My short bio Our band's music video went viral yesterday. Unfortunately, it was a ripped video that got all the views. Last count on the video was around 4.5 million views before it was taken down. The reddit community and so many others came to our support when everyone else told us that we should just be glad we were getting exposure and there was little we could do.

About The Moth & The Flame: We're an alt/indie rock band based in Los Angeles. We've spent the last two years working on our new album. We've been touring across the US, Canada, and Europe in support of our music. This song was the first thing we've released from our upcoming album.

We're here with the director of the video as well, Rebecca Thomas

Neal Unger the star of the video couldn't join us on such short notice. But please support him!

Here is the real video link:


Here's our socials:

My Proof:

Update Thanks to everyone for the great questions. This has been fun. And most of all thank you to everyone who has supported us in this! We couldn't believe how many people came to our defense. Long live Reddit!

Comments: 1465 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

inrainbow4791 karma

Lots of people are claiming that what happened yesterday was a PR stunt and have posted lots of evidence, myself included. This is a short list, definitely not everything, but some major points.

1) You are signed to a subsidiary of a major label.

2) You deleted a comment complaining about revenue.

3) A /r/listentothis post became the top post of all time (far above numbers the sub has ever seen) and continued to get upvoted after mods removed the post.

4) Your account is 5 days old. Why?

5) You have managers, lawyers and major label representatives on your side, yet you're here on Reddit asking for help.

/r/HailCorporate has some discussion going on. And here you are with a nice IAMA to wrap it all up...

So what is your reaction to this?

EDIT: Also, I should ask why are several of the comments in this IAMA from zero day or barely active accounts?

EDIT2: Just so everyone knows, I am being downvoted and attacked by what are most likely alt-accounts. Here is him commenting thanking a user for support, most like on accident:

Here is another saying the track is awesome, same user:

Then again, telling me my story is BS:

How many accounts do you guys have and how many have you used to downvote me? It should also be noted the zero day accounts are being VERY active in defense of the band. This thing needs to be shut down, where are the mods??

EDIT3: In response to the latest comment by the band, buried in the sea of comments:

The biggest problem with your AMA and your other posts was actually the amount of vote manipulation. It seems that you still don't really understand Reddit fully.

Also, when you say that Reddit wanted you to do an AMA, do you mean users on Reddit or someone who works for Reddit? Just asking because I got a message from one of your "friends" saying that he is the one who told you to do an AMA. (

Second question, it seems unlikely that you didn't ask anyone to come here and defend you. Even hours after you stopped the AMA, people related to your band were still pouring in posting comments in defense and, no doubt, downvoting everyone else.

Reddit is a great promotional tool, but I think maybe you have a weird idea of how it works.

No one will ever be able to prove that the Facebook video thing is a stunt, but what we can prove is that you came to Reddit with that situation and clearly tried to manipulate the system for promotional reasons. And that is where you lose people. Because had my initial question for you just been answered by you, and not downvoted and attacked by multiple alt-accounts for hours on end, you probably wouldn't be in this situation.

My suggestion to you would be get your friends, family, and own band members out of your PR. Padding your shit like this is only hurting you. And this time you got caught, and the results were catastrophic.

Also, at this point, honesty can only help you.

Kontiki1947-620 karma

1) A subsidiary means much less than you think. We still have to do most everything ourselves. Getting the label to pay attention to us is a full time job. We are super low on the totem pole.

2) Never deleted any comment about revenue

3) Unaware of how that happened. I don't know who posted it. But thank you whoever did.

4) I've been addicted to reddit for a year and half. I never post. I made an account five days ago thinking i might post about our new music video. But I didn't do it.

5) We reached out to all of them. They told us there was next to nothing we could do. They said we should just be glad for the exposure but there was nothing else. I was so frustrated i thought i would reach out to reddit. We were blown away and ecstatic with the support we got! And the support for the people who made this video, and Neal Unger. They were hurt by this too

DS_Lite479 karma

Was this all just a publicity stunt? Couldn't you have gone straight to your label rather than straight to Reddit?

Kontiki1947-148 karma

We immediately reached out to our label, to management, to legal. First off getting a hold of anyone on a sunday night was super hard, let alone on mothers day. Once we did, we were told there was little we could do. Our people said we would have to wait untill the next day and then try and contact the magazine. Meanwhile the video was getting hundreds of thousands of views every hour. We wish we could take credit for being that genius. The only problem is that we lost millions of views. Ripped video- 4.5 million. Our video is at 300k. I have always loved reddit and thought if no one else is willing to do anything about this maybe reddit would help

LosAirmen6 karma

Did the magazine ever apologize? Did they ever respond to any of your messages/emails?

Kontiki1947-116 karma

They contacted us through FB and Instagram. They also posted a comment on their FB page. Though it was edited a few times this is the comment/apology that is currently up on their page.

