Areadeath Records Rip Off

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Noisenik
Posts: 2348

Post#16 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:57 pm

jnfernal,

the following question may sound stupid and ignorant, but knowing about general conditions there ...

How ... how have you actually come to idea to cooperate with him/ them? It's difficult to deal with westerners in that biz, let alone the rest of the world. One unpaid release would suffice to me to cease all operations. But you two have done a lot of work. You could release that on your own label by now, huh? Were the promises so high or what?
I am ... the One you warned me of

The_Elite
Posts: 129

Post#17 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:28 pm

Looks like this thief is at it again......

http://nwnprod.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23382

jnfernal

Post#18 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:33 am

well, I can't answer because this problem involved mainly my brother. I was involved only in a little part with some money.
But, you know...this is typical chinese attitude: at first many smiles, kind words, promises, kindness, everything will be good, we are friends and so on...then elease after release you are told that you'll receive your money in the future...and you believe in it, also because in the meantime you have to work on other future and planned releases. We had to pay a lot of fines to bands because of delays in printing and putting out the CDs: of course Filippo (my brother) and me had to pay. Wang never put a single cent as it was not his problem. His problem was only to cash money when it was time to put the CDs on sale.
On the other side my brother couldn't even get his own money because he couldn't open a bank account in China: to open a bank account in China you need a certain sum of money that he couldn't reach, so every (theorical) sum of money he could receive was forwarded to Wang's account. He kept his money, sure: in the sense that he kept for himself.

My brother loved this job too much: every year I went to his apartment in China and he stayed in front of the pc until 3-4 am and slept just a couple of housr before going to work. "I have to finish this artwork, I have to clean this master tapes, I have to prepare stuff for the next release"....I told him to have a rest, to take it slower..."I can't, I want this CD to be ready soon".....

In the last months he clearly asked Wang to put out some releases within a certain time: Sabbat had to be printed on May in order to allow another italian label to put out on sale the vnyl version. He wrote dozens and dozens of times to Wang praying him to speed up things. Wang never replied. Or he did only once with a "yes, ok".

Up to now the Sabbat box set is not out yet and this lead to misunderstanding with other labels too and rumors of bootleg editions are circulating. I can assure that NONE of the ADP released in were mybrother was involved were bootleg or unauthorised: every royalty and right was paid by my brother and me. We spend around 3500/4000 US$ for the last 5-6 releases but we never saw a money back from Wang who - in the meantime - simply disappeared and relpied back only 1 at month ensuring that "everything was ok". Actually it was not as many, too many bands started complaining with my brothers for delay.

Wang - who is in charge of Areadeath - simply ignored these problems: delays, copyright costs, royalties, remastering, cleaning sounds costs were all beared by Filippo. What made my brother really sick and angry was also the total indifference of Wang in replying to bands once they asked why such delays or why they never got a proper reply by ADP. Wang simply forwarded every email to my brother and didn't take care at all of these problems. He forwarded everything to my brother who - not only had to pay thousand of dollars for pre-production costs - but he had also the embarassing duty to find excuses and explaining bands the reason of such delays.
Wang just appeared when it was time to put CD's on sale and cash money. As I told you before we never saw a money back: I recentely found a message from Wang where he said to another label: "I beared all costs: printing CDs, printing box and booklet".
Honestly this part of costs is simply nothing compared to the cost that Filippo and me beared to buy royalties/rights, to deliver master tapes, to clean and remaster the sound.
But this part of costs was simply ignored by Wang, always: he want to appear like the one who beared some costs. Pressing CD's and booklet is just a 10-15% of total costs, but this allow him to claim any rights to keep every money from sale of CD for himself and do not share them with my brother who beared almost 90% of total costs.

My brother felt like a slave, a powerless slave time after time...and Wang simply never cared of his requests/situation: at least, until many months ago he kept on promising money. Then, in the last months he even stopped promising. He stopped writng to my brother, he simply started ignoring him, considering him just like a minion in his hands.

