Geoff Rickly, frontman of recently-reactivated post-hardcore band Thursday, came under fire late last year for his commercial connections to “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli. Rickly’s vanity record label, Collect Records, had reportedly received financial backing from Martin. Shortly after news of Shkreli’s pharmaceutical price gouging made international headlines in September 2015, drawing universal disdain from both the healthcare industry and the general public, Geoff’s pecuniary partnership with Shkreli was uncovered.
Geoff Rickly’s Martin Shkreli relationship has now caused the influential musician to dissolve Collect Records and sever all professional links to the former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO. According to a new interview with Rickly at Pitchfork, Geoff doesn’t take his one-time alliance with the notorious drug demagogue lightly. Rickly claims Martin initially came to him as a fan of Thursday with a generous offer to help support Geoff’s upstart label, Collect. Things obviously went south after Shkreli’s sycophantic medicine maneuver last year.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Shkreli elicited widespread criticism in 2015 when he unconscionably raised the price of the drug Daraprim (trade name for pyrimethamine) from its previous $13.50-a-pill cost to an exorbitant $750 per tablet. Martin’s then-company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, had acquired the manufacturing license to the decades-old drug, an antiparasitic medication frequently used to treat protozoal infections in AIDS and cancer patients, after spending a reported $55 million on its fabrication rights.
In an investigation by Bullett from last year, Geoff Rickly’s ties with Martin Shkreli were hinted at in an article revealing Mr. Shkreli’s fondness for punk rock and underground music, including Geoff’s salient band, Thursday. Reportedly, the “pharma bro” even purchased a guitar once used by Geoff Rickly when writing Thursday’s 2001 album, Full Collapse, for $10,000. In the Bullett piece, the author mentions that Rickly and Shkreli were seen being friendly together at a performance from rock band The Hotelier.
“It turns out [Shkreli] is actually friends with Geoff Rickly, erstwhile Thursday frontman, and now label head of Collect Records.”
Numerous follow-up reports from various publications in both the indie and mainstream media followed, with Geoff admitting to Noisey and other outlets of his label’s monetary involvement with Martin. At the time, Rickly stated that he would end business affiliations with the publicly scourged Shkreli but still attempt to keep Collect Records afloat. In the new Pitchfork interview, Geoff concedes defeat in now having to fold Collect, while remembering the pharmaceutical kingpin as a different person from the one painted in the press.
“The Martin that I know bears no resemblance to the Martin that the press has come to know. I knew him as a pretty shy kid who would suddenly start talking about science and get really wrapped up in it. When he would talk about the things he wanted to do, there was a lot of lofty talk: ‘We’re going to cure this and we’re going to do this because big companies don’t care, all they care about is profit so we’re gonna do this.'”
Martin Shkreli wants to support the arts, but his shady dealings have done more harm than good https://t.co/3lhDzgfwvE— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) August 17, 2016
Geoff Rickly, who also fronts political hardcore band United Nations and ex-Lostprophets new-wave project, No Devotion, recently reunited with his Thursday bandmates. After forming in the late ’90s and releasing six studio albums, they disbanded in 2011 following what Geoff called a period of “personal difficulties” in a band statement. This year, Thursday announced reunion plans and played this summer’s Wrecking Ball music festival in Atlanta.
As covered at Alternative Press, Rickly stated on his Twitter page that Thursday “couldn’t say no” to the offer to perform at Wrecking Ball. Geoff indicated that the festival’s artist lineup was too good to pass up, sensing that it was a prime location for Rickly and his band members to reintroduce Thursday to an audience. The band will be playing additional shows later in the year, including a “homecoming” gig at Starland Ballroom on December 30. As of yet, there has been no news of a new album from the band.
Were you aware of Geoff Rickly’s ties to the infamous “pharma bro”? What do you think of Thursday’s recent reunion? Are you a fan of any of Rickly’s musical acts? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images]