After reading the whole thing, it seems Ghouls were trying to become employees rather than partners
Here is (Tobias Forges’ Reply) Appendix 2 – Email from Martin Persner 15 march 2012.
From: Martin Persner Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 2:36 To: Kristen Mulderig Cc: Tobias Forge , Simon Söderberg , Mauro Rubino , Aksel Holmgren ,Rikard Ottosson
Subject: Reply to Kristen (boys are cc’d)
I’ll check with the boys if Thursday or Friday will work – i’d very much like to see that everyone is available for this conferance call. I’m CC’n the boys rights now for this conversation. // M
From: kristen To: persner2 Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 17:11:01 -0500 Subject: Re: From the boys of Ghost
Hello Martin – Hope all is well. I wanted to give you an update that I have addressed the issue with Rick and we are working on getting you all a “Good Faith” payment before you leave for tour. I have my calls into the accountant to see what is possible to do. Unfortunately this is a bit more complicated than you would think we are borrowing money to make this happen and to finance the start up of this tour since we are still in label negotiations. It is taking longer than anticipated which is not ideal right now, but in the long run will be well worth it for the band GHOST and each of you individually. We are working on getting the best deal possible and securing the best home for GHOST.
By tomorrow I should have a clearer picture of what we can do and when you can expect a payment. I have been in touch with the US accountants and JoJo and I am awaiting some answers from them. Once received I will expedite the process as quickly as possible and will keep you updated.
I have also been speaking with Rick to try and figure out a time we can all get on the phone for a conference call, later this week. Can you let me know if you guys will be available on Thursday or Friday around 8PM your time? This would be noon our time, and I am assuming you haven’t changed the clocks yet for daylight savings correct? Let me know if either day works.
Thank you Martin…..
PS –Please share this with the rest of the guys….. Also let me know, I can add them on CC fo the rest of the corresponance if it makes it easier to disseminate the information.
The Rick Sales Entertainment Group Kristen Mulderig 6255 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1501 Los Angeles, CA 90028 P (323) 461-2360 F (323) 461-2363 “Where Metal Dreams Come True”
From: “kristen” Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 16:42:54 -0500 To: Martin Persner Subject: Re: From the boys of Ghost
Hello Martin –
Hope all is well. I received this late last night when I Got off the plane returning from London. I was there for meetings with Tobias and Sissi and needed to stay an extra day for some more meetings. I am playing catch up today, but will address this fully with Rick Monday. ( he had oral surgery and is still recovering) For the record , You or any other band member can reach out to myself or Rick at anytime. We are on the same team. We have known about the money situation and are doing our best to get you answers in a timely fashion.
Again – please let everyone know this is a priority for us and we are dealing with it as so.
Let’s touch base beginning of next week. Maybe we can arrange a conference call for all of you and Rick early in the week. Best,
Kristen The Rick Sales Entertainment Group Kristen Mulderig 6255 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1501 Los Angeles, CA 90028 P (323) 461-2360 F (323) 461-2363 “Where Metal Dreams Come True”
From: Martin Persner Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM To: “kristen Subject: From the boys of Ghost
i’ve just talked to Tobias about our (me and the boys in the orchestra) economical situation and means how to solve this affair. I’d like to start with severing the “group/band” from the “company” in order to get the semantics straight for the follwing message.
As you are aware, none of us have any funds at all, and stand completely broke; many of us in debt to relatives and friends from having touring etc.
Tobias and foremost Sissi made me aware that having a discussion with Tobias on our wages and on our membership/employee-deal with the company (Tobias’ company Ghost, in all it’s shapes) would only lead to further confusion. Thus i see it fit to contact you and Rick by this mail. I do understand that this would best be settled via a lawyer or such from our side since none of us have any knowledge of how to deal with you or Rick on this matter, you beeing professionals. In any event – we do know this:
As much as we love playing in this great band we need to get paid. This because we have no money or income at all from having lost our jobs or having been unable to get one from touring and beeing able for teh band at all times when needed. The working situation in Sweden is, as
for most of the western world of today, down and damaged and if one would like to hold on to a job, one must at all costs be loyal to the company you work for – that is don’t go on tour and in other ways be absent from ones work duties. None of us choose this – we chosed risking it all for playing with Ghost. This given that we will grow as the band grown, econimically and fame- wise. We have had several meetings and round up’s on how to function as a band, our roles, our goals and more.