I told my brother to give up many years ago: I immediately felt that something was wrong but my brother already arranged for future releases and he couldn't stop: otherwise he had to pay fines to bands, he hadto bear bad and negative feedbacks (as I told you, Wang never spent time in replying to bands and give them a proper answer: it was not his duty, he felt. There was my minion-brother who had to do such unconvenient job)

In a recent email that I found Wang says to another label that he phones to my brother or he writes to my brother "very often" and they "are in good and friendly relationship, everything is ok"....this is 100% hypocrital...but this is chinese culture: to foreigner we must tell that everything is fine, that everything is going well, no problems, we all are happy to work together and things couldn't go better. Chinese peopel think that - with a smile and positive/happy words - us, poor foreigners can be so idiot to be fooled.

Well....yes...I told my brother so many times to give up: working for nothing - worse: working and paying every money, so much money that actually my brother at the age of 36 has only less that 500 euros in his pocket - is wrong and leads to nothing.
But he loved this job too much: he thought it was a sort of mission, his dream came true...he never paid attention to money and business, he did it only for passion and loveand he's too candid/innocent to believe that people simply could cheat him.....
ifyou add that (I traveled something like 30 different countries in the world) I never found such a selfish, greed, egoistic and xenophobic, money oriented society like China, where every basic human's and worker's right is simply ignored (cars just drive on sidewalks and cross with red lights withoutany respect for other people, there is no free holydays or free assistance, no right to strike, as well as a lot of xenophobia, intolerance, censrship and exploitation of other people's lives by bosses who can easily buy policemen, law, judges and whole local governments)...well...yes...it was a big failure where we only lost time, energy, money and health for nothing.

The only one whos the real winner is Wang...he made a lot of money, he's enjoying great positive feedbacks with his label and basically spent nothing because there was somebody else who covered almost every cost for him.

jnfernal

Post#19 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:51 am

Anyway, problems and bad words exchanged with another italian label on another forum are just a consequence of Wang's total uninterest to make things clear.

We were working on the Sabbat box set...it had to be out on May according to previous plans. When May was coming my brother was more and more worried: Wang never replied to him, my brother was asking him to put the boxset on press (everything was alread on April already: CD's, artwork...we had only to go to the CD pressing plant).
Wang never replied and we lost the right time to put it out.
Some other labels who co-produced it stared worrying of this delay and Filippo had to find some excuses because he never received any answer from Wang about this enormous delay. He only got an "it's ok" after dozens of email. Nothing more nothing less.

So...rumors about this release started spreading: ADP is making bootlegs, Sabbat box set is unauthorized and so on.

Until today Wang never spent a word nor sent an email to Filippo explaining why the box set is not out yet. Coproducers are worried and other labels may find fertiel ground to spread bad feedback on ADP.
Everything was forwardedm, beared and handled by my brother - who at a certain point felt into 4 nervous breakdown all in a row and he had to spend something like 3000 euros for medical care - because he felt simply frustraded in receiving everyday complainings and never got a single word by Wang. Actually Wang is the boss of ADP but he simply did nothing to explain the delays that recent releases got.
Another italian band wrote to me and my brother asking news about their CD....my brother didn't even answer because he was already at the hospital with serious nerves collapse. Wang, of course, never replied to the band. He is the boss but he never spent his time in explaining problems. He only sends messages where "everything is ok, everything is under control, I have friendly and lovely relationship with Filippo and we get in touch almost everyday to make the point on the new releases situation"

So.....yes, I feel that - a certain point - we became only slaves in Wang's hand...and while he's counting money my brother spent his time at hospital because he simply couldn't bear this situation anymore. He lost all the money that he put apart in 36 years and I have to work 1 or 2 years just to fill debts and help my poor brother who went completely bankrupted.
But the good thing is that Wang made a lot of money and he's still making money selling those CDs. At least, there was a winner. Only one. Only him.

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vansinne
Posts: 156

Post#20 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:03 am

jnfernal wrote:Yes......that was another part of the sad story. All the money were forced to finish in Wang's account because China allows foreigners to open a bank account only if they have hundred thousand of dollars. I.e.: only rich people can have a bank account in China.
Off topic: sorry, but that's completely untrue. Anyone can open a bank account with the major Chinese banks. Possibly you mean that starting your own company requires a certain cash deposit (currently 50,000 RMB) but as far as I understand your brother was never in a formal business relationship with Wang Xiao?

