SLICE THE CAKE Release New Album Without Composer’s Permission, Still An Absolute Banger

SLICE THE CAKE Release New Album Without Composer’s Permission, Still An Absolute Banger
You may have missed it, but if you’re in any way inclined towards progressive metal and deathcore, then it’s likely you’re aware of part-Australian/part-European progressive metal act, SLICE THE CAKE. If you’re not, Slice The Cake is/was an international project – with instrumentalist Jonas Johansson recording his parts from his home in Sweden, vocalist Gareth Mason recording from England, and Jack “Magero” Richardson composing it all from his home here in Australia, in collaboration with The Helix Nebula’s Jake Howsam Lowe. Last year, the band put together a live outfit so they could play their very first live show at UK Tech-Metal Fest, after six years of being an exclusively on-record project.

Yesterday, they released Odyssey To The West, their long-awaited follow up to the arguably flawless 2012 album The Man With No Face. No surprise, the new album is just as incredible, and at the risk of hyperbole it’s pretty close to masterpiece status, but you can be the judge of that yourself.

The band updated their social media to announce the surprise release – fans were aware that recording was underway for the new album, but unsure as to when it was going to be unveiled.

“We’ve been wanting to write some kind of post to explain what’s been going on for a while now.

Things got real messy behind the scenes, and without going into more detail than is absolutely needed, this very nearly didn’t get released in this form due to years of tension turning into bitterness and resentment.

We feel that regardless of any personal feelings, it wouldn’t be right if this never saw the light of day, because this music and everything that has gone into it is bigger than us and our frail human egos.

So, without further ado, we have not one, but two albums for you, intended to be played together as a smooth, gapless experience that runs for over 100 minutes.

This has been a labour of love every step of the way.

It has drained us of our blood, our sweat, our tears, and our sanity, and what you see and hear here is the sound of three very different individuals coming together to transcend their own limitations and create something that none of us could have made on our own.

We do not know if Slice The Cake shall rise from the ashes in the future, that is something only time can answer.

But if it does not, let these works be a testament to who and what we are. We hope you enjoy The Odyssey.

With love, Slice The Cake”

As stated by the band, the release of Odyssey To The West comes after the departure of vocalist Gareth Mason from the band, following tensions between Mason and the band’s primary composer/songwriter (and ex-IPHYB contributor/all-around mad dog) Jack “Magero” Richardson.

However, within hours of the album’s release, Richardson claimed via social media that the album was released without his consent – an obvious problem, considering Magero is the main writer and composer of the material, and therefore the owner of said intellectual property.

We reached out to Richardson for a statement which can be read below.

“Hey everyone. First off, I’m so happy that you’re all loving the music. It gives me the warmest, fuzziest feeling to know that you’re enjoying this album after all the delays and time wasting, and I’m happy FOR you to have it. This music was a labour of … well, a lot of emotions. Love, hate, confusion, everything got pretty mixed up. But at the end of the day, what you guys wanted was new music, and now you have it. If that’s all you care about (and I don’t blame you at all), then feel free to stop reading and continue enjoying Odyssey To The West as much or little as you like. However, it’s worth noting that the album in its current form was not signed off on, or approved by myself.

Jake Lowe and I wrote 100% of the music involved in this, and after years of being jerked around by Gareth’s constant lack of effort, blatant lies about promotional material, general lack of work ethic, and constant self obsessed efforts that were against the band’s better wishes, I determined it would be best if the material found a new home. Especially after Gareth emotionally and verbally abused me for telling him to buckle down and actually do the one job he was in this “band” for. He then quit, completely unexpectedly. When I asked Jonas to come with me to the new project, to bring the recordings he’d worked so hard on, he then ignored me (literally would not reply to my messages), and then I woke up to find out the world was listening to an album I had actually denied the rights to be released. So yeah. This is all a bit of a cluster jam, considering that Gareth and Jonas’ main excuse seem to be “well, technically it’s not illegal …”, and particularly given that Gareth maintains this is “for the art”, it’s especially galling, given the music’s actual composer decided he had other plans for it. Apparently the composer’s decisions don’t mean anything as long as the vocalist and producer are satisfied?

