Victory Records

Last updated

Victory Records
Parent company Concord
Founded1989 (1989)
FounderTony Brummel
Distributor(s) Universal Music Group
Genre Punk rock, hardcore punk, emo, heavy metal, alternative rock
Country of originU.S.
LocationChicago, Illinois
Official website

Victory Records is a Chicago-based record label founded by Tony Brummel. [1] It operates a music publishing company called "Another Victory, Inc." and is the distributor of several record labels. It has featured many prominent artists including Thursday, Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, Taking Back Sunday, Bayside, Streetlight Manifesto, and A Day to Remember.


In September 2019, years after buying part of the label's catalogue, Concord bought Victory Records and Another Victory for $30 million. Craft Recordings has been managing Victory Record's catalog since Concord acquired the label. Victory has since not signed any new bands or released new records. Instead, the label operates for the current distribution of the label's alumni, as well as for reissues.

Victory's catalogue includes 4,500 master recordings and 3,500 compositions through its publisher Another Victory. [2]


Originally focusing on hardcore punk and post-hardcore bands, Victory later expanded its roster to include emo and pop punk acts.

In early 2002, twenty-five percent of the label was announced to have been sold to MCA Records. [3] However, later that year the deal was terminated by Victory. [4] Victory is currently partnered with and distributed by Sony's RED Distribution.

It was announced in April 2014 that the label would be sponsoring a Victory Records stage for the entirety of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featuring five of their artists: Emmure, Ill Niño, Wretched, Islander and Erimha. [5] [6] They would continue to sponsor the stage through the eighth annual festival with five of their artists to be announced. [7]

Another Victory Publishing

Another Victory is the sister publishing company to Victory Records, founded in 1997. [8] The company holds a variety of worldwide sub-publishing deals, including those with Mushroom Group, BMG Chrysalis, David Gresham Publishing, CTM Publishing, Clipper's Music, FujiPacific Music INC., FujiPacific Music (S.E. ASIA) LTD., Gulliver Music Publishing, Basement Brazil, and Musou LTD. Music Publishing. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Representing a catalog of over 5,000 songs, Another Victory has landed a multitude of big-name placements for its artists tracks various movies, games and advertisements including "Chain Gang" by Close Your Eyes in NHL 15, [13] "Like LaMotta" by Emmure on Secrets and Lies (U.S. TV series), [14] "All I Want" by A Day To Remember in Crazy Taxi: City Rush, [15] "Die Knowing" by Comeback Kid on The Challenge: Free Agents, [16] [17] and "Let Me Teach You How To Eat" by The Reverend Horton Heat on Ridiculousness (TV series). [18]

Distributed labels

Victory has had distribution deals with Sumerian Records, [19] [20] Rise Records, [21] [22] and Red Cord Records. [23]

In July 2012, it was announced that Victory would become the distribution home for Boston, MA based record label, We Are Triumphant. [24] On May 10, 2013, Victory announced they will be distributing I Scream Records. [25] On September 9, 2014, Famined Records signed a distribution deal with Victory. [26] [27] On February 9, 2017, it was announced that Wilhelm Records will be exclusively distributed through Victory Records. [28]




Relations with label

Victory Records has had some negative relations with artists signed to the label. Over the years, multiple bands have cited grievances, conflicts, or filed lawsuits against the record label, while others have stayed with record label for years, or even came back to Victory after releasing albums on different labels.

Former Victory band Thursday has had a conflict with the label, citing issues with royalties. The band also cited an incident involving the Victory Records marketing staff producing whoopie cushions for the promotion of their 2001 album Full Collapse , against their wishes. [44] [45] [46] Thursday stated in the DVD accompanying their compilation album Kill the House Lights that they chose to go to a major label (Island Def Jam in 2002) and after fulfilling their contract, Tony Brummel and Victory Records welcomed Thursday "back with open arms." [44]

In a 2021 podcast interview, Atreyu guitarist Dan Jacobs spoke ill of Victory and the label's founder, saying they had issues with "Tony Brummel and his awful, scummy ways". [47]

