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The deal structure is rumored to involve advances and points for Victory on these two albums, which will reportedly sport a Victory logo. After that, IDJ will have rights to the band’s future releases free and clear for the duration of the deal.
WHEELS & DEALS SPECIAL:
THURSDAY’S GAME
Island Def Jam Closes High-Profile Bidding War for Former Victory Records Band

One of the hardest-fought, highest-profile signing derbies in recent memory is now closed, leaving numerous label bridesmaids behind.

After nearly a year and a half, hardcore/emo rockers Thursday, previously on indie Victory Records, have finalized their deal with Island Def Jam. Congrats to IDJ’s Ben Lazar and Lewis Largent, de-partment head Jeff Fenster, Island President Julie Greenwald and label head Lyor Cohen.

The band, managed by Syndicate’s Dave Ciancio and handled on the legal side by barrister Saguit Gohar, negotiated an exit agreement with the Nick Ferrara-repped Victory that required IDJ to buy out the indie’s contractual claim to the band’s next two full-length releases.

The deal structure is rumored to involve advances and points for Victory on these two albums, which will reportedly sport a Victory logo.

After that, IDJ will have rights to the band’s future releases free and clear for the duration of the deal.

The situation became embroiled in controversy when Victory cut a deal with MCA (IDJ’s UMG sister label) earlier this year that gave MCA a 25% ownership stake in the indie. (Victory, home to hardcore acts including Snapcase and Hatebreed, currently has a distribution deal with RED running through 8/03.)

Thursday’s relationship with Victory deteriorated as that deal progressed, as chronicled on the band’s website. In fact, MCA will have no involvement in any of the IDJ releases.

Additional drama unfolded as numerous other majors went after the band, with rumors of one label trying to hire away a rival company’s A&R rep who supposedly had an inside track with the band.

Observers note that the band could indeed be the breakout act of the post-hardcore scene, with many suggesting that after 20 years, hardcore and its offshoots may now be poised to break through to the mainstream, just as more traditional punk went pop in a national way in the ’90s with Green Day, the Offspring and the like.

As for the current IDJ/Victory deal for Thursday, while it may not represent the outcome label head Tony Brummel was looking for, it at least affords the indie some compensation for developing the act. Thursday is expected to release its IDJ debut by spring of next year.

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