No Devotion frontman Geoff Rickly fears for the future of his record label after it was revealed that controversial AIDS drug mogul Martin Shkreli is a silent partner.
Shkreli hit the headlines this week when his firm Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to Daraprim, a drug used to treat AIDS patients, and raised the price by 5000% from $13.50 (£8.79) to $750 (£488) a pill.
Rickly is the man behind Collect Records and signed up No Devotion – the band formed from the ashes of Lostprophets – when he became their vocalist. Their debut album Permanence is launched on Friday (September 25).
Now he’s discussed his connection with Shkreli, who became a business partner after a Twitter exchange.
Rickly tells Noisey: “My head’s still spinning. Though I want to believe there‘s some reason he would do this in some remotely positive way, the only thing I can see is that it is totally and completely heartbreaking.
“I can’t see my future at all in the label. I have to see what the bands want first, and see if there is any meaning or any mission following all of this.”
He continues: “When I met him, he was charming, he was goofy and he was a fan of Thursday. This was the start of our relationship, and he chose to be a silent partner in Collect going forward.”
Daraprim is a treatment for the parasitic infection toxoplasmosis and is also used to treat people with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients. Shkreli has said he will reduce the price of the drug, but hasn’t yet provided any figures.
“I want to believe that Martin wants to do the right thing overall. I’ve seen the guy give away money to schools, charities – and frankly, our bands.
“I’m struggling to find how this is okay. There were no red flags at that time. I genuinely enjoyed his company. I was excited for the opportunity to work with him, and to have someone who believed in my vision for the future.”
No Devotion start a European tour tonight in Cologne, Germany.