Now, since Tobias and we decided on him owning the company as whole and us being employees and serve as hired musicians rather than being partowners of the actual company, with all it’s perks and risks, we came to the conclusion that this is doable if, and only if, we get paid for our label. We never quite came to a final solution on how to do this, but we very well came up with solutions fit for the group and the company on how to manage this. The solution we all could agree on (yes, this was a group decisions, for good and bad) was that we get paid per gig. This because Tobias was unwilling to have us on payroll for periods of no work or gigs. Only fair. The model would be that each of us have their own small company and invoice him per gig/tour. Also, and important for the verve and soul of the group, we decided that we, the employees, should in some form have the right to get per cent of the gross of something that measures the band’s growth – suggesting per cent per member of the group (not to mix up with the actual company) of the gross of one years total sum of the income of played gig’s. This, all in good will, in order for everyone to get the feel that they belong and work for results, rather than just the payroll – something all of us including Tobias sense is of great worth for having a functional band. The feeling of membership of the group.
Given this i adress you, sadly, at this point not so much as “our” management, but as Tobias’ management or CEO – since we have not yet come to a conclusion on what are exact roles are and should be in the company/companies of Ghost.
By the time i write this none of the memers of the group have no funds as mentioned above. None at all. Hardly to make it to the rehearsal space. We are therefore in dire need of a solution really fast in order to, not only, do the upcoming US tour, but to be a part of this group further on. As mentioned above we all have to choose between playing Ghost or get a dayjob – doing both is just dreams and fantasies long gone passed. It is not a matter of some union-demands on our behalf, but the very sore fact that we are at the brink of economical collapse each and every one of us.
To addres another problem, surfacing when making attempt to look at this logically and per se:
Even if we would have ownership in any of the companies that is Ghost, we could not do another gig without getting paid. It’s down to that by now. So, regardless on our economical role in this whole machinery, we are dead broke. Now, at this point.
To look at it even clearer – broke because, all of us, just like Tobias and Rise Above, have taken risks bulding this thing up. Regardless of who in the band could have been replaced or is disposable, it was us, Martin, Mauro, Rikard, Aksel and Simon who took (takes) the risk together with Tobias building this thing up and have it float. Being able at all times, loosing jobs and whatnot. One could ofcourse spin the wheel and mention that we all did it because of the fun and games to it, and that we always had the choice of staying or leaving. Yes. True that. But adding the slight fact that we did this there should be no discussion on that all of us have put effort into this building it up and make it fly, and thus expect to have something in return. Which leads to:
Since we no longer (if ever, but to that we all can agree – yes, that was the initial plan: us being part of the company and it’s growth) are members or have any ownership in the companies being Ghost – we should be bought out from what we helped building during the first year and some up until now. Some 70 gigs or so. Tobias had an idea of giving us payment for the accomplished gigs retroactive, and thus buying us out of our share of the bands value we helped constructing by traveling, playing, rehearsing, having meetings. This is only fair given that we elsehow have been working for a long time without having nothing in return from it. Not ok for any of us. Because if we should turn to meaningless terms as “no band ever gets paid during first year” i’ll answer that by saying “no, that’s because they invest time and effort in it as band and company members – getting paid later on…or not – if the band fails on being a commercial succes. Risking money and other ways of living.” In any event – if we are not to have any ownership in the company, whicha are decided upon that we shall not, why take any risks furthermore or even, as in this particular case, in the past? Risking for maybe getting a payroll in the future?
Lot’s of strings are being pulled and lot’s of things happen at this moment as you if anyone, are aware of. All this because people and companies believe in the Ghost phenomenon. There are costs to having Ghost doing what they are, and these above mentioned are some of them. We are, unfortunately, or fortunatley, to be seen as expenses. Not risktakers with nothing in return.
Dealing with you and Rick on what these fare’s should be i could not. Not only because i don’t know how to and because i understand that you, as Ghost’s management must at all times se to keep the costs down. Only natural and only fair. Nothing bad to it at all. This leads to us probably having to send some type of person more in postition to lead our case in terms of legal discussion etc. I hate it to be that way, but i sense that is the only way possible. But ofcourse – IF we could solve it to everyones satisfaction just between us that would be great.
The deal right now (or the lack of one) is highly unballanced: (If and only if we still are considered by Tobias to be indisposal, otherwise, don’t bother reading the following)
Since the band needs to function as group and individually doing this we needs funds. That will be given from the recordcompany as an advance of the expected value of this band. They nowadays serve as risktakers and financial muscels in order to get things working that would otherwise not work. That is handling and risking economy for a project they BELIEVE in. We are part of that project. We are expenses just like anything else, giving we are hired musicians. Since we don’t have the muscles economically but THEY DO, it should only be a matter of transforming their belief of what this band can accomplish into what expenses the ongoing machinery takes. We are part of that machinery. Speaking of us having to wait another year of getting paid is returning to the debate on if we are to have ownership in the company or not, than risking rime and money and jobs for possible economical return in the future. However, we have decided that not to be the case. So:
In the search for a recordcompany other than Rise Above who have proven being insufficient due to lack om funds and strategy, Ghost pretty much look for an investor, with the function of taking a risk investing in us finacially and make us able to function though sometimes not having us covering our own costs. That’s what risking and investing means per se. Them covering costs by giving an advance for Ghost to use on expenses in order to function getting it back if the project leads to economical succes. If it costs them some more money for having THE WHOLE thing afloat that must not be a problem. Are they willing to invest in a car and then not see to it that i has wheels?