"The Moth And The Flame - an apology. The reason that I posted the video to the Facebook player (not YouTube) and not to a direct link was to have the video autoplay when people scroll past. I didn't expect the video to go viral and was simply stoked on the tune and Neal Unger's skateboarding. I realise now that this was the wrong way to go about posting the video. It was never ripped to YouTube and it wasn't done maliciously. I was just hyped on Neal. Watch/share/like the official video below."

LosAirmen6 karma

Did they ever say anything about cutting out your bands name at the beginning?

Kontiki1947-13 karma

There were different answers. At first they mentioned that they edited it to have the cool trick of Neal at the beginning so that people would see that first thing as they scrolled on FB. Then they also mentioned that it was actually a video they found from someone else and they just posted it because it was rad.


sirflatulence6 karma

It still doesn't sound like Sidewalk Magazine really offered a sincere apology. Even if it "wasn't done maliciously" as the magazine said, they still stole millions of views that should have ended up going to you guys. Buuuut... in the end, at least everything was sorted out. You guys probably got a lot more views from posting on reddit (smart move).

I imagine these guys are just more relieved than they are angry.

Kontiki1947-81 karma

We didn't even want them to take down the video. we asked them to just credit us and Neal. Instead they immediately took down the post and said all these shady things about how our video was 3 years old and they just found it as a re-edit

glasspberry0 karma

How did you find out that Sidewalk was using your video?

Kontiki1947-11 karma

A family member found it when browsing Facebook. Some friend from Brazil posted it I believe? When he saw video and that we weren't credited he sent the link our way.

Drawde_C-1 karma

If you, hypothetically, had a fifa tournament, who would win and why is it Mark?

Kontiki1947-11 karma

Mark has won 2/2.... He's a silent killer.

Chago04-3 karma

Do you guys have any merchandise for sale online? Only site I see doesn't have any listed for you. Sincerely, a fan from your Provo days.

Kontiki1947-12 karma

We're currently working to get that up there! Sorry for the delay.

(andrew) drummer

carolinahmr-4 karma

Who did you work with on the upcoming album and when will it be out?

Kontiki1947-6 karma

We worked with three different producers on the new album, Peter Katis, Nate Pyfer and Tony Hoffer. Originally we started the album with Katis and later worked on a few more tracks for the album with Pyfer and Hoffer. Hopefully the album will be out late this summer but we're still waiting to see how things go with our single and see what the label thinks. Hopefully soon!

sageiswilde-4 karma

How was it touring with placebo? Did you guys ever listen to them while growing up? xx

Kontiki1947-17 karma

Touring with them was amazing. One of our favorite tours to date. Honestly we didn't listen to them much growing up but we're all fans now. Great guys.

norther_reese-4 karma

What's the release window for your next album?

Kontiki1947-4 karma

Hopefully somewhere in late summer and fall, but we're really not sure yet. We want to get it out soon though!

MormonMelon-5 karma

Do you have a favorite band in the Provo scene?!?

Kontiki1947-32 karma

So many. Here's a few: Fictionist, Joshua James, Desert Noises, Stranglove, Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons

tedwerd-5 karma

On a scale of 1-Neal Unger how are your skating skills?

Kontiki1947-17 karma

But Andrew can kick flip... so watch out. Maybe a 3?

Kontiki1947-17 karma

On the Neal scale we are a soft 1.

573v0-5 karma

Could you tell us more about the Provo music scene and why it was important to the formation and development of your band?

Kontiki1947-20 karma

The Provo music scene was the perfect environment for us to learn the ropes of what it takes to be in a band. It's a small city and so we got to know everyone in the scene quickly and there is a real great camaraderie there and positive competition. We grew so much as a band by playing at Velour in Provo.

sweetdeezus-6 karma

hey guys! saw you last week at the echo! great set! what's your favorite restaurant in LA?

Kontiki1947-26 karma

That's tough! There's so much good food in LA. We all love Cafe Stella in Silverlake (though we only ate there once). Tacos Los Primos in Lincoln Hieghts is amazing. Umami Burger for sure, although that's not exclusive to LA.

Nonservium-7 karma

Your music is great and I'm a big fan. As a guitarist and gear dork, would you mind breaking down what gear you make use of on tour?

Kontiki1947-22 karma

Awesome! Yes! For guitar, Brandon uses a Japanese telecaster through a 1964 supro. He uses a vintage memory man, klon clone overdrive and diamond compression pedal. For bass, mike has a 1962 reissue P-bass that he runs through a ZVEX box of rock pedal into an early 90's Ampeg SVT. Andrew plays a C&C kit with Istanbul cymbals and a Ludwig black beauty snare and recently a DW brass snare. Mark uses three keyboards, a prophet 08, a nord stage and a Micro korg. He runs the nord stage through a Strymon blue sky reverb pedal.

akohbdc-9 karma

What was starting out in Provo like?

Kontiki1947-14 karma

We love Provo! It has an amazing music scene!

Kontiki1947-329 karma

This is a last ditch effort to give my band's side of the story. I know this will get downvoted immediately and probably no one will see it but I want to give it one last try before I walk away.