On July 12, 2015, Wil Francis of Horror Punk band Aiden posted on their official Facebook that they sold 500,000 albums total through Victory Records and were not paid. [48]

Despite the controversy, relations between Victory Records and its bands have not been all negative. Close Your Eyes and Ill Niño have mentioned positive relations multiple times in interview. Emmure has said specifically "Victory does good business, and if you're a band that is expecting more than what you get, then you're going to feel cheated and robbed." [49]

Hawthorne Heights lawsuit

On August 7, 2006, the Victory-signed band Hawthorne Heights announced in a "manifesto" on their website that they were leaving the label [50] and filed a lawsuit accusing Victory of fraudulent accounting practices and for "severely damag[ing] the band's reputation and relationship with their fans." [51] Brummel allegedly issued public statements in the band's name criticizing hip-hop singer Ne-Yo (whose CD In My Own Words was Hawthorne Heights' most prominent competition on the Billboard 200 charts), [52] as well as urging fans and street team members to conceal copies of Ne-Yo's CD in record stores to sabotage his sales. [50] [51] On September 13, 2006, Victory records countersued Hawthorne Heights, accusing the band of breach of contract and libel. [53] [54]

In October 2006, a Chicago judge dismissed two of the three main claims in the band's suit, ruling that the trademark and copyright violation allegations were unfounded. [55] On March 5, 2007, a federal judge in Chicago ruled that Victory Records does not hold exclusive rights for the band's recording services and that the band can record for any label. Specifically, the judge stated: "The agreement contains no exclusivity provision, nor does any of its language appear to prevent [the band] from recording elsewhere during the life of the agreement". [56] The judge later reaffirmed this ruling on May 17, 2007, stating that Hawthorne Heights is still contractually bound to deliver two albums to Victory, but may record albums which are released elsewhere. [57]

In January 2008, Victory filed a lawsuit against Virgin/EMI Records alleging that "Virgin/EMI improperly induced platinum-selling band Hawthorne Heights to repudiate its contract with top independent label Victory Records", including allegations that Virgin/EMI funded the initial phase of Hawthorne Heights' lawsuit against Victory. The suit sought actual damages of $10M and punitive damages of $25M. [58] [59]

A Day to Remember lawsuit

On December 15, 2011, it was announced that metalcore band A Day to Remember planned on filing a civil action against the label for breach of contract. Legal action was reportedly initiated on May 31 of that year, in which the band claimed that Victory owed them over $75,000 in royalties. [60] Victory Records has said, on their behalf, that the lawsuit is actually about the band's refusal to fulfill their five-album contractual commitment to Victory and their newfound desire to move to a major label. [61]

On October 5, 2013, news outlets reported that A Day to Remember had been given permission to self-release their new album Common Courtesy without any involvement from Victory. The album was released digitally on October 8, 2013. Victory and the band released statements in response to the court ruling. [62]

On November 26, 2016, A Day to Remember won the lawsuit against Victory Records. The band was given $4.02 million and won three of the four issues they were suing Victory for fulfilling the bands contract, controlling the band's publishing, and digital royalty withheld from the band. Victory won the band's master recordings. [63]

Design the Skyline criticism

Beginning in May 2011, the label was widely criticized for signing groups perceived as inferior to many of the bands they signed in the past. [64] Some bloggers called Design the Skyline "the worst band ever." [65] [66] [67] Although Victory refused to comment on the signing, they continued to promote the band regardless of the criticism. The band however, did comment on their controversy, stating; "We really don't mind. We can honestly see why people give us negative feedback for one, the way we look and the fact that we got signed to a mainly hardcore metal label with just one song; we stick out like a sore thumb. And not to mention how young we are." [68]

Streetlight Manifesto lawsuit

Ska-punk group Streetlight Manifesto has had numerous conflicts and has a generally poor relationship with Victory Records. The band left the label after their album The Hands That Thieve. In February 2012, Streetlight Manifesto went so far as to request that their fans boycott their (Streetlight Manifesto's) music and other items from the Victory record label's online store. [69]

