Stevie Knipes, who performs as Adult Mom, accused indie label Tiny Engines of breach of contract on Saturday via an extensive Twitter thread, stating that the label has withheld royalty statements and payments. Adult Mom has been a part of the Tiny Engines roster since 2015. According to Knipe, though their two-LP contract included a stipulation that the label must “supply royalty statements twice a year” and follow up with payment, Tiny Engines failed to send any statements until May of 2018 after sustained pressure from Knipe and their manager. The statement showed that Tiny Engines owed Knipe close to $8,000, which was paid out seven months later in December of 2018.
Knipe says that the situation did not improve following the December 2018 payout:
Citing multiple breaches of contract, Knipe went to the owners of Tiny Engines, Chuck Daley and Will Miller, to regain control of their masters, which contractually belong to the label. Knipe alleges that Daley’s response was “unprofessional” and “manipulative,” and they followed up by sending an official breach of contract notice to the label:
“I am certain and it has been confirmed that there are at LEAST 10 other bands on this label that have experienced this or something similar,” added Knipe. “It is an abuse of power. It is an epidemic. It is a diseased label. These artists deserve so much more respect.” Knipe has been met with an outpouring of support from other artists, including former Tiny Engines signees Mannequin Pussy and Cayetana, and current Tiny Engines signee Thelma:
Christian Holden of The Hotelier, another Tiny Engines signee, offered his perspective on the situation, with a response from Knipe:
Knipe has offered the following alternative avenues to fans hoping to support Adult Mom outside of Tiny Engines, and promised a new album coming next spring:
See Adult Mom’s full Twitter thread here and stay tuned for further updates on the situation. Tiny Engines has not responded to a request for comment from Paste at this time.
Update, Nov. 25: On Nov. 15, Knipes tweeted an update that they had heard back from Tiny Engines and received an updated statement and confirmation that they would turn over Adult Mom’s masters:
It appears that they have officially parted ways, as Adult Mom’s music is no longer available on the Tiny Engines website or Bandcamp. Here’s hoping Knipes got that champagne.
Tiny Engines has otherwise been laying low, to the point of leaving bands with new releases to fend for themselves: Christopher Adams of Pendant reported that he was “doing his best” to promote his own record, Nov. 8’s Through a Coil. Long Neck have also spoken to the uncertainty of their future with the label.