As I said, I’m still incredibly glad you’re all loving the music, but it should be known that this entire release has been one of the shadiest, least artistic moves ever made by a band. Please don’t be fooled by their claims of “the greater good”. This was a cynical, sneaky move, done purely to guarantee their own names on a release that was not theirs to begin with. Yes, I am being credited. Yes, I will be paid for my services. But this is about something bigger than either of those things, and it’s deeply disappointing to not only have to deal with the betrayal and two faced selfishness of people you used to call brothers, but also know that your dreams and goals for the music you slaved so hard on are completely irrelevant to the whims of two children and a “block user” button.

I believe in the combined sanctity of art as much as anyone, but I had the right to my own compositions, and now I have to live with THEIR versions being the ones released. I’m sorry I sound so bitter, I’m sure plenty of you really don’t care, or maybe even think they had the right to do this as well. I can understand that. But I don’t agree. The material was in their hands on good faith that it would be released in a form most satisfactory to all of us, and this is the latest in a long line of my decisions and opinions being either marginalised or ignored, purely for the sake of Jonas and Gareth’s selfishness. Thank you for your time, and I can’t wait to return with all new music and a whole new group of amazing musicians. Plans are in motion. Without any more of this messiness.

Yours sincerely, Jack”

Obviously, this is a very touchy issue. For our part, we are backing Magero 100%. Under NO circumstances is it ever okay to straight up steal someone’s intellectual property, which is what has happened here. Regardless of your input on a piece of music, it is not okay to steal and release the rest of it without the other party’s consent. Just because you wrote the lyrics, does not mean you can take the music along with you. Just because you have promised to pay the composer, does not mean you are at liberty to release the music without consent, especially when it is directly in opposition to the composer’s wishes. In this, we are unequivocal. It is NOT okay – not now, not ever.

SLICE THE CAKE Release New Album Without Composer’s Permission, Still An Absolute Banger
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Comments

  • Simon Longe

    and yet your streaming the music any way?

    “Band release album without composers consent
    We think this is wrong
    You should still totally listen to it though”.

    Interesting logic, there.

  • SicktoDeath

    I didn’t realize this was so black and white with no grey areas.

  • Robstermd

    Grade A journalism lads. This is a very complex issue and you’ve only reached out one third of the band who also happens to write for your website on occasion.

    More biased than the daily mail (Y)

    Not that I’m saying Jack is wrong, what I’m saying is this is a bad approach to this very complex and messy issue.

  • Robstermd

    Grade A journalism lads. This is a very complex issue and you’ve only reached out one third of the band who also happens to write for your website on occasion.

    More biased than the daily mail (Y)

    Not that I’m saying Jack is wrong, what I’m saying is this is a bad approach to this very complex and messy issue.

    • “Also happens to write for your website on occasion”? I think you mean “wrote two articles for your website about a year and a half ago”

      Gareth left the band. He has no say in the matter.
      Jonas simply records the music Jack writes – basically a session musician’s job.

      For Gareth (an ex member) and Jonas (a person with no real creative input) to go behind Jack’s back and release music HE WROTE without his permission is fucked. Plain and simple.

    • “Also happens to write for your website on occasion”? I think you mean “wrote two articles for your website about a year and a half ago”

      Gareth left the band. He has no say in the matter.
      Jonas simply records the music Jack writes – basically a session musician’s job.

      For Gareth (an ex member) and Jonas (a person with no real creative input) to go behind Jack’s back and release music HE WROTE without his permission is fucked. Plain and simple.

      • Simon Longe

        your jacky boy aint as big a saint as you make him out to be 😛

      • Simon Longe

        your jacky boy aint as big a saint as you make him out to be 😛

        • “My boy Jacky” hey? I don’t even have the dude added on Facebook. I don’t care what people think of the guy – the simple fact is that he wrote all the music, and Gareth left the band – meaning Gareth forfeited all rights to release that music with or without Jack’s permission.

      • SicktoDeath

        The way you downplay the roles of the other two people involved here is very telling of your position that you seem very rooted in. Gareth was a huge part of the band, and is part of this story. I’m pretty sure that gives him a say in the matter, and I for one was interested in hearing a statement from him about this and possibly a response to Jack.

        Calling Jonas a session musician with no creative input is also pretty shit. Jack and Jake composed, Jonas produced and added things where he felt it fit, and Gareth added his elements. To say that this was ALL written by Jack and Jake and the other two members are basically useless… You’re just not telling the whole story here, and you picked a side from the beginning without all of the information.

