Statement regarding Lunacy Box & New Model Label

Posted by PP on 07/09/09

Dear readers, fans and members of Lunacy Box, and those associated with New Model Label. Usually here at Rockfreaks.net we wouldn't make public issues between our writers and bands/labels, but today we have felt a need to publish a statement regarding the Lunacy Box album review and its subsequent aftermath in the comments section and elsewhere on the internet.


In the six year history of this website, we have posted thousands of articles and over 2000 album reviews, varying from praising records to skies to utilizing our verbal axe on albums that we didn't particularly enjoy. But we have never encountered such gross, atrocious, and entirely baseless accusations as what we have received from members of Lunacy Box and their record label New Model Label, both through email as well as public comments and Myspace bulletins. Frankly these accusations are so offensive to us that we cannot stand in silence and watch our brand name be defamed because of an apparent lack (or will?) of ability to interpret written English correctly.


The following quotations are all taken from either the comments of the review above or the band's Myspace blog, as well as an email I received from the band's label:

Comments & blog entries Lunacy Box

2) MS LARSEN and LUNACY BOX DOES NOT ACCEPT COMMENTS WHICH MIGHT BE OFFENSIVE IF REFERRED TO:

RACE, COUNTRIES, CULTURES: (in this specific case: ITALIAN, ARAB, INDIAN etc.)

HERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE PDF FILE CONTAINING ALL THE RACIST COMMENTS OF ROCKFREAKS

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Dear Staff @ Rockfreaks, I normally don't post comments on reviews of my band's album, and usually don't bite an eye in front of reviews such as yours. I was linked to this "discussion" and even unprofessional, this time I'd really love to have my little say. Regarding the so called "out of tune singings" mentioned by PP: if everything was really out of tune I would have never been part of the Conservatory Choir in Saint Petersburg and I would have never been on tour in Europe with them. And sorry man just to prevent, I don't use any damn autotune software :-) Mr Tim Larsen described my singings weird if compared to the ones he's used to listen to in Scandinavia, and for sure, they are. I mean--->different. Italian heritage? I don't really know what this means but in any case I'm proud of it + I'm a fanatic of Bollywood films and Arabic music.. so .... how can my vocals sounds like any other gothic fem metal singer?????????? Me nor my band mates WANT to GAIN GOOD REVIEWS and promotions was made successfully by the label we're signed with, be sure!!


But this discussion about Lunacy Box' music/vocals is nothing compared to WHAT PISSESS ME OFF BADLY... check this out: Mr EW: I feel some kind of RACISM in your comment about "distances" between Italy and Danmark. And I had the same feeling about other comments referred to other CULTURES. I really want this to come to an end. STOP IT!

Written by: MS LARSEN on 4/9-09 at 13:56:44



Email from New Model Label:

Dear Mr. Pertola,

I'm writing you this mail since I think you are the one in charge of Rockfreaks website and I want to make sure that I'm not complaining about your review of our artist Lunacy Box. I never comment reviews, there is freedom of speach and you are responsible of what you write under your name, and if you write that something sung in-tune is out of tune, this is mostly your problem! What we can't really accept are the comments posted on the website, references to race, country and culture to justify any theory, jokes or whatever. Racism and prejudice are flowing through many comments of your writers. If bands from other countries or people from other cultures are not welcome, please write it clearly, add some runes, celtic crosses or swastikas (what a funny thing, an Indian symbol: Nazis didn't even have the fantasy to invent their own) and make this clear to all the people.



Especially the suggestion that we should post runes and swastikas (Jesus Christ!) on our site is something we refuse to take lightly. We will not sit here and watch some apparently pissed off and angry members and associates of a band that we wrote a bad review about let their fantasies and imaginations run wild and accuse our writers of being racist. That is completely unacceptable because these claims are false and utterly baseless. How can a magazine which houses writers from four different nationalities (six in the past) be racist? If you were to browse through our review database consisting of over 2000 reviews, you will discover reviews of bands from all kinds of backgrounds, from Malesia, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, Finland and countless other countries. Not a single one of these reviews contains any remarks about the background of the band. Now lets take a moment to contemplate on why exactly that might be. Could it be because music is music and, especially in today's digital age, the location or the people behind the composition are both irrelevant? HMM, LETS THINK ABOUT THAT ONE FOR A MOMENT, but do we really need to state the obvious?


