to be handled by Epitaph. So it appears that Rancidís forthcoming album will be the only Hellcat release handled by Warner Bros., which basically appears to mean that Rancid signed to Warner Bros. for this album and will have it handled as some kind of joint venture between the big muscle at WBR and the Hellcat staff.  

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