On October 20, 2015, media outlets reported of a $1,000,000 lawsuit filed by Victory Records against lead vocalist Tomas Kalnoky. The lawsuit was filed in regard to the band not fulfilling their record deal of four studio albums to be released under Victory. The band released five albums while on the label, however Victory claims that "... the band agreed not to count this album as one of the four albums under its contract to receive a $10,000 emergency advance." [70] Victory also claims that the band's album 99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1 does not count towards the contract due to it being a covers album. [70] The lawsuit claims the $1,000,000 is to be paid for Streetlight not fulfilling their 4 album record deal, as well as damages for copyright infringement relating to the release of their last album The Hands That Thieve in which Tomas Kalnoky released an acoustic version of the album under his pseudonym Toh Kay titled "The Hand That Thieves". The Toh Kay release was officially cancelled, however the release was later made available online. [71]

On April 19, 2017, the band announced on their social media pages that a settlement had been reached with Victory Records. As part of the settlement, Victory Records sold all Streetlight Manifesto master tapes back to the band.


See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Century Media Records</span> German record label

Century Media Records is a heavy metal record label with offices in the United States, Germany and London. In August 2015, Century Media was acquired by Sony Music for US$17 million.

<i>Full Collapse</i> 2001 studio album by Thursday

Full Collapse is the second studio album by American post-hardcore band Thursday. It was released on April 10, 2001, through Victory Records, to whom the band signed after leaving Eyeball Records. With the addition of guitarist Steve Pedulla, recording sessions for the album were held in November 2000 at Big Blue Meenie Recording Studios in Jersey City. Sal Villanueva, who served as the producer, the production team and members of different bands contributed additional instrumentation to the recordings. Full Collapse is considered a post-hardcore and screamo album.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Streetlight Manifesto</span> American ska punk band from New Jersey

Streetlight Manifesto is an American ska punk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States, formed in 2002. They released their first album, Everything Goes Numb, which was distributed by Victory Records, on August 26, 2003. The band headlined and sold out their first concert at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey on December 9, 2003. Several of Streetlight Manifesto's members were well known in the New Jersey third wave ska community for their roles in past ska punk bands from that area, primarily Kalnoky's Catch 22 and fellow New Jersey band One Cool Guy.

Vagrant Records is an American record label based in California. It was founded in 1995 by Rich Egan and Jon Cohen. The label focuses on rock, but features artists in a variety of other genres including folk, soul, electronic, and pop. It is home to artists such as The 1975, Death Spells, Eels, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, CRUISR, Active Child, PJ Harvey, School of Seven Bells, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, James Vincent McMorrow, Black Joe Lewis, Wake Owl, Blitzen Trapper, and Bombay Bicycle Club. Originally, Vagrant Records was mostly focused on emo bands such as Dashboard Confessional, Saves the Day, The Get Up Kids, Senses Fail, and Alkaline Trio. The label is considered one of the pre-eminent labels of the emo music scene.

Catch 22 is an American ska punk band from East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. The band was formed in 1996 by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tomas Kalnoky, who left the band in 1998 and later formed Streetlight Manifesto. Founding members still in the band are vocalist/saxophonist Ryan Eldred, trumpeter Kevin Gunther and drummer Chris Greer.

Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, or BOTAR, is a musical collective including influences from ska, punk, classical, and eastern European music, entirely in an acoustic format including classically trained musicians. It is composed of former Catch 22 members Tomas Kalnoky and Jamie Egan, in addition to Nick Afflitto, Marcy Ciuffreda, Matt Dannenberg, Rachel Goldstein, Layton Hayes, John Paul Jones, Achilles Kalnoky, Paul Lowndes, Chris Paszik, Mark Rendeiro, Dan Ross, Pete Sibilia, Shane Thomson, and Natalia Ushak.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wind-up Records</span> US record label

Wind-up Entertainment was an American independent record label founded by Alan and Diana Meltzer in 1997. It was based in New York City and was distributed by BMG Distribution. Wind-up's best-selling artists worldwide were Creed and Evanescence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hawthorne Heights</span> American rock band

Hawthorne Heights, formerly A Day in the Life, is an American rock band from Dayton, Ohio, formed in 2001. Their lineup currently consists of JT Woodruff, Matt Ridenour, Mark McMillon, and Chris Popadak.