Now, lets address the review in particular detail to ensure that every reader of Rockfreaks.net and especially Lunacy Box will understand how baseless and false these accusations are. I'll be the first one to admit that it is not one of my best reviews, but then again, if you don't like an album why should you spend additional time on fine-tuning a review when there are dozens, if not hundreds of other bands waiting to be reviewed in our mailbox? In the review comments I wrote, and I quote, "Not only is the singing completely off tune, but the whole industrial soundscape doesn't fit with it at all! Or what about the chorus where the singing is even more off tune and scrapes my ears rather than pleases them" in response to a comment requesting for more detail on why exactly I thought that the band didn't deserve a better rating. The wording here is, I admit, unfortunate, as Ms Larsen and others are right in that her voice is not actually out of tune. The point I was trying to get across in a hastily written review was simply that I find her singing voice "annoying", this being the ultimate reason why the album received a below average rating.


In the comments section, there was a somewhat heated discussion regarding my review, where our writer TL attempted to further clarify on why exactly I found the Lunacy Box record to be a mediocre one through a comparison based on his own quick listen on Myspace:


"Then there's the vocals, which, while on tune, just sound weird compared to the way of singing we're used to hearing up here. I am not sure if Larsen has a problem with her air-control that makes her prolonged notes sound like they do, or if it is simply because of her Italian heritage - I suspect the latter, because the singer of The Shiver has a similarly odd delivery. Regardless, it's a (little!) bit like when you hear an Arabian mullah singing praises to Allah, or an Indian pop star performing traditional Indian pop. The way they sing is inherently different to our tradition, and it just sounds wrong in our ears."


Any normal English speaking person would not interpret this as a racist comment (???), yet that's precisely what Lunacy Box and their label New Model Label are suggesting in various public places without even bothering to contact us first (this isn't how proper discussion takes place in the real world). TL commented on the singing sounding 'wrong', speculating whether that was because of lack of technique or perhaps because the band is of Italian origin and he had encountered similar singing style in other bands from the area. Perhaps the wording here makes it unclear to non native English speakers, but what TL simply means with "wrong" is of course "different" or "unusual" (or pick any other synonym to these words). He is not saying that Arabic mullahs or Indian pop stars are singing 'incorrectly because of their background' as is suggested - he is merely using these as a comparison to demonstrate how different singing styles are precisely that: different. THERE IS NO SUGGESTION THAT ONE STYLE IS BETTER OR WORSE - JUST DIFFERENT. Apparently Lunacy Box chose to ignore the subsequent continuation of the argument where TL notes how European countries vote differently in the Eurovision song contest each year suggesting that people perceive music differently based on their surroundings, noting "Hence I think it's fair to expect that people in far away lands may perceive your music differently than people around your own area do", before finishing off later with a few sentences worth of golden words Lunacy Box and New Model Label should read at least five times to ensure they fully understand how unprofessional this whole situation makes them look:

So to sum up for you, Sara and Ms. Larsen: Noone is trying to insult Italy or any other cultures in this discussion. We have simply been trying to suggest explanations for the differences between our opinions of this album and yours. If I was to insult you for anything, it would have to be for your capability of understanding English, which must be somewhat limited seeing how you can read issues of racism into comments where no racism is. Personally I both work and go to University with more nationalities than I can count, and I count a lot of people from foreign countries, near and far, among my good friends. So please, do not try too hard to take offense when in reality, none is intended.


Naturally, the staff at Rockfreaks.net expect a formal and a public apology from both the band and the label who are publicly posting Myspace bulletins defaming our magazine using false accusations.


Finally I'd like to underline that WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ANY GENRES ON THIS WEBSITE, as was suggested by Ravenheart Music and others in the comments. One of our dearest beliefs is that every genre has good bands in it, just as every genre contains bad bands in it, and literally everything in between. It really is that simple and why fellow online magazine does not seem to understand that strikes as incredibly odd in my eyes.


p.s. in the future just accept a bad review like every other band who wants an opinion on their music. Not everybody will always like your record.


Over and out,

Petteri Pertola

Editor In Chief

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