The just-released Bullet is the first new CD for the Screamin YeeHaws in four years. It was recorded at Doubletime and mixed by Jeff Forrest (blink-182, Cattle Decapitation, Deadbolt). The Southern-fried punk band hooked up with Cargo Music to distribute their last album, 2006’s Bottle and the Band.
“They contacted us,” says singer Nick Bone. “They said, ‘We’d like to distribute you.’ As an independent band, distribution is all you want. Distribution is the hardest thing to get. We were stoked to get Cargo. They had their CDs in Japan, France, Germany…all over the world.” Cargo Records helped launch the careers of blink-182, Rocket From the Crypt, and Drive Like Jehu in the ’80s. “They had a big name in San Diego,” says Bone.
But Cargo won’t be distributing Bullet.
“We were supposed to get paid quarterly, but they never sent us a dime for four years,” says Bone. “We never even got one statement. Finally, after contacting them every single day for two months, they sent us a check for 185 fucking dollars.… I’m not saying that I think we had a platinum-selling record, but I think we sold more than $185 worth of CDs in four years.… When we ask them where’s our money, they give us some b.s. that they gave away a few hundred CDs.”
Cargo owner Eric Goodis responded via email: “The payment was for 50 CDs at $5.50 each, less $90 for their participation in a co-op ad.That came to $185.”
YeeHaws guitarist Chris Henry says the band agreed to pay $90 for the ad and that $5.50 was the per-CD compensation rate. But Henry says that he gave Cargo 250 CDs. He says he dealt with a Chicago-based Cargo employee named Gubby (who declined a request for comment). Henry admits that he erred in not getting an initial receipt for the 250 copies. “Anyway, I have a recent email from Goodis that says they still have 50 CDs of ours sitting on the shelf. I'd like to know when I can come by and pick them up.”
“Bullet is a little more mature,” says Bone. “We haven’t been on the road quite as much. We’ve been at home dealing with real-life stuff more these days, and that’s reflected in the music. We’re still looking for a distributor/label, or we end up doing it on our own. We just did our first professional video shoot for ‘I Just Like to Party, Man.’ It’s on YouTube.”
The Screamin YeeHaws play Radio Room March 5.