Let me start at the beginning:

On sunday my brother called me to tell me about a magazine's Facebook post with our video that had gone viral. It had 2.5 million views. Unfortunately, the magazine had ripped our video and made it a Facebook video. To make things worse they edited out our name from the beginning of the video. Also the post only linked to their website. They Mentioned our band name and Neal Ungers but it was done in weird/ semi-insulting way and along with a bunch of other names of a video they were trying to promote. There was no linking to us. They were trying to funnel people to one of their own videos. Then I started to look at the comments. There were tons of people asking who the band was? What was the song? etc.

It was Sunday and Mothers Day. It took around 20 minutes to get a hold of my bandmates and our manager. We were shocked and confused. Awesome that this is getting so much attention but sickening to see none of it connecting to us. We sent emails, Facebook messages, made calls. Did everything we could to ask the magazine to link to us and the real video. We asked our label for help. After finally getting a hold of them they told us that there was nothing to be done and we could talk more about it on Monday. Meanwhile, in the time it took to get a hold of our label the post had gained 200,000 more views (about 50min). I was really upset. No matter what we said we kept being told there was nothing we could do and to just be grateful for the exposure. At this point our actual youtube video had around 7k views but this magazine's video had 2.7 million.

I think this may be a good time to elaborate a little more on what it means to be on a Label like ours:

Don't get me wrong. We love our label (Elektra)! And we are overjoyed that they believe in us enough to sign us. But when you're on this kind of label you are one of many bands on their roster. If you are not performing well they don't want to put any more work into you than they have to. Especially on a sunday that happens to be Mothers day. And if you are a new band (like us) that has very little track record and doesn't have lots of sales things get even grimmer. We are very low on the totem pole. The other fact of being on a Label like ours is that you still have to do most everything yourself. Promotion, tours, posters, videos, anything you can think of. Ask any band you know thats on a label. Some might believe in the glamorous idea of a Label signing a band and suddenly all your problems are solved and you get big. The truth, however, can be seen when you look at label roster and see how many bands you've never heard of. The vast majority of bands that sign to a label never go anywhere. A good example of our influence is this video. We shot it with favors. We paid the talent and we paid for the locations and that was about it. Everyone else volunteered cause they are our friends. Supposedly, 15 years ago there used to be budgets for videos in the music world.

This brings me back to our predicament. Sunday. Our video had 2.7 million views but no one was connecting it to us. And we couldn't get anyone to do anything about it (magazine or label).

My bandmates and I tried posting our youtube link in the comment section of the illegitimate post. But we all got blocked fairly quickly by Facebook. You can only do that so many times.

Thats when i thought maybe i should ask for help from reddit.

(I've been addicted to reddit for almost two years now. I never sign in though. I just like to read. I made an account 5 days ago because I thought about posting our music video. But i didn't.)

So I posted to reddit. The response was amazing. People we're giving great legal advice and instructions on how to best approach the magazine. People started posting the original link of our video on the illegitimate Facebook post. Others who had experienced similar things told us their stories. I saw one comment that a redditor had uploaded our video as a new post. And for the record no one in my band knows that user. None of us asked anyone to do that or any other related posts. Reddit was incredible. We were ecstatic.

Then late at night when the video was around 4 million views the magazine responded. We didn't want them to take it down. We just wanted proper credit. However, they took it down before contacting us and said it was all a mistake. They made a couple edits of their apology. One that said our video was three years old (its days old). And one that said they accidentally posted someone's re-edit… Not sure what to make of that.

Then it got late and I fell asleep.

Next morning I woke up to find my post had been removed by the Moderators. When I asked why they said because of vote gaming. They also said they removed all posts related to it for the same reasons. Other than that they wouldn't respond to me.

Then we were told reddit wanted to an AMA with us in the afternoon. So we got together and answered questions.

This is where i need to explain that we come from a really tight music scene. Provo, UT has lots of amazing bands. Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, Joshua James, Desert Noises, Fictionist etc. Its our hometown. Everyone is very supportive and protective of each other. Also we have lots of fans and friends. When people heard we were doing an AMA i believe many of them wanted to join in. After things started to get controversial some of these fans/friends (this is my guess) started diving in. This is where etiquette was breached. We asked no one to defend us or upvote or downvote posts. I found out about one commenter I personally knew when he started getting belligerent. Someone texted me about it. I asked him to stop. He did. Wish i could've stopped more.

After the AMA we got some food and went to set up for a show we were playing. During the course of the show we saw that our AMA was going crazy. All our responses were downvoted. We already responded to the list of why this is a conspiracy at the beginning of the AMA. Item by Item. Not sure why someone had to copy the question again and leave our answer out. Also not sure why we would want to pull a stunt like this on a Game of Thrones/Mothers Day -- sunday night

Anyway, this is way too much information. If you read this thank you. I know it seems crazy. But this is what happened. I just wanted to get it out there and be transparent. We really appreciate the support reddit gave us.


Ripped FB video - 4.5 million

Our actual youtube video - 390k

Conspiracy theory - win

Actual events - lose

Reddit - Amazing