<i>The Silence in Black and White</i> 2004 studio album by Hawthorne Heights

The Silence in Black and White is the debut studio album by the American rock band Hawthorne Heights, and their first release after changing their name from A Day in the Life.

<i>If Only You Were Lonely</i> 2006 studio album by Hawthorne Heights

If Only You Were Lonely is the second studio album by American rock band Hawthorne Heights and the final album to feature rhythm guitarist and unclean backing vocalist Casey Calvert before his death on November 24, 2007. It was produced by David Bendeth. The title of the album is in reference to a B-side by The Replacements of the same name.

<i>Nightmare Anatomy</i> 2005 studio album by Aiden

Nightmare Anatomy is the second studio album by American rock band Aiden, released on October 4, 2005 by record label Victory. It was produced by Steve Carter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fearless Records</span> American independent record label

Fearless Records is an American independent record label that was founded in 1994. Fearless is based in Culver City, California, and is best known for its early pop punk moments captured in the Fearless Flush Sampler and Punk Bites releases, as well as additional releases by bands such as Bigwig and Dynamite Boy; and later Sugarcult; Plain White T's; The Aquabats; Amely; and post-hardcore releases by At the Drive-In and Anatomy of a Ghost. However, the label has experimented with different styles in recent years. Acts such as Blessthefall, The Word Alive, Ice Nine Kills, Mayday Parade, Pierce The Veil, Starset, The Pretty Reckless, Underoath and The Color Morale have showcased post-hardcore, metalcore, hard rock and alternative rock bands that have emerged in recent years. Fearless Records' releases were distributed in the US by RED Distribution, but after Concord Music Group's purchase of the label in 2015, it is now distributed by Universal Music Group worldwide.

<i>And Their Name Was Treason</i> 2005 studio album by A Day to Remember

And Their Name Was Treason is the debut studio album by American rock band A Day to Remember, released on May 10, 2005 through Indianola Records. It followed their second self-released EP, which was produced the same year. The album was the band's only release under Indianola; its success led the group sign to Victory Records. Several songs on the album were written during the band members' teenage years. Recorded in the producer's bedroom, the album contains audio excerpts from several films. The band toured in the United States to help promote the album. The album has since sold over 10,000 copies. A re-recorded version of the album, titled Old Record, was released in October 2008 by Victory. The band members later admitted that they were forced to do the re-recording at the request of label owner Tony Brummel and were given two days to do so which resulted in them only re-recording the instrumentals and leaving the vocals as it was on the original album. The reissue charted at number 16 on the Heatseekers Album Chart in the U.S.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emmure</span> American metalcore band

Emmure is an American metalcore band formed in 2003. Originally based in New Fairfield, Connecticut, before moving to Queens, New York, the group has released eight albums, with their first public release being a 2006 EP entitled The Complete Guide to Needlework.

<i>Fragile Future</i> 2008 studio album by Hawthorne Heights

Fragile Future is the third studio album by Hawthorne Heights.

<i>99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1</i> 2010 studio album by Streetlight Manifesto

99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1 is the fourth studio album by the American ska punk band Streetlight Manifesto, released March 16, 2010. It was proposed to be the first part of a multi-album cover songs project by several associated acts including Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, although no other parts have been released as of 2022.