      • SicktoDeath

        The way you downplay the roles of the other two people involved here is very telling of your position that you seem very rooted in. Gareth was a huge part of the band, and is part of this story. I’m pretty sure that gives him a say in the matter, and I for one was interested in hearing a statement from him about this and possibly a response to Jack.

        Calling Jonas a session musician with no creative input is also pretty shit. Jack and Jake composed, Jonas produced and added things where he felt it fit, and Gareth added his elements. To say that this was ALL written by Jack and Jake and the other two members are basically useless… You’re just not telling the whole story here, and you picked a side from the beginning without all of the information.

    • Also, how’s Pyramid Noise going? I see you gave your pal Gareth a pretty glowing review for the music Jack wrote :^)

      • Robstermd

        I reviewed the album, both Gareth and Jack gave the credit they were due. I plan to discuss the issues related to it’s release later on when things have calmed down because everyone involved has their hackles up and the real information isn’t out there. Like I said, I’m not gonna say Jack is wrong simply because I don’t have the information. Nor am I here to defend Gareth, I’m sure he doesn’t need me to do that.

        But the point remains that only having one side of the story is bad journalism. Just because you believe no one else has a say, doesn’t mean that they’re not part of the story. That’s a very limited view point.

        • “One sided journalism” – sorry, did you not see the NINE PARAGRAPH LONG statement from Gareth and Jonas that we included BEFORE Jack’s?

          • Robstermd

            Alright dude, look. I apologise for jumping straight to the knee jerk bad journalism card and starting an argument, I did forget about the initial statement. However, I still feel that every party should have been reached out to to make all things even. The comment from Gareth and Co is a more general comment made to the general fan base where as Jack was directly approached for comment.

            I am still unsure what to make about the standing of releasing the album in general, I do however think it’s a fantastic album and am mostly glad it’s available to enjoy.

  • Rigel7

    I’m glad it was released with the current lineup to be honest. Gareth’s vocals and lyrics are pretty amazing and Jonas’s production and guitar work sounds awesome. It’s not like they haven’t worked towards this thing together. It would be a completely different album with different musicians. He must have some deep personal beef with Gareth and Jonas if he was up and ready to rerecord the entire thing with a new lineup when by the sounds of it the whole thing was nearly finished.

  • Viper

    Despite us coming under fire for our support of Jack Nostrovia Magero, I’d just like to reiterate a few points.

    1) just because you have an argument with someone, does NOT entitle you to steal their intellectual property.

    2) just because you were featured on, or a part of a project, it does NOT entitle you to take the work of the composer and release it without their consent

    3) just because you wrote the lyrics to a piece of music, does NOT entitle you to take ownership of the entire work.

    All other arguments are invalid. The back story is irrelevant, because at its core, this is the situation with Slice The Cake. Regardless of in-fighting, or any agreed compensation, consent was NOT given by the composer/s to release the product, therefore it is tantamount to theft of intellectual property.

    Cheers

    • Owen

      1) Steal is a dramatic word there and copyright law isn’t necessarily on Jack’s side so the use of it in this context is not correct.

      Because:-

      3) They didn’t take ownership of the entire work – they released their version of the entire work and credited and will be paying Jack for his contribution.

      Which leads us back to 2) the real root of the argument, does having 4 years of individual contributions mean that they should just down sticks and leave the composition alone because Jack retroactively withdrew consent for it to be released after it had neared completion – is that entitlement?

      I think your answer there lies in whether you have ever spent a great deal of time on something to understand the artistic process and understand that there are many levels of artistic contributions to something outside of the actual written material, some of which are more laborious than the writing itself. Even producing an album of such magnitude is a task monumental in its undertaking – is someone like Jonas meant to let 3-4 years of production, mixing and mastering go uncompensated? Something that normally would cost thousands and thousands of dollars if a third party were involved? There was an agreement within the band to function as a unit and that all individual contributions were of equal merit, in this instance Jack has no real grounds as one third of the collective to fully deny the work of the other two.

      This is a falling out, it’s art, it happens, but I’d argue this was the outcome that left everyone slightly less shortchanged than they otherwise would have been. The only shame is that such a great album has had its release tarred by such one handed journalism.