The concept of “Sale” may be over, but Gen Z teens will still toast you for cringing – as the pop punk band Tramp Stamp finds out. According to people on TikTok, Twitter and Reddit, Tramp Stamp are ‘industry plants’. The giveaway? Their social media is too good.
An “industrial factory”, Rolling stone explains helpfully, “Is a label-backed artist but presents himself as self-made.” In 2019, the band’s guitarist, Caroline Baker, gave appeared in MusicRow: She signed with Prescription Numbers, owned by Dr. Luke a.k.a. Lukasz Gottwald. Reddit that report surfaced again this week. The Redditors also found that the singer, Marisa Marino, also has a prescription dealOh yeah, and according to the credits on their YouTube video, the Tramp Stamps have a deal with Kobalt Music Group, which is partially owned by … by Dr. Luke.
About Dr. Luke: In 2014, Kesha sued him for voiding their contract for being “ sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally [Kesha] to the point where [she] almost lost her life, ” according to the suitAfter a few years, the legal battle ended when Judge Jennifer G. Schecter of the New York Supreme Court ruled that Kesha Dr. Luke had slandered in a text to Lady Gaga, where Kesha Dr. Luke charged with drugging and raping herself and Katy Perry – allegations Perry denied. (Dr. Luke is still working with Doja Cat, Kim Petras and Saweetie under his Tyson Trax pseudonym, Rolling stone says.)
A recurring theme in the “plant” posts: that the Tramp Stamps seem to have a social media team. Their website looks like it was professionally designedThey have a robust merchandise store, inclusive a black thong with the text ‘sex’ in pink, Sex Pistols lettering. Their Instagram has about 27,300 followers, but many of their posts have less than 3,000 likes. TikTok user hardcope pointed out that their first Instagram post is an animation – a piece of media that’s hard for a DIY band to put together.
“Everything about this group is so calculated, almost insidious, insidious,” says TikTok user seapunkhistorian“Even down to their hair colors.”
Another user pointed to a group where the Tramp Stamps judged whether songs were emo or not; they seemed surprised when a fragment of a song appeared. “Oh my God,” said TikTok user dandydemon“You’re going to co-opt the aesthetic and you don’t even know My Chemical Romance?”
“It’s so obvious that the people who wrote this song don’t understand punk culture,” he said TikTok user awtheyreuglee
In fact, the entire TikTok hashtag #trampstamp is full of people complaining about the band and their crazy new song, out today, called ‘I’ll Rather Die’. (Chorus: “I’d rather die than reconnect with another straight white man.”)
Here’s a lesson. If you target marketing to a younger, social media savvy group, you will be in for a tough fight unless the group being marketed is considered ‘authentic’. And teens have a keen eye for that more than anyone else.