<i>Skeletons</i> (Hawthorne Heights album) 2010 studio album by Hawthorne Heights

Skeletons is the fourth studio album by American rock band Hawthorne Heights, released June 1, 2010. It is their first and only album to be released through Wind-up Records, and is also the first release since If Only You Were Lonely to employ screamed vocals, with guitarist Micah Carli adding limited vocals into select tracks on the record. The album was produced by Howard Benson. The album peaked at #50 on the Billboard top 200 albums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pentimento Music Company</span> American independent record label

Pentimento Music Company is an American independent record label founded by Streetlight Manifesto frontman Tomas Kalnoky. Pentimento was launched in 2007 to re-release A Call to Arms, the 2002 debut EP from Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution. Pentimento has since released albums related to Dan Potthast and Tomas Kalnoky and their respective bands. While Streetlight Manifesto was signed to Victory Records, Pentimento was responsible for the vinyl release of the band's 2010 album, 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume 1, which is possibly due to a deal in which Pentimento and Victory "co-release project-type records." In 2011, Pentimento signed Indiana-based indie rock band Rodeo Ruby Love. In 2017, after legal disputes with Victory Records were settled, Streetlight Manifesto is now fully signed to Pentimento.

<i>The Hands That Thieve</i>

The Hands That Thieve is the fifth studio album by the American ska-punk band Streetlight Manifesto. It was their first studio album since 2010's 99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1, and their first album of original material since 2007's Somewhere in the Between. In addition to the Streetlight album, an acoustic version of the album was intended to be released by Toh Kay, but was cancelled. The album was originally set to be released in the summer of 2012, but was pushed back several times due to label problems and rewrites, to its eventual release date of April 30, 2013. The album has received generally favorable critical response.

<i>Common Courtesy</i> (album) 2013 studio album by A Day to Remember

Common Courtesy is the fifth studio album by American rock band A Day to Remember. Songs for the album were written mid-2011, with recording starting from early-2012 and going into March 2013, with mixing being handled in the same month. In between that time period, an unmixed version of "Violence " was streamed from the band's website in December 2012. The band then embarked on the Right Back at It Again Tour in March 2013, performing the new song "Right Back at It Again" at each show. From mid-August to late-September, the band released webisodes to tie-in with the album. The band performed another song that would appear on the album, "Dead & Buried", at each stop of the following House Party Tour, beginning in September 2013 and ending a month later.


