Burger Records shuts down for good
Earlier this week, Burger Records issued a statement, following accusations of sexual misconduct against several artists and employees at the label, in which they promised to make "major structural change" including co-founder and president Lee Rickard stepping down, with Burger's other co-founder, Sean Bohrman, moving "into a transitional role." Now, Pitchfork reports that Burger Records have shut down completely.
Jessa Zapor-Gray, who was to be the new interim president, issued a statement saying she no longer planned to assume that role:
In the last year and a half, I have worked with Burger and Burger artists on communications and partnerships on a contract basis.
Over the weekend I was asked to assume the role of the label's interim president with the hope I could reform the label into something better for the good of all of you, the artists. My plan was to quickly begin assessing and evaluating if anything about the label could perhaps be salvaged and made into something better, then eventually hand off a functioning label to a future administration unrelated to the label's founders; or if I found that rebuilding was not possible, instead to organize and prepare the label for closure.
When I was asked to take over in this capacity, I expected some blowback for my decision to accept but I believed that the opportunity to have a role in effecting real and lasting positive change within the Burger and indie music scenes was worth the risk.
Upon further review, I have informed Burger Records that I no longer believe I will be able to achieve my intended goals in assuming the leadership role at Burger in the current climate. Therefore, I have decided to step away from the label entirely to focus on my other projects.
Pitchfork reached out to Burger for more context, and Bohrman told them "We decided to fold the label." When asked if they would continue as the rebranded BRGR RCRDS, Bohrman told Pitchfork "Nope." And when they asked him for further comment, he reportedly replied with a clip of Porky Pig saying "that's all folks." The label's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts have all been deactivated, and several releases have already been removed from streaming services. Borhman told Pitchfork that they are in the process of removing all releases, however he also confirmed that all Burger artists own their own music and are free to reissue their records. "I hate dealing with lawyers so we never signed contracts with bands," he told Pitchfork.
Meanwhile, Part Time, who Burger mentioned in the comments of their original statement responding to the allegations, also have releases on Mexican Summer. In a statement in their Instagram stories, Mexican Summer says takedowns of the records have been submitted. They write:
We hear you - abuse against women is not something we take lightly.
Takedowns of both Part Time records have been submitted and will take effect over the next 24-48 hours, as well as removal of all product from our web store.
Love and strength to all of the survivors who have come forward in the last few days and those who have not yet shared their stories.
Total Trash Productions, who produce the Burger Boogaloo festival with Burger Records, also severed ties with the label and plans to change its name.
The Growlers' keyboardist, Adam Wolcott Smith, has now left the band following sexual misconduct allegations made against other members.
Previously: The Growlers responded to allegations of sexual misconduct, SWMRS' Joey Armstrong (son of Billie Joe) responded following allegations of abuse from The Regrettes' Lydia Night, and Cherry Glazerr's Clem Creevy accused her ex-bandmate & Buttertones bassist of statutory rape. Best Coast and Bleached also posted statements in support of the women who have been coming forward.
In 10+ year Burgers Records has released over 1000 albums -- many just on cassette -- by bands big and small. The list includes Cherry Glazerr, Bleached, Sunflower Bean, King Tuff, Jonah Ray, The Regrettes, Hunx and his Punx, Harlem, The Growlers, FIDLAR, Fat White Family, OFF!, Redd Kross, Pangea, Together Pangea, The Muffs, Mikal Cronin, La Sera, Cassie Ramone, La Luz, Quilt, Red Kross, Ryan Adams, Shannon & the Clams, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Turbonegro, Black Lips, Jacuzzi Boys, Nobunny, Dwarves, Witch, JEFF The Brotherhood King Kahn, Grass Widow, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Pharcyde, The Coathangers, The Adolescents, Christian Death, The Weirdos, Mean Jeans, Warm Soda, The Orwells, White Mystery, Neil Hamburger, David Liebe Hart Band, Jonathan Toubin, White Fang, Natural Child, Gap Dream, Junior Kimbrough, Townes Van Zandt, Jacco Gardner, Melody's Echo Chamber, Curtis Harding, Frankie Rose, Colleen Green, Pizza Time, Chain and the Gang, R Stevie Moore, Death Valley Girls. Kim Fowley, The Courtneys, Pujol, The Black Angels, Roky Erickson, Built to Spill, John Doe, Guided by Voices, Tobin Sprout, Jenny Lewis, Weezer, Green Day, Tommy Stinson, Dinosaur Jr, Flamin' Groovies, Veruca Salt, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Iggy and the Stooges, William Burroughs, and many, many more.
Surfbort --- another female-fronted band that is big in the Burger scene -- also has since issued a statement to Instagram:
Hayley Williams of Paramore also posted a statement in support of the victims:
And here is the one from Bleached:
And Best Coast: