Thomas Nassiff recently spoke with Justin Collier of Man Overboard about the leak of their album Real Talk earlier this year. Considering the month out on the release, it's still one of the most talked about records for the year.
Real Talk leaked about a month before the intended release date. What was Man Overboard's initial reaction to the leak? After the leak, MOB sent a message to fans responding to the leak. You guys sent out downloads to everyone who had pre-ordered the record and let people buy it early online. Whose idea was it to respond like this?
We're well aware that it was going to leak so we were proactive and had a plan ready to be put in place. Jesse Cannon, our manager, Jeff Casazza, the owner and operator of Run For Cover Records, and myself could see the album was leaking and were trying to trace it. We could see the spider web was getting out of control so we decided to release it on Bandcamp and then iTunes a few days later. I’ve said this about a million times and Ill say it again because its so true: you cannot fight the internet. You have to work with it.
How happy were you guys with the reaction from fans based on what you guys did to respond to the leak? Was it what you expected/were hoping for?
It was amazing because people who had pre-ordered the album were stoked because they were getting it early. Those who knew the band but weren’t super familiar got a new reason to check us out so that was also pretty cool. Something that I thought was amazing was there were people posting on sites such as ItLeaked saying “This leaked so the band offered it up for sale early. Because they did that I'm just going to buy it” – I think that’s fucking awesome.
Did you guys still try to do anything for the normal release day? Or do you guys just regard the response to the leak as the real release of the record?
I mean the real release date was the date that most of the pre-orders arrived at people homes and you could buy it in stores but we were in Texas or something probably sweating to death so it wasn’t a huge deal for us. We were on tour having a good time. It was great to see people coming to the shows on that tour and knowing the songs. That was great.
Overall I think that MOB handled the leak as well as I've seen any leak handled. How would you describe the entire ordeal as a whole? Did it prove to be beneficial at all?
Although its not a crazy concept at all, it is something that no one really does so people sort of made a big deal out of it. In that respect it was cool because it brought in a little extra attention. We were also reallllllly antsy to get the album out so we got to release it a month early. We were eager to have people hear it so in regard of that – it was awesome.
The music industry is obviously more digital than ever now. What advice would you give to other bands or labels regarding leaks?
If you are a small label with no distro or a band releasing the album yourself. Put it up for sale as soon as you can so it doesn’t leak and you can start creating a buzz on your band. For bigger labels, you just need to watch who you trust and where the album goes. We only sent the album to 10 people but It still leaked. But really the best advice I can give is shit happens and you can either roll with it and make the best of it or let it jam you up and lose out on the opportunities it creates.
Any other last thoughts?
I also suggest that smaller, brand new bands give away their digital music for free in the beginning and offer a low cost but quality or interestingly packaged physical product. The fact that people can check it out for free and then if they want to buy it, will get something interesting, that creates value and respect for your product and band.