I don’t know who to addres with all this, as you, Kristen and Rick don’t handle money other than Ghost’s own and are bound to use them carefully building this ship. Still – the band just won’t function without us having money, however many Aerosmiths and Stone Roses didn’t make any money the first 25 years. It surprises me that companies are willing to invest money and effort in this because they believe that we will accomplish great stuff, but seems unprepared to see to it that the group as whole works, economically and socialy. It should very much be of great interest to them, us being the musicmachine. Maybe, and likely, it is not the recordcompanies task to attend to things like if the band are getting by allright or not (should be though, since they invested in us as a group) and if that is the case – i can only see that the management of the band, or rather as here, the company, should see to it that all ends are tied. I do understand very well that the sum put up in advance from any possible recordcompany is to cover all this and whatnot, but to be handled by someone appropriate to such means – that is you Kirsten and Rick. The management.
We are a band that right now needs help to be able to function. This time it is aid financially, maybe int the future it will be from a psycologist, who knows. Right now Ghost needs investments in order to function as a traveling and hard working band. That’s were it’s at. Expenses are everything from travels, staff on tour, management and musicians.
Bottom line is – none of us neither can nor will risk anything more than already risked for this project. We simply cannot. And why should we, as people all over shows interest and are willing to invest in us. First see to it so that we can function and eat and lead decent lives properly doing this work carrying the band to further heights. At this point we can not. Who got the muscles financially and thus should take the risk? Certainly not us at this point.
Just a short notice on Swedish economics:
Just to fill you in on my, and this is very much an example on how things look for us, or at least me, economical situation i would like to present to you my monthly income. I have about 1100$ a month from unemployment fare. I am considered POOR. In fact, the lowest range there is. This is considered by Swedish state to be absolute minimum on living costs for a citizen of Sweden. Lower than that i will never get here and if i do i will get a wellfarecheck in order to even eat or make the rent. So, that’s the lowest possible per month for someone living in Sweden. I have the cheapest possible apartment etc.
I don’t know hos much i would need per gig to match this given how many gigs we have, but i’d say, gaps and all about 440$ (half is eaten up by the government when having your own little company) per gig as they come during summer. I do not claim that that should be the per gig salary on the coming US tour, but that’s more or less what the summer pay should be in order for me to be able to do this. Then i’m on minimum, and cannot even guess what the other guys monthly expenses are. And as i said – i am used on living on minimum conditions – not everyone are and can do. I am only speaking for my own term in the above mentioned numbers and CANNOT stand responsible for what expenses or salary-demands the other members could possibly have. I’m not even sure on my own. Therefore: Consider this last part of the letter as just a hinch on what is to be claimed. Less is not an option, for any of us; more is likely to be asked for. If the companies of Ghost are unwilling (yes, in those black and white terms) to see us of with a solution such as the above mentioned there’s not much that we can do than exit this whole operation. This is not greed. This is Need. Differs…
Most of us has started individual companies (me being the only one still haven’t) and thus won’t, as long as holding a company, get ANY help from any governmental instance such as unemployment office. They all started their companies in trust and promise that they would be hired musicians before, on and after the US tour, since otherwise none of us could do this. And then we simply would have turned otherwhere, well in advance of the summer getting jobs that pay, since we have expenses like food and shelter. We have talked with Tobias on several occasions of all this, leaving nothing unsaid, and have asked him to talk to you on what to do. Now he returns and tells us to contact you ourselves to negotiate further. Somewhere the comminication broke, as did we. Thus this mail. But still – it can only be up or down to Tobias at the end of the line what he is willing to sacrifice having us around.
Summing it all up for overlook should be this:
- We (the hired musicians of Ghost) need money to do the US tour.
- We would like to now, or at a later occastion, have retroactive payments for effort and work done so far in order for Ghost to have us off from our share of the stock value at this given day
- We need to make contracts on a.) how much our salary should be and for what kinds of efforts given by us b.) what our per cent of any grossvalue stating the bands growth should be.
As you can see from my text i am no lawyer and neither i wish to be, so all this is to be considered a open letter to you and Rick explaining our, the members of the musical group Ghost, situation and thoughts as is per 2012-03-15
Martin Persner, and on behalf of
Rikard, Mauro, Aksel and Simon
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