On topic: let me know if you might need help with practical issues from someone currently in the country.

jnfernal

Post#21 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:11 am

Promises were high, China was the final destination for any lover of Asian culture...we went there to find a job and - at the same time - start collaborating with some local music labels to print CD's at reasonable costs. We must say that any ADP release was sold at relatively low price with high quality standard features. We felt that it was possible only in China where printing 1000 CD may cost....mmm....I don't know now because prices are growing higher and higher day after day but in 2006 it costed 200 euros to press 1000 CD.
We never did it for money...we just wanted to cash enough money to made a further release possible. We had our job at school as teachers and we never thought to get money from music and CDs. Just enough money to be reinvested 100% in another release.

jnfernal

Post#22 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:27 am

What was told to my brother is that he couldn't open a bank account if he hadn't enough money. I can't remember how much but he was told he didn't reach the minimum necessary. As far as I know I was told the same: to open a bank account we need a certain sum of money t deposit. And we simply couldnt' reach it. Consider that with 400 US$ per month it's almost impossible to save enough money to open a bank account in there.

Anyway the only formal documents between Wang and Filippo were the royalties/copyright documents and signed agreement with the bands.

We must think that - until 2007 - ADP shop in Beijing, 666 Metal Shop didn't get the government licence.
At that time Wang went to Canada (taking with himself also everyy Filippo's money leaving him livin like a beggar and eating food from trashcans for days and days until I came across this news and I ran to Beijing to give him money) and Filippo was arrested and put in jail 1 month also because of this. He was charged also of being clandestinebecause he couldn't renew his VISA (of course, he didn't ave money to buy food...) and he was also investigated about the ADP music shop in Beijing. I think Wang chosed the right moment to fly to Canada, leaving only Filippo as sole responsible. He didn't know about this situation but he had to spend 1 month in jail where he was tortured at one arm (he still bears signs and scars) and maybe got something else too but Ithink it's not nice to go into further details.
Anyway I had to pay to release him and to buy an airplane ticket to let him back go to Italy: I remember when I met him at the airport he was escorted like a criminal by two policeman and the Chief Head Officer...I felt so embarassed and angry. I promised myself that Wang had to pay for all of that.

Then after a few weeks my brother found a way to go back to China, a new job and - surprisingly Wang came back from Canada and started licking his ass again, with big smiles and promises as if nothing happened.

I don't know why, I don't know how but my brother accepted to work for him again: new promises, more money, more new exciting adventures together....until he opened his eyes and found - finally, after years - that he was only exploited and cheated.

Yes, I must say that my brother was a compelte idiot.....he was too blind, too stupid and too fool, but at the same time he was offered a way to release on CD the bands he liked more. And this was his biggest dream. Wang clearly undertood this and got advantage on his honesty and his basic mind. And he paid a high price to make his dream come true once again.

Anyway Filippo is coming back to Italy next week and I don't know what can he do. For sure I will take care of him for some time, then we will see...

jnfernal

Post#23 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:36 am

Wang never accepted Filippo as his partner in society. He had his chinese friends and his chinese wife. Filippo had to be his operatinal multitask unformal partner but he was clearly promised that he would get back every money he spent for every release
Anyway I don't trust chinese contracts: they are written both in chinese and english but chinese version is different than english version and the only one that counts for chinese law is the one written in chinese.

You read the english version of a contract, you sign it and you sign the chinese version (that is different) and you're fucked up.

I know HUNDRED of teachers that - once they ralised they signed a chinese version of the contract that is very disadvantaging - left the county even before the natural end of the contract.