  1. Industry Profile: Tony Brummel, CelebrityAccess Industry Profiles.
  2. "Concord Acquires Legendary Punk Label Victory Records". Billboard.
  3. MCA acquires 25% of Victory Records, PunkNews, April 17, 2002
  4. MCA / Victory deal falls apart, PunkNews, October 20, 2002
  5. "VICTORY RECORDS Stage - Mayhem Fest". Victory Records.
  7. "Victory Returns to Mayhem Fest 2015". Victory Records.
  8. 1 2 "Another Victory".
  9. "Another Victory Publishing Inc Partners With BMG Chrysalis". Music Connection Magazine. September 4, 2014.
  10. "Publishing Briefs: Bicycle Music Company, Blues Traveler Ride Together, Another Victory Expands Global Network, Steve Lewis Joins SynchTank". Billboard.
  11. "ANOTHER VICTORY & Musou Ltd". Victory Records.
  12. "Another Victory Partners with BMG". Victory Records.
  13. "CLOSE YOUR EYES in EA Sports NHL 15". Victory Records.
  14. "Another Victory".
  15. "Another Victory".
  16. Aceto, Ryan. "Music From The Challenge: Free Agents *Season Finale*". soundtrack.
  17. "Another Victory".
  18. "Another Victory".
  19. 1 2 "VICTORY To Distribute SUMERIAN RECORDS". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. September 11, 2006.
  20. 1 2 "Victory To Distribute Sumerian". Billboard.
  21. 1 2 "Victory Renews, Expands Distribution Relationship With Rise". All Access.
  22. 1 2 3 "Red Cord Records Align With Victory Records For Distribution, Etc". May 10, 2011.
  23. 1 2 "Victory to Distribute Red Cord". Victory Records.
  24. wookubus (July 16, 2012). "We Are Triumphant Records Aligns With Victory Records For Distro & Merch". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  25. Victory To distribute I Scream Records, ChristianPost, May 10, 2013
  26. 1 2 "Victory Records To Distribute Famined Records - Movies With Butter". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  27. 1 2 "VICTORY Distributes Famined Records". Victory Records.
  28. "Victory Records To Distribute Wilhelm Records". Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  29. "Victory To Distrib AEI". Billboard.
  30. "Ellison distribution through Victory Records".
  31. "GMM Records Sign Distribution Deal With Victory".
  32. "Now Distributing I Scream Records". Victory Records.
  33. "Victory Records Signs Lobster Records Distribution".
  34. "Newsletter #346". Victory Records.
  36. "Victory To Distribute Undecided". Billboard.
  37. "Victory Records To Distribute Wilhelm Records". All Access.
  38. "Victory To Distribute New Label Hand Of Hope". Billboard.
  39. "Lifeforce Recs signs distribution deal w/ Victory".
  40. "Victory To Distribute Mutant League Records".
  41. "Victory to Distribute StandBy Records". Victory Records.
  42. "Victory Records scores new distro". September 16, 2011.
  43. "Victory to distribute We Are Triumphant Records".
  44. 1 2 "Thursday exposes Victory / officially announces Island signing!". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  45. " : Taking Back Sunday : Taking Back Sunday's New Album Not So New After All - Rhapsody Music Downloads". Archived from the original on October 1, 2007.
  46. "Thursday Knew Victory Treaty 'Would Confuse Everybody' | News |". Archived from the original on October 1, 2007.
  47. "#098 Dan Jacobs Atreyu". Two Week Notice. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  48. "Aiden Facebook". Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  49. ""We've never been robbed or cheated of anything" Emmure on re-signing to Victory and their new album - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  50. 1 2 The REAL Manifesto, Hawthorne Heights, 2006
  51. 1 2 "Hawthorne Heights Sue Victory Records, Say They've Been 'Abused'". MTV News. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  52. "Hawthorne Heights Deny Ne-Yo Beef, Pick Oreos Over Cristal". MTV News. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  53. "Tony strikes back: Victory countersues Hawthorne Heights". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  54. "Victory Countersues Hawthorne Heights, Claims Band's Suit Is 'Really About Greed'". MTV News. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  55. Montgomery, James (October 20, 2006). "Hawthorne Heights Dealt Damaging Blow In Case Against Record Label". MTV News . Retrieved February 27, 2007.
  56. Jack, Soapy (March 6, 2007). "Hawthorne Heights Wins Partial Legal Victory". Billboard . Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  57. Jack, Soapy (May 17, 2007). "Hawthorne Heights Not Bound To Victory". Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2007.
  58. "Virgin/EMI Wrongfully Attempted to Poach Hawthorne Heights From Victory Records, Lawsuit Claims". Reuters. January 14, 2008. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  59. Jacobson, Bryce (June 8, 2008). "Hawthorne Heights To Release New Album; Drop Victory Lawsuit". Driven Far Off. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  60. "A Day To Remember to sue Victory Records". Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  61. "Slam Dunk Festival: Live Updates From South". Rock Sound Magazine. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  62. "BREAKING: Judge rules in favor of A Day To Remember in case against Victory Records - News - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  63. "A Day to Remember wins (for the most part) suit against Victory Records". Billboard. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  64. Powell, Dylan. "These Hearts: Forever Ended Yesterday". Mind Equals Blown. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  65. Caraeff, Ezra. "Is Design the Skyline the Worst Band in the History of Music?". End Hits. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  66. "Worst band of the Week: Design the Skyline". Caught in the Crossfire. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  67. Fisher, Jason. "DESIGN THE SKYLINE Members Address All The Hate Directed At Them". The Gauntlet. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  68. "Design the Skyline Interview". Hero. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  69. "Streetlight Manifesto Proudly Boycotts Itself". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  70. 1 2 "Record Label Puts Screws on Ska Band". Courthouse News. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  71. "Update: The Continued Struggle". Retrieved October 22, 2015.