The Beatdown

A stab at the majors can be painful.

While Universal is interested, Trinidad says the act will also be shopping the demo around to other labels that have expressed interest.

In the meantime, they'll be working toward the ultimate goal of returning to London Bridge this fall. The act will finance the next trip the way they always have -- by playing live and occasionally scoring a high-paying, covers-heavy gig. While Trinidad says Love .45 has no problem moonlighting as a cover act playing some Kiss songs here and there, it has caught some flack from other acts in town for it.

"We take a big-money gig, and we suck it up; we play a few covers and throw them in there. If some of the other bands saw our paychecks after some of these gigs, I think they'd be doing the same thing," he says. "You get tired of walking out of some of these original gigs with barely enough money to go buy Taco Bell, if you're lucky. How does anybody expect to run their business if they don't have that money coming in? If we can make the money doing what we love anyway...."

I point out Albini's assertion -- that Trinidad could theoretically wind up making less money as a major-label artist than as a 7-Eleven employee. He doesn't blink.

"I've heard all the horror stories, and that doesn't change what we want to do," he says. "That's the risk you take. It's not set up to benefit the artist, as it stands now. Hopefully that will change."

When I spoke with Trinidad, I felt compelled to warn him, to tell him the stories of countless friends who've been there, done that. I wanted to say, "Paul, Albini was right."

But I didn't say a word. I'm pretty sure that if I had said anything, it would have just come off sounding like conjecture from a purist from the underground. And besides, who am I to step on somebody's dream. I never let anyone step on mine.

Some babies never learn.

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