Of course the best way is to bring the contract to a lawyer and translate it: but it costs "a lot" of money and my brother never had enough money...he got only 4000 RMB per month (400 euros) and he had to pay renting, food...he trusted Wang as they became good friends during 2004-2006 and he couldn't never imagine that he could be cheated and exploited that way.

jnfernal

Post#24 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:45 am

Anyway I think it's time to end this topic here. It was 6 years of our life. Now it is finished. It's time to look forward and learn from mistakes.
We did a lot of mistakes and it's time to do something new, maybe in different fields. We proved that we do not have enough guts nor resources to be into business. There will always be somebody who can take advantage of weaker parts, once you're in a business. We were the weaker parts and - as Darwin said - the weaker succumbs to the stronger.

it's time to stop looking back at the past and do something new. Finding a new job, first of all. Then...we'll see. Only time will tell.

Werewolf
Posts: 49
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Post#25 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:17 pm

What the fukk is this bullshit? Personally I traded with Wang and he was always fast and reliable, though it's not an example of a band/workers dealing with him. But "worked for years, paid all the royalties to bands, never got any payment and gave up his health because of this labor" sounds like utter rubbish. I don't believe a single word written here.
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mega_lodon
Posts: 278

Post#26 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:33 pm

vansinne wrote: Off topic: sorry, but that's completely untrue. Anyone can open a bank account with the major Chinese banks.
Are you certain about that? Even the bank teller at Bank of China (offshore branch) in my local area told me the Chinese government has stringent rules for foreigners who want to open personal bank accounts in China...

Maybe I've missed something. Appreciate if you could fill me in.

PS: Sorry for being off topic.

Helstar
Posts: 2019

Post#27 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:54 pm

Werewolf wrote:What the fukk is this bullshit? Personally I traded with Wang and he was always fast and reliable, though it's not an example of a band/workers dealing with him. But "worked for years, paid all the royalties to bands, never got any payment and gave up his health because of this labor" sounds like utter rubbish. I don't believe a single word written here.
:roll:

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vansinne
Posts: 156

Post#28 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:58 am

mega_lodon wrote: Are you certain about that? Even the bank teller at Bank of China (offshore branch) in my local area told me the Chinese government has stringent rules for foreigners who want to open personal bank accounts in China...

Maybe I've missed something. Appreciate if you could fill me in.

PS: Sorry for being off topic.
I personally have accounts with two Chinese banks and they require nothing more than a passport with a valid Chinese visa, a residence address and a small cash deposit. For my account in ICBC I paid a grand total of 15 RMB (approx. $2), of which 10 was a yearly debit card fee. The whole process took less than 30 minutes.

I don't know anything about offshore branches though but opening an account while in China is pretty damn easy and has been so for several years already.

I feel sorry for jnfernal's brother but the general feeling I get is that he was just too naive to make it in this country. I strongly disagree with the negative sentiments previously expressed on Chinese people and the Chinese mentality but the simple truth is that anyone coming here expecting everything to work as smoothly as back home in Europe/the US will have a rude awakening sooner or later. Going to China with the purpose to "save" people from the evils of communist oppression is laughable at best but we're getting way off topic now.

Not knowing anything about their business practices I'll say this about Areadeath: from a local perspective it's been an important factor in increasing awareness for underground metal. While other labels are much better at bringing out local acts Areadeath has several cool things going on, such as the aforementioned shop in Beijing and their forum, Reign in Metal.

Anyone else interested in Chinese personal banking is free to take their questions through PM. :)

jnfernal

Post#29 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:00 am

For WEREWOLF:

free to believe it or not, that is your choice.
Trading with somebody does not mean and has nothing to do with the relationship between him and his employers/partners.

I can say your company delivers fast and has great competence but I don't know and I don't give a fuck if you pay your employers or not. It has nothing to do with the external appearence.
Last edited by jnfernal on Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Werewolf
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Post#30 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:12 pm

jnfernal wrote:For WEREWOLF:

free to believe it or not, that is your choice.
Trading with somebody does not mean and has nothing to do with the relationship between him and his employers/partners.

I can say your company delivers fast and has great competence but I don't know and I don't give a fuck if you pay your employers or not. It has nothing to do with the external appearence.
That's true. BUT "worked for years without getting nothing but 1 CD of every album AND paying the royalties to the bands form his pocket, because Wang didn't" - that's something I find too hard to believe, sorry.
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