Indie Awards heckler outs himself; claims other nominees “detrimental to humanity”

The heckler at last week’s Jagermeister Independent Music Awards has outed himself. And it’s none other than Nic Warnock – boss at Sydney record label R.I.P Society – who makes no apologies for yelling out “not independent” when award winner Lanie Lane thanked her label Ivy League.

In a stinging missive published on Crawlspace, Warnock attacked some of the acts nominated for Indie Awards, suggesting their contribution to culture is on par with 50 Shades Of Grey and vajazzling, and likening them to “music from tampon ads”.

While R.I.P Society had a big win at this year’s awards with Royal Headache taking out Best Independent Album, Warnock declared that much of the music that was up for nomination was “detrimental to humanity”. He described some of the nominees as a “more subtle” form of the same awfulness that’s yielded “Fred Durst, steampunk and Christian metal”.

Revisiting last week’s “not independent” storm-in-a-teacup, Warnock claimed that while Ivy League are great at what they do, they simply have no place at a celebration of independent music. “Ivy League does not operate in any way, shape or form like an independent record label,” he said. “There is no creative idealism or attempt to foster any type of collective/counter culture, nor has there ever been from what I can see.”

He did, however, say that he didn’t enter the award ceremony with a vendetta against Ivy League, describing his heckle as a “jovial, spur of the moment” reaction. “Whether Ivy League are independent or not is not really something I dwell on as Ivy League (and a great deal of the labels present at the AIR Awards) are so removed from any affecting independent music culture past or present that it seems irrelevant to discuss.”

Although distributed by a major (Universal), Ivy League falls within the Australian Independent Record Labels Association’s criteria for nomination, namely a company that is 100 percent Australian, owns the master rights for recorded music and “exploits” it for commercial gain.

Ivy League’s managing director Chris Maund explained last week that while the issue of independency isn’t “black and white”, the label – a subsidiary of the Mushroom Group – is 100 percent independently owned and self-funded.

“We have our own independently funded sales staff and we independently control/distribute all our digital rights, which, for recent releases constitutes over 50 percent of our album and 100 percent of single sales. Weighing all that up, we proudly call ourselves an independent label and are proud to be a long standing member of AIR.”