"Prisoners", the third studio album from Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based melodic death metallers THE AGONIST, sold around 1,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD debuted at No. 19 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
THE AGONIST's previous album, "Lullabies For A Dormant Mind", opened with 600 units back in March 2009 to land at No. 105 on the Heatseekers chart.
A three-and-a-half-minute video clip in which THE AGONIST vocalist Alissa White-Gluz talks about "Prisoners" can be seen below.
Alissa has also posted the following message on Facebook:
"Here's a little insider info just to clarify, since a lot of people don't understand how the industry now works. We would feel bad divulging this kind of info and shattering the dream, but a lot of metal musicians seem to be doing it nowadays so I think we're ok to do so as well.
"Why are we asking you to buy the album? We don't see money from album sales. We have never seen a single royalty penny. But, if your band is known to sell a lot of albums, especially in the first week of release, you get more offers for tours, therefore making it more possible to play to more fans.
"Ticket money: As an opener, we do not see any money from ticket sales or have any control over ticket price. As a headliner we rarely see any money from ticket sales as well.
"YouTube: If you think we are making money off of YouTube plays, check out whose channel our videos are on (Hint: It ain't our channel!) Again, we've never seen a penny from YouTube plays.
"Merch/CD sales: To get our albums shipped out to us, we need to pay about $10. We sell them for $15. Venue takes about 15% usually, manager takes 10%. Therefore, we are left with about $1.25 profit per CD. T-shirts, they cost about $10 to create and ship, we sell them for $20; again, you can do the math. So we have a few dollars profit per item sold, but about $200-$300 in gas per show, plus the expense of work visas (about $4000 for the USA), vehicle and trailer leasing, and all the other expenses that go into touring.
"We sleep in the van, don't eat, don't get to bathe. We hire no crew. We get maybe $20 or $30 a day to get food or save up to pay rent. We invested years of our lives into this and some had to take time off work to record this album. And this is not just our band. We can safely say that this applies to every opening metal act we have ever toured with.
"Sorry to shatter the rock-star fantasy, but the truth is we all work 9-5 as soon as we get home from tour, if our jobs are gracious enough to allow us to leave and return. Otherwise we scramble to find even the most menial jobs just to cover our bills in between tours.
"So — taking our project without paying for it is STEALING. But if you repay us by spreading the word about the band, getting your friends to come out to our shows, buying our merch, giving us a place to stay or some other form of support, you've paid us back. Nobody wants to go to work and not get their salary, but bands do it ALL THE TIME. So, have some respect for the work they do and support in whatever way you can.
"Hope that clarified everything! Enjoy 'Prisoners'!"
"Prisoners", was released on June 4 in Europe and June 5 in North America via Century Media Records. The CD was produced by Christian Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY) and mixed by Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, DARK TRANQUILLITY, SUICIDE SILENCE) and it "picks right up where 2009's 'Lullabies For The Dormant Mind' left off, with soaring melodies over complex metal passages that fans of thinking-man's metal can appreciate," according to a press release.
In regards to the album artwork, Alissa White-Gluz states: "We wanted to really include a chaotic visual to reflect the chaotic sound of the band, but we also wanted to show that the lyrics on this album are a lot more introverted…The human face was left non-descript on purpose — it doesn't belong to any particular person, but we could call him the Lonely Solipsist."
"Prisoners" track listing:
01. You're Coming With Me
02. The Escape
03. Predator & Prayer
04. Anxious Darwinians
07. Lonely Solipsist
08. Dead Ocean
09. The Mass Of The Earth
10. Everybody Wants You (Dead)
11. Revenge Of The Dadaists